Oct 27

You can see why Heathrow needs a 3rd runway when as you head out of a morning before 6am you can the planes stacked in the sky burning carbon.

You can see why Heathrow needs a 3rd runway when you fly in and circle London for 30 mins.

You can see why Heathrow needs a 3rd runway when you queue to take off.

You can see why Heathrow needs British Airways’ monopoly curtailed when you finally get on stand after circling for 30 mins and your door does not open for 15 minutes.

You can see why Heathrow needs less arbitrary rules like not being allowed to land before 6am to circle burning fuel.

You can see why Heathrow encourages the CBI and business to demand improvement and a 3rd runway.

You can see why Heathrow inspired one of the Pope’s circle to call London a 3rd world country*.

Of course a 3rd runway does not have to mean more take off and landing slots and without as mentioned above is a Green idea.

Of course a 3rd runway would mean more slots as Govt is gutless and it would have no economic driver without more slots bar delay reduction.

* Albeit his obfuscation he was referring to the cultural diversity showed the Vatican’s distinction from reality where by you cover up a defensible opinion with an indefensible racist outburst.

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Jul 06

It’s tempting to refer to Osbornism as Thatcherism revisited. Indeed so divisive is someone who won popularity and hated contests at the same time that both sides claim this as a positive for their position. The sad truth is that Thatcherism was 12 years of total incompetence. If re-structuring was achieved it was caused by North Sea Oil and latterly the lower pound, EU membership and the resultant inwards investment not to mention a world growth spurt.

Did selling off BA, BP and BT etc make them world class companies? No but commercial pressures certainly made them leaner and in BP’s case meaner and lower down. Still at least with the Gulf of Mexico fresh in our memories no could associate the now mostly US company with US corporate ethics with being British? No one would be that stupid and ill informed? Advertisers made a lot of money out of BT and BA certainly. In the end privatising has saved future generations from pensions and redundancy and forced difficult decisions on workers. You can quibble at the price the Govt got and whether the individual share owning boom it encouraged has done more for con-men than people’s wealth but really at worst it is no harm no foul.

Council Housing sell off. Selling off council housing is a disaster. It has created debt and a lending bubble. One of the real dangers of a house price crash is that the British have built huge personal debts  on assets in a bubble. That house prices are only sustained on for many near zero interest rates should be a warning to the current Govt about cutting too hard too soon. Many of the houses have been sold to people without the wealth to maintain them as well. Whilst some can take a paper profit and leave renovation to someone else many got left with negative equity and a crumbling house. Much of the reasoning against immigration when it is spelt out by barrack room boors like Warren Mitchell’s alter ego Ed Balls is around the lack of housing which has become a cover for an overall lack of housing – immigrants tend to have a very small foot print living in areas and with personal space few of us indigenous folk will do. Councils were forbidden to use the money to rebuild new council houses and created the housing shortage and asset bubble we have now. When Liverpool council alone defied this lunacy they were stripped of office. Far from liberating people it has led to debt and a plowing of whatever wealth people accrue into an asset bubble. Arguably it has contributed to problems in education and child delinquency as more and more couples both work to pay for even a small house.

Falklands. You can take it or leave but a competent Govt would have seen the Argies coming and scared them off. After all one sub sunk their battleship and could have taken out half their fleet. We are still involved in a turf war over resources and now have a stack of dogma and no go areas to prevent a sensible resolution. Certainly we can thank someone their bombs did not go off or the loss of life would have been more. One could argue relative to Iraq and Afghanistan this was a credible operation well run at minimal cost of lives and equipment. Indeed the conversion to Foundation Trust status by 1 health authority killed more Britains so by New Labour standards a roaring success.

The Economy. I’ll accept the economic landscape changed and had to change. Since we were not going to become a Socialist society a sort of Soviet plus state was unsustainable. However the economics of the 1980s were cretinous. What coherent policy has the £ go between $1.06 and $2.47 in the space of a few years? If Britain was able to survive it was because we had oil to sell. We were self sufficient in energy. We grew our own food. However it did not create the dynamic export industries that Osborne thinks will happen now.

To cope with the unemployment that her Govt created they decided to buy off some sections of the poor by putting them on incapacity benefit. Now Osborne and the Thatcher loving media try to present those people as spongers and shirkers. Again a short term answer of such staggering stupidity that New Labour must be gutted it was not their idea.

The Lawson Boom, The Poll Tax, Tracking the German Mark and other manifestly insane and poorly thought out policies I’ll leave you to think about.

Thatcher’s biggest successes dependent on your point of view were

  • Union Legislation achieved by branding the working classes of Britain as an enemy to be squashed and allowing us to be openly beaten up by Police – the legacy is a distaste of the Police that goes beyond just the working classes.
  • The most unequivocal success and one the Tory Party will not mention is the creation of the single European Market and the negotiation of the UK’s rebate. Things that Thatcher’s rhetoric imply she respectively opposed and won. The rebate the British failed to bite the arm off of what was actually on offer with Thatcher using harsh rhetoric to angrily demand what was already on offer!  On the Single European market she gave away 90% of what Right Tories complain about. In addition for all their anti Euro nonsense she tied us to the German Mark! Which resulted in Black Wednesday and the genuine event Tories can trumpet the stewardship of the Clarke Major Govt, truly the only competent one of my lifetime.

The point is not about Thatcherism but that Osborne must know that what Thatcher did has not made Britain dynamic. If anything we are in a worse position than then with Oil no longer significant, importing food, importing energy with massive personal debt. You can trace every thing except the Public Sector deficit to Thatcher and that is only because of the Clarke Major years. If people want to celebrate that as a success or repeat it than they are in denial.

In conclusion one hopes that George Osborne is serious about his economics and not a Thatcherite. She must be the most over rated Premier of my life time. The damage she did took from 1992 to 1999ish to sort out only for Brown Blair to squander that legacy in hubris and put us in a worse position with Public debt and the scars of Thatcherism still with us.

Make no mistake as backward and rigid as the UK economy 1980 was it had slack and scope all of which has been used up by the Thatcher and Blair/Brown Govts to no good end.

The Thatcherism party is over and the problems are still here to greater degrees.

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May 30

Apparently the subsidy to the upper middle classes whereby they pay 18% on their 2nd homes and capital gains rather than the 40 and 50% on income is causing Tories to shudder.

We’ll see a lot of obfuscation and nonsense from everyone on the cuts and tax rises. The fact is that we have spent more than we have earned for most/all of my lifetime and there is a reckoning. The UK economy has major distortions such as this effective subsidy to 2nd homes, the tax subsidy on pensions and the effects of the casino that is Investment Banking.

This has left us with high housing prices, a lack of mobility for workers, an over valued currency and a manufacturing base that almost qualifies as an oxy moron. This combined with ludicrous amounts of public spending which has done nothing but create vested interests and a financial nightmare.

The fact is that spending can be eroded but Osborne and Alexander will have to admit in the end the only solutions are greater taxes. That scenarios like deflation may not be so much as undesirable as unavoidable.

The problem will be that as Ed Balls in a belief defying statement of his own stupidity claimed yesterday if we get a 2nd downturn, arguably inevitable, it will be because of the 6 Bn of cuts most of which are merely expenditure that will not happen. No doubt in a display of jaw dropping hypocrisy and denial of their ruinous stupidity New Labour will fight cuts. Sadly even a half competent Chancellor and advisors been in power between 2002 and 2007 Britain  could have been relatively secure with our low level of pensions, terms and conditions and low yield on bonds.

Further some will cite the expenses of Laws, small numbers of people making a mint, Civil List and various other tabloid headlines that looked at a macro level are irrelevant and too trivial to be called trivial.

Personally we will need a greater realignment and it’s not going to be pleasant as costs of care, commodities, food, power and many other things rise. Certainly resistance to what are arguably minimal measures now does not bode well. The Greeks, Spanish and Italians may be joined by UK protestors but unless you want to challenge capitalism itself the Conservatives and Liberal democrats would be doing the country a disservice not to slay 100s of theirs and others sacred cows like Death Taxes, CGT, VAT rates, avoiding deflation, regional funding etc It’s time for people to think not be angry and defensive.

I bet in his quiet moments the Cameron is grateful not to have 364 conservative MPs but 307 with 57 Liberal Democrats.

As the  Cabin Crew strike’s unpopularity shows people can quite happily demand cuts in terms and conditions for others but not themselves.

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May 21

Ah after having his dreams of destroying other lives put temporarily on hold BA’s diplomat in chief wee Willie Walsh now wants to the unions chiefs to do what his mates Brown and Adonis failed to do and force the workers to call off the strike.

Really the only thing left on the table is Walsh’s desire to punish the workers. Which from a company whose business practices have cost it the thick end of a Billion and who is about to post a £531 Mn loss might seem petty self aggrandising, if it can be called that in anything other than the depraved circles of chief execs. Indeed it would appear that Walsh is a micro manager who is missing the big picture here.

Sadly he’s won. He has the concessions he wanted. It is only his insistence of putting his foot on the throat long after the opponent has tapped out that is prolonging this. Even Mad Melanie Phillips called him a bully boy. After all cabin Crew are Daily Mail readers not some 70s stereotype referring to everyone as bruv and sister. BASSA once broke away from the TU movement and especially the TGWU only sadly to find itself back in the union of Bill ‘Sell-out’ Morris and Mr Harriet Harman.

Walsh really is suffering from enemy recognition problems here. The real enemy is the fools who want to tie up with American an airline that will make a profit the day Walsh recognises the rights of workers. Or buy into Iberia.

Quite what flaw Mr Walsh may have that makes him want to beat an opponent and then defaecate on them is beyond me. One former Chief Exec of the airline used to consult his psychiatrist to  try to beat the unions. It’s a company with a history of unstable and unsavoury leaders since the tedious Marshall.

Saddest part of all Union members recognise the problems of BA and are willing to compromise. It seems that having a Pyhrric victory for the city is the main aim of the board.

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Mar 30

Up the road from me is the Unite union Cabin Crew strike headquarters. Outside there are Unite banners and one can see picket lines at major roundabouts around the airport – honk if you pass by the way. However one thing that does look out of place is the Socialist Worker stall in front of strike headquarters.

I inadvertently attended for various reasons the initial rally on the first morning and the grounds were filled out with out of place newspaper sellers. No one was buying but their banners were on TV and alongside those of the strikers. I’d be interested what they thought they were adding by being there? Whether they thought their support was wanted or could ever be helpful?

I know many members of the Socialist/Militant party who have helped groups like the Liverpool Dockers taking them into other workplaces and raising money for them. Also it’s understandable that if you are preaching the evils of Global Capital to try to recruit people brought face to face with that reality. Nonetheless I do not see any purpose sending in people with banners and posters to sell newspapers to other people’s industrial fights. It does not help the dispute and can hinder in a small sense.

The Left really needs to think about how it gets some finger hold on the national politics. However its current methods are almost parasitic and seem to serve no positive purpose. Merely giving apologists the ability to smear all those they claim to support.

Indeed it’s unclear to me if the displays of banners and newspaper selling is more of a test of the commitment of young party members than anything else.  Pretty corporate in a way frankly!

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Mar 21

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the BA Cabin Crew strike and frankly the enthusiasm of the British public to see British jobs downgraded to the level of the 2nd world shows an ignorance of the way national wages are headed. Seriously we come across as an increasingly bitter entitled nation unable to see that what happens to others will happen to us. Always wanting to see others take their medicine with some one liner logic that ignores they are people.

The Cabin Crew face is a serious down grading of their future earnings not 10% or something trivial. As for British Airways is not going bust as it said it has loads of money to fight this strike. Indeed it’s so over staffed that it can send managers on Cabin Crew training!

Regardless of any individual’s position whether you think they should be paid minimum or maximum wages the real loser here is the Trade Union movement. It pays for New Labour and has to listen to Gordon Brown and the buffoon Lord Adonis endorse union busting bullies!

Unite is supporting both sides and will continue to do so as long as it pays for its leaders to ponce at Number 10 and be patronised occasionally. Much as we pretend to be a major power able to choose its own wars by having a nuclear deterrent at a cost of Billions and Billions more to upgrade it merely so our leaders get  invited to meetings with the real powers! It’s pathetic.

Unite and the GMB’s continued support for the Labour party is moronic. Any union member with half a brain should desist from paying the political levy now – to do other wise brings in the other definition of a member.

Lower wages are coming to most of us, either directly or by currency dropping, and Labour says we have to accept it. Bend over and take it. Our houses will  lose real value when interest rates go up downgrading our wealth as well. Frankly I’d opine we won’t be flying quite so much in the future!

Then my questions to Brown are who will pay for health care for the elderly? New Train lines? More Housing? PFI payments to the city?  The tax credits to subsidise low wage payers? His increases in wasteful and largely pointless self aggrandising aid supposedly to benefit the 3rd world? If us workers earn less and pay less taxes?

The logic of globalisation is one way and it does not involve having an inflated middle class in Western countries.

The bosses and the rich don’t pay taxes as Leona Helmsley said they are for little people, sadly for Leona she was ahead of her time and they had to make a token effort then.

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Mar 19

It’s hard to believe with 90% of the ground conceded and nothing much to be gained that the BA Cabin Crew strike is going ahead. The reason is it seems that certain executives are all in and want some pyrrhic victory to sell to the gullible clowns in the City. That they took on BA’s union and won!

You might ask why executives would act in such a damaging way? Moral hazard. I have worked for companies who racked up vast costs on contractors to sell a story of cutting head count i.e. the geniuses who value companies and forecast only understand what numbers the companies explain to them.

After all in such a climate of dictatorial moronic management  it would be an act of idiocy for any other British Airways staff to work hard and load and unload bags on time. No matter how many planes they get out it could still be a disaster. It certainly is a boon to rival airlines who can profiteer whilst BAs management show how redundant they are by attempting to do other people’s jobs badly.

That Brown’s Govt would wade in on the side of such corporate bullies is of course no surprise given such violent ill tempered child bully himself as leader.

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Feb 22

80.7% of the 11,691 ballot papers issued were returned. Of those 78.7% (7,482) supported taking action with 1,789 voting against it.

The bosses friends in the High Court are apparently to spend the week working to find a way to ban this strike. Mr and Mrs Justice High Court are apparently shocked that upstart workers still do not know their place.

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Feb 06

One of the most bizarre example of British Corporate depravity is that British Airways apparently has a wall where staff can write messages of support damning the Cabin Crew.

BA’s ambition is to have flight attendants with Ryanair wages, lousy customer care combined with a complete lack of care about anything bar taking your money.

No mention of the fine for corrupt business practices I mentioned last blog of course.

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Feb 05

It really seems that the biggest British companies only method of staying in the game is to cheat. As an example here is the recent experience of 3 British companies, all corrupt and corrupting

  • This week BAE Systems just fined £280 million for bribery and corruption of the degenerates who run the kingdom of Saudia Arabia and others. Many will consider these fines minimal given that it took the personal intervention of discredited cyphers of international capital Goldsmith and Blair to prevent a criminal investigation in 2006.
  • British Airways (and Virgin) fined £270 million for price fixing. This fine is far more than kicking the Cabin Crew and workers will save in decades. Never mind the Civil Case.
  • BP guilty of obsessive and depraved cost cutting rather than real efficiency that led to their murder of 15 people in Texas. Given paltry fines of at least $87 Million. One hopes the lawsuit does some real damage

The British corporate culture is hierarchical and dominated by decrees handed down the management chain. Cost is not understood. Essentially any British firm of any size seems to want to grow by acquisition and to reduce costs by destroying what it was once good at.

The morality story of the week a footballer had sex with a woman.

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