The Anonymous Widower

A Minister For Hydrogen – Yes Please, Prime Minister

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

Sounds like a good idea to me!

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , | Leave a 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

Councils Rely On Diesels While Charging Drivers Who Use Them

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

Some points from the article.

  • Ninety-two percent of council vehicles are diesel-powered.
  • Only three percent are the greenest electric models.
  • Sivty-two council fleets are totally diesel.
  • Twelve councils are thinking of restricting or charging diesel or petrol vehicles to cut pollution, but all of these councils are reliant on diesel.

It looks like a case of politicians saying “Do as I say, but not as I do!”

 

 

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 5 Comments

I Will Just Carry On

I feel this morning, just like I did on the 2nd May 1997, which was the day Tony Blair became Prime Minister.

I was slightly apprehensive then as to what is going to happen, as after John Major’s government had fallen, I wondered what a left-wing Government would do to the economy.

But I feel that just as John Major and Kenneth Clarke left Blair an economy that worked, I believe that David Cameron and especially George Osborne have left the country in a state to live with or without the EU.

I was very much for staying in, but since the vote only one large company has expressed regrets as this article in the Daily Post, which is entitled EU Referendum: Airbus assessing impact of ‘disappointing’ Brexit vote, details.

But I am an Englishman and especially a London mongrel, with genes stolen from all the best parts of Europe.

I grew up with stories from my parents and others of the Blitz, in the midst of some of the worst air pollution, any child has ever had to endure.

Since then, I lived through the bombings of the Irish troubles and although I wasn’t in London for the bombings of the 7th July 2005, I know many who were. Perhaps the biggest terrible event, that happened near me was the Moorgate Tube Crash of 1975, which was less than 200 metres from where I lived in the Barbican.

Londoners will do what they always do in times of troubles and that is just carry on! It’s in their genes.

My genes from the Tailor of Bexley, did for a few hours about running, but my solid Devonian genes, told the others to wait and let’s see what happens first.

I said that David Cameron and George Osborne have left the country in a good state for the future.

For years, this country has been too centralised, so giving power to the regions and big cities will become Osborne’s legacy.

If Manchester wants to develop its trams or city centre, or build offices, housing and factories, that should be Manhester’s decision and should not be decided by the dead hand of London.

Scotland’s new bid for independence, is a good thing, and it is a consequence of devolved government.

I can for instance envisage a time in say a hundred years, where London becomes a powerful independent city-state. In the nineteenth century we had several of those; Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

That model for the UK will return.

If you look at the most powerful country in Europe; Germany already has that model with Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, the Ruhr cities and Stuttgart dominating.

But look at France! What Paris and the elite want, they impose!

Perhaps the biggest consequence of Brexit, will be a desire for the people of Europe to have more independence from their own Central Government.

 

June 25, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cheshire East And Southend Strike Cheaper Energy Deals With OVO

This report on the BBC tells how Cheshire East Council has done a deal with OVO to get cheaper energy for residents and businesses.

The report also says that Southend are doing something similar.

I think we’ll be seeing lots of deals like this in the future. Some might even be provided by the Big Six energy companies as they try to keep market share.

I do think though, that linking energy to a community could give a lot of advantages.

1. It creates a direct incentive for councils to bring in energy saving and local generation schemes, like the one created by Islington at Bunhill Row.

2. The philosophy might also push developers to create new offices, business premises and housing, that is less energy intensive, due to the higher profile of energy costs in the area.

3. Those not on-line or without a bank account, would gain access to cheaper energy through the council’s payments system. I can just about remember people paying for their energy in small gas and electricity offices.

4. We might even see the time, when you pay a single on-line payment to your local council for Council Tax, Resident’s Parking, gas, electricity, broadband and water.

If the system doesn’t deliver cheaper prices and better service, you can always vote the politicians out of office.

March 17, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Government Waste Paper

I recently received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, to say that my pension was going up.

Government Waste Paper

Government Waste Paper

As like many pensioners in the UK, I get my pension paid directly into my bank account, surely this mass destruction of trees to send something, I didn’t read, was a waste of taxpayers money.

After all, I would notice that my pension had gone up, when I check my bank statement.

What percentage of these letters and booklets were actually read? It must be less than one percent.

March 3, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Why Is It Public Projects Tend To Be Late?

I read in The Times today that the new headquarters building of the European Central Bank is three years late and €500 million over budget.

It’s only similar to Portcullis House, Philharmonie de Paris, the Jubilee Line Extension and innumerable cancelled government computer systems.

At least though in recent years, we seem to be getting our project management better, even if the Eurozone will have to pay the bill for the new ECB headquarters.

February 21, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

Why Does The MOD Call Directory Enquiries?

This report in the Independent is beyond belief.

I think that I last used any 118 number at least five years ago. And that was probably on a mobile, when I had no Internet access.

I suspect that the number of calls can’t get down to zero, as there are always difficult circumstances, when say service personnel get injured or sadly killed.

 

October 21, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Winter Fuel Payments

A former minister, Paul Burstow is suggesting that winter fuel payments be means-tested. It’s here on the BBC.

I’m over 65 and get a state pension, winter fuel payments, free travel in London through my Freedom Pass and discounts in lot of places including on National Rail through my Senior Railcard.

I would like to get a statement each year, as to how much I’ve received.  I could then give an equivalent amount to charities of my choice. Probably, I’d to that on my birthday to celebrate cheating the Devil for another year.

If the government didn’t pay me, they’d only blow in on some ridiculous project.

January 3, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

English Councils Have Large Reserves

This article on the BBC shocked me. I always get the impression that councils are strapped for cash, but the Audit Commission says that they have £13 billion in reserves.

The councils should take a leaf out of this widower’s book and put it into peer-to-peer lending in their own area.  I proposed putting a regional element into something like Zopa here.

They might lose the odd bit, but it would be safer than putting the money in an Icelandic bank.

December 6, 2012 Posted by | Business, Finance, News | , , | Leave a comment