Thursday, 29 October 2020

The undead return - what to do about the ex-boss.

Like a bad dream, Jeremy Corbyn continues to bring nightmares to the Labour Paty. Poor old Keir Starmer showed his true lack of CEO metal today. 

In any corporate business, the boss going is a big deal, especially if they are a wrong 'un. New management is always quick to blame ("Kitchen Sink" is the preferred business term) the past "loser" whoever he or she was, take a huge write-off and fix some big issues in the company. All the better to start the new term with some heavy-lifting done for no political capital expended. 

In politics, life is not so easy. Your predecessor can hang around making trouble, like Theresa May, or leave the scence like Cameron (and Blair for a while). It is not up to you, unless you foolishly promote them to the Lords too soon. Occasionally, in business you have the old boss continue on, like Stelios who of course stills owns huge parts of easyjet and can make mischief at will, but in the round, once out the door they are done for in terms of influence. 

With the horrifying anti-semitism case in the news today, the left has managed to gorge itself on its own righteousness around political correctness. If it was for the nastiness of the beliefs behind it, it would be very funny.  Starmer could at last takehis chance for a clearout. Yet with this open goal to boot Saint Jez out, he pulled his punches, defending him this morning in a typically studioulsy lawyerly way. Only when the Sainted one refused to repent his sins, word for word rejecting Starmer's defence, has he suddenly found the courage to suspend him. 

A real leader would have used this opportunity to not only kick-out St Jez, but to make sure a few other reprobates went with him. Alas, Starmer has proved only a bit part player and with it shown he lacks the true metal of leadership. if there is one thing May and Covid have shown us, it is that strong leadership qaulities are needed in a Prime Minister and hard decisions must be made and acted on.

 

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Greta T may not "vont to be alone", but ...

Notwithstanding her much trailed return to being an ordinary school student, Greta seems still to pout in public quite a bit.  Must be very tempting, I guess.  She may not vont to be alone.

So what plans do her NGO handlers have for further exploiting her enormously successful global brand?

I'm rather repeating myself here, having written about the shift in climate-change response several times, and can't stress enough how the whole thing has now gone 100% mainstream, as of mid 2019.  The NGOs did their job too well !  As such, they risk being completely swept aside by Big Business / Big Banking, as it swings into full action mode.  Yes, we really get it, we're really doing it - now just piss off!   (We don't take advice from people in sandals.)

They never really knew how business worked, and they don't know how to intervene in a genuinely purposeful business dynamic such as is happening everywhere now, except as spectators and way-behind-the-curve cheerleaders.  They'd be gobsmacked if they saw the detail of what the heavy-duty, truly purposeful reengineering of whole, real, steel-&-concrete sectors of industry actually involves.  (I'm working on a hydrogen project right now - it's mind-boggling in its ambition.)  They have nothing to contribute! 

It'd be like a 1930's refugee, fetched up in America, who'd been writing to her congressman for a couple of years urging him to drop his isolationism and get the USA into the war.  Then along comes 1941-42.  What does Roosevelt or Ford or Bethlehem Steel or Boeing need to hear from her on the subject of how you build tanks and ships and aircraft by the thousand?  

I'm guessing the NGOs (the ones with the really devious world-government plans) were hoping, or planning, that their Big Chance was if business continued to dig in against change, and would need ongoing and detailed cajoling / direction / manipulation / hand-holding / external interventions of all kinds, by self-appointed green missionaries. 

Too bad, Greta - it'll be Goldman Sachs in charge, as ever.

ND

Monday, 26 October 2020

The Wales Syndrome

Much merriment can be drawn from the situation in Wales this past, amongst the darkness that stalks our lands otherwise. 

I have throughout the last few months grown tired with two aspects of "Covid Control" that are at once contradictory. On the one hand, I get bored with the media (and also immediate family and acquaintances) finding every tiny loophole to exploit in any suggestions from the Government about restrictions to our lives to help prevent the spread of the Virus - it is just a series of sad little gotchas. We do know the Government is trying to restrict the virus spread and not just wind up directly Mrs Lilliput from no.23 who wants her hair done on a Tuesday. I find these conversations a tragic waste of time.

On the other hand, the ridiculousness of the micro-management by the Government and the pseudo-Governments of the regions also frustrates me. The latest idiocy in Wales over the sale of non-essential items is the most hilarious example yet. Since when in the the UK anywhere has a Government decided what items in a shop you can or can't buy on any given day? This is like something out of a Solzenhyitsen dystopia. But it is also very funny, to see a Labour Government, do exactly what we all  would predict and get even more micro-managing than the Tories - all for your own good of course. 

Overall, the Government's have lost the communications battle as they listen too much to the scientists. The current message "hands, face, space" is pretty good - it makes the case for simple social distancing. Throw that in with curtailing some activities where the virus is spreading fast and we have a policy easily understood and abided by. It is the extra craziness of specific venues being open or not, or groups of people gathering or not, that ruins this message. Governments cannot seem to help themselves gorge on the minutia of interference. But better that they focus on bigger things like reading NHS beds and testing and leave out the insane micro-management. 

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Tories' Persistent Poll Lead: Two Theses

 There must be many a leftie tearing their hair at this:

It's rather bigger than some recent Tory poll leads, but by no means an outlier.

WTF?  Boris has screwed up the Covid / national economy challenge almost as badly as Trump (albeit with none of the FlatEarth numbskullery, so it's pure incompetence and bad judgement), putting the UK right up there with the worst performers.  It would be laughably easy to compile a list of colossal and very public mis-steps, ranging from the catastrophic, through the corrupt, to the comical.  Johnson hasn't put a foot right since the long-distant Greenwich speech.  How come polling like the above is even vaguely possible?

I think we may rule out any supposition that the populace is being swayed by some purposeful 'subliminal influence' media campaign of breathtaking subtlety and genius being mounted by Cummings who, original as he may be, is also plainly what my father's generation would have called a four-letter man.  Conversely, the Labour Party has not advocated a policy of Covid house arrest for obese BAME diabetes sufferers, nor otherwise lately perpetrated anything universally repugnant.  So - WTF?

I offer two broad theses and, being fairly puzzled meself, invite the C@W faithful to pitch in with others.

1.  Natural Loyalty In Time Of War

This one barely needs elaboration.  You stick together when the chips are down and, as in 1945, if you have reservations about the mob you've thereby lent support to, you can always heave them out.  When Starmer wants to sleep at night he'll be comforting himself with this one: let's face it, the evidence is, it's all he's got.  So pure is his strategy, he won't even risk tapping the ball occasionally into any of the gaping open goals Boris specialises in.  Hey - this is Strong Human Instinct we're talking about: let's not mess with that.  (Pipe down at the back there, Burnham.)

2.  The Labour Brand Is Utterly Trashed

All through the Blair years in power, long after the Bambi-fresh appeal of Blair had evaporated, the more innocent of my Tory friends were continually perplexed.  Whatever outrages the Blair/Brown regime came up with, and however well successive Hagues / Duncan Smiths / Howards / Camerons spoke to wrongness of what was being done, Blair sailed on regardless to electoral victory.  And I used to say to them:  that's a measure of how much people truly despise the memory of the Major and the later Thatcher years.  

So here's the polar-opposite Thesis #2.  In the 30 months following GE 2017, Corbyn so trashed not only his own reputation but the entire Labour brand, that the electorate will spurn the People's Party for a decade.

Yes; judging by what happened 1997-2015 (or indeed 1951-1964) it could be argued that the wasteland wilderness period could even be longer.  I suspect some of the more reflective lefties fear as much.

 We must all have been pondering on this one: what do we think?

 ND

Thursday, 22 October 2020

IAG - BA part 2

Another day, another report of how badly things are going awry for the airline industry.

As discussed last week, I can really see huge changes afoot for the airline sector. Here is BA reducing its rather heroic 70% capacity next year forecasts in favour of a 30% capacity next year forecast. this is much more in-line with the rest of the industry. 

But it does show capacity overall in the sector being reduced by over 66% in total for the next six months at least - and which of us knows really how long this will last for?

BA have made a billion pound loss for the quarter, in reality they can sustain this for over a year in terms of pure financing. However, when do they press the button on permanently halving the size of the business? it is only but hugely cutting capacity that they can give up leases, reduce staff and other maintenance costs as well as slots at the airports where they operate. Reducing capacity will also allow them to charge more for the fewer flights that they are offering as it will bring back pricing pressure. 

A reason I am obsessing over this though for you, readers, is that this is a cast iron example of how things have changed in the world for a long time to come due to Covid-19. 

At this rate, no 3rd runway will be need at Heathrow or Gatwick - indeed, we may not even need all of Stansted, Luton and Gatwick airports with 50% reductions in capacity. Soon conversation will turn to mothballing one of these at this rate. 

There can be no swift return from here to what existed in travel infrastructure terms in January 2019 - lots of business case for travel has gone too - who among us wants to go to a 20,000 person trade show in Nice or Berlin in the next few years for example? The covid scars are going to run deep.