Archive for August, 2011

wigan traffic engineer: the continuing saga with a reference to “no right turn”

August 28, 2011

From ( r.beamer@wigan.gov.uk )

Dear Mr Shale, Thank you for your email. (copied from my response to my M.P.) Your comments and concerns will be investigated and a comprehensive response will follow in due course.

 Regards

Richard 

 A response to this email, after reading the local paper

In my original reply to My M.P., I accepted your rebuff of my suggestion that you could achieve the same results with a “no right turn” sign, such as that employed at the top of Garswood Street in Ashton-in-Makerfield, and yet in this weeks edition of the Wigan Observer there is an official notification that this is precisely the option chosen for the junction of Market Street and Cross Street, in Hindley. I look forward to reading your justification of this logic, although I surmise that your rebuff was simply a gauche tactic to stop that avenue of discussion.

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express: why Gadaffi?

August 28, 2011
I was not happy about our intervention in Libya but at least it hasn’t cost us the same sort of sums as have Iraq and Afghanistan.
The principle of non-intervention in other countries’ domestic situations is a sound one and the fact that it seems to be being applied to countries such as Sudan, Syria, Bahrain and many others suggest that Libya was a special case.

 

Perhaps if our Government was a little more trusting of the British people, then they might be able to offer a better justification than the obviously untrue altruism being portrayed, with its reliance on being a humanitarian mission.
If this was the entire basis for our intervention then we would be involving ourselves in the other countries mentioned and Mugabe would have ceased breathing decades ago.

 

That this was intended as a regime change has been authenticated by William Hague’s absurd refusal to affirm or deny the fact on the BBC, Sunday morning, and by Edwina Currie’s bland assumption of that self-same fact a mere thirty minutes later.
Why not simply state that we wanted Gadaffi out of office and state the reasons? 

Was he attempting extortion, through threats to fund terrorism (there seems to have been a recent upsurge in IRA activity)?
Was he actively supporting Al Qaeda against Saudi Arabia and those Arab nations, who seemed to support Western intervention?

 

At present, the Government and, therefore, the British people are being presented as hypocrites; trying to avoid charges of war-mongering. Charges which will be made by our enemies, anyway.

 

Tell the truth and shame the devil. Trust the people with the full story, whatever it is, and gain our respect.

 

 

Sunday Express: speed camera’s are a social evil

August 28, 2011
Clare Heal makes a superficially valid justification for speed camera’s and baldly states that if we think speed limits are too low then we should get Parliament to raise them.
First the national speed limits were set at these values for administrative purposes and, originally as a guide to police officers, They were not reasoned out as suitable values for specific lengths of road and for specific densities of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Second the motorists, whom she derides, did not complain about the speed limits, when these limits were enforced by the Police.
 
The evidence that the speed camera’s are to catch the unwary, rather than to protect the public, is given by the siting of so many of them. Most that I’ve seen are placed at the bottom of straight, wide, downhill runs, or on bends. They do not catch rush hour traffic, which monitors itself, through knowing the locations of the camera’s.
They catch strangers, travelling in very light traffic, who fall into the trap of matching their speed to the road conditions.
 
In the days, when we had a police force, the offences that were acted on were those of dangerous driving and of careless driving. These charges did not catch the unwary, they caught the speedsters, who nowadays might have sat-navs to warn them of the camera’s, or the joy-riders, who deliberately ride past the camera’s, repeatedly. They caught the drunks, who idled past the camera’s at well below the triggering speed. They caught the idiots with faulty headlights, or exhausts spilling clouds of smoke. They caught the tail-gaters, who harry those travelling at a safe speed. They caught the delivery men, who drive recklessly past schools, as pupils pour out, in a vain attempt to make their last delivery before the main rush hour.
 
They cost money, instead of making money, but they did the job of making the roads safe. Speed camera’s are the reverse of that.

utility tunnels

August 23, 2011

I was talking to a friend a few days ago about an idea for utility tunnels running under pavements, so when Nick Ross (in the Daily Express) wrote a piece, which ended with the same idea, I thought I had to show support and detail my own version of the scheme. So I sent this to the letter’s page.

Ross Clark, in his item on roadwork’s, suggests building tunnels to house the utilities’ cables, pipes  etc. and so save on the costs, damage and inconvenience caused by repairs to these services.

I would like to extend this idea by proposing an adaptation involving an idea used for houses.

Here the wiring etc.  is run through hollow skirting boards with removable covers and ready-made channels between rooms.

In the case of Mr. Ross’s tunnels, instead of digging up the road one more time, the tunnels would be placed under the pavements. The pavements would then consist of removable sections that, serving as lids over the tunnels, could be lifted out and replaced with the minimum of cosmetic  damage.

The tremendous waste of materials, manpower and energy associated with such work would disappear. There would no longer be two men digging a hole and then a two week delay until the pipe layers were available, then a two week delay before the repairers could get around to it. Then a two month delay to repair the pothole that has developed.

On Motorways the tunnel could be laid down the central reservation with access shafts, at appropriate junctions, containing inspection buggies, for the engineers, to travel the tunnel.

Lights could be built, with tunnel covers as part of their base, so that, when it came time to replace them , they could be changed as quickly as it takes to change a light bulb.

Other aspects include fitting traffic lights at dangerous crossing points. Whereas, at present, Councils refuse to do this because of the cost of wiring them into the power supply, a tunnel system with a suitable equivalent of socket points, would make such endeavours cheap and speedy.

With new developments being designed to be Green, what could be greener than a system that hugely reduces maintenance and repair costs

Stephen Fry and Athens

August 20, 2011

I know that Stephen Fry’s love of the Golden Age of Ancient Greece is engendered by an interest in  their acceptance of certain practices (although  in the case of the apparently butch Spartans, it constituted their version of the buddy system).

I know that he has studied the works of renowned Greek thinkers.

Unfortunately, he seems to have been blinded to the basis of Athenian wealth.

On a recent QI, he eulogised ancient Athens as being an example of true democracy.

To do this he has had to restrict his view of who counts as people.

He is almost certainly aware of the slave economy of ancient Athens and undoubtedly aware that conditions were not dissimilar to those for Negro slaves of the Southern States of America.

I quite like Mr Fry, but his program is based, to an extent, on refuting statements that are less ill-founded.

copied from fullermoney newsletter

August 20, 2011

Extraordinary scenes here in the UK, with a parasitical underclass robbing, torching and looting businesses. But enough of the bankers – why did a segment of Britain’s ‘lost’ urban generation suddenly turn feral ? The comparison between out of control financiers and disaffected violent youths is not merely a tired snipe against our unreconstructed banking class. There are wider social tensions busily simmering away. Perhaps some of the rioters who took to the streets of London, Birmingham and Manchester last week have started to twig that they face a lifetime of higher taxes (if they can get jobs at all) and diminished social services courtesy of decades of swelling “entitlement”, the accumulated benefits of the baby-boomers that preceded them, and the damage wrought by self-interested financiers playing at casino capitalism of no social merit whatsoever. Not so much Generation X as Generation Ex: ex-jobs, ex-growth, ex-prospects. We have had politicians pocketing illicit expenses, and bankers trousering unjustifiable bonuses even as the financial system totters at the cliff edge. Is trashing Miss Selfridge really so different ?

The recent involuntary transfer of wealth from western taxpayers to a narrow financial elite has been the largest in the history of the world. Why has nobody rioted over that ? Why has there been, Austrians apart, no questioning or examination of a rotten financial superstructure, in which the ongoing con of central and fractional reserve banking, and unsound fiat money, continues to transfer wealth in real terms from what’s left of the productive economy to a bankrupt (in all senses) banking system ? Why does the cult of Keynesian stimulus continue to hold such power over our politicians when it has so obviously and expensively failed? What we get, from mouthpieces of conventional finance such as The Financial Times, is ongoing yellow journalism mocking the “bubble” in gold. This is not just missing the wood for the trees. It is missing the story from the story.

wigan traffic engineer: blocked roads on youtube

August 19, 2011
I’ve compiled a short movie showing Wigan’s traffic planned Platt Bridge. It shows the unnecessarily blocked roads and the concentration on making life easier for Council premises with little regard to those, who it despises…. motorists.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxIP20yA5Tk

Wigan Traffic Engineer: FOI frightener?

August 19, 2011

I recently sent this to Wigan Council:

In a recent communication from Gill Connolly ( ref GC/SBW/Comps 2011)  Interim Director — Environment, I was informed, via Yvonne Vofargue, that there had been six recorded injury accidents in the last three years , related to Platt Bridge.
(The accident database indicates that there have been six recorded injury accidents in the last three year validated period — three of which involved turning vehicles.)
Could I have the  details of the locations and traffic movements involved and could I have details of how I can directly access this public information, for future relevant events.
The acknowledgement seemed to seek to stop my publishing any information in my blog, so I’ve sought advice from Lord Strobe (see below), as it makes a mockery of The Freedom of Information Act, if I can’t publish any information that I obtain.

Dear Sir,
I am seeking some free legal advice regarding a request that I sent to Wigan Council as a FOI request.
I have received an acknowledgement from a legal clerk, with this rider:
————————-
Please don’t print this email unless you really need to
 
“This email together with any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom they are addressed. The information may be covered by legal professional privilege. Do not copy, disclose or distribute the information. If you are not the addressee, please contact the sender and immediately delete this email and any attachments.”
———————————-
 
Is this just a frightener, or could there be consequences for my publishing the awaited information in my blog?
I’d appreciate even the most basic, non-committal answer.

 

Footnote : If you can’t afford professional advice, i.e. hire a legal  mouthpiece,  would LPP mean that you can’t stop people from publishing your statements, even if given in confidence?

who’s president?

August 19, 2011
My thanks to Wikipaedia for this clarification of who was European president:
President of the European Union (or President of Europe) could be a reference to any of:
President of the European Council (since 1 December 2009, Herman Van Rompuy)
President of the European Commission (since 22 November 2004, José Manuel Barroso)
Presidency of the Council of the European Union (since 1 July 2011, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk)
The President of the European Parliament is Jerzy Buzek.
 
My initial interest was engendered through the speech by The Polish Prime Minister, who argued strongly for Europe allowing free movement across borders.
One can understand his concern. Whilst money is flying out of Britain through French and German ownership of Our national Utilities, a smaller amount is leaking out through foreign workers / residents, sending cash home. One can not blame these economic migrants, nor can one blame their politicians, who can see the benefit that accrues to their economies.
 
One does wonder though about the acumen of domestic politicians, who seem determined to continue to allow this pauperisation of their countrymen.

shares and pensions

August 19, 2011
Can someone explain how a shares collapse creates a pension crisis and where the money goes?
I would have assumed that a manager of a pension fund would invest the capital, when shares were low and possibly sell when high, as all efficient Capitalists do.
Or do pension fund managers effectively give away money by doing the reverse?
Nevertheless, I would also assume that the primary means of creating pension payments is not by gambling on share prices but by harvesting the dividend payments and sitting tight on shares that have a solid base for future dividends.
Still! one does wonder who the numpties are, who are buying shares at the higher price and selling at the lower price, especially in a market that has been rising and falling on a weekly cycle.
This is even more curious when one considers that really large companies must operate their own finances and profitability on a cycle of three or so years, unconcerned by shorter term fluctuations.
Even if it was thought that there was going to be a collapse of the money markets, why exchange asset based shares for IOU’s (the Pound, Euro,Dollar etc.) from politicians?