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An Object Lesson In Why Not To Outsource In National Security.


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#1 Chris Werb

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 1309 PM

Of a long line of dubious to dire private finance initiatives that have been inflicted on our armed forces, this has to be the most disastrous by far.


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#2 rmgill

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 1429 PM

Is that properly an example of national security or how to no outsource management to the highest bidder without any controls?

Why not dole out the projects building by building or block by block and actually you know, check for reliable to-spec construction and acceptable performance standards before going to the next project?


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#3 DB

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 0408 AM

It is, of course, easy to blame the people who dropped the hot potato when you have already decided that it's acceptable to throw it to the next guy instead of dealing with it.

So, we built shit housing.

We didn't replace it on a sensible rolling schedule.

We allowed underfunding to let it fall apart.

We sold it off without a competent contract

We attenpted to enforce standard planning conditions on the planned replacements, which were inappropriate.

And now, only now, is someone moaning (legitimately) about it.
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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 0425 AM

In short, its a fairly typical way British Government's handle major infrastructure projects. Im constantly astonished we ever built any motorways.


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#5 rmgill

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 1324 PM

Maybe you need to go back to the older methods with more lords who make decisions? It seemed to work better in the 1800s.


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#6 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 1333 PM

Hey, im not disagreeing. One my ancestors built some infrastructure in the 15th Century that is still being used.


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#7 rmgill

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 1346 PM

It's arguable your current method for choosing who should run things is a shit show.

Gaggles of committees? Really?
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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 0158 AM

Nigel Kneale was writing critique of British Bureaucracy as long ago as the 1950's, none of this is really very new. The funny thing is, I look at your DOD, and see pretty much the same thing. Maybe its an anglo saxon thing.


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#9 Chris Werb

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 0957 AM

Oddly enough, this is something I have direct experience of. Until I left for Belgium, 21 years ago, I worked for the DHE and was responsible for scheduling housing maintenance for six Army bases in Eastern England. Some daft things were done, but, with the exception of some flats built in the 70s, most of the housing stock was acceptable or better. I was running a programme to replace mixer showers with power showers, among other things. We were delighted to inherit the USAF housing stock at Woodbridge until we discovered they had a communal heating system. Our service people paid their own heating bills, unlike the Americans.
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#10 rmgill

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1026 AM

So in a nation where you can ask the local council for a house to live in and they'll give it to you, you're surprised to find that service people might not have to pay for their heating when in a foreign country because the Defense Department foots the bill?


:huh:


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#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1345 PM

They will let you RENT a Council House IF they HAVE a Council house. Which they probably dont, because the Government gave everyone a right to buy, and didnt give them the ability to renew housing stock on a one for one basis. For decades.


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#12 rmgill

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1439 PM

You're not helping the case for the sanity of British management by committee.
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#13 Chris Werb

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1601 PM

So in a nation where you can ask the local council for a house to live in and they'll give it to you, you're surprised to find that service people might not have to pay for their heating when in a foreign country because the Defense Department foots the bill?


:huh:

Well, given the entrenched conservatism evident in some of our US posters, I'm surprised you didn't expect your servicemen to shoot the locals and build their own log cabins from trees they felled themselves whilst trading otter pelts for provisions. Oddly enough, I grew up in Council house for which my parents paid a fair rent - it was not given to them. They (obviously) paid for their own heating just as they had done in service married quarters. They eventually bought the house under the scheme Stuart mentioned above.
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#14 Dark_Falcon

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1613 PM

 

So in a nation where you can ask the local council for a house to live in and they'll give it to you, you're surprised to find that service people might not have to pay for their heating when in a foreign country because the Defense Department foots the bill?


:huh:

Well, given the entrenched conservatism evident in some of our US posters, I'm surprised you didn't expect your servicemen to shoot the locals and build their own log cabins from trees they felled themselves whilst trading otter pelts for provisions. Oddly enough, I grew up in Council house for which my parents paid a fair rent - it was not given to them. They (obviously) paid for their own heating just as they had done in service married quarters. They eventually bought the house under the scheme Stuart mentioned above.

 

 

Actually, nowadays we US conservatives only expect our troops to shoot and skin local Social Justice Warriors.  :D   


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#15 rmgill

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0012 AM

Well, given the entrenched conservatism evident in some of our US posters, I'm surprised you didn't expect your servicemen to shoot the locals and build their own log cabins from trees they felled themselves whilst trading otter pelts for provisions.


No, you sit back and pay the conquered locals in tea and East India company scrip to build the houses while you sip beer and gin and tonics?


Oddly enough, I grew up in Council house for which my parents paid a fair rent - it was not given to them. They (obviously) paid for their own heating just as they had done in service married quarters. They eventually bought the house under the scheme Stuart mentioned above.


One of the problems of government fingers on the scales is how it changes the supply demand curve. How short of housing is the UK this year? Why is that?
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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0202 AM

You're not helping the case for the sanity of British management by committee.

 

It not management by committee, so much as top down directive through Ideology. At least as far as council houses anyway. Search 'Right to buy' and you will see the source of that particular problem, if you are interested, natch.


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#17 DB

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0753 AM

Well, given the entrenched conservatism evident in some of our US posters, I'm surprised you didn't expect your servicemen to shoot the locals and build their own log cabins from trees they felled themselves whilst trading otter pelts for provisions.

No, you sit back and pay the conquered locals in tea and East India company scrip to build the houses while you sip beer and gin and tonics?


Oddly enough, I grew up in Council house for which my parents paid a fair rent - it was not given to them. They (obviously) paid for their own heating just as they had done in service married quarters. They eventually bought the house under the scheme Stuart mentioned above.

One of the problems of government fingers on the scales is how it changes the supply demand curve. How short of housing is the UK this year? Why is that?
G8ven that ukplc has been effectively out of the housing business since the Thatcher era, any link between social housing provision and house prices is tenuous at best.

Incidentally, I live in an ex council apartment, built in 1949-50. I bought it from a couple who exercised their right to buy.

I am of the opinion that the main reason for housing shortages is a demographic change, perhaps in my generation. There are far more single occupancy home now than there used to be.
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#18 rmgill

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0843 AM

You're not helping the case for the sanity of British management by committee.

 
It not management by committee, so much as top down directive through Ideology. At least as far as council houses anyway. Search 'Right to buy' and you will see the source of that particular problem, if you are interested, natch.


Where does this ideology meet to make plans? Does it have it's own office?
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#19 rmgill

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0848 AM

G8ven that ukplc has been effectively out of the housing business since the Thatcher era, any link between social housing provision and house prices is tenuous at best.




Ok who's responsible for building homes in the UK? Is the free market been constrained by something? Are private builders discouraged from building? My own city of Atlanta has grown by substantially over the past few years in both population and economy. You know what we don't have? A housing shortage.

So if it's not bad planning, what's keeping the British housing market from responding to demand?

Edited by rmgill, 20 October 2018 - 0848 AM.

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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0925 AM

 

 

Well, given the entrenched conservatism evident in some of our US posters, I'm surprised you didn't expect your servicemen to shoot the locals and build their own log cabins from trees they felled themselves whilst trading otter pelts for provisions.

No, you sit back and pay the conquered locals in tea and East India company scrip to build the houses while you sip beer and gin and tonics?


Oddly enough, I grew up in Council house for which my parents paid a fair rent - it was not given to them. They (obviously) paid for their own heating just as they had done in service married quarters. They eventually bought the house under the scheme Stuart mentioned above.

One of the problems of government fingers on the scales is how it changes the supply demand curve. How short of housing is the UK this year? Why is that?
G8ven that ukplc has been effectively out of the housing business since the Thatcher era, any link between social housing provision and house prices is tenuous at best.

Incidentally, I live in an ex council apartment, built in 1949-50. I bought it from a couple who exercised their right to buy.

I am of the opinion that the main reason for housing shortages is a demographic change, perhaps in my generation. There are far more single occupancy home now than there used to be.

 

 

Well living where I live, property is still unaffordable. And nobody has built any more that is affordable because,

 

1 The bottom dropped out the housing market. Developers just stopped building new housing estates for 5 years, because nobody could buy them.

2 Its hard to get planning permission in places where people are wholly obsessed with keeping villages small and preserving green belt. Nobody seems to find a happy middle ground between a housing estate of 70 houses, and a single cottage.

3 There is little well paid work to be had in places where the property prices are high, making it difficult to get on the property ladder.

4 People from out of town are buying places up as second homes (I notice in cornwall they are taking steps to address this).

5 The Councils have not been acquiring enough housing since the 1970s. A mixture of wanting to get councils out of the housing market and get everyone buying homes, which was the driving force bethind right to buy. But also, when councils did have the money to build them, they didnt, partly for the reasons above, mainly because they prefered to dabble in the Icelandic stock market (im not joking) and give themselves fantastic pay rises and pension funds.

6 Rising demand for housing due to demographic change, immigration and old housing stock wearing out that needed replacing. The Council in Bristol has been signing old council houses over to developers for 1 pound, simply because they lack the funds to go and refurbish them.

 

Call it a perfect storm that pretty much everyone is responsible for.

 

Ryan, there is private developers. There are also council houses, which are constructed for the local councils as rentable property.  The UK is where public and private ownership can coexist quite happily, and in fact councils have been buying out private housing developments that nobody wants to buy, and renting to the public as council houses. But they have limited funds, so they cant soak  up all the surplus stock that is sold, so development, for years, took a tumble.

 

There is no one single reason why everything is bent out of shape.  That its the downside of a bubble is the easiest explanation. I gather Eire's housing market was even worse hit than ours, they still have hundreds of housing estates nobody had the money to finish.


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