Tag Archives: Labour

Which baddy is going to ruin our Christmas in 2017?

Hello there

Ironically, it is one of Labour’s biggest donors, the Communication Workers’ Union, which has called a strike on 25 and 26 November*, in protest at the planned closure of Royal Mail’s final salary pension scheme.

Last year, Royal Mail delivered 130 million parcels (according to The Daily Telegraph), but there may be darker forces at play here. The Labour Party uses a company called Whistl, for its own deliveries.  This could look like a calculated stab in the back for Royal Mail.  What if Royal Mail were to go out of business, as companies switch their deliveries to Whistl for a guaranteed arrival of presents?

Who is Amazon’s choice of delivery agency?  If it is Royal Mail, it would be useful for DWP staff to advise the potential strikers about the risks they are taking with their jobs.  Loss of business could overbalance Royal Mail, which has survived privatisation, due to some bold operating decisions.  Special Delivery and ‘signed for’ deliveries work very well and are profitable.

Larger companies, registered in the UK, have been closing final salary schemes, since 2000.  BHS, our beloved high street store, fell into administration last year, as its pension scheme was hugely underfunded. For some reason, The Pensions Regulator, part of the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) decided to claim £350 million from Sir Robert Green, Chief Executive and that deal has concluded.  However it is not the full amount that was taken from the scheme. Just weeks later, BHS was sold to a serial bankrupt.  Are BHS employees being paid their pensions? What about future retirees?

Rifling pension funds was not supposed to happen after the tragedy of Robert Maxwell, who, in 1991, slipped off his yacht after weeks of slander in the media. He took £460 million out of his Mirror Newspaper Group’s pension scheme to repay other debts, especially in his American business.  His companies ended up having more debt than assets; a textbook business failure.  There were supposed to be laws to stop it ever happening again. However, then came BHS. And now Royal Mail.

Do you want Royal Mail to fail, because it cannot fund its pension scheme adequately to pay future retirements?  It has admitted to having to double its contributions from next year and cannot do it.  Therefore, it is commonsense to stop the final pension scheme now.  I am sure that someone behind the scenes has explained this to the CWU, but have they explained to the workers? They deserve explanation from the best : DWP staff, who are used to giving advice.

* These dates signal the start of ‘Black Friday’, the biggest online sales of the year.

LucyLou

 

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Petrol Or Electric – Fuel Payments After 2040

The UK  Carmakers Association looked wrong-footed when the government announced that there would be no more petrol cars after 2040.  Labour did not crow as much as expected, but it was just the timing of the announcement which surprised the car manufacturers.  And it really is exactly the sort of move Tony Blair’s Cabinet would have made.  He was accused on the invasion of Iraq of not thinking things through.

What happened to ThinkTanks? Or will Theresa May refuse to listen, as she knows best?  Labour has gone back to the Trade Unions for support.  I hope their members profit.

Michael Bradley, Chairman of the Australian Automobile Association thinks that electric cars will be slow to be purchased because of the large distances people routinely travel.  It is called “range anxiety”.

Some parts of Australia are already ahead.  The Queensland government has just launched its first “electric super highway”, which is 1600 km dotted with super-fast charging stations along its route.  Electric car drivers will be able to drive from North Queensland to the border of New South Wales, when it is complete in five months’ time, (credit ‘The Guardian’ newspaper 20/7/2017).

My idea is this:

To solve the concern about whether your car will reach the next charging station in time,

  • Satellites could sell as much electric charge as the customer wants. They input their card details or use a pre-payment card easily bought from neighbourhood corner shops. The satellite would read the card and beam down the bought amount of electrical charge.
  • Payment platforms are accessible by mobile phones. It is just another jump for those phones to access a payment platform in a satellite.

Or something on these lines?

Come on, carmakers, you have a great opportunity here.  Let’s discuss.  If you know someone already thinking on these lines, feel free to comment.

Have a good week.

LucyLou

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Soft Or Hard Brexit

Hello Everyone

What simple words we use to describe an enormous undertaking.

David Davis must start the talks in a few days’ time as beginnings are often ceremonial.

As this means such a lot to those who voted to leave in the recent Referendum, we really do need it to be steered by a cross-party committee.  Just because your shirt is red or blue does not indicate negotiating ability and we need that in spades, focussed brains on leaving in the best way for us.  Isn’t it great to think that the EU no longer has power over us.  We don’t have to think about whether what we do correlates with their laws etc.

There is concern over whether  we stay in the single market.  We can negotiate from outside it.  Besides, we have already been offered a seat on the Trans Pacific Alliance, which includes ex-Commonwealth countries.  It is generous of them considering the way we dropped trade with them following our entry into the Common Market, as it then was.

If a soft Brexit means happy landings, then I am all for it, but we must be inclusive especially of a new group of voters: young people.  Emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn, (that may well be his legacy) to vote, many for the first time means that we have to keep that interest.  They are the ones to be most affected by Brexit and all parents will know that anyone over 25 is a dinosaur.  Bluntly, they do not want Grandma making their life decisions.

It is ridiculous to suggest there will be no viable deal.  Theresa May has suggested this in the past, but I hope that she has dropped it. I find it difficult to believe that any politician who voted ‘Remain’ is truly able to negotiate a way out of the EU.

It is admitted by Theresa May that she made a mess of the Election.  It is just that she did not trust her Cabinet in the same way that many start-up business owners, find it overwhelmingly tempting to do it all by yourself, because you are the only one who can be trusted, right?  It is a hard lesson to learn.  At Prime-Ministerial level, there is no room for this and her Assistants were dreadfully arrogant to staff .  Madness indeed. There is no room for failure here and making a mess here would be catastrophic for us all.

So it does matter how MP’s voted in the Referendum and I ask you to please only have MP’s who voted to leave the EU. I was delighted to see in today’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ * that Labour and Conservative MP’s are talking to each other.  Hurrah!  They are putting our country first, which is what MP’s come into Parliament to do as part of their job.  It is not ‘cloak and dagger’ as the journalist seems to think.  It is normal for MP’s to discuss it with each other and take back their thoughts to the Prime Minister. She is not Maggie Thatcher who decided everything and neither is she John Major, who took us out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism on 16th September 1992.  (Actually we crashed out after the pound could not be kept above a pre-set rate.)  But John Major kept his nerve.  He believed in collective decision-making.  Theresa May will grow in stature if she takes their views onboard and hopefully continue as Prime Minister.  We just need faith.

We are caretakers of our beloved country. Every MP knows that and we rely on them to negotiate a graceful exit from the EU, for the next generation.

LucyLou

 

*(written by Kate McCann and Gordon Rayner)

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A Danger to Democracy

Hello

On 18 July Jeremy Corbyn refused to read out Labour’s policy on nuclear armament as it did not agree with his own.  At that point, he was not acting as a public servant but doing what he wanted.  Furious heckling from his own MP’s showed their disillusion at a discussion that had been booked in 2015 and a Shadow Cabinet meeting had agreed to read out Labour’s policy.

I remember years ago that I was beaten in a show of hands, but I had to swallow and accept a democratic vote.  Apparently Jeremy Corbyn does not want to be disappointed, but that is not democracy.

For the record:

‘Labour remains committed to a minimum, credible, independent nuclear capability, delivered through a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. We will actively work to increase momentum on global multilateral disarmament efforts and negotiations, and look at further reductions in global stockpiles and the numbers of weapons.’ (The Spectator 19 July 2016.)

What do you think?  Is there democracy in the UK?  In Europe?

LucyLou

 

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