Oh well done Polly, well done

But have these commuters no wit or imagination to devise protests that would force the government to take action? The very least direct action might include a bit of polite vandalism, such as glueing all Southern ticket machines on every station to deny them ticket revenue and jamming open all ticket barriers.

It’s a management contract. The taxpayer takes the revenue risk.

67 thoughts on “Oh well done Polly, well done”

  1. Sounds like criminal damage to me.

    M’learned friend, Mr Lud, might be able to advise whether this suggestion of Polly’s constitutes incitement and might interest the bluebottles.

  2. Encouraging a crime is itself a crime in English law under sections 44-46 Serious Crime Act 2007.

    And subsequently withdrawing the encouragement can’t be used as an defence

  3. Funny how the Left find the disinclination of ordinary people to behave like savages and cause pointless damage strange. I suppose when you surround yourself by spoiled children who are forever looking for an excuse to brick a shop window in the name of “social justice”, ordinary polite behaviour must seem odd.

  4. I suppose when you surround yourself by spoiled children who are forever looking for an excuse to brick a shop window in the name of “social justice”, ordinary polite behaviour must seem odd.

    It’s interesting just how often leftist moral posturing entails non-reciprocal standards and assumptions – specifically, advocating behaviour that, if reciprocated even to a small extent, would be met with howls of outrage.

  5. As the Guardian fails to take action to deal with Toynbee, can anyone who happens to be in a Tuscan or Islington restaurant when she is in please superglue the loo seat in the ladies cubicle just before she goes in to take a tinkle or a dump?

  6. Didn’t the Left go apeshit a few months back when someone suggested people should avoid paying tax? Cries of incitement to break the Law, etc?

  7. Suggest something else the customers can do to protest against wholesale private sector mismanagement then.Oh I forgot, the private sector has never mismanaged anything .We are living in the best of all rentseeking (look it up) worlds.Do not tinker with perfection.

  8. DBC – do you want a straw with that?

    Bloody railways have an almost-monopoly so can get away with acting as sh1tty as a state provider.

  9. Now, Polly, why would nice, middle-class commuters wish to avoid risking getting arrested for criminal damage?

    Can’t imagine why that might be…

  10. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    “Train companies are expensive! Let’s vandalise them!”

    DBC Reed: if you paid any attention to anything outside the ramblings in your own head you would notice that the point of advocating for private sector management is not that the private sector never mismanages but that, when a private firm mismanages, you can actually do something about it.

  11. @DBC.

    You don’t have to show that the private sector is bad. If you are to make your point you have to show that the public sector is *better*.

  12. What would Polly think of some ‘polite vandalism’ on her gaff? She is happy with violence in political disputes, she has just said so. I expect she wouldn’t be so happy to find the same done to her.

  13. Apropos of polite criminality by the left: didn’t Bertrand Russell advocate civil disobedience in the 60s and then call the rozzers when someone had the temerity to sit on his front lawn and refuse to move?

  14. Although the rail companies are currently run by private owners, I think it’s stretching the term beyond its meaning to describe the whole rail set-up as the private sector.

    If you really want to compare the private and state sectors in transport, it makes more sense to compare British trains to, say, National Express, who may be a bit slower for physical reasons but are generally better if you’re not in such a hurry.

  15. ““Frankly, I didn’t think we’d get away with it,” one less austerian former Tory minister said to me. “But there doesn’t seem to be a limit,” he said, contemplating the essential services stripped away and the billions in benefits ripped from the pockets of very “hardworking” families, disabled people or the elderly left with no care, without riots or rebellions.”

    Mostly because a lot of stuff wasn’t “essential”. You don’t need to live in Kensington. We don’t need a dozen libraries in a town any longer. We don’t need the Poppy Project. Lots of people didn’t need disability benefit as they threw in the towel before even having an interview.

    “It’s easy to see why individual families are in no position to take collective action. Isolated, not members of unions, they have no collective voice. That’s what George Osborne discovered and what Philip Hammond assumes. They can do just about anything to those with least, and they suffer silently, turning shamefacedly to food banks not to food riots.”

    Well, why riot and get into trouble when someone will just put some tins in a warehouse?

    “Countless studies of what triggers revolutions suggest it’s not those with no bread on the table but the frustrations of an aspiring but disappointed bourgeoisie that cause revolt. Not hamstrung by the struggle to survive, they are the ones with the time and resources to organise. But no, not in phlegmatic Britain.”

    We just had a revolution. Unfortunately, the people aren’t with you, they’re against you.

    “Today is the third successive day of yet another Southern Rail strike by the RMT union. This interminable dispute has rendered the lives of south-east commuters desperate. Tory MPs along the routes say people are losing their jobs.”

    “Today is the third successive day of yet another Southern Rail strike by the RMT union. This interminable dispute has rendered the lives of south-east commuters desperate. Tory MPs along the routes say people are losing their jobs. Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs writes in the Telegraph today that employers are rejecting job applications from those relying on Southern to get to work, because often they won’t make it. “Major contracts in the region have been cancelled,” he says. Sir Nicholas Soames (MP for Mid Sussex) talks of “very, very angry” people who have had their “livelihoods buggered up.” People are being “held to ransom by an incompetent company and industrial action based on specious argument,” he says.”

    Bullshit. If your contract relies on you getting on a train every day for an hour, you’re a moron. There’s this thing called *the internet*. Might try and use it sometime.

    “An appalling rail company famous for dreadful service with crammed carriages and frequent cancellations, is trying to remove guards from its trains by first taking away their job operating the doors. Govia Thameslink Railway, the parent company has even gone to court today to try to prevent the train drivers taking action, rather than settle it. A string of accelerating strikes are planned running up to Christmas and through new year.”

    It’s very simple. Government should pass laws de-unionising the railways, and firing everyone. Then, we install robots on all the lines and a few nerds maintain the whole network.

    “Even a cluster of the Sussex bishops of Chichester, Horsham and Lewes are waving their crosiers, calling for “someone to lead the way”, as those responsible have a “moral duty to alleviate the damage.” Soames even claims, “There is a mood of real anarchy.” Well, anarchy among south-east commuters is a very tame affair.”

    Even the Bishops? Those bastions of the free market?

    and no, there won’t be anarchy because nearly all these commuters are working for the state (in one form or another), like nearly everyone travelling to London. For many, they have some laughably stupid job to do, like project managing an IT system for a diversity department, probably aren’t very good at it and would get killed if they went to the private sector. If they were half decent and had the skills, they’d be working somewhere near their home.

    Go on, sit on a train to London sometime and look at the papers people are reading. It’s 75-80% government. And not of the useful stuff like making sure the troops are armed and road sweepers have brooms. It’s some total bollocks.

    If you trimmed down government, ditched the B Ark behaviour, the railways would be much quieter.

  16. Squander – “If you really want to compare the private and state sectors…” Compare your GP to your local Veterinarian.

  17. Countless studies of what triggers revolutions suggest it’s not those with no bread on the table but the frustrations of an aspiring but disappointed bourgeoisie that cause revolt.

    Which is why educating 50% of the population with mostly useless degrees is a very bad idea.

  18. S2

    “Although the rail companies are currently run by private owners, I think it’s stretching the term beyond its meaning to describe the whole rail set-up as the private sector.”

    It’s a bit like describing Germany in the 1930s as private sector. Sure, lots of people owned businesses, but the government interfered so much in how they should run, what they should produce, that they might as well have been government owned and run.

    The reason it’s better than BR is at least that there is some wiggle room to improve things.

    I take the bus to Oxford quite a lot because despite the small extra time, the price is not even in the same ball park. AND they’ve had wifi for years. AND the seats are nicer.

    And also, I just hate the general attitude on the railways. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just this general not-giving-a-fuckness that the whole experience exudes. I know it’s only a small thing, but I think it’s symbolic. How can people running a business that’s all about getting to a place for a time have clocks outside stations that are wrong by 5 minutes? And maybe it’s my OCD levels, but how can you have 2 clocks on a platform that are 2 minutes out and not care? How can the screens say that a train is on time, when it’s already 5 minutes later? How can people in Swindon show a train is 15 minutes late, when it’s stuck at Bath, 30 minutes away? I could put a £500 GPS transmitter in the guard’s carriage and transmit that home and let people know a more accurate number. Most town buses do this nowadays which is why they can tell you quite accurately how far away it is.

    The bus companies on the other hand seem to constantly be trying to work to improve things. They’re at a disadvantage, but at least they look for where they can make the experience better. So, the Swindon to Oxford bus has had free wifi for maybe 5 years. Long before GWR got it. I can buy a ticket on National Express online, download an app and my ticket is a QR code. It’s a little thing I know, but why the hell do I have to stand in line to collect a piece of paper at Swindon? Do they lack the resources of National Express? Of course not. And the drivers on National Express seem to be friendly and within what they can do, will help people.

    (I use NE from Heathrow to Swindon as it works out slightly quicker and a lot cheaper than the train).

  19. @ Squander Two
    National Express was far better than British Fail even before it was privatised. And British Gas was hugely safety-conscious long before Aberfan.
    It’s not impossible to have a decent public sector business – LNER and British Transport Hotels were good well into the mid-50s – just very unusual.

  20. Wilts,

    > If they were half decent and had the skills, they’d be working somewhere near their home.

    Really not following your logic here. Commuting makes you a failure?

    My highly successful employer is built on the basis that if you’re half decent and have the skills you can be sent to work somewhere lucrative hundreds or thousands of miles away. My friend who went and spent half the year in Hong Kong did so because he’s useless? If he’d been any good, he’d have been working in rural Ireland instead? Hmm.

    I get that the train journey on Southern is a tad more local than that, but it’s the same principle. I have colleagues living in Sussex who have to rely on that shit. And I used to rely on it most Monday mornings and Friday nights, as of course Southern serve Gatwick.

    > And also, I just hate the general attitude on the railways.

    God, yeah — though it’s not as bad as it was under BR. I stopped using the trains to get to and from university and switched to National Express — and this was for London to St Andrews, which is a long way. Even over that distance, the service still wasn’t good enough to warrant the speed. And the extra speed wasn’t even all that much if you got the overnight bus when the roads were empty — it was only about an hour slower than the train, which is absurd.

    That train goes from Aberdeen, through Dundee, Leuchars (for St A), and Edinburgh — that’s four of the six major Scottish university towns, all of which have had universities since before the invention of the steam engine — and yet BR were still caught completely off guard three times a year by the advent of the end of term. Where have all these passengers come from? Why have they got so much luggage? Why is it so crowded? How will we cope? I know: let’s be abusive to them! That’ll work. The guard’s van would be literally full to the roof with luggage, which the staff would literally throw out into a pile on the platform at every station and then throw back in after passengers had retrieved their probably now broken stuff. And they’d make testy announcements over the intercom for the whole journey warning us that luggage in the gangways was a hazard and if we didn’t clear the way they’d throw it out at the next station. They’d deliberately overbook the train, reserving the same seats twice (on one memorable occasion, my seat had been reserved by both me and Courtney Pine), but then they’d complain to passengers about the overcrowding.

    And a ticket for this shitty treatment was about £140 in 1993. That’s with the 30% student railcard discount.

    All they had to do was think “End of term coming up. Let’s lay on an extra train and stick an extra luggage carriage or two on the end.” But that’s what you do if you actually want passengers, and the rail network is staffed by people who want to play with full-size train sets and regard actual passengers as an annoying obstacle in the way of that.

  21. I think part of the NGAF-ness is down to TUPE. They screw up, the franchise changes hands… the same staff remain.

    That and as they are almost all lefties, so are greedy, selfish and ignorant. They don’t care about the customers.

  22. > And British Gas was hugely safety-conscious long before Aberfan.

    Well, yes and no. Having worked for them and spoken to some of the old-timers, I know about some of the fuck-ups. But you’re broadly right.

  23. Bloke in Wiltshire,

    > nearly all these commuters are working for the state (in one form or another), like nearly everyone travelling to London

    On the routes into Victoria, certainly: that’s where most government offices are found. Co-incidentally that’s also where the strike-afflicted Southern terminates. But there’s an awful lot of private-sector work elsewhere in London.

    One does wonder whether commuters on other lines, with fewer civil servants, would show such apathy.

  24. The strike action is pretty evil in my opinion.

    Supposedly driver-operated doors are ‘unsafe’ because of a handful of injuries and the occasional death in the vast swathes of the network that already use them.

    We love to do our trains down but they are actually the second-safest in Europe, after Ireland. You are about twice as likely to get killed or seriously injured in Germany or France, remarkably [ORR report].

    For the public, suicides are by far the most common death on the railway system (by a mutiple of something like 8x). Level crossings are next.

    Of the approx 40 non-suicides in the year i have data for, only 4 were actually passengers. Falling on or off the platform (no train involved) is almost as likely to get you killed as the ‘train-platform interface’, though it’s about four times more likely to get you seriously injured.

    There has been zero trend in train-platform incidents as a result of driver operated doors; in fact it’s come down over a very long time period (though that’s probably due to other factors like less slam doors, cctv etc.).

    The point is, in terms of wasted man-hours, the amount of people’s lives sacrificed by lost time in strikes (not to mention effects on health from the problems it causes) is probably orders of magnitude larger than problems caused by doors (which would probably exist even if guard-operated doors were maintained!.

    The passenger numbers on the southern network are such that if everyone is delayed one hour, that’s basically a 80 year lifetime gone.

    The unions are simply killing people.

  25. @ BiW
    Buses in Oxford (and in the north-east) were so much better than London buses that was just no comparison fifty years ago when they were all municipally-owned. They’re still much better even after privatisation. So Swindon-Oxford buses are not representative of buses generally.
    But rail companies are worse because TUPE meant that they had to take on board all the BR staff who had been brainwashed by 50 years of militant rail unions and a system where you had “two men in a cab” of whom only one had a job to do, where booking office clerks got paid more than vital, highly skilled, signalmen, and where no-one needed to care about the passengers who paid for their tickets.

  26. Did FDR’s enmity towards trade unions for govt employees extend to employees of government-regulated private monopolies?

  27. @BiW

    Bullshit. If your contract relies on you getting on a train every day for an hour, you’re a moron. There’s this thing called *the internet*. Might try and use it sometime.

    This is a bit of an odd statement. It’s clearly nonsense. A lot of jobs are in London, but the places worth living in are generally well outside. Taking a job where it is, but living somewhere nice, does not make someone a moron.

    It’s very simple. Government should pass laws de-unionising the railways, and firing everyone. Then, we install robots on all the lines and a few nerds maintain the whole network.

    Yep, I largely agree. I’m of the opinion that unions shouldn’t be allowed in public sector and pseudo-public sector work, as the “customers” don’t have a reciprocal right of withdrawing payment. It’s unbalanced.

    and no, there won’t be anarchy because nearly all these commuters are working for the state (in one form or another), like nearly everyone travelling to London.

    Also, no, I really doubt this is right. But…

    If you trimmed down government, ditched the B Ark behaviour, the railways would be much quieter.

    … would help, unless the dead hand of the state being lifted led to more growth in jobs. I personally think a lot of the problem, apart from the railways NGAF, is a lot of managers still resist WFH.

    I think it was Timmy that pointed out that a lot of companies have HQs in London because that is where the central gov is. So maybe state shrinkage would help.

    Go on, sit on a train to London sometime and look at the papers people are reading. It’s 75-80% government.

    There is a lot of Grauniad on display, given how few people actually buy that crap. But it is still the minority.

  28. I can buy a ticket on National Express online, download an app and my ticket is a QR code. It’s a little thing I know, but why the hell do I have to stand in line to collect a piece of paper at Swindon?

    This. In France I can get on a train, buy a ticket via an app on my phone, when the guard comes around (or if, rather) he can scan it, that’s it.

    It is very, very simple. But obviously too much for UK rail companies.

  29. Good post there by Oblong.

    I usually correct folks that talk of rail being “privatised” as in “run by private companies”, because to describe it as outsourced or sub-contracted by the government would be more accurate.

    The state runs the track, sets peak time prices, I believe even decides the timetable. The new Govia trains were bought by the DfT.

    The state runs the railways. The ToCs and ROSCOs are merely suppliers.

  30. The service I use is very, very busy. The rail company regularly exhorts people to “use the full length of the platorm”. Then the train rolls in with half the stated carriages, so people “using the full length of the platform” have to run back and try and get on what is obviously a now packed train.

    This “use the full length of the platform” wheeze also catches out people when the train company switches platform the train will use. Sometimes they even announce it over the tannoy. So once again people have to run from the end of the platform, up and over the stairs. On one memorable occasion they got everyone to troop over to another platform, then a few minutes later switched it back again.

    The rail companies are always going on about people being abusive to their staff. What amazes me is how little abuse they actually get. I can think of some countries where they wouldn’t be able to show their faces outside of some sort of armoured compound.

  31. @Rob

    But then costumed lefty twats (RPIs) wouldn’t have the chance to lecture and generally humiliate members of the public.

    Giving some poor dear a dressing down because she’s using a super off-peak ticket on an off-peak train is the only taste of power those pathetic little Labourites can get.

  32. @ S2
    OK, BG weren’t ICI (where each factory gate had a clock counting the man-hours since the last “lost-time” accident and one expected it to run to at least 7 digits) – but compared to any other nationalised industry …

  33. The state runs the railways. The ToCs and ROSCOs are merely suppliers.

    It’s a great setup where blame is concerned. The State runs the whole thing but have the patsy ToCs to take the flak.

  34. @Rob again

    Re: the abuse.

    Funnily enough, the customer services folks where I work don’t feel the need to send our customers pre-emptive notices about not abusing the staff. Maybe rail workers should reflect on why that is.

    The other ones I like are “alternative routes” where none such exist.

    Or “ticket acceptance” with brands of the same company (Govia does this a lot) or with services that are affected in exactly the same way.

    Also “ticket acceptance with London Underground” advice for people who are nowhere near London – I remember someone tweeting back saying, “Great, can you tell me which Tube station is near Wivelsfield?” (Sussex).

  35. @Rob again again

    It’s a great setup where blame is concerned. The State runs the whole thing but have the patsy ToCs to take the flak.

    Yep, I’ve been of the opinion for quite some time that the ToCs are there for just that purpose.

  36. @ BiW
    I wasn’t going to bother with your moronic comment until S2 decided it was worth it. As a young Actuary, before flexitime was introduced, I used, for four-and-a-bit years, to commute from outer London which took me an hour each way (if the trains ran on time). You are saying that I was a moron?
    Would you have dared say that to my face in 1972?
    My best and highest-paying jobs were not quite as far away as Squander Two’s friend in Hong Kong but one commute did take 26 hours without any unscheduled delays (a few took two days when flights were cancelled/rescheduled).

  37. @BiW

    It’s a shame you made the “commuter=moron” and “SE commuter=public sector” comments, as you’ve also made some good observations that are being overlooked.

  38. > Funnily enough, the customer services folks where I work don’t feel the need to send our customers pre-emptive notices about not abusing the staff. Maybe rail workers should reflect on why that is.

    Airline staff too. I was on a late flight a few weeks back, and the pilot felt the need to announce to all of us that we weren’t to take it out on the staff. There’d been no hint that such a thing was happening, but he saw no problem with effectively announcing “You’re all bastards and I know it.”

    But then of course, even if airlines are private, airline customer service is as nationalised as you can get: the staff have the power to have you arrested.

  39. > It’s a shame you made the “commuter=moron” and “SE commuter=public sector” comments, as you’ve also made some good observations that are being overlooked.

    I didn’t overlook them: they were why I tried to object fairly (by my standards) politely rather than going full sarcasm.

  40. Bloke in North Dorset

    BiW,

    “I could put a £500 GPS transmitter in the guard’s carriage and transmit that home and let people know a more accurate number. ”
    I can assure it really isn’t that easy. I’ve been involved in a number of projects trying to get mobile coverage in to trains, both for native coverage and for backhaul for WiFi, and there are some serious costly technical challenges, which are just about insurmountable outside urban areas.

    The most recent on was 18 months ago and I spent a day at an office in Waterloo with members of Govt (me as technical adviser), rail industry engineers, mobile company engineers and BT engineers. We’d had lots of correspondence and other meetings prior to this workshop but even after a day working together we were no nearer to a solution.

    The time to do it is with new rolling stock, but it still needs a lot of investment in track-side infrastructure.

    H&S is a critical factor, but it isn’t the killer you might think. other than making maintenance very difficult and expensive.

  41. S2,

    “Really not following your logic here. Commuting makes you a failure?

    My highly successful employer is built on the basis that if you’re half decent and have the skills you can be sent to work somewhere lucrative hundreds or thousands of miles away. My friend who went and spent half the year in Hong Kong did so because he’s useless? If he’d been any good, he’d have been working in rural Ireland instead? Hmm.”

    Yes. Sorry. Badly worded. And I was a little stressed and over-caffeinated.

    My point is that a very large amount of traffic to London isn’t “the city”. It’s tentacles of the state, often the more useless tentacles of the state. I get called up about projects in London and few of them are private sector in the sense that at the other end of it is a bloke handing over his own money.

    john77,
    “As a young Actuary, before flexitime was introduced, I used, for four-and-a-bit years, to commute from outer London which took me an hour each way (if the trains ran on time). You are saying that I was a moron?
    Would you have dared say that to my face in 1972?”

    It made sense in 1972. Maybe even made sense in 1999. But you can do most of that job from a laptop at home, can’t you? Or you rent a Regus office near where you are.

  42. @BiND

    “The time to do it is with new rolling stock, but it still needs a lot of investment in track-side infrastructure.”

    In this specific case – Govia and the Thameslink project – they’ve had both. Billions spent on stock and infra.

    No surprises that there isn’t wifi and the info on train location is often crap/wrong. The signalling also packs up a lot. And the new “state of the art” trains keep breaking down.

    And yes, I did say billions.

  43. @BiW

    “It made sense in 1972. Maybe even made sense in 1999. But you can do most of that job from a laptop at home, can’t you? Or you rent a Regus office near where you are.”

    A lot of the time, yes, you could. The problem is usually with managers that have an irrational opposition to WFH.

    So often it is the manager that is the moron, not the minion.

  44. Cynic,

    “A lot of the time, yes, you could. The problem is usually with managers that have an irrational opposition to WFH.

    So often it is the manager that is the moron, not the minion.”

    And that is changing. Because the efficient thing is to measure output rather than presence.

  45. @BiW

    “My point is that a very large amount of traffic to London isn’t “the city”. It’s tentacles of the state, often the more useless tentacles of the state. I get called up about projects in London and few of them are private sector in the sense that at the other end of it is a bloke handing over his own money.”

    I disagree with the first bit. The second bit makes sense though.

    First off, not all private sector workers in London work in The City. I expect most don’t. E.g. I’ve been London-based most of my career, but was neither public sector nor The City. Those London Terminals destinations serve a pretty wide area outside of The City.

    My hypothesis on the second part is that most of the projects are public sector because the State can afford to run lots of pointless ones that achieve little. The average Farquhar or Jocasta “working” for the State has taxpayers’ money to throw around on bullshit. It fits with what you’ve described and reflects my brother’s experience too.

  46. “And that is changing. Because the efficient thing is to measure output rather than presence.”

    Yes, it is. The tech is there, the attitude is catching up. Actually, I think it might be the cost of office space that has done it!

    I work in IT, and believe me there is still a lot of opposition from (non-IT) managers. Too many of them still need to have their little empire within physical reach. Frustrates us, ‘cos we know we can supply the tools.

  47. @ BiW
    Nowadays, most of my work *is* done using my desktop at home (or inside my head, wherever I am).
    I’ll accept your apology to S2 as it is totally believable, based on your past perfectly reasonable behaviour.

  48. Given the cost and inefficiency of rail particularly, as I believe incompetence, NGAF and waste is baked into the industry, I do think it is positively batshit that we keep throwing so much money into trying to increase the capacity.

    Expanding WFH looks like a far better way to deal with it.

    Easy numbers for the sake of argument: bloke commutes 5 days a week. WFH 1 day, he uses 20% less train capacity; 2 days, 40%; and so on. Spread that across the office-working commuter population.

    (there’ll probably be more uptake on Mondays and Fridays across the population)

    Shit, they should give companies tax breaks for doing this, ‘cos it’ll save money on the transport budget.

  49. john77/everyone,

    Yes. Sorry. I saw red. I think it’s the constant whine about prices. Well, every train’s full, what else should the rail companies do? Had a moment of twattery, hope all understand.

  50. No worries.

    ‘Course, in the specific case of Govia/Southern, that rail company should actually try running trains!

    Govia is a special case. It really is that shit.

  51. Cynic said:
    “I think part of the NGAF-ness is down to TUPE. They screw up, the franchise changes hands… the same staff remain.”

    Definitely. TUPE needs to be abolished as soon as we leave the EU. It ensures that public sector operations remain over-priced, poorly delivered and generally f*@ked up even years after it is shunted out to the private sector.

  52. where each factory gate had a clock counting the man-hours since the last “lost-time” accident and one expected it to run to at least 7 digits

    We’ve got one of them. About once a year it says “1 day since the last fatality”.

  53. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “We’ve got one of them. About once a year it says “1 day since the last fatality”.”

    Perhaps, instead of fuffing around with corporate homicide laws and the like, the French government could just introduce a law where for every useful worker killed, a manager is painlessly put out of his misery.

    You know, I was going to defend this, but I find it hard to think of a single downside.

  54. Bloke in North Dorset

    S2,

    When a company is bought/sold or even a service outsourced employment Ts & Cs have to be transferred and guaranteed for a period. The aim was to stop companies getting round redundancy laws.

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