* Posts by Phil

5 posts • joined 10 Dec 2007

US-Iranian naval clash: Radio trolls probably to blame


The US fail to understand humour

I read the transcripts of the event and my first thought was that the speaker was taking the piss - the idea that it was someone nearby didn't occur to me, but it does feel eminently possible. After all, if I heard the crew of one of the most potent warships on the sea today seemingly fill their pants upon the approach of an unarmed bright blue speedboat I'd be inclined to take the piss too.

In addition, I do find it hard to reconcile the "if Iran starts anything we'll wipe them out" rhetoric with the "oooooo a speedboat we're all going to die oh noes !!!! quick shoot first they're so dangerous !!!111eleven " comments.

To be fair to the USN, maybe the two Iranians had really, really dangerous beards ?


And another thing ....

While I'm ranting ... if I had seen my democratically elected government toppled by a foreign power (at the request of another) and suffered under a right bastard and his secret police for a few decades then, when I got hold of some representatives of the offending state I wouldn't have taken them hostage - I'd have put their heads on pikes on the walls of the Tower of London.

And if some moron had parked his cruiser under an airway off my coast, shouted "it's coming straight at me !" (far too like South Park to be funny) when an airliner did what it did every day and killed hundreds of innocents, then had those involved let off scot free to avoid problems in next year's Presidential elections I'd have a bit of a bad attitude as a a result.

Outsourcing overruns cost UK taxpayers £9bn


Just follow the money ....

One of the key features of these deals is that no matter how poorly the supplier performs they are never penalised for it. Indeed, the larger the overrun the more money they make. So, funnily enough, we are then treated to the utterly predictable spectacle of businesses seeking to maximise their profits. Like it or lump it, that's capitalism and the onus is very much on the customer not to put up with it.

So why are those on the Govt side so lamentably awful at negotiating and managing such contracts ? Just look at how much they're paid and all will become clear. They send a bunch of low paid (and frankly low ability) drones, the company sends a bunch of highly paid and well motivated (bonuses !) sharks. No contest.

MoD sorts out 'turkey' helicopters for Xmas

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Bureaucratic cowards

These helicopters could fly out to Afghanistan tomorrow if someone signed them off. Are they really dangerous ? If anyone thought they were then we wouldn't let UK troops working with our allies fly round in identical US built Chinooks would we ? Has there been a constant stream of foreign Chinooks falling out of the sky ? No.

I would quite happily sign, balancing the tiny risk of maybe perhaps something might happen someday against the certain knowledge (never mind what the liars in the MoD say) that UK troops are dying in road moves that take place because we don't have enough helicopters. That is proper risk management and quite justifiable in court.

Instead, what we have are cowards in fancy chairs in a newly refitted building letting soldiers die rather than go against the process. They are almost without exception second rate jobsworths who can't get a better paid job in industry. Sure, they work hard but just produce more crap as the emphasis is on process and not on results.

Sometimes, during contract negotiations, my colleagues and I have compared the relative salaries on either side of the table. The answer illustrates exactly why the MoD fail abysmally more often than not.

Forces pay mess blamed on human error

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One thing ....

If I understand this right, this system is based on those used by civilian companies, where the staff at all levels - workers and their HR staff - tend to work in the same office all the time sat at a desk running the relevant software.

Am I alone in spotting the problems that might arise from using it for an organisation that spends most of its time out of the office and in a ditch in Helmand being shot at miles away from reliable access to UK based admin systems ? Clearly if I worked in the MoD I would be.


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