Tag Archives: driver

Latest feared Brexit-related shortage is of GRITTER DRIVERS. Good luck on the roads this winter!

We’ve had shortages of fruit and veg harvesters in farms, and are now seeing shortages of butchers and abattoir workers.

We’ve had shortages of nurses for years.

Our transport infrastructure is already suffering because of the shortage of hauliers, and now it is about to take a second hit because…

Local councils are saying they cannot pay drivers as much as haulage firms, meaning there won’t be any gritter lorries de-icing our highways during the winter:

This could bring the UK to a total standstill – and in the depths of winter, when we’ll need food and supplies that allow us to heat our homes more than ever.

Of course, the reason councils can’t afford to pay gritter drivers is simply that the government doesn’t pay them enough grant money to be able to afford the new going rates. Any resulting tragedies must then be laid at Boris Johnson’s door.

According to Sky News:

Transport spokesman David Renard added: “While most councils have been able to keep services running, some may find that their gritting services are affected in the same way that some have seen waste collection services impacted.”

Although he stressed that councils will be trying to plan ahead to ensure their winter services are resilient, he warned additional training for this on-demand sector will “not alleviate the short-term pressure on frontline services”.

Given these courses take up to 16 weeks to complete, trained drivers won’t be hitting the roads before Christmas – fuelling fears that shortages could overshadow this year’s festivities.

Mr Renard said: “Fast-inflating HGV driver salaries in the private sector risks exacerbating issues in the public sector, with the rises potentially creating a retention as well as a recruitment problem for councils and their contractors.”

It should be remembered that the government has tried to lure drivers back from the EU with a temporary HGV visa scheme.

However – and possibly because they remember being stuck in a Kent car park over last Christmas, with no toilet or washing facilities – very few drivers have taken up the offer. Very few:

This Writer saw a suggestion on the social media that even those 27 applications were not, in fact applicable.

The suggestion was that they were test applications relevant to each EU member state, made to ensure that the system was working properly!

And, of course, the Tories are also running into “sauce for the goose” arguments:

Yes indeed – and we know that the government can’t blame poor pay and conditions for nurses on anybody else. It is therefore hypocritical of Johnson and his cronies to berate haulage firms over low pay when their derisory pay rise for NHS staff has now been translated into a pay cut by new conditions that their political choices have created.

All we can do now is hope for a mild winter.

If we get ice, there will be death on the roads – because of Boris Johnson and his godawful Brexit.

Worse still, the knock-on effect could bring death to our homes – and, depending on how often we all check on our neighbours, it could be weeks or months before we even know the total death toll.

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Don’t bus drivers have enough to do without policing the police?

Police: who knows how many more are like Wayne Couzens? But don’t worry! Bus drivers will keep us safe from them! … Does anybody else think there might be a problem with that logic?

Let’s get this straight:

The Metropolitan Police is telling us it won’t take steps to ensure that the people we employ to prevent and detect crime won’t actually commit crimes and/or hide the evidence.

Instead it wants women who don’t trust a male officer to “wave down a bus” and get help from the driver.

What if there aren’t any buses nearby?

What if the driver is also female?

What if the driver is arrested? Pepper-sprayed? Tasered? Who would see any passengers to their destinations?

Other advice urges women to run into a house. Full of strangers? That could lead to misunderstandings, at the very least. And if pursued by the police officer, events could get very messy, very quickly.

Alternatively, it is suggested that women could phone 999. But would a misbehaving police officer really let them?

What if the police officer is carrying out his duty? Then, the bus driver or householder, or whoever, would be open to prosecution for resisting arrest, or obstructing a police officer in the course of his duty, through no fault of their own.

Meanwhile the Met has announced absolutely no plans to change its own recruitment/vetting procedures in order to avoid employing individuals who represent a danger to others.

This is while the same police service is investigating 16 other serving officers who may have committed offences.

And that’s under the leadership of a woman whose own tenure at the top has been extended for two years by the woman in charge of the Home Office.

And what about officers in other forces?

I remember an incident many years ago, when I had a migraine late at night. Unable to sleep, I went out for a walk, thinking some fresh air might help me out. Inevitably, a police car passed by and two men got out.

“Excuse me! May we ask what you’re doing out at this time of night?”

“I’m trying to walk off a migraine.”

“May we ask who you are?”

“I’m the editor of the Brecon and Radnor Express.”

“Right you are. We’ll let you get on your way.”

What if I had been a woman – and not a senior employee of the local newspaper?

Well, I wonder. And I know that’s probably doing a disservice to the officers concerned.

The Couzens case has harmed perception of more than just Metropolitan police officers.

And it isn’t about to go away. Consider these responses to the latest idiocy from Cressida Dick’s office:

There’s also this:

And look at this:

It is more than 100 years since those events and even now – with a woman at the top of the Met and a woman running the Home Office, are we really being told that nobody can be bothered to put a stop to this?

Source: Fury at under-fire Met Police over ‘derisory’ advice to women to ‘wave down a BUS’ | Daily Mail Online

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‘Unpopular’ Johnson to fight shortages with temp EU driver scheme – with too few places

Empty shelves: Boris Johnson created the shortages with his stupid Brexit – as this satirical image makes clear. Now he’s scrambling to find short-term solutions because he’s upset that the backlash is harming his popularity.

Boris Johnson’s idiocy has painted him into a corner so tight that his only choices make him look even more blindingly daft.

His Brexit stopped EU haulage drivers from working in the United Kingdom and this led to a worsening of the shortage the country was already facing.

Johnson refused to put HGV drivers on the list of those who would be allowed to work in the UK, saying that the country (in fact, only a quarter of current UK citizens) had voted to end freedom of movement.

How true those words became!

Now we have no freedom to move groceries…

No freedom to move other goods…

And because fuel tankers aren’t reaching filling stations, no freedom to move at all. On this, Johnson’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, tried to assure motorists that there was no crisis – and they ignored him, sparking mass-hysteria panic-buying.

This response from the public indicates that the population at large has no confidence in government claims.

That’s what happens when a prime minister lies constantly – and leads a government of liars.

Now, Johnson is planning a U-turn, saying he will put EU drivers on the visa scheme allowing them to work in the UK.

So he is making a liar of himself – again.

And he is saying the scheme will be restricted to 5,000 drivers – nothing near the 100,000 who are needed.

If he’s saying this will be enough, he’s making a double liar of himself.

That’s according to haulage bosses:

Toby Ovens, managing director of Broughton Transport Solutions, said he is not convinced a temporary visa scheme will solve the current shortage of HGV drivers.

This is just another Tory bid to hoodwink us.

Johnson is saying what he thinks will calm us down: “All is well. We are solving the problem. Go home. Go back to sleep.” That sort of thing.

He’s just looking for short-term relief from the pressure this situation has created – not on the UK’s transport infrastructure, but on him.

He doesn’t like the fact that people are – rightly – blaming him for a crisis that would not have happened if he had not insisted on forcing on us all a Brexit deal that he had not even read.

And This Writer doesn’t think for a moment that it will do him any good.

Because we know we can’t trust him and his promises are worthless.

Source: Temporary visas for 5,000 foreign lorry drivers will NOT solve supply crisis, haulage boss warns  | Daily Mail Online

Government will relieve HGV driver shortage by removing ‘reversing’ element. Idiotic

Tempting fate: this is what happened when an HGV driver tried reversing in a Welsh country road. Expect many more such incidents after the Tory changes to HGV driver tests take effect.

The UK’s stupid Tory government has promised to increase the number of HGV driving tests available in order to relieve the current driver shortage – by eliminating a vital element in which drivers must show they can reverse the vehicle.

This Writer knows how valuable the ability to reverse properly is, because I have reported on what happens when it goes wrong.

Very early in my career I reported on an inquest into the death of a man after an HGV reversed into him. I won’t go into the details because they are distressing.

So I am looking forward to the Conservative government guidance that shows how HGV drivers will be able to avoid reversing in the future.

Also eliminated are the “uncoupling and recoupling” element for vehicles with trailers.

The government says these parts of the test take a long time so it’s better not to bother. They’ll do it later… maybe.

Why not do it straight away, at the test that shows drivers are qualified to do it? I don’t believe what these ministers and civil servants are saying.

In addition, car drivers who want to tow a trailer or caravan won’t need to take a test, freeing up a further 30,000 more HGV tests.

The new legislation to make these changes legal is being pushed through by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT says the move won’t affect the standard of driving required in order to drive an HGV, while car owners are being encouraged to undertake extra training in order to tow trailers and caravans.

Huh?

If car drivers will need extra training to tow trailers and caravans, then they won’t be qualified to do it… and that implies that the parts removed from HGV tests are also vital. Doesn’t it?

That’s what I’m seeing on the social media:

I suggest a new general election slogan for, well, any party, really:

Keep death off the roads! DON’T VOTE CONSERVATIVE!

Source: Government promises 50,000 HGV tests a year and relaxes car towing rules – Car Dealer Magazine

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News media accept supermarket food shortages are due to Brexit – contrary to Johnson’s propaganda

Lorries without drivers: news outlets are finally admitting the shortage is due to Brexit. Boris Johnson won’t like that!

This is an important admission from The Independent, although it lags a considerable time behind some of us in the social media.

The newspaper’s article Brexit food shortages could ‘cancel Christmas’ and last into 2022 acknowledges – in its headline – that Brexit is responsible for the emptying of your local supermarket’s shelves – not Covid-19.

It states:

Britain’s post-Brexit supply chain crisis could “cancel Christmas” and continue to cause food shortages well into 2022, industry leaders have warned.

Boris Johnson’s government has been urged to ease immigration rules so some EU citizens who left the UK during Brexit can return and help fill major gaps in the workforce.

McDonald’s had run out of milkshakes, [and] chicken shortages caused Nando’s to temporarily shut 50 stores last week because of supply problems linked to Brexit.

The RHA [Road Haulage Association] estimates that up to 20,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers from the EU left during Brexit.

Tom Southall, policy officer at the Cold Chain Federation, said Brexit was partly to blame for recruitment problems across the food sector – predicting that it would be 2022 before the nation begins to get to grips with the backlog of vacancies for drivers, pickers and processors.

Norfolk food firm Alfred G Pearce, which grows and processes vegetables, is also struggling with labour shortages, having seen its workforce reduced 20 per cent to 30 per cent down after EU employees returned home during the Brexit process.

Bryan Roberts, retail analyst at Shopfloor Insights, said it would take time to train new workers, even with a major recruitment drive. “Sadly I think things are only going to get worse in the run-up to Christmas and we’ve got a whole load more regulations coming in from Brexit in October,” he said.

Other news media have caught on and are starting to say the same:

It seems people in the UK are finally turning the corner and realising that the way to conquer our differences with the EU was to remain a member state and argue for change (in a rational way, not a David Cameron do-as-I-say-or-I’ll-have-a-strop ultimatum) and not to walk out and end all the trade agreements and border deals we had in our favour.

Of course, the shortage of lorry drivers would be over if Boris Johnson and his Tories would only make two decisions: first, they could swallow their misplaced pride and bring in drivers from the EU to cover the current shortfall; second, they should raise pay rates above subsistence level – otherwise there would be no reason for anybody to help out at all.

Some employers have seen the light and raised wages unilaterally…

… but Johnson and his gang won’t impose these changes nationally because they themselves are not suffering. They don’t care about you and they never did.

So you see now that Brexit was created to engineer the very shortages you are experiencing today, deliberately, by Johnson and his Brexiteer Tories.

Source: Brexit food shortages could ‘cancel Christmas’ and last into 2022, says industry | The Independent

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Racist Tories indicate they’d rather have criminals driving our lorries than foreigners

I’m not happy with this.

It seems Boris Johnson’s government is thinking of letting convicted criminals – who are serving prison sentences – deliver lorry loads of goods to ease the driver shortage caused by Brexit (not Covid-19).

The option was tabled by the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, which is apparently meeting with HM Prison Service this week (although I don’t know why. Most of the prisons are run by private companies these days, aren’t they?) to ask for lorry drivers to be prioritised on the Release on Temporary Licence (ROFL* ROTL) scheme.

The meeting comes after Nando’s had to close 45 fast food joints due to a shortage of chickens. In related news, McDonalds recently ran out of milkshakes.

And of course the nation is running out of patience.

But that didn’t stop ministers rejecting calls for temporary work visas to be handed to drivers from the European Union after overtures were made to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

The response was clear – and clearly racist: “The British people repeatedly voted to end free movement and take back control of our immigration system and employers should invest in our domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad.”

In other words: “We don’t want Johnny Foreigner coming over here and helping us out of a problem we created because of our racism against him! We’d rather cut off our noses to spite our faces!

The statement continued: “We recently announced a package of measures to help tackle the HGV driver shortage, including plans to streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV licence and to increase the number of tests able to be conducted.”

In other words, new drivers will be trained to a lower standard, and tests will be of a lower quality, in order to put more drivers on our streets. And bring more death to our roads?

The alternative is the use of prisoners. You can read about it here and here.

Owain Gardner (below) makes some good points about it:

And so does Richard Murphy:

We’re coming to a point where we don’t mind who we trust to deliver our food – or what condition it may be in when it arrives. That’s why I don’t think such a scheme will work.

Which prisoners would the government allow to be used? What crimes would the government deem to be harmless enough to allow them to deliver food to us? How would they be supervised?

My guess is that the answers to these three questions are: any, all, and not at all.

And that creates a danger to us. It only takes one con with a chip on his shoulder to cause all kinds of problems. I’m sure I can leave the consequences to your imagination.

Oh, I’m exaggerating; overdramatising. Sure.

But we have prisons to stop dangerous people from doing dangerous things. This scheme will give them free rein to do it.

And I’m only wrong about this until something happens to prove me right.

*ROFL is of course an Internet acronym meaning “Rolling On the Floor Laughing”. I mention it because of its similarity to ROTL, and also to connect with Keir Starmer’s howler at his latest relaunch of his party leadership, in which he used the slogan “Winning The Future” (WTF). You’re probably aware that WTF is Internet-speak for “What The F***”.

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News-hacks take note: Army ‘on standby’ to deliver food after BREXIT drained UK of lorry drivers

At least Metro couched its reporting of the government-sponsored lie by saying the crisis caused by the lack of lorry drivers “is thought to have been exacerbated by the so-called ‘pingdemic'”.

We know the shortage of lorry drivers has little to do with the government’s Covid-19 warning app on mobile phones, though, don’t we?

It happened because of Brexit; the drivers have all been sent back to the EU nations where they were born.

And now the army has been put on standby to deliver supplies to supermarkets.

That’s 2,000 qualified HGV drivers to make up an expected shortfall of 100,000. Does that seem realistic to you?

We all know the truth, and we’re all saying more or less the same thing:

There is one conclusion to be drawn from this story.

It is that Metro is written by stenographers for government propagandists, rather than by proper reporters.

That’s not my opinion; it’s that of Ian Leslie in The Critic, who wrote the words quoted here:

“Journalists check our stories about what’s going on against the facts and give us different, more truthful angles.”

That certainly doesn’t seem to have happened here! A caveat that the problem “is thought to have been” due to the ‘pingdemic’ doesn’t cut any ice.

Aren’t we lucky to have journalism like that of Vox Political, here on the social media! And what a shame most people are too busy reading Metro to even give it a glance.

Here’s a thought:

Why not share this article with your friends, to show them what they’re missing?

Source: Army ‘on standby’ to deliver food amid shortage of lorry drivers | Metro News

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This is how supermarkets should explain the Brexit-created supply shortage to customers

If only supermarkets explained the facts to their customers, like this:

Personally, I could live without the swearing but it makes the point well.

The strongest point is the comment about the cause of the empty shelves.

We know there’s a driver shortage which the Tory government is trying to blame on Covid-19-related illnesses – although I notice there’s no attempt to tell us why all the drivers are supposed to have suddenly become ill at the same time.

In fact, the missing drivers have all been sent packing back to their EU countries of origin because the Tory government demanded it after the UK left the EU.

So the caption that reads,

Brexit caused this – All other COVID affected countries have plenty of stock

is particularly effective and accurate.

Why don’t supermarkets do this for real (I get the impression that this is just a satirical mock-up)?

They’re probably afraid customers will take offence at having to face the facts of their own stupidity – and shop somewhere else.

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Changes to ‘blue badge’ mean disabled drivers may be fined in EU countries

No longer valid: New versions of the disabled drivers’ ‘blue badge’ have had the EU artwork removed – but users have yet to be told where it will still be accepted.

Disabled drivers using their ‘blue badge’ in foreign countries after Brexit may find themselves hit with a parking fine – because the Tory government hasn’t told them where it is still valid.

The Tory government has changed the layout of the blue badge, removing the EU symbols – but using nine foreign languages to make it appear to be still valid abroad.

But in fact this will vary from country to country.

The details are available in David Hencke’s article (see the link below).

As a disabled person, Mrs Mike has a ‘blue badge’ – but I know that she has not been informed of any changes to its validity in EU countries.

And while it is unlikely that we will go driving in foreign countries any time soon, the government’s failure to notify us of expected changes is an act of extreme bad faith.

It isn’t quite as bad as a lie – but it might as well be.

The Government has sneakily already decided that Britain has left the EU as far as 2.35 million disabled blue badge holders are concerned.

My new card for my wife issued this week has been stripped of its EU symbols even before we have left the EU. It appears to reassure people by using nine foreign languages to describe it as a disabled parking card.

But investigating the real position of disabled driving post a “No Deal” Brexit this is totally misleading and could easily end up with holiday makers being fined in some European countries for illegal parking.

At present as a member of the EU all UK blue badge holders can get concessionary parking in virtually all European countries. If they hire a car they can take the blue badge with them as it is not tied to a particular vehicle.

Once Britain leaves with a No Deal using this card will vary from country to country.

Source: Ministers pre-empt Brexit by changing disabled drivers blue badges putting holidaymakers at risk of parking fines | Westminster Confidential

If only the British treated disabled people with the respect of this Paris bus driver

It has long been a stereotype that the British consider themselves polite and considerate, in contrast to the French – who are characterised as the opposite.

But a Parisian bus driver has put both his own people and many Brits to shame with his response to passengers’ indifference when a wheelchair user tried to board his bus.

Scandalised by their attitude, he cleared the vehicle. Rather than allowing one disabled person to be left behind while the able-bodied rode in comfort, he made sure the wheelchair-user had the entire bus to himself.

If only British service-providers displayed the same sentiment!

It seems to This Writer that attitudes towards those with long-term illnesses and disabilities might buck up sharpish if the general public knew they would be penalised for any lack of consideration.

Even though that would be an improvement, the situation is still a source of sadness.

Care for those who are less able to manage should be a part of our nature.

Perhaps we have been brainwashed by the example of our leaders, who seem to believe that they are somehow better than the rest of us because they have the privileges of wealth and inheritance.

But a society that believes such simple courtesy undesirable – like the selfish creed of the Conservatives – is utterly worthless.

A French driver has been praised for kicking every single passenger off his bus after they failed to make room for a man in a wheelchair.

Francois Le Berre, who has multiple sclerosis, was waiting to get on a bus in a Paris suburb, but none of the passengers would move to allow him space.

The bus driver, who has not been named, noticed the problem and took the unprecedented step of asking every single passenger to leave the bus.

He then allowed Mr Le Berre to come on board and drove off with him as the sole passenger.

A tweet describing the incident was shared by a group called “Accessible Pour Tous” – which translates as ‘accessible for all’ on behalf of Mr Le Berre.

It has been shared more than 5,000 times and ‘liked’ by more than 10,000 people, with many congratulating the bus driver and criticising the passengers who failed to move.

Source: Paris bus driver hailed a hero for kicking off ALL passengers after they refused to make room for wheelchair user | London Evening Standard

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