The Anonymous Widower

Is There Hope Yet For The Metropolitan Line Extension?

This article in the Watford Observer is entitled Hertfordshire County Council Tables Plans For Met Line Extension Project To Still Go ahead.

This is the start of the article.

Plans will be tabled for the Metropolitan Line Extension to go ahead despite last month’s shock rejection from the Mayor of London.

An emergency cross-party motion has been tabled for Hertfordshire County Council’s budget council on February 20 in a bid to show there is still political support for the project is still ongoing.

The motion has been agreed with the Conservative leader of the council, David Williams, and Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.

The plug was pulled on the scheme last month despite additional government funding of almost £74m.

It looks to be more optimistic about this difficult project.

The article makes the point that TfL are paying for step-free access at Amersham and Rickmansworth, which outside the London area.

I can’t help feeling though that this project is all about politics and very little about seeing, if a more pragmatic solution can be found.

There are several rail projects that serve Watford that need to be taken together.

  • Crossrail up the West Coast Main Line.
  • New trains for the Watford DC Line.
  • The future of the Milton Keynes to East Croydon service.
  • What to do with the Northern end of the Bakerloo Line.
  • Improved Watford services by West Midlands Trains.
  • Possible Chiltern Railways access to Watford Junction along the Metropolitan Line Extension.

I suspect that if all projects are looked at together, a better solution can be found.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The National Lottery

The phone-in on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning is discussing the National Lottery.

I sent in this text.

The lottery, like religion, is just another way to extract money from the poor. If people need the buzz of gambling, there are much better ways of using sums of surplus money like local charities, crowd-funding bob-sleighers and peer-to-peer lending.

The lottery has served it’s purpose, but no politician dare kill it!

I doubt it’ll be read out!

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Finance, World | , , , | 2 Comments

Ulster Says No!

Twas ever thus! This article on Wikipedia, is about the protests against the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement between Margaret Thatcher and Garret FitzGerald.

Let’s face it! Many of the views of the Democratic Unionist Party are very alien to this left-wing Tory voter.

For a start, I have known, three women in the UK, who might have decided to have an abortion for three different reasons. All of their reasons would have been illegal in Northern Ireland, but perfectly legal in the rest of the UK and most of Europe.

In this and several other areas, such as same-sex marriage, Northern Ireland must be brought in line with the rest of the UK.


December 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | 5 Comments

Auckland Rows Back On battery Train Plan

The title of this post is the same as this article on the International ailway Journal.

This is said.

Following approval by Auckland Council, the proposal went to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for final sign-off. However, in the run-up to New Zealand’s general election on September 23, a political consensus emerged in favour of bringing forward electrification of the Papakura – Pukekohe line, prompting the NZTA to reject the case for battery trains.

Can we assume the reason for the change of order is political?

Certainly, CAF, who are building the trains seem to have the required battery technology. This is also said.

CAF says the contract will include an option to equip the trains with battery packs at a later date if required.

I just wonder if battery trains are just too risky for politicians, who tend to be rather conservative and badly-informed about anything technological.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

An MP Guilty Of Sexual Impropriety

One night many years ago, C and myself had a dinner party. One of the guests brought her husband with her. At the time, the husband may have still been an MP, or he may just have just lost an election.

At dinner, he constantly fiddled with C’s leg, but she had been warned of his probably behaviour, by one her best friends and had worn protection in the shape of a long dress, with layers of petticoats underneath.

Even with permission, it was difficult to find you way in!

C handled herself and anyway, he was the sort of man, she wouldn’t have fancied in a whole century of Sundays.

A few days later on meeting her friend, C related the incident.

Her friend then told her what had happened at a party that she had given. One of her female friends had got rather drunk and had been led upstairs by the MP.

Everything was apparently going well, until the MP got undressed.

On seeing his filthy grey vest that was full of large holes, the lady came to her senses, laughed extremely loudly and long and returned to the party.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Australia’s Dual Citizenship Row

This article on the BBC is entitled Barnaby Joyce: Australia Deputy PM Disqualified From Office. This is said.

Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and four other politicians were wrongly elected because they held dual citizenship, a court has ruled.

The High Court of Australia decision means three of the politicians, including Mr Joyce, are disqualified from office. The others quit in July.

Australia’s constitution prohibits dual citizens from being elected.

So what are the rules in the UK?

This page on the UK Parliament web site is entitled Who Can Stand As An MP?. This is said.

People wishing to stand as an MP must be over 18 years of age, be a British citizen or citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland

Candidates must be nominated by ten parliamentary electors of the constituency they wish to stand in.

There of course a few other rules with respect to things like criminal records.

But it would appear that Barnaby Joyce would be free to stand in a UK Parliamentary election, as he is an Australian citizen.

Andrew Bonar Law, who up until now, is the only Prime Minister born outside the British Isles, was born in Canada.

October 27, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Brexit Is The Cancer Gnawing Away At The Conservative Party

Well said by Lord Hesseltine in a very interesting interview with John Pienaar on BBC Radio 5.

He also said Brexit might not happen!

He didn’t pull any punches!

June 11, 2017 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments

Dressing To Win!

I am not being sexist in this post, as I think it applies just as much to men as women.

My late wife, C was always immaculately dressed for her appearances as a barrister in Court. I know too, from a lunch I had with a retired judge, who she regularly appeared in front of, that she would dress appropriately for the case and those in Court.

The judge also said, she made sure she was the centre of attention and as the judge said, she dressed to win.

C was considered by her peers to be a very competent lawyer, but several times she expressed doubts about her skills to me, so I do wonder, if she used clothes to give herself confidence.

I think that both Theresa May and Hillary Clinton don’t dress to win and both of them have lost!

How many times in their campaigns were they seen in plain bog-standard clothes, that made them look ordinary?

I can hear the words of C, in my ears, as she criticises their dress sense.

Incidentally, she always made sure, I was well-turned out!


June 9, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Is The Next Tory Leader?

When Theresa May resigns, as she surely will, if not today, in the next few days, where is the safe pair of hands to sort out the mess that the Brexit Referendum has dumped the country?

  • Kenneth Clarke and others of his generation are too old and too pro-Remain.
  • Boris Johnson is too volatile.
  • Ruth Davidson is not in Parliament.

I suspect many others will pass on the poisoned chalice.

John Major was the surprise to follow Margaret Thatcher and went on to win an election. Is there another like him? I don’t think so!

June 9, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

I Said It Was A Strange Election!

In A Strange Election, I said it was just that. But then, a political journalist friend said to me, that the posters told a different tale South of London, as they did in the capital, before the Brexit Referendum.

Theresa May made the same mistake as Harold Wilson in 1970 and Ted Heath in 1974, when they both called an early election and ended up covered in egg.

She fought a terrible election and certainly made major mistakes.

  • In a short campaign, you must get your manifesto right and this allowed the sound-bite of Dementia Tax to take hold.
  • The manifesto had little for the average Tory voter.
  • She ignored Newton’s Third Law!
  • Her circle of advisers was too small and close!
  • She ignored the lessons of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
  • She came over as cold, with all the charisma of a dead fish.
  • There was no infrastructure policy except vague statements in the manifesto.
  • There wasn’t much to attract those who voted Brexit, except a stop to immigration.
  • Where was the pit-bull to take Corbyn’s fantasy tax and spend policies apart?
  • Only Boris Johnson delivered any passion!

But most importantly, where do the Tories stand on Brexit?

The Tories are pfaffing about, like a Personnel Manager, who has just been sent by the Chairman to close a factory they know nothing about, in a strange area of the country.

The Tories were all planning to Remain in the EU, even if they were against it and the surprise result in the Brexit Referendum left the Party up the creek without a paddle.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment