Blows up McDonnell’s calculations, doesn’t it?

Transport for London (TfL) has insisted it is not facing a financial crisis despite planning for a near £1bn deficit next year after a surprise fall in passenger numbers.

Nationalisation won’t cost anything because there will be an asset which makes profits to pay the interest bill.

The Tube is an asset and the profits pay the interest…..ah, wait.

48 comments on “Blows up McDonnell’s calculations, doesn’t it?

  1. Of course it is not facing a financial crisis. It is an irreplaceable piece of national infrastructure that provides a vital service to the nation’s capital.

    They can do what they like and the government doesn’t even dare let them go on strike for two days. They could insist that all passengers ride naked with a tulip up their ar$e and everyone would have to give in and give them what they want.

    What’s the alternative?

  2. Here’s a question, how much impact have the unions’ strikes had on this figure? Must be a few million squid lost in revenues?

  3. “What’s the alternative?”

    Get a job that is not predicated around the notion that the entire national economy is piled up in London? So avoiding the reality that because of Brexit, all of those lovely, lovely servants, willing to sleep on the floor and wipe your backside for the minimum wage have all thrown their oyster cards in the bin and gone home to houses that they can afford.

    In the meantime, the drivers are paid 50K a year and those wheelchair compatible platforms, hybrid electric buses and the “Elizabeth Line,” with it’s marble floors and it’s ethically source escalators all cost money – And that you are riding to work with a tulip up your poochute.

    It was always false. False prosperity.

  4. Would it be permissible for the Welsh to use a daffodil? Or a leek (if that way inclined?). Revenge of the sheep! I should be amused at the thought of Scots with a thistle, or Labour supporters with a red rose. (Tories – you have a whole tree!).

    Irish Republicans making do with a shamrock probably need to use a real rock …

  5. The problem is that a lot of the City’s work does depend on being in London. A lot of deals in a lot of sectors are done over drinks after work within a very small area in the centre of London. If everyone agreed to move to Hull, that could work although something like shipping underwriting would probably need some of the banks to move as well.

    The sudden drop in passengers? I wonder if some of the low pay illegals have gone home and thus contributed to the drop in numbers. We can hope.

    In the meantime the Tube drivers are a perfect example of what is wrong with this approach. Their pay is high for a job that they do not really need to do any more. Most of them don’t actually drive the trains. They watch the computer do it.

    All the while the level of comfort on the Tube is going down. I mean it is a great legacy from the Victorian period but it is still a bit Victorian. It is not a patch on Hong Kong’s for instance. Or Singapore’s. Give me anything run by the Japanese any day of the week. All you can really say for it is that at least it is not New York’s although I suspect London comes off poorly on a price comparison.

  6. There is more than enough well-off, middle-class, cultural marxist. London Bubble scum smeared around the rest of the UK already thank you.

    They can stay just where they are. Or buggeroff back to their SOO.*

    *(Shithole Of Origin)

  7. “What’s the alternative?”

    Let the computers run the Tube and sack the staff (the computers run it now, the staff are for show).

  8. They might not be culturally Marxist London bubble scum if they got out of the bubble and actually met some real people. Remember the ultra-liberal George McGovern?

    In 1988, using the money he had earned from his speeches, the McGoverns bought, renovated, and began running a 150-room inn in Stratford, Connecticut, with the goal of providing a hotel, restaurant and public conference facility.[251][265] It went into bankruptcy in 1990 and closed the following year.[266] In 1992, McGovern’s published reflections on the experience appeared in Wall Street Journal and the Nation’s Restaurant News.[265][267] He attributed part of the failure to the early 1990s recession, but also part to the cost of dealing with federal, state and local regulations that were passed with good intentions but made life difficult for small businesses, and to the cost of dealing with frivolous lawsuits.[265] McGovern wrote, “I … wish that during the years I was in public office I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.”[265]

    Yeah. No sh!t. If only he had some experience outside academia (and admittedly the Air Force) before going into politics. Hillary might have become a married housewife with four children to a corporate lawyer and so contributed vastly more to America than she did.

    Although I completely agree that at least half the population of London – literally half – needs to bugger off back to their sh!tholes of origin.

  9. @SMFS

    “The problem is that a lot of the City’s work does depend on being in London. A lot of deals in a lot of sectors are done over drinks after work within a very small area in the centre of London. If everyone agreed to move to Hull, that could work although something like shipping underwriting would probably need some of the banks to move as well.”

    Oh gosh- this, and in spades.

    I’ve been in Shipping for two years now: the first year was a slog around Greece, loads of meetings, lots of work with ship owners but doing very little business.

    I’m now doing more in London with the investment firms that own the ship companies and th actual deals are all done in pubs and over dinner after the meetings have finished. It’s far easier.

    Although Mrs Square has been known to raise an eyebrow when I fall asleep, pissed, on the train home and wake up in Bournemouth

  10. Never got this logic. If you buy something for 5bn but it’s only worth 2bn then you have added to your deficit

  11. A surprise fall in passenger numbers. If you are a casual visitor and don’t have an oyster card you need to buy a ticket. There’s nobody in the booth cos everybody has an oyster. When you go to the machine there’s a line of confused tourists in front of you. The cheapest ticket costs about seven quid. When you get on the train everybody’s foreign. I live thirty miles from London. I almost never go. During my last three-year stint at commuting the escalator at my central london multi-line station was out of service the entire time. I don’t like the tube.

  12. A fall in passenger numbers would certainly be a surprise – the trains still seem horribly crowded. Perhaps they are slightly less horribly crowded now.

  13. I should be amused at the thought of Scots with a thistle

    Stop Yer Tickling, Jock.

  14. Rhoda

    You don’t need an Oystercard or a ticket: contactless Debit or Credit cards work and are the same price as an Oyster.

  15. On the strategic politics side..this is the time for Journos to get the young ambitious labour would be front benchers on record supporting vigorously McDonnell’s plans.

  16. “…contactless Debit or Credit cards work”

    Contactless cards issued in Forrin don’t work though.

    Which rather beggars the point since you’d assume that Forriners are the target market. Everyone else, including occasional visitors, does indeed have an Oyster.

  17. I commute in London. How many people are multi-gerbatiion English? Hardly any. How many speak English as a first language? Not even half. How many will else if it’s better elsewhere? Maybe a fifth (implies Europeans mainly and Bangladeshis with Italian passports, Somalis with Norwegian passports etc are included in that)?

    That’s a lot of demand disappearing for all sorts of stuff. Will the remaining people be better or worse off? Hard to tell but with less crowded trains, cheaper housing and so on it’s certainly not all bad.

  18. Foreign contactless work fine. I currently pay as I go using a Singaporean credit card. The mileage accumulation from foreign spend is awesome and it’s cheaper than bank transferring cash back.

  19. AndrewC has it

    Tim – check this out from the Tuber today:

    ‘But reinforcing the status quo of predominantly white male power inherent within modern capitalism, whose power structures have been copied within far too many charities, is not going to deliver that change. But that is what The Times wants.’

    First time I have seen him refer to ‘White male power’ in a blog entry – he’s finally become a fully fledged SJW in linguistic terms, which should hopefully lead to his total marginalisation. Great work from Oxfam here,

  20. This is phenomenal – whoever ‘Connie St.Louis’ is it deserves memorialising:

    Connie St Louis says:
    February 13 2018 at 9:19 am

    You still seem unsure that Oxfam staff have behaved illegally.
    It is not like Google’s tax affairs where you insist there has been abuse but cannot point to a named member of their staff who has committed a crime.

    So it’s one rule for going abroad to have paid sex with foreigners where the law is clear – that’s unacceptable, no references for you then, but you can’t bring yourself to state that it is illegal with your usual flourish of hyperbolic words like wholly, clearly, obviously. You’ll call that a ‘maybe’.
    But another rule for multi-nationals where it is not clear at all if the law is being broken, and rather than blame the law, you blame the multi-nationals. And to boot you support Oxfam, an organisation which itself recently called the multinationals child killers.

    http://www.cityam.com/275072/conflating-multinational-corporates-child-murderers-oxfam

  21. VP – First time I have seen him refer to ‘White male power’ in a blog entry – he’s finally become a fully fledged SJW in linguistic terms

    Ah, the “collaborate and hope they’ll come for you last” strategy that worked so well for the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst.

  22. Tim

    You have to check out TRUK (time permitting) – apparently criticism (or being allowed to criticise Oxfam) could lead to the end of Free Speech. Pure 24 carat Gold from the Great Tuber today

  23. The tuber is on form today

    George W says:
    February 12 2018 at 8:55 pm
    Just to get a handle on this, has country by country reporting actually delivered any mind-blowing results that we did not already know? I only ask because I have a tax accountant friend who thinks it is a scam to reap fees for the tax pros

    Reply
    Richard Murphy says:
    February 12 2018 at 9:10 pm
    The evidence I have is that the behavioural changes it is giving rise to are massive

    And I am told by tax authorities that the data they have is invaluable

    I know from banks that CBCR shows profit shifitng

    I’d day the answer us a resounding yes

  24. Just on the ‘nationalisation pays for itself’ idea, how many of the targets make money? Water, yes thats profitable, I can see the numbers might stack up there, if you ignore investment required. But rail? All it does is eat taxpayers subsidy anyway, there’s not going to be any profit, especially if fares are kept low and the unions indulged with massive pay increases. And energy generation may be profitable now, but that by no means guaranteed. The last time it was under State ownership the UK was energy self sufficient. Now its all imported coal and gas. So a sudden move in global energy prices could wipe out any profits, and leave the State facing the debt repayments and no money other than tax rises or price hikes to pay for them.

    Incidentally, does nationalisation of energy generation mean that everyone who invested (or owns) a wind farm, solar park or biomass plant gets their asset expropriated? These things are all over the place, its not just big power stations any more.

  25. Jim – Good question about unreliables.

    So Corbyn is framing his I Love The 70’s energy grab in ecobatory terms:

    Jeremy Corbyn will nationalise all of Britain’s energy companies in order to avoid the “climate catastrophe”

    So I reckon that means the new old Electricity Generating Board’s job will be to stop the production of electricity,

    The Labour leader raised the possibility of local communities being told to produce their own energy, which would then be hooked up to the national grid.

    “The greenest energy is usually the most local,” he said.

    I hope we all liked that old BBC show, The Changes

  26. SS2:SoTP

    The Changes – don’t know it. How about The Good Life – let’s get the Greens involved too.

  27. Raffles – but, as the splendid David Thompson of David Thompson’s blog might ask, where are the well-heeled Jerry and Margo types who will bail us out when things inevitably go wrong?

  28. Jim – what about nationalisation of power that is owned by other states?
    EDF as I recall has French government involvement.

  29. who in their right mind would want to visit london – it’s a third world shithole. If you want to visit a shithole visit morocco /egypt etc – the weathers nicer for a start.

  30. @ Jim
    You mean all those “renewable energy” producers which were launched on the back of some massively excessive subsidies mandated by Ed Millionaireband?
    Now MacDonnell *could* make a profit out of nationalising those at building cost less depreciation. I doubt that it would make up for the poorer performance of everything else after nationalisation, but his sums don’t recognise the latter.

  31. Solid Steve: The Changes scared the piss out of six-year-old me to the point where 43 years later I still can’t think about it without a sense of unease.

  32. Jeremy Corbyn will nationalise all of Britain’s energy companies in order to avoid the “climate catastrophe”

    1. Which “climate catastrophe” is he referring to, and
    2. How would nationalising energy companies avert it

    Two questions I doubt many people are asking, despite them being completely obvious. Corbyn is in the weird position where he can say just about anything and no-one in the media says “hey, that’s a load of bollocks, isn’t it?”.

  33. “http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/04/26/the-reason-why-we-got-a-welfare-state-is-that-charities-could-not-meet-needs/”

    I have not read the story but the link seems in error – apparently the people working at a charity did have needs and found a way to have them met.

  34. FFS who is scheduled to make up that £1bn deficit? Why should taxpayers outside London with pisspoor and expensive public transport subsidise travel for the foreigners, remainiac lefty scum and rich city types that live there?

  35. The decline in passengers.
    Could it also be that some of this is due to cycling as promoted by TfL ?
    This recent piece by Lawrence Solomon would suggest that it may be.
    http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/lawrence-solomon-ban-the-bike-how-cities-made-a-huge-mistake-in-promoting-cycling
    It seems that a lot of the new cyclists are ex public transport rather that ex car users.
    I certainly know someone in London who used to catch the tube to work but now cycles.

  36. “The problem is that a lot of the City’s work does depend on being in London. A lot of deals in a lot of sectors are done over drinks after work within a very small area in the centre of London. If everyone agreed to move to Hull, that could work although something like shipping underwriting would probably need some of the banks to move as well.”

    Sure. But there’s how many millions in London?

    I get calls from businesses wanting software work, and there’s all sorts of them in London where I can’t see why they need to be there at all. Design agencies. I know a design agency that moved most of their people out. You don’t need people developing new media projects being face-to-face with clients every day. Once a fortnight at most.

  37. I remember The Changes very clearly; the child extra in the episode The Devil’s Children who got a spoken line was my partner for violin lessons. The costume/make-up departments were very competent: in reality she was one of the prettier lasses in our class.

  38. @So Much For Subtlety, February 13, 2018 at 10:07 am

    In the meantime the Tube drivers are a perfect example of what is wrong with this approach. Their pay is high for a job that they do not really need to do any more. Most of them don’t actually drive the trains. They watch the computer do it.

    +1

    Victoria Line, opened in 1960s, was iirc the first automated line. Sadly, Gov’t surrendered to Unions and agreed a driver would be employed to do nothing.

    50+ years on and same situation.

    We need someone in charge to do a Reagan and sack them all.

  39. Anon – have often come across people setting up in business who live down south. They moan about the very high price to rent storage units / small warehouse.
    They deal international and their requirement is a royal mail van coming to collect. They can set up anywhere in Britain but they want to do so close to where they live now – despite paying 4 to 12 times the rent they could pay in a much cheaper area.

    One guy was setting up a festival support business, driving all over the country with a van full of stock. He insisted on keeping his stock in a high rent warehouse in north London a couple of miles from his house. He was quite capable of basing a warehouse elsewhere in the country far cheaper, or even multiple sites with storage units. He pays 18 times my storage costs for roughly 2500 cubit feet, I pay for 2100.

  40. McDonnell does calculations?

    Not the ones involving numbers and things I feel.

    The discovery that Ken Livingston sacked him from the GLC as was should’ve ended his career – but then … the loonies are in charge of the asylum….

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