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£500 per trip ghost bus
"Every Tuesday, at 9.45am precisely, a 50-seat executive coach draws up at a bus stop outside Ealing Broadway station in West London. No one ever gets on and, a moment later, it departs - empty - on a 70-minute trip to Wandsworth Road in South London.
Once there, it waits for two hours and 15 minutes before returning, again carrying no passengers. Welcome to Britain's most luxurious bus service, paid for by the taxpayer, immaculately clean, punctual to the second and which the Government is trying desperately to keep secret.
This service, funded by the Department for Transport, is not advertised on any timetables or departures screens, and staff at the stations it serves are not even aware it exists. The “ghost bus” runs simply to allow the Government to escape the embarrassment of admitting that it has closed several sections of railway in West London to passenger trains... The coach costs the DfT about £500 a day" (Times 7.1.09 HTP Mr Brillo)
So just to be clear, we taxpayers are being stung for £26 grand pa just so our lyin' no good rulers can avoid "embarassment". And these are the same lyin' no good varmints who say we can't afford the carbon footprint even to light our own homes properly. Talking of which...
Reality Bites Council Hippies
"Shirehall watchdogs in Shropshire have called for an investigation into why the county council has gone back to using fossil fuel for its electricity.
The switch, it is claimed, has been met with “astonishment and great concern” as the council is regarded as one of the top local authorities tackling climate change.
Panel chairman Alan Mosley said today the cost of using green electricity had risen, costing the authority £180,000 more. “So an officer somewhere made the decision to switch back,” he said." (Shropshire Star HTP Mr B)
The ourageous thing about this story is that these hippy councillors are saying the unnamed council officer was wrong to save council taxpayers £180 grand pa. We think he/she should be given a medal, and we're only sorry we can't vote at the next Shropshire council elections.
"PUBLIC bodies are spending about £2m a year on political consultants to help them lobby ministers and MPs for more taxpayers’ money... The close ties between state-funded quangos and the lobbying industry are disclosed in a dossier listing 71 separate contracts worth almost £10m over five years.
The biggest beneficiary is Weber Shandwick, headed by Labour’s former chief press officer, Colin Byrne, which has lucrative relationships with organisations including the Crown Estate, the Meat and Livestock Commission and the British Museum, worth a total of £1.8m over five years. The firm also employs Priti Patel, a Tory parliamentary candidate and former aide to William Hague...
The quangos use a variety of euphemisms to justify the hiring of lobbyists, including “strategic counsel”, “policy tracking”, “political consultancy” or even “stakeholder relationship advice”. Some admit that consultants had been used to coach their managers on what to say when they appeared before Commons committees." (S Times 30.11.08 - we somehow missed this outrage first time - HTP HJ)
The CEBR has updated its picture of Soviet Britain for the S Times:
"PARTS of the United Kingdom have become so heavily dependent on government spending that the private sector is generating less than a third of the regional economy, a new analysis has found.
The study of “Soviet Britain” has found the government’s share of output and expenditure has now surged to more than 60% in some areas... In the northeast of England the state is expected to be responsible for 66.4% of the economy this year, up from 58.7% when a similar study was carried out four years ago. When Labour came to power, the figure was 53.8%.
Across the whole of the UK, 49% of the economy will consist of state spending, while in Wales, the figure will be 71.6% – up from 59% in 2004-5. Nowhere in mainland Britain, however, comes close to Northern Ireland, where the state is responsible for 77.6% of spending, despite the supposed resurgence of the economy after the end of the Troubles." (HTP Steve)
In the past, the high income South East paid for all this sovietisation. But the collapse in banking means there's now a bit of a hole...
Just so it doesn't pass uncommented, the Labour peers who are charging £120 grand for twisting our laws highlight two points we've made on BOM many times.
First, WTF in 2009 do we still have entirely unelected legislators? Does any serious democracy do that?
Second, WTF in 2009 do we still allow our legislators to have any little earners on the side? Does any serious outside enterprise allow that for senior full-time employees?