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Global Warming............Rant!
Posted: 3 June 2007 7:19 AM
Subject: RE: Global Warming............Rant!
Lord of the posts

Posts: 6068

Hi Brian

I am not sure planning is an especially good example to use seeing as the planning rules are to be relaxed in the UK!

It really is barmy that if I want to build a small extension onto my home - I have to go through the same planning process as a Shopping Mall or Industrial development. But that could change at long last it seems.

The Spanish system is not perfect either - But the French system is very good.

However, there Inheritance laws - being based upon a feudal system do cause problems - but they seem to manage.

The reference to transport systems in my post was not specifically at the old Eastern Block. The road and rail networks in Europe are, in my view, far superior on the whole to the UK’s. If you want to talk to anyone who can tell you why – find a relatively senior Construction Engineer and have a chat. They will tell you that UK Construction Engineers are well thought of in Europe. So why is it our bridges look the same as those in Russia and yet those in, say, France tend to inspire a “Wow!!!!!!” when you see them. Most Construction Engineers will tell you that our road structure is done on the lowest cost basis possible which means that things are rarely “fit for purpose” and so at best have to be upgraded and end up going way over budget – or more usually just left as a failed opportunity.

As for Health Care - Spanish HC is one of the least expensive in the world at circa 7% GDP, France is one of the more expensive at nearly 10% GDP.

What neither has is especially long waiting lists or dirty hospitals and consequently they do not have associated "Hospital Superbugs".

Portugal and Greece spend less than Spain on HC. This is mainly because aftercare is down to the “family” rather than the system in these countries. In France and Spain in particular, there is a good basic system (“Securite Sociele” in France) which is supplemented by additional private care if you want. It works by the individual paying for HC then either getting 35% reimbursed (in France) or more via a Healthcare plan.

Interestingly – this does mean that the French and Spanish systems (the two I know most about) are far, far less vulnerable than our NHS to “Healthcare Tourism”. This is because you have to pay for things first then get a reimbursement.

Interestingly as well, the French and Spanish prescription system works on the reimbursement system, whereby the cost of the item can be re-claimed.

Again compare that to our paying £6 plus an item for say an Asthma Inhaler that costs about £2 or a course of antibiotics that cost a few pence. Of course there are drugs that cost a whole lot more but for most of us the prescription charge is just another tax.

If you really feel that the Cotswolds are so wonderful (and they are!) that you are happy to pay more to be there than that is fine. But myself, having seen similarly beautiful places - Gers, France - Pecos de Europa, Spain - still wonder why it is that we pay as much a month for refuse collection as our Spanish cousins pay a year! And yet we in the UK do not re-cycle as much and are being threatened with memory chips in our wheely bins to check up on us and now fortnightly collections not weekly!

France has a system of toll roads that you can use if you wish and are truly excellent. It seems that we will have to pay a Congestion charge in most of our cities soon – not just London, as well as having a satellite tracking system that bills us for every mile we travel regardless of the quality of the road!

I am glad you like the UK – so do I – but I am not blind to its faults.

So where did you get those rose tinted glasses from Brian?
Posted: 3 June 2007 8:48 AM
Subject: RE: Global Warming............Rant!
Keeps coming back for more

Posts: 182

On the subject of recycling having separated tins ali & paper etc as requested by our local council the refuge lorry just chucks it all in together in the same truck & its crushed in including dozens of bottles & jars then I'm told when I phoned in about it that they do separate it once it arrives at the depot !!!!!!!!!!!Lord knows how thats achieved. Did anyone see that program last year when reporters traced hundreds of huge containers with all this rubbish being shipped to Chine & tipped on waste ground with the locals foraging amongst it for anything of value.I think we are all being conned .
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 3 June 2007 12:30 PM
Subject: RE: Global Warming............Rant!

Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street

Don't know where you think the rose tinted specs come in, Clive?  I can see all the disadvantages you see in UK, and the advantages you see elsewhere. 

It's just that, on balance, I think the UK offers a better all round package than most other countries, and I don't think the fact that some of the others are cheaper fully compensates.  I can see big problems with relaxations on the planning front, when one persons cheap extension becomes his/her neighbour's eyesore.  That might persuade me to emigrate!

For me, France and Germany would do nicely, the rest are either not yet sufficiently developed and civilised, or are overcrowded.

Why is UK more expensive?  I think, as I said, it is largely to with land costs.  Refuse disposal is cheap if you've bags of land to chuck it on, with lots of lovely old quarries to fill in.  We haven't, and we're getting more sophisticated about protecting our wildlife, our water reservoirs, and our environment.  We have a very high population density, and a quite high percentage of marginal land.  That places housing and farming demands in conflict for the better land.  This all conspires to push up land prices: and hence the cost of farm produce, housing, mortgages, shops, factories, power stations, roads, you name it.  I think we need to reduce our population to around 30 million, then we could all relax, and things would ease with reduced pressures on the land and resultingly lower costs. 

Now, how do we get rid of around 30 million people?  Export them to Spain?  How to do that?  I know, make the UK more expensive, so they all leave for a cheaper life.  Good luck with your house hunting! 

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