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Everything posted by Paco

  1. The UK can’t be a kick in the arse off effective full employment right now. In Scotland there are just 90,000 jobseekers registered. Out of that number, of course you’ll have a small feckless group who have no intention of ever picking up a job but how many will also be officially “job-seeking” only to tick a box and please the DWP? The possible reasons for this are probably endless but single parents with young children and no access to free or cheap childcare, parents who work part-time to cover childcare, zero hour contract workers getting very few hours, cash-in-hand workers engaging in a nice bit of fraud, etc etc etc. The number of people who are completely unemployed and looking for full-time work is as small as it’s ever been, and perhaps as small as it’ll ever get. The real problem with the welfare system is it’s now needed to prop up people in full-time work. Wages are too low, so millions receive a wage top-up via Universal Credit. Childcare is too expensive so millions receive childcare contributions. Rents are too high so millions receive housing benefit. Exactly like giving everyone £400 towards energy bills, the government time and time again treats the effects of the system they’ve merrily created, does nothing about the cause, and then whines about how much it costs. Businesses can be told to up minimum wage, nurseries can be nationalised, rent controls can be introduced, energy price caps can be frozen. None of these things are easy but they simply can’t be arsed with that and instead choose the worst of all worlds - things get worse, and it costs the taxpayer more.
  2. I’d play Gullan on the left of a 4-2-3-1 type thing. The usual two or three of Connolly/Ross/Easton/Zanatta have combined for a total of zero goals in the last four games, it isn’t all Gullan’s fault. We don’t have enough cutting edge or creativity. It wouldn’t surprise me however if Murray reverts to the 4-1-3-2 he prefers, ignoring the improved performance from Cove. More attackers in a game he thinks we should win. Really need to get something to stop panic setting in though. Post Christmas last season constantly felt like one step forward, two steps back as a good performance or two which ultimately gained few points was immediately followed up by a dreadful performance which also gained very little. Really important we don’t start doing that again.
  3. Murray said either to the press or K107, I can’t remember which, that he wanted ‘four or ideally five’ in before the end of the window. We’ve had three, so there is at least one more to come - centre back is presumably the answer there, we have one actual CB til Christmas as it stands. I’d hazard a guess the ‘ideal’ addition beyond that would be another striker. Murray also said the McLelland deal was done but Hibs asked us to wait three weeks while their injuries clear up. And that he’s not sure we’ll be able to wait that long. So he’s clearly still actively looking for another centre back - in theory, a new guy added to Nolan, Lang and Dick as emergency (if they’re ever all fit) is a reasonable pool to choose from, at least in terms of numbers.
  4. Daft little ground. Silly game. f**k off.
  5. Are the little pretendy stands going to be open for the away support? I’m looking forward to the day out, but not necessarily the game.
  6. You really do have to admire Raith Rovers commitment to the banter. Incredible stuff.
  7. I think we’re in a bit of trouble. We were fine today, losing at Pittodrie isn’t the reason we’re out the cup, but I’m mostly concerned that we’ve seen that game before, for half of last season - playing OK, conceding stupid goals, struggling to create proper openings at the other end. Momentum is big in football and today definitely pointed at last season overlapping into this one for me. Obviously we need signings and they might yet transform us. At this stage though it’s a hell of a lot to ask for new players regardless of who they are to slot in and immediately transform a struggling team. I think at a minimum we can expect a slow start to the league season. We clearly need a good centre back to sign immediately. Stanton isn’t good enough. The four of Zanatta/Ross/Connolly/Gullan are all good enough players but for whatever reason have very little cutting edge as a 4. I’m still not entirely sure where Dylan Easton fits into this squad. Millen seems pretty similar to Liam Dick. None of these things need to define our season and some can be solved quite simply by making a couple of signings. But we’ve been saying that for a long while now. All hope isn’t lost but all signs to me point to this being at best a transition season. At worst… well, let’s see who comes in before making bold claims.
  8. It’s like watching a rerun of December-April last season. Playing OK, making chances but not getting breaks, conceding daft goals and ultimately, losing.
  9. The UK unemployment rate is at its lowest level in about 50 years. How low does Braveman expect it to realistically get? In reality the country can’t be a kick in the arse off full employment. Welfare budgets continue to rise because people can’t afford to live on the pishy wages that they’re given, or because families lose money by paying for extortionate childcare while at work, so they need to be part-time. And the government have chosen to top up the wages of these people via Universal Credit. This government time and time again prefer to use taxpayers money to pay for the failure of business. Rather than telling the energy companies to f**k off with their record profits, they subsidise bills via the taxpayer. Rather than mandate a proper minimum wage, they subsidise wages via the taxpayer. Rather than impose rent controls, they subsidise rent via the taxpayer. These are choices. For a cabinet member to get away with spouting that drivel is outrageous, but obviously not surprising.
  10. This is a good point. Sturgeon will either have made Scotland independent or will be working for the UN by Christmas 2024 (the latest a General Election can be), leaving someone else in charge of the SG. Angus Robertson? Kate Forbes? For true laughs, Humza or Swinney?
  11. I haven’t seen the speech but the outcomes seem fairly pragmatic. Plan A is try asking, which will be a no. Then it’ll be the courts, which I suspect will also be a no. Plan C is the interesting one. I think Sturgeon deserves credit from all sides for not going down the route of an “illegal” referendum as a fair chunk of her party members would like. However what is the detail of using the GE as a ‘de facto’ referendum? If the SNP get more than 50% of the vote, it’s UDI? An extra extra special mandate to ask for a Section 30 again? Or does a simple plurality of seats under FPTP count as a win?
  12. If it were tomorrow, sure, it would be a hammering. After a couple of months of campaigning, whining about Nicola Sturgeon being the next PM, Labour being to blame for strikes, Europe not letting us legally drown brown people in the channel, some Labour idiot saying we should leave NATO and stop supporting Ukraine, and the usual media onslaught? I think at an absolute minimum we’d be into ‘flip a coin’ territory for largest party in parliament. The absolute banter scenario of course would be Labour finishing second but being able to form a government with the support of the SNP and/or Lib Dems. Tears and snotters from Tories as they’re locked out despite ‘winning’ the election.
  13. When Johnson inevitably wins tonight he’ll need to go back to his ‘stay’ position again too. He’ll be full of people’s priorities, decisive result, move on etc midday tomorrow.
  14. 11th in the Premiership, and 9th in the Championship/League 1 get that ‘second chance’. I don’t think it would be right under that system to force 9th in League 2 down automatically. If we see change further up the leagues then sure, I’d be open to it.
  15. The long-term answer is something along the lines of Club 42 going down automatically, to be replaced by the winner of the HL v LL play-off, with the loser of that play-off entering into a play-off competition with Club 41, and either a reasonably simple second place in LL/HL for a four-way play-off or my personal preference some sort of radge 8 team affair (Club 41, promotion play-off losers, 2nd-4th in each league). However until such stage as the Lowland League relegate more than one team (a three way play-off for that one spot, of course), don’t have colt teams and we start to see the made-up clubs and uni teams filtering out I’m not sure it’s wise. The LL as a 16 team league should have a lot more going on than one up, one down.
  16. Today’s announcements then: Households on means-tested benefits of any type to get £650 cash payments, split in two. An extra £300 in winter fuel payment for those who claim. £150 for those on disability benefit that isn’t means-tested. £400 credit applied to everybody’s energy bill, replacing the £200 loan. An extra cost of £15bn (allegedly) to the Exchequer, paid for partially by not a windfall tax but a Temporary Energy Profits Levy. Special Economic Operation, anyone? My gut reaction is it’s actually not too bad for those most in need, some of those offers will stack so a pensioner receiving winter fuel allowance for example will almost stand still with the October price rise. Theoretically, of course - when you’re handing hard cash over to people on the breadline you can’t really complain if it doesn’t last to subsidise a high energy bill next quarter. It doesn’t solve anything, of course. Energy will soon be up £1600 a year for the average house, £400 is very welcome but simply puts a small dent in the worst of it. We still need bigger and much, much bolder intervention and I’d be surprised if Sunak isn’t forced into more - maybe a tax or VAT cut in the budget.
  17. For context of how bad this is, the government could keep the price cap in October, November and December exactly as is - e.g. the already astronomical price millions are struggling with - for a cost of broadly £22billion. We can probably all agree this particular government isn’t spending that to help people out. There’s no way to means test the population without doing it by council bands, which misses millions and indeed takes months to sort, as councils are currently finding out from the council tax rebate. Universal help is probably the only way, and that batters up the cost. We’re fucked. But I genuinely don’t see a solution that doesn’t involve massive, unprecedented state help here.
  18. Easton left Kelty for Airdrie about a week after Thomson was appointed.
  19. It doesn’t sound like we’ve even spoken to Thomson yet, probably just asked Kelty for permission which is the right way to do things if we want to interview him. Would still expect us to interview a selection of candidates, and that process works two ways - if the (alleged) budget offered to McGlynn is offered to the new manager it wouldn’t surprise me if we end up with our third or fourth choice.
  20. I think a reasonable way to frame it is, if it had been widely reported at the time, would Johnson have been forced into resignation? The answer there is undoubtedly yes. The general public were sitting at opposite ends of park benches with one parent at a time, and Johnson was gathering everyone round to watch him blow out his candles. That photo of the little garden party, which isn’t even one of the events the police are bothered about, would probably have done it on its own. Would Starmer have been forced to resign if it had been widely reported at the time? Well, it was! And the police said there was nothing to worry about at the time as well. Imagine going back to April 2021 and being told this time next year, that event that Starmer has already been cleared for will bring him down. Wild stuff.
  21. It’s a clever move from Starmer to be honest. If he was fined he’d have had to resign anyway. I still genuinely don’t see the fuss with ‘beergate’. The entire room could’ve went to a restaurant and had the same curry and pint, what’s the issue with doing the same thing in a hotel? It doesn’t equate to June 2020 when everything was shut and you were allowed to meet one other person, outdoors, at a distance. If he’s cleared, he has the moral high ground. If he’s given a FPN and resigns, Labour have the moral high ground and can retain it if they don’t fumble the new leader (issue here, granted). The shitey middle ground is the police say he probably did break the rules but they don’t retrospectively fine people, and I think that’s probably where we’ll land.
  22. Based on what’s publicly available I really don’t see that there’s a case to answer for them to be honest. Might just be the police getting the media off their back. The clever move from Starmer would be commit to resigning if he’s fined, and then wait to be cleared. Risky, certainly. But high reward. Having a curry in the same room you were working in, with the same people you were working with, when you could’ve all legally went to a restaurant and done the same thing, is really very different to most of what went on at Downing Street.
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