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Tales from the UK ‘Madhouse’


Tales from the UK ‘Madhouse’

 

  1. A few years ago I was working on a construction site in NW London. The job was virtually on-stop as we were awaiting the arrival of a specialist piece of cable jointing equipment. The package had been despatched from Germany and was being couriered to site by TNT. After a week of waiting and daily chasing, a postcard arrived on site from TNT. It stated that they could not find our site so they had taken our package to their nearest depot. They had sent the postcard by the national postal service, the Royal Mail. Funny enough, Royal Mail had been able to find our site (approximately 5000m2 in area) even though TNT had failed. 

    Our wretched government has now decided to partially privatise our great postal service. The two and half main political parties in this country agree what a jolly good idea this partial privatisation will be; even though every privatisation carried out over the last twenty five years has been an unmitigated disaster. There are approximately 130No Labour MPs who oppose the privatisation and a few MPs from the Conservative and Liberal Parties. This is about the same number who opposed the Iraq war so I suppose the good news is that there are approximately 150No MPs of principle and sound intelligence in this country. The bad news is that there are about 600No seats in Parliament so there are over 450No MPs with no principles and questionable intelligence.

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Oh, and one further piece of bad news – TNT are believed to be the government’s preferred partner for this partial privatisation.

 

  1. In the autumn of 2008, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) virtually collapsed and had to be rescued by the UK government who now own approximately 70% of the bank. RBS had grown into a ‘Super Bank’ in a very short period of time; their final acquisition was the Dutch bank ABN Ambro which turned out to be a ‘pig in a poke’ – a disastrous purchase.

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Now, the CEO of RBS at the time was Fred Godwin – truly a Master of the Universe. The state adored Fred and made him Sir Fred Godwin thus enhancing his Master status to beyond the Universe. 

When the bank collapsed the government decided that the CEO was surplus to requirements and he was replaced. He was not sacked on the grounds of flawed judgement / gross negligence but was ‘released from his position’.

 

Today, RBS announced a loss of £28 billion ($38 Billion USD) for the last financial year. Today it was announced that Sir Fred Godwin, 50 years of age, will receive an annual pension of £650,000 ($900,000 USD) for the rest of his life. The government is ‘outraged’ and has demanded that Sir Fred does the decent thing and voluntarily reduce his pension take. Funny enough, Sir Fred has decided that as his contract of employment clearly stated that if he was released from his position then he would be entitled to his full pension immediately and has decided that his contract should be honoured in full. Well, who would have thought?

 

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