Tag Archives: RAF

A stage of Ethicality

In this, we first need to set the proper stage, for example the notion that we are going into a boxing ring, and it is square no less. As such we are told to be ethical, which is a habit of conduct with regard to right and wrong or a body of such rules and habits. But in all this, for the last 400 years, it was the habit to make as much money as possible without breaking the law, and yes, the second part is actually important. 

This reflects (on me) that I would be happy to sell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia either the BAE Tempest, or the Chinese Chengdu J-20. One gets me less than the other, but I will not care. On a personal note. I will prefer the BAE Tempest, because that might score me an OBE in the future besides my commission, but I can live happily without the OBE. My grandfather didn’t get one in WW1, so why would I need one, I feel certain he would have earned it more than me.

This now reflects on the article by the NOS (Dutch news, at https://nos.nl/artikel/2383223-van-ark-herhaalt-mondkapjesdeal-met-van-lienden-voldeed-aan-voorwaarden)  that is optionally flaming the people to have a go at Sywert van Lienden. The news reports {De medische mondkapjes die opiniemaker en ondernemer Sywert van Lienden verkocht aan het ministerie van VWS hadden een redelijke prijs, waren van voldoende kwaliteit en konden snel geleverd worden. Daarom werd de deal, ter waarde van ruim 100 miljoen euro, gesloten} “The medical masks that opinion maker and entrepreneur Sywert van Lienden sold to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport had a reasonable price, were of sufficient quality and could be delivered quickly. That is why the deal, worth more than 100 million euros, was closed”, the Dutch government has embraced for well over 25 years their ‘subsidised dealings, the company I worked for in the 90’s had a deal (a very nice one), and others have too. The Dutch will embrace manufacturing, reporting, and enhancing whatever they can and they will pay, so stop crying.

It is when you realise {Van Lienden leverde twee soorten mondkapjes, voor 2,26 euro en 2,78 euro per stuk. De gemiddelde prijs die op dat moment werd gevraagd door aanbieders was tussen de 2,50 euro en 3 euro} “Van Lienden supplied two types of mouth caps, for 2.26 euros and 2.78 euros each. The average price asked by providers at that time was between 2.50 euros and 3 euros”, that in hindsight against what I can buy now per piece $2 (€1.26) or per 10 for $1 (€0.63) each, the writeup is seemingly quite remarkable when we compare it to the now, and that is what the consumer sees. I guarantee you that these pharmacies are not working for free. So what did Sywert van Lienden do wrong? I do not believe that he did anything wrong, he saw a market and he got right there on Day Zero (implying someone whispered that news to him). The news implies all kinds of political connections on both sides of the aisle. Does that matter? The EU floats (and thrives) on Nepotism, I have seen and felt that for well over 27 years and I got the short end of that equation many times, do I cry? No I don’t!

And perhaps my ship will come in, perhaps it will not. Over those 25 years, I have worked, wrote articles, created technology (mostly 5G), created data solutions, wrote files for dozens of corporations and I am dubbing over a TV series (two actually), I got the idea out there for at least two movies and I had an additional idea for a third movie (thanks to Dwayne Johnson and John Cena), not to mention several video games. So in the end I made a decent creative footprint, but will that digress me from making $65-$121 million if I get the chance? Hell no! Are my chances good, not really. This world was altered to adhere to the exploitative, the openly short sighted (age discrimination) to give the exploitative even more options. 

We all have that moment when the jewel in your crown is just there for the taking, in this we are handed two setbacks. The first is the direction to look in, so the wider the view, the better your chances. The second is to recognise the jewel from the truckloads of Coprolite floating around it, so you need to be fast, precise and accept the consideration that you will grasp the wrong thing. That is life gentlemen (ladies also)!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

Is it good news?

Yup we all see it at times, we are offered an apple, all whilst it is not, it could be an apple and some will say it is an apple, but the judges are our whether it is fruit at all. I get it, there are some speculations on a few items in the pond, but how did we get there?

BAE Tempest

These are a few of the thoughts I got when I was confronted with ‘RAF Tempest jet will ‘add £1bn to East of England economy’’ yesterday. You see, I am happy for the RAF, I really am, but when we look at the news, we get to see “A project to develop the RAF’s new fighter jet will bring at least £1.1bn of added value to the East of England economy”, as such we need to consider that in one place we see “added value”, that is not really the same is it? Adding to the economy and added value to the economy are not the same thing, should you wonder, ask the grocer, the baker and the milkman in the east of England, they will wonder as well, because if it actually boosts the economy, their business will get better, added value does not, it infers that change, but it will not.

Then we get to “PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) report said the project would support a minimum of 22,000 “job years” in the region”, 22,000 if supporting work until at least 2035 will imply 1466 job years per year. Yet it is all speculation. It is a big deal, but it would have ben better if we would have gotten “PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) report said the project would support a minimum of 22,000 “job years” up till 2045 at present expectations in the region”, this would give us a timeline with the expected setting of 880 jobs a year at present, but for some reason PwC was intentional vague here, so hw much jobs are saved and how much workforce are the people behind all this trying to import? 

So why does it matter?

It matters when you are considering “Leonardo UK already employs 1,000 people at its site in Capability Green in Luton researching and manufacturing advanced electronics for combat aircraft such as the RAF’s Typhoon fighter jet. Missiles expert MBDA has a workforce of about 3,000 in Stevenage and both firms said they were looking to increase the size of their local workforces”, it matters that one side gives us that there is expected space for for 880 jobs, all whilst the Typhoon is winding down and there we see 4,000 employed people, we do get that there is a mention of ‘they were looking to increase the size of their local workforces’, yet is that accounting for “The aircraft is being designed to include technology to provide pilotless flying”? It is a side that the Typhoon never had and we get that, but where will that part come from in the Tempest? So when you look at the stage, there is something off in ‘the project would support a minimum of 22,000 “job years” in the region’, as such, especially as that part took 15 seconds for MY brain to work out, I wonder what the BBC writer was thinking, who was also unmentioned in the article, I wonder why? 

So is it good news, or is it orchestrated bad news? The issue is that this was screaming from the moment I saw it and the BBC is not setting a stage with follow up questions? I would have thought that the Martin Bashir case was a rude awakening for the BBC, but no, I was wrong, this article shows that deception is still at the core of a few people, especially when the identity of the writer is missing. The Tempest could be good news on a few fronts, but in all this, it seems important to give out ALL the relevant information on matters that affect the people in the East of England, and it matters, as far as I am concerned, it will inflict levels of insecurity, especially when some of the parameters that make for the “job years” would have been added. 

What will happen in the East of England? Apparently, we will have to accept that time will tell, whether that telling is a good thing or an increasingly negative one has yet to be determined.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Military, Politics

Should I run for office?

That was the question I was wondering about yesterday. I am not much of a politician, but I feel that the current batch is not getting anything done in the UK, so why should I, an Australian consider running for office in the UK? Well, first reason is that my heritage is there, but more important, whatever hits the UK, will impact on Australia in more than one way later down the track, so getting the punches in for the commonwealth all over is not the worst idea to have.

So who to join? Labour, well, they are not getting anything done at present, and in two nations, Labour had spent enough to cover the budget of more than two nations. Liberal Democrats?

I do not think they are anywhere near fit enough to govern and Nick Clegg is not making it any easier with promises that get set back. I see them as the party that grows a little by having the backs of the conservative party, which makes it a follower, they are not leading. I have seen man great and small, I have met leaders, I do not regard Nick Clegg to be one.

So now we have two remaining, the Conservatives and Ukip. Now we get a new issue. If we regard today’s news: ‘Ukip recruits BBC’s ‘Gobby’ as communications director‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/dec/07/ukip-bbc-gobby-communications-director-paul-lambert-nigel-farage), we see a game changer. Ukip is beefing up their political engine with a heavy weight. We see the quote that draws us in first “Over the past few years I have been following the work of Ukip and Nigel Farage, and I feel that he is changing British politics for the better. I am delighted to be able to add my experience to his team“, now we get to the issue! Yes, Nigel Farage is changing politics, the question is, is it for the better?

It is a dangerous issue to debate, I can only debate it from my -point of view and for the most we seem to depend on past political achievements, what are they? Here, we see the Telegraph and the Daily Mail handing us a part that actually matters (who would have thunk it). The headline already gives us the beef of the issue ‘British politics is broken – and only Nigel Farage is profiting‘, which is how we seem to regard UK politics, within the UK and outside of it. The article gives us this bit “There has been no Axelrod figure lurking behind Mr Farage, trying to make him say the right things or wear the right clothes. He has advanced to his position of unprecedented public influence on his own terms. Voters sense this and respect it“, it is in actuality a much stronger recognition than most realise. The people want a person who does HIS (or HER) things, not chewed down, analysed and reshaped for maximum potential. We all want to meet the ‘real’ politician. Nigel has been playing that part and played that card brilliantly. He has a decent amount of charisma which does not hurt either. The Daily Mail is less subtle about it. ‘But this is what you get when a smug metropolitan elite treat the people with contempt, writes Dominic Sandbrook‘ here we see “What Mr Farage has tapped into is a widespread national discontent that cannot merely be dismissed — as some metropolitan commentators have tried to do — as racism or xenophobia“, there is a little more than that, but the elements are shown, by the way, the picture of Nigel Farage holding a pint helped Nigel enormously. The people are seeing a person THEY can relate too, both Ed Miliband and David Cameron forgot about that. I saw Ukip as a serious concern in May 2013 at ‘UKIP or U.K.I.P? (Ur Kiddin’ I Presume?)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/04/ukip-or-u-k-i-p-ur-kiddin-i-presume/)

I still see myself as a conservative, yet here things are not going so good either. Part of this is David Cameron’s own fault. Ukip should have been treated more seriously long ago, now they are gaining momentum, whilst the conservative train is losing speed. I think that the conservatives did play the game right for most, but it is the game that the voters have had enough off and they are looking somewhere else at present, which gives us this predicament. So where should I run for office in the UK? (Beside a few minor glitches regarding not being a British citizen). When I look at my family’s history, then there are a few options. I would look at my family’s history to behold my options. The first place is Saffron Walden, which has a link to my grandmother’s heritage. There we see the conservatives with Sir Alan Haselhurst clearly in seat, no threat of Ukip coming there any day soon. The next part is my great grandfather, which gives me Exeter. Here we see Labour as a temporary majority. Now we have ourselves a ball game. I have to work the brain magic, because on looks, Ben Bradshaw, will easily win. Dominic Morris is in the prospective seat for the conservatives and he is not strong, he needs support. Perhaps Dominic would consider the photograph on his LinkedIn profile? Which if the 5 persons is he? Not the best setting for a former RAF trained pilot, only two jobs of 2 years of more, the rest were all mere months. Not the greatest profile here, but it does read slightly distinguished.

You see, here Ukip has an advantage; Keith Crawford is a business man, on YouTube you can see that he knows how to address an audience, showing how EU costs are costing the British people a fortune. He is a former soldier who shaped himself and went into business, her shows that he has options, he worked hard and he made it, an Englishman in England. Dominic Morris will have one hell of a fight on his hands and not just a real fight; he is less likely to win on the data I am seeing. Especially as Keith Crawford is discussing both cheap labour and freedom of movement, we see that Keith has the ability to win this election. I am ready for this fight if need be!

The weirdest part is that I worry about in this fight is that Keith Crawford could have been a formidable Conservative, not with the looks of Ben Bradshaw, but with the voice, the insight and knowledge to be better than Ben Bradshaw. Not that Bradshaw is all looks, as a graduate from the University of Sussex, he has his degrees and he has been a member of parliament since 1997. Still, at present it is about economy and jobs, which is why (as I see it) Labour is to be regarded out of its depth and with a less then strong representation from the conservatives, Ukip could sweep the votes with no less than 45-54%, which leaves the other 2 (we will disregard the chances of the Liberal democrats here) by a lot.

So, where do I stand, how can I make a difference? That is not a given at all, I remain conservative, but to some extent Ukip is voicing the issues many conservatives have, which is why there is such problem. To some extent, there is more at play then the visible items and those attacked by Ukip do not bare them out, moreover, if Nigel Farage gets the majority and he makes an exit from the EEC, we will see those hidden issues out in force, moreover, the act will drive both Germany and France into a coalition of desperation, they will drive every opposition to anything the UK brings and they will try to remove the economic wind from the sails of economy as much as possible, with less than a 1% positive economy, that could play out to be a very expensive lesson. Yet something must be done ant the status quo is no longer acceptable as is, which conservatives to some degree acknowledge in relative silence, Ukip is shouting out the slogans, but there is more in play then a slogan, which is the issue the British audience will learn the hard way after that.

So as we see that Ukip is now bringing out the big guns, we see an electorate that is leaning towards a massive win for Ukip. Consider that only 19 months ago, Ukip was not regarded as a serious threat. I think it is time to see that Ukip will change the landscape, now you the British readers think back to how your Labour/conservative MP regarded Ukip and see the now, wonder how trivialising their presence has resulted in Ukip becoming the next party as it stands. Now ask that MP what else he trivialised and get to work on those items, because as I see it, avoidance of Ukip is no longer an option, but make sure that all MP’s are awake now and that the Tories (and Labour to a lesser extent) have a fighting chance. Because, like Front Nationale (France), Ukip was disregarded as serious opposition, now we see this “The far-right Front National (FN) scored a historic victory in elections to the French senate on Sunday, winning its first ever seats in the upper chamber as the ruling Socialists and their leftwing allies lost their majority to rightwing parties” (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/28/front-national-wins-seats-french-senate-first-time), we are about to see a lot more changes, many we will not like in the long run.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

The military Pound

We do not need to look far to see that cut backs are more than just the talk of the town. They have been the talk of nations for a long time, and we have seen more than one system discussed when it comes to the need for overspending.

So, when many read about the fact that the military overspend again we might not have looked to be too overly surprised. It is however the proverbial straw that is breaking the camel’s back. This is what was said on Sky News on Feb 28th “Britain’s Ministry of Defence has been slammed after a report showed between 2009 and 2011 it bought STG 1.5 billion ($A2.24 billion) worth of equipment more than it used.

The article was short, to the point and ended with “The ministry is to introduce controls that it hopes will reduce spending on inventory by STG 500 million a year by 2015.

So, the British consumer will be confronted with taxation on overspending by almost 2 billion until that time? How is that fair. This is not the end of it. There is a lot more. This is the clear part where we are confronted with overspendings; however, there are a few more issues at play.

The New York Times published a story in July 2006 named “Pentagon Struggles With Cost Overruns and Delays“. In this example they went over the costs of the F-22a Raptor. It was a track from 1991 until 2010 that showed a massive amount of overspending. The response as stated in the New York Times was “We must transform the way the department works and what it works on, he said. It could be said that it’s a matter of life and death — ultimately, every American’s.

So was that an answer? It seems not. Because that same story repeats itself when we look at headlines involving the F-35. “$24 billion British budget blow-out in black hole F-35 project“.

It seems that the boys in uniform seem oblivious to words like ‘common sense’, ‘budgets’, ‘overspending’ and you know, words of that general direction. Now I am all for a good defence, yet the parties involved seem to be either completely academically ineffective (incompetent seems too hard a word), or those paying are really lacking a certain level of backbone. Especially when budgets are overstretched the way they are. Am I having a go at the Australian and UK admin soldiers? I am not sure. Who made these decisions? Who allowed for these levels of overspending? These are serious questions that need answers and it needs more then investigation, it requires ACTUAL actions being taken. I am not talking about some political inquest wasting even more time and money. No! Defence needs to take a look at their laundry and fix this. It seems clear and shown that this needs fixing on several levels.

In the meantime solutions must be found, especially when it is clear that almost all parties in the commonwealth have to tighten the belt on budgets all over the place. It seems very unfair that even though the military are to most the visible part to defend a nation, the people placing their lives in harm’s way on a daily basis are having their budgets cut severely.

You know, I have a nice idea, right out of the extreme right field. Lockheed Martin donates 1% of paid costs by the DOD to the Metropolitan police as a show of good faith. Not all will be happy with this idea, but several will be less unhappy and the way the costs are cut especially to the police departments. It seems only fair. Who knows, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe might arrive in the office on a Monday morning holding on to a cheque and wearing a large smile (be not afraid if that happens). The same could be done for the RAAF. I reckon Commissioner Scipione might be happy to know that in the end, overspending almost 30% per F-35 unit (an unacceptable amount of overspending per unit) the police force will get a small shiny future. The other option is for the RAF to order 14 less F-35’s and the RAAF orders 2-3 less and these police departments get those funds directly.

There is however a deeper part to those rumours. Is the F-35 too overpriced and are we moving to a previous model (the F-22)? Even though several sources implied certain noises, there is no real knowledge at present (or better stated, known to me) that this is actually happening. It would be interesting as the NY Times reported that the F-22 had its last delivery in 2010. If so, should we pay full price for a model taken out of production? Would you pay sticker price for a 2010 Toyota? This seems more than a little unfair. Not to mention that we seem to reward/ignore a blatant budget overrun for two planes by the same company. A ‘ploy’ they seem to have handled since 1991. That means they did not seem to have cleaned up their act for two decades.

So we have two issues.

1. Commonwealth armies seem to be overspending by a lot and on needless things.
2. Commonwealth armies are confronted and left with much higher bills by their suppliers.

I am not claiming that the military are doing this on an intentional basis to waste money, but it stands to reason that we should ask questions when the size of the British forces is set around 225,000 and there seems to be an annual overdraft of 800 million dollars. The Australian Defence forces are not without fault either. This was mentioned in an article by the SMH, however I personally thought that this article asked more questions on the numbers they reported, then on the actual issue.

There is another side to this, and this was voiced by President Obama on Feb 19th as mentioned in the Guardian. “Obama warns Congress over spending cuts: ‘People will lose their jobs‘”. This is not an unfair statement. Yet the issue that is not mentioned is that overall, the profit margin for those companies is often a lot larger than most commercial companies seem to be left with, and THAT part seems to have never been curbed. That was illustrated in an article in Aviation week by Joe Anselmo on May 18, 2012. There it was quoted that “A Wall Street research firm says defense contractors should be able to maintain their profit margins even as Pentagon spending declines“. That seems to prove the thoughts that others have as well as myself. So, these are not unique thoughts. These are thoughts that have been in play for a long time, so when we are looking at recessions and budget issues, it seems to me that there is at least one player in town who gets to play with a stacked deck.

I hope the message is getting through. There is a massive amount of needless overspending and there currently seems to be no planned solution to properly curb this enthusiastic method of an open wallet policy.

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Military