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Did I Hear Blair Right?  
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8636 times:

Last Wednesday on Prime Minister's Questions, the member from a constituency that hosts Airbus jobs asked about the impact of Power8. Blair said his bit and added the usual line about how good Airbus and the A380 is. Now, I may have misheard, but I thought he said that the A380 had reached 2000 orders?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8578 times:

Quote:


Doug Naysmith (Bristol North West, Labour) - I know that my right hon. Friend is aware of the Airbus Power 8 announcement being made in Toulouse later today. What assurances can he give my constituents and others who work at Filton and Broughton that our Government are doing all that they can to ensure that high-value, high-tech engineering and manufacturing skills are retained in the United Kingdom?

Tony Blair (Prime Minister) - First, I pay tribute to the work force in my hon. Friend's constituency. I can tell him that I understand that Filton is set to secure the manufacture of key wing components on the A350. That will represent valuable new capability for the UK, and will help to maintain the UK lead for future programmes. In addition, we expect the UK's role as a continuing centre of excellence for wings to be confirmed. Of course, both at Filton and at Broughton, there is a tremendous amount of work done by a highly skilled work force. Airbus itself, which is a project of European collaboration, has been of enormous benefit, not merely in terms of jobs in this country, but jobs across Europe. The number of Airbus orders is now about 2,000 for the new plane. I have seen it myself, and it is quite superb. It is an extraordinary piece of design, engineering and skilled work, and I know that the work force in my hon. Friend's constituency will continue to play a major part in its development in future.


http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2007-02-28a.916.7

Nope, you heard him perfectly - though Im not quite sure how exactly most of his answer has anything to do with the question at hand  Smile

Thats Blair for you ... actually, thats unfair, I should say thats politicians for you.


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8529 times:

Having reread your question, and the PMs answer, it would seem that he is talking about the A350, but 2,000 orders still seems in the realm of cloud cookoo land.

I think this goes a long way to showing the real value of answers at these sort of events, considering he is supposed to be answering with accurate information.


User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8458 times:

He could mean the whole of airbus has a 2000 plane backlog. possible?

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineSilverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8057 times:

I would n't believe that liar anytime, as soon as he opens his gob he lies, and lies ,and lies

User currently offlineAirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8000 times:

Blair was probably just using the numbers John Leahy gave him. He didn't know they were fluff. The people of Britain now think that Airbus is selling lots of A380's, and that makes Leahy happy.

User currently offlineUAEflyer From United Arab Emirates, joined Nov 2006, 1084 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7958 times:

Maybe he was referring to Airbus orders for 2006

User currently onlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3590 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7937 times:

This is vintage Bliar; he uses this technique when announcing government investments; not only does he pluck numbers out of nowhere, he announces the same money every few months making it sound new.

User currently offlineHeyMach From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2003, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7328 times:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 1):
Thats Blair for you ... actually, thats unfair, I should say thats politicians for you.

No, you were right the first time...that's definitely for Blair you.

[Edited 2007-03-05 00:00:52]

User currently offlineB707Stu From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 918 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7235 times:

He may mean the number of wings from '06, 1000 aircraft x2 wings each? A stretch I know and clearly a spin job.

User currently offlineZvocio79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7201 times:

perhaps he wanted to say that there could be a market of 2,000 A380 in the future....

User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24936 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7127 times:

The only Scarebus that comes close to that is the A320 family, which I believe has now 7000+ orders, which, fair enough, is prob half of the 737 orders but is still impressive.


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineAwthompson From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 475 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6202 times:

Quoting Silverfox (Reply 4):



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 7):



Quoting HeyMach (Reply 8):

Hey folks!

Maybe better not to ridicule Politicians or Heads of State too much. The job of Prime Minister is one job where the vast majority of us would not even survive ONE week.

Maybe if a Head of State gave the exact truth and stark reality in everything, the country would not be able to take it and would soon have him/her resigned or voted out.

Surely a Prime Minister's job is all about compromise and finding the middle ground which is a very delicate balance in today's complex society. In most situations no matter what is said or what decision is made, some people will see it as the wrong thing.

I don't like a lot of things about how the UK is run but I don't personally hold Blair accountable. It's a system which would takes years to change and no one man/woman would be able to do it.

Blair has either quoted a figure which he has been given, or he has made a slip. He is human after all.

Well, thats my bit....

Dont take me too seriously though  Wink


User currently offlineBaron52ta From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4302 times:

I've lived outside the UK for most of the Blair reign but the one thing I can say is he is crap with numbers every time he say things about improvements or deals the numbers are total BS where he gets them is anyone's guess. He should work in confectionery as he seem great at fudging figures that is why a lot of people call him B Liar.
He make Hitler look like a ssaint


User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3818 times:

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 11):
The only Scarebus that comes close to that is the A320 family, which I believe has now 7000+ orders, which, fair enough, is prob half of the 737 orders but is still impressive.

At the end of januari 2007 orders for the A32S stood at 5018, orders for the 737 stand at 6832 since last thursday.



SUPPORT THE LEBANESE CIVILIANS
User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2949 times:

Quoting Awthompson (Reply 12):
Maybe if a Head of State gave the exact truth and stark reality in everything, the country would not be able to take it and would soon have him/her resigned or voted out

Possibly. However, Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State, not Blair. Unfortunately I didn't see this latest gaffe from the PM. I have a Blair-Away fitted to my TV, so that whenever he pops up, it automatically switches channels.  Wink



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2909 times:

Quoting B707Stu (Reply 9):

A stretch I know and clearly a spin job.

Which is B Liar to a T!! This government has more spin than a washing machine!


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2663 times:

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 15):
Unfortunately I didn't see this latest gaffe from the PM. I have a Blair-Away fitted to my TV, so that whenever he pops up, it automatically switches channels.

You can watch the session here:

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page306.asp

 Smile


User currently offlineF22KA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1696 times:

"He make Hitler look like a ssaint." ... What a moronic statement!!!

User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1554 times:

Quoting F22KA (Reply 18):
"He make Hitler look like a ssaint." ... What a moronic statement!!!

Have you never heard of Godwin's Law?


User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1518 times:

It is perfectly clear from the context Mr Blair is talking about Airbus' TOTAL backlog, which is around 2000 planes indeed.

For the few a.nutters here online, his comment may have been confusing in that he first talks about the A350XWB (notably on their secured portion of work on the A350XWB which is what the question to him is about), then about how successful Airbus as a whole is (which is why the reference to the 2,000 orders is made) and then to end shows his continued interest in the company by repeating he has been visiting the works recently and has been impressed by some product (most likely the A380).

Don't forget a PM is asked many very diverse and detailed questions during these Parliament Q&A sessions and has to reply to them briefly and as correct as possible on the spot; Therefore I must say he's pretty well informed on the matter: Ask GWB how big the backlog of Boeing is and I am not sure he'll be able to even give you a good approximation, let alone a full split up of the orders per type of plane as some here are expecting from Tony Blair!

[Edited 2007-03-05 14:57:29]

User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1495 times:

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 20):
For the few a.nutters here online, his comment may have been confusing in that he first talks about the A350XWB (notably on their secured portion of work on the A350XWB which is what the question to him is about), then about how successful Airbus as a whole is (which is why the reference to the 2,000 orders is made) and then to end shows his continued interest in the company by repeating he has been visiting the works recently and has been impressed by some product (most likely the A380).

Not really, Blair does quite screw the line up good and proper. The 2,000 orders comment is made specifically in reference to 'the new plane', and the subsequent comments are made with reference to 'it'.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 1):
The number of Airbus orders is now about 2,000 for the new plane. I have seen it myself, and it is quite superb. It is an extraordinary piece of design, engineering and skilled work, and I know that the work force in my hon. Friend's constituency will continue to play a major part in its development in future.

Quite a spectacular demonstration of the fact that the PM rarely knows what hes talking to when faced with PMs Question Time, tho you can put this down to the fact that theres a lot going on and MPs can ask *anything* with no forwarning.


User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1442 times:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 21):
The 2,000 orders comment is made specifically in reference to 'the new plane', and the subsequent comments are made with reference to 'it'.

There we go again for a full grammatical analysis of yet another verbal comment.

Mr Blair indeed said 'it' had 2,000 orders and when we read 'it' as referring to a specific type of plane, it indeed doesn't hold any ground and it isn't even clear then whether that would then have to be the A350 he first talked about, or the A380 which he clearly mentions later as having seen.

For me it is clear 'it' simply means 'Airbus' here, thus showing he made the assumption many people make, i.e. that an Airbus is a certain type of plane already, albeit existing in differently looking submodels. It isn't even that weird of an assumption to make, since it originally WAS a type designator only (for the European 300 seater) and it only became a trade mark for a manufacturer many years later when the family was expanded. In that context, 'it' is a very normal word to use when referring to Airbus and the latest version of it....

Read it again, considering the above:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 1):
Of course, both at Filton and at Broughton, there is a tremendous amount of work done by a highly skilled work force. Airbus itself, which is a project of European collaboration, has been of enormous benefit, not merely in terms of jobs in this country, but jobs across Europe. The number of Airbus orders is now about 2,000 for the new plane. I have seen it myself, and it is quite superb. It is an extraordinary piece of design, engineering and skilled work, and I know that the work force in my hon. Friend's constituency will continue to play a major part in its development in future.



Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 21):
Quite a spectacular demonstration of the fact that the PM rarely knows what he's talking about when faced with PMs Question Time, tho you can put this down to the fact that there's a lot going on and MPs can ask *anything* with no forwarning.

I think he demonstrated above average knowledge on the topic, something which given his position is all that can be expected really. He's not running Airbus nor is sitting on the EADS board, so he shouldn't have a full, up-to-date detailed idea of how their backlog is composed. If he were to know that, he'd likely be spending way to much time on details like these, forgetting about the big picture.
As said before: I bet that if we were to ask GWB the size of Boeing's backlog, he wouldn't be able to give a good approximation?

BTW- it is not just a PM who can occasionally make confusing statements. Still remember SRB and his confusing comments on the new planes from a few days ago? Even Reuters couldn't follow up on all the corrections made by the spokesmen from Virgin right after the Chairman had spoken...


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1395 times:

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 22):
There we go again for a full grammatical analysis of yet another verbal comment.

Who is doing a grammatical analysis? We are merely taking the comment as said - which if you do, the comment doesnt make sense to people with the smallest amount of knowledge with regard to the industry at hand.

We arent reading anything into the comment, we arent adding our own meaning, we are taking it as literal.

The people here trying to make sense of the comment are those that are adding their own value and meaning, and to be truthful, you have to make some fairly significant leaps to reconcile the statement with the suggested intended meaning.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 22):
For me it is clear 'it' simply means 'Airbus' here, thus showing he made the assumption many people make, i.e. that an Airbus is a certain type of plane already, albeit existing in differently looking submodels

But again reading the damn comment you dont get that at all - he *distinctly* links the 2,000 order figure with 'the new plane'. The. New. Plane. Not 'a new plane' or 'new planes' - if this is supposed to be referencing Airbus' backlog then its an absolutely terrible statement in english, and people *should* be ripping a Prime Minister of all people apart for saying it.

Thats the issue here.


User currently offlineKukkudrill From Malta, joined Dec 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1359 times:

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 20):
It is perfectly clear from the context Mr Blair is talking about Airbus' TOTAL backlog, which is around 2000 planes indeed.

I think Slz is on the right track here, but you cannot draw conclusions about ministers' understanding of a topic from the replies they give to parliamentary questions. Ministers give replies on the basis of briefs drawn up by their officials. I suspect that Blair had such a brief which mentioned the size of Airbus's backlog and he simply misread it as a reference to the A380.



Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 25, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1242 times:

Well I've yet to remember a PM with the amount of aviation knowledge that exists on this site.
Clearly, he was reading from a (poorly) prepared text, like most people who are still balanced, I suspect he is talking of a total Airbus order backlog.

Is this so new?
Nope, Maggie, just after the Invasion of the Falklands wnated to know why ships could not get down there in days, why the full force of the RAF could not be used immediatedly, why the large conventional carrier (with Phantoms and Buccaneers), HMS Ark Royal could not be used.

AirtranUS, do you really want to see another (very long) list of verbal gaffes by Bush, and not about a specialised subject like aviation either?

One point has been missed in all the ranting on here, there were threads before the Airbus announcement spelling doom and gloom for the UK Airbus workers.
There were also threads on pressure mounted by members of the UK government on Airbus, (my own view is that the problems with Airbus were very much a Franco-German bitchfest), for whatever happened to the UK plants to be fair and proportional.

Which seems to have happened.
Was pressure from Blair's ministers in any way responsible for the news being much less worse for the UK than many expected?
I don't know, neither does anyone else on here, unless we have someone here with access to the highest levels of the Dept of Trade & Industry. Or indeed, the Airbus boardroom.
But I'm sure that had those dire reports been true, many of you ranting here would be banging on about 'Blair does not care for UK workers', or 'his government was too useless to do anything', or 'was selling us out to Europe'.

So none of us knows what influence, lobbying, pressure, if any, HM Government had here.
What I do know is the issues were and are people's jobs, skills base, the UK's place in Airbus despite BAE.
To me, this seems rather more important than an obsessive play on words, in an event like PM's Questions, that is not known for clarity of debate, on any subject.
For that, you should look to Parliamentary Select Committees.

But that's just me I guess.


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