Archive for Pope has Catholic tendencies

Shocking News!

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Rantings with tags , , , , , , on January 31, 2011 by awickerman

For those of you who are unaware of the gripping read that is Inside Housing, the premier social housing website, you are missing.. almost bugger all actually. I was unaware of it till this beauty came to my attention; The government has withdrawn funding from the pathfinder housing scheme. What is the pathfinder scheme? Well it’s;

These nine organisations were established by the Labour government in 2002 with a 10 to 15-year mission: to tackle what had become widely accepted as a signficant problem in housing markets and communities in traditional Labour heartlands.

So a Conservative-Lib Dem government has cut funding to a pet scheme of John Prescott that was designed purely to channel tax payers money to Labour voting heartlands. I am indeed shocked. Shocked it’s taken them so damned long to cut the funding.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think large areas of Labour voting heartlands could do with being demolished. I just don’t think the people in the houses should be allowed to leave first. Anyone who genuinely looked at Gordon Brown and thought; “Yes, he should be allowed to continue as Prime Minister” and voted accordingly deserves to have their house demolished on top of them.

Railway Costs, Yet another misguided review thereof

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by awickerman

Amongst the scintillating reads I receive was this gem, the review into railway costs has, despite reporting early, discovered the well known fact that British railway works costs far more than anywhere else. They’re also expected to report that the Pope has Catholic tendencies, though that has not yet been confirmed.

Sadly after this promising start it appears to go down hill as it starts talking about ‘innovative working’ and other such border line management waffle. While some new thinking would of course be welcome, starting with banishing the Luddite fear of new technology, that is not the real problem. The real problem is summed up by my work on the railways last night.

I arrived on site at 11:45 or so, as is always the case with these things I drove there. (No-one who works on the railways actually uses them, they’re just too inconvenient.) I meet the cast of thousands that is required these days and had a chat with the sparkies (HV electricians) about the books/papers they’d brought to read that night, sparkies only being employed to turn the power off at the start of the night and then on at the end, in between nothing.

Eventually by 12:15 I started wondering when we were going to start, at which point the supervisor turned up and announced the driver hadn’t turned up and as such our nights work was off. Of course the other job was going ahead and had the space for us to tag along, however that wasn’t in the paperwork and so would have been illegal. After checking this was definitely the case I gathered my merry band, gave them the bad/good news and we went home to enjoy a moderately late night and then a day off. Last nights work will be rescheduled as soon as possible as an urgent job, which means in at least 8 weeks time thanks to minimum notice periods.

In those two paragraphs you see all the problems afflicting railway work; the huge number of people needed for even a simple job, the bureaucratic delays, the problem of abortive work where jobs get cancelled on the night but the client still gets charged, the fact ‘urgent’ means ‘in a couple of months’, the paper work which means last minute changes are impossible and most importantly the fact all of this happens alarmingly regularly.

Unless this review deals with those problems, and the real elephant in the room of  the Railway’s horrific approach to health and safety (which is more about paperwork and arse covering for management than safety) it will be just another waste of paper. My hopes are not high.

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