What’s among the first utterances you hear from politicians when jobs are lost?
“Let’s set up a talking shop – I mean a taskforce.”
Various people thought this was a good idea when it became apparent that the North Sea oil and gas game was up, or heading that way.
“Retraining; that’s what we need,” came the shout.
“Retrain them to do what?” I screamed back.
“We’ll think of something,” was the reply.
Now we’re told that just 6% of oil companies report any impact from the Scottish Government’s Energy Jobs Taskforce.
Have you ever met anyone who’s just lost their job but jumps for joy on learning there’s going to be a taskforce to discuss it?
Do you know a sacked worker who’s been reinstated because of a taskforce?
The First Minister has yet to take time out from her hectic post-Brexit, post-independence referendum tour – Dublin this week – to meet Lena Wilson, the taskforce chairwoman and boss of Scottish Enterprise.
Anyway, who believes such a get-together would make a difference?
This is the 25th Oil and Gas Survey involving 130 firms and here’s what it concluded:
67% of North-east businesses had shed staff at a faster rate than at any time in the survey’s history.
A similar proportion believed the sector had bottomed out and the rate of job cuts would now slow (not stop).
More than 40% had their pay cut or their benefits changed to cope with the downturn, although probably not the ones on the higher rungs of the ladder.
So, next time you hear of a similar crisis, listen out for the politician who says: “Let’s NOT set up a taskforce.”
He or she will have it right.
Idea that private means better is off track
The argument by Reform Scotland that the nationalisation of ScotRail will not necessarily make the trains run faster or prevent delays, misses the point.
If Abellio, the Dutch company that runs ScotRail, can perform badly and still bring in a MONTHLY profit of £1 million, would that money not be of better use going into the public purse?
The notion that the private sector can always do things better is misguided.
Questions over the need for ejector seats
Have you noticed those TV ads for those eject-yourself armchairs, the ones with a lever on the side?
If those remarkably young-looking old people need to be catapulted
from their chair, how come they can stride away with smiles on their faces and without any sign of an ache or pain?
Do new group’s plans include any politics?
The Aberdeen group seeking to support independent candidates at the local authority elections next May is an interesting beast.
No word yet of where the money will come from to back a campaign; just the need for a pledge from would-be candidates to agree to act with humility, respect and integrity.
Nothing about politics, which seems as odd as the idea itself.