Business

Not really love, no

Capitalism is reshaping the property market, locking younger generations out of buying somewhere to live and expecting us to be happy about it

Anticapitalism in the form of excessive planning is making housing expensive.

If the bureaucracy would issue more planning permissions then housing would be cheaper.

Just a small thought

GB News has been struck by an advertising boycott from some of the world’s biggest brands after the right-leaning news service was targeted by political activists.

Kopparberg, the Swedish cider maker, was joined by Grolsch, Ikea, the Open University and skin care brand Nivea in suspending advertising ties with the network. Insurer LV=, Pinterest, Specsavers and Octopus Energy also said they would review their advertising.

However, some GB News advertisers warned against taking “knee-jerk decisions” following the backlash prompted by Stop Funding Hate, a social media campaign group that has gained prominence by organising boycotts of some national newspapers promoting right-of-centre views.

OK, usual Woken SS nonsense. However, a thought.

Advertisers advertise because it makes them profits to do so. They given in to wokeism for the same reason.

So, after the fuss dies down where’s the balance going to be? The boycott will gain enough support or it’s three idiots on Twitter? The loss of trade from not advertising will bite or not?

Well, no, not really you know

Hundreds of passengers have been stranded after a regional airline closed down. Stobart Air, based in Dublin, has ceased all operations from today and is appointing a liquidator.

The airline provided a busy network of flights badged as Aer Lingus Regional.

Given the liquidation it wasn’t exactly a busy network, was it?

Well, yes, but…..

The Wellcome Trust had the highest paid employee, with chief investment officer Nick Moakes taking home £4.64million including salary and bonuses last year – a £1.3million rise on the year before.

The health research charity, whose director Sir Jeremy Farrar earns £483,788, said that pay is linked to performance and by bringing their investment team in house they have been able to make billions more to fund their work.

As part of a wage bill of £105million, the Wellcome Trust paid more than 90 staff over £100,000, with seven employees in the investment team taking home more than £1million.

They’re really an investment fund which then gives away the profits. So they’ve the cost structure, at least in part, of an investment fund.

Actually, I’m not sure whether you can even give them money, let alone that they ever ask for it……

More than 270 charities are paying their bosses more than the Prime Minister, with the highest earner on £4.7m a year, an investigation by The Telegraph has found.

In the most comprehensive analysis ever made public, this newspaper has discovered that between them the organisations employ more than 2,500 staff members on salaries in excess of £100,000 a year.

As to the actual complaint here, it’s not really the CEOs that are the problem. It’s the thousands upon thousands below them who take very good wages – but not top ones – for doing pretty much nothing useful.

I once intimated…..

….that a certain stock market little darlin’ of a company was touting its recycling technology a little too much and not paying enough attention to the problems of collecting what was to be recycled.

There was some contretemps over this suggestion.

Apropos of nothing:

RENO, NV / ACCESSWIRE / May 25, 2021 / Green technology innovators Cicle, Inc. and American Battery Metals Corporation (OTCQB:ABML), an American-owned lithium-ion battery recycling technology and advanced extraction company with extensive mineral resources in Nevada, which is in the process of changing its name to American Battery Technology Company (“ABTC”) announced today a strategic partnership to create the first-of-its-kind centralized service operations for collection and recycling of electric vehicle batteries at Cicle EV ChargeParks. The ventures will team up to meet heightened consumer demand as all leading global automakers and truck fleets transition to electric mobility.

The strategic partnership solves a critical renewable energy supply problem for the fast-growing EV ecosystem. The growth of electric vehicles has so far relied on environmentally unfriendly and inefficient local power grids to supply energy for recharging short-range batteries in cars and trucks. The ABTC & Cicle ChargeParks collaboration creates a practical and highly advanced renewable energy technology solution.

Cicle ChargeParks patent-pending infrastructure is designed to recharge consumer EV’s efficiently as well as house multiple ABTC collection points and operations across North America. ABTC may then collect the spent and damaged EV batteries and other lithium-ion products for recycling and core metals processing. Results: Cicle clean, safe & rapid EV charging facilities working collaboratively with ABTC green extraction and processing of metal battery components used to build high-range EV batteries that will drive the electric vehicle revolution.

A collection network for EV batteries!

Well yes. Umm.

Quite so:

Uhn huhn.

Dear Lord Above, the man’s a Geek

Mr. Gates was known for making clumsy approaches to women in and out of the office.

Extremely clever, most ambitious and all that but still a Geek.

Are these people not familiar with human beings?

Some of the employees said that while they disapproved of Mr. Gates’s behavior, they did not perceive it to be predatory. They said he did not pressure the women to submit to his advances for the sake of their careers, and he seemed to feel that he was giving the women the space to refuse his advances.

What do they think men and women get up to?

Even so, Mr. Gates’s actions ran counter to the agenda of female empowerment that Ms. French Gates was promoting on a global stage.

The ability to say no ain’t power?

This last is most unkind of me but the whiff, the odour, I’m getting from the French Gates complaints is that the bloke who made all the money wasn’t paying as much attention to her desires when spending it as she thought fit.

You don’t say!

The UK’s anti-corruption agency said it suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering related to the financing of Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), the loose grouping of steel and metals trading companies controlled by Gupta.

Never saw that one coming, did we?

The ignorance is painful

We know Amazon is killing the high street, so why do we keep clicking on ‘buy now’?

Because we value the convenience more than we do the High Street.

Sure, shopping in person involved a certain amount of hassle, but it also gave rise to so much else that we value, including many of the things we recognise as the signatures of city life.

We have considered those relative values and decided to go for the convenience and fuck the signatures of city life. Our lives, our choices and what’s it got to do with your evaluations then matey?

Oh, seriously people….

It’s not the damn phone lines:

Ministers have launched a £1bn auction for thousands of miles of phone lines running alongside Britain’s railways, in a move they hope will improve train services while boosting broadband speeds for millions of homes.

Private sector bidders will have the chance to upgrade 10,000 miles of cables, while also building 250 new mobile phone masts close to train lines. The investment could help the Government meet its commitments to drastically improve rural broadband and eradicate so-called 5G “notspots”.

It’s not the phone lines, it’s the rights of way. The same reason Cable and Wireless bought the London Hydraulic Power Company – so they could stick ferrets pulling cables down those pipes.

This is a start

The former boss of the Post Office has quit the boards of two major retailers after her former employer was found culpable for one of Britain’s biggest miscarriages of justice.

Paula Vennells, who ran the Post Office between 2012 and 2019, has resigned from the boards of supermarket Morrisons and furniture retailer Dunelm this morning.

Reports of problems with Horizon, the Post Office’s faulty IT system, were left not properly investigated during her tenure.

There were calls for the company’s former bosses to be prosecuted on Friday after 39 sub-postmasters were cleared of theft, fraud and false accounting by the Court of Appeal.

Myself I’m terribly tempted to call for jail time. After a trial and conviction of course. But there’s a definite lust for blood here. And not just one person either. This steps well over the mark of mistakes were made, lessons have been learned. Time to get medieval on some arses here.

The joys of wedding season returning

Living, as we do, in the centre of where folks go for their hen and stag parties we tend to view the return of wedding season with a slightly jaundiced eye. Then again, given the lack of ability to travel at present it might be that people are getting on with the hitching part without the alcoholic blowout that usually precedes it.

Still, as Americans are noting, wedding season is starting again:

Wedding season is slowly ramping up again. Of course, the pandemic’s made it a difficult year for the industry, and now many vendors are working hard to tackle another issue: inclusivity.

Inclusivity isn’t one of those things I’d expect a wedding to be about really, given that rather the point is exclusionary. That sexual relationship is now to be markedly less inclusionary than it might have been when looking around for who to marry perhaps. True, there’s the Krankies to tell us how this might be different but still.

There’s also a slight puzzle about why this is the season:

In general, wedding season extends from late spring and continues through early fall, with weddings peaking in June and September.

That spring time is when fancies turn to thoughts of love is true, rising sap and all that. And if every bird in the country is twittering that they’re the one then of course some fancies will turn that way. That, given the way that humans work over time, explains the September peak at least. But it does still leave the spring one as something of a mystery.

All of which makes this an apposite time to talk of AW Bridal Brand. A one stop shop for the clothing necessary to meet that peak wedding season.

Only rich companies can do this

Google will tie senior executive bonuses to their efforts furthering its environmental and diversity goals from next year.

It’s also one of the ways that companies become less rich over time.

It’s not so much that shareholder interests should come first – although they should – it’s that a company that does prioritise them is going to beat, over time, those that don’t.

Well, quite so, yes

The Institute for Public Policy Research, a left-leaning think tank, has published a report saying that decarbonising steel could create many jobs, particularly in the north of England.

As we know, jobs are a cost, not a benefit:

The potential costs are eye-watering. Community wants ministers to pump cash into a £1 billion direct reduced iron (DRI) furnace that strips the oxygen from iron ore.

And there’s the cost…..

Ministers face a dilemma: fund the cost of cleaning up steel, or watch thousands of jobs disappear. Neither option will be cheap.

But losing the jobs is a saving….

Oh, right

Facebook fired Zhang for poor performance in September 2020. On her final day, she published a 7,800-word farewell memo describing how she had “found multiple blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry” and lambasting the company for its failure to address the abuses. “I know that I have blood on my hands by now,” she wrote. News of the memo was first reported in September by BuzzFeed News.

Zhang is coming forward now in the hopes that her disclosures will force Facebook to………

On that Amazon union election thing

Workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, chose to take on one of the biggest companies in the world and form a union. If they were successful, they would be the first in the company’s history. The potential for similar efforts in thousands of warehouses across the country would have risen dramatically. Amazon, America’s second-largest employer, would have been forced to contemplate an entirely new relationship with its gigantic workforce.

When the results were in, however, the analogy broke down. Goliath had won.

So, why would a company be against the formation of a union? Because of what is said here, of course. The understanding is that the creation of a union would shift power from company to workforce. So, to avoid losing that power, be against the creation of a union.

Seems simple enough, no?

From the centre of the tech trade comes this:

So inevitably the union is going to be dragging your company’s managerial layers into prolonged wage and conditions negotiations, pursuing pet causes, trying to eject people that they regard as “undesirable” – e.g. anti-union, pro-business – while trying to retain people that management regards as “undesirable” – e.g. ineffective, spending too much time on pet causes. They’re going to seek “equity” of salaries – looking for differentials by gender, race and age and poking at anomalies. Their executive is looking for a steady income stream and an increasing amount of power, and they’re not going to take “no” for an answer.

The unionization struggle, I think, is going to be over approximately 1-2 years after a union gains a significant foothold in a major tech company. The highly productive people are going to see the brake on company productivity in general, and their salaries in particular, and go looking for employment somewhere they don’t have to carry as many passengers. In the mean time, the company is going to burn.

If you don’t believe me, look at the car manufacturers in Detroit.

Crass idiocy is still crass idiocy, ya kno?

For some time, it has been government policy to privilege the interests of private landlords over other homeowners. This process began in the mid-1990s when banks introduced buy-to-let mortgages, which assessed buyers’ creditworthiness on the rental yield from the property, rather than their existing income. Easy finance gave landlords an advantage over first-time buyers.

Banks were not directed to do this. They found out that it made sense to do this. This is a market, not government, response.

Buy-to-let landlords have also enjoyed tax relief: mortgage interest relief, and a wear-and-tear allowance.

Just like every other business in the country – the cost of providing the good or service is deducted from the revenues from doing so before tax on the profits is applied.

David Renton is a campaigner and barrister.

We must therefore conclude that David Renton is an idiot.

There are solutions. Take the idea of long-term renters in the private market establishing a right to buy the home in which they live. How is the policy likely to look to older homeowners? If it was directed at the single homeowner who split a two-storey house in half and rented out one floor of it, many other homeowners would find the idea objectionable.

But imagine if it was targeted at landlords owning a minimum of five properties (there are enough landlords in that position for it to make a difference). When someone is hoarding five homes, why shouldn’t they be forced to allow others to have a chance of owning their own homes, not to seek profit but to simply live there?

Politicians need to be brave enough to explain to voters that the hoarding of properties by commercial landlords doesn’t just hurt young renters but many homeowners too. A Labour party that forges a cross-generational alliance on this basis could reap serious rewards.

Yep, a mindgarglingly stupid man.

Because you’ve just banned pensions and insurance companies from providing developments of rental homes – even, rentals at affordable rents, as quite a number of them are doing.

In fact, taken as it is, this proposal bans housing associations……

The louder he talked of his honour

A car leasing firm is being investigated by fraud officers after it went bust owing £26m to hundreds of savers lured in with the offer of returns as high as 11pc.

Raedex Consortium – whose boss Reginald Larry-Cole has written a book on ethical capitalism – is facing inquiries from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) following its collapse last month.

The faster we counted the spoons.

Now here’s an entrepreneur

The family’s only concession to entrepreneurialism was opening a kiosk on the promenade each summer to sell the lozenges to holidaymakers from Lancastrian mill towns who were staying in the boarding houses of nearby Blackpool and made a day trip on the tram to Fleetwood. Many suffered from respiratory problems as a result of unhealthy working conditions in the mills. On their return they would write to Lofthouse of Fleetwood to ask where they could buy the lozenges locally.

One day in 1963 Doreen picked up a pile of these letters and suggested to no little bemusement that she make a tour of Lancashire’s mill towns in her battered MG and visit every local chemist to show them the letters as proof that the product would soon disappear from their shelves. “They thought I was a little crazy,” she recalled.

The family gave her permission but no money for petrol. Diminutive, neat and attractive, the fiercely determined Mrs Lofthouse set off on her expedition, depending on a sale to buy the petrol to drive to the next town. She returned with dozens of orders.

That is, to a large extent, she did build that……

The product’s retro packaging also proved a hit overseas. The distinctive black and red lettering had first come about because Doreen’s mother-in-law, Frances Lofthouse, had originally typed the words “Extra Strong” in red, underneath Fisherman’s Friend in black, because she did not want to waste the red ink on the typewriter.

Canny folk up there, eh?

The local criminals

Victims who lost their life savings when a currency exchange firm collapsed have waited nearly 1,000 days to find out whether they will ever see their money again.

Premier FX, an exchange firm, was placed into administration in August 2018, despite being given a clean bill of health by the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, just months previously. The firm collapsed following the death of Peter Rexstrew, 55, the sole director and shareholder of the firm.

Classic Ponzi scheme stuff. Run a foreign exchange service for expats. Lift chunks of the money, finance through delays on FX transfers for new customers. It all keeps working until there’s no more new money coming in. Which the death of the principal might well cause:

The firm encouraged British customers both in the UK and expats living in Portugal and Spain to leave large amounts of cash with it in the hope that they would benefit from exchange rates, helping them buy holiday homes. But Premier FX did not have the right regulatory licences to hold customer money beyond remittance.

That’s how to increase the amount supposedly within the company and thus cover the money that’s been appropriated.

The Financial Conduct Authority asked the UK courts in August last year to declare Premier FX insolvent because after the death of the sole director and shareholder, the firm was unable to pay its debts.

No, didn’t know him but I’m sure I know people who did.