The Anonymous Widower

Greater Manchester Illegal Raves: Man Dies, Woman Raped And Three Stabbed

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A 20-year-old man has died, a woman has been raped and three people have been stabbed during two illegal “quarantine raves” that attracted 6,000 people.

What the hell was going on?

There have been some exuberant parties in Hackney Marshes, but they didn’t appear to be the on the scale of the Mancunian troubles.

Last night on Stephen Nolan’s program, there was some very heated debate on what went on in Manchester. Some, who had been present, should have been arrested, if what they alleged they’d done was true.

If you look at total COVID-19 cases in London and the North West on June 15th, they are as follows.

  • London 27, 330 – 306.8
  • North-West 26,759 – 367

The second figure is a rate per 100,000 of the population. Although the Government data doesn’t give the legend on the chart! Poor presentation again from the Government statisticians!

I have been on public transport a lot in London and the behaviour of passengers seems to follow the rules. Especially, on the Overground, which seems to be busier than the buses and the Underground. Today on a trip out, everybody I saw on public transport was masked!

June 15, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

London Church Investigated Over ‘Protection’ Oil

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

A faith healer who sold £91 “plague protection kits” claiming they could shield people from Covid-19 is being investigated by the charity watchdog.

Bishop Climate Wiseman of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell, London, claimed a bottle of oil and some red yarn would protect his followers from the virus.

Surely, he should be being investigated by the Metropolitan Police!

As far as I can see, the purpose of some religion is to let a few men, live a good life, at the expense of others.

April 29, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Police Powers Bill

Type the name of this proposed bill from the new Government into Google and you only get a hit from The Times.

This is what the newspaper says about the bill.

Gives police greater powers to criminalise travellers who set up unauthorised encampments and allows them to seize their property and vehicles.

I used to live in rural Suffolk for forty years on farms and there will be lots of Suffolk residents who will welcome this bill.

Travellers in parts of rural England, are blamed for a lot of things that happen, like burglaries, theft of ride-on mowers and illegal coursing, often at night.

My properties never suffered personally, although we did have lots of lights and checked that everything was locked up. But others weren’t so lucky!

I also feel from talking to local people in both Suffolk and Dalston, that crime levels are lower here. We’ve only had one burglary in my road, since I moved in and that was when a guy left his keys in the door.

I also remember one of C’s stories.

One of her cases was a divorce involving the so-called King of the Gypsies. She thought it would be a difficult case, but he was an Honorable man, who lived in a semi in a local town. He complied with the Court’s orders and was the perfect client. On the other hand his hatred for the travelling, was on a stratospheric scale.

But I can’t stop feeling that this is going to be the Bill, that will give Boris Johnson, his biggest trouble in the Commons..

December 20, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Thomas Cook Collapses As Rescue Talks Fail

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

The title says it all and I’m listening to a phone-in on BBC Radio 5 about the collapse.

What puzzles me, is that, this collapse has been on the cards for some months, with travel experts, like Simon Calder,, advising anybody booking with Thomas Cook to take precautions like get full insurance and use a credit card.

If I had been buying a package deal, I certainly wouldn’t have touched Thomas Cook with a bargepole.

Did people still book, as they knew the Government would pick up the tab?

Why should I pay extra taxes because of the stupidity of others?

The biggest stupidity of all, is that the Directors of Thomas Cook decided to keep trading, when they were obviously insolvent.

I thought that was a criminal offence, so surely some long jail sentences are in order.

September 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Now It’s Thieves On The Line As Crooks Target Railway Cables

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in The Times on Tuesday.

I was involved in a similar project with British Rail, where they were looking at patterns in signalling cable faults on the East Coast Main Line. My software Daisy was used to display the patterns.

I know in this case British Rail got a solution.

I even have their internal report somewhere!

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Did The Mounted Met Get Their Man?

Yesterday, around three in the afternoon, I went out to get three bottles of water for my Dyson Humidifier from the corner shop about a two hundred metres away at the junction of Southgate Road and the Balls Pond Road, which has a very advanced traffic-light system

I crossed Southgate Road on the zebra and all seemed quite, as I started to walk up towards the junction.

I then heard a lot of blue lights coming, so myself and a very tall and large black couple, stood back from the road to see what was up. As everybody does!

A scruffy individual with a backpack about thirty riding a high-powered motor-bike doing about sixty towards the lights, in a road, where the speed limit is twenty. He was followed by three Police motorcycles.

All four motor-cycles turned right at the lights and disappeared towards Dalston Junction.

Perhaps twenty second later, they all returned, as obviously the scruffy ride had done a U-turn. I last saw them disappearing towards Highbury & Islington station.

Afterwards, a couple of Police cars came through and then it all calmed down.

Did the Met got their man, in the traffic congestion at the station?

July 31, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Does Talk Radio Make Telephone Fraudsters Go Away?

At the moment, I’m being plagued by telephone fraudsters. What they are up to, I don’t know, but I get around five a day, if I’m sitting by my computer writing.

I usually have my television switched to Radio 5 or something like the News on BBC1, when they call and I find it strange that if I don’t switch the sound on the television off, by the time I get the phone to my ear, the line is dead.

The fraudster seems to hear the noise of the talking and feels they may be wasting their time.

But it never seems to fail!

It reminds me of a story told me by a farmer, who was breeding free-range organic chickens for one of the major supermarket groups.

The local foxes were a problem, until someone suggested that he wire an old radio up to a car battery and put it on Radio 5 all night at a lowish level. It appeared the calm voices of Doton Adebayo and Rhod Sharp convinced the foxes there were people around and he was losing fewer chickens to the foxes.

 

May 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Novichok Used In Spy Poisoning, Chemical Weapons Watchdog Confirms

The title of this post is the same as the title of this article in the Guardian.

This is the first three paragraphs.

The international chemical weapons watchdog has backed Britain’s findings on the identity of the chemical used in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said an analysis of samples taken from the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and Det Sgt Nick Bailey confirmed the UK’s assessment that the three were affected by novichok, a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia.

The executive summary released by the OPCW does not mention novichok by name, but states: “The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirms the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”

Let’s hope that the Skripals continue to improve and make a full recovery.

What fairy tale will the Russians invent this time?

April 12, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Could Improved Public Transport Cut Crime?

London is going through a murder epidemic at the moment, mainly with knives and a couple of guns.

I’m not worried about it, as why would anybody bother a seventy-year-old man, who doesn’t have the best dress sense?

But I wasn’t always old and I can remember the 1950s and 1960s, where things weren’t as idyllic, as those who voted Brexit like to think.

A friend of mine was a policeman in the East End in those days and he has some interesting tales.

Return To Dalston

I moved to Dalston in 2010, after the deaths of my wife and our thirty-seven year-old son from cancer, and a serious stroke, which left me with damaged eyesight and unable to drive.

You might ask, why I moved from deepest Suffolk to a slightly run-down area of London? Free public transport was a big draw!

A hundred and thirty years ago, all my grandparents and lots of relatives lived in this area.

My paternal grandmother would shop in the Marks and Spencer and the Woollies at the Angel, as I still do, although the Woollies is now a Waitrose.

This part-Jewish, part-Huguenot, part-Devonian, very stubborn London mongrel has come home!

An Observation

When I moved here, if I walked down Kingsland High Street, at times, the pavements were crowded with youths with nothing better to do. I wasn’t actually threatened, but I would avoid the area.

Now, the street is probably more crowded, but everybody is going about their business or pleasure in a calm manner.

I can only speculate about why the atmosphere has changed, but there has been two major developments.

  • The Overground has arrived to replace the travelling urinals of the North London Line and provide new services to the City and South London.
  • Most of the bus routes now have new buses.

Local people even got excited, that Hackney and Dalston got the first of the New Routemasters on route 38.

Have those young people from Dalston, now found better things by using public transport, such as work or a pleasureable leisure activity?

Research needs to be done, but there’s nothing on the Internet.

The Rise Of Dalston

I truly believe that the rise of Dalston has been created by the better public transport.

Who would have wanted to live in the new flats or the old Victorian houses, if you couldn’t get to work?

We’re now in an upward spiral, as property is improved, businesses are created and restaurants and cafes open.

The Next Experiment

Several major rail projects are underway in North and North East London.

It will be very informative, to see whether crime is lower or higher in a couple of years.

 

Conclusion

Improving public transport is one of these measures, that benefits a wide range of people; the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and families with children.

It may also encourage those, who might drift into gangs and crime, to do something more worthwhile.

Lots of other places in the UK are getting or need the same treatment as Dalston has received.

  • The West London Orbital Railway could invigorate North West London.
  • Kirkby to Skelmersdale, would connect the latter town to Liverpool.
  • Newcastle is planning to reopen the railways to Ashington and Blyth.
  • Birmingham is expanding passenger railways on reopened and freight lines.

The future could be fascinating.

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is The Pollution Solution A Part-Solution To Terrorism?

Hong Kongers nickname their tramway the Pollution Solution. ut to be fair to one of my favourite cities, the city also has an extensive public transport network of metro lines and buses. Although, I’ve ever used any of the latter.

London and other cities in the UK have a serous air pollution problem and we should solve it for the health of us all, as pollution probably causes more premature deaths than terrorism. Or for that matter street crime like muggings and robberies!

Suppose in London we did the following to cut pollution.

  • Ban polluting vehicles from a wide area of the centre.
  • Impose a high Congestion Charge over a wide area.
  • All shop deliveries must be at night!
  • Cut the number of private hire vehicles.
  • All buses, including tourist buses and coaches, private hire vehicles and black cabs must be electric.
  • Rigorously impose a twenty mile per hour city-wide speed limit.
  • When Crossrail is finished, build the Bakerloo Line Extension and Crossrail 2.
  • Pedestrianise large parts of the City Centre.
  • Improve the cycle network and make sure cyclists use it and not the pavement.

Other cities could also do similar things to suit their circumstances.

A few of our cities like Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Liverpool have pedestrianised substantial parts of their city centres. They haven’t done enough, but it’s a start.

I don’t think trams will be a pollution solution in Central London except perhaps on a specific route to overcome congestion on the Underground.

We are going to have to act very strongly to deal with pollution, but will it have collateral effects?

Some years ago, I did some work with the Police on analysing crime and I remember an analyst, who was also a Police Officer, explaining how he saw links between traffic and crime.

I remember him saying that no self-respecting criminal would go burgling on a bus.

One thing that came out of this work, was that if Police checked a car and found that one of car tax, insurance or MOT was not in order, there was a high chance of a non-motoring offence being committed. As he said, if a criminal is dealing in thousands of pounds-worth of drugs, will he bother to renew his tax and insurance?

I’ve wondered for some time, if this car checking  in Central London, which must be done by the Congestion Charge cameras  has led to the increase in crime in London committed by criminals on motor-bikes, scooters and bikes. London’s congestion could also drive crime this way.

So if we solved the pollution, would this cut the congestion? And how would this effect crime?

I don’t know, but I suspect, we’ll find out in a few years, as the draconian measures we will introduce to cut pollution, will have fundamental effects on the way we live in London.

In the next two or three years, some cross-city and city centre rail lines will will improve drammatically.

However, some cities with bad pollution problems will not being seeing any public transport improvements.

It will be interesting to see the effects on pollution, congestion and crime. And terrorism!

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment