Thursday 18 June 2020

Who's doing the painting?

The revelation that it is going to cost £900,000 to have an RAF aeroplane repainted in red, white and blue to boost the image of the PM when he travels abroad has raised more than a few eyebrows. There is a minor (?) question about how the PM is going to fly anywhere without having to go into quarantine for a fortnight when he returns (he surely wouldn’t want to be caught out breaking his own rules), although the story seems to suggest that the repainting job is going to take a while, so perhaps it won’t be finished until after the quarantine rules have been scrapped. It’s an expensive ego trip.
It made me wonder, though, about this story from late April about the emergency flight collecting PPE from China (picture from BBC story at the time). It was all arranged in a huge rush, allegedly, yet somehow the company managed to fit in the time and money to have the plane repainted in NHS livery before sending it out to China. Did that little PR exercise really cost them £900.000? Somehow, I doubt it. And I also doubt that it took very long to get the job done.

So, what’s the difference? I find myself wondering if this isn’t one of those very profitable outsourcing contracts which the MoD has negotiated under which the painting of aircraft is undertaken by a private company which charges an extortionate amount, completely legitimately under the terms of a poorly negotiated contract, all in the name of converting public cost into private profit. A bit like the £5,500 sink or the £884 chair, maybe. At £900,000, someone, somewhere must be making a lot of money.

1 comment:

dafis said...

Yet another,relatively minor,episode in the saga of sucking money out of public funds into private coffers. These bastards have been doing it for the last decade and are becoming increasingly brazen about. All those vanity projects are designed with this caper in mind. Profit for the already stinking wealthy, losses fielded by the public purse. Criminals.