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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.
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Friday, 2 April 2010
IS BROWN BARKING UP A GUMTREE?
....IS IT OVER BEFORE IT'S BEGUN?
You would be forgiven for thinking that Labour under Brown have the election in the bag and that David Cameron has no chance. But consider one single massive non-voting sector may have some sway following the piggy-back letter to the DAILY TELEGRAPH this week. The letter shows that business in general and retail in particular is very against National Insurance contributions being hiked and on this single issue are collectively behind the Conservatives. This will not be lost on the millions PROFITABLY employed by the named major blue chip companies.
National Insurance is seen by Business as a cost on or tax specifically against employing people and not a contribution to profitability which in turn would lead to more people being employed thus generating greater tax revenues, increased consumer spending and helping to reduce the national debt.
Mandy was so wrong to suggest that business had been misled and were acting as poodles for Cameron. Silly man all he has ever run in the commercial sector, is a PR outfit!
By hiking up national insurance, the pressure on profit centred businesses is increased but the public or 'not for profit sector' would not see any difference where the culture is always to spend up to the budget (ie new office furniture always arrives in February, if needed or not [ref: The Environment Agency!]) Fearing that not to spend or underspending will lead to the following years allocation being reduced!
So the greater the costs that can be heaped onto the budget year on year by non-profit government departments and public sector enterprise is seen as good practice. This also has to be seen against the corruption of the M.P.s' long drawn out expenses scandal, due to be given a renewed lease of media life by the setting up of a multi-million pound mechanism to audit future MP expenses and the prospect of a few MP's and a Peer facing a Crown Court criminal trial and possibly some time in the Big House or in deference to the Scottish flavour of the coming General Election 'porridge' if found guilty.
Simply the career politicians cannot grasp the concept of generating wealth any more than Unite, the seemingly hell bent on oblivion, trade union can realise that teams of highly motivated young and nubile American Airlines cabin crew are waiting in the wings ready at a drop of a hat to take over many of the prime long haul British Airways routes and with the full blessing and backing of the BA board and shareholders.
Its not as if British Airways actually owns its own aircraft, the convention these days is to lease them, so unwanted aircraft can be easily almost instantly unloaded back to the owners, a few valuable slots sold off and profits returned to shareholders.
Underlining how little grip or meaningful communication Labour in the 21st Century has with trade unions generally, the RMT denied a quick rail strike will now reballot the membership taking care not to include ghost staff and redundant signal boxes.
Like the hands of time, the swingometer is slowing turning towards Cameron. It might not be enough to avoid a hung parliament unless Cameron wheels out the big guns quickly presenting a strong viable face to the battle weary electorate and finally publish a sheaf of policies - however wacky - as most of us have lost the will to live and woiuld accept anything just to get the whole thing over and done with before the World Cup in South Africa starts.
I'm still not convinced that [Gideon] George Osborn is the right person or has the gravitas to hold down the chancellor portfolio but I'm also certain 'the Osborne problem' won't cost Cameron the election, but possibly donate a few marginal seats to the libDems. He'll be reshuffled sideways as soon as diplomatically possible, you'll see!
The decision to harness the image of a smirking George Brown, is a splash of vintage Saatchi. It has shades of the famous easrly 70's pregnant man campaign (a chap called Dennis Passingham) which polevaulted the then infant Saatchi agency, no staff, working out of an hotel suite, using moonlighting creatives (in fact the entire creative staff of BBD&O London and Mr Passingham? The BBD&O Agency traffic manager) and like a shotgun into the mainstream of London agency life and I did have a hand in all this as I was working for BBD&O PR.
The BBD&O agency chiefs found out abouy the moonlighting and directed the PR divsion to create a massive PR hype around the posters and direct it towards the Saatchi brothers. Keeping BBD&O well out of it! The rest is history. How ironic that a rival agency should boost the profile and profits of a competitor? Turning the tables that is exactly what M&CSaatchi are doing now by turning the spotlight on a smirking gaff prone, worn out Gordon Brown.
Saatchi know that Brown under pressure will lash out, become unstable and thrash around. The tories are also fully aware of Browns deteriorating medical and mental history, as is the rest of the Westminster Village. Putting relentless direct pressure on Brown through a series of single issue hard hitting posters, viral internet and social media campaigns coupled with a few good old fashioned press and tv appearances means that however heavily Brown applies the panstick the cracks will show through on that well lived in and very tired face.
How stressed out Brown is can be deduced from the fact that Tony Blair has been roped in, pity he was somewhat orange and mega expensively suited and booted. It didn't go down too well with the breadline daytime unemployed making up much of the SKY daytime news profile. They may be unemployed or worried wives waiting for loved ones to return from Afghanistan but they all have a vote and remember Blair unlawfully pitched us into one war, they might well use it as a protest against the underfunded and resourced current war!! Let the games commence.
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