The Anonymous Widower

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

Are Booze Cruises On The Way Back?

With Scotland likely to make it more difficult for Scottish residents to buy booze, this article indicates that booze cruises might be on their way back.

All it proves is that Newton was right.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

He may have been talking about mechanics and his laws of motion, but it also applies to the rules imposed by governments.

August 23, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

A Government Income and Expenditure Statement

I proposed one of these years ago.  It has been reported that they might bring in an Expenditure statement for taxpayers.

You’d be surprised about how much and how little some taxes raise.

An Expenditure statement is useless without an Income one.

 

March 20, 2012 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | Leave a comment

Expensive Council Number Plates

The BBC is running an item this morning about how councils have very expensive number plates on official cars.

Apparently, Essex has already sold F1 for £375,000, but it may now be worth up to £5,000,000, so it would appear they may have been short changed.

Northampton would appear to have the most valuable one and that is NH1, which could be worth £400,000.  But as they say, once sold you can’t cash in next year.

On the other hand, one person’s asset could satisfy another’s ego. So would it not be possible to lease the number plate for an appropriate amount of money?

Now, whilst we’re talking about number plates, could the lease apply to other council assets?

  1. How many expensive works of art are languishing in public hands, that people would pay to hire for a year, months or even a day?
  2. Councils have some desirable houses in valuable positions, that might be better rented than sold.
  3. Councils have some of the best car parking in the centre of towns.  It should all be rented to those who can afford to pay!
  4. The list probably goes on!

Returning to number plates, I always remember that when I lived in the Barbican BP had the plate BPO 1L on a corporate limousine.  Later I saw it on a transit mini-bus in the company’s colours.  Do they still own it? It probably wouldn’t be a good idea after the Gulf Oil Spill.

October 18, 2010 Posted by | News, World | , , | 3 Comments