Brexit: The HGV driver shortage was warned about years ago…

The driver shortage has resulted in a dependence on agency and particularly foreign drivers that goes beyond what is needed to cope with seasonal variations and is now necessary to sustain normal operation. The dependence on agency staff means that operators in the sector are probably not investing enough in their staff. We think this creates two risks that need to be managed. First, if the UK becomes relatively less attractive as a place for foreign drivers to work, as it may do as the consequences of Brexit play out, the shortage could become much more acute, possibly quite rapidly. Second, the longer-term sustainability of the UK’s road haulage sector could be undermined if there is not a steady stream of people through the sector gaining the skills and experience that they need to become transport managers and operators” (…) “Both the industry and Government have taken steps to address the shortage. None of these are on a scale likely to deliver the number of drivers needed. The road haulage sector, supported by the Government, needs to take further steps to:

meet any shortage and reduce dependence on foreign drivers (about 60,000 drivers);

meet any predicted growth in demand; and

deal with the demographic time-bomb (about 75,000 drivers by 2020)” (Parliament.uk – ‘Skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector’ 27.07.2016).

Sometimes you wonder if the Tories and the Cabinet Secretaries are so forgetful. You can wonder, if they care about warnings and red signs. The Brexit referendum would clearly target the haulage industry. As it is dependent on European Union citizens with license and ability to drive heavy-goods driver (HGV).

The Tories have offered a three month visa parley to everyone they sent packing after the Brexit was issued. The European Union Haulage Unions have dismissed this offer. They are saying they can easily be used, but sent straight back without any consideration for work. Therefore, the EU HGV drivers will not return to save Christmas in the United Kingdom.

Yes, the government gave this “amnesty” or ability during the weekend. At the same time it has put in regulations that all vehicles and lorries who is going into EU from the UK has to take-off their stickers with GB and change that to UK. That is actually something they have done. Just like changing colour on the passport. It is symbolic changes, but not what industries need in these dire times.

The Tories and the Downing Street needs to focus on. They are not securing the livelihoods of the HGV drivers. Neither has it made efforts or done anything for the foreseeable future. They are instead trying to patch up the hurt without any real reform for the transport sector. Which is needed to cope with the lack of trained personnel, salaries or even long-term prospects to work in the haulage industry.

The UK needs the EU HGV drivers to be able to cope. That is why we are seeing again the possibility of the army to do logistics in the Kingdom. Since, the Tories haven’t secured or made it possible for others to cover needs, which is clearly there. The Tories cannot even come with sound judgement or policies, which will make it feasible for the grandstanding departure of previous drivers to return. These will not return when they are getting pennies on the pound and working in crappy conditions while staying in UK. It is not like Boris Johnson or any of his cadre will humiliate themselves in the same regard. No, they rather spend vacations in Caribbean and hope someone else fixes the problems they created.

The Tories haven’t secure the basics. That’s why the supermarkets lacks produce and commodities, why farmers lack’s personnel to pick and secure their produce to market and finally lack of drivers to deliver the needed things across the Kingdom. The Tories haven’t given incentives or prospects for anyone then themselves.

The lack of drivers isn’t only the fault of Brexit alone. It is a systemic fault of a incompetent government. Who is all about publicity, but not about proper policies. This is why it is happening. The fuel-shortage and the empty shelves in the supermarkets says it all. It is not the fault of the public, but the politicians that promised heaven. However, they haven’t delivered the golden gates, but instead showed a little piece of hell.

Kudos to the Tories for failing in such a manner. They will blame anyone else and even say it’s the public own faults for buying petrol. The Tories will go after the companies itself, than look into own misgivings. Because that’s what they do.

What is extra tragic here is that they knew this could be amplified and gotten worse by the efforts of Brexit. However, the state didn’t act upon or take in-consideration the needs of the haulage industry. Therefore, the Tories who was in power the whole time could have made things possible, but clearly they never did. Peace.

Opinion: Brexit was bound to fail [and the results are now coming in]

The referendum of withdrawal from the European Union (EU) of 2016 settled the score and made it possible for the Conservative Party (Tories) to launch their campaign and gain majority of the Parliament. In such a manner, that they have had two Prime Ministers and had a long hurdle to come to terms with the EU on how to leave.

After long negotiations and plenty of delay. The final “Brexit Day” was enforced on the 31st January 2020. So, with the months that has gone and with the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in combination with the talks between London and Brussels. There is no end to this and the effects of the matter is no obvious for everyone to see.

The ones that was Remainer and was on the side to stay in the Union is now vindicated. As it is more “red-tape” and the Brexit Agreement isn’t making things easier. There been conflict over fishing rights with France. Fish and Sea-Food have rotted in port, instead of being exported to the mainland Europe from Scotland. Imports has slowed down, hauliers stopping deliveries to the UK and foreign workers to many fields are lacking. With all of this in mind. It is not a success, but a brutal and self-inflicted suffering.

Brexit was bound fail. The utter total failure was anticipated by plenty and it’s now evident. The Brexiteers should also reflect on it. They should man-up and see the results as they are. The possible use of army to get food delivered across the Kingdom. That should say it all. As the importers are not getting their products in time and neither able to secure the delivery from the exports to Britain.

UK becoming a ‘Third County’ isn’t giving it vast freedoms. Yes, the UK could make trade-deals with Australia and Kenya. However, the major trading partners with the EU and near proximity is harden. Not like there been any good industrial news or set-up of factories. Neither, hasn’t there been news of exceptional growth.

The supply-chains have been like this for one simple reason. The UK is out of the Single-Market and there is added bureaucracy and checks on goods passing through the borders. There is need for more documents and hurdles before passing has hurt the Kingdom. That is easy reasons to see why supermarkets run out of goods. Restaurant-chains are running out of main products and cannot serve customers. Other type of goods are lacking too and if that is with the imports. How dire is the situation for the exporters?

We knew earlier in the year that the exports was hit hard. They we’re not able to send produce, sea-food and others on time. The companies was losing money and their assets was rotting in ports. With this knowledge, the same hardship is now hitting home. Not only that the British Sea-Shells and other sea-food isn’t served in Paris anymore. At least not at the scale or in such a manner, which it was in the past.

The ones pledging for this and had their way. Should stand astute and bravely say: “We were wrong and crippled our economy. We fought for freedom, but instead being left alone. Brexit was supposed to give us new profitable terms, but it hasn’t and we lost. That’s why we have to see, if we can negotiate or find new ways of getting into the Single-Market and the Customs Union. As we are now a third country with little to no say. We have to change this and we are sorry for promising the world and not even giving you chicken at Nando’s”. Peace.

Brexit: “Operation Yellowhammer” is in full effect with the Army drive for the supermarkets

Certainly, some should feel a bit vindicated these days. Especially the Remainers who campaigned for “Project Fear” which was so scrutinized and called a blame-game of a worse scenario. The last few weeks has really shown the consequences of the Brexit. A Brexit that the Conservative and Tories promised to be easy and without any real costs.

However, everyone in their right mind knows that a divorce on this scale would cost. The marriage had to end and the transactions after this would be made more difficult. The Tories haven’t made things smooth or better. The rules and regulations between the United Kingdom and European Union is hectic. Several of companies and hauliers have stopped trading with the UK. This is now costing and showing results in the supermarkets across the Kingdom. That is not shocking, but was inevitable.

The Project Yellowhammer and Worst Case Scenario of August 2019 is now playing out. Where there was talks and projected to have disruptions of food supplies and across the supply chain. That was described there and clearly it is evident now.

The recent news says it all:

The Army has been put on standby to deliver supplies to supermarkets as Britain faces a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers. Around 2,000 personnel who are qualified HGV drivers are believed to be on a five-day notice to help distribute food and essentials including medicine. The Government is set to make a formal plea to the military for help ‘imminently’, with members of the Royal Logistics Corps and other regiments expected to be called upon by the end of September” (Siba Jackson – ‘Army ‘on standby’ to deliver food amid shortage of lorry drivers’ 08.08.2021, Metro.co.uk).

You know Brexit is a lose-lose enterprise when the businesses and the supermarkets needs the army to salvage the supply chain. The Tories and the government have failed the businesses and the consumers i.e. the citizens. They have told stories which wasn’t true.

All of the promises of a easy and simple transition is clearly out of the window. The reality is here now and the UK has to face it. The Tories got to find measures, means and possible way out of it. The soldiers and the ones who conscript to the army shouldn’t drive produce to Tesco or pick up lorries in Dover. That is just a failure if there ever was one.

This is just proving the pointers of the Remainers ahead of the referendum. The Brexiteers who promised so blatantly and wrongly that this would be a neat process. They should all take the mantle and configure this out. Since they are the ones who made it happen and ensure everyone that the basics are in order. Because, when the supermarkets and the convenient stores are running out of goods. You know you are in trouble.

There was plenty of folks who knew the Brexit and the new bureaucratic hurdles would cost, take time and stifle the logistics from Europe to the United Kingdom. The ones who has to import or export is paying the price. There has already been fish rotting in the ports and not getting through the system before they are expired. Therefore, the Brexit has destroyed businesses and ensured many are harder daily life.

The Tories especially, the wing of the Brexiteers has to take accountability. They need to fix this and not just settle with the army on standby. That is a show of weakness and that they totally failed. The Brexit isn’t a success, but a abomination of a government policy. It is a train-wreck and an insult to citizens. They sold a story of gold, but not everything that is shimmering is that. The Brexiteers sold fools-gold and a small majority believed it.

Now, everyone has to pay the price for it and surely nobody wants to hear it. Since it is visible and the HM Government haven’t got the qualified or the ability to figure this one out. The inept and corrupt government will not have the skills or the mindset to fix this. They will only make another circus and hope no-one see the real problems. Peace.

Opinion: Priti Patel’s expenses raises some eyebrows

The Conservative Member of Parliament and Home Secretary Priti Patel isn’t new to controversy or scandal. She has been in the wind before and had to resign as late as in 2017. The then International Development Secretary held 12 secret meetings with Israeli Prime Minister, Other Government Figures and Conservative Lobbyist. All of this secrecy and breach of ministerial code lead to her resignation in then Prime Minister Theresa May’s time.

Now, in the middle of a downturn economically in the United Kingdom. Not only the economic hardships that has the world as a result of the global pandemic. However, also as a result of the Brexit and Withdrawal from the European Union (EU). The UK is facing much more harder financial and economic realities in the near distant future and even in present time.

That is why a Conservative and a Minister should uphold the highest standard and not misuse its office. As it is a privilege to already be representing the constituents and later get the honourable office of a Secretary position in the Cabinet. That is what Patel should have considered and even thought. However, her own actions just last and the revelation of spending. Shows that she is reckless and doesn’t value her station.

During the last year she has already been saved by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he has kept her. In the middle of the scandal, in which, she was alleged to have bullied her staff in the Home Office. There was even a supposed cover-up of a report in which it stated her breaches of Ministerial Codes. This have yet to be released, but shows how far Johnson goes to defend her and keep her in the cabinet.

Priti Patel can clearly do whatever she sees fit. There is other standards for the Windrush Generation and the ones who caught in the scandals concerning them. These folks are just chavs and can easily be replaced. Nevertheless, a prestigious and honourable like Patel deserves her role and office.

That is how it seems. Now she can spend money willy-nilly without any consequences. Can pamper herself. Buy expensive stuff and just use the Home Office for personal perks. There are so many benefits and these wouldn’t even be spent on the ones suffering on Benefit Street. No, she can have luxurious eye-lashes and whatnot. It will be spent on the public’s dime. Because, she deserves it. While school-kids cannot even get a lunch-meal worth eating. Patel on the other hand can go a pub in Oxford and other posh restaurants. It must be splendid to live the life of Priti Patel.

A person who can cause so much self-inflicted damage and still be saved by the Prime Minister. A person that can breach the Ministerial Code time and time again. While others have to take their cross and go. She on the other hand can use a small fortune treating her hair. If not, just have a bargain of a tasty cupcakes.

Priti Patel have a knack for this sort of behaviour. Where she gets into trouble and someone else has to save her. I wonder if Boris Johnson will be able to downplay or even get her out of this. Now it might be different.

Still, I doubt this will cost her the Office. She will be the Home Secretary. When he could bury a report. The same man can easily let her off the hook her too. Peace.

United Kingdom: Chris Green MP resignation letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson (13.10.2020)

United Kingdom: First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson (13.10.2020)

Opinion: Boris is copying Rodrigo now!

We are living in a weird world and a bizarre timeline in 2020. Just the other day Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to prove his health with push-ups on the floor. At that point he was copying Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That was all over the front pages of a national newspaper and not a sketch.

Now Prime Minister Johnson is launching his: Build Build Build. He is launching his program of infrastructure spending like this: “ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans to spend the economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis with a speech on Tuesday promising to fast-track 5 billion pounds ($6.15 billion) of infrastructure investment” (News18 – ‘ ‘Build, Build, Build’: UK PM Johnson’s Answer to Covid-19 Downturn’ 30.06.2020).

Also explained by the government like this: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today (Tuesday 30th June) announce a “New Deal” which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy. In a speech in the West Midlands, the Prime Minister will underline his commitment to ‘build, build, build’ in order to upgrade Britain’s infrastructure and skills to fuel economic recovery across the UK” (Gov.uk – ‘‘Build build build’: Prime Minister announces New Deal for Britain’ 30.06.2020).

If you feel you have heard the same before, then read this from the Philippines: “President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will soon launch the biggest infrastructure push in Philippine history to propel economic growth in the next five-and-a-half years. Big-ticket infrastructure projects, specifically roads and bridges, mass urban transport and alternative green city solutions are among the key investments to be made by the Philippine government. These are aimed at solving the problems brought about by traffic congestion, inadequate mass transport facilities, air pollution, and the lack of healthy, green liveable community spaces. The development mantra is: build, build and build” (Bases Conversation and Development Authority (BCDA) – ‘BUILD, BUILD, BUILD’ 25.10.2017).

So yes, the Prime Minister’s Build Build Build is copying Duterte’s Build! Build! Build! Programme. They are actually doing the same. Boris is copying Rodrigo. It is just like he will steal the paperwork from Manilla and change a few of the places and road-names. Then call it a day and loaf around in his apartartment.

I am impressed that Boris is copying the exact words. Just like he did on the pages saying it was taken inspiration from Roosevelt’s New Deal. That is fine and dandy, but saying Build Build Build after the Philippines has had this program for three years or so now. It is impressive, that he couldn’t mention that too. Give some credit, where credit is due.

I’m sure Manila isn’t the first place coming to mind in London, but they should maybe see what are doing lately. The PM is copying both a Ugandan President and the Philippines. Who is up next? Will he take the Big Four from the Jubilee and Uhuru Kenyatta too?

Johnson should step up and give credit where it is due. Especially, when his copying this easily from Duterte. If you don’t know, now you know. Peace.

Opinion: The Tories wants to weaponize foreign aid now?

The government department responsible for overseas aid is to be merged with the Foreign Office (FCO), the BBC understands. The move to combine the Department for International Development (DFID) and the FCO follows a review into UK aid spending by crossbench peer Lord Bew. Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the move, long mooted in Conservative circles, in the Commons later” (BBC.com – ‘International development and Foreign Office to merge’ 16.06.2020).

If your thinking the Little Britain is getting better on the world stage with the Tories in power. This sort of move is directly weaponizing foreign aid grants. Instead of having a separate department working on own terms to actually develop and make a difference. That is, if the ideal is to bring a change and making a difference.

This from the party that still clings on top the dreams and ideals of the greatness of the British Empire. An empire that is long gone and the powers of the United Kingdom has already dwindled. They will be even more weaken and lack soft powers internationally when they are finally left the European Union (EU).

The move is to replicate the Secretary of State in the United States. They are copying the mismanaged militarized state supported development schemes of the United States. That is not a good look. Especially, if the UK want to be serious actor on the world stage and look sincere in their motives. However this paradigm will be more of the political motivations at home and bring brownie points to the current leadership. Then actually make a change.

I don’t see any positive out of this, than they will make political moves instead of actually do what its supposed to do. We already knows there are strings to it and reasons for the development projects and aid. No money is free money, if you believe that. Then your lying to yourself and accepting money from someone. There will be something you need to do. If that is being accountable, prove the recites and that it actually was spent on intended projects. Hitting a set of goals and reach a set amount of people so the foreign donors can tell their tax-payers that it was worth giving this money away.

This is something we all know. If not … we are lying to ourselves and thinking the monies are giving away with naive intentions and can be used on ghosts without any fuzz. If it was so, then the donors would quit quickly and be hostile to continue the practice. There is a reason for certain measures and conditions for taking the aid and grants.

The DFID incorporated into the Foreign Office will only turn every move more political and the ambition of it will change. It will depend on whose in office and who is running the Foreign Office. That means the objectives will turn and will be what is benefiting foreign policy agenda. It will be more business oriented and towards the goals of the current leadership. Instead of being a supposed a long-term development tool in the world. It is not perfect, but at least have had some results and some positive use of its currency.

Now we can expect more political ambition behind the grants and the aid. It will be fitting with the additional pressure of the foreign office, instead of the concern of development or actually making a difference. Expect they will invest in a lot white elephants and waste as it fits the political agenda more than what is actually needed in the nation they are spending funds on.

That is my estimation of it. As well as they scrap a lot of projects, a lot of programs and participation as its not positive politically back-home. Even if it does something positive where these things are actually running day-to-day. Peace.

United Kingdom: Sir Keir Stramer MP letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson (13.05.2020)

United Kingdom: PM Boris Johnson letter to Sir Keir Stramer MP (13.05.2020)