Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Proving the opposite

Yesterday’s ‘dry run’ for post-Brexit chaos at the ports turned into farce as those involved pretended that 89 lorries could adequately demonstrate the impact of 6000.  There were supposed to be 150, which isn’t much better, but only 60% turned up.  It’s tempting to assume that the other 61 were hired from a start-up haulage company which doesn’t actually have any lorries yet, but that might just be too close to the truth.
It wasn’t the complete disaster as which some have painted it, though; it’s just that the lessons learned weren’t the intended ones.  I thought that it demonstrated rather well the potential impact of contracting out transportation to companies which don’t have any lorries or ships – a significant percentage of the planned traffic will never arrive.  If only they’d planned it better, they could also have allocated specific pretend loads to each of the 150 lorries, and then modelled the impact on business and consumers of 40% failing to arrive in time, or even at all.  That would have taught us all much more about the potential impact.  I suspect, though, that the government would really rather we didn’t know the answer to that one.
Still, it showed those EU types the level of organisation and planning which the UK government is putting into no deal planning, albeit rather more accurately than intended.  Letting them know how ready we are is supposed to frighten them, but after yesterday’s performance they’re more likely to die laughing than of fright.

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