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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End


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About samscafeamericain

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    Comes in without knocking first
  • Birthday June 15

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    wide and varied, like a drunk fat person

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  1. James Joyce

    cannot stand the concept of kindle; books need to be tangible and experienced
  2. Winter Olympics

    this luge thing, who would have thought someone would create an olymoic sport out of sliding down the hill on yer grannies' teatray. Had we but known as weans, we would have stuck in
  3. PRIDE

    I'll look out for it.
  4. Flying of the flag

    I must admit I m disgusted by the behaviour of the labour party, their brexit cowardice and in Glasgow, regarding the equal pay dispute at GCC
  5. Who would be an actor

    Seemingly true. She was the worst ham actress ever, came to prominence in the 1980s on the back of a £zillionaire husband literally buying her publicity
  6. PRIDE

    If you have Netflix, this wonderful film is at last on the list As background, it's set during the miner's strike in 1980s and tells the true story of a group of gay rights activists and their support for the miners and the impact they have on a quite traditional Welsh pit village. really is fantastic story telling and heart warming.
  7. West End Glasgow Old Pics

    Apsley Street in Partick, 1910 Thornwood Ave 1930s
  8. Monte Carlo Car Rally in Paisley

    Did anyone go? I believe we are also to get a stage of 'Tour of Britain' cycle race in Glasgow
  9. Flying of the flag

    The co-ordination between certain sections of the media and the BBC has been horrific, both in terms of spin and lies that they report and by omission in what they don't report. The massive pro-NHS demonstration in London was a prime example with it being completely ignored by the BBC until Trump idiotically assumed it was a march of disaffection towards the NHS - at which point the BBC reported his anti NHS comments.
  10. Who would be an actor

    I think it was Pia Zadora who was in a stage version of 'The Diary of Ann Frank'. Apparently, her acting was so bad that when the Nazis came on stage to search her home someone in the audience shouted out "she's in the attic!".
  11. Monte Carlo Car Rally in Paisley

    hope the cars have locking wheel nuts ................. only kidding Paisley
  12. This is what a real hero looks like

    Just to put things in perspective, the average fat cat CEO will have already earned more money this year than two fire and rescue people will do in the entire 2018
  13. Carillion - another private sector failure

    yeah, well that much a client we are starting to see the cozy deals unravel. Seems the banks that loaned all the billions to Carillion and who would have been part of its business planning which included screwing creditors, mainly SMEs, by extending payment terms to 120 days. Of course those SMEs will then have cash flow issues so they get offered a special invoice factoring deal (advanced payment based on invoiced sale to carillion) by the very banks who were party to the extended payment terms. Of course this was supported by Government. Another shocking scandal.
  14. George Monbiot When contracts fail, the legal priority is still to pay firms like Carillion. Money is officially more valuable than lifeTue 16 Jan 2018 18.45 GMT Last modified on Tue 16 Jan 2018 20.01 GMTAgain the “inefficient” state mops up the disasters caused by “efficient” private companies. Just as the army had to step in when G4S failed to provide security for the London 2012 Olympics, and the Treasury had to rescue the banks, the collapse of Carillion means that the fire service must stand by to deliver school meals.Two hospitals, both urgently needed, that Carillion was supposed to be constructing, the Midland Metropolitan and the Royal Liverpool, are left in half-built limbo, awaiting state intervention. Another 450 contracts between Carillion and the state must be untangled, resolved and perhaps rescued by the government.When you examine the claims made for the efficiency of the private sector, you soon discover that they boil down to the transfer of risk. Value for money hangs on the idea that companies shoulder risks the state would otherwise carry. But in cases like this, even when the company takes the first hit, the risk ultimately returns to the government. In these situations, the very notion of risk transfer is questionable.Nowhere is it more dubious than when applied to the private finance initiative projects in which Carillion specialised. The PFI was invented by John Major’s Conservative government, but greatly expanded by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Private companies finance and deliver public services that governments would otherwise have provided.The government claimed that the private sector, being more efficient, would provide services more cheaply than the private sector. PFI projects, Blair and Brown promised, would go ahead only if they proved to be cheaper than the “public sector comparator”.But at the same time, the government told public bodies that state money was not an option: if they wanted new facilities, they would have to use the private finance initiative. In the words of the then health secretary, Alan Milburn: “It’s PFI or bust”. So, if you wanted a new hospital or bridge or classroomor army barracks, you had to demonstrate that PFI offered the best value for money. Otherwise, there would be no project. Public bodies immediately discovered a way to make the numbers add up: risk transfer.The costing of risk is notoriously subjective. Because it involves the passage of a fiendishly complex contract through an unknowable future, you can make a case for almost any value. A study published in the British Medical Journal revealed that, before the risk was costed, every hospital scheme it investigated would have been built much more cheaply with public funds. But once the notional financial risks had been added, building them through PFI came out cheaper in every case, although sometimes by less than 0.1%.Not only was this exercise (as some prominent civil servants warned) bogus, but the entire concept is negated by the fact that if collapse occurs, the risk ripples through the private sector and into the public. Companies like Carillion might not be too big to fail, but the services they deliver are. You cannot, in a nominal democracy, suddenly close a public hospital, let a bridge collapse, or fail to deliver school meals.Partly for this reason, and partly because of the inordinate political power of corporations and the people who run them, governments seek to insulate these companies from the very risks they claim to have transferred to them. This could explain why Theresa May’s administration continued to award contracts to Carillion after it had issued a series of profit warnings. Was this an attempt to keep the company in business?If so, it was one of a long list of measures designed to privatise profit and socialise risk. PFI contracts specify that if there is a conflict between paying the private provider and delivering public services, the payments must come first. However deep the crisis in the NHS becomes, however many people must have their cancer operations postponed or be left to rot on trolleys, the legal priority is still to pay the contractor. Money is officially more valuable than life.If a PFI consortium is contracted to deliver maintenance and ancillary services, these non-clinical functions are ringfenced, while the clinical services delivered by the public sector must be cut to make room for them. This forces public bodies to respond perversely to a funding crisis: nurses might be laid off, but the walls will still be painted. Many of the contracts cannot be broken for 25 or 30 years, regardless of whether or not they still meet real needs: again, this insulates the private sector from hazard, leaving it with the public. The risk lands not only on the state but also on the people. Carillion leaves behind a series of scandals, such as the food hygiene failure at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, and the failings at the Surgicentre clinic it ran in Hertfordshire, revealed in a horrifying report in the Observer. Similar crises have attended many other deals with private providers: operating theatres flooded with sewage, power cuts which have left nurses to ventilate patients on life support by hand, school buildings falling apart, useless services continuing to be delivered while essential services are cut.None of this was unforeseen. Some of us warned again and again during the New Labour years that this programme would prove to be an expensive fiasco. Even the Banker magazine predicted, in 2002, that “eventually an Enron-style disaster will be re-run on a sovereign balance sheet”. But the government didn’t want to know. Nor did the Conservative opposition, whose idea it was in the first place. Nor did the other newspapers, now apparently scratching their heads and wondering how this happened. There is no joy in being proved right, just immense frustration.Risk to a company is not the same as risk to those who own and run it. The executives keep their payoffs. The shareholders take a hit on part of their portfolios, but limited liability ensures they can walk away from any debts. The company might disappear, but ultimately it’s just a name and some paperwork. But the risks imposed on the people – including the company’s workers – are real. We pay for these risks twice: first, when they are nominally transferred to corporations; then again, when they are returned to us. The word used to describe this process is efficiency.
  15. Happy New Year

    Happy New Year y'all