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Wrightbus goes wrong

by Frank Schnittger Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 09:16:31 AM EST


Boris Johnson at Wrightbus

Wrightbus is one of the few iconic N. Ireland industrial concerns along with Harland and Wolff shipyard (which built the Titanic) and Short Brothers aircraft manufacturing, now owned by Bombardier, which manufactures wings for the Airbus A220 aircraft, and which is considered a possible Airbus takeover target. Wrightbus is best known as the maker of the iconic London "Boris Bus"

Wrightbus is headquartered in the Antrim town of Ballymena which is also the home town of Ian Paisley, founder of the Free Presbyterian Church and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). It is at the very epicentre of hardline, fundamentalist protestant unionism. In 2017 it donated £4 Million to "Christian, evangelical and other charitable activities at a time it made a pre-tax loss of £1.7 million. It is owned by "Pastor" Jeffrey William Wright who controls almost 69 per cent of the company and the Wright Evangelical Trust.

William Wright was a key supporter of the Leave campaign in Northern Ireland, but the Brexit vote caused uncertainty in its marketplace, and the company found that some of its customers reconsidered investment plans because of the UK's changing relationship with Europe. Many of the WrightBus customers are private and State-owned transport operators, and some of these have parent companies with headquarters in Europe. Wrightbus has now gone into administration with the likely loss of 1,200 jobs and thousands more in the supply chain and supporting services.



Workers walk through the gates of the Wrightbus plant in Ballymena on Wednesday.
Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire. Note the gender imbalance...

Display:
€110 million 'Get Ready for Brexit' ad campaign launches in the UK

How Wrightbus took the wrong turn | Irish Times |

How did Wrightbus, a winner of the Queen's Award for exporting, one of the UK's top industry accolades, take such a wrong turn?

Though Brexit has not yet come to pass, the company's demise is rooted in the 2016 vote by the UK to leave the European Union. The referendum outcome triggered a combination of factors that created difficult market conditions for the Wrights Group.

[...]

Now a very uncertain future awaits not just the company but its suppliers.

"Businesses in the supporting supply chain have been doing what they can to support the company over this past year in the hope the business can be saved," said Stephen Kelly of Manufacturing NI. "They too face some very uncertain months as they try to secure the money they are owed and replace the trade they have done with the Wrightbus.

"That won't be easy as there's a significant cooling of demand across the UK economy as Brexit bites and buyers reluctant to make big capital purchases," Mr Kelly said.

[...]

Questions are already being asked about charitable donations made by the parent company. Latest accounts for the Cornerstone Group Ltd. show that in 2017 - the most recent year for which accounts are available, it made charitable donations totalling more than £4.1 million to "fund the group's commitment to Christian evangelical and other charitable activities".

Those donations dragged a business that had been making profits of £10.86 million in the year of the Brexit vote to a loss of £1.7 million just 12 months later.

Revealed: Crisis-hit Wrightbus gave £15m in Christian charity donations | Belfast Telegraph |
Why are Britain's buses in crisis?

Related reading ...

Research: Quantifying the Cost of Brexit Uncertainty | Harvard Business Review |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 10:19:34 AM EST
We must let Boris Johnson declare his genius
Last Sunday, if you bought Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Times north of the Border or in Britain, you would have had the pleasure of reading Rod Liddle's column on an opinion poll suggesting there might be a majority in Northern Ireland for a united Ireland.

"I'm all for that if it means a united Ireland under British control. I think the Irish would be delighted to reacquaint themselves with the immeasurable benefits of rule from Westminster. I suppose it is possible, if improbable, that the poll meant a united Ireland under Dublin's control, but I find that hard to believe. Even if some commentators have suggested, darkly, that this was the intention of the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, all along, his unneighbourly intransigence and spite designed to reignite the issue."

But if you bought the Sunday Times south of the Border, you would have missed this treat. You'd have had to settle instead for the considered and coherent thoughts of the paper's superb Irish columnist, Justine McCarthy.

There is nothing especially unusual in this cynical tailoring of messages to different audiences. (Though it does, incidentally, remind us that the right-wing provocation that parades under the banner of "free speech" is in fact carefully shaped to the commercial interests of media owners.)

Yet it usefully illustrates a truth that may become increasingly important in the coming weeks - there are different audiences for any discourse about Brexit. And just as Murdoch, in his infinite tenderness, shields his readers in the Republic from certain aspects of English opinion, we may have to govern our own tongues if Boris Johnson is to get a deal through parliament.

I've suggested before that the British government will eventually end up with the Caligula option. That famously mad Roman emperor now seems a model of good governance compared with the antics in Whitehall and Westminster,

Johnson, as a classicist, surely remembers what he did when he needed to declare a great triumph. He marched his legions to northern France, apparently in readiness to invade Britain. But he got fed up with the whole business and instead ordered them to line up along the shore. He told them to fill their helmets and tunic laps with seashells which were, he declared, "plunder from the ocean".

He then granted himself a glorious triumph which was lavishly celebrated in Rome.

Fintan O'Toole then goes on to suggest the irish Government must grant Boris his victory...

But a repeat of this manoeuvre will be very tricky for the Irish government, not least because, if we do end up with the Northern Ireland-only backstop with knobs on, it will be a genuine triumph for Irish diplomacy.

How do you look mildly gloomy when you've got what you wanted? Especially when, with a general election in the air, the temptation to claim a historic win for a government that has performed so poorly in so many other areas, will be well nigh irresistible.

But resist it they must. For once, the existence of two different audiences may be a benefit - the Irish government will have to speak very quietly and calmly to its domestic audience while hoping it is not overheard across the Irish Sea.

And it will have to perfect a saintly patience and a rueful look as Johnson waves his seashells around Westminster: oh, Boris, that conch is really impressive and you're so clever to be able to blow so hard on it.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 11:14:53 AM EST
Rod Liddle: I think the Irish Americans would be delighted to reacquaint themselves with the immeasurable benefits of rule from Westminster.

Would play out very nicely in Boston.

by Bernard on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 04:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rod Liddle is a total wanker.

I rather fear I insult rodent kind when I thik he looks like a rat that's had an overdose of warfarin. A ghastly and vile person

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 05:00:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas Cook bosses face SCRUTINY over collapse
Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said he was "deeply sorry" about the firm's collapse and said the company had worked "exhaustively" to salvage a rescue deal.

The company went into liquidation on Monday under the weight of a £1.7bn debt pile. As the result, the government is having to fly home around 155,000 customers from 18 countries.

Some 22,000 jobs worldwide are at risk too, 9,000 of them in the UK.

They've privatized the profits and socialized the losses, but it won't ever, ever happen again!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 03:59:33 PM EST
Anyone know how that debt pile originated? Exorbitant dividends and executive salaries? Leveraged decapitalisations? YOU DON'T RUN UP DEBTS LIKE THAT OVERNIGHT...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 27th, 2019 at 10:56:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a mYSteRYAgott.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 27th, 2019 at 03:00:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's been carrying a lot of debt for a long time; a good decade or so.

However, after a major loss in 2011 led to a change of board, the company was back in profit by 2016/17, but instead of paying off its debt it chose to pay a large dividend to shareholders.

however, a long series of "one off disasters", volcanic eruption, hot weather, oil price rises, currency fluctuations, on-going tory government meant that eventaully they weren't able to service their debt. So the board gives themselves a big payoff and then declare bankruptcy.

Capitalism working as designed

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 05:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 08:22:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know the Irish weather is a bit unpredictable, but describing a few days of "hot weather" as a one off disaster is stretching things a bit. How was it supposed to effect bus sales in any case, or were you just using it as a metaphor?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 11:21:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the parent of the thread was about Thomas Cook

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 07:05:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Capitalism: from each according to their ability, to each according to how much they can grab


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 02:54:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
d/b/a Wrightsbus, business case for capital investment might appeal to conventional "confidence in the banking system". Or not until workers take to the streets with banners reading, "President Trump, Liberate Ballymena".

BoE, 2007
EU, 2009

The Package

Paul Krugman, writing in his column for The New York Times, stated that "Mr Brown and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer have defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up." He also stated that "Luckily for the world economy,... Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense,... And they may have shown us the way through this crisis."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 04:20:07 PM EST
yea, Save Wall St, fuck Main St.

Liberate the 1% from their debts, screw the rest

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 05:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK's Johnson denies any wrongdoing in ties with ["]US tech exec["]
in other news the "tech exec" has been compared to the "adult film star."

I couldn't and wouldn't guess if the revelation will hasten more swiftly than Wrightbus ahh church protesters HRM BoJo's "removal from office".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 07:35:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK's Johnson denies any wrongdoing in ties with ["]US tech exec["]

Up until now, they've simply refused to comment on such stories, but now they're denying it. And as Cockburn's rule states, "Nothing is true until officially denied".

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 02:18:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish Times:"Latest accounts for the Cornerstone Group Ltd. show that in 2017 - the most recent year for which accounts are available, it made charitable donations totalling more than £4.1 million to "fund the group's commitment to Christian evangelical and other charitable activities".

Any hope that this blatant act of looting will be subjected to a clawback by the bankruptcy administrator?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 06:13:35 PM EST
The Lord has already trousered the loot.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 06:46:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least the redundant workers will now be able to spend their time in Pastor Wright's megachurch and thereby save their souls... He may even run a soup kitchen for them.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 27th, 2019 at 11:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 07:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scottish council approves $185 million Trump housing plan
Trump announced the purchase of the 1,500-acre Menie Estate in 2006 and said he planned to create a two-course resort with a 450-room luxury hotel and other tourist facilities. He built one course, which is loss-making, but Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd said there was no longer market demand for a large five-star hotel.

The company sought planning permission instead for 50 rental cottages and to build 500 houses for sale, the proceeds of which could help fund the next stage of the resort expansion.

public emoluments consultation
The vote by the council on Thursday to back the application is a victory for Trump, who bought the land at Balmedie cheaply because it was largely zoned for agricultural use. Aberdeen is struggling with a decline in the North Sea oil industry and Scottish authorities hope the resort will help develop tourism in the area.

Aberdeenshire Council said it had received 2,921 valid representations from the public about the housing plan, 2,918 of which were objections while three supported the application.

"BREXIT delay law" jobs saved or created!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 10:49:00 PM EST
death threats, no details, poor community outreach

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 03:31:16 AM EST
scare quotes implied

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 11:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 08:03:34 PM EST


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 08:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Workers celebrate after progress in negotiations to save Wrightbus | Belfst Telegraph |

There were celebrations at the factory gates after a deal to save troubled bus builder Wrightbus moved a step closer.

The Ballymena operation, famous for building London buses, was placed into administration last month with the loss of 1,200 jobs.

English industrialist Jo Bamford announced on Friday that he had agreed a deal in principle to buy the factory and associated land from former business owner Jeff Wright. [Ian Paisley (DUP)]

There was jubilation among former workers at the gates of the plant on Friday morning as the news emerged.

Steve McMaster, who has worked for Wrightbus for 42 years, described it the best day in his time working for the firm, and vowed it will "once again be the best bus company in the world".

But regional officer for the Unite union George Brash warned that, while a deal has been agreed in principle, there remain "a few hurdles to get over".

Son of JCB chairman in talks to secure a deal with Wrightbus

Wrightbus sale deal reached 'in principle' | BBC News |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 07:39:26 PM EST


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