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How To Fix 'The North'?

Ah yes, another field that was once the preserve of British workers, the finest in the world no doubt, but who somehow believed, until it was too late, that Indians or Filipinos or anyone else for that matter couldn't be trained to do their job just as well.

The Philippines, as you say 6,000 islands, what would they know about sailing or navigating?
Hi, dumb dumb.
Another thread for you to ruin with your confected racism tropes and general bullshiiting.
 
I wasn't aware that the north needed to be fixed.
And if fixing it means it resembles the south east, or, more specifically, 'that' London, then it's better off as it is.
 
I wasn't aware that the north needed to be fixed.
And if fixing it means it resembles the south east, or, more specifically, 'that' London, then it's better off as it is.
Apparently, we need to bulldoze our stone villages that have stood sound for hundreds of years and build modern housing stock that is built on the premise of being torn down after 20 years. One such development at the end of my street was built about 10 years ago. Very modern. I noticed it wasn't brick but slabs of lookie likie brick and mortar. Guess which buildings look like damp tents with algae around all the guttering and spreading from the ground up. Mine, built in 1860, properly maintained will still be here in another 200 years. The abortions, marketed at three times the cost I bought ours for 20+ years ago, will be long gone.
 
You tell 'im Bob.



Hush now. It's all about the bottom line, how much money you can take the foreign government for and how much it costs to bribe local officials. "Minor inconveniences" such as those you illustrate can safely be ignored.
 
This thread has prompted some thought in my mind. In no way a dig at @Speedy (ie the OP), but the thread title is symptomatic of an issue that the UK seems to be grappling with. And has been, for some time, now I think about it.

That issue being the fragmentation and tribal nature of the UK’s society. The thread title really should be “How to fix the UK?”. ”The North” is as much a part of the UK as “The South”. It’s a UK problem, not an N v S problem. The concept of “Northern monkeys” and “Southern Jessies” seems to be alive and well. It doesn’t end there though. Scousers and Mancs really don’t get on, but there’s only 30 miles between them. You could be a world-leading neurosurgeon, but if you have a Brummie accent, you sound thick as shit. People from Norfolk are in-bred, Eastbourne is a geriatric town, all Welsh people fvck sheep, all Glaswegians are sectarian pissheads, Edinburgh is the drug capital of the UK, Geordies and Mackems (they’re all the same) are illiterate, the Southwest has two words in the vocabulary (“oo” and “ar”).

Yet this is all a pile of shit. Nowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles from the sea, I mean shit, I’ve even heard people say “Are you from Leeds?” “No, I’m from Bradford”. “Manchester?” “No, Salford“. “Liverpool?” ”No, Bootle”. “London?” “No, Barking”.

The lack of investment in infrastructure that benefits the UK as a whole is shocking, to be honest. I am reading in this thread about shitty trains in the Northwest that are apparently exactly the same as they were 40 years ago when I was riding them as a kid. They’re going to demolish and concrete over half of West London for a third runway at LHR. Why not kick the crabs out of Benson and CPO enough extra land to build a four runway airport, put a mainline station and a motorway linking the M4 with the M40 close to it? You could be London in 20 minutes or Birmingham in 40 minutes with a decent railway provision. Sell LHR for redevelopment and you’d be quids-in.

</rant> :)
 
This thread has prompted some thought in my mind. In no way a dig at @Speedy (ie the OP), but the thread title is symptomatic of an issue that the UK seems to be grappling with. And has been, for some time, now I think about it.

That issue being the fragmentation and tribal nature of the UK’s society. The thread title really should be “How to fix the UK?”. ”The North” is as much a part of the UK as “The South”. It’s a UK problem, not an N v S problem. The concept of “Northern monkeys” and “Southern Jessies” seems to be alive and well. It doesn’t end there though. Scousers and Mancs really don’t get on, but there’s only 30 miles between them. You could be a world-leading neurosurgeon, but if you have a Brummie accent, you sound thick as shit. People from Norfolk are in-bred, Eastbourne is a geriatric town, all Welsh people fvck sheep, all Glaswegians are sectarian pissheads, Edinburgh is the drug capital of the UK, Geordies and Mackems (they’re all the same) are illiterate, the Southwest has two words in the vocabulary (“oo” and “ar”).

Yet this is all a pile of shit. Nowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles from the sea, I mean shit, I’ve even heard people say “Are you from Leeds?” “No, I’m from Bradford”. “Manchester?” “No, Salford“. “Liverpool?” ”No, Bootle”. “London?” “No, Barking”.

The lack of investment in infrastructure that benefits the UK as a whole is shocking, to be honest. I am reading in this thread about shitty trains in the Northwest that are apparently exactly the same as they were 40 years ago when I was riding them as a kid. They’re going to demolish and concrete over half of West London for a third runway at LHR. Why not kick the crabs out of Benson and CPO enough extra land to build a four runway airport, put a mainline station and a motorway linking the M4 with the M40 close to it? You could be London in 20 minutes or Birmingham in 40 minutes with a decent railway provision. Sell LHR for redevelopment and you’d be quids-in.

</rant> :)

Stop being sensible. At least a million reasons why this wouldn’t happen are NIMBYs and well connected ones at that in leafy Oxfordshire.

Chuck in another million property owners, mainly Asian landlords, along the Bath Road and in the ironically named Oxford Gardens area at LHR who having spent decades ripping off their generally impoverished tenants are now foaming at the gash at the prospect of hugely over inflated pay outs for their latter day slums when the CPO drops on the doormat.

And yes, I lived in the area and yes, my landlord made Dick Turpin look like Jesus.
 
I’ve had my lecture from @Toastie, so I’m “afraid” to enter a debate. But actually hedge funds are reasonably efficient at using capital. We should be more worried about how so much capital is tied up in property, to the tune that most wage earners have to dedicate their entire working lives to owning a house when they retire. There are no economic benefits beyond the building industry in this obsession about eating wealth through property investment.

Actually the North is pretty much the last bastion of affordable housing. Everywhere else, a huge percentage of the nation’s product is devoted to paying interest in a dumb asset.

1. I wasn’t lecturing you, I was lampooning you.

2. Hedge funds are very efficient at using other peoples’ capital, far too frequently in a non return basis.

3. Yet more billions of people too stupid to recognise that owning a house as a means of a very long term investment for themselves and their kids is no more than putting money in their future rather than say a hedge fund managers*. The dull twats.

4. The north was a bastion of affordable housing, fast being eroded by dumb people from down south, investment bankers and other financial illiterates buying up property either for themselves or to rent out.

* When my father died we discovered he’d invested with a variety of funds. As an old man he was fiercely proud of managing his own affairs and woefully equipped to do so. All the paperwork for these funds promised the earth and delivered dirt. The returns never matched the promises and in some cases were almost entirely eaten up by fees. Some returned less on redemption than had been invested. All when challenged pointed to the clause that said “your money can go down as well as up”. The FCA just shrugged.

Meanwhile, his house had more than doubled in value over 22 years. OK, some of that is down to straight inflation compounded over that period and as an aside, the bastard taxman took most of it but I’d call that a decent return.

When I sat down and tallied everything up the cost of his investments over the years weren’t far off what he’d paid for the house, the returns nowhere near 2x.

As a final insult, when I’d sold the house the small bit of mortgage outstanding (the old fool had remortgaged to release capital for his investment portfolio) was sorted in about 5 minutes and the mortgage provider waived the early exit fees on account of my father’s early exit. The investment companies took months to pay up and levied all sorts of fees including one bunch who levied a fee on account of my father defaulting on a monthly payment because the bank had frozen his accounts as is standard on notification of death.
 

LepetitCaporal

Old-Salt
Redundancy is inevitable if you stick in the same job for 30 years? Most certainly not so in my case and that of many of my colleagues. Admittedly over the years we've TUPE'd across to different employers as contracts come and go but our main "employer" (HMG) has been the same, in the guise of DfT, the Highways Agency and Highways England. Many of us have done more or less the same job in that time as well.

A job needs to be done, so it needs people who know how to do it. The client needs confidence you wont drop them in it, so being cheap and N thousand miles away tends not to do that in my experience - on both occasions, concern was quietly expressed by the client. Turns out they were right. To be fair, no one saw it coming the first time, "Give Johnny Foreigner a chance". The second time, with the second employer, there were quiet, "Do you think that's wise Captain Mainwaring" type comments made by those of us who'd seen the first debacle. We were told (in management-speak) to STFU. So we did. Later, when it all went pear-shaped, we weren't daft enough to say ,"Told you so", but I suspect senior management picked up on the vibe. To get back on topic, we were Northerners driven by a desire to do a good job and stay in employment and the management were Southerners driven by money. Hey-ho, what do us northern monkeys know eh?

As for "Gupta". Paddy, Mick, Taffy, Jock, Cletus - would you summarily dismiss someone for using those names to identify Bill, Harry, George, James and John? Casual racism or not?

Over the years I've worked with extremely competent foreigners of all hues. There's an Indian bridge engineer I VERY highly value. The same goes for a Palestinian one. We all used to rip the piss out of each other in the office, with never any offence taken, we all gave as good as we got. It's called the craic and is good for team building. Perhaps they don't have it in your neck of the woods?

There are other foreigners I've come across I wouldn't pay in washers. The same goes for Brits as well, I know some extremely good ones and some right oxygen thieves. Racist I am not. Nor am I a snowflake who takes offence on the part of others. Have a word with yourself.
Scotland the brave ?
 
1. I wasn’t lecturing you, I was lampooning you.

2. Hedge funds are very efficient at using other peoples’ capital, far too frequently in a non return basis.

3. Yet more billions of people too stupid to recognise that owning a house as a means of a very long term investment for themselves and their kids is no more than putting money in their future rather than say a hedge fund managers*. The dull twats.

4. The north was a bastion of affordable housing, fast being eroded by dumb people from down south, investment bankers and other financial illiterates buying up property either for themselves or to rent out.

* When my father died we discovered he’d invested with a variety of funds. As an old man he was fiercely proud of managing his own affairs and woefully equipped to do so. All the paperwork for these funds promised the earth and delivered dirt. The returns never matched the promises and in some cases were almost entirely eaten up by fees. Some returned less on redemption than had been invested. All when challenged pointed to the clause that said “your money can go down as well as up”. The FCA just shrugged.

Meanwhile, his house had more than doubled in value over 22 years. OK, some of that is down to straight inflation compounded over that period and as an aside, the bastard taxman took most of it but I’d call that a decent return.

When I sat down and tallied everything up the cost of his investments over the years weren’t far off what he’d paid for the house, the returns nowhere near 2x.

As a final insult, when I’d sold the house the small bit of mortgage outstanding (the old fool had remortgaged to release capital for his investment portfolio) was sorted in about 5 minutes and the mortgage provider waived the early exit fees on account of my father’s early exit. The investment companies took months to pay up and levied all sorts of fees including one bunch who levied a fee on account of my father defaulting on a monthly payment because the bank had frozen his accounts as is standard on notification of death.
I share your pain over discovering your father had made some very unsound “investments” in later life. When mine died, we found he had had “invested” in amongst other things, two blocks of “building” land in the middle of a field in Norfolk, fifty grands worth of carbon credits for which there is no secondary market and a big sum in a gold fund that has disappeared.

Nothing to do with hedge funds though, which have their place in the financial markets. Not a place where elderly folk should be investing though.

My point about housing remains. When our parents bought their first house, they borrowed three times my father’s salary and bought a family home off plan. They were mortgage free by 40 and moved only twice. For them, property was a great investment.

Skip a generation to my son and partner need to borrow 5x their joint salary to buy a starter home near his work. They then face a working life constant flog to service a ridiculous level of debt. Whilst the house is only appreciating at sub 5%, sometimes not at all. When interest rates return to normality, there is going to be huge distress.

The people making money out of this are the developers and estate agents who control and inflate house prices, create long term covenants, mis-register values, build shit etc etc.

All of this ties up inordinate amounts of debt funded capital in illiquid assets that grow slowly. The saving grace is that at least houses provide shelter; you do get use out of your investment.

We really do need to work out how to create a property market that doesn’t chew up the majority of a couple’s disposable income.
 
I share your pain over discovering your father had made some very unsound “investments” in later life. When mine died, we found he had had “invested” in amongst other things, two blocks of “building” land in the middle of a field in Norfolk, fifty grands worth of carbon credits for which there is no secondary market and a big sum in a gold fund that has disappeared.

Nothing to do with hedge funds though, which have their place in the financial markets. Not a place where elderly folk should be investing though.

My point about housing remains. When our parents bought their first house, they borrowed three times my father’s salary and bought a family home off plan. They were mortgage free by 40 and moved only twice. For them, property was a great investment.

Skip a generation to my son and partner need to borrow 5x their joint salary to buy a starter home near his work. They then face a working life constant flog to service a ridiculous level of debt. Whilst the house is only appreciating at sub 5%, sometimes not at all. When interest rates return to normality, there is going to be huge distress.

The people making money out of this are the developers and estate agents who control and inflate house prices, create long term covenants, mis-register values, build shit etc etc.

All of this ties up inordinate amounts of debt funded capital in illiquid assets that grow slowly. The saving grace is that at least houses provide shelter; you do get use out of your investment.

We really do need to work out how to create a property market that doesn’t chew up the majority of a couple’s disposable income.
I 'm happy to stand corrected, but I thought your expertise was in Australian beauty products?
 
Redundancy is inevitable if you stick in the same job for 30 years? Most certainly not so in my case and that of many of my colleagues. Admittedly over the years we've TUPE'd across to different employers as contracts come and go but our main "employer" (HMG) has been the same, in the guise of DfT, the Highways Agency and Highways England. Many of us have done more or less the same job in that time as well.

A job needs to be done, so it needs people who know how to do it. The client needs confidence you wont drop them in it, so being cheap and N thousand miles away tends not to do that in my experience - on both occasions, concern was quietly expressed by the client. Turns out they were right. To be fair, no one saw it coming the first time, "Give Johnny Foreigner a chance". The second time, with the second employer, there were quiet, "Do you think that's wise Captain Mainwaring" type comments made by those of us who'd seen the first debacle. We were told (in management-speak) to STFU. So we did. Later, when it all went pear-shaped, we weren't daft enough to say ,"Told you so", but I suspect senior management picked up on the vibe. To get back on topic, we were Northerners driven by a desire to do a good job and stay in employment and the management were Southerners driven by money. Hey-ho, what do us northern monkeys know eh?

As for "Gupta". Paddy, Mick, Taffy, Jock, Cletus - would you summarily dismiss someone for using those names to identify Bill, Harry, George, James and John? Casual racism or not?

Over the years I've worked with extremely competent foreigners of all hues. There's an Indian bridge engineer I VERY highly value. The same goes for a Palestinian one. We all used to rip the piss out of each other in the office, with never any offence taken, we all gave as good as we got. It's called the craic and is good for team building. Perhaps they don't have it in your neck of the woods?

There are other foreigners I've come across I wouldn't pay in washers. The same goes for Brits as well, I know some extremely good ones and some right oxygen thieves. Racist I am not. Nor am I a snowflake who takes offence on the part of others. Have a word with yourself.
TBH I wasn’t referring to the revolving door of public sector employment and outsourcing, the last bastion of lifelong employment.

The nature of your employment probably explains why your company struggled to get quality out of India. The companies I referred to deliberately when to India to build an engineering capability that they integrated into their business. They didn’t contract it out; they put quality management into Mumbai to build a capability. They also second Indian employees to projects and offices in the countries where they are delivery capability. As a result, they are winning more work and more complex work.

It’s the kind of long term investment that the bargain basement contractors who tender of UK public sector work would never contemplate. Cheapy cheapy, outsource on price. Which is why we’ve reached a point where very few, if any, of the great British civil engineering companies that used to work globally even try nowadays.

As for the racism thing, I stand by it. I’m not taking offence on anyone’s behalf. Simply pointing out that your use of the pejorative term “Gupta” is no longer appropriate and would get you summarily dismissed from many businesses today. You wouldn’t use the n word would you?
 
I 'm happy to stand corrected, but I thought your expertise was in Australian beauty products?
Yes I do have a skincare business. Amongst others.

Flogging skincare to milfs is much more fun than heading to an office full of lots of boring men talking about machinery.
 
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Yes I do have a skincare business. Amongst others.

Flogging skincare to milfs is much more fun than heading to an office full of lots of boring men talking about machinery.
How was the moon landing? writing the bible, producing the doors?
 
Buying houses as an investment is IMHO slightly different from buying a house to live in and viewing it as an investment.

Speaking entirely personally and on the basis I have no more than amateur “expertise” in finance, I view my house as somewhere to live and a savings account should disaster strike. It will always have financial value but my view is the amount of that value really only needs to equal what I’ve paid for it. If it exceeds that value, which currently it is doing by about 16% over 10 years, then so much the better. The primary purpose of the house however remains somewhere for me to house my family.

Compared with other savings that are accruing interest at rates uncomfortably well under 1% and a very small share portfolio that is about breaking even, I think the house in its secondary role as an investment is doing quite nicely.

Again, purely personally, I’ve always been uncomfortable with renting because to me that’s dead money. Sure I’ve achieved the first of the things my house does, putting a roof over my head, but that secondary role is being enjoyed by someone else and I’m paying for it. Simplistic I know but I’m sure you get my point.

It’s a bit like owning or going for a Personal Contract Hire (or whatever it’s called) on a car. Cars will only ever depreciate so arguably owning is a fool’s errand but at least you’ll have some residual value when you’re looking to trade it in. On PCH you’ve paid to use something and have no stake in any residual value. I used to do this in years gone by when the rates were stupidly low but now it’s cheaper to get a loan and after the 3 years I own the residual value outright. It staggers me watching people buy expensive cars that will only ever depreciate and do precisely the same job as my bought a year old Nissan X Trail in precisely the same level of comfort but at twice the price to buy and nigh on twice as much to run. Why?

Owning a house purely as an investment can be attractive if you get it right and the income from that house can be pretty much guaranteed to out strip other investment vehicles. A lot of people around here got burnt when there was a sudden trend to buy small terraced houses that were otherwise unattractive and convert them to student accommodation. Then the MMU campuses here and in nearby Alsager closed. People were left with unsellable houses and no income to service what for many were second mortgages.

I thought about it but decided to overpay on my own mortgage which will allow me to retire 8 years early. I guess it’s all down to what you personally want out of life and when the relentless pursuit of money starts to cost you in other aspects of life.

My old man may have been a clown with his investments but was spot on when he spotted the “I need to be a millionaire by next week” trend surfacing in me. He just asked “are you sure you’re not paying too much for your money?”.
 
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TBH I wasn’t referring to the revolving door of public sector employment and outsourcing, the last bastion of lifelong employment.

The nature of your employment probably explains why your company struggled to get quality out of India. The companies I referred to deliberately when to India to build an engineering capability that they integrated into their business. They didn’t contract it out; they put quality management into Mumbai to build a capability. They also second Indian employees to projects and offices in the countries where they are delivery capability. As a result, they are winning more work and more complex work.

It’s the kind of long term investment that the bargain basement contractors who tender of UK public sector work would never contemplate. Cheapy cheapy, outsource on price. Which is why we’ve reached a point where very few, if any, of the great British civil engineering companies that used to work globally even try nowadays.

As for the racism thing, I stand by it. I’m not taking offence on anyone’s behalf. Simply pointing out that your use of the pejorative term “Gupta” is no longer appropriate and would get you summarily dismissed from many businesses today. You wouldn’t use the n word would you?
Both firms were big, international consultancies, The UK motorway work was a small part of their portfolio. Malaysia isn't part of India. Both overseas offices were part of the firms, not sub-contractors. You clearly struggle to know what you're talking about. Someone upthread said you were a bluffer. They might think that but I couldn't possibly comment.
 
Born and bred in Blackpool and not ashamed of my roots but ashamed of what its become.

In the 70's and early 80's it was golden, from North Pier (and up to Bispham) to South Pier and at least several streets in land was a plethora of well maintained but in many cases very boutique 'guest houses'. It was a wonderful town to live in and the tourism was up there at the time.

I recon in the early 80's, Disney, Florida (for the well off) and Spain (for those in the know with a bit less cash) started to emerge. It didn't affect Blackpool, which at that time was still pumping raw sewage into the sea.

I think about the late 80's Blackpool started to change, Benidorm and the Balearics were accessible to many on a moderate income, whilst Blackpool became the gay capital of Europe and following that, the cheap booze and clubs.

In about the mid nineties, it was obvious that Blackpool was doomed, we started to score Class B drugs from former hotels on the edge of town, now converted to DHSS housing and at some point during this time, these hotels moved to DHSS and Immigrants rapidly towards the Golden Mile.

A few streets of B&Bs remained but it only took one to fall to the DHSS and the area was a swamp.

By 2000 the place was scum, smackheads, dealers, pikey and and theives from Bispham to South Shore in every B&B or Hotel from the promenade inland to the public houses. Swamped with the shit of the country and the immigrants taking jobs and pushing drugs...its no wonder the north was fcuked.

How did this happen? Surely you cannot blame Blackpool for the government taking advantage of the 'seasonally empty accommodation' when the season has fcuked off to spain?

Sucessive governments pushing the problems north, mill towns with the trade going offshore, seaside towns with the holiday trade going offshore, coal towns with the trade going......offshore.
 

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