Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

As the COVID crisis continues there’s a decline in public confidence in the NHS’s ability to cope –

12357

Comments

  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 9,938

    I can't see this being anything other than a massive failure...

    https://order-order.com/2020/11/19/exclusive-news-uk-tv-station-ramps-up-hiring-as-studio-construction-starts/

    Those happy with legacy media will still tune into the BBC, where as those of us looking for better quality / more in depth analysis watch dedicated YouTube channels. Not sure where this idea fits into that.

    Hopefully. The US experience of successful partisan TV news stations has not been a stellar success for anyone bar the shareholders.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335
    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    That’s why I asked the questions and why I hope these matters will be properly looked at in a robust inquiry.

    Requisitioning of scarce goods during emergencies is not an unforseeable event. Given that a pandemic was deemed by our government to be one of the highest risks we faced, did it really have no plans in place for such a scenario?
    Quick blast of Owen on the matter -

  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 19,035
    One for the lawyers - Disney attempting to rewrite contract law in America

    https://www.sfwa.org/2020/11/18/disney-must-pay/
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    edited November 2020

    kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335
    edited November 2020
    Lozza not happy about Fairytale losing its faggot. Wants to get the original to Number One -

    Here we go again. The cultural commissars at the @bbc are telling you what is and isn’t appropriate for your ignorant little ears. Wouldn’t it be nice if we sent the (proper) version to the top of the charts? #DefundTheBBC. RT https://t.co/XzE9aITgsH

    — Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) November 19, 2020
  • FenmanFenman Posts: 834
    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    Buy them from the freezer section at Morrisons. Perhaps Waitrose sell them too as Faggo, with handmade fresh pasta and a sauce made from peppers grown on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    Scott_xP said:
    Ironic really, if the boot were on the other foot, Priti would be advocating "hanging and flogging".
  • kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    I absolutely can. I think there are quite a few people who feel Starmer has made a reasonable start but are not YET confident Labour has changed and is fit to govern.

    Additionally, people give some leeway due to the unprecedented nature of the crisis. But there will be a post-mortem on this when life returns to normal, and it won't be pretty (the procurement scandals are only just starting for example). Plus the economic impact hits home as Sunak is forced to stop playing Santa. There are really tough times coming, at a time when people will be far less forgiving.

    Not to say the Conservatives can't turn it around, but it's incredibly complacent to imply they are around about their floor and Labour are at their ceiling. I see very little evidence of that.
  • kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335

    kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
    That's my feeling too. If Labour lose next time, game over. Realignment of the centre left inevitable.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 1,730
    It's the biggest WITCH HUNT in history against the Greatest PM EVER. Only BORIS and chums can DRAIN THE SWAMP
  • theProletheProle Posts: 196
    algarkirk said:

    Has anyone heard about the latest wokery scandal?

    They keep re-writing the bible, would you believe, to adapt parts that are old fashioned and offensive and make them more modern and accessible to future generations!

    Apparently this process has been going on for centuries! When will this WOKERY ever stop?

    The Bible? Is that series still running? And with the original cast too!

    It was never the same once they translated it from Aramaic....
    None of the text of the Bible (apart from the odd word) is written in Aramaic.

    Isn't there a chapter or so in Aramaic in Daniel?
  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 2,949
    "Mink virus strain in Denmark 'most likely' extinct"

    Black Rook is going to have to find another reason for despair.

    We may never find a covid vaccine
    Any covid vaccine we find might be too ineffective
    The mink strain will get around the vaccine


    (Sorry, Black Rook; I know you're trying to avoid getting your hopes dashed, but there genuinely is a lot of very real positive news at the moment)
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    I love them, but some people think they are just 'offal'!

    (If Ydoethur had been on, he'd have snaffled that one just after MattW. posted)
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,368
    Fenman said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    Buy them from the freezer section at Morrisons. Perhaps Waitrose sell them too as Faggo, with handmade fresh pasta and a sauce made from peppers grown on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.
    Make them yourself - it's just mince with sage and onion stuffing....
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 19,096

    malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    Well indeed though it depends upon the sector or industry and the volume being discussed, some sectors rely upon thicker volumes but thinner margins while others rely upon thinner volumes but thicker margins but indeed that is entirely reasonable!

    Yet here we have mock outrage and horror at a 10% markup. Why is that?
    Possibly because it is not a mark up at all. There will probably have been a mark up on the goods supplied. We don’t know what this amount was. But the £21 million payment was commission paid to a third party - not the supplier of the goods in China nor the importer who sold them to the NHS - for services rendered. Were the services provided worth that amount?

    Payments to intermediaries can - sometimes - be worthwhile. Very often they are not and are simply a way of disguising, let’s be blunt, bribes. Very many of the financial scandals I have investigated involved the use of - and payments to - intermediaries. My eyebrows rise when I hear of their involvement.

    If British companies were paying what turn out to be bribes to intermediaries, regardless of whether they were based abroad, they have a big problem under the UK’s Bribery Act.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 63,428
    The GOP dickheads that certified Wayne County want to take it back, well at least one of them does.

    My guess is through their own unbelievably idiotic actions they're probably getting threats if they want to take back their certification, and threats if they don't :neutral::neutral::neutral::neutral:

    Heart of stone and all that.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761

    Fenman said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    Buy them from the freezer section at Morrisons. Perhaps Waitrose sell them too as Faggo, with handmade fresh pasta and a sauce made from peppers grown on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.
    Make them yourself - it's just mince with sage and onion stuffing....
    Your recipe looks offally wrong to me!
  • Fenman said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    Buy them from the freezer section at Morrisons. Perhaps Waitrose sell them too as Faggo, with handmade fresh pasta and a sauce made from peppers grown on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.
    Make them yourself - it's just mince with sage and onion stuffing....
    Isn't there supposed to be a bit of offal in them? The few times I've tried them they seemed to have a bit of a gamey tang.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,368

    Fenman said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    Buy them from the freezer section at Morrisons. Perhaps Waitrose sell them too as Faggo, with handmade fresh pasta and a sauce made from peppers grown on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.
    Make them yourself - it's just mince with sage and onion stuffing....
    Your recipe looks offally wrong to me!
    Minced pork liver is still mince.
  • kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
    Always sceptical about this. After almost every election, there is a round of hand-wringing pieces about the loser having no way to win again. It's par for the course.

    I first noticed in in 1992 (just because of my age, although it was common before), when Labour lost to a very uninspiring grey man during a recession when a lot of folk were sitting on negative equity having taken Tory advice to invest in property. Surely if they couldn't win in such perfect circumstances, they never would again?
  • Cyclefree said:

    malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    Well indeed though it depends upon the sector or industry and the volume being discussed, some sectors rely upon thicker volumes but thinner margins while others rely upon thinner volumes but thicker margins but indeed that is entirely reasonable!

    Yet here we have mock outrage and horror at a 10% markup. Why is that?
    Possibly because it is not a mark up at all. There will probably have been a mark up on the goods supplied. We don’t know what this amount was. But the £21 million payment was commission paid to a third party - not the supplier of the goods in China nor the importer who sold them to the NHS - for services rendered. Were the services provided worth that amount?

    Payments to intermediaries can - sometimes - be worthwhile. Very often they are not and are simply a way of disguising, let’s be blunt, bribes. Very many of the financial scandals I have investigated involved the use of - and payments to - intermediaries. My eyebrows rise when I hear of their involvement.

    If British companies were paying what turn out to be bribes to intermediaries, regardless of whether they were based abroad, they have a big problem under the UK’s Bribery Act.
    Wasn't this an American supplier not a British supplier?

    The NHS during a pandemic paid the American supplier to supply goods at an agreed price. The NHS was supplied the goods at the agreed price.

    The payments the supplier made to their own intermediaries and suppliers is surely an issue for them and not for the NHS let alone the government?

    If during a pandemic someone was bribed by a supplier in order to get PPE to supply to the NHS then that should be investigated by the relevant authorities - and it is before the courts - so I trust the judicial system to investigate it properly. But that doesn't show that the system failed or there was corruption in the government or the NHS - it wasn't the NHS paying that £21 million it was the supplier paying his own supply chain that amount.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 794
    edited November 2020
    Stocky said:

    Stocky said:

    malcolmg said:

    Stocky said:

    Can I dip my toe in the choppy waters of "who should get the vaccine first"?

    Seems to be taken as red that it should be the very oldest people first, particularly those in care homes.

    "Who is most vulnerable for covid" should be a prime driver for sure. But there are other drivers surely? Can we agree that not all lives are of equal value? Controversial I know.

    Seems obvious to me that a 18 year old life is of more value than a 80 year old life, and gradients in-between. If you overlaid scales of "who is most vulnerable from catching the virus" with "who has most to lose from catching the virus" the answer wouldn`t be "vaccinate old folk in care homes first".

    I have my hard hat on to protect against the incoming.

    You ignore the fact that 18 year old is almost 100% unlikely to be impacted. Hopefully it is not your older family members that die as a result of your callous selfishness.
    Sorry, my original post seems to have misled. I was making a general philosophical point that a 18 year old has more value than a 80 year old - I wasn`t suggesting that we should be vaccinating 18 year olds!
    Stating 18 year olds are more valuable than 80 year olds is classic QUALY abuse.

    It's the basic "Gotcha" that everyone who comes across the concept comes up with.

    Bit like the one about all economists being sociopaths because they expect everyone to behave with perfect economic rationality and not take into account non-monetary factors.
    Can you define what you mean by "QUALY abuse"? This is a new one on me.

    It`s obvious to me that the death of an 18 year old is more tragic than the death of a 80 year old. So obvious it hardly needs saying.
    I think the reference is to the limitations of QALYs for determining resource allocation. For example, defund palliative care as it doesn't prolong life and doesn't improve quality of life that much (as normally measured, which is mostly about functional ability). But ask anyone who has ever interacted with a hospice whether they are worth funding.

    (A awful lot of hospice care, particularly children's hospices, is in fact not state funded)

    Also, most economic analyses take a narrow view of costs (health provider costs only) so a typical analysis of Covid vaccines might only give them to groups likely to end up in hospital, ignoring the economic costs of lockdowns. Not strictly QALY-related, which measures the benefit in terms of health outcomes, but would ignore that a nationwide vaccination programme would quite possibly have a negative cost once the ability of businesses to get back to normal was factored in.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,368
    Cyclefree said:

    malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    Well indeed though it depends upon the sector or industry and the volume being discussed, some sectors rely upon thicker volumes but thinner margins while others rely upon thinner volumes but thicker margins but indeed that is entirely reasonable!

    Yet here we have mock outrage and horror at a 10% markup. Why is that?
    Possibly because it is not a mark up at all. There will probably have been a mark up on the goods supplied. We don’t know what this amount was. But the £21 million payment was commission paid to a third party - not the supplier of the goods in China nor the importer who sold them to the NHS - for services rendered. Were the services provided worth that amount?

    Payments to intermediaries can - sometimes - be worthwhile. Very often they are not and are simply a way of disguising, let’s be blunt, bribes. Very many of the financial scandals I have investigated involved the use of - and payments to - intermediaries. My eyebrows rise when I hear of their involvement.

    If British companies were paying what turn out to be bribes to intermediaries, regardless of whether they were based abroad, they have a big problem under the UK’s Bribery Act.
    I am reminded of the RD-180 issue in the US.

    The ULA were importing Russian rocket engines to use on the Atlas rocket. The late Senator John McCain traced what was going on to an interesting company in Florida which imported the engines, changed the name to US designation and nothing else basically. For a rather nice markup.

    He was, essentially told to shut up by the DOD - the only way to get the engines was to keep the Russian suppliers and their er.... friends happy.

    The "friends" owned a big chunk of the import company IIRC.

    "The {insert here} know that we know. But we make-believe that we don't know and the {insert here} make-believe that they believe that we don't know, but know that we know. Everybody knows."
  • kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
    Always sceptical about this. After almost every election, there is a round of hand-wringing pieces about the loser having no way to win again. It's par for the course.

    I first noticed in in 1992 (just because of my age, although it was common before), when Labour lost to a very uninspiring grey man during a recession when a lot of folk were sitting on negative equity having taken Tory advice to invest in property. Surely if they couldn't win in such perfect circumstances, they never would again?
    Yes, articles abounded in 1992 about 'the end of politics' and how Major had discovered the Holy Grail of Toryism with a likeable face.
  • Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).
  • BluestBlueBluestBlue Posts: 3,020

    kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
    Always sceptical about this. After almost every election, there is a round of hand-wringing pieces about the loser having no way to win again. It's par for the course.

    I first noticed in in 1992 (just because of my age, although it was common before), when Labour lost to a very uninspiring grey man during a recession when a lot of folk were sitting on negative equity having taken Tory advice to invest in property. Surely if they couldn't win in such perfect circumstances, they never would again?
    They never have. 1992 killed Old Labour, whose best showing since (in 2017) still fell 9 seats short of Kinnock's.
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 9,276
    edited November 2020
    Pulpstar said:

    Betdaq has settled its POTUS market.

    Yesterday I paid a rare visit to the Betfair Community Forum and checked out what people were saying about the open Presidential Markets.

    As you may imagine, the posts were almost uniformly critical. One of the more considered and restrained comments reflected on how Betfair had really got itself into a tangle by not sticking to its own rules. Having paid out on numerous State markets it is lingering over others and the main events for no discernible reason. If they are not paying out now, it's hard to see when they will or why they should do so at all.

    They need an 'event' to get them off the hook. Obviously if Trump conceded he would give them a face-saving formula, even though concession was never part of the rules. The same would apply to certification.

    The fact is they are making the rules up as they go along. They are playing a risky game. If I placed a losing bet on Trump now, I think I'd be entitled to ask for my money back later on the grounds they shouldn't have accepted a bet on an event that is over.

    It's almost worth £50 just for the pleasure of reporting the matter to the Gambling Commission.
  • Scott_xP said:
    Doing a deal with the French would also be in their interests as far fewer migrants will go to France if their chances of getting across the channel are significantly diminished.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 28,479
    Pulpstar said:

    The GOP dickheads that certified Wayne County want to take it back, well at least one of them does.

    My guess is through their own unbelievably idiotic actions they're probably getting threats if they want to take back their certification, and threats if they don't :neutral::neutral::neutral::neutral:

    Heart of stone and all that.

    One of them was very clear indeed that she believed Biden had won.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/wayne-county-election/2020/11/18/b515fa14-29c9-11eb-92b7-6ef17b3fe3b4_story.html
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,715
    edited November 2020

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Yes, things are afoot. I think that Johnson, figuring his days may be numbered, is turning his attention to his legacy (like May did). I know some on here disagree, but Johnson is a great believer in the union and is appalled at the way things are going, and under his watch. (If he had his time again would he have supported Brexit?)
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761

    kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
    Always sceptical about this. After almost every election, there is a round of hand-wringing pieces about the loser having no way to win again. It's par for the course.

    I first noticed in in 1992 (just because of my age, although it was common before), when Labour lost to a very uninspiring grey man during a recession when a lot of folk were sitting on negative equity having taken Tory advice to invest in property. Surely if they couldn't win in such perfect circumstances, they never would again?
    My point is that those Conservatives anticipating a minimum twenty seat victory in 2024, have not understood the economic ramifications of the pandemic and that the incumbent pays the price for bad news.

    The Conservatives may yet win, Brexit may be fantastic, we may recover quickly from the economic aftermath of Covid, but if all that comes to pass I will just continue to enjoy watching that squadron of pigs gracefully flying by.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,557
    edited November 2020
    What is the latest on the new laws exempting military personnel from prosecution? Would the new (proposed?) laws here stop them being prosecuted for something similar to the Australian special forces executions in Afghanistan?
  • FlannerFlanner Posts: 317



    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.

    After the first 1974 election, my MD started crying. "They'll [Labour] just survive, discover North Sea Oil and we'll get temporarily rich - which the socialists will use to nationalise everything and turn us into a second Cuba"

    After the second 1974 election, he turned to me and said "See. I'm right".
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,715
    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    Do you think that the admissions now are of similar severity to the admissions in April? Does the age profile differ?
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    Facts, facts! Where's @NerysHughes when one needs a cheerful anecdote?
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,715

    Cyclefree said:

    malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    Well indeed though it depends upon the sector or industry and the volume being discussed, some sectors rely upon thicker volumes but thinner margins while others rely upon thinner volumes but thicker margins but indeed that is entirely reasonable!

    Yet here we have mock outrage and horror at a 10% markup. Why is that?
    Possibly because it is not a mark up at all. There will probably have been a mark up on the goods supplied. We don’t know what this amount was. But the £21 million payment was commission paid to a third party - not the supplier of the goods in China nor the importer who sold them to the NHS - for services rendered. Were the services provided worth that amount?

    Payments to intermediaries can - sometimes - be worthwhile. Very often they are not and are simply a way of disguising, let’s be blunt, bribes. Very many of the financial scandals I have investigated involved the use of - and payments to - intermediaries. My eyebrows rise when I hear of their involvement.

    If British companies were paying what turn out to be bribes to intermediaries, regardless of whether they were based abroad, they have a big problem under the UK’s Bribery Act.
    Wasn't this an American supplier not a British supplier?

    The NHS during a pandemic paid the American supplier to supply goods at an agreed price. The NHS was supplied the goods at the agreed price.

    The payments the supplier made to their own intermediaries and suppliers is surely an issue for them and not for the NHS let alone the government?

    If during a pandemic someone was bribed by a supplier in order to get PPE to supply to the NHS then that should be investigated by the relevant authorities - and it is before the courts - so I trust the judicial system to investigate it properly. But that doesn't show that the system failed or there was corruption in the government or the NHS - it wasn't the NHS paying that £21 million it was the supplier paying his own supply chain that amount.
    Trouble is that profligacy with taxpayer money is the sort of thing that Tories and LDs chastise Labour in government for. These procurement shenanigans are not a good look for the Conservative Party.
  • Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    It is easy to be wise after the fact but if what you call 'gouging middle men' were the only people capable of supplying the NHS and that without them you would have ran out of PPE as you had feared then what should have been done? Honestly would you have preferred to run out of PPE?
  • Stocky said:

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Yes, things are afoot. I think that Johnson, figuring his days may be numbered, is turning his attention to his legacy (like May did). I know some on here disagree, but Johnson is a great believer in the union and is appalled at the way things are going, and under his watch. (If he had his time again would he have supported Brexit?)
    Probably as his career depended on it plus Marina Wheeler was (and is) a Eurosceptic and so was he based on his time in Brussels.

    But, he might have done it more deftly and softly.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,715

    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    It is easy to be wise after the fact but if what you call 'gouging middle men' were the only people capable of supplying the NHS and that without them you would have ran out of PPE as you had feared then what should have been done? Honestly would you have preferred to run out of PPE?
    Then the government would be criticised for not anticipating a pandemic!
  • kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,036
    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    Do you think that the admissions now are of similar severity to the admissions in April? Does the age profile differ?
    I am dealing with urgent non covid work, so cannot say for sure. Pretty similar I think, but we seem to have more staff getting ill, mostly caught outside work as far as we can tell.

    Mrs Foxy is working in Covid intensive care, and many of the patients are younger than her, in their thirties and forties. We have a couple in paeds ICU too.
  • Fenman said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    Buy them from the freezer section at Morrisons. Perhaps Waitrose sell them too as Faggo, with handmade fresh pasta and a sauce made from peppers grown on the southern slopes of Mount Etna.
    Make them yourself - it's just mince with sage and onion stuffing....
    Your recipe looks offally wrong to me!
    You seem a bit liverish about the whole issue. Or are you just kidneying around....?

    Hat. Coat....
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Are you sure? They all look a bit like a garden bridge to me.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 9,344
    edited November 2020

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Are you sure? They all look a bit like a garden bridge to me.
    Have they mentioned the North Channel bridge yet, the one from Scotland to NI? (Seriously.)
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 21,036
    edited November 2020

    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    It is easy to be wise after the fact but if what you call 'gouging middle men' were the only people capable of supplying the NHS and that without them you would have ran out of PPE as you had feared then what should have been done? Honestly would you have preferred to run out of PPE?
    Several of them had no experience of PPE, and were pure speculators. They deserve the pilloring that they are getting now and I hope the graft by their chums in government gets fully exposed by a proper enquiry.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,368

    Scott_xP said:
    Doing a deal with the French would also be in their interests as far fewer migrants will go to France if their chances of getting across the channel are significantly diminished.
    The issue for the French in the locality around Calais are the migrants already there.

    Making it more difficult for them to get to the UK means they will stay longer. Which is not locally popular in the Calais area.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335
    edited November 2020

    Pulpstar said:

    Betdaq has settled its POTUS market.

    Yesterday I paid a rare visit to the Betfair Community Forum and checked out what people were saying about the open Presidential Markets.

    As you may imagine, the posts were almost uniformly critical. One of the more considered and restrained comments reflected on how Betfair had really got itself into a tangle by not sticking to its own rules. Having paid out on numerous State markets it is lingering over others and the main events for no discernible reason. If they are not paying out now, it's hard to see when they will or why they should do so at all.

    They need an 'event' to get them off the hook. Obviously if Trump conceded he would give them a face-saving formula, even though concession was never part of the rules. The same would apply to certification.

    The fact is they are making the rules up as they go along. They are playing a risky game. If I placed a losing bet on Trump now, I think I'd be entitled to ask for my money back later on the grounds they shouldn't have accepted a bet on an event that is over.

    It's almost worth £50 just for the pleasure of reporting the matter to the Gambling Commission.
    Yep. They have settled 44 states on the call but have not do so for the ones which have put Biden over the top and made him WINNER under the most obvious interpretation of their rules. They should have settled the outright market on the call of PA. Either that or they should have waited for a cert for all the states. Upshot is they are now stuck in a logic free no man's land and need an event to close it out. My best guess is they will now not settle until states worth 270+ have been certified for Biden. Lots of extra commission earned but a poor show imo.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    When your defence of the indefensible comes to the end of the line you resort to silly statements like "They created and developed COVID19?"
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 29,009
    Alistair said:

    One for the lawyers - Disney attempting to rewrite contract law in America

    https://www.sfwa.org/2020/11/18/disney-must-pay/

    Well they’ve spent decades getting copyright law constantly rewritten every time it looked like Micky might become public domain, so it’s pretty much SOP for them to be having a go at contract law next.

    Also, purely by coincidence, one of the top 10 companies for political donations to both sides, right up there with Comcast and Facebook.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335
    Stocky said:

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Yes, things are afoot. I think that Johnson, figuring his days may be numbered, is turning his attention to his legacy (like May did). I know some on here disagree, but Johnson is a great believer in the union and is appalled at the way things are going, and under his watch. (If he had his time again would he have supported Brexit?)
    I think he would because it took him to Number 10. But I don't for one minute think he believes in it.
  • Stocky said:

    Cyclefree said:

    malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    Well indeed though it depends upon the sector or industry and the volume being discussed, some sectors rely upon thicker volumes but thinner margins while others rely upon thinner volumes but thicker margins but indeed that is entirely reasonable!

    Yet here we have mock outrage and horror at a 10% markup. Why is that?
    Possibly because it is not a mark up at all. There will probably have been a mark up on the goods supplied. We don’t know what this amount was. But the £21 million payment was commission paid to a third party - not the supplier of the goods in China nor the importer who sold them to the NHS - for services rendered. Were the services provided worth that amount?

    Payments to intermediaries can - sometimes - be worthwhile. Very often they are not and are simply a way of disguising, let’s be blunt, bribes. Very many of the financial scandals I have investigated involved the use of - and payments to - intermediaries. My eyebrows rise when I hear of their involvement.

    If British companies were paying what turn out to be bribes to intermediaries, regardless of whether they were based abroad, they have a big problem under the UK’s Bribery Act.
    Wasn't this an American supplier not a British supplier?

    The NHS during a pandemic paid the American supplier to supply goods at an agreed price. The NHS was supplied the goods at the agreed price.

    The payments the supplier made to their own intermediaries and suppliers is surely an issue for them and not for the NHS let alone the government?

    If during a pandemic someone was bribed by a supplier in order to get PPE to supply to the NHS then that should be investigated by the relevant authorities - and it is before the courts - so I trust the judicial system to investigate it properly. But that doesn't show that the system failed or there was corruption in the government or the NHS - it wasn't the NHS paying that £21 million it was the supplier paying his own supply chain that amount.
    Trouble is that profligacy with taxpayer money is the sort of thing that Tories and LDs chastise Labour in government for. These procurement shenanigans are not a good look for the Conservative Party.
    That's because Labour piss the money away all the time, not just pay what needs to be paid during a pandemic.

    The fact that the Tories are only being condemned for purchasing PPE during a pandemic shows precisely and ironically that the Tories are doing a good job because it shows they complainers have nothing better to whinge about.

    If the Tories were pissing money away left right and centre then there would be issues other than pandemic PPE related issues to complain about. But there isn't. So having been denied a "you failed to get PPE" story it morphs into a "you paid for PPE" story.
  • FlatlanderFlatlander Posts: 692
    edited November 2020
    Foxy said:

    Stocky said:

    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    Do you think that the admissions now are of similar severity to the admissions in April? Does the age profile differ?
    I am dealing with urgent non covid work, so cannot say for sure. Pretty similar I think, but we seem to have more staff getting ill, mostly caught outside work as far as we can tell.

    Mrs Foxy is working in Covid intensive care, and many of the patients are younger than her, in their thirties and forties. We have a couple in paeds ICU too.
    What do you think has gone wrong in Leicester? It has been in full or semi-lockdown throughout and levels have never really come down.

    Is it just a lack of compliance with the rules (for whatever reason)?

    In South Yorkshire we were up in the top 10 a few weeks ago but numbers are definitely falling now even though this lockdown is nothing like as well observed as the first one.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335
    edited November 2020

    kinabalu said:

    Pulpstar said:

    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The concern was the fast track process for mates and the dodgy broker payments. One suspects cronyism and corruption.
    If Sir Kneel Starmer makes the same tax promise that Joe Biden made he'll get in.
    Yes - if there were a "PM after next GE" market I would make SKS the favourite.
    Starmer probably won't win the next election. Labour is too structurally weak in the Midlands and Scotland and with the over 65 vote. That's not even an anti Starmer point more to do with the solidity of the Tory voter coalition.

    The only arguments in Labour's favour are Wales looking better for the party now and Starmer being more actively popular with LD>Lab switchers who weren't actively keen on Miliband or Corbyn even if a lot of them voted tactically Lab in 2017.

    I just can't see many Tory voters who have not already switched to Lab (over e.g. Cummings etc), switch between now and 2024.
    If the Conservatives find themselves elected in 2024 after the economic armageddon that is already starting upon us, you can forget about anything other than permanent Conservative Government.
    Always sceptical about this. After almost every election, there is a round of hand-wringing pieces about the loser having no way to win again. It's par for the course.

    I first noticed in in 1992 (just because of my age, although it was common before), when Labour lost to a very uninspiring grey man during a recession when a lot of folk were sitting on negative equity having taken Tory advice to invest in property. Surely if they couldn't win in such perfect circumstances, they never would again?
    They never have. 1992 killed Old Labour, whose best showing since (in 2017) still fell 9 seats short of Kinnock's.
    Old Labour would have won in 97 though. But no landslide. That needed Tony and his NL gloss.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    kinabalu said:

    Stocky said:

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Yes, things are afoot. I think that Johnson, figuring his days may be numbered, is turning his attention to his legacy (like May did). I know some on here disagree, but Johnson is a great believer in the union and is appalled at the way things are going, and under his watch. (If he had his time again would he have supported Brexit?)
    I think he would because it took him to Number 10. But I don't for one minute think he believes in it.
    Indeed, the collateral damage that took him to the top of the greasy pole, is of no consequence or interest to him.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,715
    kinabalu said:

    Stocky said:

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Yes, things are afoot. I think that Johnson, figuring his days may be numbered, is turning his attention to his legacy (like May did). I know some on here disagree, but Johnson is a great believer in the union and is appalled at the way things are going, and under his watch. (If he had his time again would he have supported Brexit?)
    I think he would because it took him to Number 10. But I don't for one minute think he believes in it.
    I think he believes in it but not to the extent that it would damage the union. The full concerns about the union were not exposed, or known, in the run up to the referendum - at least not entirely. It especially dawned on me in 2019. I recall posting about it here, saying that I`d concluded that May`s deal was better than Johnson`s because it better protected the union.

    Some brexiters care passionately about the union, some don`t. I`ve met both types. Johnson is in the former tribe.

    I`ve recounted a conversation I had with Chris HH in May 2019 about this on here before. I said something along the lines of "and, of course, members of the ERG will be concerned about implications for the union". I was shocked when he said "well, some are".
  • malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    But if your widgets were destined for an overseas health service, but a dodgy contact who managed customs at an appropriate overseas port, in the very same overseas country, inadvertently diverted them to Felixtowe for a $50,000 bung into a Cayman Islands bank account and a new C Class Mercedes- Benz, would that also be a standard rule of thumb?
    No.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    Carnyx said:

    Off topic, the new green deal, the major defence announcement and (very probably) the imminent Brexit deal are all very obviously part of a plan for a sustained Unionist assault on the SNP for 2021.

    Someone's been doing some thinking (not Boris).

    Are you sure? They all look a bit like a garden bridge to me.
    Have they mentioned the North Channel bridge yet, the one from Scotland to NI? (Seriously.)
    As a taxpayer in England and Wales, I want no part in investing my tax pounds on a white elephant that when, in the unlikely event it is ever built, will connect two foreign powers (Scotland and Ireland) together by a road bridge!
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 26,093
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    No it isn't. We got fleeced by profiteering chums of the government. We may have been caught over a barrel, but there is every reason for the profiteers to be publicly exposed. After the event there needs to be a full accounting, and those found to be gouging middlemen to be barred from government contracts permanently.

    On topic. The public are right to be losing confidence that the NHS can cope. My hospital now has significantly more covid patients than April, and dozens of fresh admissions everyday. We know from case numbers that admissions are going to continue to climb for at least another week, probably longer. From Monday we are shutting down the majority of non urgent work, and we have the pressgangs out to fill the many vacancies in the front line as staff drop like flies. It is a scary situation.
    It is easy to be wise after the fact but if what you call 'gouging middle men' were the only people capable of supplying the NHS and that without them you would have ran out of PPE as you had feared then what should have been done? Honestly would you have preferred to run out of PPE?
    Several of them had no experience of PPE, and were pure speculators. They deserve the pilloring that they are getting now and I hope the graft by their chums in government gets fully exposed by a proper enquiry.
    If there was Supplier A and Supplier B and they offered the same terms and Supplier A was chosen and Supplier A was Head of Pop then we can see if there was favouritism.

    If there was only Supplier A or Supplier A offered better terms then we should likewise make an assessment.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 8,404

    It's depressing the number of people at the highest levels of politics who think the best way of driving performance is to bully and intimidate people.

    I can only imagine this is a function of the weakness of their characters and the fact they've rarely managed people within a normal career, and learnt that being fair, firm and polite is the key.

    +1
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731

    malcolmg said:

    BBC have a round up of state of play across Europe with no mention of Poland. There seems a huge blind spot among the media to what clearly is a terrible situation.

    Too foreign for the BBC, France , Germany, Italy an odd time and then just USA and Australia for them, they have a stinted view of world news.
    Its not just them. Nobody is mentioning it. Countless hours talking about Sweden, Germany, Italy, South Korea...I only know of the Poland situation because of that twitter account, with no further info on what on the surface looks a disaster.
    But as you say the polish situation is different as theres so many polish people in the UK, so its absence if mention is even odder.
  • kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    When your defence of the indefensible comes to the end of the line you resort to silly statements like "They created and developed COVID19?"
    Securing PPE during a pandemic is not indefensible.

    Kinabalu claimed that "They allowed the crisis to develop" - considering that COVID19 pandemic is the crisis and its a pandemic across the whole of our continent and globe that seems to be to be up there with conspiracy theory bullshit. If you think its an appropriate line then please explain why?
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 8,404
    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    The primary meaning of faggot in the UK is the food. The other meaning is mostly American.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731
    Alistair said:

    Request For Which The Answer is Get Fucked

    My gods. They looked stupid for not doing it, then changing their minds a few hours later, now they look like utter cretins.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    edited November 2020

    Stocky said:

    Cyclefree said:

    malcolmg said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    There speaks a true Tory, snout snuffling at the thought of all the freebies
    No just someone who has experience of business, I have nothing to do with government contracts.

    I'm curious if a 10% margin is noteworthy in all walks of life?

    It a bottle of beer costs £12 for 24 in the supermarket then do you think a pub and restaurant charging over 55 pence for a bottle of the same beer is outrageous?
    As "... someone who has experience of business ..." you should know that the standard rule of thumb for markup is 40% or 2.5 times, depending which way around you are running the calculation.

    So if I buy a widget at 10p I should sell it for at least 25p to cover all my costs. If I want to sell at 25p then my buy price needs to be below 25p x 40% = 10p
    Well indeed though it depends upon the sector or industry and the volume being discussed, some sectors rely upon thicker volumes but thinner margins while others rely upon thinner volumes but thicker margins but indeed that is entirely reasonable!

    Yet here we have mock outrage and horror at a 10% markup. Why is that?
    Possibly because it is not a mark up at all. There will probably have been a mark up on the goods supplied. We don’t know what this amount was. But the £21 million payment was commission paid to a third party - not the supplier of the goods in China nor the importer who sold them to the NHS - for services rendered. Were the services provided worth that amount?

    Payments to intermediaries can - sometimes - be worthwhile. Very often they are not and are simply a way of disguising, let’s be blunt, bribes. Very many of the financial scandals I have investigated involved the use of - and payments to - intermediaries. My eyebrows rise when I hear of their involvement.

    If British companies were paying what turn out to be bribes to intermediaries, regardless of whether they were based abroad, they have a big problem under the UK’s Bribery Act.
    Wasn't this an American supplier not a British supplier?

    The NHS during a pandemic paid the American supplier to supply goods at an agreed price. The NHS was supplied the goods at the agreed price.

    The payments the supplier made to their own intermediaries and suppliers is surely an issue for them and not for the NHS let alone the government?

    If during a pandemic someone was bribed by a supplier in order to get PPE to supply to the NHS then that should be investigated by the relevant authorities - and it is before the courts - so I trust the judicial system to investigate it properly. But that doesn't show that the system failed or there was corruption in the government or the NHS - it wasn't the NHS paying that £21 million it was the supplier paying his own supply chain that amount.
    Trouble is that profligacy with taxpayer money is the sort of thing that Tories and LDs chastise Labour in government for. These procurement shenanigans are not a good look for the Conservative Party.
    That's because Labour piss the money away all the time, not just pay what needs to be paid during a pandemic.

    The fact that the Tories are only being condemned for purchasing PPE during a pandemic shows precisely and ironically that the Tories are doing a good job because it shows they complainers have nothing better to whinge about.

    If the Tories were pissing money away left right and centre then there would be issues other than pandemic PPE related issues to complain about. But there isn't. So having been denied a "you failed to get PPE" story it morphs into a "you paid for PPE" story.
    Please M'Lud, can I offer the Jury my first item of evidence- this imaginary garden bridge.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,715

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    When your defence of the indefensible comes to the end of the line you resort to silly statements like "They created and developed COVID19?"
    Securing PPE during a pandemic is not indefensible.

    Kinabalu claimed that "They allowed the crisis to develop" - considering that COVID19 pandemic is the crisis and its a pandemic across the whole of our continent and globe that seems to be to be up there with conspiracy theory bullshit. If you think its an appropriate line then please explain why?
    "They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it." That is what he said. This is the narrative which is being promoted.

    I`m afraid this party political stuff in a pandemic repulses me.

    I`ve disengaged from this aspect completely, all I`m interested in is getting us out of the pandemic with as minimal damage to health, the economy and liberties as is feasible.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    I'm talking about the lack of resilience in the system due to neglect in prior years. The pandemic exposed this. When the tide goes out we see who has not bothered with trunks. As for corrupt cronyism running rife in government, by all means carry on with the "nothing to see here" shtick, I certainly can't stop you, but be aware that there is a price to pay. For the country, obviously, but also for you. Because the day will come when you wish to tear into an administration you do not support for this sort of behaviour. And you won't be able to. You'll be muzzled. Imagine how that will feel.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731
    Jeez, so hateful. Maybe like when Corbyn says something was overstated but clarifies he did not mean things were overstated, they in fact mean the opposite of what they say. But I doubt it.
  • Stocky said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    When your defence of the indefensible comes to the end of the line you resort to silly statements like "They created and developed COVID19?"
    Securing PPE during a pandemic is not indefensible.

    Kinabalu claimed that "They allowed the crisis to develop" - considering that COVID19 pandemic is the crisis and its a pandemic across the whole of our continent and globe that seems to be to be up there with conspiracy theory bullshit. If you think its an appropriate line then please explain why?
    "They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it." That is what he said. This is the narrative which is being promoted.

    I`m afraid this party political stuff in a pandemic repulses me.

    I`ve disengaged from this aspect completely, all I`m interested in is getting us out of the pandemic with as minimal damage to health, the economy and liberties as is feasible.
    Entirely reasonable and I agree completely.

    Its a shame some people feel the need to try and score points every single week. Had PPE not been secured during the pandemic then it would have done tremendous damage to health. It was secured and now still during the pandemic people want to try and find a way to twist that into a partisan angle.

    There will no doubt be a time and place to have an inquiry to learn lessons after the pandemic in time for the next one, but this petty partisan pointscoring is puerile.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731
    kinabalu said:

    Lozza not happy about Fairytale losing its faggot. Wants to get the original to Number One -

    Here we go again. The cultural commissars at the @bbc are telling you what is and isn’t appropriate for your ignorant little ears. Wouldn’t it be nice if we sent the (proper) version to the top of the charts? #DefundTheBBC. RT https://t.co/XzE9aITgsH

    — Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) November 19, 2020
    Man needs to pick his targets. If you get outraged at everything it just gets ignored.
  • kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    I'm talking about the lack of resilience in the system due to neglect in prior years. The pandemic exposed this. When the tide goes out we see who has not bothered with trunks. As for corrupt cronyism running rife in government, by all means carry on with the "nothing to see here" shtick, I certainly can't stop you, but be aware that there is a price to pay. For the country, obviously, but also for you. Because the day will come when you wish to tear into an administration you do not support for this sort of behaviour. And you won't be able to. You'll be muzzled. Imagine how that will feel.
    But there was resilience.

    Because the economy had been managed and not running a maxed out credit card deficit like we were in 2006-07 before the last recession hit we had the ability to react and protect the economy and healthcare system and spend what needed to be done. This is why sound sane economics is not to splash every penny during the good times, because when the bad times come it needs to be done then.

    As for muzzling, since I am not seeking to deny free speech for people who want to spread ignorant codswallop - and since I condemn the government when its actually appropriate to do so - I don't see why I would be muzzled.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731

    It's depressing the number of people at the highest levels of politics who think the best way of driving performance is to bully and intimidate people.

    I can only imagine this is a function of the weakness of their characters and the fact they've rarely managed people within a normal career, and learnt that being fair, firm and polite is the key.

    Well said. Some try to belittle the issue with talk of being thick skinned and hide can person x an experienced ex soldier or something be bullied, but they can be and it isn't necessary. If some can lead and manage well without it, everyone can.

    It's why I'd hope people like Malcolm Tucker dont exist in real life as its entertaining to watch but a sign of dysfunction.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    Liz Truss secures the UK a Canada - EU style deal!!! With Canada.
  • sladeslade Posts: 1,047
    kle4 said:

    Alistair said:

    Request For Which The Answer is Get Fucked

    My gods. They looked stupid for not doing it, then changing their minds a few hours later, now they look like utter cretins.
    She cannot even print her name properly.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    The Official Pogues response has cheered up a dull day!
  • kamskikamski Posts: 1,730
    Trump's net approval down to -20 with Ipsos, could it be a sign that more people are getting fed up with him? though other polling since the election is a bit more mixed
  • Brilliant!

    Is that official? No blue tick.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,761
    14 month or even 14 year isolation would be handy here.
  • nichomarnichomar Posts: 7,483
    A report from the Spanish hospital front line! Of course I might actually be to close to to see what’s happening but against a regional background of 250+/100,000 cases in in a hospital that is functioning normally, plenty of empty beds in observation ward. Major upgrades in equipment, decor and uniform since May. Quiet calm and controlled, I’m not on the covid ward but it seems to be having minimal effects. Hope to be out by next week don’t want Anthony 24 day run
  • Andy_JS said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    The primary meaning of faggot in the UK is the food. The other meaning is mostly American.
    not sure where you are Andy but when it is shouted in the street my mind does not go to the food. or the bundle of sticks.
  • kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    I'm talking about the lack of resilience in the system due to neglect in prior years. The pandemic exposed this. When the tide goes out we see who has not bothered with trunks. As for corrupt cronyism running rife in government, by all means carry on with the "nothing to see here" shtick, I certainly can't stop you, but be aware that there is a price to pay. For the country, obviously, but also for you. Because the day will come when you wish to tear into an administration you do not support for this sort of behaviour. And you won't be able to. You'll be muzzled. Imagine how that will feel.
    But there was resilience.

    Because the economy had been managed and not running a maxed out credit card deficit like we were in 2006-07 before the last recession hit we had the ability to react and protect the economy and healthcare system and spend what needed to be done. This is why sound sane economics is not to splash every penny during the good times, because when the bad times come it needs to be done then.

    As for muzzling, since I am not seeking to deny free speech for people who want to spread ignorant codswallop - and since I condemn the government when its actually appropriate to do so - I don't see why I would be muzzled.
    This is, to borrow a phrase, ignorant codswallop. There is no national credit card. If there were, it was not maxed out prior to the GFC. If it had been, it made precisely zero difference to the cause of the GFC, its impact or our recovery from it. The difference between then and now is that Boris and Rishi recognise that austerity was wrong.
  • Brilliant!

    Is that official? No blue tick.
    Think so, 30k+ followers.
    Pretty sure Shane would deplore hooring for a blue tick.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,335
    Stocky said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Scott_xP said:
    The so-called "jewellery designer" was actually an "importer" and he assisted in using contacts in China to "import" goods.

    "Importer paid to import goods" is such a slow news day story.
    That’s not quite accurate though is it. There was the company set up by a jewellery designer who agreed to provide the goods to the NHS and then another individual who was used by him to help source the goods in China. It’s the latter who was paid £21 million by the former. Whether it was out out of the £197 million paid by the NHS to the supplier or on top of, is not clear but it ultimately came from the NHS.

    No idea whether a 10.65% commission charge is normal. Whether the whole contract was value for money for the NHS who knows. Why the NHS and the government were so unprepared and so lacking in secure and robust contacts with actual suppliers and manufacturers and what lessons should be learned from all this will be one for any inquiry, if we get one.
    Businesses seek to make a profit shouldn't be a shocker, that is why people go into business. If the contracted supplier pays subcontractors to honour the contract, then so long as the contract is honoured then that is a supply chain working.

    10.65% commission doesn't sound to me to be extortionate under the circumstances, especially if that includes shipping or handling charges. Many businesses operate using thicker margins than that and quite reasonably too - a bottle of beer at the supermarket can cost as little as 50p but that same bottle sold in a pub can be measured in pounds not pennies. Does that make every landlord or landlady in the country a rip off? Or are there costs and factors involved in operating businesses that need to be factored into considerations?

    Secure and robust contracts don't exist when we're in a pandemic situation and goods are being demanded in volumes that aren't normally and formerly reliable suppliers are seeing their stockpiles requisitioned by foreign states.
    But these generalities cannot and should not be rolled out to defend the indefensible.
    Indeed.

    But we're not talking about defending the indefensible, we're talking (again) about the government succeeeding completely in securing supplies of PPE for doctors and nurses during a pandemic.

    Well done them! Great competence.
    That was not the response I was looking for. The risk here - now compounded - is that you come across as someone on the Johnson payroll rather than as a fiercely independent internet blogger who calls out suspected wrongdoing without fear or favour.
    The response you were looking for is for me to join in a witch hunt?

    The criticism at the time, from good Doctor Foxy here and others as well as the Labour Party - was that the NHS was on the brink of running out of PPE, that the situation in Foxy's words was "desperate" and the government had the responsibility to do what needed to be done to secure PPE.

    They did.

    Now people whinge. Get over it. They did their job during a pandemic. Had we run out of PPE that would have been a story, so instead of saying "well done" for securing what needed to be secured instead people are trying to whinge about the way it was done.

    It is pathetic.
    They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it.

    What's pathetic is defending that state of affairs.
    They created and developed COVID19?

    I think you may have been watching too many conspiracy theory videos. Was it all done to allow microchips?
    When your defence of the indefensible comes to the end of the line you resort to silly statements like "They created and developed COVID19?"
    Securing PPE during a pandemic is not indefensible.

    Kinabalu claimed that "They allowed the crisis to develop" - considering that COVID19 pandemic is the crisis and its a pandemic across the whole of our continent and globe that seems to be to be up there with conspiracy theory bullshit. If you think its an appropriate line then please explain why?
    "They allowed the crisis to develop and then allowed their cronies to profiteer from it." That is what he said. This is the narrative which is being promoted.

    I`m afraid this party political stuff in a pandemic repulses me.

    I`ve disengaged from this aspect completely, all I`m interested in is getting us out of the pandemic with as minimal damage to health, the economy and liberties as is feasible.
    That is understandable but is also exactly the sentiment they are banking on.
  • On the PPE contracts.

    I can forgive a government spending money too indiscriminately in a crisis and therefore wasting some of it. You don't have time to decide what will work so you simply have to try a bunch of stuff and find out.

    What I can't forgive is two things.

    Firstly, there's evidence that money was spent with a high degree of discrimination, but the deciding qualification was being mates with someone in government. We've heard from domestic manufacturers of PPE who couldn't get phone calls returned from government. That's not mistakes made due to a lack of discrimination, it's the wrong sort of discrimination being applied.

    Secondly, this mode of decision-making, once established, has now continued, even though we are well past the peak crisis days in March and April. Even if you can justify the contracts as temporary expedients in a crisis, that time should by now have passed.

    When the case for austerity is made in the years ahead I won't forget which politicians allowed the public purse to be plundered under cover of this crisis.

    I actually agree with your logic but challenge your two assertions.

    Firstly is there any evidence of large scale domestic manufacturers struggling to return calls? I've not seen any. I've seen some small scale manufacturers offering hundreds or thousands of products who were struggling to get the attention versus large scale manufacturers or importers offering millions of products. It is absolutely unacceptable for "mates" to be a deciding factor but its certainly understandable for "volume" to be one instead. It makes sense that a supplier offering millions of gowns would be higher priority than one offering thousands. Can you link to any suppliers offering millions at that time that were ignored?

    Secondly the crisis was still ongoing until June at least not April, but I've seen no evidence that such decision-making is still ongoing today in November. Again if there is some evidence of this I'd like to see it because it would not be acceptable.

    If you can show companies offering millions of goods being denied then that would be bad, if you can show companies today circumventing such today that would not be acceptable but all these stories we've seen so far date back to the height of the pandemic around April and May.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731

    On the PPE contracts.

    I can forgive a government spending money too indiscriminately in a crisis and therefore wasting some of it. You don't have time to decide what will work so you simply have to try a bunch of stuff and find out.

    What I can't forgive is two things.

    Firstly, there's evidence that money was spent with a high degree of discrimination, but the deciding qualification was being mates with someone in government. We've heard from domestic manufacturers of PPE who couldn't get phone calls returned from government. That's not mistakes made due to a lack of discrimination, it's the wrong sort of discrimination being applied.

    Secondly, this mode of decision-making, once established, has now continued, even though we are well past the peak crisis days in March and April. Even if you can justify the contracts as temporary expedients in a crisis, that time should by now have passed.

    When the case for austerity is made in the years ahead I won't forget which politicians allowed the public purse to be plundered under cover of this crisis.

    I think this is a reasonable approach. Crisis gives a lot of latitude, but not total.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 60,731
    edited November 2020
    Andy_JS said:

    MattW said:

    isam said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    1992 almost 30 years ago you say?! Wow!!

    Faggot was always a pejorative borderline swear word anyway, so it’s not a surprise it’s been edited previously, more surprising if it hadn’t
    As a kid, faggot meant to me either a spicy sausage type food or firewood. The other meaning came later but was rarely heard.
    Still buy faggots from the chippie or the traditional butcher from time to time...
    The primary meaning of faggot in the UK is the food. The other meaning is mostly American.
    not when I was growing up. People found it amusing there was a food named that precisely as it was not their primary thought.
This discussion has been closed.