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L00b

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  1. As yet another demonstration, after so many earlier ones, that it's one rule for your plebes, and a free-for-all for your elite, indeed this could justifiably be classed as a 'non-story' by now.
  2. Rather convenient for the government, isn't it? That way, even if pillar 2 data gets leaked, it's still underestimating infection rates. Talking of Covid...if some of you still fancy a Greek holiday despite the ban on UK travellers, Stanley Johnson gleefully reports from his Greek villa this morning, that a detour via Bulgaria seems to work fine for getting in
  3. That might soon change, if Hidalgo makes good on her electoral promises, after regaining the Paris mayoral mandate on a green voting wave this past weekend. I'd expect the period of confinement to have had a sizeable (further-) greening effect on political opinions and voting intentions, in France at least. I left out an important change earlier, partly motivated by the confinement (rather, how the local government handled it, and still now): we've decided to stay long-term, and are now looking to buy a property. It's (1) weird and (2) not for the faint-hearted...and I don't mean visiting places with masks and hand gel
  4. No real change with work. I was remote-working whenever I felt like it before the confinement, now that we're deconfined I'm back to my old working/commute routine, "leading from the front" as it were. The remnants of confinment (many businesses are taking things a lot slower than local guidelines) make that commute a pleasure, that said; it's been feeling like late July/August on the roads ever since 25 May. Not that much change personally either, whether in terms of activities, diet, drinking etc. We've not increased the drinking, which is something (...though there is the small matter of where we were starting from: I mea, 10L boxes of decent rosé are €18 here ). Like everyone, we've used the cars a lot less, which contributed to finally deciding to 'downgrade' from 3 to 2 cars (planning to bring back & sell both RHDs ex-UK cars this summer, confinment/travel policies allowing, & replace with single local LHD). Anyone after a well looked-after Merc C220 CDI, or a late & low miles Mk1 MX-5 with can't-be-betterred pedigree, watch this space. With venues & outdoirs entertainment shut, we've watched more TV as well, though that is winding down now. And I've engaged in a bit more tinkering/projects than usual (refurbing old HiFi/speakers/electronics, just finished refoaming Altec Lansing 305's yesterday, starting on replacing the full keyboard board etc. on the kid's laptop tomorrow). TFH, I'll trade you your perfected Wallbanger recipe for my perfected Mojito Italiano recipe
  5. Is that "clap for the NHS" with one hand, whilst voting with the other against giving NHS workers a pay rise, like Tory MPs did this week then? Because they must be clapping for the bankers with one hand, since the other Brexiting hand just got slapped down in flames by Barnier, who's just killed off any hopes of the City keeping its EU financial clock ticking. It rather begs the question, for those who understand money and the principle of communicating vessels a little: how's Johnson going to fund his FDR-esque New Deal? [redundant question: he won't be delivering it] I'm thinking more and more, that the Conservative Party thread is ready to be merged with the Trump thread: can't see any operational difference between the Tories and the GOP these days, both have amply demonstrated by now that they are ready and willing to give their stooge-elect a pass about absolutely anything, for the sake of accumulating ever more power.
  6. Good morning folks, on this beautiful 1st July, by which no extension has been requested, whilst the UK government cheered loudly yesterday about removing your Freedom of Movement in 30 countries, possibly to distract from that outcome and from Barnier killing off the City's hopes of keeping things ticking. So, the end run begins today. Excited?
  7. Doesn't really matter any more, and has't for a good while. And it's way past too late anyway, by all indicators going. The EU presidency rolls over to Germany very soon and, in that context, yesterday Merkel for the first time dropped the conciliatory "let's find a deal" approach with the UK, and called time on the ERG-run UK government rethoric and games: Germany's priority during its presidency will be managing the socio-economic aftermath of Covid for the EU27 and preserving the Single Market; and the UK can do whatever they want about a relationship with the EU27, whenever they're ready and feeling like it...or not: same difference for Germany.
  8. Did I accuse you of whattaboutery? Maybe they too saw the wisdom in pursuing herd immunity, and started discharging all their Covid-19 potentials into care homes? There's a thought. Has Boris visited them on his Brexit/EU27 tour yet? Joke aside, no theory is required: cases rising again simply mean a premature scope of lockdown release, relative to the prevalent infection rate. "Too many lockdown measures relaxed too soon", to put it simply. As witnessed most elsewhere, but nowhere more so than in the US.
  9. How many Cummings* do these go for, these days? (*1 Cumming = £108m)** (** amount regularly witnessed several times, in government contracts awarded to undelivered/cancelled projects, each without much in the way of due diligence: inexistent ferries, sub-standard PPE, cancelled track & trace app...) I'm struggling to decide whether the UK under Tory rule is a banana republic parliamentarian monarchy, or a kakistocracy. I try not to prefer the 2nd...but then, there's "kak" in it
  10. There was me thinking the watchword in t'UK was still "can't be comparing with other countries, until all the stats are triple-checked for accuracy and comparability"? Has that notion finally gone, then? Can we start talking care homes yet? Anyway, even counting the Fête de la Musique events this past weekend in France, I haven't seen any photos of mainland venues comparable to those jam-packed Dorset beaches that I just linked. It truly has to be seen, to be believed (assuming these were shot today, and not archive material...given the 'major incident' shout, I'm minded to believe they were shot today indeed).
  11. Sadly, this is your reality An unsurprising one, given the government's consistently mixed messaging. Wouldn't like to hazard a guess at your R rate in a couple weeks' time...but it's highly unlikely to be down to Level 4 deconfinment.
  12. Being a 'Remainer' or 'Leaver' now, is a redundant notion: the UK has Brexited. These tags may still have some usefulness in debate, to describe individual positions before 31 Jan 2020, but that's the sum total of it. As for 'too much immigration', and 'managing integration, housing and benefits', these issues were always for successive UK governments to manage, right from the start (and long before large-scale economic migration from East european 'accession' countries even started), and nothing whatsoever to do with the EU. 27 other member states managed to implement, enforce and maintain "no job? go home" policies on EU migrants just fine through the years, and still do. Enough with the EU scapegoating on this. It's been over 4 years now. Johnson might have enough time to U-turn in late 2020, if Trump doesn't get elected. Then again, by that time, the EU27 might just choose to ignore it. The EU just isn't emotionally involved, and won't let itself be pressured by time (since they've already long mapped out alternative outcomes and strategies for getting to each). If there's an agreement to be had, that the EU27 can live with, they'll take it. If there isn't, they won't and will keep negotiating into 2021 instead.
  13. Japan turning the screws on the U.K. today, is as brilliant a case in point, as could possibly exist. I’m long out of “told you so”s to chuck at Leavers.
  14. Resourced pensioners represent plenty of human capital indeed, which is why residency visas for retirees typically have large investment figures by way of strings attached. Plenty of EU27 countries, including e.g. Spain & Portugal, have similar provisions and half-million (or more) K/investment thresholds to the NZ ones which I linked, applicable to non-EU retirees (and which, in case of no deal, will therefore apply to new British retirees from 1st Jan '21). EU retirees get in 'free', so long as they meet the local minimas and are not a burden on the host EU27 country they moved to. In that context, "freedom of movement" still means "freedom of establishment" (ie moving somewhere else and making a life), the same as it always did. It's just that, within the EU, the barriers (thresholds) to doing that are significantly lower, than outside of it.
  15. "Let's hope" is doing a lot of heavy lifting here, when one considers current immigration thresholds for retiring in NZ. NZ is not the UK, Gib or the EEA, so currently you're looking at a 25% tax (in the UK) for transferring your UK pension to NZ. So you'll want to factor that drawdown to the Exchequer, before looking at the NZ threshold. (until and unless the UK government feels generous when (if) they strike that FoM deal with NZ...but considering the current state of UK plc's public finances and the ever-more-insistent looks Sunak is giving the triple lock, don't go counting your chickens just yet). By the way, when the transition period ends, that 25% tax will apply just the same, for transferring your UK pension to anywhere in the EU27. Plainly-predictable and long-announced consequence of Brexit (hence why I QROPS'd ours out post-haste in 2018).
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