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Humphrey Appleby

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Humphrey Appleby last won the day on July 12

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About Humphrey Appleby

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  1. Humphrey Appleby

    Stadium Racing

    I'm not sure you'd get the savings you think. If you reduce the number of riders needed per meeting from 14 to 12, you might save the travel expenses for a couple of riders, but the other riders would need to take more rides each to fill up the requisite heats. Some of those may well be on higher points money anyway, but would certainly expect compensation for the increased wear-and-tear of their equipment over the course of the season. So your costs may well go up rather than down.
  2. Humphrey Appleby

    Stadium Racing

    Unfortunately, I don't think it's that simple. For those promotions renting their stadiums, what else are those stadiums going to be doing to cover their costs? If they lose the income from 10 speedway meetings, will they continue to be viable as going concerns and will they instead decide to sell up for development? For those promotions owning their stadiums, they'll still have fixed costs regardless of how many meetings they stage. So by staging more meetings rather than less, they'll be at least getting some income to amortise some or all of those costs, and may in fact lose less money that way. The number of meetings that get staged is presumably a compromise that suits the cost structure of all the promotions, and without having insight into all the costs, we can't know what the optimal number of meetings is.
  3. Humphrey Appleby

    Why speedway is failing

    Speedway though, has to be one of the few forms of entertainment where the support act takes place after the main event...
  4. Humphrey Appleby

    Why speedway is failing

    If your enterprise is already a marginal existence then an expectedly bad run of weather, England going on a good run in a major football tournament, or any number of other unexpected phenomena (e.g. COVID) will put your cashflow in jeopardy. I suppose a good businessperson should factor some of these things into their calculations, and obviously if you're able to run long enough you'd probably have a good idea of the ups-and-downs. But I doubt many going into speedway have a lot of experience with sports and/or events promotion and get caught out. It's all very well saying that clueless promoters shouldn't really get involved in the sport, but the returns are so abysmal that there's not exactly a long queue of people lining up to take over. So it may well be the case of them or no speedway at all. Of course, few if any sports are run on sensible economic lines anyway. Otherwise successful businesspeople seem to take leave of their senses when getting involved in sport, not least committing to particular costs that they have little say or control over. Begging bowls are commonplace in all sports though, it's just that it's usually done in a more disguised and classy way for the likes of football, cricket and rugby...
  5. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Not a chance of that. Brexiteers don't want to see the viewpoint of Remainers and aren't interested in compromising, even at the expense of the UK economy and its influence in the world. In fact, they're quite happy to see the end of the UK in pursuit of their English nationalistic dreams (which I won't call a vision because most haven't got a clue what they actually want except for blue passports). Let's just hope the younger generations can reverse the terrible damage that Brexit is doing to the country.
  6. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Well I don't think politicians tried to force a multicultural society on anyone, nor can be blamed for any supposed failure of integration. Additional labour and particular skills were needed in the UK economy, and especially in the health and social care sector because the indigenous population is not only getting older as a proportion of the total population, but actually has negative growth so there would soon not have been enough working people to support the retirees. Governments have been merely responding to these needs, and foreign workers have been attracted by perceived better wages or quality of life. In general, I think Eastern Europeans integrate very well in the UK, and you can probably say the same about the Indians and Chinese. It's not their fault that parts of the indigenous population refuse to accept them and/or resent their presence, and I'd say the problem is far more down to them than the immigrants. Whilst you can point to a small handful of areas where there's been limited integration of immigrants and their descendants, the funny part is that the surrounding indigenous population sees this as far less of an issue than in parts of the country where there's hardly any immigrants. I think that tells you a great deal about where the issues actually lie. I'm not quite sure what a multicultural society versus integrated society actually means in practice. I'm quite happy to be able to eat different foods, for people to look different and speak whatever language they like at home, and for them to follow the religion of their choice (even if I disagree with foreign religions like Catholicism.. ). My foreign neighbours are also generally more friendly and willing to help out my older relatives than the miserable old locals who prefer to just whinge about everything. The one thing that governments might have done better is to encourage immigrants to move into more deprived areas that have been experiencing population decline, but that would also require jobs to be created and for locals to be more accepting of the value that immigrants can bring instead of constantly wanting to pull up the drawbridge.
  7. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Increasing political isolation for the UK thanks to Brexit... https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-08-01/max-hastings-brexit-s-predictable-crises-in-gibraltar-the-channel-ireland
  8. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Of course, the notion that the vast majority of people working today will ever accrue a pension pot of GBP 1 million, or can even put GBP 40k per year into a scheme, is pretty much fantasy. Even a million quid, would only give you a fairly modest income these days if you decided to retire early.
  9. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Whilst geographical knowledge is pretty terrible, it's just as terrible in the general population beyond pub quizzers. And at the end of the day, it's not really that important to know that sort of stuff for the average job. However, geography rounds are usually a banker for me in pub quizzes ;-)
  10. Humphrey Appleby

    The Olympic Games

    Apparently because they don't hit each other as hard.
  11. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Unfortunately you're just resorting to lazy stereotypes. The whole point of a higher education is examination and enquiry of available evidence. Higher education is not for everyone and practical work experience is certainly also important. But it's responsible for many achievements that have greatly improved the lives of everyone in the world. If you want to resort to the local witch doctor next time you're sick, then be my guest...
  12. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    I think there were ample opportunities for further education in those days, quite aside from apprenticeships, even if it was common to leave school at 15. Grant-funded higher education was also available, and my parents both benefitted from that. It depends how you mean by 'self-taught'. Brunel had a privileged upbringing by the standards of the time, and his father was a very highly regarded engineer in his own right. Of course both Brunels were solving many engineering problems for the first time, but you could say the same about the leading lights in any emerging field (e.g. biotech). And for every Brunel (who also had his failures), you had a Thomas Bouch whose efforts ended up killing people because he didn't have an adequate grasp of materials science or quality control processes. Do you really think that in this day-and-age we can be entrusting the building of ever taller buildings and wider bridges to engineers from the 'University of Life'? For that matter, what about leaving medical science to the quackerati on Twatter?
  13. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    By that rationale, everyone should be given a bus pass then.
  14. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    For the bus pass, it would be very easy to check whether pensioners owned a car and only issue it if that wasn't the case. Everyone should be paying the same for a television licence, the same as everyone pays the same for cornflakes. It's perhaps becoming a moot point anyway, as conventional television is headed the way of the Dodo and some new method of funding the BBC is going to be required soon. Winter fuel allowances - well just make them part of increased pension payments spread over the winter months. It amounts to the same thing, but reduces the connotations if some choose to use their increased pensions to go and winter in Spain or wherever.
  15. Humphrey Appleby

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Brexit is something that should never have been put to the vote, where the issues were dumbed down to silliness and the consequences not understood by much of the population. You're now seeing the chaos faced by exporters, diminished opportunities for trade, and important industries unable to find workers, whilst violence escalates in Northern Ireland. And it'll only get worse when COVID can no longer be used as an excuse. All so predictable though...
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