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About Akrasia

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  1. If the first session for 2-5yrs (as you say above) or 4-5yrs (as the Passport Activity Newsletter says)? I'm wondering whether to bring my not-quite-4-year-old.
  2. We've been very happy with Toybox on Upperthorpe, particularly for age 2+ when they move into a larger area.
  3. Labour did fail to see the financial crisis coming, and so failed to regulate the banks properly. The Tories called for less regulation, not more, so under them the impact of the financial crisis on the economy would have been worse. Only the Lib Dems called for better regulation of the banks. Because they failed to see the financial crisis coming, Labour spent more than they should have, taking a temporary surge in tax receipts from the financial sector as meaning that they could permanently increase public spending, investing in schools and hospitals. The Tories pledged to match this increased spending (although they'd probably have preferred to use the money to cut taxes if they'd been in power and free from their pledge). Following the financial crash, all the major parties had very similar plans to reduce the deficit: Labour said that they'd halve the deficit, while the Conservatives and Lib Dems said that they'd eliminate the structural deficit, which was estimated at just over half the size of the deficit, so amounted to pretty much the same thing. So the immediate responses to the deficit were the same: both parties learned the same lesson from the financial crisis. In practice, the Conservatives have achieved less on the deficit than Labour planned to, plausibly because they went about reducing the deficit in the wrong way, front-loading the cuts in the last parliament so that they could then cut less in the approach to the election (worryingly, they're promising to do the same again next time). So the Conservatives wouldn't have prevented the financial crisis (they'd have made it worse), wouldn't have spent less than Labour (they pledged to spend the same), haven't improved the public finances any more than Labour planned to, and have probably given us deeper austerity than necessary for purely political reasons. It's hardly a record to be proud of, and certainly doesn't justify them campaigning as the party that you can trust with the economy.
  4. All he'd learn from Osborne & Little is how to run a business into the ground. See http://www.theguardian.com/politics/shortcuts/2014/jan/06/osborne-little-george-family-wallpaper-firm. The company has been making losses since 2009, while the owners have taken millions out in wages and used the company to donate thousands to the Conservative Party.
  5. I registered with Walkley Dental Centre quite recently. For what it's worth, my experience is that they're well-organised, and I was very happy with the dentist that I saw, who explained everything clearly and generally put me at my ease. I wouldn't be put off by the post above, which doesn't seem to be typical.
  6. We do plan to visit and we have heard some good things, but we've heard good things about Westways too and it's much closer, so I expect that will be our first choice.
  7. Thanks for the clarification. We'll be applying next year, and are about as close as it's possible to be without being in catchment. It sounds like we've got a decent chance, but it'll be touch and go.
  8. That's interesting. The council's guidebook says that no catchment applications to Westways were turned down, so there must have been a place for every catchment application but no more.
  9. UKIP is a party that attracts racists and bigots, and isn't run well enough to prevent them from becoming party candidates for local elections. And its economic policies are to the right of the Conservatives, with large tax cuts for the rich and reduced public services to pay for them. I'll never vote for them.
  10. UKIP's most recent manifesto commitment on personal taxation was to replace income tax and national insurance with a 31% flat tax. Higher rate/additional rate tax payers currently pay 42%/47%, so that would be a massive tax cut for the rich. Two thirds of the money raised by HMRC comes from this group. If you cut taxes for the people paying two thirds of the money, then of course you're going to have to slash public services too. This was reflected by the party's pledge in its last manifesto to reduce the public sector to the size it was in 1997, laying off two million employees (more than a third).
  11. Does UKIP still want to dismantle the public sector to fund massive tax cuts for high earners and getting rid of inheritance tax? They're so far to the right on taxation/public services they make the Tories look like communists.
  12. Except that Westways' latest SATs results show 64% of pupils achieving L4 in reading, writing and maths, compared to 74% the year before. Maybe there are good reasons for that, but in this case it isn't only the inspection criteria that have changed.
  13. I'm not sure that it's reasonable to expect people to park illegally at the bottom of the hill, when they can park perfectly legally on the hill.
  14. Where at the bottom of the hill? It's no parking all the way along to the cafe.
  15. It's mostly to access the allotments there. There is a car park at the top of the hill, but the path to the bottom half of the site is very poorly maintained, and the hill's very steep if you're carrying anything (e.g. tools or produce), so most people with plots further down the hill park in the road. The site's Allotment Association has been asking the council for better parking/access for years, but with very little to show for it. When a bridge was built to improve access from the car park off the Rivelin Valley road a year or so ago, two thirds of it was nicked within a week, which didn't help. I think the people who park there are aware that it isn't ideal, but don't have a lot of choice.
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