Who messed up the Software ???

New round of BA cabin crew strikes may hit Winter Sun, Christmas/New Year and Ski holiday period

Over 80 British Airways UK based cabin crew have been suspended and 13 sacked because of incidents related to an ongoing bitter dispute which Julian Bray, Independent Aviation Expert suggests will erupt into more strikes in the next few months, possibly disrupting the Christmas and Winter Sun/Skiing Holiday periods. 

A Unite union spokesman commented: ''The continuing rise in the number of unjustified suspensions and dismissals is seriously complicating attempts to bring this dispute to an end.''

BA countered suggesting the vast majority of suspended staff were now back at work, although over 13 have had their employment terminated for ''serious cases of misconduct'', but the sackings are still subject to appeal. Reports suggest that most of the suspensions relate to allegations from other employees of bullying and intimidation. "It would be a dereliction of our duty of care as an employer to ignore these. Investigations into any allegations are conducted subject to the company's disciplinary procedures, which have been in place for many years, are considered fair, open and transparent. The process is full agreed with all our trade unions, including Unite,'' said a BA spokesman.

And now for something completely different...

I just want to hear the music....

Tonight on BBC 1 (Bank Holiday Monday) the BBC made its annual trip north of the border for the Edinburgh Tattoo, now I don't know about you but usually when there are a number of excellent massed and unusual bands playing, it's a good idea if we can actually hear the music, possibly using a caption for any information such as the title of the tune and the name of the band, the subtle interjection of the chocolate voice belonging to Tom Fleming is also OK by me because Tom knew how to keep silent when it mattered, sadly Tom has departed this life and the mic has been passed down to one verbose Iain Anderson.

Clearly Mr Anderson, is under the cosh as it were and forced to read a banal unfunny script aimed at a mental age of seven, no five... everytime a band struck up, the music faded and Mr Anderson fills the airways with a mixture of cod humour and meaningless gut -wrenching statistics. You can tell he is uncomfortable reading the script and to make matters worse the director, a Mr John Smith (could be an alias perhaps?) compounds the nonsense with a series of rapid cuts, it then dawned on me the director was cutting the visuals to the music, in the manner of a pop video!

US Talk Show Host Glenn Beck attracts record crowds at his 'Restoring Honor Rally'

US Talk Show Host Glenn Beck attracts record crowds of over 100,000 [Daily Telegraph, London Report] at his 'Restoring Honor Rally' Lincoln Memorial in Washington, August 28, 2010.

 Glenn Beck opened his "Restoring Honor" rally by lamenting the "garish light of America today," and said it was time to reverse course from "what we've allowed ourselves to become."  Speaking at the Lincoln Memorial 47 years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in the same spot, Beck said, "Something beyond imagination is happening."

"America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness. This really is 'Build it and they will come,'" he added.

Crowds gathered for the event stretched from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the World War II Memorial. One person held a cardboard cutout of President Obama and asked people what they would tell him, CBS News' Fernando Suarez reports. One man said he'd punch the president in the face, while another said he'd take Mr. Obama to jail.

'Billy Boy' Hague if the 'B' cap fits......Telegraph says 'Chas(t)e Me...

OK Billy Boy, guess who? 
Oh dear,  Daily Telegraph Diary 'Mandrake Bot' (column is usually written by a robot) is after Cabinet Minister William "Bill" or "BillyBoy" Hague. Take this published gem concerning  a Freedom of Information Act request to Billy Boy from naughty but usually reliable blogger Guido Fawkes:

."....They include: "Has Mr Myers been on any international trips with the Foreign Secretary involving overnight stays?"; "How much is Mr Myers being paid?"; "Could you please provide a detailed job description?"  The pictures of Hague and Myers, both dressed in jeans with Hague in a baseball cap bearing the initial B, have become a talking point. Even Marjorie Longdin, Hague's aunt, is curious.  "I've been racking my brains, but I can't think of anything or anyone in William's life that has a name with a B," she tells Mandrake. [Silly moo! Short form for William begins with a 'B' -Ed.]. To cap it all, Hague's office won't comment. The pictures were actually taken a year ago, before Hague became Foreign Secretary. "Clearly," Mrs Longdin says, "He wouldn't dress like that now, given his job.

Contributor: Media & Aviation Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound C5
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The balloon goes up....


A statement proclaiming his Gay status has just been released by Crispin Blunt MP. Conservative Reigate Surrey, Clearly a Sunday Newspaper was on to him!  A turn up for the Secretary for Justice:

"Crispin Blunt MP wishes to make it known that he has separated from his wife Victoria. He decided to come to terms with his homosexuality and explained the position to his family. The consequence is this separation. There is no third party involvement, but this is difficult for his immediate and wider family and he hopes for understanding and support for them."

The silly season for newspapers would seem to be over. It's full steam ahead on the hard news front and I hear on the Fleet Street Grapevine, other similar announcements are in the pipeline.... meanwhile back in darkest Reigate, known for its closet Gay community; home to the late Lord Charles with Ray Allan (deceased)... In 2002, when Tory MP Alan Duncan admitted he was batting for the other side, Tony Collinson, chairman of the 1,400-strong Reigate Conservative Association, led a vocal wave of disapproval: "I would not be at all happy if we had a gay candidate here - I would always go for a candidate who had a normal background," he said. "Our current MP [Conservative Crispin Blunt; majority 8,000] is happily married with two children."  

Must be something in the water!

Contributor: Media & Aviation Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound C5
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Pollys Electronic Peck, Asil Nadir returns to face the music...

Guarding the entrance to The City of London and its'  Financial Centre
Mr Asil Nadir, an undischarged bankrupt - in the UK,  was charged (before fleeing from the UK) with fraud and 66 counts of theft when he was chief executive of Polly Peck, a business empire which traded in products as diverse as groceries to electronics. He mixed with the political and showbiz elite, bankrolled politicians and caused one MP, Michael Mates to ask questions in Westminster for cash!

It was alleged that he secretly transferred some £34 million out of Polly Peck and this caused the empire to fall apart, leading to its collapse and shareholders large and small, very out of pocket. Just before he was due to stand trial in 1993, he fled the country to live in luxury in his native Cyprus. Som six years ago, he acquired a 26-year old wife.  

The UK does not have an extradition agreement with northern Cyprus, as the UK does not recognise or have diplomatic relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The TRNC is recognised only by Turkey.

During a London bail hearing, lawyers acting for Mr Nadir argued in July this year that Nadir was never legally on the run. In 1992 he pleaded not guilty to the Serious Fraud Offices [SFO] allegations, and in what appears to be a lapse of process was allowed to leave the court without a judge lawfully deciding whether he should be bailed or remanded! 

Mugabe losing battle against Cancer

It'll take more than a lifeboat...

FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS... Despot Mugabe losing battle against cancer...

Despotic Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is said to be actively considering successors after his doctor (brave man) told Mugabe he is losing the battle against cancer. Urologist Awang Kechick visited him in Zimbabwe and told him that his condition is advancing faster than any treatment could delay the spead of the cancer.  Mugabe has finally realised that his time is limited, and has begun considering successors (and hopefully found religion as a bucketful of Hail Marys won't be enough to stop the eternal roasting of his soul). (Enough about barbeques Ed.)

Mugabe has been struggling with STDs and many other undisclosed health issues for a long while, although he has seemingly returned to public life looking fit and healthy, such is the value of moden cosmetics. However, his health has deteriorated dramatically in the last months, with some images showing him unable to walk without help during a recent trip to Uganda.

As I spent a few years in Kampala, Uganda under Milton Obotes tenure, I know that Mugabe trading on his pre-independence political activities is sadly still tolerated by some African leaders.  There were even reports that he fell over in full view of other state dignitaries. A dangerous, despotic maniac who thinks nothing of starving the Zimbabwe population whilst he loots the treasury and lives in gated luxury. May his demise come with undue haste....... nothing like a bit of balanced reporting!  

Contributor: Media & Aviation Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound C5 Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile:07944 217476


This guest contribution from the USA is by former USTV soap star, prize winning author and wedding planner Ann Palmer who can be e-mailed at

AnnInAsheville@aol.com  if you wish to continue the discussion


Ann Palmer says: I hope someday, people WILL UNDERSTAND my CONCERN given by psychic/intuition LONG BEFORE he ever ran for President!!
Something to make you think.......

Sheppard Smith, Fox News.

"If you check President Obama's last trip over-seas, his wife left just after their visit to France. She has yet to accompany him to any Arab country. Think about it. Why is Michelle returning to the states when 'official' trips to foreign countries generally include the First Lady."
Here's a thought on the matter......
While in a Blockbuster renting videos I came across a video called "Obama". There were two men standing next to me and we talked about President Obama. These guys were Arabs, so I asked them why they
thought Michele Obama headed home following the President's recent visit to France instead of traveling on to Saudi Arabia and Turkey with her husband. They told me she could not go to Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Iraq.

I said "Why not,(?) Laura Bush went to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Dubai ."

They said that Obama is a Muslim and therefore he is not allowed to bring his wife into countries that adhere to Sharia Law. Two points of interest here:

1) I thought it interesting that two American Arabs at Blockbuster
believe that our President is a Muslim,

2) who follows a strict Islamic creed.

They also said that's the reason he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.
It was a signal to the Muslim world, acknowledging his religion.

For further consideration, here is a response from Dr. Jim Murk, a Middle Eastern Scholar and expert on Islam. This is his explanation of what the Arab American's were saying. >>>
He conceals his true faith to the detriment of the American people." --- Jim Murk, Doctor of Philosophy in Middle Eastern Culture & Religion.

Piers Morgan ‘having trouble obtaining work visa’ to replace Larry King

OK Sunshine, I can tell you the real Piers Morgan would have asked for a much larger helmet !
CNN has reportedly asked veteran interviewer Larry King to delay his departure from the channel as theformer Fleet Street Piers Morgan, the man tipped to replace him, is having trouble getting a work visa.

The New York Post claimed “several sources” revealed that the former Mirror editor and Britain/America’s Got Talent judge was finding it difficult to secure the necessary documentation to take up the post.

The US tabloid reported that King – who was understood to be staying until late October or early November – has been asked to remain in his post “until the end of the year”.

News emerged in June that Morgan was on the verge of signing a £10m three-year deal with CNN to take over from 76-year-old King as the news channel’s key interviewer.

Courtesy Press Gazette (UK)

Contributor: Media & Aviation Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound C5 Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile:07944 217476

Pakistan - Deaths Reaching Biblical Proportions...

Pakistan - Time for Blue and Twos, all the way...

Julian Bray comments: "Just cannot believe the BBC led the news with the Dr Kelly debacle, did he or didn't he? (he did). Tucked away is the latest on the Pakistan disaster now known to be worse than all the recent major flood disasters put together and literally MILLIONS of children will die first and very soon now.  A whole future generation wiped out. But why is the rest of the world sitting on its hands?"

"How much has the briefly absentee President Z pitched in, has he emptied his Swiss bank accounts? And Pakistan has nuclear weapons....ooooh!  You see where this is going? But my rant is not about the money, it is about the world help organisations, I assumed there were warehouses packed to the roof with emergency supplies, boats, medical equipment  but no, they don't have any! The money is paid out locally for supplies and of course as there are local shortages the costs have massively escalated, for NGO's and locals alike.

"If its a flood and the ground is fifteen feet under foul wet sewerage, logic would suggest that covered inflatable closed canopy liferafts which inflate on hitting the water (and double as shelter on dryish land) would be mass airdropped, pre-loaded with bottled water and high energy biscuits. But no, emergency organisations on the ground are still treating this as a 'normal' disaster sending trucks into areas and then wondering why with bridges washed away the strategy isn't working.

"Then taking this further why would the world wish to support the current Pakistan Government, our own David Cameron after all laid down the markers just a few days before nature delivered a body blow to the country? Let natural causes decimate a generation or two, that neatly deals with Pakistan and its troublesome neighbour Afghanistan...  weakened so no longer a threat to our own national security , only the pakistani bombers and terrorists are second generation Brits! 

"Someone in the Caoalition  and other World Leaders tell me this isn't true? Prove it with the biggist peacetime mobilisation of every available resource and fund it all with a compulsory levy on all developed nations, after all Europe seems to interfere in UK decision making ...time it worked the other way round before its too late and that may even be tomorrow...too late, I mean."

Contributor: Media & Aviation Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound C5
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Eighteen people injured, three seriously, after a light two coach passenger train collided with a sewage tanker dutring rush hour in Suffolk England.

Eighteen people injured, three seriously, after a light two coach passenger train collided with a sewage tanker during rush hour in Suffolk England.

The collision involved a two-carriage diesel local service from Sudbury to Marks Tey and took place shortly after 5.30 pm at the Little Cornard unmanned crossing near the village of Bures, Anyone wishing to use the crossing first has to use a telephone to obtain permission from the signalman on duty. The 38 year-old driver of the tanker was arrested by police on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Kiss Flights Goodbye! Flight Company Bust says CAA

London-based firm Flight Options Limited, which traded as Kiss Flights, officially ceased trading at 5pm on Tuesday.  The company operated flights to Greece, Egypt, Turkey and the Canary Islands.

The CAA said tens of thousands of holidaymakers who had booked trips through the company would get home as normal, but Julian Bray Aviation and Media Expert warns that flight and hotel customers of the failed firm involved may have to pay by cash or credit card for their currently occupied hotel rooms as the CAA ATOL bond and ABTA will only cover hotels from the date of the holiday company going bust and payment would be at the wholesale season block booking rate, with the Hotelier having to prove each and every claim.

Last month Goldtrail, which specialised in holidays to Greece and Turkey, collapsed, affecting as many as 50,000 travellers. And last week Sun4U folded, leaving about 1,500 people abroad, mostly in Spain to be repatriated by the CAA ATOL bonding arrangements.

Travellers who paid over £100 of the total Kiss holiday invoice by personal credit card will be able to claim the entire holiday invoiceagainst the Credit Card Company, if they paid at least £100 by credit card under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. In any case the CAA handing agent CEGA will direct credit card payers towards Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and then close down any claim commented Julian Bray Aviation and Media Expert.

A message posted on Flight Options' website said: "The Civil Aviation Authority have been informed and we are awaiting further advise on the situation Please contact the CAA for a further update www.atol.org.uk."

Kiss offered flights to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: "We will make sure everyone will be able to come back from their holidays.

"The CAA estimates that around 13,000 people are currently overseas - all of them will be able to complete their holidays and return to the UK thanks to the CAA's ATOL protection.

"Around 60,000 people have forward bookings with the company and will be able to claim a full refund for the ATOL-protected elements of their holidays from the CAA.

"Because the company has failed at the height of summer, the CAA is also putting in place arrangements to allow people to travel out on their holidays for the next 24 hours, to minimise confusion and protect passengers."

Advice for Flight Options / Kiss Flights customers with flights leaving the UK before 1800 BST on Wednesday 18 August 2010:

These flights will operate as planned, and passengers should go to the airport and check in as normal.

Advice for Flight Options / Kiss Flights customers who are currently overseas:

The CAA will ensure that ATOL-protected customers are able to fly home as planned; they should therefore arrive at the airport in time to check-in for their flights home as normal.

In order for customers to determine whether they are ATOL protected or not, they should check that they booked a flight with Flight Options / Kiss Flights.

To do this, customers should check the invoice/receipt received at the time the booking was made and paid for.

The company sold only a very small number of package holidays, consequently, in most cases, ATOL protects only the flight element of their holiday.

Accommodation booked independently with other firms is not affected by the failure.

Advice for Flight Options / Kiss Flights customers with forward bookings after 1800 BST on Wednesday 18 August 2010:

Flight Options / Kiss Flights customers are financially protected under ATOL 4233 and should not travel on booked holidays after 18:00 BST on Wednesday 18 August 2010 but instead should make a claim for a refund from the CAA.

Customers who booked through Flight Options / Kiss Flights should seek advice from their travel agents about alternative travel arrangements.

Contributor: Aviation & Media Expert Julian Bray
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BAA Strike Off for now, but Airlines Ash Compo Payout suspended by High Court

Aviation Expert Julian Bray reports: After a day at ACAS, the Spanish owned BAA Ltd, airport group have tabled a new offer to resolve the current pay and conditions dispute which the Union delegation has agreed is good enough to be put to the 6,000 BAA Unite membership, a process which takes some three weeks.

The good news is that during the ballot period no further strike action is possible thus saving Bank Holiday flights schedules. We are not completely out of the woods, as British Airways cabin crews ( again a Unite union production...) are still threatening to strike and ground BA Aircraft in September.
 Airline passengers’ rights to claim compensation for flight delays has been suspended by the High Court.

British Airways, Tui UK and easyJet, alongside industry body IATA, has been seeking a judicial review over passengers’ compensation rights following flight delays under European regulations. The High Court has referred the case back to the European Court of Justice which means that UK courts will not hear any compensation court cases against airlines until the European court looks at the regulation again.

The four parties wanted a review of a decision made last year which said airlines were liable to pay the same level of compensation to customers on flights delayed for more than three hours as they would if a flight was cancelled. Airlines have stepped up their campaign against the regulation, EU 261, in the wake of 1'000's of claims by passengers affected by the ash cloud debacle in April and May this year.

Contributor: Aviation & Media Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44(0)1733 555 319 G.722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound GSGC5
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The glory days of ACAS are over. BAA Airport Strike, a Political Issue for Unite leadership

The glory days of ACAS are over. BAA Airport Strike, a Political Issue for Unite leadership.

Julian Bray, media & aviation expert comments: There is a disturbing political slant to the Spanish owned BAA Limited airport dispute. Several senior Unite figures are internally up for re-election over the next 18 months; they have to be seen to be in control of their 6,000 BAA membership and also seen as a credible force in the wage and benefits negotiation rounds with all employers, not just Spanish-owned BAA Limited and British Airways.  

The other local difficulty is that Unite is effectively bankrolling the shattered remains of the Labour Party, acting as fiscal kingmakers in the forthcoming leadership elections. Not much of an ad. if  the membership is out on strike during the leadership election hustings and possibly working to rule, well into the party conference season.

It will also not have escaped the notice of the electorate that Gordon Browns' discredited venom-spitting spinmeister Charlie Whelan re-surfaced with a cushy but powerful job as political director inside the Unite Union (I wonder if that appointment really went through a democratic interview and appointment process, Brothers?). Charlie (who has blocked me on Twitter..ha! A result so must be doing something right!) is effectively still in a position to deliver political mischief, no matter how many forced redundancies and bust companies his current antics may cause.

You also have to consider that airport workers for years have been cossetted with a pay and benefits regime that most engineering and consruction industries would die for. Ryanairs' boss has said as much.  The newish Spanish bosses at BAA Limited are finally beginning to understand what "Spanish Practices" UK style is really all about.

In the UK, the new bosses are dealing with a battle hardened old style industrial relations workforce who will go out on a limb to support their Union negotiators. The worry has to be, is the current round of industrial and worker unrest simply a protest over working conditions or is it a political move to bring down the CONLIB Coalition at any cost?  The outcome? Install a compliant Unite bankrolled Labour administration under freshly mandated new leadership. That is new leaders BOTH at Unite and the Labour Party. Lots to play for!

Meanwhile London Gatwick and many miles away from London, Luton Airport remains open for business and non airport dependent holidays such as Southampton no-fly no baggage limit cruises are seeing a boom in buisiness with cruise liners leaving UK ports.

Holidaymakers hitting the duty free bars, heated swimming and whirlpools seconds after the ships have cast off . They will however have to arrive at Southampton by train or coach as Southampton Airport is also the property of the Spanish owned BAA Limited and also threatened with a total closedown.

Contributor: Aviation & Media Expert Julian Bray
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UK airports shut down - Helpful advice from Aviation & Media Expert Julian Bray

The train might just take the strain!

In the event of strike action/BAA UK airports closing down,
your print out and keep guide....

BAA AIRPORT STRIKE & SHUT DOWN  What should I do if I'm already on holiday IF the BAA Airports in the UK shut down starts on 23rd August? (Cancellation of strike action still possible)

Helpful advice from Aviation & Media Expert Julian Bray:

Already on holiday? Relax, enjoy your holiday. The ATOL bond through the CAA will get you home at the end of your holiday. Hopefully to a non BAA airport such as Gatwick, but be prepared for delays and diversions to a non BAA airport somewhere in the UK and a possible coach transfer

Everyone else read on:

NON AIR HOLIDAY ARRANGEMENTS such as hotels only, are not covered by ATOL scheme  ensure you have paid your invoice part or full (but over £100 by Credit Card) to claim under Section 75 Consumer Credit Act.

Booked but yet to travel?  You may be able to claim the cost back through the ATOL bond. See www.atol.org.uk for details.

Also see if your travel agent will change your arrangements and accept the ATOL promise ie refund when it eventually comes as part or full payment and if they will defer their charges, although they are not obliged to do so.

Not ATOL protected...accommodation only arrangements are not covered and if flights cancelled, you will still have to pay hotel charges. If the transaction includes a bundled in flight then ATOL is invoked, and you are protected.

ATOL protected and yet to travel? Check your confirmation if you contracted directly with your holiday firm, you are entitled to make a claim. The process will take several months and may take as long as two years (exceptional cases)

I booked with a Travel Agent... Talk to them about a claim and possible alternative arrangements. As a member of ABTA -[Association of British Travel Agents] (however not all travel agents or resellers are!) remind the Agent they operate subject to the ABTA Code of Professional Conduct and therefore morally (if not legally) bound to assist you to either recover your money or find an alternative holiday or resolution.

Credit Cards? If you booked through an Agent using a credit card claim through the CAA.

If you paid a Holiday Company directly using a Credit card for at least £100 of the total invoice you may be entitled to make a claim under the UK Consumer Credit Act against the Credit Card company for the full amount.

If you used a Debit Card, Cash or Cheque then claim from the CAA.

I just booked a room, can I claim? Doubtful but talk to your credit card company,bank or travel insurer.

Can I claim through Travel Insurance? Some policies may be valid, but not all read small print.

Will insurance premiums be refunded? No but could be transferred to any new replacement holiday contact the broker or insurance company.

Generally: Carefully preserve in a folder all paperwork in date order. note all telephone calls and keep in constant touch with your travel agent.

Contributor: Media Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line 0044(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound GSGC5 Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile:07944 217476

BAA Workers Strike Confirmed- 'Crazy' says Aviation Expert Julian Bray

Turkey Tango One not cleared for take off for next few months

BAA Workers,  Unite Union Members Vote for Strike Action.  Legally NO action before 23rd August. Unions says negotiation is still possible to avoid UK BAA airports shut down.
Non BAA Airports including LGW London Gatwick not affected.

"A strike by BAA workers will do nothing but harm to Britain and the travel industry",  David Cameron, UK Prime Minister said today [Thursday 12th August 2010].

Speaking in advance of the result now confirmed by ballot to go ahead with strike action by staff at six out of seven BAA owned airports, David Cameron said he hoped they would not go ahead.

"These sorts of strikes never achieve anything apart from damage - damage to business, damage to jobs, damage to the interests of tourists who want to come to visit Britain, or people who want to leave Britain and have a holiday overseas. I very much hope that they don't go ahead. They will do nothing but harm. We want to demonstrate that Britain is open for business." commenteed Mr Cameron.

Have you change for a £20 note? Two £10 notes will do...

Just been alerted by twitter, to a new doorstep distraction scam from Swindon. Won't be long before it is tried on around here!

This is how it reads: Beware distraction burglary attempt. Knocks on door & asks householder to change £20 note to a couple of £10 notes to pay someone. REFUSE!

Contributor: Media Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line 0044(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound GSGC5 Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile:07944 217476


BA flight attendants reject airline’s final offer, further strike action and cancelled flights will happen within weeks

Air travellers face mounting travel chaos after British Airways cabin crew rejected the airline’s final pay offer.  The prospect is further strike action, flights grounded and massive disruption to the high season school holiday travel market.

The Unite union, which represents 90 per cent of BA’s 12,000 cabin crew, said 67 per cent of the BA membership voted against BA’s final pay offer, which included two years’ guaranteed basic salary increase.

Aviation Expert Julian Bray commented: "It is difficult to understand why the percentage vote to reject BA's 'final' pay offer is so high. Clearly Willie Walsh is playing a waiting game, the longer he has BA shareholder support for a stand off with the union, the weaker the union position will be."

"In effect the recent merger negotiated by BA will assist as flight codeshare arrangements will see many BA flights being operated by other partner airlines. The BA fleet is not the youngest fleet in the aviation industry and many of the aircraft are leased, they will simply be returned to the lessor and any owned inventory sold on, in effect the Union has effectively played into BA's hands as the high cost of staff travel perks and mass redundancy programmes can be by-passed, staff dismissed on the grounds of non-performance or refusal to work employment contracts."   

Contributor: Aviation & Media Expert Julian Bray ISDN Interview down line ++44 (0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X Dual Codec Glensound GSGC5 Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile:07944 217476

Days when we had proper journalists....

Life before Rupert Murdoch By Roy Stockdill

as posted on the excellent www.gentlemenranters.com all about the glory days of Fleet Street, Newspapers and associated journalists, hacks, scribes and liggers. Enjoy!

I joined the News of the World, initially as a temporary holiday relief reporter before being given a permanent job, in the Year of Our Lord 1967, or 2BRM – Before Rupert Murdoch, that is.  Previously, I had worked for two years on a long-forgotten newspaper called the Sunday Citizen which closed down that same year. The Citizen, a left-wing paper owned by the Co-operative movement and published from offices in Gray’s Inn Road, near King’s Cross station, had existed since the mid-19th century as a broadsheet called Reynold’s News and had been relaunched, unsuccessfully, as a tabloid in 1962.

Reynold’s News, a revolutionary publication that managed to survive for well over a century when revolution in Britain was mostly unfashionable, had the distinction of once describing Queen Victoria as ‘a fat German sausage’.

But to get back to the NoW, getting a job in Bouverie Street in the heart of THE Street, after languishing in a King’s Cross backwater, was a heady experience for an ambitious young reporter – especially as in those days the paper was a totally different animal from the red-top, showbiz-obsessed tabloid of today.

For one thing, it was a somewhat old fashioned broadsheet, with a lovely, scroll-type masthead and the slogan ‘All Human Life Is Here’ at the head of the front page.

The staple diet was sex and many pages were filled with reports of rape cases and similar events from provincial assize courts. I spent much of my life sitting in court in places like Hertford, Winchester and Lewes.

Invariably, the bald, formal reports of what was said by witnesses and barristers were enlivened by imaginative sub-editors and defendants were frequently described as monsters and fiends.

I recall one memorable line in a rape case that ran: ‘And there, in a verdant glade alive with birdsong, the monster slaked his insatiable lust’. Not the sort of thing you could get away with in these politically correct times.


Mexicana - That Bird ain't gonna fly! Mexico Airline files for Bankruptcy

Compañía Mexicana de Aviación. On August 2nd, Mexico’s first and biggest airline filed for bankruptcy protection both in Mexico and the United States. Debts of more than $1 billion were posted. Its sister airlines, budget carriers MexicanaLink and MexicanaClick, are unaffected.

Mexicana is the biggest airline to go bankrupt since Japan Airlines, another Oneworld Alliance member, JA went bust in January. Mexican airlines have faced tough conditions lately, battling the deepest recession in the Americas (Mexico’s economy shrank 9.7% in the year to June 2009, though it has since recovered). Last year the country’s tourism industry was hit by the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, first reported in Mexico and quickly affected the hotels of Cancún as the visitors left in droves.

The result for Mexicana has been a loss of $350m since 2007. The company claimed its losses were mainly caused by high wage bills. Mexicana pilots earn 49% more than pilots working for the big American carriers, and 185% more than pilots who work with Mexican low-cost airlines such as Volaris and Interjet.

Flight attendants earn 32% more than their American counterparts, and 165% more than those with Mexican budget carriers. 

 Fernando Perfecto, the director of the pilots’ union, has said that the company’s salary figures are “inexact”, his organisation has not provided its own figures to deny the claims. The company maintains that once the big wage bill is excluded, its operating costs are slender—30% lower than the big American airlines, it says. Indeed, it claimed that if wage contracts had been “more competitive”, it would have posted $350m of profits rather than losses.

Whatever the likelihood of that, lowering those wage bills has so far proved impossible. On July 1st, 500 Mexicana pilots and cabin crew marched through Mexico City’s Benito Juárez airport in protest at proposals for pay cuts and layoffs. Mexicana’s proposals are swingeing: pay cuts of 41% for pilots and 39% for flight attendants, and a 40% cut in the workforce. The company has laid out another option, of selling the business to the unions for the sum of one peso. The unions have yet to respond.

For now, Mexicana is doing its best to keep its 69 aircraft out of the hands of worldwide creditors. Two 'planes were seized in Calgary last week by Air Canada, which had leased the planes to Mexicana and apparently heard a rumour that bankruptcy was in the offing. Other attempts have reportedly been made in Chicago and at JFK airport in New York.

If Mexicana goes under, it will mean a big gap in the market: the airline transported more than 11m passengers last year. It would be bad news for passengers on some routes that already suffer from a severe lack of competition. The Mexico City to London route, the only other operator is the strike-prone British Airways!

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Angela Knight Mouthpiece of the British Bankers Association needs Flogging..

The banksters backed a winner with RMS Titanic!

I watched morning TV on all channels in the UK with jaw dropping mounting disbelief as the shabby twinset and pearl former MP Angela Knight, now the smug, lying two faced talking head for the obscurantist banksters trade outfit,  The British Bankers Association, as she laid the blame for the continuing lack of banks extending creditlines to SME's (Small to Medium Enterprises) at the feet of potential customers and businesses "not being able to present viable business plans" and "we would not want savers money to be risked in this way".

Neatly sidestepping the fact that due to the massive taxpayers bankers bailout of £120 BILLION the banksters would all be lining up at the Jobcentre, our childrens, children will still be paying back and feeling the effects of the bailout for generations to come. 

It beggars belief that TV and radio still invite Angela Knight to present her snide blinkered totally false view of what is good for the rest of us. The Banksters can do no wrong. It's not the first time that she's had to eat humble pie and her current rant against business and how wonderful the banksters are will ensure she is heading that way again. Not a word about the massive bonus payments being paid out to bankers again. How simple would it be to totally ban all banksters bonus payments until every last penny is repaid to the taxpayer along with interest at 3 % over LIBOR?  

[Knight Flogging? As in 'selling' Bank of Libya would seem to be a good starting point]

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He operated at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. (PR WEEK TOP 150) Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and featured in launch edition of the PRWeek Black Book. Investigative Journalist and Broadcaster.

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