Opinion – George Osborne calls emergency July budget to reveal next wave of austerity | Politics | The Guardian – John Gelmini

Dr Alf is right about the Guardian; they are the mild-mannered, seemingly educated, power behind the “tip of the spear”, represented by militant trades unionists.

Since the thumping defeat of Labour and the destruction of the Liberal Democrats and their sandal wearing friends, we are now facing a rail strike during or close to a Bank Holiday plus more strikes at a later stage. Len McClusky has already told Jim Murphy the leader of the Scottish Labour Party to get lost. This is a return to the seventies, when before Margaret Thatcher crushed the mine-workers, trades-union barons used to make people like Jim Callaghan say “We are prostrate at your feet” before offering the trades-union barons who were his financial backers, beer and sandwiches.

The fact is public sector worker productivity is just 32% or 70 days of work out of 220 working days. This is 20% lower than it was before the 2012 Olympics and the Jubilee, and 18% worse than the 48% figure achieved by private sector workers. Both these figures put the UK’s worker productivity at 16% behind the average for the G7 and about 20th in the world. Absenteeism in the public sector in terms of un-authorized absence ,runs at 9 days a year, 50% higher than in the corporate sector.

As a geographically small country, we in the UK, have County Councils which are a fraction of the size of a French Departmente, something Dr Alf may remember from his many years in France as a younger man. Not satisfied with 43 English County Councils, six in Northern Ireland, six in Wales and eight in Scotland, we then have “unitary authorities”, City Councils, Metropolitan Borough Councils, District Councils below the Counties and Unitaries, and then Borough Councils below those.

Policing and Fire Commands match the County Council structures, except in Scotland where Alex Salmond merged them both into national operations and saddled the English taxpayer with all the extraordinary costs.

Then, we have the Civil Service, which employs 100 times more people than was the case when it employed 15000 civil servants in 1885, when we had the largest empire the world had ever known and a navy which took the king six hours to watch whilst it sailed past his observation post at Royal Naval reviews.

On top of this, there are the un-elected quangos and large numbers of council services, which have been outsourced to private companies yet those councils still keep their service directorate board headcount the same as they did before.

The Guardian and the serried ranks of Polly Toynbees, BBC reporters , local authority chief executives, trades unionists and politicians like Paddy Ashdown who is still in denial would have you believe that any attempt to streamline these structures and the not fit for purpose NHS would represent “savage cuts”, would cause riots, starvation an explosion of food-banks and the sky falling in.

Private businesses crippled by high business rates and parking charges are not able to take on new staff and businesses which would be financially viable without the costs of the bloated public sector simply cannot get funded. Dr Alf in his earlier incarnation as a chartered accountant would understand this all too well but the doom mongers at the Guardian would have you believe that the loss of public sector jobs would instantly translate into Jarrow March style dole queues, the return of the workhouse and the reincarnation of Scrooge.

George Osborne, in his emergency budget, may have in mind more welfare reform, but if I were him I would abolish the television licence fee and reform the BBC, one of the biggest and most wasteful quangos of all time, and then reduce the standard spending assessments for local authorities, police forces and fire commands to force them to merge into 15 regional authorities for the UK, one national police force and one national fire service. By reducing the spending assessments and the number of organisations the dead weight of people in non jobs could be progressively cleared out in a “swamp draining ” process. This would be coupled with mandatory headcount caps per department, plus a prohibition on the revolving-door where a local authority worker or apparatchik is let go on Friday and reappears as an interim on Monday, as if they were Lazarus rising from the dead.

John Gelmini

John Gelmini’s Opinion: Bill for sacking troops to hit £500m ex Mail Online

Dr Alf poses interesting questions and like me some years ago wonders what on earth is happening with the MOD and more broadly, Government spending.

For me, the MOD is no longer a mystery.

This realization came some years ago when I looked at the record of MOD spending and its performance on projects, procurement and supply chain.

Since I was born, the MOD has not completed a single project or piece of procurement on time and to budget with the average over budget amount being quadruple the original estimate.

The worst example was the project for the Bowman Radio which was 12 times over budget and more than 12 years late.

Over the years, I have asked people with military backgrounds how this can possibly be, given that the standard used for all Government projects is Prince 2 which is the Government’s own standard and only allows for project tolerances of 6% to 8%.

The answers I have been given range from “mission creep” to low initial bids to Generals and Civil Servants and Ministers “gold plating requirements”, to Ministerial meddling to changes of Government resulting in expensive bids being junked.

To my mind, this might explain prices perhaps doubling over the course of a long build cycle of something like an aircraft carrier but not quadrupling or even more than that.

If one looks at the amount of money spent as a proportion of the total spend by Government, on defence, even I, as a non accountant, can see that the numbers do not add up.

Our Tri-Forces is now down to less than 100,000, too small to be able to defend the country or our sea lanes and this at a time when more than 50% of our food is being imported, our population is rising, we lack a coastal protection vessel to watch our coastline and 5000 farmers a year are going bankrupt whilst another 100 a year or more commit suicide.

The plan has always been to turn the UK military into a “plug and play ” component of US Forces and a new European Army which between them will form the basis of a World Army once Russia and China have been brought to heel.

Unfortunately for the proponents of this, Europe lacks the money to perform this role and the UK is so heavily indebted thanks to those behind the banking crisis who enriched themselves at taxpayers expense that it cannot even maintain a full-time professional Tri-Forces and now has to resort to sacking the Forces we have and trying to make up the difference with reserves who are too few in number.

The media, including the Daily Mail, concentrate on the redundancy and extraordinary costs associated with the sackings but does not deal with these bigger questions because they are not permitted to report on them.

This is because these matters are part of the bigger Bilderberger Agenda of creating a World Army in stages, destabilizing the Middle East, destabilizing Russia, encircling China and formulating a Global currency starting with the Amero as and when the Euro and the dollar fail or are made to fail.

Government spending

Government spending (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

With an understanding of this bigger picture, one can see why the present Government and others in Europe and America since 1954, when the Bilderbergers were established in the Osterbeek hotel in the Netherlands with Prince Bernhardt at its head, are acting as they are.

Dr Alf asks about “An effective Media”, it is clearly becoming less effective as the Royal Charter under Leveson is set up and the politicians smarting at the Telegraph’s expose of MPs untrammeled greed and malfeasance during the expenses scandal now see their opportunity for revenge.

Labour, as an Opposition, is weak and ineffectual hence the rise of direct action by militant Trades Unionists like Unite, the RMT and the Teaching Unions and the BBC is little more than an Establishment mouthpiece packed with overpaid executives doing non jobs.

The UK is being managed into decline and lower expectations for the many and I cannot see on present trends that this will change for anything other than perhaps 4% of the population.

John Gelmini


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