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Boatless Shipping

Global Companies own no assets

The media has been abuzz with the news that the Govt has given a contract to a shipping company with no ships as part of the Brexit contingency planning.

I don’t find any of this new / surprising.  I recall, back in the eighties the Chunnel Co management was some shell and when it went topsy turvey no one was liable.

Early in this century, the council decided to put gas central heating in their properties in my neighbourhood.  The Co doing the work put up a portacabin in a nearby car park as a site office.  I had cause to go there and it was obvious that it was a couple of blokes who’d tendered for the contract and, when they got it, hired a portacabin and a bunch of subcontractors to do the work.

I said to a guy I was doing building work with at the time, we should form a company and put in for local govt contracts.  If we got one, we could advertise in the press for suitably qualified people.  All you need to run a show like that is a phone.

The council subsequently refurbished the kitchens in the same properties and the site agent for that turned up in a lhd Golf with Romanian number plates.  The workmen were bussed in from Romania.

I spent a chunk of ‘08/ ‘09 with a business partner trying to get small, Govt (and ilk) contracts for HR & training services.  Amongst other escapades, I had a day on the phone talking to Govt corporate heads trying to sell our services, though I didn’t particularly know what they were.
(An illuminating day.  I got to talk to guys who said they’d love to buy in services but they didn’t have the budget to meet what was demanded of them already.)

In 2010, we had the DWP considering one of our proposals under their Right to Bid scheme for small businesses.  I was s’posed to run the thing and I’d never seen the proposal. (Though I had met our other principal, a retiring Cabinet official who was looking to make her own revolving door).
The election changed the Govt and the new administration scotched the scheme.

These days, there are “umbrella companies” who’ll do your payroll etc for you.  You direct your subcontractors’ digital time sheets to them and they sort everything out, including the cost of invoicing you, for your tax / NI / balance sheet etc.  I presume it’s done by robot.

This is our Enterprise Economy.

(I could go on at length abt the economy.  Two million people on zero hours contracts, sitting around like unemployed actors waiting for the phone to ring, and our “full employment” which doesn’t provide the Govt with enough tax take to maintain local services.  Sigh ......)

They’re carpet baggers.  It’s the consequence of the Thatcher revolution.  80% of our economy is “services” so it’s no wonder there’s so many of them. 
Since ’97 our Governments have been composed of carpet baggers.