Archive for Not a big surprise

Perhaps They Just Chose… Poorly

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 29, 2013 by awickerman

Article in which various ‘top graduates’ complain about a lack of work and complain about a Tory MP for saying things they disagree with.

Whatever the merits of their case the author of the article didn’t exactly pick the strongest examples to prove their point. The three complaining graduates have ‘Classical Studies’, ‘Modern History’ and ‘Music’ degrees. All wonderful subjects no doubt, but maybe they are struggling to find a job as what they’ve learnt isn’t particularly relevant to the jobs they are applying for.

But then ‘Students who pick fluffy degrees struggle to find real jobs’ probably isn’t as good a story is it?

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In which I despair about Journalism

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Almost Beyond Words, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , on September 14, 2010 by awickerman

The Standard releases the news that the investment managers of various London council’s pension funds are investing in Tobacco company stocks while said councils are also running anti-smoking campaigns.

Is this news? Really? The fund managers are doing their job (maximising the return on their client’s investment) and the councils are keeping hands-off from the decisions (as they should, imagine the complaints if they’d tried directing the pension funds towards their own pet projects!). As the article points out most London councils have a massive pensions black hole that needs to be filled and tobacco stocks are good investments, especially in a recession. Now if smoking was illegal in the UK and every tobacco company had been chased out at gun point I could perhaps see the point, but at the moment smoking is still legal and I don’t think anyone is seriously proposing a total blanket ban.

There is no point to this story, no-0ne’s done anything wrong, and more importantly what the hell is Roy Castle doing there? Seriously WTF?

Return of the Nuke

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , on July 15, 2010 by awickerman

After some probably ill-advised detours I think it’s time to return to something engineering related. So I bring you the news that the planning permission process for the next generation of nuclear plants is generally considered a pointless time wasting sham by all involved.

OK this may just be confirmation of something you previously suspected, but at least you can now l0ok at the pretty Hinkley Point C sub-contractor website. While there you may note the fact the preliminary works (which need no planning permission but have only purpose) are starting soon while the actual work on the power station has already been scheduled in for next year.

Barring a horrific nuclear incident this is going to happen and all the ‘inquiries’ into it have already been comprehensively fixed, which is very reassuring for those of us who like a reliable electricity supply.

Three for One Health Special!

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Rantings with tags , , , , , , on July 2, 2010 by awickerman

And now a news story that manages to annoy me in three distinct ways. The BBC reports that the
Life expectancy gap ‘is widening’, which while not good news (all else being equal I think most people would prefer the gap to close) this is not in itself annoying. The three annoying points are;

1. The NAO says the figures mean a Labour government target to reduce the difference in life expectancy by 10% by 2010 is unlikely to be met.

Sodding government targets. Why anyone even bothers measuring them I’ve no idea, they were only ever a cheap headline and never got resourced (apart from the PR and monitoring). So after wasting money publicising them we now get fleeced again assessing them. Why? Seriously why?

2. It is calling for more investment to help GPs tackle problems like smoking and poor diet in poor communities.

The solution is ‘Basically we need more money’. It’s always that, never ‘We recommend taking a step back and thinking about this’, instead the demand is always to hurl more money at the problem in exactly the same way. The report goes on to say anti-smoking campaigns were less effective in poorer areas and so the solution is to double the spend on said campaigns. WTF?

Leaving aside the fact we probably can’t afford to see too many smokers quit (tax revenues are ~¬£10 billion a year from tobacco duties alone) this is madness. The schemes don’t work in poorer areas for whatever reason so why on earth will doing the same thing but harder be any different? Why not instead recommend changing the scheme, perhaps to one that might work. Why not spend the extra money on a research scheme to find out what will work? But then I suppose if the schemes work and people stop smoking all the anti-smoker workers will be out of a job; it’s in their interest for the scheme to fail or they’ll all be made redundant.

3. But it says that at present the system “does not provide enough of an incentive” to encourage family doctors to focus on the neediest groups in their practices.

Bloody GPs! Apparently we need to pay them more to actually care about their patients. Because ¬£100k a year for a three day week just isn’t enough money, they need a lot more of our cash before they’ll put down the golf clubs and actually do any work. Heaven forbid that a GP ever does anything without being paid a fortune for it.

Or we could sack the lot of them, spend the money on practice nurses, pharmacies that can issue antibiotics/painkillers/contraception and expanded A&E. Such a situation would be functionally identical to where we are now but with several¬† massive advantages; 1. Golf courses will go bankrupt 2. When you have an ear infection you’ll just get some drugs instead of being patronised by an idiot of a GP who will eventually works out that you have an ear infection and then send you somewhere else to get some drugs 3. Nurses actually are (mostly) caring professionals so would help their patients instead of being unmitigated selfish arseholes like most GPs.

I can but hope in the ‘savage’ spending cuts to come everyone involved in this report is sacked and maybe even deported. They wont be of course, the civil service never cuts its own bureaucracy or the useless jobs (front line services are favourite because that scares politicians off from making cuts in the first place) , but it’s a dream.

A New Low In Inexplicable Connections

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Rantings, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2010 by awickerman

I realise it is De rigueur to try and link your product to the World Cup, no self respecting marketeer would be able to show their face if they hadn’t tried to link crips, TVs or even washing powder to football. But surely this is a new low;

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A Comparison

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Irregular Features, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2010 by awickerman

The new Construction Minister has been announced, a fact I realise is probably of negative interest to most readers, but hey it’s a risk you take reading this blog. First off it should be noted Construction is never actually considered importance enough to get a full time minister, it’s normally combined with a few other areas and then given to a second string Minister of State (or worse an Under Secretary which I believe ranks below ‘tea boy’ in terms of importance)

However let us now compare the current chap and his predecessors and see what we can learn;

Looking over the last few years construction has rejoiced under;

  • Baroness Vadera – Investment Banker who saw ‘Green shots of recovery’ in January 2009. So not even a good banker.
  • Stephen Timms – ex-phone consultant for Logica who is probably most famous for thinking IP address stood for “intellectual property address” despite being Minister for Digital Britain). That or recently being stabbed by a nutter in a Burkha. One or the other anyway.
  • Most recently, Ian Lucas – a personal injury lawyer who has done a lot to work on producing documents on de-carboning construction. Sod all to stop the collapse in orders or haemorrhaging jobs, but maybe I’m being uncharitable. Perhaps he worked out the paperwork wasn’t helping so realised only by decimating UK construction can he cut carbon. No jobs = No carbon.

If these seem unimpressive idiots who know nothing about their brief don’t worry, with nine ministers in less than eight years they don’t have any time to do much serious damage. That also means they can’t do any good either, but that was only ever a theoretical possibility.

So who is the new chap? Well it’s Mark Prisk. He’s been shadowing the job for years, he’s a qualified survey and has actually has worked on construction sites and even ran his own surveying consultancy. Therefore there is massive pressure on his shoulders, should he fail the case for ‘Employing ministers who have had real jobs and who know about their subject’ will take a hefty blow.

Good luck Mr Prisk, a great deal rests on you not being an idiot.

A Night in the Life of a Tunnel Engineer

Posted in Irregular Features, Rantings, Tunnels, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by awickerman

Last nights work or, as it could also be called; Why everything on the railways costs an utter fortune. The one fact you need to know before reading is this, whenever you work on the railway you need to be accompanied by a COSS, the man responsible for making sure you don’t die.

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