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About tzijlstra

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  1. He says that to his hard-nosed uncle, what is the actual reason he isn't working? Drugs, alcohol, mental health? There is not a single reason in the UK not to find work other than some sort of debilitating issue. If your nephew is indeed living completely on benefits than he is one poor chap as it isn't anywhere near enough to live well on.
  2. Huh? I genuinely don't know what point you are making here, but I am fairly sure a pandemic can also be reached after vaccination (as we see clearly in the UK with a substantial number of infections despite a high number of vaccinations).
  3. Once a virus has reached pandemic stage it is practically impossible to reverse it. I still think Biden is a wet blanket, but shoving these figures in his shoes is naive.
  4. So, point me to someone on 'Credit' who says that? Only people I can think of aren't fit for work for one reason or another. It is a very popular idea that people are 'abusing' social welfare, but once you start analysing the data properly it becomes clear quickly that it is just that, a popular idea, not reality.
  5. I'm not so sure about that. PiS was the clear winner in the last elections, the East Polish countryside vote for PiS and other far right parties is holding pretty well. The Polish West and Urbanites are pro EU, and protesting en masse, but that was to be predicted. Duda's popularity can not be underestimated, despite only drawing 51% of the vote. PiS' entire spiel is to 'reclaim Justice' from the EU. There is actually something to be said for the anger in Eastern Poland, a lot of their young people have moved away, either to Polish cities (which are thriving) or to other EU nations. The brain drain is significant and the whole area is being left behind economically. If you are left behind (or feeling left behind) than entrenchment against the EU is an obvious response and the populists know exactly how to make most of that. At the same time, the major cities have benefited enormously from inbound investments and the reality is that without the EU, the Polish economy would be more like the Ukraine than what it is now. A Polexit would be dreadful news for Poland and open themselves up to Russian pressure, especially with NATO being in disarray right now.
  6. We're staying put, mainly because the contract runs until May as that is when we moved, by then we will have a good look around. Our current provider was somehow foisted upon us and pretty dreadful.
  7. Ooh, we can @ people now, that is a nice feature, well done SF! So, @Tony, how about it. We were having a nice start to a well-balanced debate. I challenged a Brexit supporter (any) to name the many advantages of Brexit and you declared that democratic deficit was an excellent reason for Brexit. Just a gentle reminder (again, I am sure you recall the previous one) for you to explain about this democratic deficit point. Just saying people can't name their MEP doesn't really cut it mate, I don't see that as a democratic deficit, because if it is, local councils might as well pack up and become autocratic.
  8. Gave up last week, it is now keeping the house at a minimum of 17 degrees during the day. To be fair, it is a fair bit cooler here in Scotland than down in sunny Sheffield
  9. Just read that the wholesale price of natural gas has risen with 60% in two days across Europe. We just had a new (efficient) boiler installed and genuinely considered going for a ground heat exchange system thanks to Scottish subsidies on acquiring such a system - decided against it because of the huge amount of work/disturbance to our garden and the noise these pumps make. Beginning to regret that decision now, despite prices being 'protected' in the UK. Do you think the price will get lower in the coming year, or are we all going to have to swallow yet another huge bill due to the circumstances we find ourselves in?
  10. It's started. By forcing people in lower paid jobs to think about how they can get a better income to keep up with the rise in costs. Ditching the Human Rights Act and Working Time Directive and other 'obsolete' EU rules the Tories will have this country be mini-USA in no-time, where those not fortunate enough to have a big enough income will have to work two or three jobs to keep up.
  11. I don't think I need to add anything to this message, but I will. I am waiting for your reply. Thanks Tony.
  12. Tony, I am a bit disappointed with that response. I provided you with a considered response and you chose to ignore it. My last MEP was Magid Magid, the first time I voted Green instead of LibDem in an election in this country. I voted for him because he had a sensible response to Brexit (in my view) - it is a self-inflicted wound that will harm the most vulnerable in society for years to come. I have investigated the views of HGV drivers, although not through the Vox Populi method you provided, the headline figure is simple: Retention of HGV drivers in the industry is appalling, that is the result of the job being very hard for not a lot of reward. I explained to you, or at least believe I did, why Brexit isn't and wasn't the answer. I ask of you again: What would have been valid measures to improve the situation of the poorest in society and why could they not have been taken as part of the EU? Johnson is supposedly going to spell out what 'levelling up' actually means. I am awaiting the outcome with bated breath, not. But for folks like you, harping on about the benefits of Brexit for, for example, HGV drivers, you'd better hope he is about to come out with some stellar policies that wouldn't have been possible whilst part of the EU because the tide is definitely beginning to turn against this Tory government. There is a limit to the amount of people in this country, there is a minimum number of people required to carry out all the functions required to keep the economy productive. A nation needs to have an economy that generates a bigger income than that it costs to run that economy and the government alongside it. Johnson is a classic liberal, he wants to reduce the cost to run the economy and the government (eventually, Covid cost him a lot on that front). So his vision of Brexit is a lot like the way the US is set to operate: Low taxes, small government, high income, high cost to individuals.
  13. Thanks Tony, I appreciate hearing your view, you are right, there was a drive to lower costs in the haulage industry, just as there was in other domestic industries, agriculture being a significant one. Two questions with my thoughts: Who will pay for the increased costs? The customer will pay. In countries with a higher wage level than the UK (And it isn't significantly higher except for Norway!) daily living costs are significantly higher. My brother pays around 200 Euros for his weekly shop, feeding a family of four. We pay under £100 for the two of us and that includes luxuries such as wine and other treats. A family of four can manage on around £120 a week and be comfortable in the UK. I fill up my 60 liter diesel tank for around £80, he fills up for around 120 euros. In short, it is admirable to want better wages for everybody, but it doesn't actually lead to an improved cost of living for those at the bottom of the rung. Foodbanks in the Netherlands are as prevalent as they are in the UK. Where will the work force come from? This is sort of going round in circles, but the simple fact is that unemployment in the UK is low, very low. And has remained low even during times of 'mass immigration'. Farmers around us here in Angus are quite literally letting cabbages and potatoes rot away because they can not harvest due to staff shortage. The only logical consequence is that there needs to be a shift of workers from other areas into the areas that require them. That isn't going to happen in significant enough numbers. Then the final thought I offer on this: What stopped the UK from achieving better living wages for all whilst it was a part of the EU? The simple answer is: Nothing. The Living Wage project already led to an increase of the minimum wage and the minimum wage is and was decided by the UK government. It would have been very easy to adjust the fiscal system to ensure those under, let's say 30k a year, would have been better of. Brexit doesn't change anything about that, it is a fallacy to think it does. All Brexit has done is exacerbate staff shortages and proffer a false dream of increased wages. 'Maybe this time...' The Northern towns are going to feel this for a long time.
  14. Excellent, apologies for not replying sooner, but I'll gladly read/reply to your contribution.
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