Wednesday 19 September 2012

Riding Along On The Trough Of A Wave

Another day another ride along our local motorway in search of fish, fresh air and a relaxing walk with the chatter of automatic rifle fire from the ranges to sooth the nerves.  But there was something to scare us.

The electric sign boards warned us of an Orkforce engaged on road repairs.  Those familiar with the computer game Warhammer know that the Orks are square built, green coloured humanoids given to violent reactions, unstable emotions and who have had problems during their adolescence.

We are told that outsourcing projects and work is the best and most economic way of obtaining value for money in public services but to recruit it from a fictional universe out there somewhere in a different time warp raises questions.  The travel expenses will be enormous, were they factored into the estimates and contracts?

One consequence of their presence was that coast bound nobody was going anywhere fast so all we could do was chug along with the crowd until our junction came up.  But returning was different, a clear road and a fast ride.

Which meant I could do something of a truck count; my most reliable method of judging our current economic performance.  As we take turn and turn about in driving to keep our skills up, I was in the passenger seat which made it easy.  I did not like what I saw.

There were about fifty vehicles passed which could fairly be described as “trucks”, there are some problems of definition at the margin but that number is barely a handful.  Of those eight were British and there were no Irish.  Of the others there was a clear majority from Eastern Europe, notably Poland and the Czech Republic.

Of the remainder, unusually there were very few from Spain, France or Italy, but from a scattering of other places, a handful of which were Netherlands.  The pattern seems to have changed from that of several years ago.

The eight British included a breakdown truck, a refuse truck and one flat without a load.  Of the five other trucks around three looked to be elderly and in need of replacement, leaving two newish ones. 

One, an Eddie Stobart, proclaimed that its business was “Delivering Sustainable Distribution” whatever that is.  Is there anyone who could say what that might mean?  Did it come from a recent Government Initiative?  All in all these eight I think fairly indicate the current comparative state of health of the UK economy.

One way to stimulate growth might be to put every truck in the UK onto the motorway system, laden or unladen, to simply drive around regardless of Distribution, sustainable or not with delivering being unnecessary. 

There could be government subsidies given for this paid for by the issue of government stock bought in by Bank of England easing and forced on public sector pension funds.

Or should we put out consultative contracts to seek advice from the Orks?

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