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Conversation 23 Jan 2018

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Rolls-Royce weighs up sale of subsidiary L’Orange


The need to pare back its sprawling portfolio and bring costs under control has prompted Rolls-Royce to consider a sale of its components business.

L’Orange, a subsidiary based in Stuttgart, Germany, makes diesel injection technology for large lorries and generators. Its equipment is used by industrial giants such as Wartsila, the Finnish marine manufacturer, and Caterpillar, the American maker of construction equipment, as well as in Rolls-Royce engines. It employs about 1,000 staff.

The aerospace and engines group confirmed that it was “reviewing strategic options” for L’Orange yesterday, after the prospective sale was reported by Bloomberg News and The Sunday Times. Goldman Sachs is believed to be handling a sale that is expected to make Rolls-Royce between £300 million and £500 million.

Rolls-Royce is one of only three companies that power Airbus and Boeing aircraft, along with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney. It tends to make a loss on the sale of aircraft engines, but profits from long-term maintenance contracts and spare parts.

The sale of L’Orange would be the biggest disposal under Warren East, the chief executive given the top job in 2015. He has tried to slim down the company to simplify its structure and fund investment. Its shares fell 5¼p to 855½p.

Serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman, 66, flies from Chicago to Heathrow

Most people planning a dream holiday put money aside each month to pay for a flight, or save up air miles. Not Marilyn Hartman. She just sneaks on to planes.

Called the “infamous serial stowaway” in the American press, Ms Hartman, 66, has boarded flights without a ticket or identity papers at airports from California to Illinois.

She was caught without a passport or ticket at Heathrow last week coming off a flight from Chicago. Chicago police said Ms Hartman slipped past security officials at O’Hare airport, took a shuttle to the international terminal and, a day later, stowed away on a British Airways flight.

Once on board she hid in the lavatory until she could find a seat. It was only when she arrived in Britain without a passport last Thursday that she was caught and sent back to Chicago, where she was charged with criminal trespass and theft. She appeared in court in Chicago on Saturday, where Judge Stephanie Miller ordered her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and to wear an ankle monitor until the end of the trial.

“There is no pun intended for your client, but she is a flight risk given the number of offences,” Judge Miller told Ms Hartman’s lawyer.

The US Transportation Security Administration is investigating how Ms Hartman managed to board the aircraft, at least the sixth she has slipped on to without a ticket since 2014.

That year she was arrested for boarding a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles and received a restraining order from San Francisco international airport for attempting to board flights to Hawaii at least three times. She told authorities she had cancer and wanted to go somewhere warm.

Ms Hartman was jailed in Chicago in 2015 for boarding a flight to Florida. The next year she was sentenced to two years probation and six months in a mental health facility for boarding another flight.

Usually, she would slip under barriers at checkpoints and blend in with groups to escape security workers’ scrutiny. She has also been caught in Arizona and Minnesota. After her first arrest in California in 2014, she told reporters: “Obviously they’ll be on the watch for me, so I wouldn’t dare attempt this again. My question is, why has the government allowed me to get through the secure lines?”

Internet making sex work safer, report finds


Study finds internet gives sex workers more control over work and cuts risk of physical attack

The internet has helped prostitution become a satisfying and relatively safe career, according to one of the biggest studies of sex workers conducted.

The survey of 641 UK sex workers [pdf] who use the internet to find clients or perform services found that more 80% were either satisfied or very satisfied with their working conditions, with half agreeing that their work was socially useful most or all of the time.

The study by academics at the universities of Leicester and Strathclyde found that the internet had given sex workers much more control over their working conditions and reduced the risk of physical attack. It found a high level of online abuse, but only 5% of those surveyed had experienced physical assault in the last year.

Teela Sanders, professor of criminology, said the survey represented the largest database of online sex workers in Europe “if not beyond”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “One of the really interesting findings is that the types of crimes that sex workers are experiencing have changed. So there was a much lower incidence of violent crime, sexual and physical assault than in other studies. But there was high levels of digitally facilitated crimes – harassment by email and and text, for example.”

Those interviewed for the study said the internet allowed them to screen clients, avoid drugs and alcohol, choose where they work and provide peer support. Almost 80% said the internet had improved the quality of their working life.

Charlotte Rose, a sex worker, said the internet had made her job much safer. She told Today: “It still doesn’t take away the dangers that sex comes with, but as a sex worker I feel a lot safer knowing that I can vet my clients.

“Ten years ago it was just a phone call, whereas now it’s a phone call, it’s an email, we can research their names online. There’s an organisation called National Ugly Mugs that gives us an opportunity to check phone numbers, to see if they have been reported. This is absolutely brilliant for sex workers’ safety.”

The study found that sex workers were often highly qualified: more than a fifth had a degree, while 14.4% had a postgraduate qualification.

More than a third said they rarely or never experienced stress at work. More than half strongly agreed that they were well-paid, with more than 10% reporting earning more than £50,000 a year.

The vast majority used a pseudonym at work, to help protect their safety, and more than half said they were worried their neighbours would find out about the nature of their work.

Only 23% of those surveyed had reported crime to the police, and 39% felt they were unlikely to report further crimes because of concerns about how the law stands – particularly over the ban on brothels.

Cambridgeshire police assistant chief constable Dan Vajzovic, who leads on prostitution for the National Police Chiefs Council, which sponsored the survey, encouraged more sex workers to report crimes.

He told Today: “The act of prostitution itself is not illegal; we are not the moral police. We are here to enforce the law and our focus is going to primarily be on targeting those people who coerce or exploit sex workers through modern-day slavery and protecting those who are vulnerable to crime.

He added: “The keeping of a brothel is illegal under current legislation, but if a serious crime takes place at a brothel our focus is going to be on investigating that allegation and not on trying to criminalise people who have been a victim of a serious crime.”

My 18-year-old daughter is having a baby with my stepson


This may turn out to be the terrible mistake you foresee but you must get behind this young couple and support them, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma I have been with my husband for 13 years, married for 11. We have children but not together. My daughter was five when we met, she is now 18 and my husband’s only child is 22. He recently moved back home with us and he and my daughter formed a very close relationship with each other. Back in July 2017, it came to light that my stepson and my daughter were having a sexual relationship. This has been going on for six months now and I recently found out that she is pregnant. I have seen my daughter for a total of an hour in the past five months as she moved out with my stepson to his mother’s. We have tried to talk on the phone, but it never ends well. I know some people feel it’s OK because they are not blood related, but they were raised as family and my husband and I feel betrayed and our family circle is broken. I miss my daughter like crazy, but I worry that the more I try the more damage is being caused. I want us to be a part of each other’s lives, but I am too hurt and can’t accept this. My heart is just too broken and I’m confused, conflicted and at a loss.

Mariella replies Get over it. These kids are young adults now and about to have a baby. Whatever your reservations were and no matter how justified your misgivings, the horse has well and truly bolted and your only option is to get behind your daughter and stepson and give them your support.

Life has its way of surprising us no matter how hard and fast we make our plans. With two children roughly the same age coming into close proximity the stage was set for bitter enmity, bored co-existence or forbidden passion. Yours have clearly opted for the latter and I’m afraid your rigid opposition and focus on your own sense of betrayal rather than their impulse to connect may be partly the cause. Who doesn’t want to rebel against their parents? And if you have ready access to a weapon of such potential outrage it’s pretty tempting to deploy it.

However justified, your rigid opposition may be partly the cause

The truth is I’ve no idea what it was about your domestic set-up that may have propelled them into each other’s arms, but it is clear that it’s too late to sit around stroking our Freudian beards and dissecting the antecedents of their union. The fact is that your kids have a baby on the way and are unlikely to part in the near future.

It may well be that further down the line the relationship proves itself to be the terrible mistake you foresee, but since you can’t prevent it, isn’t it preferable to ensure you’re there to catch them if they fall? Until that time, for harmony’s sake and to prevent irreparable damage, you need to rise above your sense of betrayal, stop taking their relationship as a personal affront and help your family to move forward, however dysfunctionally, to a shared rather than severed future.

I admit it’s not the most ideal of beginnings, but neither is dancing around a nightclub at 4am high on illegal substances, which is where quite a few of my now smug-married friends first discovered their passion. Romance works in mysterious ways and there really is no right way to encounter the person that potentially you could share a future with.

In many ways their youth and premature leap into parenting are far more concerning than the fact that they were raised alongside each other. Unrelated children raised together and falling in love in adulthood is not something we should encourage, but neither can we prevent it, and it’s one of the many less-explored complications of modern blended families. Forced physical proximity may lead to contempt or a deep sense of security, and depending on their circumstances one or other is bound to appeal.

I’m presuming your stepson was based at his mother’s, while your daughter lived with you. I appreciate this is a pretty old-fashioned assumption, but I suspect had the circumstances been different it would have been unusual enough for you to mention. That means that although they have known each other since childhood their sense of sibling connection may not be as honed as it would have been otherwise.

In days gone by, before the internet brought strangers from across the globe into your potential dating circle, it wasn’t at all unusual for cousins to marry, the blend of small catchment and regular contact proving an intoxicating one. Nowadays we think we know better about all of this stuff, but all too often our most basic instincts are the cause of covert shame rather than prompting frank and healthy discussion.

There’s no alchemy available that can take these children back in time, so accepting their relationship and showing them love and support at what must be a strange and stressful time would seem to be your primary duty as a parent. They may well live to regret their current course of action, but if you make yourself a stranger yours will be the greater loss by far.



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