The Anonymous Widower

Government Announces £25m Brexit High-Speed Medicines Train

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to this proposal!

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

More New Trains On LNER Wish List

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

LNER has revealed it is in the market for new trains, despite only just starting to introduce its new Hitachi Azumas.

There would appear to be more work to be done for their original plan of using shortened InterCity 225 sets.

So to be able to fulfil the timetable to be introduced in 2021, LNER need perhaps another six ten-car trains.

Obviously, they would want Hitachi Class 800 trains or Azumas.

Now here’s a twist!

Under EU regulations, it has to be an open competition.

I thought that Boris Johnson had said we were leaving the EU!

 

August 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 7 Comments

High Speed Two And Brexit

This article on the BBC, is entitled HS2: High-Speed Line Cost ‘could Rise By £30bn’.

Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage have said in the past, that they are minded to cancel the project.

But surely Boris and Nigel believe that we’ll all be better off under Brexit, so we will have the money for the NHS, kicking the foreigners out of the UK, building a wall to stop the emigrants walking across the Irish Border and High Speed Two.

They can’t have it both ways!

Or is it that both wouldn’t be seen dead on a train?

July 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Sadiq Khan Be A One-Term Mayor?

This article on the BBC is entitled Donald Trump Hits Out Again At Sadiq Khan Over London Violence.

I don’t like Trump or many of his policies one bit and if in the unlikely chance, I was invited to meet him, I would decline.

But I’ve met many people, who think we need someone like Trump to stand-up for the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

I have two personal criticisms of Sadiq.

The Unaffordable Fare Freeze

The fare freeze he proposed, that must have impressed a large number of voters, has not been something that London can afford.

Now important projects like the rebuilding of Camden Town and Holborn station have been delayed.

He’s A South London Mayor

To my mind, Sadiq seems to favour his home territory over the North.

  • In the North, we seem to have suffered more from cuts in bus frequencies.
  • He was very slow to act on the problems with the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • Knife crime and violence seems to be worse in the North, so is it Mayoral neglect?

It is probably understandable, as his mates in the South have more chances to bend his ears and you don’t annoy your friends.

I wonder if Ken favoured the North!

I do think though that various effects are working against his reelection.

The ULEZ Effect

The London ULEZ currently only applies to the Congestion one, but from 2021, it will apply to all areas inside the North and South Circular Roads.

How many voters, who will be affected by the ULEZ extension, will vote for Sadiq?

The Brexit Effect

Sadiq has nailed his colours to Remain and is regularly interviewed about Brexit.

Most right-of-centre Brexiteers wouldn’t probably vote for him, but some traditional Labour boroughs voted to Leave, so could his support for Remain cost votes.

On the other hand, if Brexit has happened and going badly, will Sadiq gain votes?

The Next Prime Minister Effect

If Boris becomes Prime Minister, this would be an imponderable. It might help or hinder Sadiq’s reelection.

The Crossrail Effect

The late delivery of Crossrail, is not Sadiq’s fault, but it will have four effects.

  • The late delivery will ffect London’s transport budget and give the Mayor less money for projects.
  • Some people will view his oversight of the project as incompetent.
  • He won’t be able to bathe in the glow of a successful Crossrail.
  • It is a ready-made millstone to hang around his neck.

There will also be many Londoners, for whom, the late delivery of Crossrail caused a financial loss and they will vote accordingly.

The Trump Effect

I would expect, Trump to keep up his criticism of Sadiq.

Who’s to say, whether it will affect Sadiq’s vote, but there are quite a few people, who would support Trump.

Conclusion

There are a lot of questions to answer, but I feel given the state of British politics, that we could be in for a surprise.

Could we see a Brexit, Green or Lib Dem Mayor?

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Politics Just Got Even More Interesting!

I don’t know about politics, but I like to think I know about data and I have a long and deep memory.

We now have two immovable and possibly unstoppable forces on opposite sides, which have almost equal support.

  • Those that want to leave the European Union without a deal.
  • Those that want to remain in the European Union.

They are irreconcilable positions.

I remember an acrimonious takeover attempt by Imperial Chemical Industries for Courtaulds in the 1960s. Not so much, at the time but because I later worked for ICI and became friends with a guy, who had worked for British Nylon Spinners at Pontypool.

Later I became aware of Frank Kearton and his part in the stopping of the takeover.

At the time he was the Engineering Director of Courtaulds. In a Press Conference, the CEO of Courtaulds was floundering and giving a rather bad impression. A question was asked and Frank Kearton stepped in and answered it so well, he took over the Press Conference.

He became CEO and the takeover was defeated. Kearton went on to have a respected career.

I may have remember the story wrong and I suspect it’s Kearton’s version, that I’m repeating.

In the UK are in a similar position to Courtaulds in the sixties. Both major parties are almost leaderless and none of those at the top of the Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are better than the average run-of-the-mill MPs, who generally do a good job.

We need someone to step forward to unite this country and sort out the mess.

Will he or she be one of the following?

  • Jeremy Corbyn – Anybody that far left and over seventy would be unacceptable to well over half of the population.
  • Boris Johnson – You might employ him as a salesman, but you wouldn’t employ him in any management position.
  • Vince Cable – Too old and he’s sensible enough to know it.
  • The herd of Tory leadership candidates – Perhaps one might have the qualities, and they would need to show amazing style, intelligence and oratory to even get on the final ballot.
  • Nigel Farage – The other side believe he’s the cause of the problem, so wouldn’t follow him.
  • Caroline Lucas – Green  policies are anathema to perhaps seventy percent of the country, who still fly too much and don’t buy zero-emission cars?

We need someone with amazing qualities to step out of the shadows, just as Frank Kearton did at Courtaulds.

Conclusion

I’ve put a small bet on my choice for the next Tory Leader and Prime Minister.

 

May 27, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Research Shows UK Capital Is Europe’s Most Connected Business Hub

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Conference And Meetings World.

Crossrail and Brexit aren’t even mentioned. So we must be doing something right!

But then I always believe that London is the Capital of the World!

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Business, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Is There A Connection Between The Rise Of Knife Crime And Brexit?

This may seem an outrageous suggestion to make!

However, serious knife crime seemed to increase around or just after the Brexit referendum.

But the Brexit Referendum on the 23 June 201, does seem to have brought out the worst in some people.

  • Jo Cox was murdered just seven days earlier.
  • Since then there has been the rise of the far-right.
  • MPs of all colours have received terrible abuse on social media.
  • Racist chants seem to have reappeared at some football matches.
  • The Labour Party has had a row on anti-semitism.

I’m no psychologist, but it’s almost as if the Brexit result has said it’s alright to go against established norms.

I wonder if crime rose in the Phoney War in 1940.

This page on History Extra is entitled 10 Facts About Crime On The Home Front iI The Second World War.

Read it and see what you think!

 

April 2, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Science Has Dim View Of Brexiteers’ Brains

The title of this post is the same as that as an article on Page 3 of The Sunday Times

This is the first three paragraphs.

It is a belief that some pro-Europeans already hold dear, but a group of scientists now claim to have confirmed it: Brexit voters are less bright than remainers.

Researchers gave 11,225 volunteers psycholigical tests before the referendum and asked how they intended to vote. Results suggest that leavers tended to be less numerate, more impulsive and more prone to accept the unsupported claims of authoritarian figures.

“Compared with remain voters, leave voters displayed significantly lower levels of numeracy and appeared more reliant on impulsive thinking.” said the researchers, based at Missouri University.

Nigel Farage is quoted as saying the research was “divisive and arrogant”.

Some would say those two words should be applied to him.

March 10, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

World’s Top Wealth Fund Puts Billions Into Britain

The title of this post is the same as that of a news story on the front page of today’s copy of The Times.

There is a subtitle to the article.

UK will be stronger after Brexit, Norwegians say.

Some points from the article.

  • Norway’s wealth fund is worth £740billion.
  • The fund owns £62billion of UK investments.
  • Britain is the third largest market for their investments.
  • The fund works to a thirty-year-plus investment strategy.
  • The fund is co-owner of Regent Street.
  • The fund is a top five investor in companies.

I feel a smidgen of pride, that Artemis, which was the project management software, that  I wrote; in the late 1970s, had played small part in the creation of Norway’s wealth from oil and gas.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | 1 Comment

Is Brexit Stoating About Coming To An End?

As a Control Engineer, I know that all systems  tend to an equilibrium.

As we approach the 29th of March, I see signs of actions, that are nudging us towards a deal, that will be acceptable to enough people.

  • Corbyn and May still have their own internal party problems, but both have moved slightly to a position, that could get a deal through Parliament.
  • The EU was also said to be more accommodating about a change to the backstop, by a Government minister.
  • Honda’s closure of UK manufacturing, seems to have added a dose of reality. Even though, I don’t feel Brexit was the major reason for closure.
  • Hard-liners on both sides seem to have stopped shouting so loud.
  • Companies are taking decisions, that will work in all eventualities.
  • The City is still announcing more mega office and residential towers, as are Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, to name but three cities.

It’s just like an airliner landing after a very bumpy flight from Australia, where somebody forgot to load any alcohol! A lot of panic, but then reality kicks in.

I think we’ll see a deal passed by Parliament in time for a March 29th Brexit, despite the Democratic Unionist Party saying No! They always do, as it’s the only word in their political dictionary, which is the smallest book in the world.

Enough of the Labour Party will vote for it and the Rees-Moggies will reluctantly give their support.

I will be relieved when it’s all over!

 

February 27, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment