Archive for UK

Is Cost Effective Government Possible?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Germany, Insanity, Mobile Phone, Modern World, MP's, Parliament, Police, President, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/10/2010 by floroy1942

The old adage: “If you want to make money – get a Government contract” is as true today as it ever was. The bigger the country, and thereby the government, the easier it is to charge extortionate fees for the provision of services.

Sir Philip Green

The sheer depth of government miss-spending has been revealed in Britain today by a report issued on an ‘in-house’ investigation by a well known High Street name, specifically Sir Philip Green, owner of the ‘Top Shop’ chain of stores. He was commissioned by David Cameron, the UK Prime Minster, to look into government spending with a view to cutting expenditure. What he uncovered defies description!

He stated quite frankly, that if he operated his business in the same way, he would be bankrupt within in days.

Government Waste?

In Sir Philips view, literally billions of the huge £191 billion budget could be saved by government departments with better co-ordination in the procurement of services. As an example, he estimates that a massive £600 to £700 million could be saved on the annual British Telecom budget of £2 billion. Renegotiating contracts with companies providing mobile phone services, and even office supplies and coffee could save up to 40% of the annual budget.

Damn! There Goes Another £1.45

The differences between departments in the costs being forked out for mundane things such as a box of copy paper (from £8 to £73), printer cartridges (from £86 to £396) and a cup of coffee (90p to £1.45) are to say the least, quite staggering. Who in their right minds would pay £396 for a printer cartridge? Talk about being ripped off!

Never Heard of Video Conferencing?

Sir Philip also criticised the 400,000 nights a year spent by M.P’s in hotels in London in order to attend meetings at a cost of £30 million. In the modern age he found it incomprehensible that so much money could be spent on people who must attend meetings personally. Quite rightly he puts the question: “Have these people never heard of video conferencing?”

M.P’s transport costs such as taxis and hire cars is a huge £551 millions a year. Someone from an anonymous car hire firm wrote in to say her company were being paid by the government £156.28 a week for a small car, which a normal customer would get for £99!

At the Heart of it All

It’s amazing to think that no-one in the financial side of government, i.e., The Treasury, has checked up on this kind of thing for so many years. It’s the same old story of there being no accountability within government circles! Government laptops, so often in the news for being left behind on buses, in taxis and on tube trains by government officials in sensitive jobs, cost up to £2000, while a little research on the internet revealed identical models for just £800.

Sir Philip also questioned the advisability of moving a government agency to new offices in the Midlands with a rent of £1.2 million a year on a 20 year contract, fixed for 15 years, when shortly after the department was abolished leaving a commitment of £18 million. Mismanagement of real estate by government departments costs the taxpayer £25 billion a year but could be drastically reduced.

The final report due out on Monday should make very interesting reading for Governments world-wide, especially in the rest of Europe and the United States. With luck, it will begin a wave of in-house cleaning by many governments, but I doubt it.

The Eurofighter - Costly, But Worth It

When government contracts are awarded for new military hardware, buildings or transport links etc., we all know that the project is going to cost e.g., £25 billion, but when the final accounting is done the end figure can be five times that or more. Good examples are the Eurofighter from BA Systems and the Channel Tunnel, both of which went way over budget.

Boring the Eurotunnel

Such major contracts are first put out for tender and presumably the lowest bidder wins. In my opinion, over the last three or four decades many companies have intentionally put in ridiculously low bids, one for which they know they cannot complete the task, just to get the contract. Once the contract is signed, they are fully aware the price can be jacked up once they have started work.

This is no way to run a business, and running the government services for any country is just that, a business on a larger scale.

The Secret - Make it Stick!

Governments must realise that if a supplier quotes a certain price for work to be carried out, the company must be held responsible for ensuring the end product for the quoted price. Companies dealing with government departments, be it the Ministry of Defence, Transport or whatever, must be made to put in realistic bids for services to be provided. There is nothing wrong in allowing perhaps a 3-5% cost over-run in today’s turbulent markets, but it should be no more than that.

The problems highlighted by Sir Philip Green only go to emphasis that much tighter control is necessary on government spending, for in the long run, it always comes from the pockets of the general public in the form of taxes.

This is 'In-house'

The present coalition government is currently looking for ways to reduce the annual budget by many billions of pounds with cuts to defence and the police force high on the gender. It would seem wise for them to first look in-house before taking such drastic measures, and the assistance of men like Sir Philip would be invaluable in such an exercise. By this I mean top flight business men with a known track record like Sir Philip who pulled BHS back from the brink into a good solid company, not some fly-by-night stock exchange wannabe.

Obama, Zarkosy and Merkel - the Big Three

Britain is by no means the only country afflicted with such woes. I am sure the economies of all the major nations could see a dramatic upswing if the leaders, like Angela Merkel, Presidents Barack Obama and Nicholas Sarkozy were to employ businessmen in strategic monetary positions within the government as fiscal advisors.

Another Good Place to Start?

Without a doubt, we will not see an end to the worlds economic woes when duly elected governments and leaders allow such wastage at the top, while telling the public it is time to ‘tighten belts’.

I firmly believe in the old saying, which should apply especially to governments: ‘If you must lead, lead by example!’

Roy.


Britain – Land of the Loony’s.

Posted in Britain, England, English Schools, Human Rights, Immigrants, Insanity, Modern World, MP's, Primary Schools, Prison, Theft, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 14/01/2010 by floroy1942

If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny! For this post I have chosen five of the most ridiculous stories to come out of the UK this week. Firstly, in Southampton in southern England, a man turned up at the hospital’s casualty department with his penis stuck in a length of steel tubing. The hospital staff could not release it because the situation had caused the man to become aroused thereby enlarging his penis and making it impossible. You really couldn’t make this up!!!! Eventually his penis was freed from the pipe by a very delicate operation carried out by…..wait for it!…..Firemen with a metal grinder!!!!!! When I read this story I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Apparently the man left the hospital without any explanation as to how he got his penis stuck in a piece of pipe.

Ed Balls the Schools Secretary for Great Britain is quoted as saying that primary school pupils (aged 7 to 11) and secondary schools (ages 11 to 16) should learn Mandarin i.e Chinese! His reason for such a statement is that Britain has increasing business ties with China and the business sector needs Chinese speakers. Does this mean that it must become part of the national curriculum and a requirement for all children to learn Chinese?

He is right in one thing, it should be compulsory for all children in English schools to learn a foreign language; but Chinese? It would be far more useful for them to learn French, German or perhaps Spanish. Britain has for decades fallen behind other European nations in the teaching of foreign languages in schools, leaving it up to the pupils to decide. When it comes to languages the British are notoriously lazy.

Britain’s erstwhile Prime Minister Gordon Brown has decreed that poor homes should be given a free laptop and broadband access so the parents can communicate with their children’s school. So Gordon is of the opinion that the tax payer should foot the bill for this, and of course poor parents will immediately get ‘on line’ and follow their offspring’s progress at school. I think it more likely there will suddenly be a glut of laptops being offered at knock-down prices in the local pubs to finance a few more pints of best bitter.

On a more serious note, A family of five bought a house for £285,000 and decided to have it structurally altered and renovated. They moved into a rented apartment while the builders were working. After the Christmas break they went to the house and found a group of Romanian squatters occupying the house. They had changed all the locks which prevented the owner from entering. He went to the Police, and on enquiring as to the legal status of the squatters being in the country was told he was racist. Eventually it turned out that the Romanians had become victims of a black con man who had ‘rented’ them the property. They thought they were legal and had every right to be there, but the black guy was not the owner. It took two weeks for the legal situation to be sorted out, and now, much to the families relief, things are back to normal. The Squatters, they moved into a house further down the street. The con man? He disappeared into a richer puff of smoke.

It has been known for years that Britain needs more jails, and now finally the Labour Government has made plans for more to be built. Britain is way ahead of the rest of Europe when it comes to the size of its prison population. For years, Judges have been given instructions not to send so many felons to jail, no matter how much they deserve it, because the jails are already overcrowded. Prisoners have been released after serving a fraction of their sentence to make room for the next influx of criminals. Many have been hardened criminals who go on to offend again and again after release. For the toe-rags inside for drug dealing, theft and rape etc. they do a tiny fraction of their sentence and then its business as usual.

Strange though it may seem, this plan to build more jails has raised a storm of criticism. Groups, and even MP’s, are decrying the move saying resources should be put into preventing crime, not punishing it. I suppose this means more Miss Goody Two-Shoes talking to hardened career criminals trying to convince them of the error of their ways??? I suppose this means that felons will get more non-custodial sentences while the ‘Goody Brigade’ go to work on them to convince them that it really isn’t ‘nice’ to beat up old age pensioner ladies for the few shillings they have in their purses???? It really is too bizarre for words. These ‘Goody Goody” idiots have done so much harm to the English way of life that they should be put against a wall and shot without the chance of parole. I have always been of the opinion that if a criminal is behind bars, he cannot commit more crimes. If the British Penal System were designed to make incarceration so hard that felons would never want to go back to prison after release (like the old days), that more than anything else would cut the crime rate.

Such a shame, but I think the whole country has gone to the dogs!

Woof Woof!

Roy.

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