Government private aircraft

  Quickbeam 11:09 03 May 2009

click here
I know they've been barracked a lot lately about their expenses, but I do believe a major economic country ought to have a private and secure government plane at there disposal for government business.

  kidsis 11:35 03 May 2009

I do believe any govt should be in the business of trying to save taxpayers money. I think it is about time anyway that the govt started to take advantage of internet technology, and hold conferences over the internet. Think of the financial savings, no expensive air fares, no expensive hotels, fewer holes in the ozone layer. What the heck, they could have salad for lunch instead of those expensive cholestorol-full meals they are usually served. Hey, in a few lines I have saved the country money, saved the environment and improved the health of our ministers and their hangers-on. Oh sorry I mean their important assistants. But Quickbeam nearly gave me a heart attack with his idea, so it would all have to be spent on the NHS.

  jack 12:11 03 May 2009

We have a Royal Airforce
It has a transport command
In this section a number of craft all sorts. and aircrew to fly them and ground crew to maintain them.
This equipment and personnel costs whether they are active or not .
So how come a commercial firm can do it cheaper.
This smacks as another 'Snout in trough' ploy.

  wiz-king 12:42 03 May 2009

The idea of sending menbers of HM's Gov overseas in a C31 appeals to me!

  Mike D 12:55 03 May 2009

I seem to remember that it was this government that has criticise the Royals for not using co0mmenrcial flights.

  Mike D 12:55 03 May 2009

or even commercial

  Bingalau 13:07 03 May 2009

Why can't they use micro-lites or whatever they are called? I am sure they would be just about able to carry a laptop (and the regulation brief case needed for their prawn sandwiches). Or if their flight is a local one, a hang glider? That would save a few bob and contribute to their portion of saving the planet. Mind you they would have to buy their own, probably from their meagre allowances.

  Quickbeam 13:11 03 May 2009

The US President arrives in Air Force One, a super high tech 747 Jumbo, hat tells the world someone important is here. Britain appears to send it's leader in a DC3 Dakota by comparison.

You might well at the moment think it's good enough for Gordon Brown, but long term, a professional image cuts better than the amateurish pretence that a Ryan Air re-liveried as El'Gordo Uno can.

  Jim Thing 13:27 03 May 2009

"I think it is about time anyway that the govt started to take advantage of internet technology, and hold conferences over the internet."

In pre-internet days I worked for a design consultancy north of the border. Our biggest client, a branch of a major government ministry, was located in the West of England, and consequently many staff members spent much of their time (and much public money) on night-sleeper tickets, hotel accommodation and suchlike. These trips were generally regarded as unavoidable nuisances, and therefore the company had quite a relaxed attitude to the fact that we chose to live well when travelling.

In the early 1970s I learned that BT had introduced a secure video conferencing service, with one of its terminals conveniently located just down the street from our offices, and another within easy driving distance of the client's location. So, seeking to minimise the time that people were having to spend away from home, I set up a trial.

All the participants were extremely enthusiastic about BT's video link, which turned out to do everything we needed (there was even a decent-quality zoom rostrum camera at each terminal so that we could study each other's drawings in detail), and I was urged to write a paper for our Board of Directors recommending its use. They turned it down flat, "Nice idea, but no thanks, Mr. Thing."

And the reason? The directors valued the personal contact between consultants and clients (take them out for lunch, dinner, round of golf, etc.) so highly that an opportunity to save public money was quite irrelevant.

Ah well. Lesson learned, and another chapter for my book on "How To Become A Cynical Old Sod" which I never got around to writing.

  Jim Thing 14:53 03 May 2009

I take your point — indeed the more I thought about it at the time the less I was able to put up a decent case against the board's ruling. I still think the video-link proposal would have stood a much better chance had I been able to sell it as a cost-reduction measure designed to increase private profit and not 'merely' to save public money.

I agree 100% with your last paragraph. It's high time we woke up to the sad fact that we're not a world power any more.

  kidsis 15:23 03 May 2009

JimThing, why does your story not surprise me?

how about, as part of the personal contact thing, getting them all to play computer golf or something during break times? ah well, I guess the planet just won't be saved after all.

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