Tuesday 17 July 2007

Another fine mess you got me into, Gordon:

So it comes to pass that Ken of this parish has managed to get his own way in the end. The official Labour Mayor of London has triumphed over the Labour Government.

Ken never wanted the PFI deal for the underground network. in his defence he threw millions, hundreds of millions (Other People's Money of course, taxpayers OPM) actually in the way of Gordon Brown's Treasury team. Oh what joy this brought to the poor families of the lawyers and consultants of London.

Now thought Metronet is certain to enter administration. From which it will not likely recover as its backers have had enough and are giving the keys back; A sad end for their shareholders too.

So who has one out of this PFI mess? Repairs have been completed in London, but are behind what was a heroic schedule. More money will be spent on a new group to take-over and now TFL will inherit more control over the network.

This may be a welcome development to many, but the cost to administer this mess is well over £1 billion.

Also key questions remain unanswered, Iain points out how much Mr Brown has to explain of his role. Why does PFI seem to do such a bad job at delivering services?

It seems to me that socialists are incapable of making rational choices and instead seek to complicate and regulate to such an extent that creativity is driven from any process. Profit too is so hated that they try to eradicate any potential. In doing this an unsustainable administrative burden is created, on purpose by the likes of Ken.

Many of the Conservative outright privatisations worked, look at BT and British Airways for example. Even the much derided water companies are doing a better job than the state managed too. Yet the railways were a disaster, even worse than British Rail, that have cost taxpayers more money (£20 billion and counting for Railtrack and its descendants) and this latest tube fiasco adds to that.

Would the railways be better is state hands? Or is it just terrible execution of the privatisation plan as Wat Tyler says?

My gut feeling tells me it is the latter. An example in today's Telegraph speaks volumes. Metronet was required to repaint Lancaster gate grey 3 times by TFL; socialist sabotage by the Newt King.


Nick Drew said...

Great guts think alike ... I'd point also to the (ultimately) very successful energy privatisations / liberalisation programme - it can be done.

Genius McBroon, eh? Another hapless dupe of the outrageous scamming of the 'big consultancies' - £500 million on consultants' + lawyers' fees on this one alone. One can reasonably assume the legal advice would have been technically sound at least: but as for the rest, well, I am sure we all have our favourite consultancy stories.

Have they never heard of the bankruptcy option which companies like Metronet enjoy, courtesy of limited liability?

Presumably there is another decade of stuff like this in store for the taxpayer...

Old BE said...

Decade? Aren't the contracts 30 years long? I might be mayor by then ;-)

I don't think Major thought too carefully about the railways or maybe he did think too carefully. I would have (with hindsight) favoured each line being sold off individually, with the owner controlling the track and the trains. That way there would be no buck passing. I understood that the Railtrack plan was such that at some later stage competition between train operators would be introduced so that more than one operator would compete for custom on major routes. This didn't happen except in a handful of cases and has now been eliminated with the regional franchises.

But if SW trains owned all its own bits and its customers could see what a raw deal they were getting in comparison to SE trains, would there be a bit of pressure to improve?

Same with the tube, had it all been sold off as one the whole company might have done a lot better.

But then again maybe trains just can't make money and only serve as a public service...

CityUnslicker said...

ND - Yup, the £500 million is a staggering sum.

What next, I think this may cost a shed load too. Ken is never scared of throwing more money at something he wants done.

CityUnslicker said...

Ed - Good post. I have not come to a conclusion myself about state owenership or not of the railways. It seems to be the default position for the UK.

But railways did not get built this way did they? Nationalisation brought that about at Government behest under national security concerns (see how cycles repeat themselves!).

What is proven is that tthe government can wreck any private involvement at will; as such there will be very little appetite for the private sector to get involved.

pommygranate said...

just a total shambles. hopefully this will expose PFI for what it really is - just more (hidden) govt liabilities.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"Would the railways be better in state hands?"

On all the evidence, yes. Some things you can privatise, some you can't. Trial and error.

As PG says, PFI is shit. It's a waste of taxpayer's money.

Tuscan Tony said...

"socialists are incapable of making rational choices and instead seek to complicate and regulate to such an extent that creativity is driven from any process."

Very well said that man!

Old BE said...

CU, the thing is Major's privatisation wasn't really red-blooded privatisation, because the operating contracts are only of finite length so there is not enough incentive to invest for the long term, and as Byers proved it was all too easy for the government to take Railtrack back.

Also remember that the privatisation was intended to cut government liabilities on an ever declining railway, but promptly after they were sold off they started growing again (cause or effect not sure) and then the current problems of needed to invest in increasing capacity reared their ugly heads.

Newmania said...

Would the railways be better is state hands?

I think they may well be CU but Eds points are interesting ( as they often are actually). Perhaps the formula can be put right . The market is not a magic bulet though , I deal with a market that frequently acts against the inetrests of everyone but insiders and itself. Doctrinal marketeers often have little experience of the real thing

Old BE said...

Thanks N

The advantage of state ownership of transport infrastructure is that the government can use them to fulfil separate policy goals (such as getting people out of cars onto rail or running lines which could never make money) more easily by co-ordinating investment and pricing strategies AND cross subsidy from profitable lines to less profitable ones.

CityUnslicker said...

Ed- you raise the issue of the tyranny of the majority - which is an important concept in market limitations.

I think you make some excellent points Ed. However, politically I can see no mileage int eh UK for many a year for greater private ownership of the railways.

Old BE said...

I agree, but it's worth contemplating these things even if they will never happen. I don't think Labour have the balls for a full blown renationalisation now that the money's run out and Brown's fiscal rules are shot to pieces.

CityUnslicker said...

Ed - Working out the ideoogy, something you are very good at, is certainly a good idea.

But you are right, we will be stuck with the current mish mash for a while.

Anonymous said...

The Metronet saga is bad enough, but somebody should be arrested for waste that is NHS PFI. I'd also suggest that Wat's 'Simple Shopper' is better characterised as a revolving door. It's not good enough, IMO, to just blame inept procurement (though this much in evidence). Ask Patsy and all her management consultancy kin.

Interesting that many of us slack-jawed public sector types were derided for opposing such idiocy.

Anonymous said...

aaaa片, 免費聊天, 咆哮小老鼠影片分享區, 金瓶梅影片, av女優王國, 78論壇, 女同聊天室, 熟女貼圖, 1069壞朋友論壇gay, 淫蕩少女總部, 日本情色派, 平水相逢, 黑澀會美眉無名, 網路小說免費看, 999東洋成人, 免費視訊聊天, 情色電影分享區, 9k躺伯虎聊天室, 傑克論壇, 日本女星杉本彩寫真, 自拍電影免費下載, a片論壇, 情色短片試看, 素人自拍寫真, 免費成人影音, 彩虹自拍, 小魔女貼影片, 自拍裸體寫真, 禿頭俱樂部, 環球av影音城, 學生色情聊天室, 視訊美女, 辣妹情色圖, 性感卡通美女圖片, 影音, 情色照片 做愛, hilive tv , 忘年之交聊天室, 制服美女, 性感辣妹, ut 女同聊天室, 淫蕩自拍, 處女貼圖貼片區, 聊天ukiss tw, 亞亞成人館, 777成人, 秋瓷炫裸體寫真, 淫蕩天使貼圖, 十八禁成人影音, 禁地論壇, 洪爺淫蕩自拍, 秘書自拍圖片,

做愛的漫畫圖片, 情色電影分享區, 做愛ㄉ影片, 丁字褲美女寫真, 色美眉, 自拍俱樂部首頁, 日本偷自拍圖片, 色情做愛影片, 情色貼圖區, 八國聯軍情色網, 免費線上a片, 淫蕩女孩自拍, 美國a片, 都都成人站, 色情自拍, 本土自拍照片, 熊貓貼圖區, 色情影片, 5278影片網, 脫星寫真圖片, 粉喵聊天室, 金瓶梅18, sex888影片分享區, 1007視訊, 雙贏論壇, 爆爆爽a片免費看, 天堂私服論壇, 情色電影下載, 成人短片, 麗的線上情色小遊戲, 情色動畫免費下載, 日本女優, 小說論壇, 777成人區, showlive影音聊天網, 聊天室尋夢園, 義大利女星寫真集, 韓國a片, 熟女人妻援交, 0204成人, 性感內衣模特兒, 影片, 情色卡通, 85cc免費影城85cc, 本土自拍照片, 成人漫畫區, 18禁, 情人節阿性,

Anonymous said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,