« Gordon saves lives? | Main | Rush to rough justice »

July 20, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

HuwOS

For those who are interested
There is a petition on the number10 site in relation to the Vestas closure.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveVestas/sign

Kay Tie

"it is however doing what companies do and going where governments spend money to get and keep them."

Which is why governments shouldn't do that.

I would explain why all governments should get involved in is an effective carbon pricing scheme, but I have a headache and I don't really think that people are interested in this. Probably not even Paul Flynn (although he should, because it would undeniably expose whether it makes sense to adopt nuclear power as a way of reducing carbon emissions).

HuwOS

The company is doing fine, it is however doing what companies do and going where governments spend money to get and keep them.

Kay Tie

Wind might have a place below a certain threshold when the grid can compensate for shortfalls. At the level the Government wants to see, it's unworkable.

I expect, though, that the lights will go out on the next Government's watch. Which makes it an excellent policy for the fag end of New Labour.

As far as the viability of the company is concerned, their on-going business they have achieved is obviously not enough to justify their staffing levels. If it was they wouldn't be going through the redundancy process, which can be pretty hard on the company too.

HuwOS

KayTie there is no one solution with renewable energy, what we will end up with is going to be a mix, wind power is definitely going to be a part of that mix.

As far as no one buying from Vestas
the company announced on 10/7
that they had received orders for 75 MW for wind energy projects in China.


Dawn Brosnan

Kay Tie,

The only hateful politics I ever see on this blog comes from you. You border on a paranoia that frankly gets on my wick every time unions, or just sticking together for economic survival is mentioned. What are you so afraid of in Socialism? You do not see the huge difference between Communism and Socialism. Why are the ideals that created the NHS and made the workplace a safer, healthier, less fearful place such a threat to you unless you want to keep the working person firmly under the yoke?

Yes, in the past the Trade Union pendulum swung too far to the left in certain industries, but considering the many centuries that employers or landowners have had their foot on the average serfs throat it barely registers as a blip in the great scheme. Every time I see you and your ilk attack socialism I think you sound like the school bully wailing for help when the little kid turns around and bloodies his nose back for him. You certainly don't have much idea about what socialism is. The average British socialist does NOT want communism. We have a balance we quite like, although at the moment many of us are just beginning to realise the tilt is back on the employers side again, so it's almost business as usual for the Right wing.

Socialism is social and humane. It's about community and caring and looking after each other - every one of us. It's not about keeping an aspiring person down, but it is about him giving a bit back that he's earned not just by his own labours but by those around him. At the end of the day it's in Socialisms interest for people to be a success and for us all to support him because then we are all winners. If anyone wants to call themselve an intelligent civilised person then they look after those around them and remember that without a good foundation any house they raise will not stand for long.

And frankly anyone who can't grasp that beautifully simple concept isn't just the school bully but selfish and uncaring as well, and frankly they have my sympathy (barely) because they are the loosers in the long run.

So, "POWER TO THE PEOPLE!" :)

Kay Tie

"you attempt to belittle people for writing worthwhile and interesting posts concerning renewable energy"

Not at all. What they want is a fantasy. Wind power is not a solution to renewable energy: it is conscience-salving by the ignorant middle classes. Solar energy holds promise once certain technological breakthroughs are made. Wind does not. Why should the state protect jobs in a futile industry when it does not (for quite valid reasons) protect jobs in viable companies across the land?

I do want to add, though, that the Vestas protesters do seem to have a valid complaint about the behaviour of the police.

"Insult a whole nation as in the Scotland slur."

I'm glad you agree that "Scottish socialist" is an insult. I take it you wish to repudiate their hateful politics?

"One would imagine that the author of the insults would at the least have a point to their own existance rather than a designer of silly games."

I'm not really sure I understand your point. What do you mean?

patrick

Kay-Tie
"You whine and complain and stamp your feet like a petulant toddler"

you attempt to belittle people for writing worthwhile and interesting posts concerning renewable energy or insult a whole nation as in the Scotland slur.

One would imagine that the author of the insults would at the least have a point to their own existance rather than a designer of silly games.


Kay Tie

"If inflation does shoot away, won't that be *good* news for people whose mortgages/other debts are bigger than their savings? Can I look forward to being able to pay off my entire mortgage with a wheelbarrow full of worthless money?"

If your debts are at fixed interest rates, then yes.

If your debts are at variable interest rates, then no: the interest rate will rise. You will have your debt eroded, and this might be worth more in the long term than the extra interest you have to pay in the short term. But it's a cashflow issue: you will have to find the cash in the short term from your salary, which may or may not keep up with inflation.

An example is useful to illustrate just how terrifying stagflation is:

Assume a £50k post-tax salary, and mortgage payments of £8k (16% debt service ratio, assume a 4% mortgage rate). After inflation kicks in and goes to 10%, salary will rise to £55k (assuming salary keeps up with inflation). Mortgage rate will go to 14%, mortgage payments will go from £8k to £28k. Household is worse off by £23k.

Yes, the outstanding loan may be 10% smaller in real terms. That doesn’t help with finding the cash to meet the interest bill, any more than rises in house prices provide income (despite the Daily Mail stories of yesteryear telling us we were “earning” £500/day from house prices rising).

DG

If inflation does shoot away, won't that be *good* news for people whose mortgages/other debts are bigger than their savings? Can I look forward to being able to pay off my entire mortgage with a wheelbarrow full of worthless money?

Kay Tie

"And if the government wants to create thousands of green jobs, how about creating (or preserving) 600 by taking over Vestas?"

What's the point? Clearly no-one wants those turbine blades because if they did then they'd be selling them and each employee would contribute more to the sales than he costed in salary.

Perhaps the problem is that it was a totally insane idea to build a factory on the Isle of Wight where every component has to come by the most expensive ferry route in the world, every visit by a customer or to a customer needed a ferry trip, and where skilled workers could be drawn from the local Isle of Wight population (ahem) or encouraged to come to live on the Isle of Wight (a place so advanced that in the entire county there is just one building with an escalator).

You whine and complain and stamp your feet like a petulant toddler, demanding we waste money on making the 21st century equivalent of Trabant cars. You don't get it. There is no more money.

We are on the verge of national bankruptcy. It's going to come as such a shock to so many people when there's a gilt strike, the Government can't raise money, the currency crashes (like in Iceland), inflation shoots away, and the standard of living of people in this country halves.

In many ways it will serve us right: we've been deluding ourselves that "we're worth it" for years, buying extravagant things with borrowed money. The reckoning is coming, and lots of people aren't going to like it one little bit.

Adamski

Hi Kay Tie,

I don't really want to sidetrack comments away from the very good article on Afghanistan, but . . .

In 2003, Gordon Brown was asked in parliament how much he was prepared to spend waging war on Iraq, he replied 'as much as it takes!'

Isn't it obscene that you have never heard the same battle cry when it comes to waging war on poverty from any of our politicians (the only exception perhaps being the Labour Party in 1945, though if you read Gordon Brown in the 70s and even in the 80s he once spoke a very different more inspirational language before he made his peace with the market and embraced neoliberalism, indeed his words then are almost an indictment of his words now)

But let's leave aside the question of bank bailouts and war spending, Gordon Brown has spoken of creating thousands of green jobs to both tackle climate change and the recession, it therefore seems madness that the only factory in the whole of Britain making wind turbines is closing!

Will Paynter, a now deceased south wales miners leader once said that 'each time a pit closes it's like a death in the family'.

Vestas is one of the main employers on the Isle of Wight, 600 jobs are going to be lost, this will impact not only on the 600 individuals, but their families and communities and the whole island.

Consider in S.Wales what the destruction of mining did, destroying whole communities where unemployment has been massive, people on the sick, all kinds of problems of social alienation such as crime and drug addiction that the public purse has to pay out in medical costs, benefits, criminal system etc.

Is it really unreasonable to say that communities shouldn't just left to die (with all the consequences for young people growing up with no prospects and ordinary people thrown onto the scrapheap) because of the reccession, but instead that the government might step in to bail-out communities and workers?

And if the government wants to create thousands of green jobs, how about creating (or preserving) 600 by taking over Vestas?

Incidentally, currently British police are breaking the law in regards to the workers of Vestas including blocking food from getting to the workers (see www.savevestas.wordpress.com for full reports)

"Workers staging a sit-in at the soon-to-close Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight are being starved out by police.

The police, many inside the factory and dressed in riot gear, have denied food to the workers who took over the factory offices last night, to protest about the closure of their factory. The police, operating with highly questionable legal authority, have surrounded the offices, preventing supporters from joining the sit-in, and preventing food from being brought to the protestors.

Around 20 workers at the Vestas Plant in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, occupied the top floor of offices in their factory to protest against its closure which will result in over 500 job losses.

Acting without an injunction, on private property, the police have repeatedly tried to break into the office where the protesting workers have barricaded themselves, and have threatened the workers with arrest for aggravated trespass, despite the fact that no damage has been done to the property where the protest is taking place. Police have also forcibly removed people from private property, another action that is of very questionable legality in the absence of a formal injunction.

The officer involved in the latter action was number 3606. The officer who appears to be in charge is 3115. It may help to let the local police authorities know that we are unhappy with their handling of the situation – in this case the email address to bombard is professional.standards@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

This heavy handed response is the latest in a long line of over-reactions to protest by various UK police forces."

www.savevestas.wordpress.com

DG

I think the beef is that they were both highly paid AND incompetent.

It's not Joe Public's job to ensure the stability of banks. That would be the job of the highly paid incompetents and their highly paid incompetent regulators.

Kay Tie

Ah, so your beef is that they were highly paid, rather than incompetent. That's very socialist - the outcome is irrelevant as long as the ideology is compliant. Or, as the joke goes, "it works in practice, but what about in theory?"

I think the time has come to partition the country: a new Iron Curtain. The socialists can live in one half and the sane can live in the other. You can live in your Cuban-style workers paradise (only with grimmer weather) and you'll have nothing to complain about.

Of course, there are those that argue that this has already happened: it's called Scotland. We just need to complete the process, beginning with the repatriation of Scottish MPs.

HuwOS

Gosh Kaytie, I'm glad you notice that I reserve blame for the reckless parts of the financial industry and there is a reason for that.
They are the ones to hold responsible.

Being responsible is one of the reasons they get paid a fortune to do their job, if it was an equal relationship between lender and borrower then you could just put someone on work experience in the position with the instructions to give money to whoever asks for it oh and if you have some spare time, why not offer money to those who don't ask for it.
The economy would still be in the toilet, but those sectors of the finance industry would not have gotten rich putting it there.

Kay Tie

"Obviously it can afford both the Iraq and Afghan war efforts KayTie, otherwise they'd have announced that we would be going to war as soon as was fiscally prudent"

Interesting definition of "afford" - put it on the nation's credit card. If we haven't learned that lesson yet then we are doomed to continue in economic malaise for some tears to come.

I notice how you reserve your blame for the economic crisis for the reckless parts of the finance industry, and not the reckless borrowers. It takes two to tango, you know. There are millions of people in the country who allowed their personal greed to overcome any wisdom. Just watch Sarah Beeny talking to some of them every week on Property Snake.

Kay Tie

"Tilting for windmills perhaps and more power to him for it."

Better hope the wind keeps blowing then.

HuwOS

Obviously it can afford both the Iraq and Afghan war efforts KayTie, otherwise they'd have announced that we would be going to war as soon as was fiscally prudent, possibly within the lifetime of this parliament etc etc.

Personally I think old age pensions should be paid from the pot they keep for war as it is obviously capable of expanding at will and war should take the place of the old age pension and be paid out of current national insurance contributions.

There were many ways of approaching saving the nation from the massive stupidity of the financial sector, the route chosen was just one of them and not necessarily the best one at that.

Trident is a waste of money as are the nuclear power stations we seem determined to build, with the massive back end cost and with the taxpayer guaranteeing the companies who wish to profit from operating them indemnity against the cost of accidents they are unable and unwilling to carry the risk for themselves even should such accidents be their own fault.

So Adam J was hardly tilting at windmills.
Tilting for windmills perhaps and more power to him for it.

Kay Tie

"How can it let Vestas close when it can afford;
¤ The Afghan war effort
¤ The bail out of banks including continuing taxpayers’ support for excessive fatcat salaries.
¤ The renewal of the trident missile system
¤ New nuclear power stations
¤ And a ridiculous scheme of paying MP’s expenses ?"

Firstly, it can't afford the Afghan war effort.

Secondly, the bail out of the banks was to make sure that your savings or your mortgage cheque in transit didn't disappear, that the cash machines didn't shut down, that the credit card system continued operating. We were days away from these things happening. But go ahead and tilt at windmills.


Adam J

A superb article, may I bring another issue to your attention. Vestas, Britain's only factory making wind turbines is being closed at the end of the month & the government has refused to intervene. The campaign to Save Vesta's last night escalated

I enclose information below

SAVE VESTAS - BRITAIN'S ONLY FACTORY MAKING WIND TURBINES

Last night a group workers at Vestas on the Isle of Wight, the only factory in Britain making wind turbines, occupied (while other workers are currently being locked out of the factory by riot police who have tried to illegally kick down the doors and storm the factory) after learning that 600 workers are to be sacked and the plant closed, they aim to save jobs and save the planet. Despite talking of creating 5000 'green jobs' the government has refused to intervene to save Vestas. Please rush messages of solidarity to savevestas@googlemail.com and find out more about the issues at www.savevestas.wordpress.com, workers have already received support from trade unionists, environmentalists and Caroline Lucas MEP.

How can it let Vestas close when it can afford;
¤ The Afghan war effort
¤ The bail out of banks including continuing taxpayers’ support for excessive fatcat salaries.
¤ The renewal of the trident missile system
¤ New nuclear power stations
¤ And a ridiculous scheme of paying MP’s expenses ?

WORKERS SPEAK OUT

” As workers at a wind turbine manufacturer, we were confident that as the recession took hold that green or renewable energy would be the area where many jobs could be created – not lost.
So we were horrified to find out that our jobs were moving abroad and that more than 525 jobs from the Isle of Wight and Southampton were going to be added to the already poor state of island unemployment.
This has sent, and will continue to send, shockwaves of uncertainty through countless families on the island – many of which are being forced to relocate away from the island.
We find this hard to stomach as the government are getting away with claiming they are investing heavily in these types of industry.
Only last week they said they would create 400,000 green jobs. How can the process start with 600 of us losing our jobs?
Now I’m not sure about you but we think it’s about time that if the government can spend billions bailing out the banks – and even nationalise them – then surely they can do the same at Vestas.
The people of Vestas matter, and the people of the island matter, but equally importantly the people of this planet matter. We will not be brushed under the carpet by a government which is claiming to help us.
We have occupied our factory and call on the government to step in and nationalise it. We and many others believe it is essential that we continue to keep our factory open for our families and livelihoods, but also for the future of the planet.
We call on Ed Miliband as the relevant minister to come to the island and tell us to our face why it makes sense for the government to launch a campaign to expand green energy at the same moment at the country’s only major wind turbine producer closes."


Your solidarity can make a difference!

Rush messages of support to 07980 703115 and 07970 739921 and 07733 388888

Email solidarity messages to savevestas@gmail.com

Visit the plant at Monks Brook, Newport, PO30 5WZ

Join the demonstration called by the Campaign Against Climate Change in support of Vestas workers, this Wednesday 22 July, 6pm, outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, No. 3 Whitehall Place (off Whitehall), London SW1A 2HD (Charing Cross tube)

Send a donation from yourself, your workplace, your trade union or campaign organisation. Cheques payable to Ryde and East Wight Trades Union Council, 22 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2NB.

Demonstrate: Save Vestas, Save the Planet, Support the Occupation, Friday 24 July, 5.30pm, St Thomas Square, Newport, Isle of Wight

Flood Energy minister Ed Miliband with emails and phone calls. His email is milibande@parliament.uk His phone number in his Doncaster constituency is 01302 875 462, and at Westminster, 020 7219 4778.

Flood him with calls for the government to take over the Vestas factories, guarantee all the jobs, and keep producing under workers’ management.

Kay Tie

"Britain doesn't lead now, it talks about leading but only ever follows."

Oh how quickly the '70s malaise returns! Are you feeling nostalgic for strikes, awful food and terrible fashions?

We in this country lead the world in many things. Our scientific and medical research is world class. We do some of the best software development here. Our wireless technology companies lead the world.

It's true we don't make much in the way of textiles, mine much coal, and make many ships any more. But on the whole, I'd prefer write a 3D gaming engine and use the proceeds to buy the coal, ships and clothes I want.

HuwOS

Paul, where have you been for this last 50 years.
Britain doesn't lead now, it talks about leading but only ever follows.

Now following is not a bad thing in itself.
Letting other people beat the various paths can mean that you get to see all the pitfalls without taking any of the risks.

Unfortunately, Britain seems to take great pleasure in seeing all the pitfalls, then choosing the biggest buffoon to follow and diving headlong into the biggest nastiest pitfall after him, shouting out on the way down how we are leading the way.

Surely not long now until we earn that coveted 51st state status.

The comments to this entry are closed.