Friday, 14 October 2011

++ Serco wins RAF Valley contract ++

RAF Valley staff learned today that Babcock International has lost the Supply, Motor Transport, Workshop and Fire Services contract for the Hawks at Valley. Government services outsourcing firm, Serco Group — which, amongst other things runs hospitals, prisons and local authority education services — will take over Babcock's responsibilities from April 2012 after a six month handover period. Babcock will retain the Aircraft maintenance part of the contract until it comes up again for tender in a couple of years time.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, what does that piece of financial magick actually mean to the local community on Anglesey? Do the existing employees get to keep their existing jobs, and existing local suppliers (if any) get to keep their existing contracts, or what?

From what I can see of the background of Serco vs the background of Babcock, this will lead to "interesting times" for the RAF. But I'm sure that Serco's record (primarily in the UK in those well known success sectors, education, health, transport etc) will have been factored in to the procurement process, right? And it won't just have been awarded based on a nod from one of Liam Fox's mates (or, now, ex-mates)?

RIchard Sletzer said...

With any luck perhaps Serco (who also operate buses) will be moved to take over Anglesey's deplorable bus services from Arriva.

When passengers on the Cardiff-Valley air service touch down on schedule at 8.25am at Anglesey Airport they find the Arriva bus service from the airport has already left. It pulls out on the dot of 8.14am - just as the Manx2 flight is on final approach into Valley.

Travellers then have to kick their heels for an hour until another bus turns up - bringing the block door-to-door time for the air journey nearly the equivalent of the dreadful four and a half hour train journey. ...Oh - and surprise, surprise - that's by Arriva too.

The Red Flag said...

Richard, Would this be the same Cardiff air link that was, is and always will be totally incapable of standing on it's own two feet? Whose major users are actually public employees of one description or another? So that not only are we the taxpayer subsidising it, but we are then paying the fares of a vast chunk of it's passengers to boot.

SerCo are a notoriously low wage payer as well ao I don't think the local economy is going to profit from this.

Richard Sletzer said...

The Cardiff-Anglesey airlink is the most economical and environmentally friendly way of travelling to North Wales. The fuel burn per passenger is far less than trains or buses. Rail and bus public subsidies are far higher.
Yes the air service IS used by public sector workers and our elected representatives - and rightly so.(most of them - after all - are your own political bedfellows).
But public sector people are not the majority of passengers. Most are travelling on business or - like me - travelling in a private capacity, paying their own fares and trying to do something for the island.

On your final paragraph - is it really better for Anglesey's unemployed to remain on benefits or be in receipt of a Serco pay-packet?

Gruntfuttocks said...

Anon above. My son-in-law who is a barrister specialising in employment law says that Serco will be obliged to offer employment to the current employess and under the same terms as Babcocks - unless they can come to an agreement with the workers to change their terms - I assume this to mean salaries as well as other condiditons of employmen.

The Red Flag said...

grunt - The firm taking over is obliged to take over 'as is; at the start however they can then be issued with the stautory notice of change of terms and conditions (failure to sign can be interpeted as termination of employment by the employee). I've been through it twice.

The Red Flag said...

The Cardiff-Anglesey airlink is the most economical and environmentally friendly way of travelling to North Wales. A nonsense if ever there was one. The amount of carbon and other pollutants is barely of any relevance at all. If that was a justification, then why is the airlink between London and Manchester not heavily subsidised to the same degreee? Or Manchester and Belfast? Or Liverpool and Dublin? Doing that what make an appreciable difference to the environment - not a miniscule service like that.

The fuel burn per passenger is far less than trains or buses. Again another nonsense. The trains and buses operate anyway and again, the amount of flighhts and people carried is insignificant in comparison.

Rail and bus public subsidies are far higher. Correct. And I have nothing against subsidies per se. What I am against is that they then make profits which they use to pay shareholder dividends and executive bonuses etc. The profits should be used to pay back the subsidy and if there is any left over then they can give it to the shareholders.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE RED FLAG: LOL! Evidently your views are just as up to date as your eponymous 1886 socialist song.

The great thing about this blog is that it's not about blind prejudice - just hard facts.

....So let's see your figures - and your sources.

The Red Flag said...

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Bucks County Council
Somerset County Council
Hertfordshire County Council
Surrey County Council
Canterbury City, Shepway, Thaney, Dartford Councils
Essex County Council
Cambs County Council
Horthants County Council
Slough Borough Council
Sheffield City Council
Rochdale Borough Council
Birmingham City Council
National Physics Laboratory
Bradford Council
The take-over of the welfare to work programme
The take-over of ITNet
Docklands Light Rail

Would you like me to keep going Richard? There are literally hundreds of instances involving thousands of jobs just over the last 2-3 years where SerCo took over contracts and people lost their jobs.

Plenty of sources Richard. The TUC, RMT, PCS, Unison, GMB and others including even the CBI's newsletter.

Not to mention a series of constructive dismissal cases involving MoD contract take-overs.

So Richard, are you saying that there will be no job losses?

Richard Sletzer said...

Oh! We are at slightly cross-purposes here. I thought I had asked you for figures to support your assertions on the North South Wales airlink!

On Serco - I bow to the weight of your evidence ! I accept that Serco has indeed cut jobs in all the places you list.

....And I say "Well done Serco. All power to your elbow".

Many, perhaps most Serco UK contracts are in the public sector. It is right that Serco should do everyting it can to control costs and squeeze out inefficiency. We need a much smaller public sector - not the bloated brigades of jobsworths recruited by Labour which are now imposing an unacceptable load on the people in this country who actually earn a living and contribute to the nation's prosperity.

On "The Red Flag" - I love this bit:-
"Look 'round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng."

What a load of tosh it is!

The Red Flag said...

We went through this a year ago on this very blog. I am not a Labour voter. A reasonably intelligent person would have clicked on my name and quickly realised it's to do with Liverpool FC. A dullard would have made assumptions. I'll let you decide which you are.

As to the plane/train it's a nonsense and you seem to be unable to grasp certain things. You cannot compare a light aircraft on one route to a train on another. You can only compare similar things. So let's look at the plane first.

1. It flies direct to Cardiff at optimum height and cruise speed. Therefore it has to be compared to something of a similar capacity doing likewise - such as an extremely small train of less than one third carriage in size, or a Renault minibus. They only thing that exists that is similar in size is a Renault minibus. Little task for you – ask Manx how much fuel a complete one way journey uses including take off and landing. You’ll need a calculator because they give the answer in pounds weight so you’ll need to convert it to gallons. Then find out how much fuel a Renault LM39DCI minibus uses fully laden, driving a journey of similar length, at it’s optimum efficiency speed for 90% of the journey.

The Red Flag said...

Now lets consider the train.

2. Slight bigger than the light aircraft – by a significant margin. Not only that, it goes on a circuitous route with many stops dropping and picking up people. During it’s journey from Holyhead to Cardiff on a busy run in excess of 2000 people board and leave the train for varying journey lengths. But it’s the actual lift capacity we are interested in. The Holyhead-Cardiff train can actually hold more people than an A310 airbus. But I’ll give way to you and allow you the airbus as it is one of the least polluting planes of that size. Now how much fuel do you think an Airbus would burn compared to a train if it started taking off in Holyhead, landing and taking off at Valley, Rhosneigr, LPG, Bangor, all the towns across North Wales, swinging south at Wrecsam and then landing and taking off at a fair few towns (such as Shrewsbury) as it gets down to Cardiff. Care to put a tonnage on it? And the fact it is realising it's pollution into the upper atmosphere higher (and therefore more concentrated)

Finally, there is the direct impact each one has on the other. Since the airlink was established has it led to a reduction in train or bus services? Therefore the net saving on pollution can only have been?



If it were scrapped tomorrow would it lead to an increase in train or bus services? Therefore if it didn’t fly would that lead to a net increase or reduction.

As for your line "I accept that Serco has indeed cut jobs in all the places you list.....And I say "Well done Serco. All power to your elbow".

Is supporting workers losing their jobs official Tory party policy now? Will the Druid be campaigning under the banner of "Less jobs for workers"

Anonymous said...

"Will the Druid be campaigning under the banner of "Less jobs for workers""

Doing that would at least be more honest than the current Millionaires Cabinet have been.

They mustn't be allowed to forget their pre-election promises of "no tuition fees" (from the Lib-Dem Tory), and "no frontline NHS cuts" and "no topdown NHS reorganisation" (from the Thatcherite Tories).

As for Fox...

And how will these people win an election without Murdoch?

Ted Heath will be spinning in his grave.

Not that Miliband is much of an alternative; whichever one you vote for, the banksters and the rich stay in control.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Here's hoping that you are well, and in the best of health, some of us have been in the shadows waiting for your return, we are still there to support you, we had a real challenge when we supported you in the last election, new we all need to know, are you still in, the political fight?

Richard Sletzer said...

The Red Flag: I realise that there are - "red rag" issues which are self-igniting to left-wingers. One of their favourite tactics is the use fallacious "green" propaganda as a means to try to change public policy.
"Air Travel" has now become another bogeyman for the left-wing who see is as decadent and elitist rather than what it is - efficient, convenient and egalitarian .

If I may I will set aside your comments on the Cardiff/Anglesey air service as you have not provided any figures to support your comments - just predictable left-wing bluster.

Let us, instead, cut to the chase. The public sector should not be used as a national job-creation scheme (which it was under Labour). Public sector workers create no national wealth. The fewer of them we have - the better.

If we have fewer public sector workers we can reduce taxes and allow people to decide how to spend their own money - rather than allow the state to commandeer their cash and do their spending for them.

That is why Serco and organisations like them are right to reduce jobs and increase productivity.

RedMist said...

Reduce the public sector to an absolute minimum, quite agree.

And reduce public sector salaries accordingly ... meaning minimum wage for all unless a particular role requires special skills (and no, I don't include 'the language').

The Red Flag said...

I gave you the path to the information - ring Manx and they will tell you how much fuel (in pounds weight) that flight uses from take-off to landing. I also gave you the exact model and make of a minibus of comparable size for you to go and check for yourself.
The fact you are either lazy or incapable or both is not my problem but you do yourself no favours.

Green issues are not left wing and it is remarkably pathetic of you to claim they are then try and claim that the Cardiff flight is a greener alternative. The tory party uses green issues as one of the reasons for new nuclear builds. Remind me again what colour dominates the conservative party logo and why? So I take it from that that you aren't a tory then?

That is why Serco and organisations like them are right to reduce jobs and increase productivity. SerCo do the same strategy in private sector take-overs as well. Again you get given the access to the information but choose to ignore it. Me, I think it's hilarious that people think there is going to be a recovery while jobs are being lost. Our economy requires that any recovery must be consumer-led and for that consumers need money. Reduce it and you destroy your own economy.

Richard Sletzer said...

This blog does indeed get ever more hilarious.

"Green Issues are not left wing" - LOL LOL.
"Compare an airliner with a Renault mini-bus" LMAO
"Ring Manx" - ROFL ROFL. If you rang them, (and just try finding the number) they wouldn't know - because they are not an airline. They don't fly anyone anywhere. They even don't have a licence to do so - even if they wanted to. They are just a ticket-selling agency.

But the substantive issue - the economy - is no laughing matter. The economy will not recover without substantial reductions in the public sector payroll - both in numbers and, as Red Mist correctly points out, in salaries.

You will now say - "but we can't do without people like teachers and nurses".

.....Oh yes we can. The standard of education provided by left-wing "progressive" teachers in this country's state schools is a national scandal. Sack the lot of them.

Neil Kinnock used to blather on about "nurses, nurses, nurses" so much that in one General Election I recall meeting him at a rather swish house overlooking Holyhead Sound when his voice - thankfully - had completely failed.

But we don't need the thousands of nurses who now seem to think they're junior doctors - "too qualified to care" and who neglect their patients and who cost us a fortune. Let's get rid of them.

Let's cut the taxes that Labour imposed on those people who really DO work for a living. That is the way to get the economy moving again.

Anonymous said...

The agenda in Anglesey is still the same, Labour have failed us all, the only movement that we are interested in is a movement that will prevent us all from being extinct. The Druids are all that we have to identify us as distinct from the rest of the rabble, we should aim to make our goal, survival, because the way we have been misled and treated is similar to being led by the nose to a future that is incapable of providing for us all. The rich will get richer, the poor will not survive, our land, our culture and our identity will be erased from memory. It's time to fight back and prevent further spoilage by cutting away the ties of Cardiff and the puppets we have there, and start growing up. Our future depends on it. We cannot live on stories and myths, we need bread, work and a home to live in.

Anonymous said...

I find it quite sad that amongst the general ramblings on this site not one of you has actually bothered to stop and think about the people who this actually affects, the employees of Babcock at RAF Valley. This will be a very difficult time for them and their families as they face a largely uncertain future.

The Red Flag said...

Richard. If you ring them they will take your number and get back to you with the answer. You obviously can't be ar$ed prefering to shove your own head up it instead.

You blathered that this aircraft is an environmentaly friendly option - I said compare it to something of a similar lift capacity - ie a Renault Minibus, over a route the same distance where it could spend 90% of the journey time at optimum speed. I even gave you the model number. Again you failed.

Bizarrely, you quote environmentally friendly for the plane yet claim green issues are left wing. You a commie then? How about this :-
http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Climate_Change_and_Energy.aspx
Does that make the tory party left wing?

You also seem to know the square root of naff all about even basic political history. Fancy not knowing the significance of those lines from the Red Flag - even an A level politics student knows what they are.

Truly, you are a richard.


ANON 15.45 - I did brush briefly over SerCo's track record. I didn't want to bang on too much - those workers have enough to worry about with Christmas approaching and all. Richard Slezer however is salivating at the prospect of them begging in the street. Doubtless he'll be making remarks about scroungers next. He is sadly a throwback to the time Thatcher stalked the earth - the sort of person Cameron is (rightly) trying to move his party away from.

Richard Sletzer said...

Hmmmm... Well it's not quite a case of RAF Valley's Babcock workers being sent down the road in rags pushing their belongings on a hand-cart.

The Red Flag pointed out that EU transfer of undertakings rules obliges the company taking over the operation to employ the existing Babcock workers. And of course there would be redundancy payments should any eventually lose their jobs.

But let's not forget there are plenty of other jobs going in Babcock. Here is what the company said at the end of last month:-

"Defence and Security: As part of the MoD's new framework for the management of its White Fleet requirements, Babcock has been awarded a four year contract as the Service Provider. This contract is expected to be worth up to £27 million over four years and will come into operation over the next few months. In this role we will be working with the MoD to manage their fleet more efficiently by increasing vehicle utilisation and reducing costs. As the Service Provider Babcock will now identify the optimum method of procuring and maintaining the fleet. Through a co-operation agreement Babcock will continue to deliver the White Fleet service until February 2012 at a value of up to £50 million, whilst these new contracts are let.

The bid pipeline has continued to grow as anticipated and now stands at £10 billion. This includes more than 20 bids in excess of £100 million and includes significant opportunities in the civil nuclear, defence infrastructure, education and training markets as well as for aircraft support under MFTS (Military Flying Training System). In addition, our Marine and Technology business continues to benefit from 15 years' visibility of warship and submarine refit and support activities which are not included in the pipeline. During the period the MoD decided to retain its in-house solution for the Maritime Equipment Transformation programme, for which we had been selected as the sole industry bidder."

The Red Flag said...

Most of that does not refer to activities at Valley or indeed within many miles of Anglesey. The bits that do that Babcock's is retaining have already announced reductions a few months back - the husband of one of our workforce is one of them, caused by cutbacks to defence which in turn led to cutbacks in support engineering requirement.

So being as you brought it up, where- within 50 miles of Valley, are these contracts that Babcocks has bid for. Oh wait, I know, the submarine pen at the end of the breakwater.

Saying 'There's plenty of jobs going at Babcock's' is being disingenuous and what's worse is you know very well it is - which doesn't say much for your character. There were plenty of jobs going at the new Tesco's in Holyhead a couple of weeks back - but they were of no use to someone living in Rhyl.

Nobody on Anglesey gives a flying how much Babcocks is going to spend fannying around with submarines on the south coast of England - it is of as much relevance as the Russian Naval port at Vladivistock. As for the white fleet, unless the RAF facilities at Valley expand, then the white fleet won't either.

So, as I said - you brought it upp so how many more jobs are Babcock's bringing to Anglesey? Because they are of no use anywhere else.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE RED FLAG: It would be appropriate, at this point, to remind you that the defence cuts - the underlying cause of the changes at RAF Valley - have been brought about by the profligate spending and borrowing of the last Labour government.

If Babcock workers are transferred to Serco they have no problem. But Babcock - which is expanding - would also been keen to retain good people and offer them work itself either inside out outside Anglesey.

You rightly criticise my character. I cannot argue with you on that. I am totally beyond redemption.

I expect people who can't find jobs in their immediate area to do what Norman Tebbit's father did - to get on their bikes and look for work.

....And, what's more they should move - yes, even venture across the Menai Bridge or, heaven help us, travel as far as Rhyl if that's where the jobs are.

The comfortable option of staying where they are - with their benefits and with their housing paid for by the rest of us should not be open to them.

The one thing Anglesey does not need is yet more stay-at-home benefit junkies.

The Red Flag said...

You are exactly the sort of tory Richard that lead to 1997. The sort that prevented Cameron getting a workable majority and the sort that will lead to him probably only being in Office for one term.

Which is a shame. He has the potential to be a very very good PM but he is continually being hamstrung by Thatcherite throwbacks like you.

kp said...

Richard, no-one in Wales will ever get on their bike to find work, bikes are not yet provided free on charge on welfare.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE RED FLAG: "Thatcherite throwback" - I don't think you could possibly have paid me a greater compliment.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm finding some of the comments here quite stereo-typical and unfair.

I was made redundant last year from a public sector job (not a cushy job, and certainly not as protected as many would have you believe), and so was on "the dole" for about 6 months. I'm now in a job, thankfully.

The impression I get from comments here is that people on the dole love being on it and have no want to find work. I can assure you I did not, and would never want, to be on the dole.

The JobCentre early this year accused me of not applying for a job, even though I had kept a scanned-copy of the application form which I sent! "Computer says no!" was the attitude I found in the JobCentre. I fought hard and apparently they took my word on the matter. I'm now told this is a common tactic by UK JobCentres.

Anglesey people going to, for example, Rhyl for work. OK, then what about the unemployed in Rhyl? It's a case of "musical chairs"! You can't really rely on public transport in North Wales to be punctual, and if you have a car and use it, you then get slated from the green "mob" for pollution etc etc.

Certainly there are many who "milk" the system and seem to be allowed to do it, but there are many who genuinely need help that get trodden on and treated appallingly.

the outsider said...

We have a lower unemployment rate than many eurozone countries. However most economists and students of demographics are warning that jobs for the upcoming generations of europeans, and indeed pensions for the retiring europeans are just not going to be there for the taking. This is why China is so reluctant to buy eurobonds and help seal the deal (well- sort of 'almost' deal) announced last Thursday as the salvation of the Eurozone.
Only a massive culture change is going to help. We have got to learn to become our own employers; create our own companies and businesses; and not rely on the state, foreign investors or dare I say it, the 'bl..dy' banks.
'How To Start Small and Grow Bigger Business' lessons in secondary schools is as good a place as any to start to encourage a faster change of culture and enterprise.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE OUTSIDER: It's a great idea for schools to start teaching kids to run their own businesses - and long overdue.

However I worry that your average Anglesey teacher is such a public-sector-orientated, Labour/Liberal/Welsh Nationalist-voting leftie they wouldn't have a clue where to start ....and certainly couldn't convey the slightest enthusiasm for the subject. Perhaps it would be a case of "Those who can - do, and those who can't - teach".

It is, of course these self-same, state-salaried teachers, who are directly and personally responsible for the decline of Anglesey and its present parlous economic plight.

Ice Cold in Alex said...

To Richard Sletzeter when you say:

"It is, of course these self-same, state-salaried teachers, who are directly and personally responsible for the decline of Anglesey and its present parlous economic plight."

I trust you have the very good evidence to back up, in my opinion, this rather silly claim.

Seems to me you have missed the message of Dylan Jones-Evans, economic adviser to the Welsh Conservative Party, who says that we should follow the Finland education model, and invest in teachers, rather than continually berating them for the failure of society as a whole.

Richard Sletzer said...

ICE COLD: You ask for evidence? ....Just look around you. It's everywhere.

Most of the people in power in Anglesey today were educated by Anglesey teachers in Anglesey's awful comprehensive schools. This is a cumulative disaster which has been inflicted on Anglesey's children for 50 years and more.

The results are there for all to see - Anglesey does not have a properly-educated workforce and is not led or governed by educated people. That is why it has so many problems.

The crisis in the island's classrooms is still endemic today. Just read the Estyn report:- "At key stage 1 performance remains below the Wales average and is lower than expected.....Anglesey’s rank has dropped compared to other authorities."

Without competent governance by educated leaders, officials and councillors and without an educated population Anglesey's prospects are bleak indeed.

...Are Anglesey's predominantly left-wing teachers responsible for the low standards, for the shameful innumeracy and illiteracy levels of school-leavers, for the island's lack of entrepreneurial drive? .......Yes they damn well are.

the outsider said...

Richard S. re: your comment "those who can - do"
I have long thought that good teachers, if not all teachers, need to have lived and worked, for at least a year or two, outside the world of academia. It would be an easy thing to insist that part of any teacher's qualification was a couple of years of working outside the education system. So that the 'blinkered' progression from school to college or university to classroom teacher was interupted by some practical'real' world experience. It is the same principle that voters should consider when voting for modern day politicians, very many of whom have never had a full-time job outside politics.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE OUTSIDER: ...A very sensible proposal if I may say so. The present situation is a scandal.

Being an MP is the only profession (if you can call it that) for which no formal qualifications of any kind are required. To become an MP you don't need to have have been educated at all; in fact it doesn't matter if you can't even read and write - just so long as you can make some kind of mark on the nomination papers.

More than that - you don't even need to be British; you don't need to be able to speak English - and it goes without saying that it doesn't matter if you have a criminal record as long as your arm.

If you are unfortunate enough to be banged up in jail whilst serving as an MP don't worry - your seat will be kept warm for you and you can resume your job and perks as soon as you come out - in fact most perks are paid whilst you are in jail.

It seems ridiculous that law-breakers are entitled to serve as law-makers. It is also ridiculous that MPs can be put up for election with no education whatsoever. We wouldn't allow surgeons to blunder into operating theatres or pilots to take the controls of an airliner without passing tests and attaining proper qualifications. .........So why on earth should we allow people to become MPs or councillors without a university degree or at least a respectable set of GCSEs?

The Red Flag said...

Being an MP is the only profession (if you can call it that) for which no formal qualifications of any kind are required.
Actor, musician, soldier, police. Loads more

and it goes without saying that it doesn't matter if you have a criminal record as long as your arm.
Rehabilitation Of The Offenders Act.

If you are unfortunate enough to be banged up in jail whilst serving as an MP don't worry
Not true if the sentence is a year or more.

We wouldn't allow surgeons to blunder into operating theatres or pilots to take the controls of an airliner without passing tests and attaining proper qualifications.
Bankers, businessmen and I can list loads more.

More than that - you don't even need to be British
You haven't needed to be British since the 18th Century. Part and parcel of having Germans for Head of State.


What do you expect when the system was set up by the establishment, business and the landed gentry. You would have to be a half wit to even think it wasn't corrupt with that lot involved.

If anything it needs to be easier for normal people to become an MP, the Whips Office should be abolished and Members voting done in private with the details of how your member voted released once a year. No expenses for MPs who's constituencies are within the M25, and some form of furnished serviced accommodation allocated to MPs who's Constituency is outside the M25, alomg with a free rail pass, 2nd Class.

Anonymous said...

...Are Anglesey's predominantly left-wing teachers responsible for the low standards, for the shameful innumeracy and illiteracy levels of school-leavers, for the island's lack of entrepreneurial drive? .......Yes they damn well are.

I don't think that's quite fair to say; Thousands of school-leavers come out hardly able to write or do quite simple maths every year, that I know for a fact... but you can't blame the teachers in all cases.

One teacher put in a lot of work and 'drummed' the topic into their pupils. The teacher in question was then disciplined by the headteacher for not following the policy of the curriculum.

Did the union that the teacher was a member of give any real backing to them, considering they were only trying to do their job of teach effectively? I doubt I need tell you the answer to that...

Most teachers do want to teach, just they're hands get tied by policies/curriculum, etc.

228FPA said...

"...Being an MP is the only profession (if you can call it that) for which no formal qualifications of any kind are required.
Actor, musician, soldier, police. Loads more...."

So true and not only that they are the only profession, as far as I know, that does not have any targets to meet.

Integrity, honesty, openness, claims, expenses et al - just think of those all targets we could set MPs.