Friday, August 5, 2011

Tories Bombardier Decision Looking Compromised

(Story updated at foot of this report)
The Company The Tory Government Stabbed in the Back!
The Government's decision to hand the £1.4 billion contract for building train carriages to Siemens of Germany looks hopelessly flawed.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has tried to give several excuses for the decision from claiming
that EU competition laws had forced them to overlook UK-based company Bombardier to trying to blame the previous government.

One by one the Government's "excuses" have been exposed as feeble and untrue. Now contract experts have pointed out to the Tory Government that they could have legally taken into account the devastating impact that this action would have on the Derby workforce when making thier decisions. Mr Hammond and the prime minister David Cameron then tried another excuse and claimed the tendering process set up by  the former Labour Government couldn’t be undone - this is untrue.
Transport Minister Theresa Villiers has since admitted it was a money-saving exercise and that the German bid was cheaper now it has also been revealed that in fact this entire decision to award this contract to Siemens of Germany was allowed to be take by a junior minister! Was it really her decisions or was she pressurised and used as a scapegoat?

Also details of  how the Government  have spent £15 million on  *City*consultants to advise them on the contractual issues concerning the Bombardier contract was revealed in a series of parliamentary questions and written answers about the contract, before MPs broke up for their summer holidays. It cost the British taxpayer £15 million in consultancy fees for this company to tell us we must award the contract to the German company at the risk of the loss of 3.000 jobs! 

This Tory-led Government are already been accused of betraying other British workers over the government's decision to renege on a deal to loan Sheffield Forgemasters £80 million, a decision that saw that company lose vital orders to South Korea to supply parts that would have put the British company at the forefront of green nuclear technology. Now the Tory-led government are endangering other British workers by awarding a contract to Siemens of Germany in a deal that will virtually kill off Britain’s last train-maker.
Not only will 1,400 jobs lost at Bombardier but this number will be more than doubled by those culled in firms dependent on the company.
The  Government is now in an embarrassing position where they will now have to explain why they ignored giving British work to British workers and instead chose Siemens to make the carriages astonishingly when Siemens have now admitted that they do not even make the chassis that will provide the basis of the order!

Further, Theresa Villiers has already admitted this was a money-saving exercise and that the German bid was cheaper. Now the Government must explain why the bid will be cheaper and if it will be cheaper in both the medium and long term. Apparently Siemens say they will make the carriages for £2000 per carriage cheaper but is this including the chassis that Siemens cannot supply or not?
 Where will these chassis be manufactured if Siemens cannot make them, will this work have to be outsourced and if so to whom?
If thousands of workers lose their jobs with little hope of getting another in and around Derby, then how will this affect the economy in increased benefit payouts and a reduction in tax receipts? What impact will there be on the local economy that rely on Bombardier workers for their trade?

The RMT have now urged the public finances watchdog the National Audit Office to include the £13million plus VAT paid to advisers in its investigations into the contract debacle.

As more and more about this disgraceful act by the Tory government is revealed it shows the decision to award the German company the contract simply doesn’t add up and it must be reversed - immediately.

Questions need to be asked about this Government's competence, they seem incapable of doing anything from NHS reforms, welfare reforms, to awarding contracts and selling off our national heritage in industry and forestry without causing fear, concern and genuine anger and distress.

When Business Secretary Vince Cable visited the Derby factory, he offered little hope of intervention and just kept repeating the Government line - why send a minister that could not offer any explanation as to why this debacle has occurred?

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has insisted that he has no power to reverse the decision, despite a national outcry. This apparently is untrue, he can reverse this decision and he should reverse it - immediately. If Hammond and Cameron fail to reverse this decision then there a should be a public inquiry to get to the bottom of exactly what has gone on here.

Last month 10,000 workers and their families marched for a Government U-turn bringing Derby to a standstill. And just last week the Mirror newspaper revealed that Siemens had been mired by corruption scandals. It was barred for two years from bidding for contracts from the World Bank.

This is the company that our Government have awarded a contract to and in the process risking thousands of BRITISH jobs and all on the say so of a firm of consultants they paid almost £15 million.
Why did the government have to hire a *CITY* consultancy company to tell them where to award British jobs? It is an outrageous waste of taxpayers money. Everyone knows that the Tory party has become reliant on thier friends in the City and  is also heavily indebted to the City who have bankrolled the Tory party to the tune of around £12 million (at least).

I would like to know:

  1. What the name of this *City* consultancy company is?
  2. Has this company ever donated to the Tory party?
  3. Has Siemens ever donated funds to the Conservative party?
  4. Does any member of the cabinet associate with board members of Siemens?
  5. Why was a contract awarded to a company outside Britain when that company could not even make the chassis for the carriages that form the basis of this order?
  6. If Siemens do not make the chassis - who will?
  7. If another contractor is used to make the chassis, which country will they be manufactured in?
  8. How come Siemens were able to undercut Bombardier?
  9. Did Siemens know previously to tendering what the price of Bombardier carriages would be?
  10. If so, who told them?
  11. Was Theresa Villiers ever pressurised by her seniors when making this decision of where to award the contract?
There is something very odd about this whole debacle, I would say it needed investigating, however  the country's two top policemen have resigned and others in Cleveland have been suspended under suspicion of corruption.
The Government's decision in this contract now looks hopelessly compromised on several key points, the contract should be halted and a re-think ordered immediately.

The country is falling to bits, the economy is all but sunk, the government that awarded Siemens the contract are now sunning themselves abroad on luxury holidays. In barely 15 months this Tory government have managed to wreck the economy, wreck public services, cause mayhem in the NHS, cause chaos and confusion in education, cut police numbers by thousands, compel disabled people to live in fear and cause some to commit suicide and others to threaten to. Totally wreck the welfare system which now has people being made homeless because they do not earn enough money. They have cut funding to organisations that help people deal with their debt. They have cut funding to organisations which help the victims of domestic violence,They have started another war in Libya which we cannot win. they have used tactics of "divide and rule" where they have pitted person against person, neighbour against neighbour, causing ill-feeling and hostility between workers and neighbours where previously there was none and they have totally demonised public sector workers to the point where they get abused simply for working for the government. they have managed to cause teachers to strike, who have never taken industrial action before.

 I dread to think what position we will be in next year, this government is abusing its power and is truly out of its depth and extremely dangerous.

Just what is going on in this country? We seem to be rudderless and drifting from one government made catastrophe to another! Giving new and more critical meaning to the old saying -  "Same Old Tories"!

Welcome to Tory Britain in 2011 - things will only get worse!

Update 06th August, 2011.

Researching this murky Tory Government the way I do, delving into links and painstakingly following them through always makes me question everything *any* politician says, so when this Bombardier contract was awarded to Siemens of Germany, I knew there was likely to be some kind of "sinister ulterior motive" and it now appears I wasn't wrong. Thanks to the person who sent me this, it now sheds an altogether more "sinister" light on this whole affair.

A KEY figure in the investment company backing Siemens' bid for the £1.4bn Thameslink rail contract is also a close business adviser to David Cameron, it emerged last night.
Michael Queen is chief executive of 3i Group, whose subsidiary forms part of the consortium which was chosen by the Government ahead of Derby-based Bombardier for the train deal.

Michael Queen, chief executive of 3i, left, and Prime Minister David Cameron
 Mr Queen was a managing partner in the 3i group, with responsibility for investment and infrastructure, at the time the Thameslink tender process was under way.
And since last year he has been a member of the group of high-flying businessmen who advise David Cameron on economic policy.
But both Downing Street and 3i insist there has been no conflict of interest over Mr Queen's two roles.
It has also emerged 3i chairman Sir Adrian Montague has close links with Government, having been asked by Business Secretary Vince Cable to head efforts to set up the Coalition's Green Investment Bank.
The institution will eventually pay out funding to private-sector renewable energy projects. The Derby Telegraph invited Mr Queen and Sir Adrian to make a comment about their roles but a spokesman for 3i would only say: "We are confident there is no conflict of interest."
He added neither the Green Investment Bank nor the Business Advisory Group, on which Mr Queen sits, had a role in guiding specific procurement projects, nor had they a connection to the Thameslink programme.
Meanwhile, a Downing Street spokesman also insisted there was no conflict of interest. Asked about Mr Queen's position advising Mr Cameron, the spokesman said: "The PM had absolutely no role in the Thameslink procurement process.
"The PM and the Government work closely with many UK businesses to secure growth for the economy."
Speaking about Sir Adrian's position, the spokesman said: "There is no conflict of interest. Adrian Montague's unpaid role, as part of an advisory group, is about design of the Green Investment Bank and its strategic direction, not about investment decisions."
He added: "(The Thameslink) procurement was set up and designed by the previous Government. We are legally bound by the criteria set out at the beginning of that process and, therefore, we have to continue with the outcome of the Thameslink procurement."
After Siemens, which has three partners, including 3i Infrastructure, in its consortium, was named preferred bidder for Thameslink, Bombardier, which had also been hoping to win the work, announced it would have to lay off 1,400 workers. There are now fears that the company could withdraw from the UK altogether.

I note that number 10 are still stubbornly peddling the lies that it was the previous Government "wot done it - 'onest" well no it wasn't, this Tory Government have been in power for 15 months and they had the power to override any contract or recommendation. The buck is theirs and it stops with them, they should stop being feckless in trying to blame everyone else for their own decisions. They forced the junior transport minister, Theresa Villiers, to make this decision and in my opinion they used her as a scapegoat, she could take all the flak for what this government wanted.

What happened to British jobs? This government has placed all its economic eggs in the manufacturing and export market "basket" in order to grow us out of recession, (they say) but so far they have reneged on promises, to British companies, awarded British jobs to Germany as in the case of Bombardier and is in the process of destroying manufacturing apprenticeships and other positions for young workers. Just like their Tory predecessor Margaret Thatcher, this Tory Government lead by arch idiot the very "dubious" David Cameron, is once again hell bent on destroying British industry and British manufacturing jobs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So now it's £22 million in fees and if you add that to the Siemens bid is it still cheaper? If they make the carraiges £2000 cheaper then that this £22 million would equate to 11,000 carraiges. Can't believe we are ordering that many.
Tory corruption at it's best