babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » national news   » has Tony Blair actually done anything useful?

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: has Tony Blair actually done anything useful?
Rod Manchee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 290

posted 08 January 2004 05:04 PM      Profile for Rod Manchee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the Guardian Weekly, Jan 8-14, 2004:

“Private Tube firms fined £32m in the first year of PPP”

“Andrew Clark”

“Travellers on the London Underground have suffered a collapse in the network’s reliability since its part privatisation a year ago, with private contractors being heavily fined for failing to deliver on their commitments. Internal London Underground(LU) documents reveal that the Government’s public private partnership(PPP) has had a disastrous start.

“Tube Lines and Metronet, the two consortiums that took over the network, have been handed £1.2 bn of public money to invest in the infrastructure. But since they signed the PPP they have been fined £32m for failing to hit benchmarks, while receiving just £12m in bonuses for reaching targets.

“Under the PPP, Metronet and Tube Lines have 30-year leases over the Underground’s infrastructure and are responsible for maintenance and modernisation. But LU, which remains in public ownership, still operate trains and stations.

“LU’s chief programmes officer, Bob Janowski, said: ‘Where we are right now is not where we’d like to be. Some of these figures are a surprise to me and to us. I thought they would have been better.’ According to LU’s internal figures, the number of train failures every month jumped by 23% in 2003. Track problems have risen by 20% to 76 a month and points failures are up by 38% to 46 a month.

“The general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, Bob Crow, described the figures as “abysmal” and called on the Government to follow Network Rail’s example by taking all maintenance on the Underground system back in-house.

“Experts said the progress of the PPP would have huge implications for the future of the Government’s policy of using private finance to raise funds for health, education and other public services. Other deals that have run into trouble include the part privatisation of air traffic control, which had to be rescued by an emergency refinancing last year.

(see paragraph 2 - paid bonuses for _reaching_ targets...I thought that was the point of a contract. Bonuses for _exceeding_ targets maybe, but _reaching_ them? Break out the $400 hammers, and Haliburton-priced gas...)

Does anybody know of anything that Tony Blair has actually done right? His take-over of Labour more and more resembles Brian Mulroney’s take-over of the PC’s, distorting each into something requiring time to recover from. Let’s hope Labour has more success than the PC’s.


From: ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 08 January 2004 05:10 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
New Labour brought in the minimum wage. There wasn't one before in the UK.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 08 January 2004 05:16 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That previous lack of a minimum wage is surprising to me. I'd have expected Labour to do that soon after taking power in 1945.

Edited to add:

quote:
His take-over of Labour more and more resembles Brian Mulroney’s take-over of the PC’s, distorting each into something requiring time to recover from. Let’s hope Labour has more success than the PC’s.

There's some reason to hope Labour will. It's a party with a more solid base -- at least, historically -- more experience of power, and a much stronger intellectual tradition than the PCs ever had.

Still, I wonder how deep into the party Blair's neo-Thatcherism runs. Too deep, and there may be little hope for it.

[ 08 January 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4668

posted 08 January 2004 08:48 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:
That previous lack of a minimum wage is surprising to me. I'd have expected Labour to do that soon after taking power in 1945.

Could it be that they had one at one time and the Thatcher regime abolished it?


From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 08 January 2004 08:52 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think so. According to this story, the minister who brought it in had been campaigning for it for 30 years.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 956

posted 09 January 2004 12:28 AM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was never any minimum wage in England before Tony Blair. My first job in 1974 paid £18 a week. Rent was £5 a month.

Wages have risen in the UK, but property is also much more expensive to rent. Someone on minimum wage (£3.60-£4) might have to pay £60 a week in rent. In 2000 it was very difficult not to get a job that paid £7-£8 an hour.


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
John K
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3407

posted 09 January 2004 12:52 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Blair has worked hard to move the peace process in Northern Ireland forward. While always threatening to unravel, Blair has poured his heart and soul into trying to bring to an end centuries of conflict and hatred in this troubled land.
From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 09 January 2004 12:58 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
FIVE POUND A MONTH?

Jesus. Inflation of land prices has really done a number on British workers.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca