Tackling strikes

I would welcome an update from the government on their response to the public sector strikes.

At the beginning the line was there was no point in talks between Ministers and staff where they are covered by a Pay Review body. The government had met this year’s recommendations in full and would now concentrate on next year’s evidence to the Pay Review bodies, as should the Unions. In the case of the railways the Unions should negotiate with management, not with Ministers, whether in Network  Rail or the private companies.

Then Ministers shifted to saying they would talk about pay and conditions more generally, though not for the current year, and would attend some of the rail talks.

More recently there have been briefings suggesting backdated pay might be included in next year’s settlement, with speculation for health over a one off cost of living payment this year.

Ministers should start by recognising the different background and issues in the different activities. The railway is hopelessly short of fare paying passengers to meet its current high costs. Government needs to get the extraordinary high subsidy levels of the covid period down. The challenge should be to the industry to award higher pay based on improved working practises and on selling more tickets.

Health is different. There is a bursting order book  and many thousands of unfilled vacancies. There are problems retaining existing  staff including some higher paid doctors. There are also low paid staff who are squeezed by the sharp rises in food and energy prices.

The Health service needs its promised workforce plan to secure enough staff overall, to ensure appropriate grading and pay bands, and to meet reasonable employee expectations about living with high inflation. If the PM and Treasury are against additional money for NHS budgets then the cost of medical staff pay has to be met from other savings within the large health budget.

 

133 Comments

  1. DOM
    January 23, 2023

    So those who can never lose their jobs, or pensions and can retire early are on strike and those that can lose their jobs, have a shit pension and must work harder and longer have to work harder to pay the higher taxes needed to finance the privileges of those who now strike?

    It sounds to me like the Tory government appease Labour’s Socialist woke client state at every turn but then it would, it isn’t Tory politicians or bureaucrats who have to absorb the cost of Marxist appeasement that has now infected the entire union and public sector

    I see ye old Charles is gonna use his Coronation to pay homage to all things woke.

    Woke embraced by those who don’t believe it in but will sell their soul to the devil to preserve their status and privileges

    Clarkson speaks for the people while the Tories cower away

    Reply
    1. Javelin
      January 23, 2023

      Starmer does the same thing.

      I urge readers to look at the tweet with Emily Mattis and Starmer where Emily asks Starmer “Westminster or Davos?” and Starmer replies “Davos”. “Because Westminster is too constrained and tribal. Where as at Davos you meet people you can see working with in future.”

      What does Starmer mean by “too constrained” and “working with in future”. Well clearly by “constrained” he means taxes and laws, and by “working with” he means following their policies.

      Democracy is dead under the LibLabCon globalist party.

      Reply
    2. Sharon
      January 23, 2023

      Dom
      A rather bitter and angry post, but very true!

      And I too hear the coronation is going to be a woke and international celebration – trying to keep everyone happy will probably not keep anyone happy! A shame.

      Reply
    3. Peter
      January 23, 2023

      ‘In the case of the railways the Unions should negotiate with management, not with Ministers, whether in Railtrack or the private companies.’

      ‘Management’ don’t care. They still collect their government subsidy a main source of their income. SW Railway are due to have the franchise removed in a few months so they have even less concern. SW railway are one of the key franchises for London commuters.

      The government should finally admit that railway privatisation is a real pigs’ breakfast – a situation that has evolved because of reluctance to ditch Tory dogma.

      Public transport is essential despite moves towards home working. Fewer will be able to afford cars in future and roads and parking continue to be problematic. Driving is also tiresome for many.

      Reply
      1. Peter
        January 23, 2023

        ‘The Health service needs its promised workforce plan..’

        A top heavy bureaucracy is the problem. Reduce the overpaid management layers and increase the effectiveness of those on the front line.

        Croneyism and patronage results in public enterprises stuffed with costly and unproductive individuals who then make the situation in those enterprises even worse.

        Reply
    4. Cuibono
      January 23, 2023

      +++100%
      Very true.
      I do wonder why he chooses to wear military garb for said bun fight.
      Warrior King or something?
      I shan’t watch and I do hope no one attempts any ghastly street parties.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        January 23, 2023

        You refer to the days when there were reasons to celebrate, and people knew neighbours!
        Seems decades ago.
        You might get people to go outside homes to bang pots and pans at a chosen hour?

        Reply
      2. Stred
        January 24, 2023

        He has said that his ambition to force the world to zero carbon dioxide will be a military style campaign. Others who wished to rule the world chose to wear military uniform.

        Reply
    5. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      Reform the pay annual settlement of the civil & public sector
      A large company will offer a single % increase to the ‘whole’ of its staff, likewise our military are offered a % increase across the whole of the trades / ranks of the three services
      Its time to combine ‘all’ of the civil & public sector employees under a single offer

      Reply
      1. Berkshire Alan
        January 23, 2023

        Glen, in order to do as you suggest, which is sensible, then you have to make sure that people are not lumped together in groups for convenience, but skill, knowledge, and worth.
        The HNS has that problem with Nurses, many office and admin staff are lumped in on the same band, pay rise for a nurse, is an automatic pay rise for them as well. !

        Reply
    6. Ian B
      January 23, 2023

      @DOM Its a double celebration on that day in May it is also Tony Blair’s Birthday, the left united!

      Reply
    7. Stuart
      January 23, 2023

      Regarding nurses, I observe they are striking about vpay but clearly under-staff is an issue.

      I also observe that nurses spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen…..how much time in a 7.5 hour day.

      I bet it is about 3 hours, completing essential medical info plus lots of data for the admin people.

      How about cutting all un-neccessary data collection – this might save 1.5 hours per day??

      1.5 hours out of a 7.5 hour day is 20%

      So we immediately increase the nursing workforce by 20%………does that remove the under-staffing issue of the strike?

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        January 23, 2023

        Think Parkinsons Law – at any time of the day the hospital corridors are full of nurses …why aren’t they at their work place ?

        Reply
    8. Paul Cuthbertson
      January 23, 2023

      DOM – Unfortunately the normies will turn out in force to watch this 6 May fiasco unaware that he and the globalist establishment cohorts are laughing in their face.

      Reply
  2. margaret
    January 23, 2023

    As is has been and more obvious since the nineties, the malicious, for personal power or manipulation between private / public sectors use misunderstood situations and incorrect linguistic analysis ,computer predictive text to gain leverage for their ‘ win.’ This means that workers spend huge amounts of time ‘scrapping between themselves’ ‘ watching their backs’ instead of getting on with the job.

    Reply
  3. Javelin
    January 23, 2023

    Strikes are just a small symptom of the socialist Conservative Government. The Daily Mail summarises the state of the country.

    “Shocking rise of ‘something for nothing Britain’: Over half of households get more from the State than they pay in tax… while top 10% of earners account for 53% of all income tax”

    The 53% are sick to the back teeth of paying for globalist, woke, unelected policies. Best of all very soon, old father time will retire most of the 53% of high tax payers and Britain will collapse under the weight its own decadence.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Atkinson
      January 23, 2023

      You mean the 10% (who pay 53% of all tax)? They are all looking for ways to retire one way or the other.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        January 23, 2023

        I think you would find they are all looking for ways to avoid being in that 10% !!

        Reply
    2. Ian B
      January 23, 2023

      @Javelin I feel the need to correct you “Over half of households get more from the State than they pay in tax… ”
      The State has ‘NO Money’, just access to your wallet. UK Socialist redistribution, or how to bankrupt a Country.

      It is always Tax Payers money the Government gives away, that why no need to account for it just spend, spend, spend

      Reply
    3. John Hatfield
      January 23, 2023

      “Over half of households get more from the State than they pay in tax”
      Does that include the contributable state pesion I wonder?

      Reply
      1. Fedupsoutherner
        January 24, 2023

        Apparently it does include pensioners. I know many pensioners who are either still working and paying tax or who are paying tax on private pensions which they contributed to while still working and paying tax. There’s a big difference brween them and those who have never worked but still get their pensions upon retirement.

        Reply
      2. a-tracy
        January 24, 2023

        John, If it does include ‘contributable state pension’, which it shouldn’t as this is a pension insurance policy not welfare, then it has dropped. HM Gov demographics of social benefits statistics show the number of people claiming pension had dropped nearly a couple of hundred thousand.

        Reply
    4. Timaction
      January 23, 2023

      I saw this and it sickened me. Just what are this Consocialists Government doing to get these layabouts out to work?

      Reply
    5. Lifelogic
      January 23, 2023

      The top 10% pay 53% of income tax and many of those will be sensibly looking to leave. So next year will the tax take fall? If all or even just 10% these 10% go what then?

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        January 24, 2023

        Don’t you think that is what the Paris-based OECD is banking on in its UK contraction predictions?
        They have Britain growing more slowly than every other G20 country, bar Russia.
        Putting up enterprise taxes from 19% to 25% overnight from April 2023 is making people review their plans.
        Germany is predicted to be only slightly better than us 0.3%.
        They had previously predicted a 1.4% decline in 2023. Now their prediction is 0.4%.
        The near 10% increase in NMW/NLW from April 2023 is going to push up wage demands to keep differentials, businesses have a lot of things to think about over this quarter.

        Reply
      2. Lynn Atkinson
        January 24, 2023

        There is always a ‘top 10%’. They just get poorer.

        Reply
  4. turboterrier
    January 23, 2023

    In many ways the organisation’s are similar in the way they operate and are structured in that too many staff are in non operational jobs that drains vast sums of money from the budgets that would be better used paying the front line (coal face) staff and creating better conditions that will attract new employees. One has to ask are all these vast tiers of management levels and positions really essential?

    Reply
    1. Peter
      January 23, 2023

      TT,

      Agreed,

      Reply
  5. Anselm
    January 23, 2023

    I am so old that I can remember train spotting at Peterborough. I have made quite a lot of models of trains. I love them. But their day is gone. Our nearest station is some three miles away. Our local line was closed by Beeching. And the technology has moved on too – driverless trains are quite possible and totally safe. (Jubilee Line). For commuters (wfh anyone?) trains are not what they were. But I think geographically the number of commuter services is pretty limited really. Most people I know have cars. We really need another Beeching.

    And the NHS has changed from an efficient service for tough people who were used to a tough life and who never visited the doctor, into a sort of Counselling Service for the lonely and the people who, for one reason or another, just cannot cope. Much more demand, in other words, for time and a lot of unnecessary procedures too.
    That way people slip through the net and doctors and nurses are run off their feet. Which is why people who pay (abroad) get a far better service – as is becoming the norm here too.

    Reply
  6. Clough
    January 23, 2023

    Thank you, Sir John, for coming out and recognising ‘the need to meet reasonable employee expectations about living with high inflation’. That doesn’t only apply to NHS workers, of course. And going along with that, thanks also for your constant attempts to remind the BoE that it is principally tasked with reducing inflation. Let us hope that policy-makers eventually get a grip on it. And as you point out in your tweet, the World Economic Forum has no idea what to do on the most urgent economic challenge we face right now, the cost-of-living crisis.

    Reply
  7. Nottingham Lad Himself
    January 23, 2023

    The best way to tackle strikes is not to have them in the first place.

    That means putting the employed person on a fair legal footing. That is, not having statute-legalised Breach Of Contract for employers – for just one thing.

    That is unthinkable to Tories, however.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      So you want to remove employer’s right to dismiss for non attendance and/or abysmal performance of duties?
      A recipe for only a fool would take on employees.

      Reply
    2. Hat man
      January 23, 2023

      Now that I do like, lad! I was talking to a British Gas worker whose contract had been ended, and he was re-hired on a new, worse contract. This is sheer exploitation.

      We would have to see an end to the government’s low wage/high migration policy first, though.

      Reply
      1. Sir Joe Soap
        January 23, 2023

        I was talking to one who told them to get lost and set up himself. If enough people did that, the exploitation wouldn’t happen.

        Reply
        1. Hat man
          January 24, 2023

          Sir Joe, I think SJR’s post of this morning makes it clear why setting up by himself probably wasn’t an option that appealed to the gas worker I spoke to.

          Reply
  8. Mark B
    January 23, 2023

    Good morning.

    Our kind host highlights the differences between two services. One in low demand due to changes in working practices and, the other in high demand dues to the SCAMDEMIC.

    Perhaps we can look at making substantial savings in the railways and giving the money to those in the Health Service ?

    Reply
    1. formula57
      January 23, 2023

      Or converting railway carriages into convalescence wards for rental by the NHS. The patients so accommodated may appreciate the constant change of view.

      Reply
    2. Lynn Atkinson
      January 23, 2023

      The high demand for Health care and house is from people without money. They demand that the British taxpayer provides for them.
      Time they learned that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        January 24, 2023

        The contributed to State Pension should not be called ‘welfare’.
        It was insurance; before the national insurance scheme, there was a small private provision.

        Back in 1980/81 you paid national insurance on earnings over over £23.00 per week. In 2031 when an individual can now retire after working none stop since 1980 they will have paid up 51 years worth of national insurance contributions, this pittance of a small pension is not welfare. https://adviser.royallondon.com/technical-central/rates-and-factors/ni-limits/lower-and-upper-earnings-limits/

        Welfare is all those that didn’t contribute who get the same or more with pension credits, housing benefit and the like. Just because you don’t bother paying in, doesn’t mean they can’t get out! They get more! The way the national insurance state pension scheme is discussed makes me FUME.

        Reply
  9. Berkshire Alan
    January 23, 2023

    Unfortunately over the last 12 years the Conservatives have proven that if they do draw a red line, you can eventually cross it, if you push against it hard enough.
    Was the same under Cameron, May, Boris, even Truss for her short tenure, and now Sunak.
    During that time they have had negotiations with all sorts of people, without a single real success, look at Brexit, Northern Ireland, Fishing, Illegal immigrants, Furlough, Covid payments, Lock downs, net Zero, Energy production/distribution, ICE vehicles, ULEZ areas, HS2, good grief even a Chancellor got his own income tax form wrong.
    You do wonder how many more cock up’s they will oversee, still only 18 months to go !

    Reply
    1. Timaction
      January 23, 2023

      You forgot taxation and 7.2 million on waiting lists in England, PC and woke culture everywhere.

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      Cock Up 2023
      “Britishvolt entered administration on Tuesday and will be wound down at a cost of several hundred jobs. Fortunately for overtaxed Britons, the failure happened before anyone in London could write the subsidy check.” Wall Street Journal

      Reply
    3. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      There are reports on social media that MPs will be allowed to claim any ULEZ fine on expenses ….as Judge Judy would say ‘if you don’t pay your own fine, then there’s no punishment’

      Reply
      1. Berkshire Alan
        January 24, 2023

        Glen indeed.
        Can you imagine the effect on a business just inside the Zone, who may also have customers and workers who live outside of it.
        It gets worse, those who live on the edge of the Zone, but still outside it ,are now having to cope with parking chaos in their streets, as people look to park outside the Zone to then catch public transport in !
        Then we have different rules for emissions all over the Country.
        My old car is not compliant in London or Bristol, but is compliant in Portsmouth and Bath !
        Bloody silly policy which seems like an excuse to try and take in more and more revenue.

        Reply
  10. Ashley
    January 23, 2023

    “I see ye old Charles is gonna use his Coronation to pay homage to all things woke.” indeed it seems so and he likes to praise the 20% working in the state sector who produce so little of value and usually totally ignores the 80% in the private sector who pay for it all. We saw this in his Christmas speech. A bank holiday also costs the private sector hugely they lose production (and so have less for investment, for expansion or to pay their staff and also end up having to pay even more taxes to the private sector to fund their day off or double pay for zero value output.

    Still with all the money he makes from farming taxpayer’s money with his Crown Estate intermittent Wind/taxpayer coastal grant farming activities he can afford to. The people paying the rip off energy bills that result alas often cannot and just get cut off.

    Reply
  11. davews
    January 23, 2023

    “At the beginning the line. ……. In the case of the railways the Unions should negotiate with management, not with Ministers, whether in Railtrack or the private companies.”

    How far back along the line are you going Sir John? Railtrack was demolished in 2002 and replaced with the current Network Rail.

    There are all sorts of issues with the railways besides the strikes which seem to be now in an endless impasse with the RMT refusing to budge and not even ballot their members on the latest offers. Your neighbouring MP has been commenting on the poor service his constituents get on the Bracknell to Waterloo line which also affects your constituents. You may be aware that in the evenings the service between Bracknell and Reading is now hourly. And maybe you should press SWR to speedily introduce their new 701 trains now over three years late and sitting doing nothing.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      I am directly affected by that line, and use it every week. In reality peak time trains are normally running late, usually stated as signalling fault or train fault. After peak hours the trains are basically empty, if hourly means a reduction in well-paid staff so be it.

      Reply
  12. turboterrier
    January 23, 2023

    In the health sector IMHO talking to the staff a more flexible hours way of working would attract those that have left to consider a return as the pension benefits and other negotiated retail discounts cannot be ignored.
    Create pool working where the part time staff attend everyday on a flexible shift plan and get sent to the areas in need of more staff to cover the work load be it in clinics on wards or departments to help to take the load off of those under the most pressure. The criteria of what defines what A&E is there fore not for minor injuries.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      January 24, 2023

      turboterrier, but A&E has been redesignated for minor injuries in the evenings and weekends following the 2004 GP contract that removed that obligation for £1600 per annum reduction not to have to do it.
      When your surgery closes and you call the NHS helpline, they often direct you to A&E to see a doctor a 30 minute drive away.

      Reply
  13. Ian wragg
    January 23, 2023

    There’s enough staff in the NHS just that they are the wrong staff.
    Clear out the non jobs and free up billions for patients care.
    Railways, just let them wither keeping only freight and commuters trains.

    Reply
  14. turboterrier
    January 23, 2023

    Cut out the waste. In a business park just up the road where I stay is a unit with over 100 brand new hospital beds with their electrical adjustment controls sitting outside uncovered waiting to be scrapped. No signs of any wear and tear. It is assumed they have come from the dismantled Nightingale units from the Covid pandemic. Through the open door of the unit one can see all manner of medical equipment waiting to be disposed of.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      January 24, 2023

      The bed pods from the Nightingales should be put in large social service-type wards for people that are taking up medical beds but no longer need medical care, they just can’t go home because they have no one at all to help them.

      No one should get benefits for nothing, there is work that working-age people can do in care, administration of care, portering, and delivering food. This may give them back their self-esteem and get them back used to working in a worthwhile job and encourage them to find a full-time placement.

      Reply
  15. Lynn Atkinson
    January 23, 2023

    Ministers should not be involved in railway or health care pay disputes, not because they subcontracted their jobs to jobsworths, but because these industries should consist of a myriad of small, efficient, competing privately owned and run companies.
    Ministers should be concerned with living within their means and recognising the limitations of taxation which defines it.

    Reply
    1. Dave Andrews
      January 23, 2023

      Ministers should not be involved in pay disputes because they’ll screw it up just like everything else.

      Reply
  16. Narrow Shoulders
    January 23, 2023

    The solution to public sector strikes is to pass legislation to ensure that monopoly service providers are only allowed to work to rule not to strike.

    If the NHS can not recruit because pay levels are too low then that needs to be addressed separately and not by strike action.

    Train staff can vote with heir feet and accept the pay review settlement or leave. Plenty of people would jump at their work conditions and I include the whole sector in that.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Atkinson
      January 23, 2023

      I wonder what NHS staff earn per hour worked – I’m betting it’s a fortune. Most of those working for the NHS, including nurses, work very few hours indeed!
      Let’s agree an hourly rate and pay them by the clock. In one fell swoop there would be no staff shortages.

      Reply
  17. AncientPopeye
    January 23, 2023

    Ref the Ambulance strike. I have just watched the leader of UNITE ranting off about the government, she was justifying the strike in front of a banner proclaiming ‘for the patients’, this mouthpiece obviously does not comprehend Irony?

    Reply
  18. Cuibono
    January 23, 2023

    I would claim that the strikes are doing the work of Davos.
    The hard left used to demonstrate at Davos until it realised it could do better by embracing corporatism. The hard left is now very silent re Davos.
    Everything it is now doing is facilitating the Great Reset and communism.
    All brought to us by a Tory govt with a huge majority won by a total chancer.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      What’s happened to the Labour party, have they forgotten the struggles of the Jarrow march, and the miners strikes ….their goals and policies are so divorced from the working class as the Tories are divorced from UK business & capitalism

      Reply
      1. turboterrier
        January 23, 2023

        glen cullen
        Well said, totally agree

        Reply
  19. Peter Wood
    January 23, 2023

    Good morning,
    This government thinks ‘sticking plasters’ equal solutions. In each of the industries on strike or under duress, there has not been a coherent long term review resulting in a viable policy. These are legacy problems that you’re unlikely to resolve before the next GE.
    This government lurches from crisis to crisis, frequently looking amateurish and out of touch. End of this incompetent PCP is not long away, and good riddance.

    Reply
  20. Cuibono
    January 23, 2023

    Some commentator or other asked the other day ( as I have done)…
    What world do the enablers of all this think they will bequeath to their children and grandchildren?
    Don’t they ever wake and worry at 3am?
    The future will be a nightmare. NONE of them have ever faced such horrors in THEIR lifetimes.

    Reply
    1. Neil Sutherland
      January 23, 2023

      Many enablers are childless, they don’t care about the future, just the present.

      Reply
  21. Donna
    January 23, 2023

    I very much doubt that the over-promoted Head Boy residing in No.10 has any strategy for dealing with the strikes. He’s not a Leader, he’s a Globalist number-cruncher who is just keeping the seat warm for Starmer. The Pretendy-CONs haven’t got the guts to govern as Conservatives, which is why they will lose in 2024. Those who want Socialism will vote for it; those who want conservatism won’t vote to be conned again.

    According to GB News, our last three coal-fired power stations have been instructed to get warmed up to get us through this very cold spell. Just as well the lunatic Sharma didn’t get around to blowing them up as well.

    Are you proud of the Government your Party has inflicted on us, Sir John?

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      Spot on Donna, be grateful that the 3 have not been demolished yet – March is it?
      Fools will argue – ‘ah but the weather will be warmer!’

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      Fully agree Donna – what’s happened to this once great Tory party

      Reply
    3. IanT
      January 23, 2023

      Family shown restricting their electricity useage on TV tonight, with some guy from OFGEN essentially stating that it was a successful pilot for future ‘energy saving’ programmes that would help UK move towards it’s Net Zero targets.
      No – It’s the just beginning of an energy crisis brought on by several decades of pie-in-the-Sky thinking (or complete lack of it) that is destroying our economy and costing everyone a small fortune just to stay warm. Let’s be honest about this. These are not “Blackouts” – they are “Greenouts” – and until people get sufficiently angry about this Net Zero nonsense, then we will just continue to get a lot poorer (and colder).

      Reply
  22. MFD
    January 23, 2023

    Perhaps we should confiscate the money from those who have millions in the bank- nobody earns that sort of money HONESTLY!

    Reply
    1. IanT
      January 23, 2023

      Yes, let’s kill the Golden Goose MFD.

      We don’t need these greedy Bs living here, buying our goods and services, employing people in their mansions and estates, driving their gas guzzling cars around and eating out in expensive restaurants. Let them take their business (and money) elsewhere the greedy rats! The really (really) Rich are multinational, they can live and play wherever they want and they’ve already got the message – they are leaving the UK for greener (and more welcoming) pastures. And Good Riddance – after all, why let logic stand in the way of envy?

      Reply
  23. Cuibono
    January 23, 2023

    Well dear me!
    I can’t begin to THINK just how the railways lost their passengers or the NHS built up a backlog.
    It is almost as if hospitals and GP surgeries were firmly closed to ill people and commuters were locked up in their houses …and have stayed there ever since!!l

    Reply
  24. Jim
    January 23, 2023

    The response is to spin this out as long as possible but no longer. The hope being that inflation (elsewhere) will come down and pay rises can be talked down. But that strategy is a two-edged sword.

    As things stand the railways are stuck in the usual useless debate about automation – which the rail companies can’t afford and the unions know this and can ignore that topic.

    For the vast majority of people ie non users the NHS looks much the same as usual. A bit chaotic but gets there in the end. The government can afford to spin this out for a long time yet.

    But the spinning it out strategy cannot go on much past Q3. May I remind you there must be an election and the Tories do look pretty useless. In fact quite severely useless and also sleazy and rather dim. The unions can exploit this weakness, they too will spin it out until you have to cave in by Q1 2024 at the latest. Everything comes to those who wait.

    Reply
  25. Ashley
    January 23, 2023

    Kier Starmer when asked “Westminster or Davos?” apparently replied Davos (well it certainly has lower taxes). A rare moment of honesty from this dire Socialist? Democracy or a conspiracy between government and the rich powerful against the people? Kier clearly prefers the latter but then is Sunak any different?

    Reply
    1. Donna
      January 23, 2023

      No, he’s another WEF acolyte. Johnson was there this year as well.

      Basically, Davos is an Elitist conspiracy against national electorates.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        January 23, 2023

        They’re so full of themselves they’re proclaiming their religion in plain sight

        Reply
      2. hefner
        January 24, 2023

        Please can you explain ‘in your own words’ why B Obama never went to Davos in eight years but DJ Trump went twice in four.

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          January 24, 2023

          Curiosity about what goes on in the secret world of Davos.
          Men like Sunak and Obama agree to their instructions directly, such as raising corporation tax from 19% to 25% at the G7 and other meetings at a much higher level.

          Reply
        2. Lynn Atkinson
          January 24, 2023

          Trump, like Putin, was unafraid of making unpopular speeches to the Davos crew.
          Obama did not need to go and expose himself, he was fully on board and demonstrated that every day.
          Lots of people attended Bilderberg meeting who were anti-the-agenda. That’s why you don’t judge people by attending or even by what they say but exclusively very by what they do!
          ‘By their actions ye shall know them’.

          Reply
    2. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      What’s sad is that probably 99% of MPs agree with him

      Reply
  26. a-tracy
    January 23, 2023

    I’m really surprised all these polls say there is a lot of support for all these strikes; it’s not the impression I hear from working people, especially when their kids are getting chucked out of school soon.

    Reply
    1. The Prangwizard
      January 23, 2023

      You will have noticed along with many others that the media only talk to union representives from the demonstration lines who can make their prepared statements.

      They never to my knowledge have ever looked for individual nurses or railway workers who are opposed to the strikes and sought their views. They are just in effect part of the movements.

      Reply
  27. Nigl
    January 23, 2023

    The Governments approach to these problems is an uncoordinated shambles that will end inevitably with them crumbling, us paying more with at best superficial performance improvements. What is extraordinary is how much in denial they are.

    In the meantime Starmer just waits for them to swim into his net.

    Reply
  28. Geoffrey Berg
    January 23, 2023

    There is no sense in differentiating according to industry between striking employees who are publicly funded. Potential strikers won’t do so.
    If say the nurses got 9% that would be a benchmark and be seen as what (as a minimum) all public sector workers could get by going on strike.
    The result would be both more strikes and more inflation.
    So all strikes have to be faced down and not yielded to.

    Reply
  29. a-tracy
    January 23, 2023

    Your government is weak, it allows the Unions to state nurses only got 2.5% when it was over 9% with their one off payment back dated to April in October. Why, why aren’t you giving the situation.

    Teachers say they have to mark at night, they finish at school at 3pm or 3:30pm the car parks are empty after 3:30pm, they get a half day per week for marking, or some take a full day every two weeks. Nothing is said about that.

    It suits the civil service to get these terms for every public sector worker, and the private has to just pay up and take this.

    Stop paying subsidies to rail companies for every day the strikes stop the trains.

    Reply
  30. Mickey Taking
    January 23, 2023

    Is there no end to the series of public outing of Tory bad behaviour?
    Rishy Sunak set out:
    Speaking to a room of journalists and business people, Mr Sunak said he wanted to make “five pledges to deliver peace of mind” and “five foundations on which to build a better future for our children and grandchildren”.
    “First, we will halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security,” he said.
    “Second, we will grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.
    “Third, we will make sure our national debt is falling so that we can secure the future of public services.
    “Fourth, NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly.
    “Fifth, we will pass new laws to stop small boats, making sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed.
    But he has Johnson looking foir headlines by visiting Ukraine again, he has a forgetful Tory Party Chairman, Nadhim Zahawi says an error in his tax affairs was accepted by HMRC as having been “careless and not deliberate”. In a statement, he said he wanted to address “confusion about my finances” after claims he tried to avoid tax and had to pay it back.
    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is satisfied with Mr Zahawi’s account, the BBC has been told.
    Labour said there was a whole list of questions that still needed answering.
    The party has called on Mr Zahawi to publish all correspondence with HMRC “so we can get the full picture”.
    According to the Guardian, Mr Zahawi had to pay back tax he owed with a 30% penalty and the total amounts to £4.8m.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      Holding back again, Sir John. Headline news can’t be dismissed that easily.
      You do keep trying though.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        January 23, 2023

        I pointed out Johnson was visiting Ukraine in an unofficial capacity but he got what he was after – trying to look like our PM again.
        I also said ‘Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is satisfied with Mr Zahawi’s account’. Read into that what you will.
        Sir John didn’t publish.

        Reply
  31. Ian B
    January 23, 2023

    Its the Governments policy to confuse. They start by refusing to manage where the taxpayers money goes, they refuse to accept cuts in the State so as to trim its size according to what the taxpayer/country can afford. The Government refuses to cut back on the Quango’s and so on and so on. It has since Boris Johnson been a Government focus to spend spend spend and grow the State exponentially.

    Then comes the contradiction, because they refuse to manage the spend why should they then step in when all these autonomous bodies believe they can hold the taxpayer to ransom – they had already abdicated they responsibility. The fault line is the Government refusing to manage in the first place, refusing to define what the taxpayer is paying for, the services and return expected. For instance did the taxpayer want to be forced into the political and personal motivating of some to create diversity, inclusion and WOKE staff – and that just the tip of the iceberg. That is political activism and has nothing to do with supposedly neutral state employed entities.

    Its a Government in denial of its purpose and job, not the strikers, they are just taking the mick because they can. There is no purpose, product, end result required by all those given taxpayer money – its just a Government giving someone else’s money away.

    Reply
    1. Ian B
      January 23, 2023

      @Ian B
      There is hope, along with our Host Sir John there still appears to be a making of a Conservative party somewhere

      Lee Anderson MP in yesterdays Telegraph
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/01/22/tory-mp-lee-anderson-food-banks-have-become-industry-now-scandal/

      “My dad always told me that if I wanted nice things, I had to go to work and if I wanted even nicer things, I had to do more work,”
      ‘Rishi Sunak, the millionaire Prime Minister, and other privileged Conservatives, can “sympathise” but not “empathise” with the poor. “It’s not their fault how they were brought up,” he says ‘
      ‘cautiously optimistic about the Tories’ chances to hold on to power – as long as Sunak adopts what he describes as “Conservative policies”. A lot of my voters – especially the first time Tory voters – voted for a Conservative government: can we please have some Conservative policies?’

      What is needed is the CCO or now CCH to get a grip and make sure it is Conservatives that arrive in Government, not their freeloading buddies.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        January 23, 2023

        ”if I wanted nice things, I had to go to work”
        How does that fit with the illegal immigrants

        Reply
      2. Berkshire Alan
        January 23, 2023

        Ian B

        I can remember my parents saying exactly the same to me, the only option they missed out was, to work smarter, which not everyone can, because sometimes the way you are paid precludes that option, as you get no more or any incentive for working smarter.

        Reply
  32. Lifelogic
    January 23, 2023

    The usually sensible Lord Frost in a Telegraph Podcast sill thinks the Government got the Covid Vaccines right! Perhaps he has not looked at the numbers. Excess all cause deaths in the last three weeks are even higher now circa 30% up. Excess death in 2022 in young adults (20-45) nearly 8% up on 2019 according the Society of Actuaries. Yet still the government push these jabs & even on six month old babies (who clearly have no need of them what so ever).

    If this frightening circa 8% increase actually continues and does not die back (let us hope it does & very soon) it might suggest an increased chance of death of a vaccinated 20 year old of perhaps as high as 1/200 before they reach 45. This on top of all the usual risks. So perhaps 200,000 extra death in the 20=45 age groups over the next 25 years in the UK. Let us hope people’s bodies manage to repair any vaccine damage and the NHS finally starts to work competently and the stops all new vaccinations now.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      All vaccines fault again, blah blah blah..

      Reply
      1. Richard II
        January 23, 2023

        So what’s been causing all the excess deaths since 2021, do you know? If you don’t, you ‘missed an opportunity to say nothing’.

        Reply
        1. Mickey Taking
          January 24, 2023

          you don’t either, and you lot say plenty.

          Reply
          1. hefner
            January 25, 2023

            Looking at ons.gov.uk ‘Death by single year of age tables, UK’, released 18/01/2022, for males aged 45 (the table covers the data from 1974)
            2010…1137
            2011…1039
            2012….997
            2013…1061
            2014…1040
            2015….948
            2016…1020
            2017….995
            2018…1027
            2019….973
            2020…1042
            which shows year-to-year fluctuations of several %s ex: 2015/16 is 7.2%, 2017/18 at 3.2%, 2019/20 at 6.9%.
            Lifelogic appears to quote an 1/200 increase, ie a 0.5% for 45-year olds. I would argue that such a figure (if it is really what he thinks) is well within the ‘standard deviation’ of the number of deaths of these last twelve years.

        2. hefner
          January 24, 2023

          And do you know, R2? Do you have any proof other than LL’s ramblings (0.5% increase of dying before 45)? Daily Mail I presume. So I’ll take you by the hand …
          The ons.gov.uk table ‘Deaths registered by single year of age, UK’, 18/01/2022 shows 1326 deaths for that category for the UK 45-year old male population in 1974, and slowly decreasing towards 1k in the last 45 years.
          And for the last few years: 1061 in 2013, 1040 in 2014, 958 in 2015, 1020 in 2016, 995 in 2017, 1027 in 2018, 973 in 2019, and 1042 in 2020, which shows typically a standard deviation (or noise) of around 10 from year to year. A 1/200 increase (as quoted by Life-so-little-logic) would correspond to a 5-6 increase in the number of male deaths in 2021, ie well within the level of fluctuations these last eight years.

          So Richard II, who has lost a brilliant opportunity to say nothing? And who said that PM Sunak was wrong when he said he wants to improve the math ability in the country?

          Reply
    2. Lynn Atkinson
      January 23, 2023

      I am a co-owner of a hands on medical company, the ‘sleeping partner’. The number of our clients who have recently developed blood cancer (I had never heard of it), clots of all sorts, strokes, heart problems has to be seen to be believed. Sportsmen who now arrive in wheelchairs!
      I’m afraid the stats are lagging.
      The staff are almost in shock. No wonder the NHS is overwhelmed in A&E. Previously healthy people are experiencing the most devastating ‘episodes’. All have been vaxxed – because we ask!
      If the MPs are unaware of this, then they must have received the saline.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        January 23, 2023

        Ever thought most of the population have had the vaccines so you are jumping to silly conclusions.
        Now if the converse and NONE of them had had a vaccine that might cause us to reflect.

        Reply
      2. hefner
        January 25, 2023

        Blood cancer (leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, MDS, MPN) is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, affecting 1 out of 16 men and 1 out of 22 women at some stage in their lives. It affects about 250k people out of a 68m population, ie 0.37%.
        To make things easier, say 37 people out of 10000.
        These days in the UK roughly 85% of the population have had at least one injection of Covid vaccine. A random blood cancer infection would show up in 31 vaccinated people and 6 non-vaccinated people.
        How many more blood cancer infections have recently be seen? in both the vaccinated and non-vaccinated within your clients? How does it compare to the situation, say, in 2019?

        Reply
  33. agricola
    January 23, 2023

    While I have sympathy for those under financial pressure it tends to tail off when I realise that it is only the public sector that is vociferous and that the leadership of part of it has other motivations. It is government both political and their civil service who are responsible for the causes of that financial pressure. While they hide behind covid and the Ukraine war it runs far deeper. Government ineptitude and a flat earther/ nett zero mindset that are responsible over many years for our crazy energy situation. What sort of idiots could sit above vast sources of energy and insist on importing it, only politicians and their scribes. It does not stop at energy, said politicians and their scribes are responsible for the abysmal services we all suffer under, nothing public works in the UK.
    The money they clamour for comes from the pockets of those who are productive, the private sector is expected to pay for it and they as individuals are under the same pressure as those in the public sector.
    Solutions are varied. Pay the medical sector of the NHS more by reducing the management from 47% of the whole to 25%. Then totally re-structure it. Close down all the railways for at least a month from the RMTs next strike while putting in plans to fit it to the now reduced demand and automate far more comprehensively. Allow an Air Bus intercity air service to compete with railways. Birmingham to London City for £25.00 in 45 mins sounds better than anything HS2 could achieve with the pilots /drivers earning about the same. As for the London based scribes, tell them to get back to the office or a P45 will follow. I will not comment on teachers but to say that 10 weeks vacation pa. Is something not many of us enjoy. I would change all civil servants pension arrangements to those that the self employed endure. Then sit back and enjoy the media feeding frenzy, the Guardian and the BBC would go apoplectic.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      January 23, 2023

      Come on SJR is it that contencious.

      Reply
  34. DOM
    January 23, 2023

    If Directors can now go to prison for not monitoring content through their ISP why aren’t union leaders who bring out their members that could have fatal consequences not expose to the same criminal sanctions??????????????????????????????????????????

    Why?????????????????

    It’s gutless politicians knowing then can target private sector people while allowing public sector types to behave in the most appalling manner

    the hypocrisy STINKS

    The Tory party is now a vehicle of SOCIALISM

    Reply
    1. Peter
      January 23, 2023

      DOM,

      Lots of question marks and capital letters in your post. Is this to get ahead of other posters and reclaim your position as the angriest contributor to the site?

      Reply
    2. hefner
      January 24, 2023

      BS, DOM (as so often). The union leaders are bringing out their members, ie a limited number of people voluntarily signed up for the Trade Union and voluntarily entering into such an action.
      Internet Service Providing service directors not monitoring content on their sites let potentially everybody and sundry see any type of content without any limits.
      Do you really think the two are equivalent?
      Or are you afraid that potential regulation will prevent you from watching your preferred hate-filled websites?

      Reply
  35. Ian B
    January 23, 2023

    Sir John
    “The railway is hopelessly short of fare paying passengers to meet its current high costs. Government needs to get the extraordinary high subsidy levels of the covid period down. The challenge should be to the industry to award higher pay based on improved working practises and on selling more tickets.”

    100% agreed. However your Government, this pseudo Conservative Government refuses to manage, refuses to do its duty to the rest of us. They take our money and just ‘give it away’ and that think that is the end of their purpose. “We spent money” seems to be the mantra, not that we have managed the UK for the whole of the UK.

    It is not just the railways we see this neglect, it is everywhere this Conservative Government distributes our hard earned money and the sacrifices we all make to provide this resource.

    Reply
  36. Bloke
    January 23, 2023

    The Metro in Paris used to charge the same cost for any journey.
    A simpler system would sort out much of the expensive nuisance in the UK.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      yep…SWR could determine cost for Reading to Bracknell, Bracknell to Staines, Staines to Waterloo – make them Zones and charge fixed prices for any travel in the zone accordingly. Buy Zone A and/or B, ABand C..etc.
      Ticket machines simplified, small station ticket offices closed, have travelling ticket inspectors to check and sell tickets.

      Reply
  37. Original Richard
    January 23, 2023

    Off topic if I may please :

    We learn today that the National Grid will pay homeowners tonight to switch off their electric appliances between 5-6pm tonight and that this “emergency” winter plan could well become permanent.

    Make no mistake, this not an “emergency” but a deliberate plan by the fifth column communists running UK energy to destroy our economy and social cohesion. They have deliberately run down our gas generation, restricted and defunded fossil fuel supplies, and even explosively demolished our coal plants as seen in this official SSE video of the COP26 president, MP for Reading West, blowing up Ferrybridge Power station :

    https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1429456184902393858/pu/vid/720×720/JwPnpycxEiyBmqVJ.mp4?tag=12

    Having been the first to have a civil nuclear program and to achieve 26% of our electricity from nuclear by 1997 we are now closing all our nuclear plants and by 2028 will have only one nuclear plant left working, Sizewell B (1.2GW), which is itself due to close in 2035 (electricity decarbonisation date). There is only one new build, the already running late, French designed EPR and Chinese funded Hinkley Point C (2 x 1.6GW). which may be ready by 2035 (the one they built in Finland was/is 13 years late).

    Their plan is to replace our fossil fuel and nuclear with expensive and unreliable renewables all supplied by coal-fired China and thus giving us no energy security at all. We will be forced to accept intermittency, meaning volatile pricing and rolling blackouts, as non-fossil fuel grid scale back-up is unaffordable and hence non-existent.

    Hence Mission Zero’s notice to us that achieving our target to zero our 1% contribution to global CO2 emissions will require “behavioural changes” (P26).

    Reply
    1. Christine
      January 23, 2023

      What a disaster our politicians have in store for us. Getting us geared up for the future carbon credit transfers from the poor to the rich where “save granny” morphs into “freeze granny” so Sunak can heat his swimming pool. I don’t see the so called elites suffering any loss to their lifestyle to contribute to this so called climate emergency. The whole thing stinks and voters need to wake up and remove all the main parties before it’s too late. Unfortunately most people seem to believe the climate propaganda being spread by the media.

      Reply
    2. Richard II
      January 23, 2023

      +!

      Reply
  38. IanT
    January 23, 2023

    “then the cost of medical staff pay has to be met from other savings within the large health budget”

    By ‘streamlining’ (e.g. reducing) Management Sir John? A bit like asking Turkeys to vote for Christmas I’m afraid – never going to happen. It seems to me that NHS ‘Central’ is unable to control (manage) it’s many Trusts and Quangos. Perhaps it would be better to work at regional level and have five or six Regional Health Services, managed by Executive Boards with the power to hire and fire senior Line Management. I just feel that the Elephant is too large to be reformed – smaller units would allow greater focus and comparison.

    From personal experience, I know that performance varies greatly from Trust to Trust but this is hidden within the overall NHS ‘picture’. Taking a workforce of over 1.2M and reducing it to about 200K per ‘Region’ begins to reduce complexity. There is an argument for ‘scale’ but it wasn’t evident when I worked with Trusts 20+ years go – they essentially all did their own thing. These Regions would still be operating with budgets of £30-40B each – so that should be scale enough. They need to have reasons to improve, one huge organisation has no incentive to do so – one of five (or six) comparable organisations has more reasons to look at it’s own performance.

    Reply
  39. Bloke
    January 23, 2023

    Does anybody know what an average ticket would cost if every UK passenger carriage ran at full capacity?
    If travel to a central office is beyond affordable reach, perhaps employees could cluster in more local premises to reduce wasted distance and time involved.
    In product distribution, businesses soon avoided individual delivery journeys back and forth, by using a staged depot-type system for efficiency of reach. In contrast, employees have tended to tolerate daily back-and-forth journeys at distance, or have uprooted their homes to move nearer their place of work.
    Needless movement wastes.

    Reply
  40. The Prangwizard
    January 23, 2023

    Off topic,

    but given your government’s, your party forming it, gradual but determined betrayal of Brexit and our sovereignty back to the EU, under pressure from them and elsewhere, and contrary to statements made, when will you resign from the Conservative party?

    If you will not you are simply encouraging and authorising the betrayal.

    Reply
  41. Robert Miller
    January 23, 2023

    In a free country people are entitled to withdraw their Labour as they choose. What is unconscionable are the legal privileges of trade unions which unjustifiable today – especially for those earning more than average earnings.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      withdraw labour by resigning yes, but choosing to not turn up when you feel like it, no!

      Reply
  42. hefner
    January 23, 2023

    Today’s blog reminded me of something I must have read in the ‘80s: ‘If the State can’t afford to let a company go bust, it should not privatise it’.
    Now think about all the sectors that have been privatised since the ‘70s, and have been relying ever since on public subsidies, public emergency funding, government interventions, grants, subventions, … and wonder where the famed so-called ‘free and unimpeded market’ is …
    Where is the ‘free market’ in energy production and distribution, in transport, in education, in health provision, in banking, etc?

    Reply
  43. Bert Young
    January 23, 2023

    Strikes are different . The level of pay in the Rail dispute is a matter for the different employment bodies ; I consider the present levels of pay there are already high enough and to demand more from passengers is a disgrace . The Government are right to stay out of any negotiations .
    The Health Service is a different matter ; the NHS is a huge organisation and needs a complete overhaul . For years the NHS has been badly managed and now needs to be broken up into different specialist supply bodies – controlled by individuals who are skilled and know what they are doing .
    As things stand the public are frustrated at the economic dilemma and it is no wonder that every sort of avenue will be explored to try to get out of the mess . There is nothing coming from the doom combination of Sunak and Hunt and Sir John is right to focus on an agenda of growth in any economic programme .

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 23, 2023

      I can fully understand the private sector striking if on or below the national average salary, I can almost understand the public sector striking if on or below the national salary and adjusted to take account of pensions etc ….but I can’t support the public sector striking who are on £40-50k when the private sector is in bits
      The private sector still hasn’t recovered from covid, the energy price hike and the BoE monetary policy inducing inflation – The forgotten private sector

      Reply
  44. Peter Parsons
    January 23, 2023

    “In the case of the railways the Unions should negotiate with management, not with Ministers”

    The General Secretary of the RMT has stated publically that the unions and management did this, came to an agreement, and the agreed deal was “torpedoed” by a Minister or Ministers.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      January 24, 2023

      6 days ago — Merriman said strikes cost the UK rail industry £25m on a weekday and £15m … The minister said the government had not “torpedoed” a deal.

      The rail minister Huw Merriman said the need for reform to working practices made the standoff necessary, as he told MPs on the Commons transport select committee on Wednesday that the government had not “torpedoed” a deal, nor “interfered in a negative manner … “The risk is on government and the funding is on government and indeed the taxpayer,” Merriman said. “A mandate is given to employers in terms of the financial envelope … Of course, government is involved in setting the overall framework in terms of how much … can be afforded, but it’s for employers to negotiate the terms, not least the savings and efficiencies that can be returned.” He added: “I don’t believe we’ve interfered in a negative manner. I believe that we’ve been able to intervene positively.””.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        January 24, 2023

        Source Guardian

        Reply
  45. forthurst
    January 23, 2023

    Unfortunately, the Tories doctrinaire privatisation of the railways left us with a lot of individual
    business profit centres whose costs are picked up by Network Rail and passed on to the taxpayer so the
    financial pressures in situations with low consumer demand become magnified. Privatisation hasn’t worked and it’s time to reverse it.

    The situation in the NHS is best addressed by a progressive squeeze on the admin staff by reducing their overall
    wage and pension bill by a substantial factor each year until it conforms with the costs associated with non
    Arts graduate run health systems on the continent.

    Reply
  46. Christine
    January 23, 2023

    Make it easier and financially beneficial for workers with young children to return to the workplace. This constant war on cars makes it unviable for many to return to work and things are about to get much worse with the introduction of 15 minute and clean air zones. Politicians need to feel the pain of their decisions by having to get children ready for nursery and school, drop them off at several locations, get to work and park a mile away then have to do a days work. I challenge them to do this and still think net zero is worth it. Most nurses and carers are still women with child care responsibilities, no wonder you can’t recruit and retain them when there is the choice to stay at home on benefits and be better off. We are governed by fools who don’t understand the consequences of their stupid policies.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      January 23, 2023

      An opportunity for MPs employing nannies?

      Reply
  47. glen cullen
    January 23, 2023

    ‘Nero fiddled while Rome burned’
    Another 442 illegal’s yesterday
    Another 442 free pizzas for life, free accommodation for life, free health care for life and free pocket money for life, and a free ticket to bring their families to the UK
    This government should be ashamed of what it hasn’t done in 12 years

    Reply
  48. Christine
    January 23, 2023

    What a disaster our politicians have in store for us. Getting us geared up for the future carbon credit transfers from the poor to the rich where “save granny” morphs into “freeze granny” so Sunak can heat his swimming pool. I don’t see the so called elites suffering any loss to their lifestyle to contribute to this so called climate emergency. The whole thing stinks and voters need to wake up and remove all the main parties before it’s too late. Unfortunately most people seem to believe the climate propaganda being spread by the media.

    Reply
  49. glen cullen
    January 23, 2023

    ‘’One of Norway’s ferry shipping companies that sails between the coastal cities of Bergen and Kierkenes and says that it will no longer carry electric or electrified vehicles on its ships following the results of an external investigation.
    The company mostly carries passengers and goods on the route, but now says that it will only carry private vehicles with internal combustion engines. Ferry Havila Krystruten cited fire safety as the main reason for its decision.’’

    I just keep thinking about the future job losses and strikes due to net-zero in the coming years (private jobs – not public sector jobs) ?

    Reply
  50. Michael Saxton
    January 23, 2023

    I agree Sir John. Our railways are badly run and too expensive. There is no justification for these huge pay increases and there’s neither the demand or the money to pay for them. Similarly our NHS is badly run with a bloated managerial structure taking far too much out of the NHS budget. Waste throughout NHS management should be ruthlessly cut. Posts such ‘Diversity Managers’ should be removed, immediately. Any function not directly linked to patient health should be reviewed and those that are not removed. And NHS administration must be streamlined, no business would be run like the NHS. It’s too bloated, too big and it urgently needs reform.

    Reply
  51. IanB
    January 23, 2023

    Today in the media – The US certifies the first small modular nuclear reactor design / The Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave an advanced reactor design its stamp of approval. The UK?

    Reply
    1. hefner
      January 24, 2023

      09/11/2021 gov.uk ‘UK backs new small nuclear technology with £210 million’.
      Maybe you should ask your question to the RR SMR engineers, the bottle neck might more likely be with them.

      Reply
    2. hefner
      January 24, 2023

      My search indicates that the US NuScale SMR (50 to 77 MW) was approved on 09/08/2022. A set of 12 of those in individual confinement enclosures should become operational in 2029 on a site in Idaho (neozone.org, ‘NuScale, le premier petit réacteur nucléaire modulaire approuve par la NRC’, 10/08/2022).

      Reply
  52. SimonR
    January 24, 2023

    There is a case for the Government to say to the NHS – we have ring-fenced your huge budget – here’s the money, there’s no more, pay people what you like.

    Reply

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