Thursday, July 15, 2010

My protest on Parliament Square

The other day I was in the vicinity of Parliament Square and there were lots of young men and women in military uniforms. Given their ages I presumed it was something to do with Cadet 150. It was great to see them wearing their uniforms with pride, and their families delighted to be with them on this day.

So I was horrified to hear that one serviceman had had abuse hurled at him from the squatters on Parliament Square in their so called 'peace village'. You may be able to guess from my turn of phrase that I am on the side of Boris Johnson and would like these people removed so we can have access to our public space again and not be bombarded with their nonsense.

Because they are taking up space and they are also stopping other people with their right to protest. I personally wish to protest about cuts to the defence budget because there's still a huge amount of work to be done in areas like Armed Forces accommodation and ensuring that troops are properly equipped and paid a decent salary. I also do not agree with cutting numbers of troops and think there should be an increase in infantry numbers.

But where would I pitch my tent on the square? There's no space to put up my poncho no matter how much para cord I might have. I could try, I suppose, and it would be interesting to see what the 'peace' protesters make of me.

But I think I'd like some company. Would anyone care to join me?!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Beyond satire

Being off work for a few weeks gave me the opportunity to undertake some reading beyond my usual Jilly Cooper-esque novels. One of the books I particularly enjoyed reading was about how Princess Victoria of Kent became Queen and indeed, came into existence. The Georgian era is one which one doesn't tend to study much which is a shame as it's rather interesting. And so I didn't know very much about the changes in Europe or indeed that King Leopold was in line to be Prince Consort of Great Britain having married Princess Charlotte, only child of George IV.

When Charlotte died after disastrous medical treatment and the brothers searched Europe looking for suitable princesses to marry, Leopold was invited to become King of Belgium.

Because Belgium is a constructed country and one which is also falling apart. That's why I found the speech by Nigel Farage rather fitting, given that they've just taken over the presidency of another constructed country, forcing people who don't wish to be together into union.

Following Timothy Kirphope's comment about Tory MEPs actually doing what's best for the country in the EU (which faction?) I thought I'd introduce those who weren't aware of this little creature to you. No, not Timothy Kirkhope, although it's fair to say most people haven't heard of him.

This little creature.

It's called a mudskipper and I decided it was a good name for Tory MEPs. Mudskippers can't decide which environment they want to live on, see. In the water or on moist land. I'm sure you can see where I make the link between them and eurosceptic/intergrationalist/federalist/withdrawalist Tory MEPs...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Vote for ME!

here at the Total Politics lovely blog list whatsit.

Pretty Please.

With sugar on the top

*flutters eyelashes*

Road Pricing. Again

The RAC has said that road pricing is "inevitable". I'm afraid that I disagree. It might be inevitable because of political pressures but it's certainly not needed if we actually take action and deal with the issues blighting our lives and this country.

A reader clearly feels the same way and has copied me into an email on the subject. As a cyclist you might wonder why I am so against road pricing when I just whizz past the queues of traffic in rush hour anyway. Simples; because I am sick of the amount of money being taken from people with the excuse that it's with our best interests that it is done.

It's not: road pricing, just like global warming is politically motivated. Lord Stern, formerly Sir Nicholas Stern, was knighted on the request of Gordon Brown. Stern had written his report which affects the way that our government policy, council policy and education of children is implemented and taught. It also allowed the Treasury to raise taxes in the name of saving us from ourselves. Well done, Nick. Have a gong.

Road Pricing will also be taught to us as helping protect against climate change or some similar tosh. I suspect very little will actually be said about the fact that it's a revenue stream for the EU across all EU countries which they are incredibly keen on, as well as allowing the central EU bureaucracy to continue with their push for control on cross border justice and home affairs. Road cross borders and so do cars, so who better than the EU to keep an eye on what we're all doing in our vehicles?

There's also the subject of Galileo. For those who don't know, Galileo is the 'spy in the sky' system which was set up by Yankophobe Europeans set on rivaling the GPS system. It hasn't worked, it's a black hole for your cash and you need to stump up for it because it sure as hell won't be profitable or have private investors. You will pay for it by allowing it to monitor you and because you don't take enough interest in how your lives are run and where your money goes, you probably deserve it.

But how should we deal with the problems on our roads? Well, given that the problems particularly in London are man made, in the sense that they are politically altered in order to ensure there is a continual argument for more charges and thus more money and power to socialist politicians, here are a few options in that email.:

· Open up the many thousands of miles of roads that have been closed or made unusable by barriers, signage, humps and other means.

· Remove the road width restrictions that have been placed on many thousands of miles of roads.

· Remove Prescott imposed traffic lights and remove ALL traffic lights from roundabouts.

· Re-phase traffic lights to pre-Prescott timings.

· Remove dark/death phase pedestrian crossing lights and revert to sensible phase Pelican crossings. (when all lights are black - T)

· Revert to speed limits applicable in the pre-Prescott era.

· Remove bus lanes. They delay all traffic including buses.

· Remove cycle lanes on roads that have been imposed to satisfy Labour’s requirement that central funding for road ‘improvements’ would only be given if the work included anti-car measures.

· Have more cycle lanes off road and more shared pedestrian/cycle lanes where appropriate. Force cyclists to use cycle lanes where they are available.

· Permit left turn on red.

· Left filters on signalled junctions should be the norm.

· Provide more free parking areas to allow roads to be clear of parked vehicles and hence allow traffic to flow.

I'm sure that some of you are tutting and thinking that there aren't altered traffic light phases and the such. Well, there are and the reason for them were openly admitted at a members meeting for the Institute of London Transport. Traffic was flowing rather too well, you see, and there needed to be a reason for Ken to call for a £25 congestion charge and expansion to West London.

As for the report's author, well he's very involved in this whole road pricing scheme. I'm sure he'll be put on another committee or executive board to help bring this all into being which will no doubt help his own coffers...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fantastic Mr Fox

I don't like foxes. I'm not one of these deluded people who think they're all cute and fluffy. I'd like to get on the back of a muscle packed stallion and chase one across the countryside and then know that it's been killed by some dogs.

But it's not that I dislike animals; quite the contrary. I'm a huge animal lover. I've been vegetarian for the past 18 years despite dreaming about steak (not one of those ghastly preaching ones, though), I actually communicate often like I'm a bloody cat and I do generally prefer animals to people. It's my love of animals, particularly the gorgeous ones I live with, that I want a bit of equilibrium to be restored and man to be the natural predator of foxes again.

For years in the suburbs there have been urban foxes causing a nuisance: ripping bins apart, screaching into the night and stinking and being infested with fleas. They don't run when they see a human; why should they? What can we actually do? They're the ones with sharp teeth and rabies. We should run from them.

And we know from news reports that foxes attack people and maul children. Those people who feed foxes and encourage them into urban areas think that sleeping children provoked a fox into scarring their faces and chewing their arms but this is bullshit.

My first pet, a rabbit called Christopher was killed by a fox who just took his head. Over the years we all came to know foxes as pet killers as a series of fluffy animals were taken as trophies despite our best efforts to keep them safe. Now we keep chickens and cats and it's another round of ensuring that people watch them even during the day and that all animals are locked up at night.

This morning I woke up to a text message from my friend who lives near saying that her kitten was killed last night by foxes.

Yes, you 'animal rights ban hunting stop pest control' people: a kitten was killed by a fox. You with all your 'save me' posters of foxes didn't have to clean up that one in your garden, did you.

So I had a look to see what can be done about dealing with the fucking pests. Here's the government website. Essentially, in much the same way as people have been told for the last decade about rape and burglary, it's your responsibility to stop it happening to you.

Blocking empty living spaces
If the space is occupied by foxes (or other animals) it’s illegal to trap them by blocking the entrance. Instead, wait until the foxes stop using the space and then block the entrance before the next breeding season, which lasts from December to May...

Legal protection for foxes
It’s against the law to treat foxes cruelly. Find out more information on foxes and the law on pages six and seven of 'The red fox in rural areas'.

And of course make sure there's no rubbish anywhere and don't fly tip. Of course, there's more rubbish around since we don't get it cleared up ever week (landfill directive) and more fly tipping (weee directive) so thanks EU.

In the mean time, if you've got a fox which is making your life unpleasant, remember that the last Labour government thought it more important than you. Perhaps we should get some changes included in this Great Repeal Bill?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

How to be a tabloid journalist part 24638

Not that tabloids overreact in their coverage, often stringing a few comments into a double page feature, but this coverage of the pantomime wedding in the News of the World had me hooting with laughter:

Women and children were forced to FLEE the scrum - some in floods of TEARS

It's a church in Surrey, not the Rwandan fucking genocide.