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View Poll Results: What would you personally prefer to happen?
I want the UK to stay in an ever-closer union 49 23.11%
I want the UK to stay in a loosely connected EU 68 32.08%
I want the UK out because the EU is bad for the UK 22 10.38%
I want the UK out because the EU is a bad thing 23 10.85%
I want the UK out because this would be good for the rest of us 17 8.02%
I don't really care 33 15.57%
Voters: 212. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11201  
Old 23.01.2018, 15:14
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Precisely my point. We have nationalised the infrastructure, and we the taxpayer are footing the bill for this.

When the train operators who use the infrastructure make profits, they keep them (many of the franchise owners being foreign owned) and export the profits. Trains have to run, so when they are making losses, the government (or us) have to step in to bail out. Our system is literally the worst of all worlds for the taxpayer (privatised profits / socialised losses) and commuters.
Making a profit is not necessarily the same as running for the hills with somebopdy else's money.

Railways in Britain have been a basket case long before privatization. Mrs Thatcher disliked the railways and cut back on spending, meaning the railways had to keep afloat by postponing maintenance and praying things wouldn't go too badly wrong. That strategy can work for some years, especially if the system was overbuilt to begin with (which in Britain's case it wasn't) but sooner or later you have to make up on the backlog.

Only that when Mrs Thatcher came to power, British Rail was already basket case as previous governments hadn't done much either. The last great injection of taxpayer money had been the Modernization Plan of the 1960s, which itself was badly botched, and after that money was just injected to keep the whole thing rolling.

In some years when BR was still nationally owned, they only managed to balance the books by selling off real estate. That was pretty short termist as they ended up having to pay rent on stuff they had previosuly owned.

Then the John Major government thought that if they sold the system, the investment backlog would become somebody else's problem. It didn't and Railtrack crashed catastrophically.

So now we have a situation whereby there is a huge backlog of investments and sadly a lot of knowledge has been lost from the system after years of not doing more than the minimum, which is why in some cases the best we can do is bring in foreign companies to show us how to do it. But that said this is a two way street as people like National Express also run trains in Germany and in fact Arriva grew so big in Germany that German Railways bought them out.

But overall, it is fair for people to make profits if the quality of service is given. We often hear about the bad stuff but in fact in many sectors the new wave of investments are beginning to bear fruit and things are actually getting better.
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  #11202  
Old 23.01.2018, 15:36
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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So now we have a situation whereby there is a huge backlog of investments and sadly a lot of knowledge has been lost from the system after years of not doing more than the minimum, which is why in some cases the best we can do is bring in foreign companies to show us how to do it. But that said this is a two way street as people like National Express also run trains in Germany and in fact Arriva grew so big in Germany that German Railways bought them out.

But overall, it is fair for people to make profits if the quality of service is given. We often hear about the bad stuff but in fact in many sectors the new wave of investments are beginning to bear fruit and things are actually getting better.
I d e o l o g y

Getting Off Topic here, but:

Company profits are not the frustration; rather the lack of accountability when things go wrong or need paying for. Customers Passengers see year on year price increases with no discernible improvements. It's Carillionesque games which eventually come back to the taxpayer. So why not bite the bullet and cut out the middleman and games they play?

In fairness, there are success stories. Due to the closed circuit layout of NW England's Merseyrail, DeutscheBahn have done an excellent job improving services and infrastructure. It's where paths cross the squabbles occur.

SBB / CFF / FFS is highly regarded despite the losses. Anyone who loves the railways would say privatisation is a poor solution.
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  #11203  
Old 23.01.2018, 15:52
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Train operators make an average profit of about 3%. Hardly rinsing the system.
Maybe, but that's after all the other costs, like licensing the name, consultancy fee's, directors wages and packages etc etc.

I had dealing with a large company that was supposedly 'not for profit' their 'costs' dwarfed every other companies bids for the deal (thankfully they didn't get it)
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  #11204  
Old 23.01.2018, 15:53
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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In fairness, there are success stories. Due to the closed circuit layout of NW England's Merseyrail, DeutscheBahn have done an excellent job improving services and infrastructure. It's where paths cross the squabbles occur.

SBB / CFF / FFS is highly regarded despite the losses. Anyone who loves the railways would say privatisation is a poor solution.
I don't think SBB is such a success because it's the governmnet that calls the shots. SBB is s success because people care and want good service and the government understands that. Something like 40% of track in Switzerland is not owned by SBB by the way, but by an assortment of independent companies, some of them private or a mix of private and local authorities, Gemeindes, Cantons etc. I own shares in one of them. The discussions at the AGM are facinating. They take subsidies to run their trains but need to fight hard to meet the requirements, and that's exactly what they do. The service on these lines is not in any way second rate to what SBB provides. In some cases it's actually significantly better, and operating costs are lower.

Britian's railways were in a poor state when the government ran them because nobody cared and nobody wanted to put up the money that was needed to fix them. Privatisation was window dressing but didn't address the core problem. Bringing thejm back into national ownership won't fix that either. The problem is that in Britain people don't understand that if you want a first class railway, you need to spend first class money. Ownership structures are a distraction in that discussion and identifying some profiteering entity makes for a quick scapegoat.

People need to wake up to the fact that you can't have a BMW for the price of a Lada, and that pointing out that the Lada dealership is making a profit has nothing to do with the fact that no matter how hard you prentent, you're not getting a BMW until you put more money on the table.

Either that, or just be honest and say you're quite happy to have a sh*tty railway.
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  #11205  
Old 23.01.2018, 16:04
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I don't think SBB is such a success because it's the governmnet that calls the shots. SBB is s success because people care and want good service and the government understands that. Something like 40% of track in Switzerland is not owned by SBB by the way, but by an assortment of independent companies, some of them private or a mix of private and local authorities, Gemeindes, Cantons etc. I own shares in one of them. The discussions at the AGM are facinating. They take subsidies to run their trains but need to fight hard to meet the requirements, and that's exactly what they do. The service on these lines is not in any way second rate to what SBB provides. In some cases it's actually significantly better, and operating costs are lower.

Britian's railways were in a poor state when the government ran them because nobody cared and nobody wanted to put up the money that was needed to fix them. Privatisation was window dressing but didn't address the core problem. Bringing thejm back into national ownership won't fix that either. The problem is that in Britain people don't understand that if you want a first class railway, you need to spend first class money. Ownership structures are a distraction in that discussion and identifying some profiteering entity makes for a quick scapegoat.

People need to wake up to the fact that you can't have a BMW for the price of a Lada, and that pointing out that the Lada dealership is making a profit has nothing to do with the fact that no matter how hard you prentent, you're not getting a BMW until you put more money on the table.

Either that, or just be honest and say you're quite happy to have a sh*tty railway.
I'm probably being simplistic compared to your interesting post but, sadly, it's the passengers in the UK who feel like they are paying for a BMW whilst being delivered a Lada.

The cost of tickets on Britain's railways are shockingly extortionate by comparison to Swiss railways (again, probably a bit simplistic - soz ) but you can't get away from the question, given the cost of rail travel WTF are they doing with the money?
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  #11206  
Old 23.01.2018, 16:23
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I'm probably being simplistic compared to your interesting post but, sadly, it's the passengers in the UK who feel like they are paying for a BMW whilst being delivered a Lada.

The cost of tickets on Britain's railways are shockingly extortionate by comparison to Swiss railways (again, probably a bit simplistic - soz ) but you can't get away from the question, given the cost of rail travel WTF are they doing with the money?
Think of it more like living in a tent in the middle of the winter while pretending you're in a 5-star hotel, and wondering why with the heating bill it's actually making the whole experience more expensive and yet less comfortable.

If everything is so broke that it needs fixing every day, and if most stuff is not realyl fit for purpose, that can drain a lot of money out of the system. Sometimes, you can't shovel money in fast enough to stop it washing all down the drain.

The money needed to actually fix things properly is far more expensive still. If you spend that money, things will stop breaking down and needing to be fixed on a day to day basis. In Switzerland they never allowed the system to degrade that far in the first place.
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  #11207  
Old 23.01.2018, 16:25
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The cost of tickets on Britain's railways are shockingly extortionate by comparison to Swiss railways (again, probably a bit simplistic - soz )
Well kind of. Newspapers always compare the walk-up price between the UK and Europe. In the UK, these are very high, however book in advance, even by an hour and you can save £££. It is complex to compare the prices, however it's nowhere near as bad as the UK press likes to make out.

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but you can't get away from the question, given the cost of rail travel WTF are they doing with the money?
Remember Southern Rail's train strike over "safety"?

Train drivers agree 28% pay rise to end Southern Rail strikes
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  #11208  
Old 23.01.2018, 16:59
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The cost of tickets on Britain's railways are shockingly extortionate by comparison to Swiss railways (again, probably a bit simplistic - soz ) but you can't get away from the question, given the cost of rail travel WTF are they doing with the money?
Booked in advance off peak incredibly cheap, Gatwick Airpot to Birmingham for under £10 travelling on Gatwick Express. Thats cheaper than the Gatwick express alone.
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  #11209  
Old 23.01.2018, 17:03
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Booked in advance off peak incredibly cheap, Gatwick Airpot to Birmingham for under £10 travelling on Gatwick Express. Thats cheaper than the Gatwick express alone.
I suppose that's all great if you know you can book in advance, travel off peak and fall into one of the routes offering savings. You're screwed if not.

Or you are a commuter forced to buy a season ticket.
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  #11210  
Old 23.01.2018, 17:14
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I suppose that's all great if you know you can book in advance, travel off peak and fall into one of the routes offering savings. You're screwed if not.

Or you are a commuter forced to buy a season ticket.
The only reason commuters put up with it is that London is so insanely expensive. In other words, you pay through the teeth for a season ticket on an unreliable and rickety service that doesn't get you home until after your kids are asleep, and that because you can't actually afford to live in London on a London salary.

Yet another problem resulting from succesive governments getting their priorities wrong.
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  #11211  
Old 23.01.2018, 17:24
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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In Switzerland they never allowed the system to degrade that far in the first place. .
Highlighted the important part. Mr. Meyer had some doing in the short term profit of the Berlin S-Bahn and its following downfall.
http://railomotive.com/2010/02/veran...in-berlin-mit/

Today Meyer blames his predecessor which supposedly let the SBB infrastructure slide:
https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/sonntag...story/11124035

Cutting down in infrastructure maintenance cost is an easy task, and one which may give huge profit. But only in the short term. Over decades it will not pay off and lead to a financial and operative disaster.
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  #11212  
Old 23.01.2018, 17:26
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Whilst I agree with a lot of what you are saying, I never said making profits was a bad thing at all.

My point was the profits are better off in Britain's coffers, rather than disappearing abroad.

Either way, if Britain is going to catch up with the rest of Europe in transport infrastructure, there will need to be a hell of a lot of investment. It would be better if the huge profits commuters are generating were put towards it instead of disappearing, that's all.


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Making a profit is not necessarily the same as running for the hills with somebopdy else's money.

Railways in Britain have been a basket case long before privatization. Mrs Thatcher disliked the railways and cut back on spending, meaning the railways had to keep afloat by postponing maintenance and praying things wouldn't go too badly wrong. That strategy can work for some years, especially if the system was overbuilt to begin with (which in Britain's case it wasn't) but sooner or later you have to make up on the backlog.

Only that when Mrs Thatcher came to power, British Rail was already basket case as previous governments hadn't done much either. The last great injection of taxpayer money had been the Modernization Plan of the 1960s, which itself was badly botched, and after that money was just injected to keep the whole thing rolling.

In some years when BR was still nationally owned, they only managed to balance the books by selling off real estate. That was pretty short termist as they ended up having to pay rent on stuff they had previosuly owned.

Then the John Major government thought that if they sold the system, the investment backlog would become somebody else's problem. It didn't and Railtrack crashed catastrophically.

So now we have a situation whereby there is a huge backlog of investments and sadly a lot of knowledge has been lost from the system after years of not doing more than the minimum, which is why in some cases the best we can do is bring in foreign companies to show us how to do it. But that said this is a two way street as people like National Express also run trains in Germany and in fact Arriva grew so big in Germany that German Railways bought them out.

But overall, it is fair for people to make profits if the quality of service is given. We often hear about the bad stuff but in fact in many sectors the new wave of investments are beginning to bear fruit and things are actually getting better.
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  #11213  
Old 23.01.2018, 17:32
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

I had never realised my Fund manager of choice Terry Smith stood for the Referendum party in 1996.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efs5lwUMy4o

https://expertinvestoreurope.com/vot...t-terry-smith/
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  #11214  
Old 25.01.2018, 09:02
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Project Fear admits Project Fear was Project Fear.
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  #11215  
Old 30.01.2018, 13:59
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Agree with Trump and Merkel that Theresa May's "gentle and kind" approach to negotiations has not helped the UK's cause very well.

Had May held a more critical attitude towards the EU, attacking the EU, denigrating them as "not cracked up to what it's suppose to be", tweeting about Verhofstadt's teeth, slapping around Juncker, the UK would be in a much better negotiating position today.
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  #11216  
Old 01.02.2018, 17:25
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Firmly on topic with this thread's title:

Warning of 'utter chaos' if May ends EU free movement next March

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Campaigners for the rights of EU citizens in the UK have predicted “utter chaos” in Britain after Theresa May vowed to stop freedom of movement for all Europeans coming to the country next March.

Activists in Europe campaigning for the rights of Britons said they were “horrified” by the prime minister’s statement in China on Wednesday, saying it showed she did not understand that everything she planned for EU citizens would have a reciprocal impact on 1.2 million British citizens in Europe.
May's statement in China: No deal for EU citizens coming to UK during Brexit transition PM
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  #11217  
Old 01.02.2018, 17:32
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Tune in next week because it will all have changed 180 degrees by then.

And then maybe not, but maybe they will...

Brexit negotiations is a proper popcorn event.
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Old 01.02.2018, 17:39
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

We're in non EU Switzerland. Sorted.
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Old 01.02.2018, 17:49
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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We're in non EU Switzerland. Sorted.
Rearrange the following into a well known phrase or saying!

"straws at clutching"
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  #11220  
Old 01.02.2018, 17:53
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Rearrange the following into a well known phrase or saying!

"straws at clutching"
Naa mate, Switzerland have already made clear that they intend to keep up exactly the same relationship that's already in place with the UK.

The advantage of not being in the EU means they can make this decision themselves.
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