Archive for This Will End in Tears

A Striking Matter

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Tenuous Link of the Day, The Railways, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by awickerman

After Vince Cable’s subtle and well judged speech to the GMB two points spring to mind, the first general and the second very rail parochial;

1. Of course strikes are at an all time low; there are barely any trade union members left outside of the public sector. It’s at 14% of the private sector workforce and 56% of the public sector, and bear in mind for these purposes I’m fairly sure the rail industry counts as ‘private’ as part of the whole ‘Ignore Network Rails debts from the national debt total’ scam (NR is technically a private company limited by guarantee after all). And if NR are off the books I’m sure a host of other organisations are as well, if Labour left us nothing they left us lots of thoroughly cooked books.

2. If anyone is serious about implementing the McNulty Study on lowering the costs of the railways the will need those new laws. Amongst the other recommendations was one to stop the constant trend for above inflation pay raises for train staff regardless of ability or performance, which they have very successfully gained through blackmail and extortion, exploiting a monopoly position that would be illegal for a company to have, legitimate strike action;

You can't help but see this graph and be grudgingly impressed with Bob Crow

You may hate Bob Crow, but you cannot deny the ugly hypocrite is damned effective for his members.

So what was the RMT reaction to this idea that future pay rises be in proportion to average earnings and linked to efficiency improvements? Well the report came out on the 31st of May, and had been leaked fairly thoroughly before hand and the weekend before the RMT was organising a strike on the Heathrow Express saying the above inflation 4.5% pay rise linked to performance improvements was “too low” and “loaded with strings”. Ohh and demanding the same Olympic blackmail payments they’ve bullied out of the rest of the railways under threat of a summer of strikes all summer. Not exactly embracing the findings is it?

Frankly a strike law that requires at least half of the RMT to turn up to vote is the only way to stop them, given the number of dogs and dead men on the RMTs books I doubt they’ve even got enough real members to reach a 50% quorum. Besides if Bob is right and his members are all solidly behind his regular strikes then it shouldn’t be a problem, all his members have to  do is be bothered to vote for a change rather than not bother as they normally do. Then again the RMT came out against AV, probably requiring something to have the support of at least 50% of the electorate was felt to set a dangerous precedent for their own strike ballots.

But of course there is bugger all chance of this happening. For some reasons a group of rich industrialist abusing a monopoly position to gouge the population is rightly illegal, but a group of rich train drivers doing the same is a vital social democratic right. Prizes will be awarded if anyone can explain why.


This is all getting confusing

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , on January 9, 2011 by awickerman

So the South African National police commissioner is in hot water over a spectacular piece of racism;

“A monkey came all the way from London to have his wife murdered here. Shrien thought we South Africans were stupid when he came all the way to kill his wife in our country. He lied to himself.”

This in reference to the honeymoon murder where the bridge died while touring a dirt poor township in less than obvious circumstances. Though I must say if you decide to go off on a midnight tour of one of the most dangerous parts of a country that isn’t safe to begin with you probably deserve anything you get.

Anyway so far so unexpected, however the commissioner in question is General Bheki Cele who, as the name indicates, isn’t the sort of senior apartheid era white chap you associate with such things. This leaves me somewhat confused, is it OK for black African chaps to call dark skinned people monkeys? I’d have thought not, but then I get confused about the whole language of racism thing anyway so what do I know?

My preferred interpretation is that he just an idiot promoted to that job because he has mates in the ANC rather than any actual ability, however I fear that in itself is probably racist.

Frankly the sooner this gets sorted the less confused I’ll be.

A variety of deaths

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Tenuous Link of the Day, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by awickerman

Breaking news from Saudi Arabia by way of Singapore! Why? Why not, that’s why.

As the traditional Islamic death trap the Hajj approaches the Saudi authorities have discovered a new way for vast numbers of pilgrims to get killed; H1N1 bird flu. This is something of a departure from the traditional methods of stampede, fire and heat stroke but will almost certainly be more fatal than usual disease of choice of meningitis.

I do concede H1N1 is a particularly pathetic pandemic, even by the low standards of such minor irritants as SARS, but this the Hajj in Saudi. If anyone can find a way to get vast numbers of people killed it’s them.

Vital Small Print

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Irregular Features, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , on October 12, 2010 by awickerman

The inestimable Long or Short capital has returned with an excellent piece of investment advice;

Let’s read the unabridged portion of that quote (from this article):

Assuming the first few owners don’t die horribly, it also seems like there will be a high likelihood of these vehicles making their way to high-end rental destinations.

I have bolded the important caveat for the benefit of unsophisticated investors, as well as the Japanese. When evaluating a product’s feasibility in the market place, and the returns one hopes to generate from an investment in such a product, it is crucial to ascertain the percentage probability that the first few owners die horribly. I can’t stress enough how bad the first few owners dying horribly would be — I mean it would be horrible to your investment. So try and avoid that.

Admittedly they are talking about the Martin jet-pack (which has no jets and isn’t a pack) but the point still stands.

Thinking Fail of the Week

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Rantings, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by awickerman

From this article. A handful of Frenchmen (and a few others) have been kidnapped from a Uranium mine in Niger, probably by some nasty terrorist types. To deal with this the French defence minister says;

“For the time being, our concern is to be able to enter into contact with al-Qaeda, to have some demands… which we do not have,”

Later in the same article the French national police chief says;

“We’re now facing a peak threat that can’t be doubted. There is a specific threat against French interests.”

Could the fact French interests are being specifically targeted have anything to do with the fact that the French government is so keen to surrender that they actively chase the terrorists for their demands?

An instructive comparison could be the British government’s approach of never paying a ransom, sure some people get stranded (but then if you insist on yachting past Somalia you damned well deserve it) but kidnappers get the point and go after softer targets and governments who just give in, targets such as Frenchmen.

Outstanding Adverts #34

Posted in Irregular Features, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , on September 16, 2010 by awickerman

In another one of the many occasional series for which this blog isn’t famous it is my pleasure to present this nugget of sexist joy;

Outstanding sexism from everyone's favourite Government owned car maker

This cunning and daring burst of sexism is yours from ChevyMall, the official tat seller for Chevrolet, one arm of everyone’s favourite government owned, and probably still technically insolvent, car maker General Motors.

Honestly I don’t have a problem with it but I can confidently predict there will be trouble over this, after testing the ‘All publicity is good publicity’ maxim to destruction (I doubt constant coverage of an impending bankruptcy helped GM sales) you’d have thought they’d be more careful.

Friday Strangeness

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Almost Beyond Words, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , on August 13, 2010 by awickerman

The concrete pipe hotel. As you might expect this is an Austrian idea, Austrians being the world leaders in locking people into constrained concrete places.

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