The Anonymous Widower

Is The Truth Getting Through To The Man Or Woman On The Moscow Tram?

I ask this question, as it appears that Russian TV is parroting, the Kremlin’s lies.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I used to work for ICI.

A couple of times, I came across fellow engineers, who had worked on the Polyspinners project.

In this Wikipedia entry for September 1964, this is said about Polyspinners.

Edward du Cann of the British Board of Trade announced the signing of the largest trade deal in the history of British relations with the Soviet Union, with the Soviet purchasing agency Techmashimport and the British conglomerate Polyspinners, Ltd. agreeing for the supply of British textile machinery to a polyester fiber plant being constructed in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. In all, the United Kingdom agreed to advanced $67 million of credit over a 15-year period.

It was a large project and ICI did well out of it.

My colleagues at ICI generally spoke well of the project and friends they had made in Russia and in those pre-mobile phone and internet days, they regularly sent each other cards and letters.

That was nearly sixty years ago, but human beings generally want to be friends with each other, so how many links are there between people living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and other countries and those living in Russia, which started as family, business or historic links or even casual meetings on say a holiday in the Mediterranean?

I should say that two of my best British friends in the UK, I met on holiday in St. Kitts and Moscow.

There must be millions of these links and they will surely allow the truth to get through to the man or woman on the Moscow tram.

March 2, 2022 Posted by | World, News | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Zopa Pulls Out Of P2P Consumer Lending As It Blames Cowboy Firms For ‘Damaging Customer Trust’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on City AM.

This is the first three paragraphs.

Peer-to-peer giant Zopa has started to inform customers it is closing down its P2P consumer investment division, transferring its loan portfolio to its relatively new bank unit.

In an email to customers, Natasha Wear, peer-to-peer CEO at Zopa, wrote that “after 16 years of peer-to-peer consumer investments at Zopa, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close this part of our business..

“To support this, Zopa Bank will be buying your entire loan portfolio at current face value without any of the fees you’d normally pay for a loan sale,” the email reads.

This is a very sad day.

I have been an investor in Zopa for fourteen years and it has done me well, returning four to five per cent before tax in that period. My first investment was the money, I received from the sale of C’s Porsche.

I also feel that since Giles Andrews ceased to be at the head of the company, Zopa rather lost its way.

Perhaps, their mathematical modelling wasn’t up to scratch.

But at least, I haven’t lost any money on my investment.

December 7, 2021 Posted by | Finance, News | , | Leave a comment

Manchester Arena Attack: Families ‘Disgusted’ By Memorial Trespassing

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the introductory paragraphs,

Families of people killed in the Manchester Arena attack have said they were “disgusted” after a memorial site for the 22 victims was trespassed on.

The Glade of Light memorial in the city centre remains a building site and does not officially open until the new year.

Two bereaved families said they were appalled to find the security fences pulled down on Sunday.

The article also said this.

Ms Curry said she found hundreds of people were walking through the area, which is supposed to be closed to the public.

She said one man stood on a memorial stone and was abusive when challenged, another woman vomited all over the area, and groups of youths were openly smoking drugs.

I can’t understand what led to this aggressive trespass.

When, I am in certain cities, there does seem to be more low life on the streets than you habitually see in London.

I do wonder, if it is partly because of London’s transport regulations and actions as laid down by the Mayor and Transport for London.

London has an extensive CCTV network and after the London bombings of July the seventh and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005, I’m sure it was improved.

Did the improved CCTV and the police action in the shooting the unfortunate Brazilian, deter a lot of low life from going to the centre?

Ken Livingstone or was it Boris, introduced a policy of banning alcohol on London’s transport system.

The precise details are given in this recent article on the Sun.

I have a feeling it had a positive effect, but did it mean that less drunks found their way to the centre?

In 2011, I sat next to a guy on a Manchester bus going from Piccadilly Gardens to Bury. I noticed that about a dozen youths were harassing the driver, trying to get his fare money and remarked on this to my companion.

My companion on hearing my London accent, said you don’t get that in London because of the contactless ticketing, as there is no fare money on the bus.

I was surprised at his reply and asked him to explain. It turned out he was a Trade Union Official, who looked after bus workers in Manchester. He told me his Union wanted a London-style contactless ticketing system, as it had drastically cut the number of attacks on staff in London.

Having worked with the Metropolitan Police on the analysis of data, they have also found that contactless ticketing helps in the tracing of people through London’s transport network and has solved several serious crimes.

Conclusion

I feel that terrorism and London’s reaction to it, banning of alcohol on public transport, contactless ticketing and other measures have helped keep drunks and those up to no good out of the centre.

 

December 6, 2021 Posted by | News, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twenty Years On!

On the eleventh of September in 2001, I had three jobs to do in London.

  • I had to visit my press cuttings client near Borough tube station to talk about something, which I have long forgotten.
  • I had to deliver a thousand Al Stewart CDs to his manager, as the singer was going on tour. The handover was to be performed in Waterloo station.
  • I was then going on to Soho to see a Chinese bookmaker, for whom I offered computer advice.

I parked my car on a meter and went to visit the first client at about two.

When I returned to the car, I needed to phone my wife; C about something. My phone was installed in my Discovery and it didn’t have any calling list, as I remembered numbers and just typed them in.

But for some reason I couldn’t remember her mobile phone number or the Office number at home, so I didn’t make the call.

This was very unlike me, as I’ve always had an excellent memory. Especially for numbers.

I did remember to deliver the parcel to Al Stewart’s manager and made my way to Soho, where I parked in an underground car park.

It was only when I got to the bookmakers did I realise what was going on in New York, as they had the televisions on and were watching the drama continuously.

I have a feeling, that I made my excuses and returned quickly to Suffolk.

By this time, my memory had returned and I was able to phone C.

But the worst terrorist attacks of recent memory were probably over.

Did my brain pick up the bad news or was it due to being close to the City of London, where there would have been a large amount of electronic communication to New York?

I have no idea.

But there is another incident, where I may have picked up tragic news through the ether.

On Sunday, the 31st August 1997, I woke up about five as I generally do and remarkably said to C. “Something tragic has happend! I think Tony Blair has been assassinated!”

She told me to stop being silly and I went downstairs to make a cup of tea and do some programming. It was then that I turned on the radio and heard that Princess Diana had died in the traffic accident in Paris.

September 11, 2021 Posted by | Business, Computing, News, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

London Euston Cat-Astrophe Averted For Train-Surfing Puss

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

Except for the headline, the BBC resisted the urge to use more feline puns in the story.

March 3, 2021 Posted by | News, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Mon Dieu! Le Soleil A Volé Notre Titre

The Sun today has a headline of Brexit 1 – Brussels 0!

The title of this post, is possibly the reaction of the editor of the leading French newspaper; Le Figaro, that according to Andrew Marr, used the headline first.

January 31, 2021 Posted by | Health, News | , , , | Leave a comment

Crash Diets Turn Lockdown’s Fat Cats Into Fit Kits

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in The Sunday Times.

I just think it is a very good title for an article.

It’s almost the whole story in a title.

 

January 31, 2021 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment

Go-ahead For £900m London Bishopsgate Goodsyard

The title of this post, is the same as that, of this article on Construction Enquirer.

It seems a good scheme.

  • Mixed-use urban quarter.
  • 500 homes, half affordable.
  • 1.4m sq ft of workspace
  • Public park sitting on top of restored historic railway arches
  • Six acres of public realm.

There is only one major problem, as far as I can see. – If Crossrail is still running late, this project could further delay it, by stealing the resources needed to finish the job.

Yet again, the Mayor has given planning permission to a project that could delay Crossrail, by stealing its resources.

Planning permission, should be conditional on Crossrail being finished.

A Central Line Connection To The East London Line At Shoreditch High Street Station

Shoreditch High Street station will be very close to the development.

There will be twenty trains per hour (tph) on London Overground’s East London Line.

Under Future Proposals in the Wikipedia entry for the station, this is said.

There have also been discussions of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green which runs almost underneath the station. However, this would not be able to happen until after the Crossrail 1 project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.

I think it will be a good idea, to create the connection.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | News, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bristol Illegal Rave Attended By 700 People

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the sub-title.

Police say they were attacked as they tried to break up an illegal rave at a warehouse near Bristol.

Let’s hope it gives lots of work for criminal defence solicitors.

November 1, 2020 Posted by | Health, News | , , , , | 3 Comments

Substance In Beirut Blast ‘was intended for explosives firm in Mozambique’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

If ever any disaster was waiting to happen, this was it!

August 7, 2020 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment