The biggest shock is that we still own it in the first place, I thought we had sold all our ports to Dubai a few years back. Who cares if they are French, if they invest then its jobs. The British Govt is skint and will not be investing!
A plan to privatise the government-owned Port of Dover has provoked "outrage", not least because the French are front-runners to take control of the facility. According to the Daily Mail, the port needs money to fund an expansion plan, and selling it off could net £350m for our cash-strapped government. The harbour board …
Until I realised this was bootnotes I was getting really worried as to why El Reg felt it had to turn to the Daily Heil for stories.
Flames - because copies of the Daily Heil tend to combust by themselves - due to that smouldering rage at house prices/immigrants/asylum seekers/gays/the labour party/paedophiles*
*delete as applicable, although I'm sure they can use the whole list in every issue (probably every story).
The daily hail has published as a proof of the unseparable Britishness of Dover a snap of a Spitfire in POLISH COLOURS!!!
This is an Armia Krajova spitfire from the polish squadrons which fought in the battle of Britain. It is not even a British one.
Nuff said. Not Daily hail, Daily FAIL.
I put "Daily hEil" - as in a nod to the paper's consistently goose stepping, shreiking, far right position
Rather than hAil - some notion of greeting, respect or deference (or indeed frozen rain which is what we're getting here today!)
Paris - She gets frustrated when commentards don't understand her too
I noticed the Spitfire picture was wrong. I wasn't aware it was Polish, but I knew it wasn't British. Oh, and double-whammy irony. They're freaking out over the Frenchies owning the port of Dover, so they'll paste up a picture of a Spitfire to allude to the war and how bad the French are at wars, blah blah blah. Yeah, and, um, which flag is that flying on the tail of said patriotic plane? Sure as hell isn't the Union flag of the United Kingdom!
FAIL because they couldn't find a picture of a British Spitfire. FAIL because they didn't think to attempt to PhotoShop the one they had. And... I ought to FAIL again for it being the Daily Mail, but that's just scoring cheap shots.
I posted a comment in the article to ask if it actually matters WHO owns the port, so long as people have jobs and the ferries run on time. No doubt the usual Mail readers will miss the point and scream and shout - but, come on - it isn't as if Britain is much good at running itself. You can blame crap management or you can blame privatisation. The point is foreign investment in the country is HUGE. So some other country will run Dover. Whoo-hoo. Colour me excited. Or not.
Oh, and TV news - please stop playing that ANNOYING song. Had the author of said song actually ever been anywhere near the white cliffs of Dover, they might have noticed there isn't a single bluebird to be seen. But I suppose "Spa-rrows o-ver the whi-te cliffs of Do-ver" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
>over 200 years after Edward III's forces launched a successful takeover bid in 1347.
Well, with us anyway, I suspect the French may have felt differently.
Take-over bids tended to be rather more messy affairs than now.
How the times change and I can't wait for Sangatte 2 to be opened on English soil.
Solid, impartial reporting right there. Carry on daily mail.
Me, I'm waiting for the Chinese to take over the USoA, since they already own most of it anyway, and then India can't stay behind or lose face, so maybe they'll benignly snap up Blighty. Cheaper than buying all of the EU/EC/ECC/ECSC/EWhatever.
Thought that the government had sold everything already.
Meanwhile over here in Madrid, you couldn't ask for a better Metro or railway (Funnily enough supported by the government, rather than sold-off to bribe voters with lower taxes and to pay for all those house extensions / refurbishments / John Lewis TVs for MPs)
Must be a different Madrid to the one I'm in. My drive to work takes twenty minutes, by metro it takes at least an hour even with a metro station literally at the door at both ends. Oh, and the private security guards are what I imagine PCSO's to be but with an inferiority complex about a thousand times greater.
Mp's are part of a system of nobility that the French brought with them a few years back.
Yeah, I know it's supposed to be democracy but they all want to be Lords or have bloody moats and duck houses as part of thier feudal landholdings.
Anyway - the French already own our water, leccy, mobiules, nuclear power so what's the big fuss?
Oh, it's 'Dover'.
White Cliffs, Vera Lynne and all the rest of the British Empire fascism.
But now we are to get truck-loads of 'illegals' waved through British (or is it French) customs who have to stand there as the new French invasion begins -- they'll be coming up the Thames Estuary next, we have been warned. Bringing the Tour de France over was the thin end of the wedge, the gradual infiltration by 'French Markets' has continued the move and only a few brave (though no doubt with French nobility blood there somewhere) right(wing)-minded Members have stood up to say 'Non!'
As a resident of Dover here is my take on this non-story.
Given that Dover Harbour Board have only very recently submitted a formal application to put themselves up for sale, coupled with the proximity of the General Election and the desparate need for the current govenrment to hold on to as many seats as possible do not expect anything to happen any time soon; much as the government dislike Gwynn Prosser (MP for Dover) I doubt they will shaft him over this.
Further, the proposed sale structure has yet to be worked out, but alll the noises from the Dover Harbour board are that they want to ensure that workers, the workers pension funds and locals in East Kent all have an opportunity to take shares in the new entity and also want to cast the net for shareholdings as wide as possible so are not seeking a single owner. In fact the deal may well be structured to preclude this. Yes Calais are interested, they would be fools if they were not, given the port makes over £15m profit each year, but where are they going to find £3-400m to acquire the harbour and then a further £400m for investment to upgrade it? Once in "private" hands HMG will nto be pouring money in for future investment.
If it's up for sale, it's best off being bought by the French -- Nord-Pas-de-Calais make a phenomenal amount of money off sales taxes at "booze-cruise" hypermarkets and wine warehouses, and the biggest customers of the ferries are tourists heading to France and French haulier Norbert Dentressangle delivering goods to the UK.
A French-owned Calais would be an investment that would be expected to pay off in multiple ways -- sell it to a corporation and it's profit above all else.
I'm not in favour of privatisation, not by any stretch, but this xenophobic "not the froggies" nonsense is risible. If we sell, they're the best buyer.
Typical Daily Mail xenophobia. Dover is the shithole to end all shitholes, and is frankly embarrassing as the first thing visitors to our nation see. Hopefully a bit of investment will give it a lick of paint at least.
It's not like a French company would put up a massive sign saying 'Bonjour! Welcome to French-occupied Britain'
You have to love it - the Tories love of privatisation is coming back to bite them. If they hadn't started selling everything off and trumpting the 'free market' in the first place then 'New Labour' would never have been invented and this wouldn't have happened. So state ownership of ports is now bad while another country owning our water companies is somehow good? They can't have it both ways...
Why do so many contributors hate their own country and the people in it? Are you all Guardian reading self loathing lefties? You have no pride in what this country has achieved? and are happy to see it dismantled bit by bit by foreign companies? Why?
Do you think the French would allow any of their industries to be sold off so easily? Think again. You may think that the new world is entirely globalistic, but unfortunately its not. France and Germany to name two do their utmost to protect their industry and assets. Whilst you lot applaud your own demise.
Re:Spitfire, a British invention, don't forget and please remember that this "British fascist Empire" as some tosser described it , declared war on Germany to protect Poland. So more symbolic in Polish marking than you realise.
Only a fool or a crook sells off profitable enterprises. In Gordon Brown, you have both.
Because it gave *such* great benefits for the public when they privatised the buses, the trains, British Telecom, British Gas, airports, mining, steel production, schools, prisons, ...
If the banking crisis has proved anything, it's that not only are "market forces" are totally crap at giving their customers a decent service, but they actually end up costing more. The only people who benefit are company shareholders, who cream off the slush fund from the increased cost. Which is great for shareholders, but no damn good for the people who are using the services. When the people using the services are supposed to be the people benefitting (i.e. the public), this seriously sucks.
Is that the labour goverment refuses to allow them to borrow money at the lower
government rates , as we used to do before PFI. This is why councils are no loger allowed to
buidl council houses, if they did it would show that PFI is the biggest swindle ever created.
This means that for dover to invest in the port they have to sell off to gain the investment, as the
government refuses to allow them to borrow the money.
for everyone who says that its good because they'll bring French standard but no French people and will generate more jobs for local people have obviously never visited a French retailer e.g. Decathlon, centre of London yet fully staffed by the French....
I have nothing against the French, but as someone said Dover is a British border point! Although they might be good at shipping the illegal immigrants back judging from their handling of the refugee camps