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By Tubby Isaacs
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Having blundered into Nick Ferrari on the radio in my breakfast cafe, Gordon Brown and gold came up.

Obviously Mr Ferrari knows more than the bloke at the FT: ... z1UQRczJGD" onclick=";return false;

He points out that of course he could have sold it at a better time. But even if you sold it now, the price would fall.
By Tubby Isaacs
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You can't smack kids nowadays etc. ... n_the_home" onclick=";return false;
In the UK, spanking or smacking is legal, but it may not leave a mark on the body, and in Scotland since October 2003 it has been illegal to use any implements when disciplining a child. The total abolition of corporal punishment has been discussed.[15] In a 2004 survey, 71% of the population would support a ban on parents smacking their children.[16] In a 2006 survey, 80% of the population said they believed in smacking, and 73% said that they believed that any ban would cause a sharp deterioration in children's behaviour. Seven out of ten parents said they themselves use corporal punishment.
Countries where they ban smacking
Austria - since 1989
Bulgaria - since 2000
Croatia - since 1999
Costa Rica - since 2008
Cyprus - since 1994
Denmark - since 1997
Finland - since 1983
Germany - since 2000
Greece - since 2007
Hungary - since 2004
Iceland - since 2003
Israel - since 2000
Kenya - since 2010
Latvia - since 1998
Luxembourg - since 2008
Moldova - since 2009
Netherlands - since 2007
New Zealand - since 2007, when the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 came into effect; however, a non-binding citizen-initiated referendum on corporal punishment in August 2009 produced a large majority against the ban. A private member's bill was then introduced to Parliament to overturn the ban, but it failed at first reading: see New Zealand corporal punishment referendum, 2009.
Norway - since 1987 [3](The Supreme court ruled in 2005 that a light "careful slap" applied immediately after the "offence" is still allowed.[4] Legislature abolished this in 2010, and the current law is that any violence against children, including careful slaps, is prohibited.[5])
Poland - since 2010
Portugal - since 2007
Romania - since 2004
Sweden - Parents' right to spank their own children was first removed in 1966,[6] and it was explicitly prohibited by law from July 1979.
Spain - since 2007
Tunisia - since 2010 [7]
Ukraine - since 2004
Uruguay - since 2007
Venezuela - since 2007
By Tubby Isaacs
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Something good on "Gordon ruined our pensions" ... isplay.htm" onclick=";return false;

The tax on dividends was part of a range of measures- including lowering corporation tax at the same time, and abolishing Advance Corporation Tax.
All in all, it is very doubtful if the ‘hit’ from the 1997 Budget on pension funds amounts to anything like £5bn a year when all relevant factors are taken into account. Its impact certainly pales into relative insignificance compared with other events and changes in the past ten years. Put another way, without the rout of share prices between 2000 and 2003, or the undermining of solvency by rising life expectancy, Brown’s ‘pension raid’ would not have attracted any attention at all.
By mattomac
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:From back in 2010, but the canard still comes up: George Osborne pulled up on his "Britain would have been like Greece" bollocks by the Treasury Select Committee ... sis-claims" onclick=";return false;
To be honest with the coalition it's becoming a daily joke, they refer to every bad news story about the economy now with "its a global financial crisis" of course this bleating when it really was a global financial crisis wasn't allowed by the previous government. I've noticed the subtle change from the previous line that it was all the last government's fault, I expect that to drop over the coming months as the world heads near to a recession. In fact most economists have already debunked this by suggesting that sluggish growth started way before American growth slowed and the real Eurozone crisis kicked in.
By JuanTwoThree
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#181477 ... ndbook.pdf" onclick=";return false;

More from skeptical science
By Tubby Isaacs
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A supplement for Gordon ruined my pension:" onclick=";return false;

in particular:
Back in 1988 Nigel Lawson decided to tax pension fund "surpluses" to prevent companies using the pension funds as a money box for tax avoidance purposes. This tax threat subsequently led companies to adopt a much tighter rein on the pension funds on the grounds that they had to "use it or lose it" to the Inland Revenue.
Stealth tax on pension funds doing well? Sounds socialist!
By CerealDave
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Brian Barder talks a lot of sense in that article, but I do think he slightly misleads on government debt. Yes debt went up to 45.3% under Thatcher in 1985, but the graph shows it going down through the late '80s, before going up again in the '90s under Major (before going down under Blair again). Also debt still went up by 6% between '03 and '07, before going crazy in '08. Still a good article though.

My contribution, FWIW. Quick google search led me to government surplus/deficit levels since the late '90s: ... usdeficit/" onclick=";return false;

Shows the Blair government achieving a surplus before 9/11 and the dotcom bubble bursting. Also shows hows closely our fortunes are tied to the eurozone.

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