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  #5041  
Old 15.02.2013, 06:58 PM
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Personally I think the USA's stance on liberty is deeply flawed. In some senses there is liberty, in others it can be almost totalitarian in the way it clamps down on things it does not tolerate - and this is not necessarily government instigated. I have spent two separate Veterans' weeks in America and frankly some of the stuff I saw and heard made me extremely uncomfortable.
Granted the actions and words in the US often don't match the rhetoric of liberty. I won't disagree with that.

Of the prejudices of certain people I am not commenting but certainly totalatarian-esque prejudices exists in Western societies. In my mind, the NHS is a prime example. From these message-boards to executives who wanted to speak out about failing hospitals, dissent is clamped down upon.
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  #5042  
Old 15.02.2013, 07:04 PM
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Totally agree with this. I have a big disdain for those who judge everything on a countrywide basis, "national interests" and all that, as if somehow within a border problems are the same everywhere and beyond that border things are completely different everywhere. Some of the biggest problems in the UK are not national at all, they are regional, and this is one of them.
The problems you are highlighting are not just felt by London though. The whole culture on renting is dangerously behind the times, especially as people more than ever cannot afford to buy a house.

Essentially, the system is wrong countrywide. Some areas may not have it but they are not immune to it and this country is definitely lacking in it's attitudes to renting. London will almost certainly want to enforce additional restrictions because of unique circumstances (have you ever considered London doesn't want to do anything about it?) but renting tenants rights as you identified are lacking countrywide.
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  #5043  
Old 15.02.2013, 07:29 PM
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The problems you are highlighting are not just felt by London though. The whole culture on renting is dangerously behind the times, especially as people more than ever cannot afford to buy a house.

Essentially, the system is wrong countrywide. Some areas may not have it but they are not immune to it and this country is definitely lacking in it's attitudes to renting. London will almost certainly want to enforce additional restrictions because of unique circumstances (have you ever considered London doesn't want to do anything about it?) but renting tenants rights as you identified are lacking countrywide.
Well London is an inanimate object. People of London? All depends what side of the landowner divide you are on. The thing in London is, it's not just renting that's the problem... house prices have absolutely shot up in the middle in the last 2 years, huge increases, such that after 2 years of working in a job where I'm regularly in the office 10+ hours a day and saving as much as possible I'm now further away from buying a house (actually a one bedroom flat) than I was 2 years ago. We're not even talking about getting mortgages yet, just prices. And that simply isn't the case elsewhere, where house prices have fallen or been stagnant.
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  #5044  
Old 15.02.2013, 07:31 PM
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Granted the actions and words in the US often don't match the rhetoric of liberty. I won't disagree with that.

Of the prejudices of certain people I am not commenting but certainly totalatarian-esque prejudices exists in Western societies. In my mind, the NHS is a prime example. From these message-boards to executives who wanted to speak out about failing hospitals, dissent is clamped down upon.
Completely agree about the NHS. I'm one such person who is anti-NHS. You can't say anything about it because people get very defensive, and that's me, not some politician in front of the TV cameras. What I find most annoying is people then starting banging on about how bad America's way of doing things is. Personally, I agree with that, but people seem to think there are only 2 solutions, America's one or the NHS, and it's simply not true.
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  #5045  
Old 15.02.2013, 07:37 PM
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Completely agree about the NHS. I'm one such person who is anti-NHS. You can't say anything about it because people get very defensive, and that's me, not some politician in front of the TV cameras. What I find most annoying is people then starting banging on about how bad America's way of doing things is. Personally, I agree with that, but people seem to think there are only 2 solutions, America's one or the NHS, and it's simply not true.
Why would that be?
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  #5046  
Old 15.02.2013, 09:12 PM
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Why would that be?
Because it's completely ineffective for what it costs, riddled with bureaucracy and frankly the "N" in it just isn't true - it should be called Regional Health Service, because if you want to get anything done outside of the place where you were registered they can't do it. You can't even take a prescription to a chemist in another town because "it wasn't written by a local doctor". I went the other week to try and register where I live for a GP and was told to come back in 6-8 weeks to REGISTER, let alone actually see one. If you need to see a specialist there's an endless system of referrals, one layer after another. So much wasted time and money. My girlfriend goes back to France if she wants to get anything done healthwise, and having lived in France myself I can concur how much more smoothly things run there.

The second you say you don't like the NHS, people think you don't support free healthcare. Not true, I just don't like the way it's organised. It's only after having lived elsewhere that I understood how poor the NHS is, and it made me realise that you can say 'no' to the American style system without having a behemoth like the NHS in its place. If it was that good, other countries in western Europe would have copied it by now - they've had long enough. None of them have. And we're not talking free marketeering neo-liberal economies here, we're talking western Europe.

Just my opinion, but what irks me is people act like it's an opinion I'm not entitled to have.

Last edited by European Bob; 15.02.2013 at 09:23 PM.
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  #5047  
Old 15.02.2013, 09:49 PM
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For more information on a few alternatives
http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare...germany-sweden
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  #5048  
Old 16.02.2013, 02:58 AM
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.

The second you say you don't like the NHS, people think you don't support free healthcare. Not true, I just don't like the way it's organised. It's only after having lived elsewhere that I understood how poor the NHS is, and it made me realise that you can say 'no' to the American style system without having a behemoth like the NHS in its place. If it was that good, other countries in western Europe would have copied it by now - they've had long enough. None of them have. And we're not talking free marketeering neo-liberal economies here, we're talking western Europe.
Doesn't England rank towards the bottom of the developed world in survival rates for almost all major health issues? Cancers, heath attacks, strokes, etc.
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  #5049  
Old 16.02.2013, 08:45 AM
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Doesn't England rank towards the bottom of the developed world in survival rates for almost all major health issues? Cancers, heath attacks, strokes, etc.
I don't know, but in some of the rankings I saw for just Europe it was about middle of the pack. It wasn't Bulgaria, but it was closer to countries like Czech Republic than it was to Netherlands which was out front.

Another interesting read for those who think the choices are NHS or American style only: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/ex...h-service.html
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  #5050  
Old 16.02.2013, 08:54 AM
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Another politics issue... tax.

They should really get rid of National Insurance. I will leave the "how much tax should we pay?" for another time but NI needs to be scrapped. They use it like a hidden tax, almost "it's not tax, it's national insurance" whereas in reality the proceeds of it don't have to be used for anything else than tax revenue does. It's a second income tax, basically, allowing the government to claim income taxes are lower than they are. But here's the stupid thing: it's a regressive tax - it's worse than a flat tax! You start off paying a high amount of something like 13% (and unlike income tax there is no personal allowance - you start paying NI from the first pound you earn), and then once you pass a certain level of earnings the subsequent rate you pay is something like 2%. How does that make any sense? It's just a political tool and it should be scrapped and amalgamated with income tax. I remember Brown saying "no tax increases", putting up NI and claiming he'd stuck to his word.

So, if you pay 20% income tax, you're actually paying 33%
if you pay 40% income tax, you're actually paying 42%
I don't know about 50/45%
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