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Whats a Billion mr Gove?
huudi
Posted: 16 June 2016 11:46:41(UTC)
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Mike Gove on the rigged Dimbleby show last night. A physicist asked the unscheduled question,

"what billion are we talking about Mr Gove, is it 1000 million or a million million?"( a few years ago it was the latter but we changed it to line up with the yanks who couldn't count that high),

Gove looked stupid (normal) and speechless,

Dumbleboy butts in "That's neither here nor there!" ???

"But how do we decide Mr Gove?"

"You decide on the figures"??? What figures?

All together "there's a HOLE in my budget dear Michael..."


Given that one figure is 1000 times more than the other and our ministers don't know which they use, is it any wonder that we are in the crap?

I have posed this question before on blogs and it is obvious that to MP's and Ministers Billion is just a word, they have no idea that they may be spending 1000 times more than planned.


Frightening.
2 users thanked huudi for this post.
V.T Graham on 07/07/2016(UTC), robert munro on 12/07/2016(UTC)
Keith Cobby
Posted: 16 June 2016 12:03:10(UTC)
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It is common usage by now that a billion is one thousand million and a trillion is one million million.
Clive B
Posted: 16 June 2016 14:25:43(UTC)
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When referring to monetary amounts, it's been decades (not just years) since a UK billion meant 1m x 1m.
huudi
Posted: 16 June 2016 19:21:03(UTC)
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"common usage"? This is not a legal definition.
"decades"? No, this question was answered in detail on this site long ago, each definition and its origins were clarified.
Let us not forget that this question was asked by a well-educated scientist and a government minister could not give an answer.
huudi
Posted: 17 June 2016 07:53:59(UTC)
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The questioner was quite young and obviously must see both definitions used therefore it was a valid question.
The point is that he did not know the answer and for a minister who spends millions of our money it is appalling. He should at least know how to count money.
My second point is that Dumbleboy dismisses unexpected questions, questions are pre submitted and answers pre-prepared, just like PMQs. For this reason I no longer watch Question Time, far better and cheaper for BBC to list the answers for those interested and show a repeat of 'Del Boy' for entertainment.

Out of interest in my youth there were $3 to £1, a $ billion was worth ~£330,000,000 a £ billion was £1000,000,000,000. quite a difference, now that difference is minimal and falling.
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Mickey on 13/07/2016(UTC)
TGod
Posted: 17 June 2016 09:01:50(UTC)
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The questioner actually asked about EU contributions to science and universities, she seemed unable to understand that as the UK is a net contributor to the EU budget all of the spending by the EU in this country is just some of our own money coming back to us. Her ignorance of the meaning of a billion was just a supplementary question that was never answered because Dimbleby interrupted the dialogue.
Clive B
Posted: 17 June 2016 10:18:29(UTC)
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"decades"? No ...huudi

https://en.wikipedia.org...i/Long_and_short_scales says " After several decades of increasing informal British usage of the short scale, in 1974 the government of the UK adopted it"

1974 -is- decades ago.
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Keith Cobby on 17/06/2016(UTC)
huudi
Posted: 18 June 2016 09:01:36(UTC)
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Clive B;34178 wrote:
"decades"? No ...huudi

https://en.wikipedia.org...i/Long_and_short_scales says " After several decades of increasing informal British usage of the short scale, in 1974 the government of the UK adopted it"
1974 -is- decades ago.


Wikepedia continues with "Since the 1950s the short scale has been increasingly used in technical writing and journalism, although the long scale definition still enjoys common usage."

"still enjoys common usage". I doubt the questioner was born before 1974.
john_r
Posted: 18 June 2016 13:54:10(UTC)
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Contrary to Huudi opinion I thought Gove performed remarkably well in the debate.
No fear tactics, no lies, no put downs just straightforward simple answers to all sensible questions. The definition of a billion had no substance in the argument put forward and the particular questioner was just too excitable for her own good.
Clive B
Posted: 18 June 2016 15:06:22(UTC)
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Anybody who thinks £1bn is £1,000,000,000,000 must have a lot of trouble with budgets. E.g. NHS budget in excess of £100bn. Using the alleged 'common usage' form of a billion and around 60m people in the UK would mean we're contributing in excess of £1.5m each !
Tony, Wallsend
Posted: 18 June 2016 16:59:36(UTC)
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When a Billion is considered to be 1,000.000,000,000
1,000,000,000 is considered to be a Milliard.
The above was more commonly used in Continental Europe.


huudi
Posted: 19 June 2016 19:02:40(UTC)
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I agree mr Gove put the case well but any awkward questions are always fielded by mr Dimbleby , nothing unexpected allowed. I shall vote Brexit although I travel in my old age and staying in should benefit myself, the fact is the EU is on a downhill slide and if we stay then we go with them. If we are out then we can hope to at least slow the decay.
Jon Snow
Posted: 20 June 2016 22:26:59(UTC)
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It doesn't matter, because it's "other people's money" google that with "Milton Friedman" and have a watch on YouTube - timeless advice on how money is perceived and used by others.
robert munro
Posted: 12 July 2016 06:23:47(UTC)
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Who is Mr Gove?
Alan Selwood
Posted: 12 July 2016 08:32:43(UTC)
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Mr Gove? Shouldn't that be Mr Gone?
huudi
Posted: 13 July 2016 06:34:37(UTC)
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The answer has dawned on me, all too obvious. In an inflationary world one should expect monetary definitions to be reclassified as larger amounts not less, so why the reverse policy?

Among the many bribes offered to gain support for EU entry in 1973 was a promise to make wealthy supporters 'Billionaires' overnight. Having gained the support our leaders were at a loss as to how to keep the promise until this solution was suggested. We would simply alter the definition of 'Billion', this number which had been in our monetary system for ages would be lowered by 1000 times.

The result, overnight 'Billionaires'! and a rare example of a government promise kept and an example of how promises might be kept in future. Problem solved.
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