Tag Archives: supply

With all eyes on Gaza, what’s happening in Ukraine?

Airstrike: the smoking ruin in the middle of the image used to be the Russian landing ship Novocherkassk.

Has everybody forgotten the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

The tide has turned badly against Ukraine in recent weeks, despite similar events to those occurring on the Mediterranean coast:

But Ukraine has just recorded a major strike back, destroying Russia’s Novocherkassk landing ship, meaning one-fifth of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been sunk since the start of the war.

Russia’s ability to launch missile attacks from the sea is now seriously diminished, as is any possibility of an amphibious attack from the sea.

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Russian supply routes to the Crimean peninsula are disrupted, weakening Moscow’s grip there.

And with supply lines disrupted, Russia’s control over the front lines against Ukraine may also be disrupted.

But this is a long game, and Ukraine’s time is running out – because the western powers that have been funding its defence are getting impatient for a return on their investment, and may abandon their debtor.

With most eyes now fixed on Gaza, Ukraine may discover what we have already seen in Palestine – that western sympathy is provided only on the condition that it will provide a cash return, and has nothing to do with alleviating human suffering.


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The privatised water firms’ latest scam: cut off your supply

Clean water: only a few days ago, this site stated: “Enjoy the photograph. Soon the only clean water you’ll see will be in images like this.” How true that was.

This is a sick joke:

Much of England is at risk of severe water stress by the 2030s if action is not taken to improve consumption and efficiency, new analysis has shown.

Data from water companies and the Environment Agency suggests that 12 out of 17 English regions will face severe water stress in the next two decades.

This includes almost the entirety of the South of England and the Midlands with demand expected to exceed supply.

At the moment, no region in England currently faces water stress

Oh no?

People in West Sussex might disagree with that. Read this:

Hundreds of Southern Water customers across Horsham and Chichester Districts were left with ‘no water’ following a ‘failure’ at one of the company’s supply works on Sunday, May 14.

Southern Water said the issue was caused by a failure at Hardham Water Supply Works.

So it seems Southern Water has not been efficient and its service failed as a result.

Is this a result of the long-term, profit-driven under-investment in the water supply infrastructure that people like Feargal Sharkey have been highlighting – with increasing success – over the last few (let’s be honest) decades?

There is no incentive that can induce the water companies to improve their infrastructure – either for supply or for the processing of raw sewage. Regarding the latter, we know these firms are happy to pay millions of pounds in fines while paying tens of millions to their shareholders:

The only answer is to re-nationalise. The public purse is paying for “sticking-plaster” repairs to the damage anyway.

There’s just one problem:

Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have any intention to allow the water companies to be brought back into public ownership.


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Food banks will start turning people away as demand outstrips supply

Food bank: this image was taken a few years ago – now they’re struggling to fill the shelves, and considering turning away visitors.

That’s that, then: no doubt the Tories will be delighted that they have finally overloaded destitute Britons’ last hope.

The food bank network has stated categorically that stratospheric energy bills and rocketing inflation are putting “unsustainable” demand on them – and they are going to have to start turning people away.

Those people will starve.

Food banks have already seen a ‘dramatic’ surge in people needing them since April – when the energy price cap shot up 54%.

This has been made even more disastrous by the fact they are also seeing a decrease in donations.

One in five providers say they have already resorted to making their parcels smaller.

A fall in donations is entirely consistent with the situation: the rich who can ride out the current crisis aren’t going to donate to help the poor – and those on middle-incomes who normally do are suddenly facing poverty themselves.

The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan UK) has appealed to the Tory government for “urgent, cash-first interventions” – which This Writer predicts will do about as much good as spitting into the wind.

Source: Food banks are unsustainable and will have to ‘turn people away this winter’

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Boris Johnson’s failures: he PRETENDED to launch taskforce tackling cost of living crisis

Empty shelves in the supermarket: this has become a common sight during Boris Johnson’s premiership. He said he had set up a taskforce to resolve supply-chain problems – but dissolved it within a month and it may never have met.

Boris Johnson wants to divert public attention away from his persistent dishonesty (and now his lawbreaking as well) by saying he’s concentrating on the priorities of the British people – but it seems this is just another lie.

The main priority facing us is rising prices – a crisis created entirely by Boris Johnson in his determination to ram Brexit down our collective throats, along with all the red tape, increased costs and transport difficulties that have been part and parcel of it.

He claimed to have created a “taskforce” to handle the so-called “supply chain” problems.

But we have since learned that this alleged organisation was abolished just days after Johnson announced it.

It may not have met even once.

In response to a parliamentary question from Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner in March this year, Michael Ellis, the current Cabinet Office minister, was forced to admit that the National Economic Recovery Taskforce (Logistics), announced on 14 September 2021, no longer existed.

“When the prime minister’s cabinet committee structures were refreshed, gov.uk was updated in October 2021 and this no longer included the National Economic Taskforce (Logistics),” he said.

Responding to a separate question, Mr Ellis declined to comment on whether the logistics taskforce had met “at least once” before it was removed from the list of cabinet committees.

Ms Rayner told The Independent this amounted to evidence that the government was “unprepared for the problems facing our country, which will only make the cost of living crisis worse.

“Now they’ve been caught creating a fake taskforce to hide the fact that they don’t have a plan to protect supply chains and ease the travel disruption Brits are experiencing.”

This is how Boris Johnson concentrates on the priorities of the British people. He pays lip-service to our problems – and then ignores them while he runs away… to another party, or whatever else he wants for himself.

Source: Boris Johnson’s supply chain ‘taskforce’ was abolished days after being announced, government admits

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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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Will people realise the food shortages they suffer in January are due to Brexit?

Grant Shapps: he’s telling us supply chains will remain open after Brexit-imposed border restrictions are imposed from January 1. But he’s the guy who said it was perfectly safe to go back to work, while remaining safe at home himself.

Wasn’t it a stroke of genius to stagger the date the UK leaves the EU and the date any changes to our relationship take effect, so people don’t recognise the connection?

Clearly Boris Johnson wasn’t behind it. We can all agree that a yoghurt has more intelligence than the prime muppet.

So the UK is no longer a member of the European Union at the time of writing – but the Tory government still needs to make preparation for border controls that must be imposed from January 1.

And that isn’t happening.

Rod McKenzie, from the Road Haulage Association, said the government should “act now before it’s too late”.

Mr McKenzie told BBC News: “It is a real case of the government sleepwalking to a disaster with the border preparations that we have, whether it is a deal or no-deal Brexit at the end of December.

“The supply chain on which we are all dependent to get the things we need could be disrupted and there is a lack of government focus and action on this.”

He added: “When we are trying to emerge from the crisis of covid, if we then plunge straight into a Brexit-related crisis, that will be a really difficult moment and we need real pace.

“The difference here is between a disaster area and a disaster area with rocket boosters on.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is busy fitting the rocket boosters to this disaster area.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he “could not pre-empt the outcome” of trade talks with the EU, which he conceded created “some uncertainty”.

But, he said the government had kept supply changes going [I think he means “routes open”] throughout the pandemic and “we are absolutely confident we will do that again in the future”.

Let’s take a moment to remember that the Tory government was unable to supply personal protective equipment during the pandemic, meaning many doctors and nurses died of Covid-19 and Covid-related conditions.

The Tory government was unable to supply respirators during the pandemic, meaning tens of thousands of UK citizens died of Covid-19 and Covid-related conditions.

The government did not keep supply routes open – in fact, there is evidence that the Tories consciously shut them down.

And now Grant Shapps wants us to believe in his pie-in-the-sky promise that everything will be fine.

I don’t buy it. And that’s not all that you won’t be buying from January onwards, if your MPs don’t get their fingers out of their collective rear ends.

Source: Brexit: UK ‘sleepwalking into disaster’ over border plans, hauliers warn – BBC News

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NHS coronavirus PPE supply ‘severely undermined’ by private firms

Yet again: another chance to see this image of the rubbish PPE attempts in UK hospitals.

This Site reported that the privatisation of PPE supplies was a serious problem, weeks ago.

Vox Political is vindicated yet again.

It is alleged that a “dysfunctional” supply chain process and the production of essential PPE by private firms is behind the recent “fiasco” of hospitals not receiving enough protective kit.

Authors We Own It, a group of campaigners protesting privatisation of public services, and the Public Services International Research Unit at the University of Greenwich say that part-privatisation of NHS Supply Chain – the government organisation that oversees the supply of goods to health bodies – is leading to inefficiencies in the health service’s coronavirus response.

They also say more than 11 private suppliers provide medical equipment to hospitals.

In the case of PPE, they reported that parcel delivery company DHL led the procurement process for suppliers and private logistics firms who then provided hospitals with the medical items, removing civil servants from the process.

The report, named Privatised and Unprepared: The NHS Supply Chains, also blamed what it called “just in time” business models used by private companies like logistics business Unipart for the run down of PPE supplies. It alleges that this system encourages the reduction of stock.

Researchers argue that this creates a risk for the NHS that sufficient supplies are not available to manage unforeseen events, such as the current epidemic.

They also say the system’s part-privatisation made it “fundamentally dysfunctional”.

Source: NHS coronavirus PPE supply ‘severely undermined’ by private contractors, a report claims | The New European

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Tory government’s wish to avoid embarrassment on Personal Protective Equipment puts us all in danger

Why is the government dragging its feet so badly on the provision of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to NHS workers? Do the Tories have some psychotic desire to watch us all die of the coronavirus?

This is a government that was told – years ago – that the UK’s health service would be unable to cope with a pandemic virus infection without plentiful supplies of protective equipment for health workers… and decided that such an investment was too expensive.

And now:

Also:

NHS workers are crying out for proper equipment because the lack of it is putting them in danger – and if they’ve got the virus themselves, they can’t treat anybody. Consider this:

Doctors and nurses can’t have the equipment because it simply isn’t there:

The NHS procurement chief mentioned above was Alan Hoskins, whose tweet on Sunday, which has since been deleted, said: “What a day, no gowns NHS Supply Chain. Rang every number escalated to NHS England, just got message back — no stock, can’t help, can send you a PPE pack. Losing the will to live, god help us all.”

It’s possible that the tweet was deleted under duress, as it seems doctors have been warned not to make any comments about shortages on social media, as well as avoiding talking to journalists, and NHS England has taken over media operations for many hospitals and health trusts in order to ensure that they all stay “on message”.

Some doctors claimed managers had threatened their careers if they breathed a word of how bad the situation really was:

This part is grimly amusing: “NHS England confirmed it was controlling media communications, which it said was part of its national emergency incident planning to ensure the public received “clear and consistent information”. Notice that nothing is said about that information being factually accurate!

But why aren’t NHS workers getting the protective equipment they need?

It’s a good question, considering the manufacturers have been desperate to provide it, but haven’t been able to even start making them until the government put in an order – and the government did nothing but stall for a prolonged period of time:

https://twitter.com/ScouseGirlMedia/status/1244347321875410959

Fashion and textile firms said they could have begun making gowns and masks for frontline workers on March 19.

The government, meanwhile, has been insisting that everything is all right – creating something of a credibility gap:

Trade group Make It British said factories had been receiving calls from individual hospitals, begging them to send anything they could provide.

A spokesperson said she believes the government does not have the expertise it needs to source the products from UK firms because it is so used to importing goods from overseas.

So This Writer would suggest that the government has been hiding the fact in order to prevent embarrassment for ministers.

And that leads me to the big question:

Which is more important – saving lives or saving Tory ministers’ blushes?

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‘Food supplies minister’ appointed to ensure Tory caviar supplies go uninterrupted


If everything is under control, why have the Tories appointed a minister to try to safeguard food supplies from abroad?

And when they talk about safeguarding supplies, we need to ask: For whom?

My fear is that they won’t care a scrap for the businesses that could go under if there’s just a tiny delay at the borders…

They want to ensure they have a supply of caviar and don’t care if the rest of us end up eating grass.

The government has appointed a minister to oversee the protection of food supplies through the Brexit process amid rising concerns about the effect of a no-deal departure from the European Union.

The MP David Rutley, a former Asda and PepsiCo executive, was handed the brief at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs earlier this month.

Defra said that Rutley, who once ran home shopping and e-commerce businesses at Asda, was merely taking on responsibilities already held by other ministers. He said: “It is an honour to join the Defra ministerial team at such an important time. I am determined to ensure that we fully realise the opportunities of leaving the EU.”

Food industry insiders welcomed his appointment after warnings that delays of only half an hour at UK ports and the Irish border would risk one in 10 British firms going bankrupt.

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So many different groups say Tory-DUP deal breaches the rules – why don’t they team up?

The confidence and supply agreement signed in Downing Street between the DUP and the Conservatives [Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA].

We have already heard – several times – concerns that the deal between the Conservative Party and the DUP breaches power-sharing agreements in Northern Ireland.

Now it seems the deal is questionable because spending commitments may breach equality duties.

The people behind these claims have launched separate challenges, it seems.

Why don’t they just get together and put the most forceful case possible?

It seems to This Writer that Conservatives are very handy at doing everything they can to cling to power, and they may use contradictory arguments to undermine separate challenges.

But that wouldn’t work if a single, unified challenge took place.

Or am I being too sensible?

The £1bn deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist party securing Theresa May’s parliamentary majority is being challenged on the grounds that the spending might breach equality duties.

An exchange of letters between the Treasury and a prominent Northern Ireland human rights group… has raised questions about whether the extra funding will be allocated on a non-partisan basis.

In July, shortly after the confidence and supply agreement was signed in Downing Street, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) in Belfast wrote to the government in London raising concerns about how the money would be allocated.

Fidelma O’Hagan, a solicitor with the CAJ, pointed out that the agreement implied that a “number of decisions have already been taken to earmark funding that have equality implications”.

Source: Tory-DUP £1bn deal may breach equality duties, says NI rights group | UK news | The Guardian


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