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Everything posted by Clarkkent

  1. I think that he should look to another former prime minister for his inspiration: William Ewart Gladstone. Gladstone considered it to be his mission to go into the murkier parts of London and to exhort fallen women to change their ways. This, I feel, could actually be a true labour of love for Signor Berlusconi. After all, he probably knows most of them by name .... [6]
  2. [quote user="Mr Ceour de Lion II"]PaulT I take it all back. You are completely correct. I wouldn't say sicko though, but incompetent is a far more accurate word. The real reason there is no social healthcare in America is because people do not trust their own government to run it properly. I truly think that's the bottom line. It's a joke. [/quote] No. The real reason is that the insurance companies and medical supplies companies (such as pharmaceuticals) pay very large sums of money into politicians' campaign funds and effectively control the political agenda. "People" believe the propaganda that the compromised politicians spout.
  3. [quote user="NormanH"]'Competition' is one of those words that is supposed to provoke a knee-jerk reaction to say 'ah yes that is good, the best deserve to succeed' I am in favour of fair competition, say where two writers compete for readers on the basis of their ability as story tellers... [/quote] I had a conversation, once, with a Frenchman about "fair competition". He was all in favour of it. He cited strawberries from Spain as an example. He said that since Spain was further south than France, it was obvious that the Spanish fruit would be available before the French fruit. Fair competition meant that the Spanish growers should refrain from exporting their strawberries until the French strawberries were available. They should not sell Spanish produce in France before the "superior" French produce was available to give customers a fair choice.
  4. It is nearly sixty years since McCarthyism was discredited in the United States. What does the Daily Mail think that it will achieve by resurrecting it in Britain?
  5. [quote user="Cendrillon"]I haven't heard that tale Pierre ZFP. In my experience Pineau des Charentes is a drink that is widely available and drunk in the Charentes region but elsewhere hardly seen or available at all. [/quote] Really? It's in all the supermarkets in Agen.
  6. Long haul must be a pretty boring experience. I'm not surprised they fall asleep. In the future, there will just be one man and a dog on the flight deck. The man will be there to give passengers the reassurance that there is a real human in the driving seat, and the dog will be there to bite him if he touches anything.
  7. GP group practices are partnerships. Individual GPs (eg Harold Shipman) are sole traders. GPs receive capitation payments from the NHS (which in reality is an accounting system) in respect of patients registered with them. GPs are not employed by the NHS but are contractors. GPs can - and do - accept private patients, too.  
  8. [quote user="Patf"] All GPs and specialists are self-employed. [/quote] As are all GPs in Britain. [6]
  9. [quote user="Clair"] I use it to transfer recordings from our Humax and Skybox to my laptop. Go for 32GB for HD recordings. They need a lot of space... [/quote] Forgive me for going back to the beginning. I am a little confused. I have a Humax Fox T2 (with which I am very pleased) and have on its hard disk a number of tv programmes I would like to preserve - preferably on dvd. My understanding is that recordings on the T2 are encrypted, and that the encryption code is unique to each machine. Although it is possible to download SD material, to download HD material it is necessary to decrypt the recording. Clair's comment appears to infer that the process of transfer is straightforward. Can anyone here clarify this matter? And if so, guide me towards my goal without using complex technical terminology?
  10. Absolutely agree with you Sweet. The problem, I think, is the "Exchange of contract" - this seems to me to be a ploy by conveyancers to complicate the purchase process and justify charging more. An offer to buy, and a consequent acceptance, should be binding. There is nothing to stop anyone from doing their own conveyancing. In reality, it is not difficult and there are plenty of guides/handbooks to help you. I have done it twice - you can download the necessary forms from the internet - and if the property you are buying is registered, just about all the decisions you need to take have already been taken. The Land Registry will require little more than change in details of ownership. However, if you are requiring a mortgage, the lender can complicate matters ....
  11. [quote user="You can call me Betty"] And, in case you may consider it relevant to the answer, you might like to know that I only drink green tea, or rooibos. [/quote] Are you sure? I thought that this is South African red bush tea. The green tea I had in Japan was made with warm - not boiling - water and was greenish in colour with a very delicate flavour.
  12. [quote user="woolybanana"]No, he had a jury of four personalities, one of whom was a lady from liverpool who had the charming accent. Whatever became of her, I wonder.[/quote] Wooly is not alone in confusing "Juke Box Jury" with "Count Your Lucky Stars" . Most people I know who recall the programmes make the same mistake. He can check the Wikipedia entries if he is still unsure. I also recall "Journey Into Space" where David Jacobs was both announcer and bit-part player. There were some stuffed shirts who objected to him chairing "Any Questions" - they thought that, being a DJ, he lowered te tone of the programme. I thought he was fine and was sorry when he stepped down.
  13. [quote user="Mr Ceour de Lion II"] Bush was the right man at the time for what happened in 9/11. [/quote] I couldn't agree less. His actions exacerbated the problems associated with and following 9/11. They may have played well within the Union but they made the rest of  the world a more hazardous place.
  14. I visited Agen today and noticed there were half a dozen or so people wandering around with large boards advertising insurance policies for school children. Presumably, it's a nice earner for insurance brokers.
  15. Am I alone in being concerned that the victory of opposition forces in Syria may not be a particularly good thing? Like everyone else I am shocked, appalled, horrified, sickened by the actions of the Assad regime. What I'm not so certain about, though, are the agenda and objectives of the anti-government forces. My fear is that they may be pan-Islamists and that their victory would strengthen Iran. The actions of the previous American president, by removing Saddam, reduced the strength of the buffer against Iran. The removal of the Assad regime may only make a nuclear war between Iran and Israel more likely. Unlike his predecessor, Obama is not an idiot, but he also has to act inside a national culture that often, to an outsider, appears to be politically naïve and simplistic. To appear credible to his electorate he has to be bellicose and USA-centric. He may not now need to seek re-election, but he has to deal with members of the legislature who do.
  16. [quote user="idun"]Clark Kent, didn't Chancer just mean that his receiving bank did not charge. [/quote] Oh dear. I must remember to take my medication. You are absolutely correct. I apologise for my misleading post. I've checked back. CA did not make any charge. The €3 charge was made by Currencyfair. [8-)]  
  17. [quote user="Chancer"]I dont pay any charges to recieve money via Currencyfair with Credit Agricole Brie Picardie.[/quote] Interesting. I paid  €3 for a transfer of €500 from Currencyfair to CA Aquitaine. I don't really resent it - it's better than paying £15 to my UK bank in addition to the CA's cut!
  18. Sorry, I can't really answer in respect of France, but within the last week or so it has been revealed that in the UK such insurance has been under investigation for being improperly sold by financial institutions.  I suppose the question is whether or not France has similar consumer protection legislation in force. The premium income is a nice little earner.
  19. This may not be of any help in solving your problem. Your OP interested me sufficiently to look up SWIFT in Wikipedia. My understanding of that entry is that SWIFT is not a money transfer system as such but a set of protocols enabling communication between organisations. It would seem that organisations can charge what they like for any transaction. My guess, then, (and I'm quite prepared to be shown that I am wrong) is that SWIFT is used to communicate the details of the transfer and the banking institutions then charge what they can get away with.
  20. I noticed today that our local Castorama is selling kits de ramonage for €14.90. I dare say that in these times of hardship many people will think that it is a job they can do for themselves.
  21. I have to agree with Betty. Do these people think that their illegal driving practices should be excused because they are ferrying people for hospital treatment? Do you think that sick and vulnerable people should be transported by people who drive carelessly - even dangerously? Have you thought about the real consequences of their behaviour? Perhaps the drivers believe that they should be considered to be ambulance drivers. Ambulance drivers undergo training to be able to drive under blue lights, and this training emphasises the need not to endanger other road users. Have these volunteer drivers been subjected to any driving assessment? If so, how did they drive during the assessment? If not, why not?  
  22. Sounds a good idea. Does your UK phone have caller identification?   I have toyed with the ideas of saying: "You couldn't have rung at a worse time. We are just about to sacrifice a virgin - you know how hard they are to get, these days ..." or, holding the phone a little way away, calling: "Sarge, its another of those calls again, do want me to get a trace on it?"
  23. [quote user="Rabbie"][quote user="Clarkkent"] [quote user="NormanH"]I actually meant 'cru' which I take to mean non pasteurized. Is there an issue with that nowadays? Thanks for all your replies [/quote] I think that the issue is that bottles containing pasteurised milk are labelled "frais". [/quote]I checked on my milk in the UK.  It was labelled "Fresh Pasteurised Milk" [/quote] Hi Rabbie I'm looking at a bottle of Candia Grandlait Frais. You have to search the label for any statement that the milk is pasteurised. It is there but on the back close to the nutrition information. A casual observer may interpret "frais" as meaning untreated. On another tack: I am intrigued by the preference for semi-skimmed milk shown by so many people. In the UK, full-fat milk has a fat content of 4% amounting to about 2.5 grams in a pint. By buying semi-skimmed they are reducing their fat intake by about 1.5 grams. The same people will eat a "healthy" salad containing a 25 gram lump of cheddar. The contribution of fat in milk to the overall daily fat intake is quite small. It strikes me that the reason for skimmed milk on supermarket shelves is because the dairy companies have found a market for the milk left over from cheese, butter and cream manufacture. The dairy companies promote the "healthy" properties of an otherwise surplus product which is sold for the same price as the unadulterated product. A nice little earner (like water in bottles). Or am I just being cynical?
  24. [quote user="NormanH"]I actually meant 'cru' which I take to mean non pasteurized. Is there an issue with that nowadays? Thanks for all your replies [/quote] I think that the issue is that bottles containing pasteurised milk are labelled "frais".
  25. [quote user="Catalpa"] However, thinking further... I suppose that obviously different backgrounds - white family with Indian or Chinese child ... [/quote] I heard a story about a couple who adopted a Chinese child. They were asked constantly how they would ensure she was going to be kept in touch with "her culture". Their reply was that they were going to bind her feet.
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