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Old 09-05-2011, 02:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Airplane cups and napkins are a huge waste.

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Old 09-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
What happens to the bread that a bakery doesn't sell? Often, it is given away to homeless/poor people.

That used to be the case here, until a few years ago when new tax laws prohibited giving away stuff which should have been sold, or even selling it for less than its cost of production (anti-dumping law?). The media showed a baker who got a huge fine for giving away a few day-old rolls (he was a local hero for a short time). So perfectly edible bread was being thrown out

Only after a lot of protests did our Enlightened MPs pass a law allowing stale bread to be sold off for 1 grosz (~1/4 eurocent).

Who's watched Jeremy Seifert's Dive!?
They used to do the same here, Churches,Shelters, non-profits........ Then somebody got sick, blamed it on the day old/ left over food and sued. Won tons of money and ever since the stores throw it out to protect themselves from the lawyers.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:24 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Throwing "slice" pizzas out at the end of the night when I worked delivering pizzas. My manager usually let me take the leftovers home if I called dibs on the leftovers when clocking in for my shift. I did that every once in a while, not all the time since I was sick of pizza. The undeliverable or "stiffed" food was set on a counter and was fair game for staff to eat while on shift.

In my job, it makes far more financial sense for me to throw out broken items and buy new for the tax writeoff instead of mend them. I try not to, but given the financial incentives it's hard not to sometimes.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:39 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I was passed today by one of those crew-cab pickup things popular over here with the bald midget shouty type of bloke.

On the side it said "Edinburgh - Your council, your future". Oh so its run by the people who want to build trams...

It had one person in it.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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i worked for the department of defense rebuilding humvees for for years before going to iraq, we would take apart completely perfect running equipment to install new usually inferior stuff. exp for a while we where finding red top optimas in the battery boxes for these arent spec so where scrap . i went to iraq your a year to help field the new mrap vehicles. i was paid $23 per hour plus 35% hazard plus 35% prodiem(being away from home ) for the first 40 hours everything after that is time and a half. i probably worked 10 hours a week but got paid for 16 hours a day 7 days a week.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
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...yah, but the irate natives (usually) don't shoot AK-47's or RPG's at you if they don't like your work back here in the 'States!


(ex-USN, gov't contractor, here).
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Here's a representative of democracy that democracy could live without.

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A veteran politician branded yesterday 'Britain's laziest MP' because he hasn't held a a surgery for constituents for 14 years says this is because he feared attack. Sir Stuart Bell claims he was threatened by a member of the public so decided only to see people by appointment since 1997.

Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts considers the case and concludes the MP for Middlesbrough 'has been taking the mick'.

The Hon Sir Stuart Bell, MP, knight of the realm, freeman of the City of London, chevalier of France's coveted Legion d'Honneur, did not get where he is today by listening to his constituents. No, no.

Champagne socialist Sir Stuart, 73, who sits for Middlesbrough in the Labour party interest, may have been born to a mining family. He may have started working life as a colliery clerk in County Durham and may once have been a city councillor in Newcastle upon Tyne.

But yesterday we learned how far he has travelled, in all senses, since those youthful days. Sir Stuart, who is said to maintain a pied a terre in Paris, admitted that he had not held an advice ‘surgery' for his constituents since, ooh, 1997.

Nor did he maintain an office in his North-East England constituency. He was willing, he vouchsafed, to meet the electors of Middlesbrough. But before any such face-to-face encounter could be undertaken, they must obtain an appointment from Sir Stuart's well-staffed Westminster office.

Tug your forelocks, little people. Sir Stuart will see you now. Be grateful. But do be quick, won't you? You may be heading back to Teesside on the National Express coach but your lord and master is off in the other direction. He has the Eurostar to catch for another of his long weekends on the banks of the Seine.

Sir Stuart's absence from his constituency, where he has a majority of 8,000, has something of a Victorian feel to it. You can imagine him gracing the pages of an Anthony Trollope novel, a whiskered, waist-coated powerbroker who takes a room at a local inn during the fortnight of general election campaigns but otherwise spurns the company of the voters.

But this is the 21st century and, furthermore, the post-expenses era. Westminster has just been through one of the most torrid periods of self-examination in history. In recent months the Commons, or so we thought, had improved itself. Did Sir Stuart not notice?

Seemingly not. Middlesbrough's Evening Gazette newspaper has done fine work. As Sir Stuart's local newspaper, the Gazette and its reporters must have long had to put up with his airs and graces. Finally, perhaps, something snapped. Journalists from the paper conducted an experiment and, pretending to be hard-pressed constituents, tried to contact the MP.

Over the course of two months they placed 100 telephone calls to Sir Stuart's published contact numbers. Never was Sir Stuart's telephone answered by a person. Each time a message was left on his machine. Never was a call returned. Pretty plainly, Sir Stuart could not give a stuff.

He is not the first politician to take a snooty view of the electorate. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Liberal Prime Minister at the start of the 20th century, once made a rare visit to his Commons seat of Stirling Burghs and afterwards drawled: ‘I had nothing to say to my constituents on Friday and I think I very effectively said it.'

When newly elected Labour MPs reached Westminster after the 1945 landslide, one of the remaining Conservatives is reputed to have murmured in horror: ‘Who the hell are these people? They look like a lot of damned constituents.'

Constituents should not be everything to an MP. A parliamentarian is more than simply a representative of his electors. Being an MP is a curious mix, part law-maker, part scrutineer, part philosopher, part counsellor. An honourable MP will even, on occasions, ignore local opinion and vote in the Commons according to his own conscience.The expression ‘a good constituency MP' can be a two-edged term. It can suggest a dullard who is destined to languish for ever on the backbenches. An MP who thinks only of his or her constituents is a shallow proposition.

But the extent to which Sir Stuart has neglected Middlesbrough is way off any reasonable scale. He has been taking the mick. His behaviour has been beyond satire.
Fear attacks: Front page of the local newspaper about Stuart Bell MP, who has claimed £83,000 of work costs despite not holding a surgery for 14 years

Fear attacks: Front page of the local newspaper about Stuart Bell MP, who has claimed £83,000 of work costs despite not holding a surgery for 14 years

Sir Stuart has long been one of Westminster's shop stewards. He has a keen sense of entitlement, not just for himself and his wife (whom he employs on a fat public wage) but also for his fellow parliamentary pooh-bahs.

On the surface, he is an unlikely politician. He is a poor public speaker. Although he is a barrister, he is an indifferent advocate of a cause. When faced with a TV camera, he squints at the lens. His voice is furry, his vocabulary unspectacular and his intellect not always much sharper than a butter knife.When the expenses scandal was starting, most sensible veterans of Westminister could see that the game was up. They could see that Michael ‘Gorbals Mick' Martin, then the Speaker of the Commons, was inadequate.

A handful of old codgers, however, was prepared to defend the status quo. One of them was a Conservative (let us demonstrate party-political balance) whose name was David Maclean. Mr Maclean is now a member of the House of Lords. Don't tell me you are surprised.

The other defender of the old, rotten regime was the great socialist trougher, Sir Stuart Bell. That knighthood, since you ask, was bestowed by the Blair government in 2004. It was given ‘for services to Parliament' rather than for services to Middlesbrough.

Sir Stuart was part of the Labour party's ‘North East mafia' but Tony Blair was never completely sold on Bell. Rather than make him a minister in his first Government in 1997, he threw the jagged-toothed old boy a sinecure: Second Church Estates Commissioner. Thus did he become the voice of the Church of England in the Government. That good Anglicans should have been represented by a man so little interested in his own constituency, yet so gripped by expenses and allowances, was pretty grotty.

Sir Stuart was also active behind the scenes. He was, as the saying goes, ‘a good committee man'.

From 1997 onwards he immersed himself in Commons committees concerned with pay and pensions and estimates and budgets. As we later discovered, MPs, over that period, did pretty well for themselves. ‘Services to Parliament', indeed. Arise, Sir Stuart.

Now the wider world knows of his neglect. Now it is clear what we parliamentary sketchwriters long suggested: Sir Stuart Bell is a wrong 'un. The way he has ignored his constituency stinks. But it perhaps makes sense of his career.

After all, an MP who had really been in touch with the voters would surely never have gone out on such a limb to defend Speaker Martin or the old expenses arrangements. In the end, laziness was his undoing.

Read more: Snout in the trough and a flat in Paris | Mail Online
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:12 AM   #29 (permalink)
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...does the phrase "...maintaining a professional 'distance'..." ring any bells?
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
A veteran politician branded yesterday 'Britain's laziest MP' because he hasn't held a surgery for constituents for 14 years...
Err... I know you guys are into the National Health thing, but don't you think asking your MPs to do surgery is taking things just a wee bit too far?

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