The Anonymous Widower

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

Class 710 Trains Have Been Seen Running On The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

According to the RidingTheGoblin Twitter feed, 710261 has been seen in the bay Platform 3 at GFospel Oak to Barking Line.

Could it be that, that most unlikely of things happens; Class 710 trains start running on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line before Brexit?

To many people in North East London, the new trains will make a greater positive difference to their lives, than a leap in the dark.

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

Is County Lines Just Another Gig Economy?

County Lines is to me just an efficient way to satisfy a need., like Uber or Deliveroo!

It is just another branch of the gig economy!

Who knows, what will be delivered in this way after the inevitable no-deal Brexit?

February 19, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Nissan And Jaguar Land Rover Are Paying The Price Of Backing Diesel

Politicians and unions are blaming Brexit for production cuts at Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover, but this problem has been on the cards for some time, due to our increasing reliance on diesel power.

The technology is now there for more electric cars and it is criminal that the Government hasn’t done enough to encourage their use.

  • We need more ultra-low emission zones, as London is introducing.
  • All parking spaces and garages on new housing must have charging points.
  • All city buses should be low emission.
  • All taxis and private hire vehicles should be low emission.
  • We need better connected railways with a lot more stations and some new lines.

So what have the politicians been doing in the last few years. Spending time arguing about the irrelevance of Brexit.

Talk about fiddling, while Rome burned!

February 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

A Telling Statement From Andrew Marr

On his program this morning, Abdrew Marr has just said that they try every week to get Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier on the program.

Every week, they get a negative answer.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bombardier Aventra And Brexit

You might think what is the connection between a radical design of train and the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.

Great Leap Forward Projects

Both are projects that their promoters would say will create a Great-Leap-Forward for Bombardier and the UK respectively.

The Devil Is In The Detail

Both are in trouble.

  • Bombardier’s engineers and software developers can’t get software for the Aventra and particularly the Class 710 train for the London Overground, working in the way the train and its operator need.
  • UK and EU politicians, aided by some of the most able and expensive lawyers and consultants, can’t stitch together a workable Brexit agreement that is acceptable to all.

Does this mean that both projects are doomed?

Were The Original Plans Creditable?

I’ll take the Aventra first.

Bombardier had missed out on the Thameslink contract and needed to win the Crossrail contract to survive.

So virtually starting with a clean sheet of paper and knowing very well what technology was the best and could be used to advantage, set about designing a train that could adapt for every possible use.

Bombardier also spoke to all those, who would be using or dealing with the trains in some way, to ascertain what they needed.

The result was that Bombardier won the Crossrail order and have since sold fleets of Aventras to London Overground, Greater Anglia, South Western Railway, West Midlands Trains and c2c.

It should also be said that they probably sold some of these fleets before a large number of Aventras were actually running.

So at least Bombardier’s plans appeared sufficiently detailed and creditable to six train operating companies.

Brexit was sold to the British public, in much the same way that evangelists sell you the latest religion, political philosophy, magic cancer cure or con. Is there any difference between the four?

Was any thought given to the serious problem like the Irish border? If anything was, I don’t remember hearing or reading it!

The major policies I remember was that all the money we give to Europe will go to the NHS and that immigration will be cut to almost zero.

Everything that said you should vote Remain was dismissed as Project Fear!

But the philosophy was enough to win the referendum.

What Were The Risks?

The Leavers would have lost, if they had got the estimates of any of these wrong.

  • The power and delivery of their philosophy.
  • The dislike of immigrants.
  • iThe hatred of all things European, except holidays in the sun.
  • The weakness of the Remainers message.

It was an easy sell and a majority of the British public bought it.

Forty years ago, when we created Artemis, we followed a route similar to Bombardier with the Aventra, but on a much smaller scale.

  • We did an extensive survey of users of Project Management Systems.
  • We laid out our objectives, which I have somewhere on a single A4 sheet of paper.
  • We researched and defined what hardware we would need.
  • I was then able to program the first system.

And guess what! The software was late, by several months.

But at least, when I got it right, systems were able to be delivered. And the orders started to flow!

Based on my experience, the software that runs the Bombardier Aventra will be the biggest risk in the design of the train.

If I’d put this risk to the engineer in charge of Aventra development, I would have been very surprised, if they didn’t agree.

Getting Back On Track

Bombardier will probably do what I did forty years ago.

Keep at it, until the software is perfect and the Class 710 trains run as it says in the brochure.

As happened with Artemis, once you have one system going, on the signing off of the software, you can create other systems or in Bombardier’s case; trains.

Bombardier can add the software to the scores of trains they have already built and stored and start testing, certification and delivery of individual trains.

Software, is like a magic elixir, that brings inanimate objects to life.

Will a magic elixir be found to solve the Brexit logjam?

Bombardier have to create software, that does the following.

  • Controls all parts of the train, so they do as promised.
  • Connect all train systems together.
  • The software must also work flawlessly.

It only needs to work in one language.

The philosophy and structure for a Brexit deal are more complicated.

  • There are a lot more issues to be solved.
  • Twenty-eight countries, their governments, parliaments and people must be satisfied.
  • How many languages will be involved?

Anybody, who reckons they could get a deal is probably a fantasist.

Why Was Artemis Developed?

We knew that there was a need for a small Project Management System.

But look at the date we started development; 1976. James Callaghan had just taken over from Harold Wilson as Prime Minister.

  • The country was not doing well.
  • The government didn’t have a large majority.
  • Everything was doom and gloom.
  • Tax rates were as high as eighty percent.
  • There was a housing crisis.
  • Many were worried about their jobs.
  • There was a lot of industrial unrest.

Surely, it wasn’t the time to risk all on a new venture?

But we were not of the herd and we didn’t hold back and went for it. And the rest as they say is history.

It is now 2019 and many of the issues I listed about the mid-1970s still apply.

  • The country is not doing well.
  • The government doesn’t have a large majority.
  • Everything is doom and gloom.
  • There is a housing crisis.
  • Many are worried about their jobs.

But there is one big difference. If you have an idea that is worth developing, raising money to develop it, is a lot easier to find.

To me, Brexit is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many to develop an idea and/or create a business to overcome the myriad number of problems leaving the EU will bring.

  • As leaving the EU without a deal will create more problems, it might be preferable for job creation.
  • Brexit may also create opportunities in Europe for new and innovative businesses.

It will be large industries, that will find times harder.

 

 

 

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Objects To Description Of Gibraltar As ‘British Colony’ In EU Law

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

This is the first three paragraphs.

The UK has objected to Gibraltar being described as a “colony” in European Union legislation allowing UK nationals to travel to the EU after Brexit.

The EU proposed allowing visa-free travel for Britons in November.

The Spanish government has since insisted a footnote be added describing Gibraltar as a “colony” and referring to “controversy” over its status.

The UK’s Ambassador to the EU objected.

 

February 1, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments