Author Topic: The 2015 General Election  (Read 5188 times)

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Offline Turner

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2015, 18:40 »
What a terrible result, I feel a bit sick to be honest. I feel bad not so much because Tories got in and 'I don't like Tories!!' but because they got in despite such obvious wealth disparity in society. I don't know how people can really look at what's going on at street level and actively want another 5 more years of it. I'm not saying there's a specific party they should have voted for instead, but just...not Conservative.

Honestly I do not know a single person that voted Conservative and that's out of a very broad age-range. All the right wing grey voters I know hate Tories and are all about UKIP. Who is even the demographic? And if they're the rich 1%..why are there so many of them?

I feel like we don't have a viable left wing in the UK anymore. I knew Lib Dems would fall but I didn't realize by how much. I thought people would have the sense to know that the presence of the party as a whole is more important than trying to blight the current leader because he didn't follow up.

Well, it's 5 more years of bedroom tax, homelessness and food banks from here on I guess. I can only hope I keep taking enough money home at the end of the day to avoid it.

Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2015, 19:44 »
Honestly I do not know a single person that voted Conservative and that's out of a very broad age-range. All the right wing grey voters I know hate Tories and are all about UKIP. Who is even the demographic? And if they're the rich 1%..why are there so many of them?

Tbf Tories have lots of policies that help the lower paid people, just not the unemployed. Like if you take 1997-2010 under Labour, tax free bit of income tax rose by about £2000, under the 5 years of coalition it rose almost £4000, giving people more of a right to their income. Then there's the whole 30 hours or less on minimum wage and you pay no income tax, and there are a lot of Euroskeptics who can't bring themselves to vote UKIP, so they go for the Tory referendum. Then there's the general annoyance towards falsely claimed benefits that make people want to see welfare cut. NHS is getting a further £8 billion on it's budget on top of inflation by 2020 as well.

Not saying they won't hurt vulnerable people, they likely will, but there's a lot of reasons people voted for them and I'm just really glad we didn't get Labour majority or Labour / SNP informal coalition (both would end up the same, SNP couldn't have afforded to vote against a labour minority government, Scotland would hate them if they brought labour down and let the Tories in), it's horribly unfair that anyone should be paying 50% of their income in tax, socialists don't seem to realise the fundamental flaw in that when all the rich people leave they have no one else's money to steal.
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Offline Shaymin

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2015, 20:04 »
I voted Conservative [shrugs]

In all honestly I had no idea who I was gonna vote for until I actually voted - abt a week before because I do postal votes. I'd looked at all the policies (because seriously if you just vote bc you like someone you're doing it wrong bro) and the Conservative policies were the ones I agreed most with.

So, subsequently I've had people yell at me because I obviously must hate minorities, immigrants and disabled people (despite myself being the latter lmao). I'm actually bloody well pleased we have a majority government (even if it isn't by much) and I'm not surprised by the outcome.

People have been arguing with me that we're supposedly still suffering because of 'Thatcherism' - a laughable accusation if there ever was one. People have been spoonfed bullcrap about the Tory party by their parents which is why a lot of people my age are 'mad'.

But hey, at least it ain't UKIP.




Offline Turner

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 21:10 »
Tbf Tories have lots of policies that help the lower paid people, just not the unemployed. Like if you take 1997-2010 under Labour, tax free bit of income tax rose by about £2000, under the 5 years of coalition it rose almost £4000, giving people more of a right to their income. Then there's the whole 30 hours or less on minimum wage and you pay no income tax, and there are a lot of Euroskeptics who can't bring themselves to vote UKIP, so they go for the Tory referendum. Then there's the general annoyance towards falsely claimed benefits that make people want to see welfare cut. NHS is getting a further £8 billion on it's budget on top of inflation by 2020 as well.

Not saying they won't hurt vulnerable people, they likely will, but there's a lot of reasons people voted for them and I'm just really glad we didn't get Labour majority or Labour / SNP informal coalition (both would end up the same, SNP couldn't have afforded to vote against a labour minority government, Scotland would hate them if they brought labour down and let the Tories in), it's horribly unfair that anyone should be paying 50% of their income in tax, socialists don't seem to realise the fundamental flaw in that when all the rich people leave they have no one else's money to steal.

The thing is that there are more implications to being 'lower paid' than just what you earn. The first simple fact is that it doesn't pay to work full-stop if you're on minimum wage. If you go from being unemployed to employed on minimum wage, you don't just lose your unemployment benefits - you lose housing benefit, council tax benefits, you start having to pay national insurance contributions and so on. Then you have to then take into account the fact that you're also having to pay for travel to get to your job (Because the cheapest housing isn't in the centre of town) and walking quickly stops becoming a viable option. Not to mention a lot of NHS treatment like dental checkups stop being free once you're full-time employed too. 

Also remember that you stop being legible for JSA when you're working more than 16 hours a week, so you can do the maths there when you take into account that housing benefit doesn't pay ALL your rent and the same applies to council tax etc. That leaves you (if you're lucky) with about £10-20 to spend on Gas, Electricity, Water and Food for the week.

And of course there are so many smaller costs that get wrapped up in this. If you can't walk to the local job centre (Which most people can't) You're paying travel. JSA does reimburse this, but only if you can front the cash first. If you're working 16 hours or less, you're still signing on so now you're now paying for travel in two different directions and one of those isn't being reimbursed.

And to add to that; zero hours contracts can't guarantee any fixed wage, so if you're starting on minimum wage for a 20 hour week, you can't claim benefits, but if the next week they decide you're only doing 12 hours per week minimum wage, you're going to have to go back and file a rapid reclaim with the JSA in order to have enough money to pay the bills. Then what you'll find is that because you're now back on JSA, the rapid reclaim takes a while to go through and you still owe full rent, so you've got to go back down to the housing office to claim housing benefit, which doesn't pay until the next month, so you're now in debt with your local housing office because you've gone in the red. This happens 3 times and you get automatically put into the non-paying tenants list and the bailiffs and court orders start showing up.

Now imagine this: A single parent in a 3 bed house, gets child benefits and housing benefit - The exact moment one of her kids turns 16, she loses child benefit but is still housing that child and providing for them. Then the other one turns 16 - more child benefit lost. Then they move out - she's a single person already on the breadline in a 3 bedroom house, she's now got to pay bedroom tax on the two bedrooms, move out or face eviction. Moving house takes time and money, she'll need to find someone with a 1 bedroom house/flat willing to exchange into a 3 bedroom house, all while she's hunting for this, bedroom tax needs to be paid. Then comes the cost of actually moving house, factoring in the new amount of money it'll cost her to get to work/the job centre etc. etc. etc.

It's easy to look at these wage packet sums of money and go on about how great this party is over another party but the reality is completely different. People don't realize how much it costs to be poor and how much of a trap it is. There's just no way you can vote for Conservative and say you don't have anything against the poor, it'd be like saying you hate animal cruelty whilst kicking a dog. If you've actually looked at the policies then you can't slice it any other way, because these very policies are completely stacked against minorities, the poor and the disabled.

Offline Inferna

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2015, 21:16 »
I voted snp in the end.
Was considering labour but after seeing the results of my area snp had a huge majority. I'm pretty sure Glasgow East had a swing of 99%! Was actually surprised how badly labour did in Scotland, I didn't honestly think the snp would gain that much tbh. lib dems crashed and burned as expected, my area was lib dem since the 80s and yeah. A lot of people here think they 'sold out' after the coalition.
I'm pretty sad the Tories are in again but I think they might start paying attention to Scotland and not just shrugging the referendum off.

Offline SaRo|Rapidash

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2015, 21:31 »
@Turner (too long to quote)

All very true regarding being better off not working than working on minimum wage, but New Labour made this problem. During thatchers reign, no one wanted to be unemployed, and that's the way it should be, now you get people who want to stay unemployed and you can't really blame them when they get more than they would for working - it's common sense to do less work for more money. Labours solution seems to be raise minimum wage, but this will choke business, raising unemployment, or lead to artificial inflation of products, rendering the whole process useless as wages still buy the same. Ideally they'd just say housing benefit stays until you earn over so much, but this isn't going to happen in the current climate.

Bedroom tax needs revision, yeah, but it's a sensible policy. This government seeks to create 200,000 new homes, hopefully alleviating some of the strain on bedroom tax. Still think it needs a clause that says where there is no alternative but to live in a greater bedroom-ed house they don't suffer the loss of housing benefit. Fully agree with the policy at it's heart though, just needs better implementation.

Left wing slating of the Tories is completely overboard, they support those who work first and then with what's left will prop up those who can't/won't, and that's the way it should be.
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Offline Turner

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2015, 23:45 »
All very true regarding being better off not working than working on minimum wage, but New Labour made this problem.

It doesn't matter who made the problem if the next party is going to support it all the same. You're talking about people's lives here.

During thatchers reign, no one wanted to be unemployed, and that's the way it should be, now you get people who want to stay unemployed and you can't really blame them when they get more than they would for working - it's common sense to do less work for more money. Labours solution seems to be raise minimum wage, but this will choke business, raising unemployment, or lead to artificial inflation of products, rendering the whole process useless as wages still buy the same. Ideally they'd just say housing benefit stays until you earn over so much, but this isn't going to happen in the current climate.

Actually things during Thatcher's reign weren't much different. People only wanted to work in as much as they wanted money (no different from today) and there were just as many 'dole scroungers' then as there are now (A tiny, tiny minority of people on benefits), the difference is that it was much easier to cheat the benefit systems back in the 80s because a lot of people were still paid cash in hand. I think you've got some kind of nostalgic idea of the 80s being all yuppies and Thatcher's children when that was in fact a small minority of people from already favourable backgrounds in the centre of London. The rest of the country had it very very badly, the job centres had to close down and we ended up with cities full of people living in cardboard boxes. Ever heard of 'cardboard city'?

It's not a case of deciding to do less work for more money, it's the fact that if you do work you literally cannot survive on the money you are left with. The only solution to this IS to raise the minimum wage. Housing benefit does not cover your whole rent, it's completely dependent on councils and housing associations as to how much is covered. Then you still have all the other things to think about, like council tax. The only way to solve it is to make work actually pay - not by reducing benefits so much that you're homeless whether you work or not but by raising the money you get for working so that people can actually survive.


Bedroom tax needs revision, yeah, but it's a sensible policy. This government seeks to create 200,000 new homes, hopefully alleviating some of the strain on bedroom tax. Still think it needs a clause that says where there is no alternative but to live in a greater bedroom-ed house they don't suffer the loss of housing benefit. Fully agree with the policy at it's heart though, just needs better implementation.

First of all, the 200,000 new homes are for first-time buyers so they make absolutely no difference to people in social housing who are affected by bedroom tax. Secondly, bedroom tax doesn't work at all in reality. Think about social housing - let's say you have a council estate located outside of the town/city with streets lined with 2-3 bedroom properties. When kids move out, the parent will be forced to move to a 1 bedroom flat. Where do you find the most 1 bedroom flats? In the city. So think about it, who on earth living in a 1 bedroom flat in the city is going to move to a 3 bedroom house in a council estate? How is either person going to afford this? Why would you move away from the amenities, far away from where you work to live in a 3 bedroom house that you'll also have to pay bedroom tax on? And if you look at it the other way around, if you've grown up and lived in a council estate where your family and support network are, why are you going to move into a flat in the centre of town where you probably can't afford the rent anyway?

Even if you are lucky enough to find a perfect match (Good luck, because your prospective exchangee in the 1 bedroom flat also has to compete with new families moving into social housing), you're not going to find it immediately and that will cost you hugely. It may sound good but it doesn't work in practice at all.

they support those who work first and then with what's left will prop up those who can't/won't, and that's the way it should be.

How are they propping them up when they're directly taking more benefits away from them? Bullying people into working for nothing or less with threats of making them homeless if they don't comply? JSA workers are in a position where they are forced to meet a sanction quota each week; meaning they have to kick a certain number of people off JSA to keep their job. You can be completely innocent and get sanctioned for making a small mistake on your job diary, not having the money for travel to look for jobs, filling out the wrong forms...these have all happened. Once you are sanctioned, you cannot claim JSA for 4 weeks. So that's 4 weeks of the only money coming in gone. 4 weeks of surviving on nothing, no money. If you get Sanctioned a second time, 13 weeks with no money. A third time? 52 weeks. A whole year.

Sorry, but there is absolutely no defense for any of this. This isn't about one party or another, I would be saying the same thing were it Labour or Lib Dems doing the same thing. This is the culture that is born out of a party that thinks the best way to save an economic debt in the trillions is to scrape pocket money from poor people. Calling it a 'sensible policy' is ludicrous.

Offline Milsap

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2015, 16:07 »
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During thatchers reign, no one wanted to be unemployed, and that's the way it should be, now you get people who want to stay unemployed and you can't really blame them when they get more than they would for working -

People stay unemployed because it's quicker and easier to claim JSA than it is to get up out of bed and actually earn it. Too many young people want money and status but they're too bone idle to walk across the road to go and get it as if the world owes them a living and that a job will magically appear for them the second they leave school. I was lucky- Couldn't get a teaching job anywhere (where I met a lot of these younger people that can't be bothered) but I left uni on the Tuesday and was at a different job (working for my father in law) on the Friday. He's the sort of person (and I am too) that will give people a chance if they're prepared to work for it. There's no work ethic anymore.

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Honestly I do not know a single person that voted Conservative and that's out of a very broad age-range. All the right wing grey voters I know hate Tories and are all about UKIP. Who is even the demographic? And if they're the rich 1%..why are there so many of them?

I felt the same way- It's like the band U2. They're incredibly popular but I don't know ANYBODY that actually likes them. But then again, I'm guessing that a lot of people were swayed into voting that way by the media's assassination of Ed Miliband's character who, despite his stumbles, actually had the 'normal person' at heart. Considering he went to State Comprehensive and worked his way into Oxford.

The whole thing smells like the 1992 election where the Tories were not expected to do well (due to the Thatcher years) yet Major still won a majority (no pun intended). Tristram Hunt and Andy Burnham are my two picks for the next leader as Ed Balls lost his seat. Although Dan Jarvis, an ex soldier, could be used as a tool to drum up support as people in this country tend like soldiers a lot.

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Thatcher's children when that was in fact a small minority of people from already favourable backgrounds in the centre of London. The rest of the country had it very very badly,

Thatcher screwed everybody north of Watford Gap Services. Hence the reason a lot of the northern cities and Scotland (until now) vote Labour.
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Offline Turner

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2015, 19:13 »
People stay unemployed because it's quicker and easier to claim JSA than it is to get up out of bed and actually earn it. Too many young people want money and status but they're too bone idle to walk across the road to go and get it as if the world owes them a living and that a job will magically appear for them the second they leave school. I was lucky- Couldn't get a teaching job anywhere (where I met a lot of these younger people that can't be bothered) but I left uni on the Tuesday and was at a different job (working for my father in law) on the Friday. He's the sort of person (and I am too) that will give people a chance if they're prepared to work for it. There's no work ethic anymore.

Sorry but this is pure rhetoric with no basis in reality. Yes there are a select few who prefer to claim JSA than work, but it's far, far rarer than you would believe. If you need any convincing, go and look up how much JSA actually is, deduct rent, council tax, energy bills and food from that and you end up with a very very small amount; barely enough to afford a pay as you go mobile phone with enough credit to make calls to employers about jobs (You get sanctioned and lose your money if you can't do this). The idea of everyone bumming around on JSA because life is easier is a load of rubbish, it isn't even close to comfortable. You'd have to be disabled with 6 kids under a private landlord to be as comfy as the media makes out.

People want jobs and they want to work, the problem is that the government does not make it easy for them. It's impossible to work when work doesn't pay a liveable amount of money. In a lot of cases, the jobs just don't exist in the first place. I went for a 26-person interview at Iceland, the job had one position open.

If the government wants to cut money on benefits then they need to do it by cutting the money on infrastructure. Billions have been spent on outsourcing companies like G4S to provide 2 year 'Work programs' which are exactly the same as the Job Centre but with more frequent appointment times, only they're in a different building with different employees who get paid £2000 for every person they shove into a job and £6000 for every person who stays in said job for more than 6 months.

So what do they do? Of course, they try and push you into as many jobs that they know you can't keep in order to keep getting their payout. You wouldn't believe how many interviews have gone like this:

"So what experience do you have as a Senior Financial Advisor/Head Chef/Project Manager/Estate Agent"
"Well, I don't actually have any"
"Then why are you here"
"It's mandatory, the Job Centre would stop my money if I didn't go"
"Not another one.."

I even had my designated job advisor suggest that I lie and feign experience if I had none, which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

There are easily 20 or more of these offices in every city all over the country, with the employees frequently cashing their 2K...and all this money is coming out of the taxpayer. This is where your billions of pounds on benefits go. Not on some media strawman image of a dole scrounger with a 50inch plasma TV smoking a cigar. 

Thatcher screwed everybody north of Watford Gap Services. Hence the reason a lot of the northern cities and Scotland (until now) vote Labour.

It wasn't too great for people in the South outside of London either. Cardboard city was in London after all, everywhere else just had streets littered with homeless families and young people as the Job Centres closed. The North definitely did get hit harder though, it's just once again more rhetoric that the South was all shoulder pads and filofaxes.

Offline Pam-the-Lamb

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2015, 23:02 »
 My friend voted for the Tories and he's been bragging about privatising the NHS so the poor-folk can't use it  ^.^

 Gonna bust his knees.

Offline Clairefable

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2015, 10:16 »
I was lucky- Couldn't get a teaching job anywhere (where I met a lot of these younger people that can't be bothered) but I left uni on the Tuesday and was at a different job (working for my father in law) on the Friday.

And this had absolutely nothing to do with the fact he's your father-in-law.

Offline Milsap

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2015, 11:28 »
Working for him was plan Z, after exhausting every other job track: Teaching, police, live sound work etc. I only ended up with him because there was nothing else. Started out as something to do to earn some rent money, but after I couldn't find anything it became a full time job that's blossomed into a career. Would rather be teaching or doing something in music because I've invested years and a lot of money into it, but I would rather be contract hiring vans and Range Rovers than sitting around doing nothing.

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I even had my designated job advisor suggest that I lie and feign experience if I had none, which I'm pretty sure is illegal.

I never understood the Job Centre. Every week I put down the same three things on my job hunting card: Music jobs.com, Lincolnshire Police and searching for bands to join. I had questions asked to prove I had actually looked instead of just writing it down. Whereas other people never showed up to sign on and never proved it and STILL got their benefits. Plus if you lie and get the job and get sacked for lying, you're going to end up at square one again and get questioned as to why you got laid off. Because you told me to blag my way into it you muppet!
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Offline Kerou 犠牲

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2015, 19:53 »
Constantly going to the Job Centre is so annoying, they constantly look down at you as if you're not good enough and tell you you're not looking for jobs properly.

The face on the one woman when I got a job before they could force me on a placement was so satisfying.

Shame my job sucks and I'm still not really going anywhere in life but hey ho

Offline Turner

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2015, 02:00 »
Constantly going to the Job Centre is so annoying, they constantly look down at you as if you're not good enough and tell you you're not looking for jobs properly.

The face on the one woman when I got a job before they could force me on a placement was so satisfying.

Shame my job sucks and I'm still not really going anywhere in life but hey ho

Some of my Job Centre/Work Program stories are pretty bizarre/ridiculous. I was on the work program for 2 years before they noticed I dyed my hair (Black) and the moment they found out they told me that they'd sanction me if I didn't go back to my natural colour because apparently it could stop some employers from employing me. Thankfully that was just before I managed to get a job finally.

My only sanction lost me money for 4 weeks, I completely forgot about my appointment and decided I'd just be honest and tell them this when I said I'd missed my appointment. The woman laughed and said "See, if you lied and said you were at the Doctor's or something, I'd be able to let you off!".

A friend of mine I've known practically all my life was on the exact same work program as me with the same advisor, she wrote on his action plan "BUY CLEARASIL!!" because he had some acne and she said it was stopping people from employing him. She even questioned this when he came back the next week and pointed out where his spots were in an office with other people.

When I was at the Job Center I saw a homeless-looking guy lose his temper at one of the job advisors and throw an onion bhaji at him, he got carried out by the police. One time the entire upstairs was cornered off because someone tried to suicide overdose in the toilets. Another time some guy cut in front of me at the line for the job diary sheet and said "I NEED A JOB DIARY RIGHT NOW, I'VE GOT HALF A TOILET ROLL HANGING OUT OF MY ARSE"...definitely not what anyone was expecting.

The actual Job Centre workers are pot luck, sometimes I'd get one who doesn't even read my job diary and would literally just do a few clicks on the computer and that would be it. Wouldn't ask me any questions or anything about my progress. Others would just be purposely difficult and try and trip me up constantly: "Have you looked at <website>? it might be really useful to you" "No I haven't, that sounds ideal though, thanks!" "So you're saying you HAVEN'T looked for jobs then? So this diary is a lie then basically?". It was like the weirdest good-cop bad-cop routine ever.

The amount of CV writing courses I went on in this time too. 6 week courses from 8am-4pm of just pure cover letters and interview prep, there was so much bad advice given out as well. These are the 'training courses' that the government brags about when they talk about employment figures, they're a massive waste of money. I spent 2 weeks on one of them doing key skills english and maths tests so I could do the rest of the 4 weeks of the course, which was just a CV and cover letter course. There was so much red-tape to do something you could learn in a day that they spread out over 6 weeks, it's absolutely unbelievable.

Offline Milsap

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Re: The 2015 General Election
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2015, 11:25 »
Have you been to the seminar where they tell you how to look for jobs? Basically them telling you how to do what you're already doing?

Annoying as hell.
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