The Anonymous Widower

Trump Shoots The Messenger

This article on the BBC is entitled Trump sacks defiant acting attorney general.

This is said.

Donald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general, after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban.

I think that the only winners on this spat will be American lawyers.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Could The Brexit Ruling Be Beneficial To All?

This article on the BBC is entitled PM urged to calm the backlash against Brexit ruling.

It is all getting very nasty out there.

The judges were asked for their opinion and they gave it.

Some  reaction is like that of a heavy smoker, who has just asked his doctor, if smoking will cause lung cancer and he hasn’t liked the reply.

I am by training a Control Engineer, who in his time has modelled very complex systems.

I can remember a couple of difficult problems, where to find a working solution, some form of delay had to be introduced.

After that, everything was hunky-dory!

The biggest effect of the Brexit ruling, will be to introduce a delay in the calling of Article 50, which will now hang like a Sword of Damacles over everybody, be they a politician, captain of industry or just an ordinary Jack or Jill like me.

So as Doctor Johnson said about hanging concentrating the mind, could we see the ultimate British solution; a compromise?

Thank the Devil for lawyers!


November 5, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

‘Wheelchair vs. Buggy’ Case Goes To The Supreme Court

The latest in this story from Wetherby is in this article on the BBC, which is entitled Supreme Court to hear ‘wheelchair vs buggy’ bus case.

I think it is interesting that this case comes from Wetherby, which I suspect doesn’t have such an intensive bus service as I have here in London or as there is in Manchester, Newcastle or Liverpool.

In London, I have never seen an argument over the wheelchair space on a bus, although I have seen some severe, but helpful reorganising, when a wheel-chair needs to be accommodated.

In London because bus frequencies are higher and there are generally shelters these days, I would suspect that most people, be they able-bodied, in a wheel-chair or with a buggy, accept that they may have to wait for the next bus.

But if there is only one bus an hour, it’s chucking it down and there’s no shelter, it’s more likely that passengers will refuse to co-operate.

So one way to mitigate problems like this, is to provide a better bus service, with more buses, better shelters and improved information.

But that all costs money!

I am not disabled, although I don’t drive because of an eyesight problem. I also because of my stroke, could have ended up in a wheelchair, so I sympathise, with those who have to use a wheelchair or electric buggy to get about.

I regularly, see passengers in wheelchairs use London buses, with their central entrance/exit, which leads straight into the wheelchair space. The design, also means the driver can deploy the ramp and do everything they need without leaving the cab. In loading a wheelchair, I’ve also seen buggy-pushers take advantage of the deployed ramp to get out of the bus to fold the buggy before getting back on.

But outside of London, where often the wheelchair user has to get in the front entrance by the driver, this creates all sorts of delays and I’ve seen on a crowded bus, virtually everybody on the lower-deck get off, to allow the wheelchair to pass through.

I wonder if outside of London, there is more resentment of wheel-chair users on buses, than there is in the capital.

In my view, all new buses should be designed for central wheelchair entrance/exit as this is so much more efficient.

I once had a discussion with a Manchester Buses union rep on a Manchester bus. He was all for the London system of no-money-on-buses, with a front entrance and central-exit passenger flow, as it cut attacks on staff.

Since then, London has gone even further and now with the ability to use any contactless bank card as a ticket, London now has one of the most advanced bus-ticketing system in the world.

We need a standardised bus-system all over the UK. It might actually encourage more people to use this often-neglected form of public transport, which would generate more revenue for a better system.

June 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 7 Comments

Will It Be All Systems Go For The Ordsall Curve?

This article in Rail Technology Magazine is entitled Court of Appeal dismisses Ordsall Chord legal challenge and it talks about Mark Whitby’s fight to stop the Ordsall Chord being built.

This is said.

A legal appeal following the dismissal of a challenge to the process for granting permission for the Ordsall Chord has been dismissed.

The Court of Appeal today upheld a ruling to dismiss a challenge from Mark Whitby, former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The Court dismissed all three appeals made by Whitby against the decision of Lang J in the Mrs Justice Beverley Lang: two statutory challenges of the Transport and Works Act order and of the Listed Building Consent, and a judicial review of the planning permission.  The Court of Appeal will hand down its judgement early in the new term, after Easter.

I hope this is the end of it, and work can proceed on the much-needed new infrastructure.

But I suppose there’s always the Supreme and European Courts!

I am a Londoner and one thing puzzles me about this case. If say in London, there was an argument about such a piece of infrastructure, those making the fuss would be local people, as they are in Chelsea and Wimbledon over Crossrail 2. In all the reports on the Ordsall Chord, the councils, politicians and the media seem to be in favour and only one lone person is against.

This article in Building gives an insight into Mark Whitby.


March 24, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 4 Comments

The Saga Of The Ordsall Chord Goes Into Extra Time

If there is one railway project that sums up one of the worst problems often faced by rail planners in this country it is the endless saga of the Ordsall Chord. Wikipedia describes the chord and the reason for building it in this paragraph.

The Ordsall Chord is a proposed short railway line in the Ordsall area of Greater Manchester. It will link Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria and it is expected to increase capacity in the region and reduce journey times into and through Manchester.

Sadly, the endless fights, that this worthy aim, which would be to the good of millions of rail travellers, could have been avoided if history was different.

The Picc-Vic Tunnel was one of three major tunnels under Northern cities to improve rail services. The other two in Liverpool and Newcastle were built, but Manchester’s solution was cancelled by that very bad friend of trains in the North; Harold Wilson.

And then, the Ordsall Chord was proposed as an alternative to the tunnel. Wikipedia says this.

The chord was first proposed in the late 1970s. Parliamentary powers for its construction were received in 1979, but the project was cancelled. Network Rail revived the proposal in 2010 as part of its Manchester Northern Hub proposal. Funding for its construction was announced in the 2011 United Kingdom budget. It is scheduled to be completed by December 2016, and will cost around £85 million to construct.

So the proposal has been around a long time and since 2011, there has been the money to build it.

In A Single Objector Holds Up The Ordsall Chord, I expressed my despair at the delay and said this.

I will not judge this case one way or the other, but one of the reasons for bad economic progress in the North is  poor and outdated rail infrastructure. So surely, it would have been better to have got this argument out of the way a couple of years ago.

I do wonder in this country, how many projects don’t ever get started because organisations like Network Rail feel it is better not to have a fight and leave the inadequate status quo alone.

So now according to this article in Rail Magazine, which is entitled Whitby issues new challenge to Ordsall Chord, the original objector is taking his challenge to a higher court. This is said in the article.

That High Court ruling also refused Whitby the right to appeal. However, Whitby has appealed this refusal, and on January 11 the Court of Appeal granted Leave to Appeal. Thus the former President of the Institution of Civil Engineers is set to launch his third attempt to derail the Ordsall Chord project, on a date to be set later this year. “The grounds of appeal raise important points and have real prospects of success,” the Court of Appeal said.

Comments from Council leaders in the area are less than pleased.

In another article in Manchester Confidential, there is this user comment.

If Mark Whitby is so right why did he lose the Judicial Review? The judge who heard the hearing Mrs Justice Lang who is no pushover in these matters. Ruled that the Public Enquiry was legally flawless and agreed with the planning inspector that the common good over ruled the objections to the Chord.

I don’t think its about historic buildings more Mr. Whitby’s dented big ego because his route was rejected. 

Hopefully if he loses he should be made to pick up the bill for all the public money he’s wasted.

I think a lot of people feel that way about Mark Whitby.

What worries me is that if the Court of Appeal turns down the appeal, will the case go to the Supreme Court and then an appropriate European one.

The only winners in this sad saga are the lawyers.

But there are millions all over the North, who just want to get about their business, who are very big losers.

And that doesn’t count, all taxpayers from Lands End to John O’Groats, who are eventually footing the bill, for one man’s stubbornness.



January 24, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 6 Comments

Glasgow Bin Lorry Driver Should Have Been Charged

According to this article on the BBC web site, a former prosecutor has said that the driver of the Glasgow bin lorry, that killed six people should have been charged. The report starts like this.

A former senior prosecutor has strongly criticised the decision not to charge the driver at the centre of the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

Brian McConachie QC said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Harry Clarke.

He said the Crown Office had “jumped the gun” in not pressing charges.

I feel very strongly about this. After I had my stroke, my eyesight was terrible and I decided that to start driving again would not be a responsible thing to do.

My current GP, who has seen me for three years, feels that if I wanted to, I could get my licence back.

But quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered. And I have a lot of backing from my healthy bank account.

What worries me, is how many other Harry Clarkes are there driving around?

In the last four years, I had lifts from other drivers a few times and quite frankly with two of them my eyesight seemed better.

My eyesight problem incidentally, is that I can’t see moving objects low down on the left. So one nightmare on the street, is meeting a crocodile of young children, say being led by their teachers. Luckily I haven’t done anything I shouldn’t! A few times though, people wheeling cases have pulled in front of me from the left and I’ve bumped into the case. Only once have I ended up on the ground, as usually my balancing skills which are still tip-top have got me out of trouble.

Harry Clarke was extremely irresponsible, in not reporting his failing health problems!

Incidentally, if say I was fifty and had got my eyesight problem, as I live in London, I would get a Freedom Pass, entitling me to free public transport in Greater London. I get one anyway as I’m over the qualifying age.

August 21, 2015 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

German Lawyers Prove They Have A Sense Of Humour

There has been a YouTube video entitled Für Laura, which shows a German getting his own back on his wife, by cutting everything they own in half.

It now turns out that it was all a hoax by the German Bar Association in their on-line magazine .

Who said lawyers don’t have a sense of humour?

And who said Germans don’t have a sense of hunour?

June 29, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Surely Taking Your Children To Syria Is Child Abuse?

I’m no lawyer, but I did live with one of East Anglia’s finest children’s barristers for forty years and for at least twenty of those years, C was at the top of her profession.

So to my trained-by-association legal mind, if you take your children to a war zone, like Syria, you’re putting your children in danger and that in my view and probably would in C’s mind, be akin to child abuse and should get the mother, father or guardian into Court.

As well as the case of the three Bradford sisters on their way to Syria and possible oblivion, we also have the case of the attack on the pregnant woman in Peckham.

In the second case someone has been charged and will appear in Court today.

As the Authorities knew something was up with the Bradford sisters, why was nothing done to sort the problem earlier, when they went to Manchester Airport the first time?

When I went out on Eurostar on my way to Kassel, there was a lady about fifty, who was travelling with a young girl of about four. The lady got a minute or so’s questioning from Immigration at St.Pancras. Which was quite right, as C was often in Court trying to get children produced that had been sneaked out of the Jurisdiction. I seem to have read that immigration rules have been tightened to make taking children out of the country, against one parent’s wishes more difficult.

Perhaps, if they were tightened again, it might stop a repeat of the case of the Bradford sisters and their nine children.

June 18, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

A New Route To Legal Services

I passed this cafe in Hampstead yesterday on Haverstock Hill.

A New Route To Legal Services

A New Route To Legal Services

I suppose that The Legal Cafe might make a sensible profit on the coffee and cakes.

March 12, 2015 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

Andrew Mitchell

I refer you to one I posted earlier. Here’s a paragraph.

So my late wife’s advice to anybody who is thinking about suing for libel was don’t.  You’ll make it worse and you’ll only end up with a large bill from lawyers.  Even if you win! I agree entirely.

C would have a smile on her face and be saying silly man.

November 28, 2014 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment