Downing Street twitters on about flying

In the dying days of Labour, everyone is out for what they can get. After all, once May 2010 comes around, there will be loads of MPs, researchers and other political low-lifes on the hunt for new jobs, as a new breed of political low-life replaces them. So let the firesale of the last vestiges of Government credibility begin. Witness: Number 10 using Twitter to advertise British Airways.

Those of you who haven't been scouring the web 2.0 multiverse may have missed this little advert-dressed-up-as-a-social-enterprise. BA is giving away 4,000 flights to encourage businesses to fly unnecessarily and sell more crap to each other while charging liquid lunches to their expense accounts. Flights that would otherwise have been replaced by, oh I don't know, a phone call maybe? BA claim this is all about kickstarting the economy, but the facts don't bare that out.

BA has low passenger occupancy rates - 73% last month, against Ryanair's 12 month average of 81% - so over a quarter of seats are empty. That means less people buying duty-free and also gives them a fair few seats they can give away, hence this opportunity for naked self-promotion. BA give away seats that would otherwise have been empty - and thus increase their potential revenue from ancillary duty-free sales - and generate loads of nice media in the process. Hell, I bet they even get to write the seats off against their taxes.

Now corporations will always try this sort of bullshit, but for Government officials to be in on the scam is... well, to be expected frankly. The door between government and hte industry has always been a revolving one, and these spineless cretins are always trying to feather their nests. Doubtless whoever dreamt up this tweet has his (or her, let's pretend that the inner workings of Government isn't entirely a sweaty cockpit) eyes on a job in the industry somewhere?