The Anonymous Widower

Does Boris Need To Be Prime Minister For The Flat And The Money?

According to Camilla long in The Sunday Times, Boris is living n a flat in Camberwell and outside is his 1995 Toyota people carrier, sdorned with a few parking tickets.

It sounds to me, like the lifestyle of a loser, not that of someone, who aspires to lead the country.

Jeremy Hunt is shown on the Internet driving a clean Volkswagen estate, that appears to be a few years old.

So is Boris short of money, as he strives to win the most important election of his life?

There is also the small matter of his divorce from the barrister; Marina Wheeler.

Even if she is not a divorce specialist, then one of her friends will be an expert is making sure the wayward Boris is strewed, glued and tattooed.

Conclusion

Winning the election and the free flat and increased salary would do Boris just fine.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 4 Comments

Will Sadiq Khan Be A One-Term Mayor?

This article on the BBC is entitled Donald Trump Hits Out Again At Sadiq Khan Over London Violence.

I don’t like Trump or many of his policies one bit and if in the unlikely chance, I was invited to meet him, I would decline.

But I’ve met many people, who think we need someone like Trump to stand-up for the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

I have two personal criticisms of Sadiq.

The Unaffordable Fare Freeze

The fare freeze he proposed, that must have impressed a large number of voters, has not been something that London can afford.

Now important projects like the rebuilding of Camden Town and Holborn station have been delayed.

He’s A South London Mayor

To my mind, Sadiq seems to favour his home territory over the North.

  • In the North, we seem to have suffered more from cuts in bus frequencies.
  • He was very slow to act on the problems with the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • Knife crime and violence seems to be worse in the North, so is it Mayoral neglect?

It is probably understandable, as his mates in the South have more chances to bend his ears and you don’t annoy your friends.

I wonder if Ken favoured the North!

I do think though that various effects are working against his reelection.

The ULEZ Effect

The London ULEZ currently only applies to the Congestion one, but from 2021, it will apply to all areas inside the North and South Circular Roads.

How many voters, who will be affected by the ULEZ extension, will vote for Sadiq?

The Brexit Effect

Sadiq has nailed his colours to Remain and is regularly interviewed about Brexit.

Most right-of-centre Brexiteers wouldn’t probably vote for him, but some traditional Labour boroughs voted to Leave, so could his support for Remain cost votes.

On the other hand, if Brexit has happened and going badly, will Sadiq gain votes?

The Next Prime Minister Effect

If Boris becomes Prime Minister, this would be an imponderable. It might help or hinder Sadiq’s reelection.

The Crossrail Effect

The late delivery of Crossrail, is not Sadiq’s fault, but it will have four effects.

  • The late delivery will ffect London’s transport budget and give the Mayor less money for projects.
  • Some people will view his oversight of the project as incompetent.
  • He won’t be able to bathe in the glow of a successful Crossrail.
  • It is a ready-made millstone to hang around his neck.

There will also be many Londoners, for whom, the late delivery of Crossrail caused a financial loss and they will vote accordingly.

The Trump Effect

I would expect, Trump to keep up his criticism of Sadiq.

Who’s to say, whether it will affect Sadiq’s vote, but there are quite a few people, who would support Trump.

Conclusion

There are a lot of questions to answer, but I feel given the state of British politics, that we could be in for a surprise.

Could we see a Brexit, Green or Lib Dem Mayor?

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

If This Is The End For The £1.3bn M4 Relief Road, Radical Thinking Is Needed

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

The article is a good analysis of one of South Wales’ major transport problems; How do you relieve capacity on the ageing M4 around Newport?

I haven’t been on that section of road for perhaps twenty years or even longer, but I can’t ever remember the road, not being full of traffic.

Abolition Of Tolls Not The Smartest Move

This is a subsection of the article about the abolition of tolls on the Severn Crossing, where this is one sentence.

The abolitions of tolls, as predicted, have already driven a 20% rise in traffic levels on the existing M4, which will only put more pressure on its resilience.

Any sensible person could have told you that.

Surely, the extra capacity should have at least been planned before the tolls were abolished.

But then politicians like buying votes with unsustainable decisions that benefit their electorate.

As another example, look at the problems, Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze has caused Transport for London. But then you can’t expect a lawyer and politician to get their sums right. My late wife was a lawyer and many of our friends in Suffolk were in the same profession. Few had any clue about handling numbers properly.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Politics Just Got Even More Interesting!

I don’t know about politics, but I like to think I know about data and I have a long and deep memory.

We now have two immovable and possibly unstoppable forces on opposite sides, which have almost equal support.

  • Those that want to leave the European Union without a deal.
  • Those that want to remain in the European Union.

They are irreconcilable positions.

I remember an acrimonious takeover attempt by Imperial Chemical Industries for Courtaulds in the 1960s. Not so much, at the time but because I later worked for ICI and became friends with a guy, who had worked for British Nylon Spinners at Pontypool.

Later I became aware of Frank Kearton and his part in the stopping of the takeover.

At the time he was the Engineering Director of Courtaulds. In a Press Conference, the CEO of Courtaulds was floundering and giving a rather bad impression. A question was asked and Frank Kearton stepped in and answered it so well, he took over the Press Conference.

He became CEO and the takeover was defeated. Kearton went on to have a respected career.

I may have remember the story wrong and I suspect it’s Kearton’s version, that I’m repeating.

In the UK are in a similar position to Courtaulds in the sixties. Both major parties are almost leaderless and none of those at the top of the Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are better than the average run-of-the-mill MPs, who generally do a good job.

We need someone to step forward to unite this country and sort out the mess.

Will he or she be one of the following?

  • Jeremy Corbyn – Anybody that far left and over seventy would be unacceptable to well over half of the population.
  • Boris Johnson – You might employ him as a salesman, but you wouldn’t employ him in any management position.
  • Vince Cable – Too old and he’s sensible enough to know it.
  • The herd of Tory leadership candidates – Perhaps one might have the qualities, and they would need to show amazing style, intelligence and oratory to even get on the final ballot.
  • Nigel Farage – The other side believe he’s the cause of the problem, so wouldn’t follow him.
  • Caroline Lucas – Green  policies are anathema to perhaps seventy percent of the country, who still fly too much and don’t buy zero-emission cars?

We need someone with amazing qualities to step out of the shadows, just as Frank Kearton did at Courtaulds.

Conclusion

I’ve put a small bet on my choice for the next Tory Leader and Prime Minister.

 

May 27, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Mojitos On Display By The Tills In Dalston Marks And Spencer

As this picture shows, the well-publicised Mojitos are handy in Dalston Marks and Spencer, which is perhaps thirty metres from the London Overground at Dalston Kingsland station.

They are the two light-blue cans on the left of the shelf.

I had just relieved the shop of two bottles of my favourite 0.5% Southwold Ale.

Incidentally, I have never drunk any alcoholic drink out of a can, without using a glass as an intermediary.

These days, I don’t even drink soft drinks directly out of a can.

If Transport for London allowed sponsorship of rail lines, perhaps the North London Line would be sponsored by Marks and Spencer, as they have stores very close to the following stations.

  • Richmond
  • West Hampstead
  • Hapmstead Heath
  • Dalston Kingsland
  • Hackney Central
  • Stratford

I think there will be more.

May 5, 2019 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

West Drayton Station – 3rd May 2019

I  took these pictures at West Drayton station.

Look at the bridge. It is very little different to this picture, which was taken in 2015.

Stairs have been added, but there is no sign of the lifts.

It is surely obvious to the around two million passengers who use the station every year, that little progress is being made at West Drayton station.

Obviously, it was not obvious to Sadiq Khan and his advisers sitting in their bunker South of the River!

He should remember, that he’s a Mayor for all Londoners and not those, who voted him in as an MP.

If there’s a North London candidate in the next Mayoral Election, they will get my vote, even if they’re from the Moster Raving Looney Party!

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

Lessons From Extinction Rebellion

I only came across Extinction Rebellion once and I took these pictures.

Oxford Circus was totally blocked.

So what have we learned?

A Relatively Small Largely Peaceful Group Can Bring A British City To A Halt

By not using any violence or threats of violence, the good nature of the Metropolitan Police meant that the protest was able to continue, despite the large number of arrests.

It also seemed that many after arrest, went back to the protest.

The Great British Public Didn’t Seem To Be Too Annoyed

Although, one or two celebrities, white van and black cab black drivers seemed to be annoyed, when they were interviewed, the Great British Public seemed to take it on the chin.

Crime Didn’t Seem To Rise In Areas Unaffected By The Protests

I’m not sure of this, but do-called newspapers like the Express, Mail and Sun didn’t seem to have any screaming headlines on the subject.

At The Right Time These Protests Can Be Cleared Without Heavy Police Force

In the end, the Oxford Street and Waterloo Bridge protests, were cleared by strength of numbers and no use of pepper spray, baton rounds or water cannon.

The Future Of Protest

I think we will see more protests of this type against or for such issues as Brexit, Remain and onald Trump.

Would the Met be able to cope with simultaneous protests for the first two groups?

Thinking About Climate Change

Will the Extinction Rebellion protests make us think more about climate change?

Investing In Renewable Energy

One trend I have noted over the past few years, is companies like Aviva, are investing large amounts of our pension funds in large renewable energy projects.

I wrote about one project in World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant.

The Extinction Rebellion protests, must make it easier for Aviva and their like, to justify their investment decisions.

I feel that if the Government sets the right guidelines and tax rules, that companies like Ariva with their billions of pounds of funds, have more power than the Government to change the future.

Politicians

politicians in the UK are like a load of peasants on bicycles trying to put on a synchronised cycling display in a heavy thunderstorm.

They are morons led by mules!

I regularly use this phrase.

Engineering is the science of the possible, whereas politics is dreams of the impossible.

You can substitute lots of other professions for engineering.

But what we need is politician, who think in scientifically-correct pathways.

After all, you can’t disobey the laws of maths, physics, chemistry, biology and human nature.

But politicians believe you can otherwise racism, Marxism and Fascism wouldn’t exist.

Mondeo Man And Woman Living In A Comfortable House

Are these the real problem, as they drive around in their diesel car, live in very eco-unfriendly houses and fly to their holidays in America and the Far East?

How many of the vast majority of the UK population, even accept that climate change exists?

If they do, they always point to places like China and the United States, who carry on as normal!

Conclusion

There will be more and bigger protests, until politicians manage the art of synchronised bicycle riding!

 

April 25, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 5 Comments

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

Articles In Today’s Times

In addition to World’s Top Wealth Fund Puts Billions Into Britain, there were other articles worth blogging about in today’s copy of The Times.

Build New Homes Away From Roads, Heath Watchdog Says

Surely, this very sensible! The distance can of course be vertical!

Plastic Packaging Used To Make Car Parts In Upcycling Revolution

Scientists working for the US Department of Defense have shown it is possible to convert recycled PET bottles and other packaging into useful long-life products.

Corbyn’s Favourite Firebrand Is Suspended In Antisemitism Row

My father believed that there was little different between the extreme left as represented by Sralin and the extreme right as represented by Hitler.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment