Posts Tagged ‘Richard Branson’

Not a penny to greedy grasping tax-dodging conman Richard Branson

April 14, 2020

It beggars belief greedy grasping tax-dodging billionaire conman Richard Branson has his hand out for £500 million bailout of his ailing Virgin airline.

Taxpayers should not give him a penny.

£500 million is only from British taxpayer, Branson is also seeking £700 million from the Australian government to bailout Virgin Australia.

Recently he shifted a billion dollars from American Virgin Islands to British Virgin Islands.

A couple of years ago Branson sued NHS for millions. How many lives has that cost, how many ventilators for patients, protective equipment for front-line staff?

His running of the East Coast Mainline was a disaster. The rail franchise has now reverted back to public ownership, much to the relief of train crew and passengers.

In his call for a bailout Branson is backed by Airbus, which makes the planes, and Rolls-Royce, which makes the jet engines for the planes. He is also backed by Manchester Airport and Heathow Airport which wish to see a return to businesses as usual.

No bailout for airlines, no return to businesses as usual. We should not bailout out industries which are trashing the planet, which delivered covid-19 around the world.

Bailout people not airlines, bailout local indie businesses not global corporations, then fund a Green New Deal.  Any bailout should be of strategic sectors by acquiring a controlling stake.

The rottenness is at two levels, rottenness of billionaires who think the role of the taxpayer to bail them out, whilst calling for the strivers to return to work and make them more money, and the rottenness of the travel industry who think they can return to businesses as usual trashing the planet with the the help of the taxpayer.

Rich football clubs owned by billionaires, have laid off their workers, expected the taxpayer to pay 80% of salaries of the lowest paid, whilst overpaid footballers remain on full salary sitting on their arse doing nothing.

Philip Greed expects the taxpayer to bail out his ailing Arcadia group.

Mike Ashley tried to open Sports Direct during lockdown claiming it was an essential business.

Tim Martin forced sick workers into work at J D Wetherspoon by refusing to pay sick pay, encouraged drunks to go drinking at pubs, then when pubs forced to close, told his workers to go find another job and refused to pay suppliers (many of whom are small craft breweries).

Vulture capitalist owners of Waterstone’s forced their workers into work, refused to implement social distancing, refused to allow workers to wear face masks or gloves.

We face two global crisis, global pandemics spread by airlines and cruise ships and climate emergency.

We were told could not reach zero carbon by 2035, impossible, unrealistic within the time scale. We have shut down polluting industries overnight, we have seen what is possible, we hear bird song not traffic noise, our skies are free of aircraft, our streets traffic free, our cities pollution free. We cannot return to businesses as usual.

Covid-19 has jolted us into another now, a different trajectory. We have a glimpse of what is possible, what could be. We must now create and maintain another now, our future and that of the planet depends upon it.

Naomi Klein v Richard Branson on Virgin climate pledge

December 1, 2014

A decade ago, Richard Branson promised to pay £3 billion from his airlines and transport companies into green solutions to combat CO2 emissions.

So what happened, er not a lot.

A lot of media publicity at the time, but nothing has happened.

The excuse of Richard Branson is that it has been a tough time for airlines, we have seen a global recession.

And yet over that period, rather than investing any money in combating CO2 emissions, he has ploughed it into massively expanding his airline businesses, such that their CO2 emission have risen by 40%.

His latest acquisition is the East Coast Mainline, which is running perfectly well in the public sector. He will have a 10% share, Stagecoach the other 90%.

Leaving climate solutions to billionaires, however well meaning, is not the answer.

But at least Richard Branson has pointed us in the right direction, the industries that are the heaviest CO2 polluters, airlines, coal, oil, car industry, should be heavily taxed on the Polluter Shall Pay principle, and the money raised going into green solutions.

We cannot rely on philanthropic billionaires, whose instinct is to accrue more money. It is like with the tax dodders, Starbucks, Google, Amazon, contribution cannot be like a charitable donation, voluntary.

Flogging off East Coast Mainline

November 27, 2014
David Cameron flogs East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson

David Cameron flogs East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson

We have 10 days to tell the Government re-privatising the East Coast Mainline is a terrible deal for passengers and for taxpayers. — Caroline Lucas

Anyone who travels by train knows it is broke and we pay through the nose, with year on year above inflation hikes in rail fares.

Travel at weekend, especially on a Sunday when frequency of trains is poor and connections bad, and you have the nightmare of railworks.

Travel on the Reading-Gatwick line with First Great Western, and the toilets are in filthy condition.

First Great Western can no longer even be bothered to print and display a revised timetable. And it is no use asking at the ticket office, as they do not know either

Travel on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line and you get filthy Third World inner-city cattle trucks fit for a scrapyard.

Travel on the East Coast Mainline and you get clean, fast trains, pleasant helpful staff, free wifi (though very limited).

It will surprise many to learn, this line is state owned.

With the failure of Sea Containers, the company that owned the company that owned the East Coast Mainline, it reverted to the state. It was then flogged to National Express, who proved to be disaster,and it was taken back into state control.

In the five years it has been run by the public sector, East Coast has returned nearly £1 billion to the taxpayer, as well as increasing passenger numbers, introducing a new timetable, improving punctuality, investing in ageing rolling stock and establishing industry leading approaches to waste recycling and reducing carbon emissions.

In Switzerland, they take a pragmatic approach, whether or not public or private it is dependent upon what works best.

For ConDen government, it a religious dogma, anything that can be privatised must be privatised, irrespective of what the evidence says.

nationalised or privatised

nationalised or privatised

Ask those who use the railways, is privatisation of the railways a success, and they will tell you no.

They want to see railways brought back into public ownership.

They also want to see the HS2 gravy train scrapped, and the money instead ploughed back into the existing rail network.

It therefore beggars belief that the Government has announced it intends to flog the franchise back to a private operator again, despite the success of the public sector rescue. This is privatisation for privatisation’s sake.

David Cameron is poised to hand East Coast Mainline to Richard Branson.

The new company running the London-Edinburgh trains will be Inter City Railways, a joint venture 90%-owned by Stagecoach with the trains branded Virgin Trains East Coast. Sir Richard Branson retains a 10% stake.

This is is like handing over the Royal Mail to the private sector.

This is handing public assets, our assets, to the private sector.

Have those who use East Coast Mainline been asked if they wish to see it handed to Richard Branson?

The East Coast Mainline should remain in our hands.

David Cameron is doing the dirty. He is trying to hand it over before the General Election, as he knows he is going to be out of office after the election.

The public has just ten days to object to this state give away.

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