Not from me, on Qantas and Rolls-Royce

From an occasional correspondent who knows about this sort of thing: RR engines do not like oil in the wrong places because it may stop the air-cooled turbine blades being cooled All RR "B" checks are supposed to include a look for oil in the wrong places Qantas seem less good at finding it than … Continue reading Not from me, on Qantas and Rolls-Royce

More fun with marginal tax rates

Here's Felix Salmon Justin Fox standing in for Felix Salmon, on the economic impact of the socialist Truman government's evil confiscatory tax policies: During the Korean War, Congress enacted an excess profits tax meant to keep military contractors from, well, profiteering. In its infinite wisdom, Congress defined excess profits as anything above what a company … Continue reading More fun with marginal tax rates

Waratah trains: why the NSW government isn’t at fault

The suggestion that the NSW government had done nothing wrong would normally seem unlikely, irrespective of context. Even more so when the context is a $2.6bn capital investment project that’s at risk of collapsing, requiring a massive government bailout, or both. However, the funding shortfall threatening the public-private partnership (PPP) to build 78 new Waratah … Continue reading Waratah trains: why the NSW government isn’t at fault

Tories, speed cameras, and Voluntary Idiot Tax

There are mild signs of upset at the Coalition opting to cut the number of new speed cameras. There shouldn't be. For one: speed cameras are, entirely, a voluntary tax on idiots. Most non-urban speed limits are far lower than the safe speed for the average vehicle on the road in question driven by the … Continue reading Tories, speed cameras, and Voluntary Idiot Tax

We have just OneWorld, but we live in different ones

Within a few years, there will only be about five real long-haul airlines, all based around the current alliance systems. The non-alliance airlines will stop flying long-haul, or where national egos won't allow that to happen they'll cut down to a couple of planes on flagship routes that nobody in their right mind would use … Continue reading We have just OneWorld, but we live in different ones

Those British Airways strikes

While there's been a lot of commentary on the British Airways strikes, the analysis (whether pro-company or pro-union) tends to miss two major points. The business model is unsustainable - but that's the management's fault, not the unions' BA’s model before the global financial crisis was to charge a fortune for excellent service in Club … Continue reading Those British Airways strikes

We love Admiral Scrumptious

Lord Adonis's retort to Boris on the Tube Lines PPP arbitration is quite superb: Under devolution, it is for the Mayor and TfL to deliver the Tube upgrades within their generous budget - not for me to bail them out if they fail to do so. If Boris wants me to take charge of TfL … Continue reading We love Admiral Scrumptious

Disappointing bureaucrats

In general, the New South Wales drivers theory test is a Bumper Book of Common Sense. However, I'm disappointed by question FD035: FD035 - Fatigue and Defensive Driving RUH You are driving an older relative for an appointment and are running late. They ask you to go faster to get there on time. You should … Continue reading Disappointing bureaucrats

Mmm, tempura morays

From Ars Technica, enlightening the 'net neutrality' debate, a piece on the corrupt institutions and robber barons who hijacked the Victorian equivalent of the Internet. This digression was interesting: The result was the infamous Credit Mobilier scandal of the 1870s... Rather than license the construction of the Union Pacific railroad to an independent contractor, its … Continue reading Mmm, tempura morays

British negativism versus reality

From CiF: We managed to add a 5th terminal to Heathrow without too many problems - apart from some lost baggage in the immediate aftermath; which, while tiresome, was hardly a showstopper. Trouble is, with our infinite capacity to see the negative, this was seen as some kind of apocalyptic proof of how useless we … Continue reading British negativism versus reality