Impossible to add anything to this:
So middle-ranking civil servant Sarah Baskerville , ‘author’ of over 200 tweets in one day during office hours faces the sack for breaking rules on impartiality. And it is claimed that she feels “singled out”, “attacked” and “targeted” for the remarks posted on Twitter.
It is absolutely right that Ms Baskerville loses her job – though not because of her anti-government views but because anybody who can spend so much time on social media during the working day is either failing to do her job properly or is in a role that isn’t actually needed in the first place.
No business would put up with such behaviour and there is no reason whatsoever why the taxpayer-funded DfT should either.
Though obviously not everybody agrees, as a spokesman for the PCS union with no hint of irony makes clear: “In the current climate, it is no surprise to us that people who are as dedicated as her feel passionately about defending the work they do and the services they provide.”
At last somebody in a position of authority has come out and said what has been blindingly obvious to most of us for many years: climate change is inevitable and there’s absolutely sod all that the human race can do to avert it.
According to UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, Britain should recognise that it can’t stop global warming and must instead focus on adapting to the ‘inevitable’ impacts of climate change.
About bloody time!
Our climate has been constantly changing since the earth came into being and it is arrogance or naivety of the highest order to think either that we can do anything about it or that, out of all of the infinite climate variations that have been or will be experienced, the one associated with the ridiculously short comparative time period of the last few hundred years is the most ‘suitable’ for the planet (who says?).
Indeed it would be laughable if so much public money wasn’t being squandered on ludicrous schemes ranging from carbon trading to incentives for wind power generation, not to mention the green stealth taxes that continue to be inflicted on us.
Humans are incredibly adaptable and already live in regions that range from the coldest to the hottest places on the planet. As a result we shouldn’t be overly worried about a few degrees of temperature fluctuation here or there. So, if money is to be spent then surely it should be on realistic schemes that help populations adapt to changes in their local environment. For the cost of such adaptation will be a mere fraction of the cost of (vainly) trying to arrest the perfectly natural process of climate change.
Unfortunately it seems that Caroline isn’t yet a complete convert – she goes on to say: “It is vital that we carry on working to drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions to stop the problem getting any worse,” despite the fact that human greenhouse gas emissions are such a small part of overall greenhouse gas emissions, which are, themselves, just one of the many varied components that may or may not contribute to overall climate change) – but at least she and her department are at last paving the way for some sensible dialogue on the subject.
One more point on the threat of a BA strike.
If you look at the statistics, Unite represents around 90% of BA’s 12000 cabin crew. Of those that it represents it claims that 71% turned out to vote and that, of that 71%, 81% were in favour of strike action.
So a quick calculation shows that just under 52% of BA cabin crew are in favour of strike action. While it is shameful that, apparently, over 3100 cabin crew don’t care enough about protecting their jobs or disrupting customers to actually bother to vote, it is hard to escape the fact that almost half the crew (5788 individuals) are not actually behind the strike.
And of course that’s if you actually believe the union statistics. It seems very handy that the break down works out at just OVER half, giving the ego-massaging ‘leaders’ an argument – albeit somewhat weak – that they are representing the majority of their members’ wishes.
Would the BA cabin staff who voted for a series of strikes that will bring misery to thousands and thousands of travellers over a busy holiday period please wake up and smell the in-flight coffee?
The leaders of the Unite Union (or, officially, ‘Unite the union’ for some unknown reason) are only interested in massaging their egos by showing that, having missed out on the ‘glorious’ 70s heyday of the Union movement they, like their comrade predecessors, aren’t afraid of taking on big business.
Don’t think for a second they give a toss if BA fails – indeed, they may even see that as a sign of their power that they had the ability to bring another British institution to its kness. Of course, that won’t help the cabin staff left jobless but, hey, the Union leaders have nothing to risk so why should they care?
The fact is that, if Unite gets its way and forces the BA management to concede to its demands, the victory for the rank and file members will be both hollow and short-lived. There is no sound financial reason for BA to continue as a loss-making organization and, as there is already plenty of customer choice (competitors are just itching to step in and take its place) there is no need – especially given the current economic climate – for the government or European Union to shore it up as they did with the banks.
Of course, if you really want to see how Unions taking on great British institutions has worked out in relatively recent times, I refer you to our motor industry, coal industry, steel industry et al.
So thanks to the powers of the ‘still on’ radio mike we not only get a glimpse of the real Gordon Brown but we also get an insight into how carefully stage-managed these ‘politicians meeting the real people’ charades are!
Gordon apparently thinks that somebody who asks perfectly legitimate questions of their (in this case unelected) prime minister and then says they won’t necessarily be voting labour is a ‘bigoted woman’ and that she shouldn’t have been chosen to speak to him.
Now he trots out the latest variant of the non-mea-culpa apology of ‘I do apologise IF I’ve said anything that has been hurtful’ – rather than ‘I do apologise because clearly I am a two-faced lying idiot who says one thing for the cameras and a completely different thing in private’.
Maybe he’s no better or worse than any other politician, but today we had some very real evidence that with Gordon Brown what you see is definitely not what you get.
Tickets for yet another gig (this time Gorillaz) go on sale, are sold out in minutes and almost immediately appear on eBay for multiples of the face value.
The majority of true music lovers are completely fed up with this sort of thing. And what they don’t understand is why the music industry isn’t putting a stop to it.
Let’s face it, modern technology makes it pretty easy to personalise tickets so that only the original purchaser and those he or she bought them for are allowed access to a gig. And, assuming that they are only receiving the face value for the tickets sold in the first place it seems that bands, promoters, organisers and the like would have a real interest in making this happen.
However, instead the majority are doing absolutely jack.
Now, if you were cynical, this might lead you to believe that they have something to gain from this sort of cyber touting. Could those with vested interests be buying the tickets and selling them back on at inflated prices in an attempt to make even more money?
I have no idea. What I do know, however, is that the bands themselves (even if they are just cartoons) should be much more vocal about this sort of thing and should be fighting for the right for real fans rather than remaining complacent about the profiteering scandal that is modern live entertainment.