Is James Gordon Brown the Captain of the Ship? You decide!

The News of the World has jumped off the fence and in a hard hitting editorial put its considerable clout behind David Cameron, agreeing that it really is time for change. Gordon BrOwn in his much hyped 5 pledges campaign has seemingly airbrushed or ignored the caranage inside Afghanistan from the election campaign. Brown refuses to release the daily injured and serious air ambulance evacuation figures fearing the high numbers of amputees mainly from IED's (home made bombs packed with nails, bolts. dog excrement -to speed open wound infection- would influence the vote.

Mr James Gordon Brown badly misreading an erratic 'autocue' today in Nottingham pledged that Unite trade Union funded Labour would:

Secure the economic recovery and halve the budget deficit through growth, fair taxes and cuts to lower priority spending.

Pipedream One: This overlooks the simple fact that the UK is $170 Billion in debt and essentially paying £3 for every £1 that Gordon Brown has recklessly with 'eyebrows' Darling borrowed in our name. 

Don't forget we have a couple of long-term wars to fund in US $ as Brown has awarded major contracts to US firms effectively ignoring our own home based defence industries, putting thousands of skilied jobs at risk.  So that ends any idea of halving the budget deficit. Fair taxes does not automatically mean lower taxes, indeed to tread water all taxes and clawbacks need to rise by 30 percent and fair? Who will decide this Mr Darling or Gordon Brown? He managed for years to maintain what he claimed was a fair and increasing defence budget.

Brown then lied the Chilcott Inquiry....cuts to lower priority spending may mean cuts to essential local services but still maintaining big glossy projects such as the Olympics, High speed railways no one can afford to use and if we do use them then the RMT Union will make certain that would not be for long!

Raise family living standards, by keeping mortgage rates low, increasing tax credits for families with young children, helping first-time buyers and restoring the link between the state pension and earnings from 2012

Pipedream Two: The City and the Money markets will always determine Interest rates, too low: investment and saving suffer; too high: no one can afford to borrow. Labour have had over a decade to get it right and have failed to do so. "No more boom and bust" Mr Brown promised! We believed him then but not now! 

Build a "high tech, high knowledge" economy, creating one million new skilled jobs and modernising infrastructure with high-speed rail, a green investment bank and broadband access for every citizen

Pipedream Three: What does this mean? High tech, High Knowledge? Mr Brown has yet to master simple e-mail! The very words High tech and high knowledge puts the skids under manufacturing industries where skilled artisans and craftsmen are required. High tech means that one skilled person will control millions of high tech processes ie less jobs for what was called the 'working class' and no incentive to work in skills like engineering and construction.

High speed rail? Means MP's will get free luxury travel from A to B in the first class carriages but the workers will still be standing in standard class and paying more for it! 

The so-called green investment bank, linked to the Post Office? We had one it was called GIROBANK sold off to Alliance and Leicester...some politicians will never learn. As for broadband access for everyone, that will be at a price so we can all download porn and online gambling faster !

Again Brown does not understand the Internet any more than Rupert Murdoch does when he decrees paywalls will be errected around his newspaper websites! Would you offer your bank account details for a £1 a day charge? No doubt the banks would happily charge £2 a pop on top to process it!

Protect frontline investment in policing, schools, childcare and the NHS, promising a new guarantee of cancer test results within a week

Strengthen fairness in communities through an Australian style points-based system to control immigration, through guaranteed education, apprenticeships and jobs for young people, and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

Pipedream Four: This is where the interm scriptwriter ran out of ideas ( you didn't really think Gordon wrote this stuff???) and started running all the remaining points together, a kind of elephant scattergun approach.

This idea of frontline investment, read frontline cost we cannot bury or hide. We are all lumbered with it. Police, schooling, childcare the NHS. All these 'frontline services' could have had all the funds they needed if Brown hadn't sold our gold reserves for worthless euros and then bailed out (£160 billion of bail-out borrowed money) the greedy, knowingly fraudulent banksters and funding MP's who still don't get it as the Channel Four Television Programme showed.

We still have a few MP's and Peers going through the legal process and who knows some may end up in jail...still room for a few more!

And the biggest Pipedream of all: Mr Brown said: "Each is substantial, it's deliverable and it's carefully costed. I know that in this time of cynicism and lack of trust in politics, there are some people who will say that politicians will promise the earth but never deliver, that a pledge isn't worth the paper it is written on. (refreshing honesty - the last part anyway)

"And I understand that, but these are not general pledges without dates, without tests, without scrutiny. These are our pledge to every single citizen, tied to timetables, regular reporting and proof of performance."

So he now finally admits that politicians are lying, money grabbing, house flipping, sorry individuals but there again we voted them in and only 30 per cent of the UK population actually bothered to vote! A sorry mess and this is just the tip of the iceberg.. come on now,get in line, the new cruise liner is just ready to cast off. We don't want to miss the maiden voyage. State-of-the-art, fully approved by the Board of Trade, a fine name: RMS Titanic indeed! What can possibly go wrong? Err waiter  Where can one get some ice around here? Good lord, John Prescott?  

Julian Bray

All Rights Reserved
Subject to creditline

God Save Us All & British Airways from Academia! The Duckhouse View

Unite!Join the turkeys voting for Christmas!

You really have to wonder when the British Airways arch rival Ryanair extends the welcome mat and makes several fully crewed aircraft immediately available to British Airways during the current ill thought out strike by BA Heathrow Cabin Crew.

If ever there was a case of grossly mutant mega sized Bernard Matthew production line turkeys (i've seen them - legs as thick as a human arm) voting for Christmas this is it. BA say they will still get some 70 percent of flights away but at an astronomical cost to the airline and damage to the industry in general.

Clearly Unite has overlooked the looming imposition of Air Passenger Duty due from November 2010 which means a family of four will in future face a mind blowing 325% increase in this loopy APD tax, over 2006 rates!  

You also have to seriously question why a gaggle of lecturers and assorted academics have collectively been wasting University funding and facilities whilst claiming to have specialist industrial relations knowledge to write a dire badly argued pool letter to the Guardian newspaper (and don't say no one else would publish it!) castigating Willie Walsh for trying to save the airline and refusing to rollover and have his tummy tickled by the increasingly bolshy Unite Union.

Gordon Brown tells Porkies says Channel 4 News Fact Check

BA PIlots set to fly despite Unite. Balpa draws up battle lines

The British Airline Pilots Association released this statement earlier today read it very carefully as they are telling Gordon Brown, Unite and the Teamsters in no uncertain terms to stay out of it. if the Teamsters decide to back UNITE then it stands to reason that BALPA may choose to exert similar pressure by asking for assistance from other Pilots worldwide.....  


British Airline Pilots' Association

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Further information from Keith Bill on 020 8860 0433 or 07968 528 527


Pilots deeply regret that BA customers will be inconvenienced by the industrial action called by cabin crew. BALPA is not in dispute with the Company over cost saving measures and will, therefore, be operating normally throughout the period of any dispute.
BALPA reached a negotiated settlement with BA last summer that met the contribution sought by the Company to turn it around. That draft settlement, which is subject to delivery by all staff groups, was subsequently endorsed in a membership ballot, a key element in BALPA's decision making process.
BALPA, like every pilot, will seek to maintain professionalism and safety throughout this difficult period. Only Unite and BA can resolve the matter and comments from the sidelines will not help. We will, therefore, remain neutral in our public stance but available should the parties feel our involvement would assist in finding a settlement and avoiding a dispute.

Julian Bray

All Rights Reserved
Subject to creditline

The BA strike what the Unite Union has overlooked.

British Airways - The Devil is in the Detail

I've professionally crossed swords with British Airways for over 30 years and at one time handled the marketing for RAMS - Retail Agents Marketing Service, seen it though the unfortunate period when it was renamed simply British and battled with a very stroppy highly opinionated corporate affairs directorate headed by a card carrying Ulsterman/politican and had a stand up row with the late Lord King (and he was right. Dammit!).

But the latest round of strike calls and the stance of the Unite union says more about the timing of the General Election than the wellbeing of cabin crews, who like lemmings have flocked and endorsed the Union line. The whole thing stinks.

And just so you don't get me wrong I have little time for Willie Walsh, from his public appearances  I find him aloof, defensive and a basic inability to communicate clearly. His PR handlers should be replaced and the little chap taken in hand. The corporate video on the website is trite.

The simple fact is that Walsh who did well at PaddyAir Lingus was seeking to do the same thing at British Airways.. but cheap no frills airlines especially Ryanair and Easyjet have cuts the legs from underneath British Airways and left (what should be the nationalised) the national carrier floundering in a sea of old style spanish practices, a cossetted overpaid airside workforce and a failing luxury class travel market.

Technology has rendered many businessd trips redundant and the worldwide recession has done the rest. As it will do so for many years to come. There is massive overcapacity and politics seeking carbon neutral solutions will certainly ramp up future costs making the whole business uncompetitive in a cost-aware ruthlessly competitive commercial environment.

So to the current dispute: British Arways have taken many of their own crewed flights off the market from March 14th to the end of March, despite the fact that the crews are at the moment only taking part in two short 3 and 4 day strikes.

Walsh knows full well - and the media is being amazingly thick on this -  the strikes are effectively valid for the whole of March from the 14th, as all the aircraft after the first strike will physically be in the wrong position. Commercially much better to cancel the flights, ground the aircraft, save on fuel with light payloads. Yes, people are bing offered money back but not the interest on payments banked some months ago! Walsh, win, win!

Could be that if i were Willie Walsh I would also like to ensure that all my aircraft are totally fault free, even if cleared for flight?  Many of the grounded aircraft will in future go 'technical' and be unfit for commercial service. Repaifr or dump? They might even be flown directly to Death Valley, USA during or after the strikes for parking, mothballing or break up.

Those aircraft in the BA fleet on lease, simply returned to the lease owners meaning less cabin crew required and higher load factors on the remaining flights - oh, and another thing BA didn't buy their fuel forward like some of the cheap no frills carriers and are now paying a heavy premium for their fuel. Management fail.

Many travellers will find that despite all the doom and gloom their British Airways flights are still running to schedule and its not a case of chartering as some TV news services have speculated. It is much, much easier than that.  

BA are a founder member of Oneworld,  a long standing alliance of 11 airlines and all already operate a codeshare flight and ticket interchange, the flight might be badged BA but you could well be flying on  Quantas, Cathy Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, LAN, Malev, Mexican or even Royal Jordanian. Even more so in the future.

The Unions have overlooked this and as their effective power ends at the UK border, the Unions and strikers will need to take to heart the words from that late much respected former president of Alitalia Umberto Nordio who once said to me when trying to explain air industry finance "You have to remember that arlines are simply assets you can instantly move from country to country to get the best value." Politicans seem to have forgetten that.    

Julian Bray

All Rights Reserved
Subject to creditline

If I'm politically brushed aside then everyone else is too!

If I'm politically brushed aside then everyone else is too!

I admit blog posts have dropped off lately, just as the u-stream Duckhouse Daily video has risen in popularity and now videocast in the USA. It's not that I have given up on the printed word but I get the distinct feeling politicians have given up on 'collective me' the down trodden voter! Let me explain.

Years ago the Kleeneze brush salesman would arrive on the doorstep knock on the front door and by the time my Mum arrived, he would have had his well polished suitcase full of wax polish, cleaners, brushes and other delights neatly and professionally displayed on the doorstep.

Cashed Out or Cashing in? George Osborne The Treasury Gatekeeper

Can George Osborne steady the ship of State?

Cashed Out or Cashing in? George Osborne The Treasury Gatekeeper

Brays Duckhouse Political Profile by Julian Bray

I’ve yet to be convinced that George Osborne is the right person to be put in charge of the nations cash box, any more than Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling are displaying qualifications for the role. However Osborne isn’t short of money and has been involved with high flyers and mega rich people for years. In effect a parallel universe. George is also on current showing, a reluctant hesitant presenter and very shy in public.

He is desperately in need of intensive media training and political mentoring. The new breed of television presenters who cut their teeth as print journalists Andrew Marr and Jeff Randall will over time tear the new pretender to shreds. Andrew Marr has already done it on his show earlier today 28th February 2010. So is George Osborne up to the job? Personally I don’t think so, well not yet.

The role demands a heavy hitter either William Haig or Ken Clarke in the role. Bankers need to be brought into line and given a dose of realism, all this needs tough negotiation but as I have my reservations what do we know about this young man? Punching above his weight or playing his cards close to his chest? You decide.


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