It would take a driver’s base salary from £49,001 to £60,683 for the existing 35-hour, four-day week. Most of Southern’s drivers also work a fifth day as overtime, which tops up their pay by 25 per cent, taking the potential total pay to over £75,000.

That’s a pretty hefty pay package, isn’t it? Three times median wage in fact.

Shows the power of unions…….

Timmy’s recolonisation effort

As regulars around here will know I picked up a little column in a Bangladeshi newspaper while I was out there. The payment for which is at Bangladeshi rates and thus not significant. It’s also damn near impossible to get money out of the country anyway. Thus the fee, on that minimal but weekly basis, just gets passed on to the lad who was my minder when I was out there. You know the sort of thing that happens in a less than developed country, someone local to make sure you turn up on time, that the local police don’t shake the Westerner down, all that good stuff.

That lad then having spent the money upon:

And as you know this is the holy month for all the Muslim across the globe, as we fast throughout the month. Adding your contribution with ours we have organized a small lunch program for the underprivileged children, orphans and old people who was fasting and works hard on the road all day long.

Children and the elderly are not covered by the injunction to fast during Ramadan and the general injunction for the month is to be more charitable, as well as that obligation to fast for everyone else.

Looks like a damn good way to spend £80 a month to me. Although there is this ever so slightly disturbing worry that I might be feeding more poor children than the entirety of DfID.

This man values democracy, oh yes, candidly, he does

Today the government commences Brexit negotiations.

There are four possible outcomes.

We can leave entirely.

Or we can leave the EU but stay in the Customs Union.

Alternatively we can leave the EU but stay in the Customs Union and the Single Market.

Or we can stay in the EU.

The only option that doesn’t harm the UK is staying in.

All the others cause harm. The only question is how much and how long we can defer the time until it hits.

He’ll justify his own wishes by saying that people vote for them, however good or bad they are. But other peoples’ wishes, voted upon, which do not accord with his are to be rejected.

One man, one vote, Spudda being the man with the vote.


It is beyond obvious that atrocities such as this shouldn’t happen. We live in an age of building regulations and safety standards, of the testing and certifying of construction materials, of multiple specialist consultancies and subcontractors, of quality assurance and project managers, of health and safety allegedly gone mad, all in the name of eliminating risk. Yet the death toll of Grenfell Tower, if it is ever known, might make it the worst peacetime fire for very many decades, worse than the fires at Bradford City’s ground in 1985 and the Summerland leisure centre on the Isle of Man in 1973, beyond which you have to look back to the 1920s for anything comparable.

There are multiple factors. Part B of the building regulations states that “the external envelope of a building should not provide a medium for fire spread… The use of combustible materials in the cladding system and extensive cavities may present such a risk in tall buildings”. Any insulation product, it also says, “should be of limited combustibility”. Well, it combusted. The type of insulation, prohibited for use in comparable situations in Germany and the US, and similar to products that have caused serious fires in the UAE, China and Britain, is a prime suspect. It may also be that barriers that are supposed to stop the spread of flames up internal cavities were not properly installed.

Sprinklers would have saved lives. Fire stops that should have protected the internal means of escape may have been faulty or missing. The gas supply lines are under suspicion. The Grenfell Action Group had presciently warned of a lack of fire safety instructions. 999 operators fatally stuck to the official advice that people should stay in their homes, which makes sense when the building regulations are doing their job of containing fires within a single flat, but not when the whole building is engulfed. Compartmentalised thinking – the inability of any one agency to see the whole picture – played a role. It’s likely, as often in major disasters, that it was the cumulative and multiplying effect of several factors that made it so terrible.

So, layer upon layer of intrusive regulation and government made this happen.

The solution is more layers of intrusive government and regulation. That’ll work, won’t it?

Who is this “The Media?”

Rebel Wilson has landed a blow on the relentlessly aggressive media
Van Badham

The actor’s defamation win is not a victory against Australia’s tall poppy syndrome, but a turning of the tables on the media culture towering over us

Dunno about you but I would describe birds like Van Badham of being the very definition of that media which towers over us.

No doubt they are love, no doubt they are

Britain is leaving the EU – just as Europe is on the up
Natalie Nougayrède

Merkel and Macron are planning for a ‘golden decade’ and won’t let Brexit negotiations derail them

But a couple of politicians planning for a golden decade and a golden decade actually turning up are rather different things, aren’t they?

Malenkov was really quite certain that 1960s Soviet Union was going to be a golden decade. Stalin that the 1930s were in fact one.

It’s not Brexit if we don’t do this, is it?

We’re leaving the EU, and because we’re leaving the EU we will be leaving the single market and, by the way, we’ll be leaving the customs union,” Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, in his first interview since the election. “The question is not whether we’re leaving the customs union.

“The question is what do we put in its place in order to deliver the objectives which the Prime Minister set out in the Lancaster House speech of having no hard land border in Ireland and enabling British goods to flow freely backwards and forwards across the border with the European Union.”

Bad taste product of the month

Later in the evening, west London came together in grief with a candlelit vigil.

Many wept openly as a sea of candles softly illuminated the road outside the Latymer Christian Centre, just yards from the site of the blaze.

So, who is going to start making candles clad in nicely Green insulation? Candles which burn rather quickly?

Welcome to the mob

Or perhaps that’s The Mob

A man who was mistaken for a Tory councillor and beaten up by activists who stormed Kensington Town Hall in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been left injured and badly shaken by the incident.

Robert Outram, 56, had spent much of last week volunteering at the makeshift shelters set up to help victims of the deadly blaze.

A mob has a lower collective IQ than that of the lowest member of the mob. And given that we’re talking about Momentum activists here that’s pretty low.

Isn’t this Ritchie’s mate?

The one with the Fair Tax Mark who didn’t pay minimum wage?

The boss of one of the UK’s biggest energy companies has been given a 72% pay rise, just weeks after arguing against consumers having their bills capped to save them £100 a year.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, the chief executive of SSE, will be paid £2.92m in 2017 after receiving the maximum possible bonuses for leading a “robust performance” by the supplier last year.

She’s in trouble, ain’t she?

Theresa May had provoked widespread criticism and anger on Thursday after failing to visit the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire when she came to the Westway road – staying for 15 minutes and swerving any contact with locals.

On Friday afternoon, word spread she was due to come back, this time to visit St Clement’s Church, where volunteers had been boxing up donations. Before long a crowd had gathered, filling the street outside the church.

As they waited, the people became increasingly hostile, shouting at her to come out and face them. One man began chanting: “Get her out! Get her out!”, while another screamed at police barring the door to the church: “Why have you brought her here? If she cared she would have come yesterday.”

Forty minutes passed, and still nothing. Then one of the waiting riot vans started up and began to move forward, parting the crowd. The Prime Minister’s Range Rover rounded the bend.

“She’s come out the back,” a woman shouted. As the car began to speed away the crowd rushed towards it. Around 70 people were running after her as police attempted to barricade the vehicle, creating a human barrier between the mob and the Prime Minister’s car, shoving people off as they tried to bang on the windows.

People screamed “shame on you” and “coward” as the car sped away.

The fear you or love you bit works for dictatorships but not for democracies.

Of course, these dimwits are being emotionally incontinent, the people who show up to share the pain, show the nation cares, are the Royals, that’s what they’re for. The PM’s the executive, not the figurehead.

But still, if that’s the way that people are reacting then May’s got a big, big, problem, not one I would expect her to survive for long.

Imagine the scene

And I met Damian Green, our new First Secretary of State, skulking in the Archduke at Waterloo last night (an old lefty plotting ground) and he too seemed incredibly reluctant to engage with the public, but I assure you, I tried.

You slip in for a quiet pint before the train and find yourself being approached by a lecturer from Islington Technical College.

Question, how keen are you to engage?

Pure idiocy

Many economists warn of a classic mismatch of incentives. Governments may have good reason to invest in projects that yield no profit, building roads to nowhere that ultimately open up undeveloped land for job-generating commerce. Government alone has the incentive to upgrade shoddy wastewater treatment and supply systems for drinking water. Absent public guarantees for profits, private companies have no inducement to bring such works into creation.

“Private investors need to have a decent rate of return,” said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia for Oxford Economics, based in Hong Kong. “They cannot wait 40 years, and they are simply not able to take into account the additional tax revenues for the government.”

Complete twattery in fact.

Did water investment go up or down upon privatisation? Up.

Further, we do not control prices to guarantee a profit, we control them to stop a natural monopoly ripping the consumer off. And what the fuck is this guy at Oxford Economics on about? He’s living in a place where the metro system funds itself from the rise in land values around a new station.



The government’s building safety experts warned last year that the drive for greater energy efficiency meant more and more buildings are being wrapped in materials that could go up in flames.

In a report compiled before the Grenfell Tower disaster on Wednesday, the Building Research Establishment, which works for the Department of Communities and Local Government on fire investigations, said attempts to innovate with insulation were leading to an “increase in the volume of potentially combustible materials being applied” to buildings.

Don’t think that’s going to be part of the left’s general story about this, is it?

There is a certain irony here

A model of the biographer’s art”, which pulls back the curtain on one of the most significant but least recognised political figures of the last century, has won Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. John Bew’s Citizen Clem, about Clement Attlee, the founder of the NHS, was named winner of the £3,000 2017 Orwell prize for books at a ceremony in London on Thursday night.

Because 1984 was, in large part, about 1948 when Clem was PM. No, not the political side of it, but the descriptions of shortages, the utter, utter dreariness. And as we know, that was all prolonged by the idiot decision to try to plan everything. We know this, because when Adenauer said “Sod the planning” that’s when the German economy took off.