We were pleased to welcome three new faces to the lunch and again had a full complement of diners.
Bill Ginns raised the topic of the Greek Crisis, which opened the debate.
Derick Horsfall said ‘we shouldn’t have invited Greece to join the Euro’ and blamed Brussels; ‘I support Europe but the Greeks are corrupt and don’t pay tax.
Bill Ginns asked ‘should Greece leave the Euro Zone? Will the Germans let that happen?’
Frank Simms commented ‘they couldn’t balance the books then, and they can’t do it now.’
Anner Fehnert asked ‘who do Brussels answer to?’
Frank Simms noted ‘Brussels isn’t democratic, they answer to no-one.’
Derick Horsfall agreed that Europe was a union out of control, although he does believe in the principle of it.
Frank Simms felt ‘It was never a Euro-zone, simply an advance of German Democratic Systems. The bulk of the Greek debt is insured by US and UK – the majority of it has been written off, but balancing the books means the figures are still retained. Tax avoidance is a sport in Greece and shipping is not taxed.’
A proposal was made that the UK becomes the next Switzerland.
The majority of the room agreed that the UK is the best at banking.
Edward Pain thought that what Frank suggested was the only way forward for the UK. ‘Become a tax haven, no manufacturing.’
Frank Simms commented ‘there is no car industry or other manufacturing.’
Edward Pain said ‘the car industry can’t be managed as it is not manufactured by us for us.’
Frank Simms proposed ‘the world market is without discipline and the European experiment has failed.’ All agreed.
Edward Pain suggested that Europe negates democracy to EU law and that the public feel disenfranchised.
Geoffrey Pointon agreed ‘we compromise on everything.’
Pam Baguley said ‘we don’t have a politician that has a view and sticks to it.’
Geoffrey Pointon suggested ‘Germans have already printed Deutsch Mark, I predict Germany will leave the Euro before Greece.’
Geoffrey Pointon then raised the subject of Scotland: ‘They are happy enough to receive funds from the English.’
Geoffrey Pointon commented on the mirth in the room. ‘£57 billion paid to Scotland by England every year. Where do they get that in the future? The Shetland Islands don’t want to leave the UK.’
Jane Reynolds commented ‘if they paid it back at today’s value, it would be £300 billion’
Frank Simms said ‘let them go. We can then keep the money and then get a rebate from Europe.’
Geoffrey Pointon suggested ‘we should all challenge next month’s speaker and ask what is going to become of us.’
The conversation then moved to the question of the National Health Service (NHS).
Geoffrey Pointon asked ‘what is Hansley doing with the NHS?’
Frank Simms said ‘my doctor says he will be in control and seize it which will be better for cash flow. He feels that most doctors are all for it.’
All agreed that ‘the NHS needs reforming’ but felt that no-one is brave enough to change it.
Geoffrey Pointon commented ‘it’s like tossing an apple cart in the air.’
Anner Fehnert added ’there is room now for more corruption.’
Frank Simms said ‘some surgeries are still claiming for the patients that are deceased.’
Edward Pain thought that ‘money should follow the patient. Dismantle the power of the doctor. They don’t want it and there are advantages of using the private sector.’
Michael Clayton offered ‘Chaos Theory – ring fence the Health Service. David Cameron must do something. If he does nothing it will only get worse. We are in a lose-lose situation.’ He suggested that doctors didn’t want the NHS in the first place but now use NHS equipment for private patients. ‘This would never happen in business.’
The subject moved on to The Coalition.
Frank Simms suggested ‘benefits should be linked with lower rate tax.’
Geoffrey Pointon asked ‘trading regulations, is this a fair trade off? David Cameron had a feeble campaign and should have gone back to the country’ but he felt that Cameron wanted a coalition government.
Edward Pain commented ‘66% of the population are represented with the coalition. In the main they are not doing a bad job but will need to separate soon.’
Frank Simms thought that the election was no longer important to the public.