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Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 4:35pm
by reohn2
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -transport

Plus I heard at lunchtime that the Seaborne ferry company is owned by the brother of JCB owner who's a major Tory donor.Is this true?

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 5:42pm
by 661-Pete
Here is some evidence - albeit circumstantial and not quite in accordance with what your lunchtime friend said:
http://www.cjclaw.com/site/people/profile/mark.bamford (click on 'contact us' and note the address).
https://seabornefreight.com/contact (note the address).

The name "Bamford" has long been associated with Tory party donations, though that proves nothing about this individual. Interesting, though... :twisted:

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 7:11pm
by pete75
661-Pete wrote:Here is some evidence - albeit circumstantial and not quite in accordance with what your lunchtime friend said:
http://www.cjclaw.com/site/people/profile/mark.bamford (click on 'contact us' and note the address).
https://seabornefreight.com/contact (note the address).

The name "Bamford" has long been associated with Tory party donations, though that proves nothing about this individual. Interesting, though... :twisted:


They may just be using their solicitors office as the company registered address for service of documents etc. A Mark Bamford was a director of JCB but he was born in 1951. The Mark Bamford linked to above is a lot younger than 67. The JCB owner or rather main director was born in 1945 so it's likely the 1951 Mark Bamford is his brother. There's no Bamford listed as a director of Seaborn Freight.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 7:44pm
by 661-Pete
pete75 wrote:They may just be using their solicitors office as the company registered address for service of documents etc. A Mark Bamford was a director of JCB but he was born in 1951. The Mark Bamford linked to above is a lot younger than 67. The JCB owner or rather main director was born in 1945 so it's likely the 1951 Mark Bamford is his brother. There's no Bamford listed as a director of Seaborn Freight.
I'm inclined to agree, and I was careful not to voice any direct accusations. Nevertheless the whole "seaborne" fiasco does look mighty suspicious!

And we could be talking about father-and-son possibly?

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 8:12pm
by Oldjohnw
It's hard not to speculate that since the contract cannot possibly have been awarded on the basis of experience and competence, has some other factor been involved? Like who knows whom and who gave what donation to whomever?

But, of course, that is mere speculation.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 8:35pm
by horizon
I had always worked on the assumption (and assumed others did too) that all central and local government contracts are awarded on the basis of political lobbying. This could take the form of anything from lunches and freebies right up to straight donations to party funds. But what is often missed here is that you don't need person-to-person corruption (brown envelopes of cash etc) for this to be insidious and invidious. This is the wholesale corruption of society by a particular class of people who own the firms that carry out the contracts and those who service those firms.

Why I feel this matters greatly on a cycling forum is that what we don't always see is that contracts therefore have to be awarded whether they fulfill any social purpose at all. While schemes like HS2 have a certain gloss and apparent value (and a group of rather sorry genuine supporters), their real function lies in providing contracts and profit for this class. Governments therefore tend not to spend money on socially useful but small scale schemes such as nature conservation but do spend it on new roads. So Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, yes, cycle infrastructure, no.

This latest scandal is just a slip-up.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 8:51pm
by pete75
horizon wrote:I had always worked on the assumption (and assumed others did too) that all central and local government contracts are awarded on the basis of political lobbying. This could take the form of anything from lunches and freebies right up to straight donations to party funds. But what is often missed here is that you don't need person-to-person corruption (brown envelopes of cash etc) for this to be insidious and invidious. This is the wholesale corruption of society by a particular class of people who own the firms that carry out the contracts and those who service those firms.



Well you're wrong, it may well be some but certainly not all. I've been involved in the tendering and contract awarding process for a number of high value IT contracts in local government and the politicians played no part. For quite a few years now you've needed to draw up a comprehensive ITT, carry out due diligence, evaluate how well the tendering companies match the terms of the ITT etc. The DA kept an eye on the process as well.
Must admit I was once offered a bribe in the form of an expensive new motorbike by one company to go with them for a contract. The fools had actually put in the best bid but ruled themselves out by that attempt at bribery - I didn't want to go with a company I couldn't trust.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 4 Jan 2019, 9:35pm
by horizon
Well you're wrong,
I don't think so, at least not in principle.

it may well be some but certainly not all.
I think all, but to a degree and not necessarily in an explicit way.

high value IT contracts
This is the critical bit: the idea is that you shape public services around something that has a high and obtainable value to the exclusion of small firms and individuals. I saw housing provision utterly transformed in this way.

and the politicians played no part
They don't need to. Their job is to create the conditions for the awarding of public contracts to large firms by redefining what might be delivered and how it might be so. Their reward is to be part of a class that benefits from the system (though many take jobs with those firms after leaving politics). Most are good people.

carry out due diligence, evaluate how well the tendering companies match the terms of the ITT etc
Everything can be (and usually is) above board. But somebody will win the contract, possibly by reducing the wages of employees, itself dependent on the politicians to arrange.

Must admit I was once offered a bribe
The UK is one of the least corrupt societies in the world so this is very unusual. My point is that it isn't about corrupt individuals but a system that works in favour of a class and which in turn distorts what gets built, delivered, provided, designed.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 5 Jan 2019, 8:41am
by pete75
horizon wrote:
Well you're wrong,
I don't think so, at least not in principle.

it may well be some but certainly not all.
I think all, but to a degree and not necessarily in an explicit way.

high value IT contracts
This is the critical bit: the idea is that you shape public services around something that has a high and obtainable value to the exclusion of small firms and individuals. I saw housing provision utterly transformed in this way.

and the politicians played no part
They don't need to. Their job is to create the conditions for the awarding of public contracts to large firms by redefining what might be delivered and how it might be so. Their reward is to be part of a class that benefits from the system (though many take jobs with those firms after leaving politics). Most are good people.

carry out due diligence, evaluate how well the tendering companies match the terms of the ITT etc
Everything can be (and usually is) above board. But somebody will win the contract, possibly by reducing the wages of employees, itself dependent on the politicians to arrange.

Must admit I was once offered a bribe
The UK is one of the least corrupt societies in the world so this is very unusual. My point is that it isn't about corrupt individuals but a system that works in favour of a class and which in turn distorts what gets built, delivered, provided, designed.


You've not much idea of what you're talking about nor, I suspect, much experience of it. Much of what you say is supposition, bordering on conspiracy theory.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 5 Jan 2019, 12:09pm
by horizon
pete75 wrote:
You've not much idea of what you're talking about nor, I suspect, much experience of it. Much of what you say is supposition, bordering on conspiracy theory.


That's a bit harsh. I'm not saying anything very original - it's all out there. It's a political point of view based on what people see going on around them. We're only talking about Carillion, public sector contracts and such like - I'm only echoing what others say. Personally I'm not a great user of the NHS but it's the kind of thing people claim that is being done to it. Surely?

This took under 5 seconds to find:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... avid-davis

And I'm not even too worried about it!

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 5 Jan 2019, 12:22pm
by pete75
horizon wrote:
pete75 wrote:
You've not much idea of what you're talking about nor, I suspect, much experience of it. Much of what you say is supposition, bordering on conspiracy theory.


That's a bit harsh. I'm not saying anything very original - it's all out there. It's a political point of view based on what people see going on around them. We're only talking about Carillion, public sector contracts and such like - I'm only echoing what others say. Personally I'm not a great user of the NHS but it's the kind of thing people claim that is being done to it. Surely?

This took under 5 seconds to find:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... avid-davis

And I'm not even too worried about it!


My experience is of buying IT systems in local government and what you describe certainly didn't go on with us despite the spending of millions of pounds. It may well happen in some cases but to claim, as you did, that it happens in all is fantasy.

As you say it's a political viewpoint - since when did these need much of a factual basis.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 5 Jan 2019, 12:45pm
by horizon
pete75 wrote:
My experience is of buying IT systems in local government and what you describe certainly didn't go on with us despite the spending of millions of pounds.


What goes on in individual firms and in the letting of contracts can all be not only perfectly above board but excellent in all respects, carried out by dedicated, hard working, honest people. The issue lies in creating the right political environment for these contracts to happen. I lived right through compulsory competitive tendering in the housing world through the dying days of Mrs Thatcher and John Major. Never did I come across a corrupt or dishonest individual but I did meet plenty of first rate housing professionals angry that the door had been opened to the private sector (for better or worse) to make money out of social housing. Here in Cornwall, lots of people campaigned against the new incinerator and complained that their voluntary voice couldn't be heard above the (legal and honest) slick presentations and paid-for lobbying of the waste firms. The result is as far as we know, a well-run incinerator; but how we got there is open to arguments about recycling, local initiatives, waste avoidance, small scale etc.

But I stress again that I really thought I was saying nothing new and that this is all common (political) knowledge.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 1:50pm
by pete75
horizon wrote:
pete75 wrote:
My experience is of buying IT systems in local government and what you describe certainly didn't go on with us despite the spending of millions of pounds.


What goes on in individual firms and in the letting of contracts can all be not only perfectly above board but excellent in all respects, carried out by dedicated, hard working, honest people. The issue lies in creating the right political environment for these contracts to happen. I lived right through compulsory competitive tendering in the housing world through the dying days of Mrs Thatcher and John Major. Never did I come across a corrupt or dishonest individual but I did meet plenty of first rate housing professionals angry that the door had been opened to the private sector (for better or worse) to make money out of social housing. Here in Cornwall, lots of people campaigned against the new incinerator and complained that their voluntary voice couldn't be heard above the (legal and honest) slick presentations and paid-for lobbying of the waste firms. The result is as far as we know, a well-run incinerator; but how we got there is open to arguments about recycling, local initiatives, waste avoidance, small scale etc.

But I stress again that I really thought I was saying nothing new and that this is all common (political) knowledge.


When CCT was happening for housing management the private sector wasn't much involved. If the in house team didn't win the contract generally went to an HA. I certainly don't regard them as private sector. We were in the first tranche for CCT and our internal bid won the management contract an dour DLO won the maintenance contract.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 3:37pm
by Flinders
From my observations is depends a lot on the LA, and whether the matter in question is an executive or political decision. Round here, someone I know got PP for an extension. He mentioned it in the pub, and someone said 'I didn't know you were on the council'. He wasn't, but the person saying it wasn't trying to be funny or make a point. He was simply making a comment he thought was completely innocent, working on years of observation of how it works round here. People just accept that's how it works.

IIRC a prominent councillor I heard about 'forgot' to mention that he was a company sec. of a company or two involved in a council decision he participated in, which curiously enough went their way. If you believe that someone can forget who they work for, there is a bridge I have going cheap. A planning decision round here recently was so outrageous I have been unable to work out what, other than undue influence, could have been the cause. It might of course be innocent, but I cannot see how on my own observations, and can see some very iffy indicators re those involved.

I don't think permanent staff are usually bent, but I don't trust actual politicians at all.

Someone with a name similar to one mentioned not a million miles from here gave (literally) millions to the tories. He then got a knighthood. May of course be totally unconnected, but if you really think those things are not connected, you must have a beautiful nature. I also may have another bridge available.

My view is that party donations should be banned from companies, and should only be allowed from individuals eligible to vote, living in the UK for tax purposes, and donations should be limited per year to what someone on minimum wage for a standard working week could reasonably afford to spare.

Re: Grayling is derailing and failing in seamanship

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 4:15pm
by Canuk
I take issue with the statement 'Britain is one of the least corrupt nations in the world'. This is clearly rose tinted spectacles territory. My personal business experience of this would contradict that. Even on a purely personal level, having contractors and builders work for us in the uk, almost all of them are willing to forego any sort of paperwork and accept cash payments to avoid tax.

I very much doubt the uk is any more 'legit' than Spain or Italy in this respect. You might like to believe its so, but there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary.