Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Jobs for the boys but charity begins at home.

Having spent most of the morning learning about vortex damage caused by aircraft which is somewhat tedious but has to be done, I recall someone once compared flying to, falling but missing the ground.

It would seem that quite a few aviation accidents do not in fact involve falling and hitting the ground.

As I am writing this news of two aircraft colliding over Wales is coming in and I can only think in terms of vortexes.

British Airways have replied saying they can find no information about BAWC moving to Manston, which seems a bit odd.

At one time all of the books that were in any sense saleable or interesting, that we had too many copies of or were damaged or wouldn’t sell at price that was economic for us, I donated to charity shops.

I am a person who is inclined to check up on things and I found that some of what I was donating didn’t seem to be appearing, quite a bit was going onto landfill but worse than any of this they were pricing them far to expensively, there were exceptions to this where some charity shops did some things ok.

Anyway some time ago, when I could see the recession coming, I decided that it was poorer local people that should benefit from these cheap books and so I set up a recession section at back of the shop with all the hardbacks priced at 10p and all the paperbacks priced at 5p.

I was idly looking through this recession section and came across a couple of things that amused me, the first being the bit of text about British workers which seemed rather appropriate at the moment.

The British jobs for British thing does have connotations of a Labour government in a bit of an Animal Farm situation, I am not for a moment suggesting that labour MPs are fattening up the workers for consumption, but here in Thanet, some Jobs at Thanet Earth are being exclusively advertised abroad.

The other book was an odd volume of Pictorial Knowledge with some unusual transport pictures, this I acquired for myself a snip a 10p.

Some times with books it’s what you notice more than what you know and it’s always worth a second look at books, my wife once found a play that I had priced at 80p had been signed by all of the cast of the first production, she sold it for £80.


  1. Perhaps the British jobs for British workers themes is not so Luddite as some would have us believe.

    I encountered European contractors in 1989 in Birmingham contracting on a paper mill construction. I was earning a grand a week. The longest site serving British electrician was two weeks.

    Men were asking the Belgians and Germans (Installing for Siemens) how they could get away with such dangerous design specifications and cheap cable etc.

    It was difficult from the start to envisage the Belgians and Germans as heavy industrial installation lads. They were just too physically weak to have been able to erect traywork and pull in our style of armoured cable as we would use on steelworks etc.

    Their cable was double sheathed no armouring. They glanded into transformers by plastic compression glands. Into panels they simply tied cables off to cross members. No glanding off, no gland plate, no earthed armour cased cabling, no fire barrier to contain a fire within any panel. No fire barrier through walls.

    Absolute crap.

    So the contractor argument is as likely to be about British Jobs for British Skilled Men to British Standards.

    Outside of domestic electrical installations there is no such thing as national electrical engineering standards (I took this up with Head of Standards at Institute of Electrical Engineers).

    The industrial argument is about protecting established British good practice against European bad practice.

    The cost argument pretty much must reside on the shoddier (the more European) the work the cheaper the quote.

    I suggest that we do not want those European clowns working on our petrochem or heavy industrial sites unless they are contractors working under British governors to British accepted good practice standards. Earthing, fire proof barrier, mechanically sound cable glanding etc etc

  2. Michael, with all this talk of Manston Airport, do you by any chance have any photos or maps of the area before the airport? What was there, just farm land or houses etc? I've just been cycling in that area, & I'm intrigued by the way (for example) Manston High Street just comes to a sudden end, as do a couple of minor roads at Cliffsend.

    Sorry for going slightly off-topic.

  3. Judging by the Europeans I met then if they had to work to British contractor standards and speed the problem would be self resolving.

    The Europeans would not be able to pull their weight or keep up.

    I have seen no one (not even Southern Irish) who can match the big Yorkshire puddings for armoured cable pulling.

  4. Michael, I am not sure if this also applies to books, but prior to the First World War most postcards of quality were printed in Germany. After the first world war the anti German sentiment was so strong that German printed products were boycotted and all British postcard publishers advertised the Britishness of their postcards to avoid the boycott. Unfortunately, the print quality of the majority of 1920's British postcards was lower than the German ones. When the Nazi's took control in Germany, many printers of Jewish origin fled Germany and came to Britain. Many settled within the Jewish communities in London and set up printing business's. This improved the quality and many of the 1930's quality postcards, especially the comic ones were produced in the EC1area of London. The publishers used their initials and not their German sounding surnames.

  5. I worked for a on the fairs as a maintenance engineer at one time, diesel generators, flashing the lights on the rides to up the voltage and make them go faster and all that sort of caper, wiring on fairgrounds is not always done to the highest standards and the engineers, for want of a better word often don’t understand basic principles.

    In a travelling fair the rides come from all sorts of places and some id the things I have seen on European rides in terms of safety standards would make your hair curl.

    This failure to understand basic principles can have some interesting effects I once saw an Italian gentleman doing an interesting dance on his knees on the end of a live cable.

    You have to appreciate that the tyres of the lorry isolate even a belt driven alternator bolted directly to the lorry, so one can work live safely with cable carrying a single phase, even in a wet field, but this chap had backed his lorry into fence carried by angle irons driven into the ground.

    Peter I will see what I can find.

    Tony with German engineers and scientists this is different altogether, although watch out for old German wiring you chaps above black is live.

    During the cold war the big question that worried both sides was, are the west’s German scientists in front of the east’s or vice versa.

    German and American printing is usually biter than English printing.

  6. Interesting to see the BNP infiltrating the trade unions. Bit Like mr Moseley

  7. 16.25 I think you are perhaps confusing racism with another thing altogether here, you can be a Black, Jewish, Islamic etc but still a British worker, who wants an equal chance of applying for a job at Manston.

    If the advert is framed thus: Wegens toenemende groei van onze activiteiten, zijn wij constant op zoek naar nieuwe mensen ter ondersteuning van onze afdelingsmanagers voor o.a. de: and doesn’t appear in a British newspaper it puts you at a disadvantage.

    The premise Thanet workers wanting an equal chance of a job in Thanet are being racist towards the Dutch, is a difficult one to follow.

  8. Going back to the Vortex problem... didn't BA Concorde have to pay out compensation once after it landed at Manston once. Loads of tiles/slates fell off after the jetwash hit roofs in Ramsgate.

    My memory is not as good as it was, so might be talking rubbish.

  9. The principles of orbit are exactly falling and failing to hit the ground. An obit is an endless fall around a body. What a comfort to know that the moon is forever falling... or not.

    With both "out sourcing" and current job shortages using British skills might be considered to be a morally righteous PR move.

  10. Matt interesting view on orbit, could you send me the JavaScript you use for your recent comments on the Star so I can add you to I cant make it work with the script I am using

    Thanet Observer I will try and find out.


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