back to article Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain

Sugar fiends headed to the Golden Arches for a sweet treat were to be disappointed today as McDonald's admitted its restaurants in Great Britain had run out of milkshakes. The fast-food behemoth said in a statement: "Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues, impacting the availability of a …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    A number of sound decisions?

    It's only Brexit... note that no other country faces the same issues, and even within our country it's only the bit that left the customs union that is suffering.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      Also no other country introduced flawed legislation like the updated IR35 that made work in some sectors pointless.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        Well IR35 applies to Northern Ireland.

        Leaving the Single Market and Customs Union does not.

        Their McDonalds have plentiful supplies of milk shake, and their KFCs and Nandos have plentiful supplies of chicken.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          There is certainly a problem in NI too, but since there is an open border McDonalds can use Irish HGV drivers that are not affected by IR35.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            That's not true. IR35 applies equally to offshore companies as to UK companies.

            Actually if you a small Irish-resident contractor, you are probably in a worse situation re IR35.

            Previously, if your lorry was parked overnight in Ireland, you would be subject to Irish tax on your earnings. That still applies. But if McDonalds now "employs" you to deliver to a Northern Irish branch, then your place of work for employment tax purposes is Northern Ireland, and your company's place of work is still Ireland; and I don't think the double tax rules deal with this.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              "That's not true. IR35 applies equally to offshore companies as to UK companies."

              I think that depends on the precise "chain" of entities involved, their "relationships", and their locations. Would the Irish contractor be contracting via an Irish or UK agency to a UK end client for example? Or would the Irish contractor (in the case of a truck driver) have an Irish company as their end client where the end client happens to do deliveries into NI for Tescos/Aldi/Lidl etc?

              In the reverse direction however as a NI contractor who in the past did a contract via a German agency for a Germany company then if I was to do that again now the IR35 changes (introduced in Apr 2021) wouldn't affect that any differently as previously as with neither the end client nor the agency being located in the UK then I/my own company would be responsible for making a IR35 determination (as happened in all private sector scenarios prior to Apr 2021).

              Cross-border working can be complicated, not just for contractors. For example people living in Ireland but employed across the border in NI are currently having tax issues due to COVID-related home working - they're getting taxed twice when working from home: https://borderpeople.info/media_news/cross-border-workers-call-for-home-working-tax-law

              I vaguely remember Irish teachers who worked in NI taking the Irish Revenue Commissioner (HMRC equivalent) to the European Court about 30 or 35 years ago about double taxation issues.

        2. Robert Moore
          Coat

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Why would KFC need chickens? It is not like they sell anything that even resembles Chicken.

          1. Jedit
            Alien

            "Why would KFC need chickens?"

            The infinitely long mutant centipede still has chicken origins and so it counts as a chicken.

          2. Mage Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Why would <company> need <item>

            What is proportion of milk in a McD shake compared to homemade? And how much potato or other non-dairy bulking additives?

            1. Rob Daglish

              Re: Why would <company> need <item>

              If you have to ask that question, you don't want the milkshake...

      2. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        IR35 that made work in some sectors pointless

        What makes work in some sectors pointless is, fundamentally, low pay.

        Transport wages haven't kept up because supermarkets (and, of course, home delivery sweatdepots) have driven down costs.

        Ironically, the answer to this (close your ears, Brexit supporters...) is more regulation - particularly regarding employment rights and minimum pay. And higher prices, of course.

        And perhaps the whole long-distance, just-in-time logistics model that the UK has so carefully built up is going to have to be rethought too: local turnips for local people.

        I wouldn't exactly be mourning the loss of national (and international) chains shipping the same cheap stuff to every corner of the country - but I can afford not to. Others might not be so fortunate.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          What makes work in some sectors pointless is, fundamentally, low pay.

          Companies could make do with those low rates, but after the changes they become taxed on revenue and they cannot deduct business costs (even things like accounting, liability insurance, truck lease).

          Even if they increased the wages, that does not solve the issue that you no longer can run your own company and for many people this is important. Not everyone wants to be someone else's employee.

          It is interesting that government decided to kill small business this way, but turns a blind eye on big corporations that don't pay taxes at all.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            "It is interesting that government decided to kill small business this way, but turns a blind eye on big corporations that don't pay taxes at all."

            I wonder who has the best lobbyists and lawyers? Lots of little independents and one man bands, or big multinationals?

            1. Kabukiwookie

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              I wonder whichbhas more positions open on the board of directors once politicians who benefited the company retire from office.

              Face it. This is corruption, plain and simple.

              Politicians should be barred from managing any investments themselves (black box investment comapny if they want to invest) and be barred from holding any position in private companies (or 'consult') for a significant time after leaving office.

          2. Julz Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Have a look at the Swedish model. No not that one...

          3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            big corporations mean donations to political parties and perks and fringe benefits to the honourable members of our legislatures

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Tax on revenue cannot work. I sell a widget for £100, you tax me 10%, so I have £90, but my profit margin on that £100 is only 2% so I am now operating at a loss. Tax me on the profit at 10% and the tax is £2. Therefore a tax on revenue will force prices up, people can't afford to pay, companies go bust. So your suggestion would kill small business.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              You've got a point, but people cannot afford big companies not to pay their taxes. That's why you should tax revenue. Or come up with some other plan to make the big assholes, sorry companies, to pay their share.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions? IR35

          In the case of HGV drivers there is a safety element too. The UK rules are that those drivers cannot be offered inducements which may encourage them to commit infractions such as speeding, so no bonuses for completing additional deliveries.

          But drivers hired per run are effectively exempted from this, provided they do not breach the permissible number of driving hours.

          This might, and I do stress that it is not 100% certain, account for why road deaths involving HGV's disproportionately involve drivers employed on a contract basis. In theory a tramping job should not be affected as there are not enough hours in the day to make a difference, and even trunking should be reasonably regular, but that is the way the numbers point.

      3. LisaJK

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        Germany has had laws VERY similar to IR35 for much longer, coming under the general heading Scheinselbständigkeit. Literally translated 'apparently self employed'.

        Most larger companies use agency contractors. Some work as employees for the agencies, thereby getting the worst of contracting and the worst things about being an employee. Other companies simply use contractors for a maximum of 2 years, however it hurts their projects.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          "Germany has had laws VERY similar to IR35 for much longer, coming under the general heading Scheinselbständigkeit. Literally translated 'apparently self employed'."

          IT Contracting in Germany is a bit different to UK though - the vast majority of UK contractors have their own limited company whereas in Germany the majority are "Freiberufler" (equivalent to UK "sole trader") so there's no distinction between their personal and "work" tax situation.

          "Most larger companies use agency contractors. Some work as employees for the agencies, thereby getting the worst of contracting and the worst things about being an employee. Other companies simply use contractors for a maximum of 2 years, however it hurts their projects."

          I've done both forms of contracting there - only did the employee-of-an-umbrella thing once and would never do it again.

          The 2 year "rule" that many talk about is a bit misleading. I've already heard some large companies talking about a 1 year-1 year "rule" that you could only contract there for 1 year and then they wouldn't take you back on until at least another year had passed. There are some "strange" laws in Germany - apparently if you've been contracting at the same client for more than 2 years you have the right to demand that you be made an employee - I guess that's where the 2 year "rule" you mentioned comes from. I remember hearing of a contractor at T-Mobile doing that and it caused a bit of a panic at other companies using contractors.

          The big financial difference in Germany between employees and contractors is not really tax but rather with regard to the other deductions (equivalent of NI) - contractors don't have to pay pension deduction and unemployment insurance, whereas employees pay these plus 2 others.

          1. Thorsten

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Small addendum:

            The law regarding "Scheinselbständigkeit" is aimed at contractors who work for one client exclusively. These contractors could just as well be employees of their client, with all that entails (mainly social security stuff like health insureance, unemployment insurance and pensions, the payments of which is split between employer and employee).

            That's where the 2-year-rule comes from. It's also mainly targeted at the lower end of the labour market, where companies have outsourced work to "contractors" who worked solely for them, still got their low wages, and were then supposed to pay health insurance themselves and save enough for retirement. Obviously, they would then have to live off social security when retired. The companies would have saved a lot of money, and the state would have had to pay. Hence the law.

            The law does not affect "Freiberufler" who have more than one client. At our software company, we have contractors who have worked for us for over 15 years straight.

          2. LisaJK

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            WRT 2 year rule, it is just one of a long list of indicators as to whether you should really be considered an employee or independent in Germany, other examples are company email address, permanent desk position, telephone on your desk with your own number and so on.

            Wrt claiming employment rights after 2 years, jein, as the Germans would say (yes/no).

            Big companies have been getting increasingly nervous about contractors over the past 10 years and the 2 year 'rule' is a simple expedient (among many other rules) to prevent getting caught out with extra costs and employment rights.

            As with most things in Germany, the authorities try to make everything clear by having hard lists and rules for everything, which also makes for crazy bureaucracy. So if a contractor had a desk location in a company and an email address and a desk phone and .. and ... and... then the number of ticks on the permie side of the list would probably be more than the number of ticks on the contractor side of the list, so limiting a contract to a year would reduce the risks to the employer.

      4. Richard Jones 1
        WTF?

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        What is the reason for a driver shortage in the USA then?

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Well, not the pandemic, since apparently the US was already short 60,000 drivers in 2019.

          At a guess, I'd say it's probably down to one policy or another put in place by Trumpkin.

        2. Lars Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          And what about the driver shortage in Kazakhstan.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            The Taliban doesn't seem to have a driver shortage - but then that is Afghanistan...

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              @Roland6

              Lots of fancy new vehicles too I hear

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        If IR35 is a problem then scrap IR35, but enforce current employment law. You own the company but you are also carrying out work for the company, so the company needs to pay you at least minimum wage via PAYE + employer NI + you have to pay employee NI. Then if you want dividends to top up your personal income, go right ahead. You are not your company, money your company makes belongs to the company until you take a dividend (which requires a profit is being made) or withdraw your investment in the company. You want to use your company as a piggy bank? Fine be a sole trader and lose limited liability and probably the ability to secure contracts from some places.

    2. Timbo Bronze badge

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      That's the trouble with the entire Brexit issue...

      The leavers expected everything to be the same (apart from "taking back control" and "cutting immigration") - how wrong they were !

      And 8 months on, and we find that Brexit really is causing untold damage to the labour market, the supply chain and our reliance on the EU for both imports and exports - as was predicted by the remainers.

      It's time that the blindfold was removed from the eyes of the many who voted for this complete shambles and we get back on track and re-join the EU (and sadly under worse terms than before we left :-( ).

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        and we find that Brexit really is causing untold damage to the labour market,

        Workers who left didn't leave because they couldn't work. They all have settled status...

        Sure Brexit could play a part in that, as many people had that sense of not being welcome and if you compound it with stupid law changes, then for many people it was the last straw.

        The big corporations want it to be about Brexit, because this way they may get government to give them supply of fresh cheap labour that they can exploit, but I doubt it will come from the EU as the UK is no longer attractive to work in.

        1. Insert sadsack pun here

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          "Workers who left didn't leave because they couldn't work. They all have settled status..."

          Yeah but many left during Covid because there wasn't much of a safety net (state or family) for people in the gig economy, many others left simply because they wanted to go home or somewhere else - and now that the market is heating up there's no-one coming to take their place.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            They still have settled status and they could come back, but why would they... They get better rates in Germany and other EU countries.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              This is the crux of it

              It's not JUST Brexit or IR35 - it's the way that companies have been driving up their personal costs for decades

              The haulage industry was hemorraging drivers long before Brexit. That's just the final straw for many who were considering leaving anyway - when a Romanian driver is saying he can end up with more take home pay for less stress in Romania than in the UK, you know there's something fundamentally wrong with the British economic model

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                On top of this is normal staff turnover. People routinely leave jobs for new jobs, retirement, moving and many other reasons. Before Brexit there was always a ready pool of new staff from EU countries who could come here with no restrictions. Some planned on staying, some just wanted to come to the UK for a few years as a life experience.

                Now there are hurdles in the way, why would people bother coming here when there are other well paying countries in the EU and EFTA they can go to with no hassle. Some may really want to specifically come to the UK, but most will just want to go somewhere new and earn more than they can at home. I seriously cannot see why a newly minted Romanian Doctor for example would jump through the cost and paperwork hoops required to come here when they can just go work in Germany instead.

                Anybody wanting to go through the visa hassle is more likely to just go to Australia instead.

              2. Azamino

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                In 1991 ex-RTC guys were able to easily find work as HGV drivers on £30K a year, thirty years later it is still paying £30k a year!

                I am a remainer but for years cheap labour kept down wages and that left some people behind, many of whom will have voted out.

                Fingers crossed that firms will perk up and start looking for tech to boost productivity, but its just as likely that the Road Hauliers Association etc will lobby for cheaper labourer to be brought in from somewhere else.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  Indian truckers... :O

        2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          It's not "damage" when the value of basic labour goes up. Any labour "shortage" can be quickly fixed by the application of money. That means proper rates of pay (and theremay well need to be an overshoot to correct the current imbalance), and investment in training - perhaps "so you wanna be a driver" days where people get to drive HGVs on closed roads, and findout if they have an aptitude for it.

          Brexit has fixed the "damage" where too many career paths were hollowed out by cheap labour imports, and companies got used to fixing budgets by hiring from abroad.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Workers who left didn't leave because they couldn't work. They all have settled status...

          I guess you don't actually know many people who have had to apply for "settled status" then? It's certainly not magically just given, and the whole bureaucratic system is riddled with mistakes. A German friend of mine, who has been living in the UK for 20 years, is married to a Brit, and has residency here erroneously got a letter telling her that she had failed to apply, and had to leave the country.

          Such "hostile environment" bullshit, driven not only by Brexit, but by the general "nasty party" attitude of the tories is what has driven European workers away from our shores, alongside the increased requirements for them to jump through hoops when entering and leaving the country, because (shock horror), previously they could seamlessly drive between the UK and mainland Europe delivering things where they were needed, rather than being restricted to looking for work in one country. Oddly enough, they have all chosen to go and work in the other 26 countries instead, and screw the little xenophobic island with delusions of grandeur.

          1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Was going to make exactly the same point. 32,000 people at the home office, a department synonomous with incompetence and racism, with a management chain that starts with fresh PPE graduates and ends with Priti Patel. The odds of that not being a place of drudgery and fear are pretty slim.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The big corporations want it to be about Brexit

          why being so modest? It's not just 'big corporations', it's ANY UK business in any business field, from big corps to the smallest farmers, who have benefited from (yeah, bluntly speaking, 'exploited') cheap EU labour.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          A large proportion of those EU truckers were not in the UK permanently, therefore no settled status.

          They were the ones doing the cross channel long distance trucking and now they need all sorts of extra paperwork and hassle at the border crossings including potential fines. They can simply not work the cross channel routes and stay in the EU without the hassle as there is plenty of work available inside the EU.

      2. Ben1892

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        We liked exploiting cheap labour from the poorer EU countries which is why we wanted to remain.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          I've upset many liberals over this, as they both want the cheap labour from abroad and complain about the lack of opportunity and living wages for young UK residents...

      3. LisaJK

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        Worse terms? Matter of opinion... gain the Euro, join Schengen, send channel boat people back to France or Belgium (man) no questions asked (like we could have done but didn't when we were in the EU)... where do we sign!!!

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          But what about the bent bananas ?

          (Can't remember was it that we were banned from eating bent bananas or forced to eat them ?)

          1. hoopsa
            Childcatcher

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            You were neither forced nor banned, but had to be aware that anything with abnormal curvature would be considered Class 2, certainly something to consider before you put it in your mouth.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            @Yet Another Anonymous coward

            "(Can't remember was it that we were banned from eating bent bananas or forced to eat them ?)"

            It was the stupidity of making a criminal law of fine and or jail time for the shape of a banana. Thousands of pounds and the slammer for the shape of a banana. Almost sounds stupid even for the soviets.

            1. skein

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              Is this, then, innaccurate? Sounds perfectly reasonable.

              https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/11/boris-johnson-launches-the-vote-leave-battlebus-in-cornwall

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @skein

                "Is this, then, innaccurate? Sounds perfectly reasonable."

                Not seeming inaccurate, just very good at avoiding the truth. Basically the article makes a claim which isnt the banana law to claim brexit lies. What it fails to mention is the law which I posted the link many times to the actual law for years which was a criminal law with penalty of fine and or prison for the shape of the banana. Here is a better explanation than I can give-

                https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/05/12/to-properly-explain-the-eus-bendy-bananas-rules-yes-theyre-real/?sh=2214b8726fc9

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  Crap. Yes - you 'could' be prosecuted for selling Class 2 bananas as Class 1. How terrible (even if no-one ever was, and if they had been it would have been under UK law() Lets repeal that. Oh and lets repeal the law that says you 'could' be prosecuted for selling horse meat as beef, or putting Chalk in your flour, or the one that says you 'could' be prosecuted for selling CE marked electrical goods that haven't passed CE testing.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    @AC

                    So it exists and has such penalties. The rest of your post sounds like bed wetting whining without any relation.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: A number of sound decisions?

                      No - it existed as an EU regulation - now repealed. The regulation itself said nothing about criminal sanctions. So your statement about being banged up for selling bendy bananas is just hyperbole. Why would anyone think a piece of repealed trade enhancing consumer focused legislation was ever a reason to cease trading with our main export partners, cut off free movement and generally make the world worse ?

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: A number of sound decisions?

                        @AC

                        "No - it existed as an EU regulation - now repealed"

                        So they did extremely stupid and then undid it eventually. *out of interest did they ever repeal the law stopping water being sold with the claim of reducing the risk of dehydration?

                        "The regulation itself said nothing about criminal sanctions"

                        Yet was a criminal law with penalty of fine and/or jail. I am amused how some remainers still try to dispute this.

                        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                          Re: A number of sound decisions?

                          Yet was a criminal law with penalty of fine and/or jail. I am amused how some remainers still try to dispute this.

                          EU regulations are not criminal laws. I don't know how many times you need to have this explained to you before you understand the difference.

                          Member states signed a treaty that means that they implement regulations as laws in their own nations. If the UK implemented the regulation in a law and gave it criminal sanctions, then that was the UK that did that, not the EU.

                          The ECJ (European Court of Justice, to be clear) is the body that makes sure member states implement regulations properly and handles disputes. It is not a criminal court, and does not judge individuals with criminal sanctions.

                          So in summary, EU regulations != criminal laws.

                          Your claim != true.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: A number of sound decisions?

                            @Loyal Commenter

                            "EU regulations are not criminal laws"

                            Not the same issue but about the measurement laws. And primacy of EU law-

                            https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/metric-martyrs-20-years-how-20340101

                            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                              Re: A number of sound decisions?

                              "Not the same issue but about the measurement laws. And primacy of EU law"

                              Not just the primacy of EU law, the primacy of any treaty a country signs up to. If national law could simply overrule an international treaty then any such treaty would be completely pointless.

                              If you no longer want to be bound by a treaty you can withdraw from it - losing both the obligations and the benefits associated with it.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                                @H in The Hague

                                "Not just the primacy of EU law, the primacy of any treaty a country signs up to"

                                Something currently biting Germany and Poland who dared to challenge EU diktat in their courts against their own constitutions. Aka that whole sovereignty thing brexiters were talking about being extremely on point.

                                "If you no longer want to be bound by a treaty you can withdraw from it - losing both the obligations and the benefits associated with it."

                                As we did.

                                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                                  >"If you no longer want to be bound by a treaty you can withdraw from it - losing both the obligations and the benefits associated with it."

                                  However, some don't seem to understand the loss of benefits aspect and keep complaining about being punished.

                                  Interestingly, I see the Conservatives are starting to find new ways to pass the blame for their post-Brexit failings on to Brussels...

                                  1. Lars Silver badge
                                    WTF?

                                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                                    "However, some don't seem to understand the loss of benefits aspect and keep complaining about being punished.".

                                    So true, the brexit way to hide this is to claim that the EU has introduced new rules just for Britain that did not exist earlier just to punish poor Britain.

                                    I suppose it's all too difficult to grasp for a brexiteer.

                                    I keep telling myself that all Brits are not retarded, and that my British friends are not, but with all the balloony, vitriol, lies and lack of knowledge coming out of Britain it's getting harder and harder.

                                    I also keep telling myself all Americans are not Trumpists.

                                    But there is something very similar in both countries.

                                    Perhaps there is something here to consider.

                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBqU1RzV7o

                                    How Murdoch’s Fox News allowed Trump's propaganda to destabilise democracy

                              2. Lars Silver badge
                                Happy

                                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                                "If you no longer want to be bound by a treaty you can withdraw from it - losing both the obligations and the benefits associated with it.".

                                That is a very simplistic view though, take the Belfast agreement and similar for instance.

                                An agreement might be part of British law or withdrawing might just be too difficult due to international reactions.

                                Britain is, remember, not an Empire any more and totally depending on international goodwill like in fact the rest of the world.

                        2. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: A number of sound decisions?

                          Another pathetic Express scare. Not a law. But obviously worth a 10 billion reduction in trade.

                          'The European Food Safety Authority has been asked to rule on several ways of wording the statement that drinking water is good for hydration and therefore good for health. It rejected some wordings on technicalities, but it has supported claims that drinking water is good for normal physical and cognitive functions and normal thermoregulation.'

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              FFS. There was no criminal sanction, no jail time. It was basically a regulation (since repealed) that set the standards for describing quality of bananas. If you have a standard it makes trade easier (you know, buying and selling stuff). Because if I want to buy bananas from Luxemburg and they say they are Class 1, I know what I will be buying. If they don't meet the standard nobody goes to jail, it's a commercial dispute. You could sell me bananas that don't meet the standard, you just couldn't describe them as 'Class 1 bananas'.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @AC

                "FFS. There was no criminal sanction, no jail time"

                And in the European Union those rules about straight bananas. Violation of them can be punished by up to 6 months in jail and or a £5,000 fine. This is thus criminal law of course--you can't be jailed for breaches of civil law Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/02/05/its-straight-bananas-that-made-me-support-brexit-too/?sh=4d257e63182b

                So you are wrong. But thats not your fault, a lot of effort went into pretending or obfuscating this fact that was coded into EU law.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  UK law about intentional misrepresentation - not EU 'law about selling bent bananas.

                2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  Do you have any "sources" that aren't articles written by, or comments made by a senior member of UKIP?

                  Actually, are you Tim Worstall, just recycling your own comments as "proof" like some sort of expert sophist?

                  There are 7+ billion other people on the planet. Do you base your opinions on anything any of those people say or do, or just Tim?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    To be fair, the commentard account know as "Tim Wostal" has disavowed being codejunky.

                  2. Mooseman Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    "recycling your own comments as "proof" like some sort of expert sophist?"

                    Thats all he does, citing his own opinion as fact then being smug about it in true brexiter style as if hes "won"

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: A number of sound decisions?

                      @Mooseman

                      "Thats all he does, citing his own opinion as fact then being smug about it in true brexiter style as if hes "won""

                      Except if you look at what I quoted it wasnt even my 'opinion' but a Forbes article which I didnt write. But being smug as if you "won" something might have blinded you to it.

            3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              It was the stupidity of making a criminal law of fine and or jail time for the shape of a banana.

              Oh-ho, there's goes CJ again misrepresenting the facts!

              It is a criminal law for the mis-selling of goods. As for jail time, can you actually furnish anyone with one single example of someone being jailed for mislabelling bananas, let alone even prosecuted?

              The EU directive that the xenophobes like to rail on about, in case anyone is in doubt, refers to classification of fresh produce, where fruit and veg with defects, such as "abnormal curvature in bananas" must be labelled as "class II", rather than "class I". Apparently requiring people to accurately classify the goods they are selling is now some sort of fascism.

              Of course, back in the land of reality, the only people who object to such regulations are those who want to be able to mis-sell you things. The sort of shysters who'd like to be able to get away of selling you a bag of potatoes with stones in and then walk away saying "caveat emptor" without fear of prosecution.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @Loyal Commenter

                "It is a criminal law for the mis-selling of goods"

                I will let you read the much better explanation than I can give- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2019/10/07/eu_domains_itinerary/#c_3889195

                "As for jail time, can you actually furnish anyone with one single example of someone being jailed for mislabelling bananas, let alone even prosecuted?"

                So are you lying and claiming it wasnt law punishable by fine and jail?

                "Apparently requiring people to accurately classify the goods they are selling is now some sort of fascism."

                Such requirement already exists, it was making it a criminal offence which was excessive.

                "Of course, back in the land of reality, the only people who object to such regulations are those who want to be able to mis-sell you things"

                And those who dont believe the gov is competent nor capable of keeping up with the market, those who dont believe an offence is automatically criminal, or someone who doesnt like authoritarian nutters.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  But the EU didn't pass any law sending people to jail. The EU doesn't make laws. Governments make laws. And governments have always legislated on weights and measures and issues over food adulteration and misrepresentation. And those laws almost always have some backing in criminal sanctions, otherwise what's the incentive to obey?

                2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  So in short. no, you don't have an example. You have, of all things, a comment made on this forum by Tim Worstall. A well-known, and obviously biased, commentator. It is not the job of me, or any other reader, to go down the rabbit-hole to find the "sources" he quotes, and the sources of those sources, etcetera. When I have done so in the past, where he has posted anti anthropogenic-global-warming articles, I have spent the time to follow the sources only to find that they actually indicate the exact opposite of what he has posited. I'll give it to him, he is pretty good at taking a single sentence and using it out of context to indicate the opposite of what it actually means.

                  This is not a primary source.

                  Try again.

                  If you can.

                  Come to think of it, when I have asked you for sources for the things you claim as facts in the past, you have never actually managed to come up with a proper primary source. You need to brush up on your debating skills if you think hearsay is such a thing.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    @Loyal Commenter

                    "where he has posted anti anthropogenic-global-warming articles"

                    Actually his postings seem to be on the basis of if it was true. I suspect he hedges toward it being true or somewhat true.

                    "It is not the job of me, or any other reader, to go down the rabbit-hole to find the "sources" he quotes"

                    Nor to post any fact or reality from your posts. Ah well.

                    "when I have asked you for sources for the things you claim as facts in the past, you have never actually managed to come up with a proper primary source"

                    Aka even direct links, direct quotes or reality has no acceptance in your mind unless it meets your bias. Not my problem but my amusement.

                    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                      Re: A number of sound decisions?

                      even direct links, direct quotes or reality has no acceptance in your mind

                      Okay, so let's break this downs:

                      1) Direct links - correct, these are not acceptable as evidence. Links are not facts. Links are just that, a link to something else. In this case, a link to a comment on a forum. Not a fact. Certainly not what I asked you to provide, any details at all of anyone being prosecuted and imprisoned for selling straight and/or bent bananas as per your claim.

                      2) Direct quotes. A quote is not evidence. All your quotes also seem to be from one person. I'm sorry if it offends, but Tm Worstall's opinion pieces are not a source of facts.

                      3) "Acceptance in my mind". Ouch.

                      Let me make this perfectly clear for you, mister twisty-turny: I have asked for a simple example of somebody being prosecuted and imprisoned, as you claimed, for selling sub-standard bananas, under this EU regulation that you and your ilk are so het-up about. You made that claim, the onus is on you to prove it, not on anyone else to go away and disprove it. At this stage, I'm considering whether it is worthwhile making a large monetary bet on the premise that you cannot, and never will be able to.

                      There is a long-standing convention in the House of Commons that a member cannot call another member a liar, even when they are clearly not telling the truth. This is on the premise that the members are honourable, and would not intentionally lie. If you are unable to back up your somewhat outlandish claims, then you are lying. The very fact that there are no articles in the right-wing EU-hating press shouting loudly about it happening is probably proof enough that it has never happened, but I'm willing to give you one last chance to dig yourself out of the hole you have dug for yourself:

                      Prove your claim, or retract it. The onus ins on you to do so, not any anyone else to disprove it.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: A number of sound decisions?

                        @Loyal Commenter

                        "I have asked for a simple example of somebody being prosecuted and imprisoned, as you claimed"

                        And so you lie. When did I say someone was actually prosecuted and imprisoned? I stated the law existed and you cant even manage to keep that straight.

                        So your entire rant seems to be based on something you think I said.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  "I will let you read the much better explanation than I can give- https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2019/10/07/eu_domains_itinerary/#c_3889195"

                  And the OBN for services to Tim Worstall fluffing goes to ...

                  ... "codejunky" !!!

            4. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              @codejunky

              You don't seem to learn anything do you.

              In a large market like the EU buyers want to know in advance that what they order is what they get.

              To accomplice this rules and standards are introduced in any part of the world.

              A shop wouldn't be happy with half a ton of banana that look odd or half a ton of chicken egg a quarter of the "normal" size.

              Standards serve both those who sell stuff as those who produce stuff, they both need them.

              I would recommend Fintan O'Toole, "The Politics of Pain"

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA08SXJ8mAY

              as you don't seem to know what you fell for and why.

              The damned thing is that for Boris and his ilk it was all a "funny game", sadly gullible people took it all seriously and still believe it to be true.

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                "Standards serve both those who sell stuff as those who produce stuff, they both need them."

                Yup, makes trade much easier.

                And as far as the food you buy in the UK, esp. from large supermarkets, is concerned, that is also covered by the standards set by the British Retail Consortium (https://www.clearquality.co.uk/british-retail-consortium-global-standards) which are stricter again than UK or EU standards.

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @Lars

                "You don't seem to learn anything do you."

                Considering how often I have to correct the same people over and over it seems I am not the one having difficulty. But here we go again.

                "In a large market like the EU buyers want to know in advance that what they order is what they get."

                Really! Colour me shocked.

                "To accomplice this rules and standards are introduced in any part of the world."

                You still manage to be right here. Well done.

                "Standards serve both those who sell stuff as those who produce stuff, they both need them."

                Yup, great, you are still not saying anything wrong.

                "as you don't seem to know what you fell for and why."

                And here is where you either have no idea what we are talking about or are confused. Standards dont need the force of criminal law, these were standards before it became EU criminal stupidity law. Civil law does the job. Seriously this is about jail for a bendy banana. You dont think that was stupid?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  NOBODY GOT SENT TO JAIL FOR SELLING BENDY BANANAS! There was no 'law' prohibiting selling bendy bananas. Standards were set. There are penalties for contravening standards. Intentional contravention might be a criminal act. The only stupid is not understanding this. And almost all legislation is underpinned by the threat of criminal sanctions. How would it function if it wasn't?

                  1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    It's no use. One of codejunkys many blindspots is an inability to understand the concept of a "trading standard", but only when said trading standard was set by the EU. It's a bizarre affliction, but surprisingly common in Britain.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: A number of sound decisions?

                      >>>One of codejunkys many blindspots is an inability to understand the concept of a "trading standard",

                      Just look up what Tim Worstall has commented on any subject and that will be codejunky's "understanding"/standpoint/view. Easier to read too.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  In a story about supply chain issues, Codejunky drags out Boris Johnson's bendy bananas lie but says absolutely nothing on how Brexit has hosed the UK's supply chain. Par for the course.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    @AC

                    "In a story about supply chain issues, Codejunky drags out Boris Johnson's bendy bananas lie"

                    This really is moronically simple to check. You follow the nested threads back on this very web page (you dont even need to go anywhere else) and you see it was Yet Another Anonymous coward who mentioned the banana issue.

                    "nothing on how Brexit has hosed the UK's supply chain."

                    Except on this same comments section (other threads) I have addressed the lack of drivers which is an issue in the US, UK and growing in the EU.

                    I know your a pet troll but dont you have an account name other than coward?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: A number of sound decisions?

                      Nobody banned bananas, which was the original claim. If you believe that labelling them is too onerous and businesses have no interest in what they're buying from suppliers then perhaps you're not cut out to run a business.

                      Many contributing factors, but Brexit is the straw that broke the camel's back. In no other country has the supply chain broken down like in the UK (or, rather, GB). And you have nothing to contribute on that subject.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: A number of sound decisions?

                        @AC

                        "Nobody banned bananas, which was the original claim"

                        That doesnt even sound close to the discussion. Who claimed bananas are banned? Go talk to them.

                        " If you believe that labelling them is too onerous and businesses have no interest in what they're buying from suppliers then perhaps you're not cut out to run a business."

                        If thats what you think I have said you have no idea what we have been discussing.

                        "In no other country has the supply chain broken down like in the UK (or, rather, GB)"

                        Except in the US and is increasingly an issue in Europe as it opens up.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: A number of sound decisions?

                          I don't know where you're your getting your news from but the EU and EFTA opened up ages ago thanks to the Covid Certificate which works across all single market countries.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: A number of sound decisions?

                            @AC

                            "I don't know where you're your getting your news from but the EU and EFTA opened up ages ago"

                            People in varying EU countries. With each member country making its own choices in how to handle the vaccinations and lockdowns (as they should). And so demand for drivers is rising, as they open up...

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: A number of sound decisions?

                              co'dejunky "People in varying EU countries. "

                              Wasn't the UK is the only "varying EU country" ?

                          2. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: A number of sound decisions?

                            "I don't know where you're your getting your news "

                            Tim Worstall op. pieces and blogs.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: A number of sound decisions?

                              Ah, the UKIP press officer who worked his way through news outlets peddling the same right-wing tropes for years then when nobody else would have him he had to set up a blog called the Continental Telegraph (suitably 1950's kippery name) which eventually got chucked off Google News probably because it wasn't really a news source.

                        2. Mooseman Silver badge

                          Re: A number of sound decisions?

                          "Except in the US and is increasingly an issue in Europe as it opens up"

                          Last time I looked the US wasnt in the EU.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: A number of sound decisions?

                            @Mooseman

                            "Last time I looked the US wasnt in the EU."

                            Well that is half of what I am saying so glad we agree on something. The other half being that blaming the shortage on brexit so ignores the pandemic and the same issues arising in Europe and outside.

                3. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  >Standards dont need the force of criminal law, these were standards before it became EU criminal stupidity law. Civil law does the job. Seriously this is about jail for a bendy banana. You dont think that was stupid?

                  Err no!

                  The UK supported this move because it made it easier for UK to enforce the use of standards by other EU members; remember the single market (a UK idea) was work in progress intended to make it easier for UK-based businesses to trade with its neighbouring countries. Obviously, as the Single Market policy was set by the EU, it was obvious you use the EU's mechanisms to deliver relevant aspects of the Single Market.

                  So the result was, if some company in another member country sends goods that fail to satisfy the single market standards, they are in breech of their (EU aligned) criminal law, for which it is easier (for a UK business) to gain compensation than it is if the only recourse was via the civil courts in the country the goods originated from.

                  The problem is, in the UK specifically, Westminster tended to get the EU to implement Single Market regulations the UK wanted and then in the face of adverse public opinion say "its not our fault, blame the EU"...

                  Thre was and is a lot wrong with the European Project, but it is less disfunctional than Westminster.

            5. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              >It was the stupidity of making a criminal law of fine and or jail time for the shape of a banana.

              That was done at the UK's bequest...

              Basically, the UK in agreeing to EU standards wanted to ensure they carried weight across the EU, particularly in those nations who habitually ignore the rules. By getting the regulations incorporated into criminal law, it enabled these nations to be prosecuted in the courts.

              Obviously, one of the drawbacks to this was in the way things got incorporated (into law), so changing the regulations wasn't a simple appendix change... I suspect this was probably one of those things the UK conceded in the negotiations.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @Roland6

                "Obviously, one of the drawbacks to this was in the way things got incorporated"

                However it came about it did give a reason to vote leave.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  No - it gave a reason to vote for competent politicians in Westminster, but sadly we ran out of them a while back....

                2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  However it came about it did give a reason to vote leave.

                  So, one of your reasons for voting to quit the EU was that dishonest traders can be prosecuted for their dishonesty, and you object to that? The only possible reason I can think of to do so would be to protect yourself if you are a dishonest trader. Otherwise, it's a reason to vote to remain.

            6. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              Bananas have always been classified by quality and size for international trade. Because the standards, set by individual governments and the industry, were confusing, the European Commission was asked to draw up new rules.

              Commission regulation 2257/94 decreed that bananas in general should be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature”. Those sold as “extra class” must be perfect, “class 1” can have “slight defects of shape” and “class 2” can have full-scale “defects of shape”.

              Nothing is banned under the regulation, which sets grading rules requested by industry to make sure importers – including UK wholesalers and supermarkets – know exactly what they will be getting when they order a box of bananas.

              The application of criminal law if breaching this was only ever theoretical, as you well know.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @Mooseman

                "The application of criminal law if breaching this was only ever theoretical, as you well know."

                Theoretical as its true. An actual penalty that can be applied through force of criminal law.

          3. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            "But what about the bent bananas ?".

            You find it under "Euromyth" in the Wikipedia here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromyth

            "Straight bananas

            The alleged ban on curved bananas is a long-standing, famous and stereotypical claim[16][17][18][19] that is used in headlines to typify the Euromyth.[20][21] With other issues of acceptable quality and standards, the regulation specifies minimum dimensions and states that bananas shall be free from deformation or abnormal curvature.[22] The provisions relating to shape apply fully only to bananas sold as Extra class; slight defects of shape (but not size) are permitted in Class I and Class II bananas. A proposal banning straight bananas and other misshapen fruits was brought before the European Parliament in 2008 and defeated".

            You can also enjoy yourself just googling for "bendy bananas", it's all free.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            That was one of the lies invented by Bojo when he was a so called Journalist in Brussels, but couldn't be bothered to actually do any work.

          5. DrollLeek

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            I have invented a machine to take Class II Bananas and, using a system of levers, motors, pulleys, and special jigs and shaping elements, massage them into Class I Bananas.

      4. Julz Silver badge

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        You really think that after all of the petty nonsense that has come our way from the EU in he last few years, the any sane person would want to rejoin it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          What petty nonsense would that be?

          Do you mean enforcing a legal treaty that the UK signed but now doesn't like to wants to unilaterally change? Or requiring citizens of the UK to pay the same ETIAS application fee as every other non EU country if they want to travel there?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          FFS, you wanted out, that means you don't get the same fucking benefits you had before.

          What don't you fucking understand about that?

          It means it's not fucking petty nonsense, it's what you fucking asked for!.

          Do brexshitters share 1 fucking brain cell on a fucking timeshare?

          And yes, I am fucking angry, being stuck on an island with you stupid fuckers.

        3. Julz Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Methinks I hit a nerve. Anyone want to decloak and have a debate rather than a rant?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            What debate is there to be had? The UK wanted to be able to diverge on standards, therefore out of the single market, paperwork to prove standards compliance, and checks must be made at the border to verify compliance. It wanted to be able to diverge on tariffs, therefore out of the customs union, paperwork to prove origin, and more checks must be made at the border to verify origin.

            Are EU countries petty for controlling their borders? Are EU transport companies petty for staying out of a loss-making route when other profit-making routes are available? No and no. It's not pettiness, it's the consequences brought about by the UK's own choices that it made when deciding how to carry out Brexit.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Yes, you hit a fucking nerve.

            Nothing to debate, you fucked us all over!.

            not decloaking, seen what you fucking loonies are capable of doing!.

            Being stuck here with you fucking idiots, that ate the fucking cake and now don't understand it's fucking gone due to fucking eating it.

            All you fucking brexshitters do is pretend we are entitled to everything we want like a bunch of spoilt brats!.

            Just own the fucking mess, and stop fucking whining when it's pointed out you are fucking stupid with some racism bollocks the Fartrage told you to be angry about.

            Sick to fucking death with the lot of you!.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          "You really think that after all of the false petty nonsense I've fallen for, by reading the Mail, Express and Telegraph, ..."

          FTFY.

          1. Julz Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            More rant...

        5. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          >You really think that after all of the petty nonsense that has come our way from the EU in he last few years, the any sane person would want to rejoin it?

          Well, I would not be surprised if Boris, Mogg et al take the UK back into the Single Market/EEA within the decade (by 2024 is pushing it, but not impossible)...

      5. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        @Timbo

        "That's the trouble with the entire Brexit issue...

        The leavers expected everything to be the same"

        Actually the point of voting to leave was for change. Remain seemed to hope everything would remain the same if we stayed (talking to a few on here).

        "And 8 months on, and we find that Brexit really is causing untold damage"

        Eh? Pre corona was full employment only dreamed of and post covid we have a competent vaccination achievement (even if other elements were hit and miss) and a rebounding economy. The claimed damage we would suffer has been stunningly absent while the benefits of leaving were demonstrated within months (again vaccination).

        "It's time that the blindfold was removed from the eyes of the many"

        Yet brexit will be the excuse for years to come I expect. For all the doom we dont see.

        "get back on track and re-join the EU"

        Why would we do something so stupid. Seriously just take a look at the state of the EU. I feel sorry for the member countries.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          "full employment only dreamed of"

          Ok, I've stopped laughing now. Do you dream of working a zero hours contract in the "gig economy"? Of having to claim benefits while working to make ends (almost) meet, like 2.3 million people have to in the UK? What about the 2.5 million people forced to use food banks? Crowing about "full employment" is disingenuous at best, when so many people are in escapable poverty, due in large part to work that doesn't pay enough to live.

          As for blaming The Virus on the problems caused by brexit, you only have to remove the blinkers and look to see if other countries that haven't imposed foolish constitutional change on themselves are experiencing the same problems. Oh look, they're not.

          The cynical amongst us might almost think that the reason the British government has handled the COVID crisis so badly is so that they have a convenient cover story for the clusterfuck that is brexit.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            @Loyal Commenter

            "Crowing about "full employment" is disingenuous at best"

            You disagree with the fact because you dont like the work available to employ people? Even if its work that some people actually choose?

            "when so many people are in escapable poverty"

            Relative poverty I guess you mean.

            "Oh look, they're not."

            Yet they are. As I have posted links sourcing such fact that you seem to have missed.

            "The cynical amongst us might almost think that the reason the British government has handled the COVID crisis so badly is so that they have a convenient cover story for the clusterfuck that is brexit."

            Yet the EU screwed up the vaccination process while the UK, US and Israel were getting on with it. But you want to blame brexit for everything while ignoring the facts. Try again.

        2. TheFifth

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Yeah, no.

          My Nephew is one of these 'fully employed' people. He turns up to his place of work at 6am, along with about 100 other people. The boss says he has work for 20 people today and picks randomly from the 100 and the rest are sent home.

          But hey, they're all 'employed' on a zero hours contract, so 'Yay! full employment!'.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            @TheFifth

            "My Nephew"

            He doesnt want to do that? Why didnt he apply to do something else? I assume he is killing it now with people choosing to lock down and there being such demand for workers?

            1. TheFifth

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              Oh do shut up.

              Do you honestly think it's easy for graduates to just walk into jobs? There may be lots of jobs around, but they are either zero hours or they are in the 'gig economy'. He doesn't have any experience, so most of the jobs related to his degree won't take him and the graduate opportunities in the sector are almost non-existent. Even the FT have published reports about how the graduate job market is a nightmare in the UK and there are far fewer opportunities for them than other EU countries like Germany and France. This is why graduates are ending up in the gig economy on zero hour contracts, it's not through choice or through want of trying.

              And it's insulting that you suggest he isn't trying. He's applied for more jobs in the last month than I have applied for in my entire life.

              It must be lovely in your world, where everything is so simple.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @TheFifth

                "Do you honestly think it's easy for graduates to just walk into jobs?"..."so most of the jobs related to his degree won't take him and the graduate opportunities in the sector are almost non-existent"

                Which isnt what you complained about. You were complaining about your nephew doing zero hour contract work. I made no assumption of his qualification or experience, I just asked if he didnt want to do that and if so did he go do something else. There are jobs even if they are not considered the 'desirable' ones so maybe he considers them worse than working zero hour. No need to get upset about it.

                "Even the FT have published reports about how the graduate job market is a nightmare in the UK and there are far fewer opportunities for them than other EU countries like Germany and France."

                Did he take that option? Not saying he should (before you get upset again) but if he graduated in something the UK isnt needing people for it sounds like an option.

                "This is why graduates are ending up in the gig economy on zero hour contracts, it's not through choice or through want of trying."

                For some yes. For some its choice. Just as a lot of people get stuck in a job they dont like. They may or may not have had much choice in it.

                "And it's insulting that you suggest he isn't trying."

                Am I? I ask you simple questions and you seem to be complaining. Why?

                "He's applied for more jobs in the last month than I have applied for in my entire life."

                Good on him. That you assume full employment means your graduate nephew should be taken on with no experience in a field that (from your description) has little demand doesnt stack up. I know a successful business owner temporarily working in an Amazon warehouse (by choice) over the pandemic. In the short time he has been there has already been asked to take a higher role and they keep asking him to contract, yet he runs a few small businesses (affected by the pandemic). Hence why I asked if your nephew was out there now there is demand for workers?

            2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              Sounding very much like someone who has never had to work there, or at the very least never had to start at the bottom.

              It doesn't take a genius to see that the "gig economy" traps people in low-paid, unskilled work with no means to fund the training to get a better job. Take a look at where the job shortages are: Care staff, nursing, transport, and so on. All jobs which require a good deal of (expensive and time-consuming) training. It's all very well to say we should be training more British people to do those jobs, but without recognising that this takes time and money, it's just glibness.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                @Loyal Commenter

                "Sounding very much like someone who has never had to work there, or at the very least never had to start at the bottom."

                Work where? During my degree I had 3 jobs and one of them I didnt get paid (I wanted experience for when I graduated).

                "It doesn't take a genius to see that the "gig economy" traps people in low-paid, unskilled work with no means to fund the training to get a better job"

                Or to tide over short periods, or extra cash, etc.

                " It's all very well to say we should be training more British people to do those jobs, but without recognising that this takes time and money, it's just glibness."

                Not sure where your tangent is going. He says he has a graduate nephew who seems willing to apply for work but on zero hours at the moment. While he took my comment harshly I was asking genuine questions.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  cod'ejunky>> During my degree I had 3 jobs and one of them I didnt get paid (I wanted experience for when I graduated).

                  Does collecting empties at the student union bar to win a few free drinks count as a job...?

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    @AC

                    "Does collecting empties at the student union bar to win a few free drinks count as a job...?"

                    While I didnt do that I dont look down on those who do. So why do you? Especially if it is helping them gain some money while in education.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: A number of sound decisions?

                      >While I didnt do that

                      So you collected glasses for slops? Good for you!

                2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  I very much hope you weren't working more than 20 hours a week during your degree, or HRMC might want to have a word with you.

                  Most reputable universities will have a much stricter policy of how many hours a student can work, to prevent burnout / stop students pretending to do a degree whilst working.

                  Of course, I'm pretty sure you are old enough to have been at university at a time before fees, and potentially to be of an age when grants were still given, so I strongly doubt you left university encumbered with tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt, and that "3 jobs" you were doing were largely cushy ones for extra beer money.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    @Loyal Commenter

                    "Of course, I'm pretty sure"

                    And again we get to see your assumptions about me and wide of the mark. I might ask you to rank horses in a race so I can pick your lowest estimation and probably win

      6. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        >and we find that Brexit really is causing untold damage to the labour market

        But is it? Yes, it has and is doing damage to the UK's import/export trade but to the domestic labour market.

        If we go back to 2016 and look at the analysis of the 'Leave' vote, we find there was a significant number who voted Leave who wanted the UK government to put UK residents interests ahead of their well-heeled buddies.

        So finally we have a situation where the demand for labour is temporarily outstripping supply, If we can keep the government on track to continue to favour pre-existing UK residents over encouraging more non-UK residents to work in the UK then it would seem there is a good chance for labour rates and working conditions to improve...

        My teenagers and their friends are beginning to like the new economy, they are in demand and so can make the casual job more easily fit around their studies. Unfortunately, none of them can drive as they've been unable to get driving lessons for over 18 months, so its either mum & dad's taxi or electric scooter/bike to get them to work..

      7. Spanners Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        sadly under worse terms than before we left

        Agreed that we will no longer get the big discounts that Mrs T. got for us but a number of improvements...

        We will be in the Euro.

        We be in the Schengen area.*

        Perhaps less opt-outs on behalf of the 1%

        *Despite not being in it, it applied to us as we travelled around the EU anyway. This will just mean even less interference by UK.GOV as we leave and return to the UK.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      The US is also suffering from a big shortage of truck drivers, especially those with the special licensing/training required to get petrol to the filling stations. No new regs, just an aging base of drivers and not as many kids thinking that long haul freight is a good way to make a living. And there are just a few tiny world-wide bottlenecks on production and shipping to contend with in Covid life. Might be a shortage of Legos and Barbie Dolls for Christmas shopping. And with the greening of the power system, even Santa can't get enough lumps of coal for stockings of the bad little girls and boys.

    4. EvilDrSmith

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      A very quick internet search just brought up articles referring to truck driver shortages in the EU and also in the USA.

      So no, it's quite clearly not just Brexit.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        "A very quick internet search just brought up articles referring to truck driver shortages in the EU and also in the USA."

        I think you may be assuming that all shortages are equally acute.

        "So no, it's quite clearly not just Brexit."

        Look, Brexit supporters and apologists get really quite annoyed if we suggest they are a bit dim so can I please suggest they stop saying things that are ... a bit dim?

        1. Julz Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Hum, casting aspersions isn't a vary coherent argument. Not too much of a Brexit supporter here but have you a proper argument as to why those who are might be dumb?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Believing a single thing that Boris said pretty much qualifies in itself. Being persuaded by ideologues that all your problems weren't because of their own greed/incompetency/complacency, but rather because of 'Brussels' is pretty strong evidence. Cutting of your nose to spite your face is just reinforcement.

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            "have you a proper argument as to why those who are might be dumb?"

            As you missed it the first time round, my objection was that the OP's argument relied on an entirely unjustified underlying assumption that all shortages are of the same magnitude. I see similarly dim thinking from a lot of Brexiteers. There's a lot of dim thinking from Remainers, too, but I'm not usually arguing with them *about Brexit*

            The key thing about Brexiteers, and a lot of people on the Right, is they are very sensitive to the idea that they aren't that smart, but they do tend to say a lot of stuff that isn't that smart. This was a case in point.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              There's an old adage that you get more right-wing as you get older. The cynical might observe that dementia happens as you get older as well.

              Right-wing "solutions" to problems are often simplistic (and to be fair, far-left ones are too). Intelligent people recognise that most things in life are complicated, and require complicated solutions. Cooperation across 27 countries to better the lives of the people within is a complicated solution. The three-word slogans and lack of detail from the Vote Leave lot is the very antithesis of this.

              However, our "fast news" culture with its 5-second sound-bites, and billionaire-owned press skews things a little towards the propagandists, and away from thoughtful consideration.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                >>Right-wing "solutions" to problems are often simplistic

                Like the Jakarta Method ?

        2. EvilDrSmith

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          "I think you may be assuming that all shortages are equally acute."

          No, no assumptions on my part, I just read the articles about truck driver shortages in the US and in the EU.

          Did you?

          Also, you did spot that word 'just' in my original post?

          It's quite important. It signifies that I agreed that Brexit had contributed towards the truck driver shortage, but there were other factors involved as well (and therefore that the claim that it was "only Brexit" was incorrect).

          Was that too subtle a use of language for you?

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            "Also, you did spot that word 'just' in my original post? ... Was that too subtle a use of language for you?"

            No, I think I know what 'just' means; I'm 'just' at a loss to what you're trying to say.

            For instance: there's children in food poverty all over the world, the UK's problems aren't *just* due to failures of UK governance. Or there's always been climate disasters, so they aren't *just* due to climate change. Or hackers are attacking systems everywhere, so it's not *just* down to people running systems that haven't been updated for ages. Or, Covid19 and driver attrition have affected supply chains everywhere so the problems in the UK aren't *just* due to Brexit.

            Nobody, AFAICS, claimed it is 'only Brexit' - the suggestion is that the situation is worse in the UK because of Brexit. In fact your discovery that there a shortages all over the world does rather suggest that it IS just because of Brexit, unless you can come up with something else that is UK but not NI specific. Can't think of anything ...

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              "Nobody, AFAICS, claimed it is 'only Brexit'"

              Erm,

              John Robson's post at the very start of these comments, to which I initially replied:

              "It's only Brexit..."

              So, in fact, and quite specifically, someone did claim it was 'only Brexit'.

          2. TheFifth

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            I think the fact that there aren't empty supermarket shelves and a lack of milkshakes or bottled drinks at McD's across the EU (or even in NI!) points to the fact that the shortages are likely not equal. Every country has drivers isolating due to Covid and also have the same supply problems that the whole world is suffering from. For some reason though, it's only GB that has the army on standby to deliver food (note it's not the whole of the UK!).

            I wonder what the difference is? What could it be that is unique to GB that doesn't affect the rest of the UK or other countries around the the EU?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              @TheFifth

              "I wonder what the difference is? What could it be that is unique to GB that doesn't affect the rest of the UK or other countries around the the EU?"

              Probably. The UK got vaccinated quickly and opened up. Got the economy going again. Actually has a significant demand for more drivers.

              1. TheFifth

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                We may have opened up first and have good growth (thankfully), but remember that our economy fell significantly more than the EU in 2020 (the UK fell around 9.8%, whereas the EU fell on average 6.1%, with Germany only around 5%). So let's not pretend that with a growth forecast of between 6 and 7% (dependant on who you talk to) we're suddenly an economic power house that has an unusual need for HGV drivers. We're still below pre-pandemic levels.

                Northern Ireland has growth predictions of 6-7% too. I wonder why they don't have this problem.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  @TheFifth

                  "but remember that our economy fell significantly more than the EU in 2020"

                  As I understand it the huge difference in fall (and would cause subsequent increase on recovery) is that we accounted for the loss correctly. When public sector institutions closed we counted paying them but getting little to nothing back because they stopped working. The usual situation being to assume the cost is equal to the value.

                  "So let's not pretend...we're suddenly an economic power house"

                  Well said. For now its just countries struggling back to their feet and being about 2 years poorer.

                  "unusual need for HGV drivers"

                  There isnt anything unusual about the demand, but the supply was stopped and the existing drivers had to find other work as the economy shut down. Same as the US. Europe has the same problem but they are slowly getting back to their feet a little behind the UK and US.

                  "We're still below pre-pandemic levels."

                  Very true. Closing down the economy is dangerous and damaging. There is no way around that.

              2. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                "The UK got vaccinated quickly".

                It might be too early to celebrate, unfortunately, and several EU countries have by now surpassed Britain in vaccinating the population, as expected.

        3. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          @John H Woods

          "I think you may be assuming that all shortages are equally acute."

          Thats true. The EU is behind again and so dont have the demand yet where the US and UK get vaccinated and got on with the job.

          "Look, Brexit supporters and apologists get really quite annoyed if we suggest they are a bit dim so can I please suggest they stop saying things that are ... a bit dim?"

          Same reaction as remainers when they spout dim nonsense.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            "Same reaction as remainers when they spout dim nonsense."

            I dunno, I usually laugh when Leavers call me dim, whether I'm spouting nonsense or not ...

            "The EU is behind again and so dont have the demand yet where the US and UK get vaccinated and got on with the job."

            Especially when they are spouting nonsense, e.g.:

            How the EU tortoise caught the UK hare in the Covid vaccination race and some easy stats

            Covid19 is probably the VERY LAST THING you'd want to mention in support of UK or US exceptionalism.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              @John H Woods

              "I usually laugh when Leavers call me dim"

              Its often the better response.

              "Especially when they are spouting nonsense, e.g.:

              How the EU tortoise caught the UK hare in the Covid vaccination race and some easy stats"

              Not sure how that contradicts what I said. The EU is behind otherwise there would be no need for the 'catch up'. In catching up in vaccinations they then need to get back open.

              1. SkippyBing

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                'How the EU tortoise caught the UK hare in the Covid vaccination race and some easy stats'

                Unless the EU decided it was only ever going to vaccinate 50% of its population it would always catch up with the UK eventually whether through slowing take-up of the vaccine or reaching 100%, so not exactly a winning argument. Their tardiness undoubtedly cost lives though.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        No empty shelves here in Germany!!!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Can't say I've ever seen any here in the UK either since the initial panic buying of Lockdown 1.0. I suspect McDonalds and Nandos would not be seeing issues either if their places of business had storage and freezers for more than a days supply and didn't rely on Just In Time deliveries.

          1. Julz Silver badge

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Just that, crap business planning.

          2. TheFifth

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            Lucky you. All the shops in my area, including the big supermarkets have empty shelves everywhere. Tried to buy a couple of bottled drinks and a snack in Sainsburys before heading off on a long drive. All they had was a few cans of off-brand energy drinks. No water, no juice, nothing. The snack selection was pitiful too. It's the same in all the shops here. And before the usual shout of "it must have been late at night then!", it was not. It was the middle of the day on a weekday.

            I think it depends on where you are in the country. I'm guessing the further you are from distribution centres, the worse it gets.

            1. Julz Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              Where is here in context?

              1. TheFifth

                Re: A number of sound decisions?

                South West. Devon / Cornwall.

                1. Julz Silver badge

                  Re: A number of sound decisions?

                  I suspect you are correct. I'm in the East Midlands and no sign of shortages.

                  1. TheFifth

                    Re: A number of sound decisions?

                    Just popped back into the same Sainsbury's today and the snack selection is a little healthier. Although still limited. The store still has loads of empty shelves though and where they are full, they are duplicate items. So it's shelf after shelf of same thing rather than the usual selection. Also they're putting a single row of items along the front of shelves to make it seems less empty at a glance.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        Of course it's not Brexit, but the remainers need something to justify their angst now that the world hasn't ended and the sky hasn't fallen.

        It used to be "the computer", now it's "Brexit, innit".

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      The whole of Europe is suffering from the same issues. As are Australia and the USA.

      Are they all down to Brexit?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        "The whole of Europe is suffering from the same issues. As are Australia and the USA."

        Incorrect.

        Australian here (in Darwin in the NT). No real shortages at the moment (or since the start of the pandemic) apart from when people panic buy bog roll at the first hint of a COVID case. Idiots clear the shelves, the shop staff sigh and restock it. Rinse and repeat for a few days until the morons gradually realise that there is no toilet paper shortage and start feeling a bit silly.

        There may be some possible disruptions in the future due to NSW being a major supply hub for the supermarkets and the inept handing of the COVID situation by the NSW state govt.

        I doubt that we will see empty shelves though and there have been no shortages in any of the fast food chains.

      2. NerryTutkins

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        No issues here in Portugal. Our shelves are full, our McDonalds are not out of stock.

        We've even blasted past the UK on vaccinations too, because the UK didn't join the EU vaccine scheme and now has shortages, and can't give the shonky homemade Oxford jab to kids.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          NHS worker here, we see no shortages of vaccines, in fact we have such a surplus, BlowJo is offering to give them away to poor people in foreign countries. We bought something like 500 million for a population of 65 million.

          1. NerryTutkins

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            UK vaccination rates have slumped to a fraction of those in the EU because you have had a shortage of the Pfizer/Biontech jab over the past 2-3 months. These shortages have been well documented in the press, though perhaps not with the glee that the same papers attacked the EU's vaccination efforts and crowed over the shortages of vaccines earlier in the year:

            https://www.google.com/search?q=UK%20vaccine%20shortage

            You do indeed have a surplus of the AZ/Oxford jab, unfortunately you cannot give that to younger people because of the risk of blood clots (which is real, despite the UK's rather shameful attempts for a month to present it as "sour grapes" by the EU). Since all the old people have already been vaccinated, the surplus is useless to the UK, hence its being given away to other countries.

            I have to say that our SNS here (Portuguese NHS) has absolutely smashed it with their vaccine programme. We're second only to the UAE now, and quite possibly will pass them in the next few weeks, which is a great sense of national pride. The NHS has also done a great job, and as with the shortages here earlier in the year, the sluggish rate in the UK over the last few months is no reflection on the NHS or its staff who have proven they can jab at much higher rates, if they have the necessary vaccines.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              @NerryTutkins

              "which is real, despite the UK's rather shameful attempts for a month to present it as "sour grapes" by the EU"

              To be fair it was sour grapes. The EU raids looking for extra vaccine, accusing AZ of breaking a contract while the vaccine was being wasted due to propaganda.

        2. Richard Jones 1
          WTF?

          Re: A number of sound decisions?

          Stop smoking whatever give you nightmares. Portugal at 67% fully vaccinated is well behind the UK. We have no shortages of vaccine shots. There are shortages of younger arms into which to put them, thanks to the EU parasites such as Macron the micron, the quasi useless, casting doubts about the vaccine effectiveness. We now plan boosters, and not at the delayed, but inflated prices, of the EU's faulty non-deal.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            WRONG. Portugal at 67% 2 doses is ahead of UK 62.6%. Don't confuse the % of eligible population vaccinated with % of population vaccinated. 6 EU countries are ahead of the UK (Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal and Spain). Germany is at 59.2% and France at 56%.

            And really - blaming poor vaccine uptake on Macron? Must be all those youngsters watching TF1...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A number of sound decisions?

            About 66% of 12-19 year olds now have their first jab in Spain, while the UK is still umming and aaahing about this age range.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: A number of sound decisions?

              >while the UK is still umming and aaahing about this age range.

              The UK finally got around to half-heartedly starting the vaccination of all 16-18 yo's last week; my 16yo had his first jab last Friday...

              The sarcastic laugh is that the vaccination system will only permit those 18+ to book appointments, 16+ can only attend walk-in sessions at centres holding designated 16-18 sessions, but they can do so without parents etc. In my area, this meant a 45-minute drive (mum taxi) to a village health centre, so naturally, the session wasn't massively over-subscribed.

              Additionally, the system will only permit usage of the Pfizer vaccine even though the Moderna vaccine was approved for 12-17 yos by the MHNC on August 17th.

              Naturally, ie. in the usual British muddling through way, this means many will be returning to school/college in September having not received any vaccine, so we can expect an increase in adult cases in October~November, thanks to this effective germ distribution system.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        >>The whole of Europe is suffering from the same issues.

        Definitely where UK food products are concerned. The UK "speciality" items shelves have been empty since the start of the year. Whatever happened, I wonder .... ?

    6. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      We are seeing supply chain issues here in the US also.

      Our local supermarkets have stretches of empty shelves and empty frozen food cases as some products are just not shipping.

    7. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: A number of sound decisions?

      @John Robson

      "It's only Brexit... note that no other country faces the same issues"

      Well that excuse went down like a lead brick in the face of reality. The US and Europe facing a shortage (and thats after the EU drivers 'went home'). Shut down an economy for 2 years and you lose economic activity for 2 years. Drivers find other jobs and may not want to return, new drivers dont get trained up and now demand is up we have a shortage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A number of sound decisions?

        Nobody else anywhere outside of GB (not the UK) has the issues that GB has. I wonder why that is?

  2. 1752

    My milkshake

    brings all the boys to the yard

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: My milkshake

      Was waiting for this comment.

      I counter with this:

      https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/286096-verbose-classy-memes

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: My milkshake

      Mr Nigel Farage will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief.

      Of course there is always Burger King ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My milkshake

        Yaxley-Lennon will also be able to relax a little with this news.

      2. Tempest 3K
        Flame

        Re: My milkshake

        Haven't got that option here unfortunately.... https://yorkmix.com/video-fire-in-fast-food-restaurant-in-york/

    3. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: My milkshake

      Your Brexit keeps all the trucks in the yard

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: My milkshake

        And I counter with this.

        Mario Rosenstock has done some very good parodies in the past and this one is also rather good: https://www.todayfm.com/podcasts/the-ian-dempsey-breakfast-show/gift-grub-farages-milkshake-brings-brexiteers-yard

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My milkshake

      https://newsthump.com/2021/08/24/kelis-hired-by-mcdonalds-to-resolve-national-milkshake-shortage/

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    On a positive note

    Health has improved across the country because the unhealthy food has not been available in the same abundance as before. That must be a positive trend. I'd say, let the "out of milkshake" continue and we'll yet save humanity.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I like your optimism, but it might take a wee bit more than that to save Humanity.

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Joke

        Hm, a wee bit... So, I'll give you £5 and we're all ok then. Must be a bargain.

  4. Russell Chapman Esq.

    Most of it is to do with the terrible wages paid to lorry drivers and the antisocial hours. Interesting article in the Financial Times today https://www.ft.com/content/5f832d86-827e-4596-999d-e0618364dbe3

    1. Timbo Bronze badge

      "Interesting article in the Financial Times today"

      and sadly behind a paywall... :-(

      1. Russell Chapman Esq.

        Copy and paste of the article.

        A shortage of truck drivers has led to empty shelves in British supermarkets. There is even talk of the army being called in to help. For those who wanted the UK to remain in the EU, it feels like a moment to say: “We told you so, Brexit was a disaster.” But that misses the point. The empty shelves are a visible message from a workforce that’s usually invisible. They tell a story about what’s gone wrong in this corner of the 21st-century economy — and not just in the UK.

        Earlier this year Dominic Harris, who had been a truck driver since 2012, started to feel dizzy and unwell. He went to hospital, where a nurse told him his problem was exhaustion. There are legal limits on driving hours: heavy goods vehicle drivers can usually only drive for nine hours a day (currently 10 because of the shortage).

        But that doesn’t mean the shifts are nine hours long. It was typical for Harris, who is 39, to be out of the house for 12 to 15 hours a day. When he got home, he was so tired he would go straight to bed. “I’ve lost quite a few relationships with friends,” he says. “I’ve not been the same old Dom.”

        Hours can also be unpredictable. A current job advert from XPO states: “You’ll be working a minimum of 45 hours per week on an ‘any five from seven-day’ shift pattern, so your working days may change each week and could include weekend working. You will also be starting early AM and must be prepared to work through the night.”

        In spite of the tough hours and the fact they often pay for their own qualifications (Harris paid £1,500), drivers have been slipping down the wage ladder. In 2010, the median HGV driver in the UK earned 51 per cent more per hour than the median supermarket cashier. By 2020, the premium was only 27 per cent. They have faced a particular pay squeeze in the past five years: median hourly pay for truck drivers has risen 10 per cent since 2015 to £11.80, compared with 16 per cent for all UK employees. “Why would I want to be a truck driver, with all the responsibility, the long, unpredictable hours, if I can go to Aldi and earn £11.30 an hour stacking shelves?” says Tomasz Oryński, a truck driver and journalist based in Scotland, who is planning to move to Finland.

        Kieran Smith, chief executive of Driver Require, a recruitment agency, says employers have pushed labour costs down to compete for powerful customers such as supermarkets. “Customers have enormous purchasing leverage [and] they have nailed down the haulage companies to the tiniest margins.” He says lots of drivers leave in their 30s because the hours make it almost impossible to participate in bringing up children, yet the wage isn’t high enough to support the other partner staying at home.

        As a result, the workforce is ageing. In 2000, there was an even split between over-45s and under-45s. Now the over-45s account for 62 per cent. Between 20,000 and 40,000 people pass their tests to become truck drivers in a non-pandemic year, but many appear to leave the sector. Harris left this summer to start a business tending graves. It’s peaceful and he likes the connections he makes. He doesn’t want to go back.

        Ageing workforces and labour shortages are problems in other countries too. In Europe, some eastern European companies are sending drivers to work in western countries on eastern rates of pay.

        In the UK, the extent of the problem was masked before Brexit by a supply of EU drivers who helped to fill vacancies. In addition, a loophole in the UK’s badly-regulated labour market allowed drivers to set up as limited companies. This upped their take-home pay by cutting their tax (at the cost of their workers’ rights). This year the government closed the loophole, which prompted some drivers to leave. Meanwhile, Covid led to cancelled tests for new drivers and prompted many Europeans to go home.

        Adrian Jones of the union Unite says the short supply means drivers now have a moment of leverage. He wants to see long-term reforms such as in the Netherlands, where a collective agreement is negotiated between employer and union groups which sets a floor on pay and conditions across the sector. “This collective agreement becomes law, so it gives transport suppliers the ability to say to their customers: this is law, so I can’t go cheaper than this,” says Edwin Atema from Dutch union FNV.

        But some employers still seem intent on short-term fixes. Tesco is offering new drivers a £1,000 bonus and a “market supplement” over a six-month period. “All temporary incentives are at Tesco’s discretion and subject to review, variation and removal,” the job advert warns.

        The story of Britain’s empty shelves, like that of its unpicked strawberries and unprocessed chickens, is the story of how migration combined with a weakly regulated labour market and hugely powerful retailers have allowed some goods and services to become unsustainably cheap. The system shaved money off our shopping bills but it wasn’t resilient. Remain voters are right to say Brexit helped to cause the current crisis, but wrong to say everything was fine without it. Brexit voters are right to say migration helped suppress driver pay, but as the Netherlands shows, Brexit wasn’t the only way to resolve it.

        The labour shortages are a moment of reckoning. If we just use them to bicker about Brexit, we’ll drown out the real lessons in the noise.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The Army being called in"

          There's probably 2000 HGV drivers in the Army. and I should imagine about 40% of those are reservists who have day jobs doing something else. If they have HGV licences, that's probably driving HGV.

          Why do British people think "The Army" is some amazing force? It's been cut to shreds. You couldn't even fill Wembley Stadium with the Army. The trouble is, a lot of the Left (my usual allies) are stupidly anti-military (presumably because it's anti-war for the hard-of-thinking) and a lot of the Right don't want to spend the tax required to maintain a decent military force. Oh, and both sides are full of shit when it comes to performative grief about the loss of personnel which means that that the Forces aren't allowed to be as brave as their members undoubtedly are.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "The Army being called in"

            >The trouble is, a lot of the Left (my usual allies) are stupidly anti-military (presumably because it's anti-war for the hard-of-thinking) and a lot of the Right don't want to spend the tax required to maintain a decent military force

            If only we had a decent airforce we could bomb the country and then rebuild it properly - with high speed trains and a car industry.

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              Re: "The Army being called in"

              "...we could bomb the country and then rebuild it properly - with high speed trains and a car industry."

              Don't give "Big Infrastructure" Boris ideas. Anyway, he's still intent on building out HS2 - at least we'll have trains without the overcrowding. Not that HS2 would have addressed the transport issues for workers outside metropolitan areas.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "The Army being called in"

                Pssstt... Nukes, Boris, nukes...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "The Army being called in"

            " If they have HGV licences, that's probably driving HGV."

            And the rest are helping out the Ambulance service.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: "The Army being called in"

              Seems unfair, you get back from Afghanistan and are expected to do deliveries in Middlesbrough - I suppose it cures the post bit of PTSD

              1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

                Re: "The Army being called in"

                Has the MoD grown a spine yet and stopped hiding behind crown immunity?

                Meanwhile, Pvt. Plonker and Cpl. Dummy are being sued in the courts for following orders

              2. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
                FAIL

                Re: "The Army being called in"

                Middlesbrough's a sh*thole. I suspect that a lot of them would rather be on duty in Afghanistan.

                Middlebrough lad born & bred BTW and it's a shame how it is now - and most of the problems are the boro natives not the foreigners that the boro natives are very vocal about.

        2. Piro Silver badge

          Re: Copy and paste of the article.

          "If we just use them to bicker about Brexit, we’ll drown out the real lessons in the noise."

          Yup, exactly. It's a problem that's been coming for some time. Farming and logistics are two utterly critical sectors that have been squeezed and squeezed.

          Another huge issue is the fact young people's heads are filled with all kinds of fantasises, they've been sold lies, that they can be anything they want - who would then choose to work long hours for low pay, and probably endure health problems because of it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Copy and paste of the article.

            "Another huge issue is the fact young people's heads are filled with all kinds of fantasises, they've been sold lies, that they can be anything they want - who would then choose to work long hours for low pay, and probably endure health problems because of it?"

            So I take it if you have kids you have told them they are expected to be fruit pickers/(pick other shitty jobs list) for fuck all!

            NO ONE chooses shitty jobs, circumstances and limited opportunities cause that.

            Someone has to do them, but I don't think Boris's uncountable brood are expected to head down that route, even though the twat is perfectly happy to condemn poorer people kids to do them.

            Boris the Fucker, thinks clapping is ample reward for nurse's and one medal to be shared among all of them.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      @Russell Chapman Esq.

      What's the point of putting in a paywalled url? Odd assumption that 100% of reg readers will be FT subscribers

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Alternative paywall-jumping link

      EU drivers delivering to the UK have vastly reduced cabotage rights on the return trip to make it worthwhile, so they don't come.

      No EU driver will come to live and work in the UK either because pay is low, they have to navigate the Home Office visa nonsense, and they have to exchange their driver's licence for a UK one which means it's not valid for work in the EU. Why do that when EU countries are solving the low-pay problem already?

      The government raised the number of hours worked per week for UK drivers giving them a de facto pay cut, unless the driver were to change over to another company with a signing on bonus. But it's not all about the money, perhaps drivers would like more of a work-life balance or to not kill someone due to falling asleep at the wheel.

      As it takes time to train people and as being a HGV driver isn't particularly enjoyable, this isn't going to get fixed in the short term.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Let's not forget that IR35 crushed a dream of having your own transportation company for many.

        It particularly rear ended small companies doing event haulage gigs (as if Covid was not enough). If you only can provide a service on an in-scope basis, as the clients won't touch any other form of engagement, then suddenly you have to pay a boatload of tax on _revenue_ and you cannot deduct any business costs. Business can no longer run and you are being called out for using a loophole!

        Why would you even want to invest a role that you will never have a chance to go in on your own.

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        This is an issue where membership of the single market (which I've always said we should have remained within via the EEA/EFTA route - the problem was all the political gubbins) was hiding a systemic problem in both the UK and EU employment market for HGV drivers.

        HGV drivers are paid terrible rates for long hours, even with the working time regulations limiting how much time they could drive - in fact, some relatively recent alternations to the working time directive, which changed the hourly restriction from hours driven to all work (such as loading supervision, inspection, maintenance and so on), turned barely profitable runs into a net loss. As a consequence, the employment market has been a constant churn of new drivers who find themselves working long hours for poor pay, while treated like crap, before eventually leaving to change careers.

        This has been a systemic issue across the entire EU. There has always been a shortage of drivers across the single market, but because the that same market allows the arbitrage of drivers, the shortage has always appeared to be a temporary or limited issue. Now that we've left the single market, that arbitrage is no longer available to the UK and the true scale of the driver shortage has become apparent. The EU is also facing an urgent driver shortage because our previously significant contribution is no longer available.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          The EU is also facing an urgent driver shortage because our previously significant contribution is no longer available.

          Ah, but then again, 50,000-odd* drivers from EU who came to the UK now don't, they stick within the Single Market on other routes. That itself has gone some way to alleviating the driver shortage within the EU.

          * To pick one of the numbers I've seen thrown about.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "they have to navigate the Home Office visa nonsense,"

        Not to mention arse-headed UK border agency staff who may falsely declare someone's entry unlawful and deport them - as happened last month to a Polish driver arriving to take up a job despite doing everything correctly at every step along the way

        The home office even agreed the deportation was wrong, but they can't override decisions made by staff even if that decision probably cemented most EU drivers' determination to never set foot in the UK again

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "they have to exchange their driver's licence for a UK one which means it's not valid for work in the EU."

        Are you sure about that? If they stay in the UK beyond some stated time limit, then yes, they need to get a UK licence. But they don't "exchange" their own national licence. It's in addition to that licence. That one will still be valid back in the EU subject to whatever renewal regulations are in force.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          According to point 7, in 20 reasons why there is shortage of drivers in the UK, it's a real exchange and it must be done if you're a resident for five years in the UK or by your 45th birthday. Until then, when you're driving on your EU licence, there's no way you can prove your points to employers even though it's in the DVLA's records.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Yes, you are correct, but foreign lorry drivers can use their EU issued licence until the age of 45 or for 5 years from becoming resident, whichever is the longer. On the other hand, they can also choose to take a UK driving test and be issued a new licence without exchanging their home-country licence.

            As far as I can see, the EU treats UK driving licences the same as we treat theirs, ie if an EU national becomes resident in the UK and exchanges their licence, they can still drive in the EU when visiting family, going on holiday etc using their UK licence, just as UK nationals can. If they decide to leave the UK and become resident in the EU again, then they will at some stage need to exchange their licence again.

            Drivers just doing deliveries to the UK from the EU and not staying for 5 years or becoming resident don't need to exchange licences, likewise UK drivers delivering to the EU. (other paperwork may be required though since the UK is no longer in the EU)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Yes, there's a difference between visiting (either the foreign licence is accepted on its own or accepted with an IDP) and being a resident.

              Remember that the origin country may also have rules concerning driving licence exchange, e.g. Spain requires you to exchange a Spanish licence to the host country's licence after three years of residency abroad.

              Also Spain at the moment does not accept UK licences for exchange to Spanish licences. So you can exchange a Spanish licence to a UK licence but at the moment you can't exchange back, you need to sit your test again.

              All of this makes professional drivers reluctant to work in the UK because it closes off opportunities in the single market.

  5. Old Tom

    Border Bureaucracy?

    "Brexit has made it more expensive for drivers from the continent to work in Britain. Hauliers tend to be paid by distance rather than hours worked so additional border bureaucracy and delays hit their salary."

    How often on a typical run does a driver delivering milkshakes to McDonalds outlets get delayed by border bureaucracy?

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Border Bureaucracy?

      McDonald's milkshakes are all manufactured at a central European facility whose location is a closely-guarded secret. As these "milkshakes" are actually a synthetic polymer-based liquid, they are loaded onto unrefrigerated trucks and shipped out across Europe on a regular schedule. Once at the individual restaurant, the milkshake substance is cooled to the appropriate level to simulate an actual milkshake. While this distribution scheme is tremendously efficient compared to, say, making actual milkshakes on-site at each restaurant, it does run into problems when the supply chain is interrupted.

      Similar issues were expected stateside with getting Spam from the Spam mines of Minnesota out to Hawaii, but it turns out the demand for Spam in other parts of the country is so minimal and the canned reserves so plentiful that the Hawaiian supply chain was never in danger.

      TheMoreYouKnow.jpg

      1. J. Cook Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Border Bureaucracy?

        Well done, enjoy the upvote(s).

      2. Zimmer
        Facepalm

        Re: Border Bureaucracy?

        Reminds me of a visit to a Little Chef some years ago, only wanted the pancakes...

        'Sorry, we don't have any pancakes. Would you like an All-Day-Breakfast ?'

        'No, but you have eggs for the breakfast, milk for the cereal and maybe some flour ?'

        'Yes'

        'But no pancakes ? Can't you MAKE some?'

        'No'

        (Exit...stage left never to go again...)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Border Bureaucracy?

          Calling those places Little Chef should incur the wrath of Trades Description people. Most of those places, the people operating the "cooking" facilities are not even close to being chefs, most are barely able to be described as cooks. Food warmers might be more appropriate, especially in the chains.

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Border Bureaucracy?

            Calling those places Little Chef should incur the wrath of Trades Description people. Most of those places, the people operating the "cooking" facilities are not even close to being chefs, most are barely able to be described as cooks.

            And most of them are at least 5'6" tall, too. False advertising!

            1. The Mole

              Re: Border Bureaucracy?

              Are you sure it isn't just a bad translation and they should have been named Few Chefs?

      3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Border Bureaucracy?

        >As these "milkshakes" are actually a synthetic polymer-based liquid, they are loaded onto unrefrigerated trucks and shipped out

        Obvious solution - a Europe wide network of pipelines.

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: Border Bureaucracy?

          Too late, too much of the country already has a huge underground infrastructure viz. the national curry sauce pipeline that starts at Southall, many local and national lager pipelines, and the newly-built kebab slurry pipe running under all the major UK motorways.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Border Bureaucracy?

            I assumed that was why Jellied Eels were only popular in the south. The prototype eel pipeline ran out at the north circular.

        2. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Border Bureaucracy?

          You have stumbled upon the truth behind Nordstream 2.

          Building a pipeline to transport gas, just as the world transitions away from fossil fuels? Why, that would be ridiculous! Not even Putin & Merkel would be that dumb! There must be another purpose to it!

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Border Bureaucracy?

      I think the problem is more general than specific: the border delays have created a broad disincentive to deliver to or work in the UK, which specifically impacts McDonald's "milkshakes" (see below) as well as other goods.

      1. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: Border Bureaucracy?

        "which specifically impacts McDonald's "milkshakes" (see below) as well as other goods..."

        And, of course, even if the milkshake goo is manufactured in the UK, its supply chain (dairy, flavouring, colouring, sugar, squid guts, bags, boxes) is almost certainly crossborder.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Border Bureaucracy?

          "dairy, flavouring, colouring, sugar, squid guts, bags, boxes"

          I think you're supposed to stick a straw in the top and not look too closely.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Border Bureaucracy?

          >if the milkshake goo is manufactured in the UK, its supply chain (dairy, flavouring, colouring, sugar, squid guts, bags, boxes) is almost certainly crossborder.

          Didn't we sign a trade deal with R'lyeh ?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Border Bureaucracy?

      I think HGV drivers always want a full lorry (because they get paid for that, they don't get paid for returning empty). So a fair amount of "general moving stuff around within a country" is actually carried out by long haul drivers (going from or to another country) who take on short run work as long as it goes roughly in the same direction as "getting home". All that has pretty much stopped.

      1. xyz123

        Re: Border Bureaucracy?

        Plus a full lorry makes it easier to hide the rolled up carpet with the dead hooker inside.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Border Bureaucracy?

      The "EU drivers paid per km" thing is an urban legend:

      FACT CHECK: Are Eastern European truck drivers paid per km driven?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprise there...

    I remember reading a story about how some bloke created an app & website to track which McD locations did (not) have a working shake machine. It kept an hourly log of which sites had a working machine & would sell icecream, and which ones did not & would not. It essentially shamed McD's into admitting that the contract they force their "independant operators" to sign in order to get the icecream machine prevented those operators from hiring third party folks to fix the machines when they broke down. The machines are so fragile that they often break *from their own cleaning cycle* because the temperature extremes makes everything toss its cookies. It often costs more than the machine is worth to repair it so they can sell icecream, so the operators don't bother to spend the money. It's just flushing money down the bog & pretending it's a good idea. The app+site showed that ~10% of all American McD locations had a working machine at any given time, making it nearly impossible to actually buy the treat. A third party company even went so far as to research, design, build, & market a small device that intercepted the machine error codes so the operators could order the parts they'd need to do their own repairs. The icecream company sued that company for interfering with their business. It was a huge spark for the right to repair movement. The operators aren't allowed to use a different icecream machine, can't repair their own machines via a cheaper third party, and can't afford to keep fixing the bloody things, so the machines often go unplugged/unused for months with an out of order sign draped over the face. You can't blame the operators, it would be like having to repair your car at a specific dealer every time the damned thing hit a bump too hard & caused various random bits to fall off; you're not allowed to buy replacement parts from somewhere else, aren't allowed to just scrap the car & buy a better one, and you're contractually obligated to pay the onorous fees the official repair idiot overcharges. So it's no surprise that every McD's across the country is unable to sell icecream, that's SOP on this side of the Pond. =-/

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: No surprise there...

      "Area Man Disturbingly Familiar With McDonald's Milkshake Infrastructure"

    2. J. Cook Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: No surprise there...

      A third party company even went so far as to research, design, build, & market a small device that intercepted the machine error codes so the operators could order the parts they'd need to do their own repairs. The icecream company sued that company for interfering with their business.

      Not quite. It's the other way around- the third party is suing the franchisee and the company that makes and services the machines for breach of NDA, breach of contract, and trade secrets violations.

      I never thought that industrial espionage would be found, in all places, an ice cream machine manufacturer.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: No surprise there...

        Ice cream is a viscous business! Never heard of The Ice Cream Wars?

        Note. It's NOT a typo :-)

        1. Fred Dibnah

          Re: No surprise there...

          Then there’s *An* Ice-Cream War, an altogether different thing.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Ice-Cream_War

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No surprise there...

      McDonald's drive-thru in Camberley hardly ever has a working Milkshake machine, so wont notice unless walking to the one in town, or driving to Farnborough.

    4. Graham 32

      Re: No surprise there...

      I remember that too. Looks like a recent judgement has gone in favour of the company that fixes the machines cheaper than the preferred supplier:

      https://www.wmbfnews.com/2021/08/09/mcdonalds-ice-cream-machine-company-hit-with-restraining-order/

    5. skeptical i

      Re: No surprise there...

      There was an article in _Wired_ about this -- https://www.wired.com/story/they-hacked-mcdonalds-ice-cream-makers-started-cold-war/

  7. Franco Silver badge

    Glad i wasn't drinking last night

    McDonalds milkshake being one of my hangover drinks of choice, the other being ice cold Irn Bru in a glass bottle

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

    Here in the States they can't be called milk shakes as there's no milk in them.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

      Certainly some people get shakes if they don't get one in time...

    2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

      Here in the States they can’t be called milk shakes as there’s no milk in them.

      According to the US tentacle of the McDonald’s Web site, the base for their Stateside shaken products is reduced fat vanilla ice cream, of which the first ingredient is milk and the third ingredient is cream. (The fourth ingredient, corn syrup, might be of some concern, though.) Its whipped light cream topping also contains cream and nonfat milk.

      Curiously, according to its UK tentacle, four different bases are used for the analogous products in Blighty, each with its own combination of dairy products drawn from cream, whole milk, 2.9% fat milk, skimmed milk, reconstituted skimmed milk, skimmed milk powder, and whey powder; the last of these is the only dairy ingredient that is found in all four bases.

      A handy PDF from its CA tentacle shows that its milkshakes there share a single base of vanilla ice milk, but its dairy content is rather coyly listed as including “milk ingredients” and “modified milk ingredients”.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

        > including “milk ingredients” and “modified milk ingredients”.

        It comes out of a cow = it's milk, right ?

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

          Not these days. There's almond milk, soy milk, and so on. Pretty much any white(ish) liquid is a candidate for being some sort of "milk".

          The fact that "milk" is supposed to be exuded from the mammary glands of mammals is lost in all of this nonsense.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

            "May contain traces of mammalian milk"?

            1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

              Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

              "You promised me dog or higher!"

              1. David 132 Silver badge

                Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

                “Nothing wrong with dogs’ milk. Full of vitamins. Full of goodness. Full of marrowbone jelly. Plus, of course, it lasts much longer than cows’ milk.”

                “Why is that?”

                “Cos no bugger’ll drink it.”

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

        "nonfat milk."

        Is that another way of saying skimmed milk or a typo and you meant non-milk fats?

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

          The former. In the States, if eight US customary fluid ounces (≈ 236.6 ml) of milk has less than 0.5 g of total fats, it can be labelled as any of “skim”, “fat-free”, “nonfat”, &c. (“Skimmed” isn’t commonly used here.)

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: Milk Shakes or just Shakes?

            I met an American in a supermarket a fair few years ago. She had a lot of trouble figuring out which sort of milk she wanted as she was quoting percentages. I tried telling her "no cream, a little bit of cream, lots of cream, and then there's the stuff from Jersey cows". We tried equating cream to fat, but she was fixated on, I think, 1% milk. I have no idea what that actually meant.

            [note: pre internet days so we couldn't just Google it]

  9. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    After reading about the machines and their rather long cleaning cycles, i'm pretty sure I did not want one anyway

    FREEZING OUT ICE CREAM MACHINE COMPETITION

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    career change...

    "Mav, you have the number of that truck driving school we saw on TV? Truck Masters, I think it was? I think I'm gonna need that..."

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: career change...

      I'm sure a lot of ballet dancers would like to retrain as truckers :-)

  11. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Angel

    There you are, Brexit has created new jobs

  12. Anonymous Tribble

    Brexit?

    So, Brexit was promoted by Farrage in order to rid the country of milkshakes so he can walk the streets safely?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Holmes

    The other thing is

    beyond mere 'no truck drivers' but a couple of container ports in China have been shut down because of covid.

    With the result containers are piling up, frieght charges are going up and no one can get anything ... (and thats before some idiot parked their boat sideways at Suez).

    Yupp.... the whole global 'JIT' thing seems to be workign as well as expected.... just need some youtub idiot to mention toilet paper is running out again, and you wont be able to wipe your arse clean of MacD's 'food' (ie it was shite when it went in and worse when it came out)

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The other thing is

      just need some youtube idiot to mention toilet paper is running out again,

      I got news for you, at least in the US...

      mines the one with the spare rolls in the pockets.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: The other thing is

      The JIT model was invented by Toyota - who always modelled it with provision for supply chain vulnerabilities (as one example they were one of the few car makers who realised that cancelling semicondictor orders would result in them being put to the back of the order queue, so they intentionally stocked up on several months worth to ensure the supply chain kept flowing)

      There are thousands of pages written about the Toyota methodology (several large books), but PHBs at most other companies merely skim the first 2-3 pages and decide JIT means ZERO buffer stock on everything, instead of "minimum practical stock, taking potential supply chain disruptions into account"

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The other thing is

        >The JIT model was invented by Toyota ...

        Who are now cutting production in half because they don't have any semiconductors

        A proper British solution is Morgan, they have a "when it's ready" production system. When you order a car they plant the tree for the wood for the bodywork - and when it's ready they fell the tree and start work

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: The other thing is

      (and thats before some idiot parked their boat sideways at Suez)

      That was about half way between Suez and Port Said.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The other thing is

        And, rather surprisingly, they let it back into the Canal to pass through in the other direction just recently.

        1. Hazmoid

          Re: The other thing is

          But probably not with the same Ships master ;)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The other thing is

            They made sure he had his mask with him so he doesn't need to try to turn round and go back for it...

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "UK restaurants had run out of milkshakes"

    I have to say that Brexit might not be the primary issue.

    Luxembourg has several McDonalds, spread out over a rather large radius. I know of two that I can visit without too much hassle.

    I will freely admit to being a McDonalds fan, although in my later years I also have to admit that I frequent it much less often. I still prefer it to Quick.

    Nonetheless, I remember a slew of instances in which every time I went for a burger, the milkshake machine had no chocolate. They'd offer vanilla or strawberry, but I want chocolate. So I had to go without.

    Frustrating.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "UK restaurants had run out of milkshakes"

      "I have to say that Brexit might not be the primary issue."

      Probably true of milkshakes. But no bottled drinks (milk, OJ or water) suggest a bigger problem. As do the "looks like the day after Xmas" sparsely populated shelves in a lot of the shops.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "UK restaurants had run out of milkshakes"

        McDonalds is American so it can't be anything to do with Brexit - duh !

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "UK restaurants had run out of milkshakes"

          Yes, clearly the US military should be organising a humanitarian airlift of milk shake ingredients to the UK.

          I bet there's no shortage in the McDs on US bases in the UK.

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "UK restaurants had run out of milkshakes"

      I suspect that in the specific case you mention, the issue is more that no McDonalds, anywhere in the world, has anything that Luxembourg (and Belgium, and France) would deign to recognise as "chocolate". Didn't the chocolatiers of Belgium lobby a few years ago to get Cadbury's finest re-designated as "cocoa-based vegetable solids" or something equally accurate-and-unappetising? (as to what they think of Hershey's and other mass-market American "chocolate" facsimiles, I'm sure it's something rude in Phlegmish, and no that's not a typo)

  15. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

    So the response is to propose that they work longer rather than get paid more?

    Not sure I'd enjoy the thought that all the lorry drivers might doze off at any second if I was travelling on a motorway. I would be commenting about how this is the stupidest idea yet, if last week hadn't seen the unveiling of "make prisoners work in slaughterhouses" so that we can have, you know, food. If there are any lorries to get it to us of course.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

      Yup - both employers and drivers have razzed this as dangerous. I'm fairly sure liabilty insurers won't like anyone who increases their hours too

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

        We wanted freedom for Euro regulations - it's a benefit.

        Once the trucks aren't required to have speed limiters, or brakes, or other European Bureaucrat nonsense deliveries will become even faster.

        Liz Truss has been watching a documentary about Australian driver standards in the cinema and hopes to sign a trade deal soon.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

          "Liz Truss has been watching a documentary about Australian driver standards in the cinema and hopes to sign a trade deal soon."

          Yeah! Take it to the next level! Drive to the Max!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

          Maybe you should start using Aussie road trains. You can deliver a shit load more freight per driver. Might be a bit tricky navigating one round York or Torquay though.

          1. Precordial thump

            Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

            55m-long triples barreling through the Pilbara full of ammonium nitrate. One of them wouldn't have difficulty getting through York at all. There might not be much York left after, though.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

              Have seen the after effects of one going through a camel.

              Although I try really hard not to drive after dusk on NT/WA highways, if I ever have to I try to find a road train and follow it. Let it clear the road ahead of me.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

            "Might be a bit tricky navigating one round York or Torquay though."

            Even in Oz, they aren't allowed in the cities. If the contents need to go into a city, they break it up and take one trailer at a time, either multiple tractor units, one for each trailer, or multiple trips for the driver takine one trailer at a time.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

              You might be onto something with these road trains where a single driver can operate multiple trailers.

              Of course we don't have the roads for it, so they might have to be road trains. I'll get some Geordies to look into the idea.

              If it catches on we might be able to run these road trains under the sea to get exotic foods from foreigners - perhaps even France

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

              They get close though. Here in Darwin, most of the depots are in Winnellie and Berrimah, the main business suburbs just a few KMs from the cbd. Have to contend with them on my drive into work.

        3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

          We have our own perfectly good instructional documentary on truck driving, fronted by a young Dr Who.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

      "if last week hadn't seen the unveiling of "make prisoners work in slaughterhouses" so that we can have, you know, food."

      You do know that that is an existing scheme that's been running for years. It's only making the news now because companies who previously would not touch ex-cons as potential employees are now signing up to the scheme other more enlightened employers have been part of years. It's decidedly NOT a scheme to release serving prisoners into the workforce in chain gangs.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

        >It's decidedly NOT a scheme to release serving prisoners into the workforce in chain gangs.

        Yet....

        I don't remember getting the army to drive bin lorries as one of the benefits written on the side bus either

    3. EVP

      Re: Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

      "Not sure I'd enjoy the thought that all the lorry drivers might doze off at any second if I was travelling on a motorway."

      I certainly didn't enjoy when that happened to me. Braking hard saved my family and sounding horn saved the lorry driver.

  16. The Dogs Meevonks

    So what's new?

    I don't go to maccys very often, and normally when I do it's for some brekky and a latte.

    But in the last 10yrs... about 90% of the time I've been there and asked for a milkshake... the machine has been broken, or is being cleaned.

    I honestly can't remember the last time it was working... and this isn't the same site... this is sites at probably 20 different locations around the country over 10yrs.

    1. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: So what's new?

      Call me a heathen but I will not step foot in any MacDonalds. (or ANY burger place to be honest)

      In our familly we have always called it "McPukes"

      The food! always looks very unhealthy and as a diabetic I would not touch their Mikshakes with a barge pole.

  17. chivo243 Silver badge

    This Just In!

    Heart disease and heart attacks are down 20%!

  18. JDPower666

    Correction: "McDonald's out of ingredients to put in the machines that don't work that you couldn't have milkshake from anyway"

  19. JohnG

    Pay and conditions

    A number of current a former HGV drivers have posted comments and videos on social media about the HGV driver shortage: every one of them have described poor pay and conditions as being the primary reasons behind the shortage. Many have found jobs with better pay and conditions in other sectors e.g. warehouse work. While foreign drivers filled these jobs for a while, they soon realised that they could do better elsewhere.

    How many people here would want to work long hours at or close to minimum wage, having rest stops in laybys smelling of piss and being fined for having overweight lorries due to bullying from their managers? The reason that there wasn't a shortage of of HGV drivers before the influx of cheap migrant labour from the EU is because HGV drivers used to enjoy pay and conditions that made the job worthwhile.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Pay and conditions

      I've seen adverts in motorway services offering to pay for HGV training and a job starting at £45K. I'm not sure how realistic that is, considering it's from the marketing and advertising department and I didn't spend time reading the small print. It appeared to offer various work/shift patterns too rather than "do as we say" type hours.

      Maybe, just maybe, some companies or agencies are getting desperate enough to actually do something?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay and conditions

      Like most issues, this is more complex than meets the eye.

      Back in 2017 the BBC reported that companies were creatively exploiting a junction between the boundaries of the EU's single market in movement of workers, and the requirement to pay the minimum wage which led to foreign drivers living in their cabs for months, while being paid one third of the UK minimum wage.

      To quote the last paragraph of that article:-

      They have to get a grip on this because big, well-known UK retailers and other companies are making increasing use of these firms because they don't cost very much.

      So plenty of firms did this, resulting in fewer demand for UK lorry drivers and less pay for UK drivers to compete with firms paying under the UK minimum wage. When pay hit the minimum wage, then working conditions got steadily worse.

      This led to UK HGV drivers finding different employment that paid better, and fewer people bothering to qualify as HGV drivers because there was fuck all point. Covid also didn't help, as many haulage companies simply folded and many drivers found jobs in a different industry, (many HGV drivers had mini forklift trucks hanging off the back of their HGV's so they had a forklift license; when working in a warehouse picking stuff off shelves paid better than driving an HGV with fixed hours and going home to your family every evening guess what happened?)

      Simultaneously things like driver training was effectively shut down by the pandemic and qualifying was a bit difficult while the examiners were furloughed.

      To solve the problem the same companies that were paying a third of the minimum wage have begged the government to allow them to have their cheap labour back from the eastern EU, which has been denied. This has led to an intolerable position of having to improve pay and working conditions. Tesco offers qualified staff coming from elseware a thousand quid signing bonus. M&S promptly offers a £2k signing bonus as part of a £5k package and employers running things like bin lorries (requiring a license that allows you to drive a 7.5 tonner truck) resulted in those drivers eying up a less rubbish career change.

      And that's not actually all of the problems according to this, which was pointing out the problems 3 years ago:-

      https://www.returnloads.net/hgv-driver-shortage/?

      With 13% of HGV drivers over 60 3 years back and many of them retiring to avoid having to do a new bunch of training courses it might be worth considering offering those 13% of HGV drivers who have probably now retired a period of ignoring the CPC regulations (on the basis that it's an EU wide regulation that we don't have to follow now) to help plug the hole, and then offer the same people a route to becoming driving instructors and training examiners to help get more people qualified. I'd hazard a guess that they'll only want to work a few more years if over 60 anyway, and getting enough people qualified is only likely to take a few years so that'd probably work out reasonably well.

      I'd assume that many of the older drivers would be willing to do at least some hours if it means their pension goes up further at the end of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pay and conditions

        Alternately we can just outsource it to Tata.

        Bonus - we get those amazing decorated trucks from the Punjab/Pakistan/Afghanistan

  20. xyz123

    And I beheld a 6th Angel who did lift up his container and tip it, and Lo! no Milkshake did pour out upon the world, and this was the sixth sign of the Apocalypse.

  21. Julz Silver badge
    Pint

    Perhaps

    They should just sell beer :)

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps

      "In Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perhaps

        Crotte de Chien (Avec Fromage) ™® ?

      2. Adelio Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps

        McPoop?

      3. Spacedinvader
        Happy

        Re: Perhaps

        Royale with cheese

  22. jake Silver badge

    Nobody on the Staff has kids, ElReg?

    "Who has the time for the complex recipe of sitting and waiting around until icecream reaches room temperature and then adding some syrup and swishing it around"

    All you have to do is hand the properly prepared confection it to a three or four year old for about 2 or three minutes. The act of removing it from said child will result in the hand of the adult becoming suitable for that picture.

    This is the second time I'm advising impulse noise protection earmuffs today. Go figure.

  23. JWLong Bronze badge

    McCrappies.........

    Is a nickel and dime employer that even 16 year old kids don't want to work for.

    Their entire product line is utter SHIT and shouldn't be allowed to be fed to dead animals.

    They have even managed to fuck up a cup of coffee.

    "Get your Soylent Green burger at McCrappies today."

    And, the ice cream machines manufactured by Taylor are a bad joke. Taylor bent over to Mickey Dee's just to keep the business from going to the Chinese.

    The company that makes the add on device for the MickeyDee's UnMilk machine won their lawsuit against Taylor.

    Fuck Taylor and McCrappies both, and this is from someone who spent 45 years as an equipment repairer. You don't need a computer to make soft serve ice cream. What you need is mix with butter fat in it. This synthetic shit they use today isn't fit to slop the hogs with.

    This is also what you get when bean counters run something.

    Just ask GM about buying the cheapest batteries they can get.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No milkshake?

    Try a new Brexit Shit Burger!

  25. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Government has responded by lifting caps on daily driving limits from nine hours to 11

    That seems to be a really stupid idea, unless you want more truck crashes.

    On the bright side, there are way too many lorries on the roads, causing a lot of pollution. It's time to improve railways to be less truck-dependent.

  26. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    HGV Drivers

    I'm not sure I fully understand the causes of the problem.

    The island of Great Britain produces a lot of milk. It is not in short supply.

    Milk requires to be transported in special HGVs that are suited for the transport of milk.

    These HGVs tend to be the property of the dairies and their drivers employees of the dairy.

    Milk in HGVs, as a rule, is not driven very far, usually to the packaging or a food-processing plant.

    The article states that drivers of HGVs are in short supply.

    Does this mean that the dairies have been contracting out their HGV driving positions and that the aformentioned drivers have since found better work elsewhere?

    Or that McDonalds have been getting their milk from the continent and now the drivers can't be found?

    Is this the Gig-Economy at work?

    1. Charles Smith

      Re: HGV Drivers

      I did hear tell that one of the reasons for the shortage of HGV drivers is IR35 knackering the freelance market for drivers.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But where's the IT angle?

    For years we have been reading that Self Driving Cars/Trucks etc. would be here tomorrow. So if you techy types would stop faffing around commenting on El Reg and get back to coding we could sort the problem out by breakfast. Meanwhile encouraging youngsters to train as HGV drivers is about as moral as encouraging a kid in 1920 to train as a gaslighter.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: But where's the IT angle?

      It's in Bootnotes. No IT angle necessary.

      I have a commercial license. McDonald's couldn't pay me enough to drive for them.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: But where's the IT angle?

        I have a 3.5tn license, and did delivery work one summer. Never again.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: But where's the IT angle?

      > moral as encouraging a kid in 1920 to train as a gaslighter.

      I thought gaslighting was now a major internet activity ?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around comes around, I myself am a truck driver and when I was working away during the height of the pandemic delivering supplies all over the uk including products that went to McDonald’s they refused me hot food because it was drive thru only for cars, couldn’t even get a hot meal because all of the hot food places were either temporarily closed down or you had places like McDonald’s refusing drivers a hot meal because you can’t get a truck through the drive thru so had to eat cold food out of the fridge in the truck instead for months on end, fair to say I don’t work away from home anymore along with a lot of other drivers I know, so it’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot with McDonald’s

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      so it’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot with McDonald’s

      Karma is a lovely bitch (and so is her sister Kismet).

  29. Charles Smith

    Benefit

    Nightmare? No.

    Benefit? Improved health through sugar reduction.

  30. TRT Silver badge

    They have to deliver by lorry nowadays...

    They previously distributed it using dedicated pipelines but they all collapsed after about a week due to the amount of suction required.

    1. wwwd

      Re: They have to deliver by lorry nowadays...

      Probably because they changed the piplines for ones made of paper

  31. shawn.grinter

    Finally - A Brexit Benefit

    Well, one at last - a healthier population no longer able to stuff their face with the sugar, cream, corn syrup, and a handful of contained therein!

  32. wwwd

    https://mcbroken.com/ isn't showing any UK sites at the moment

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      They aren't broken - they are empty.

      Not putting crud in them and not letting idiots use them has a fantastic effect on their reliability

  33. jollyboyspecial

    Nothing rattles a cage like mention of Brexit does it?

    However don't I recall that McDonalds shakes are called "shakes" and not "milkshakes" because they don't actually contain enough milk to be classified as such? If that's the case then then didn't actually run out of milkshakes because they didn't actually sell them in the first place.

  34. skeptical i
    Devil

    Great for McCompetitors

    "I! Sell! Your! Milkshake!"

    (Apologies to the Daniel Day Lewis character in _There Will Be Blood_.)

  35. Alan Johnson

    They still have settled status ...

    "They still have settled status ...."

    In my (indirect) experience having applied for settled status(SS) you will months later get a letter to acknowledge you have applied for it that also states that although it is an acknowledgement of an application for SS it cannot be used as proof of an application for SS and then ..... nothing. No final decision or paperwork, not even something to prove you have applied.

    Just to recap after completing the process as far as an applicant can they will have no proof of application and no settled status. This is with doing it in good time and no complicating issues.

    The Brexit campaign seemed to assume that British Bureaucracy was far more efficient, streamlined and less intrusive than that of the EU whereas anyone with any actual experience knows that British bureaucracy can hold its own against ayone when it comes to pointlessness, volume and inefficiency.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet more Brexit benefits

    GPs ordered to halt all non-urgent blood tests across England until September

    NHS England has warned the shortages of blood test tubes will get worse before it gets better

  37. Blackjack Silver badge

    All you need is ice-cream, milk and a blender. If is too cold for you just wait a few minutes for the milkshake to warm up a bit.

    Sure you can add other stuff, if you want, but for me that ruins the flavour.

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