Tuesday 19 June 2007

Left Hand, Right Hand (Part 94)

To Stavanger, centre of the Norwegian oil & gas industry, where I fall in with a drinking-party of oil engineers swapping names.

Remember old Bart? Yes, he’s still retired.
And Henk? Yes, he’s still retired, too.

What they mean is, not that Bart & Henk haven’t yet fallen off the perch, but that they’ve resisted blandishments to return to the industry. Underlying this is a formidable world shortage of engineers, particularly in the energy sector. Which means, inter alia, that if McBroon is hoping for the nuclear industry to bail him out with a half-dozen new power stations, he’ll need to reckon on UK plc buying its way to the head of the queue. Anything large requiring new technology ain’t gonna be cheap. Oh yes, and Gordo is selling our British Energy shares, as we highlighted here.

On the subject of which … as we reported here, BP has embarked on a cheeky campaign for a bigger sub to build a carbon-capture facility for a power plant in Scotland. It’s still at it, briefing away to the Observer this weekend. Don’t you love that little comment in brackets – “there is still time to rescue the project if civil servants act quickly enough” – now I wonder who fed McKie that little gem?



Gracchi said...

I think the best appropriate response is indeed. And don't forget that engineering departments, like Chemistry and history departments are making way for media studies at universities- another wise economic choice- liek abolishing Middle Eastern studies at Durham- from teh university sector!

Anonymous said...

Good morning Mr Slicker. My old friend Ratty advises me that from now on all dogs in Pakistan are to be addressed as Sir. This follows on from the awarding of a medal to a fish by the Queen, apparently. Anyhoo, to cut a long story short, will your old friend McBroon introduce the same idea here or should I approach Mr Levy to buy a title?? I would be happy with a baronetcy as proposed in Pakistan..

Nick Drew said...

Mutt - on the basis of the famous dictum that the one-eyed man is King, you can have whatever you want. You should approach nice Mr Cohen (who seems to be Levy to McBroon's Blair), softly humming:

Who'll buy a peerage, who'll buy a peerage, who'll buy a peerage, apply now to me ...

(see Guido for the rest of 'Once a Jolly Bagman')

Anonymous said...

This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only.

Nice people you associate with. Wonder what those violations could be? Lemme guess.... no, too easy. Let you guess.

Electro-Kevin said...

Do you remember me lamenting the fact that one of my engineer friends is a train driver now, Nick ? Or that my brother-in-law is expat in the US working for Gillette because he couldn't find remuneration to the same value here ?

Our priorities are totally arse about face here. We may well look to France and Germany and slate their economic condition, but at least their engineers have been respected and their infrastructure has benefited from proper investment.

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon - I can guess.

Do you fear that this blog you speak of may have radicalised us ? Or do you think that our patronage to it reveals our latent extremism ?

I suggest it's neither and this, for the record, is manifest in our archives and those of whom we visit. Like the treatment of Bernard Manning there are those who would prefer controlled democracy - an oxymoron don't you think ?

Anonymous said...

You have this in your favour, Electro - you can spell and you use the Queen\'s English and grammar. Blogs will be closed down and made inaccessible where there is an apparent disregard for the language and,or the liberty of another or others. A blog is not a democracy. The provider of the blog is at liberty to strike any administrator of said blog down at any time for whatever reason he deems necessary. Those who use the apostrophe backwards will be severely dealt with as regards freedom of speech where it damages another person, real or imagined.

CityUnslicker said...

Ek - thanks for you support.

Anonymong - Blogs are free in that WE can read what we wish, albeit we operate under the t&c's of the wonderful Google in this place. Whether we approve or not can normally be found in the comments. There are some very strange people in my links; all are interesting, but linking is not condoning nor prescriptive.

Getting offended by blog links is real Tim Irland territory.

I sorted the link so it worksn ow anyway.

The Hitch said...

I deleted my own blog
google didnt do it

Old BE said...

Selling BNFL and British Energy just before the nuclear boom starts is just plain stupid - but then he's got form on that.

For the first time ever a "winner" picked in the 60s might have come good but no no we must privatise to cover our indebted arses.

Nick Drew said...

Kev - yes indeed I do. We may reap the whirlwind in the coming years.

Following our earlier discussion, though, I would still ask:

(a) are we not simply able to buy in engineers / engineering from other nations (presumably using the lavish revenues derived from those activities we do still specialise in); and

(b)doing it that way around, do we fundamentally disadvantage ourselves ?

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother lying, hitch.

Did you delete your blog before or after Google closed it for public viewing.

And why are you calling yourself Raul

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