Thursday, 31 October 2019

On leaving the EU

Over leaving the EU, I do feel that such a monumental decision should not have been so rushed and simplified, as I felt it was.  I was blissfully ignorant of the dangers for Northern Ireland and the impact on the Peace Agreement in leaving N Ireland distanced from the Republic of Ireland (nationalist disquiet) and treated differently from the other three countries (unionist disquiet).  The real debate and the full information, like the threat of more troubles breaking out from militant nationalists and militant unionists, did not materialise until after the referendum, I thought.

I abstained (mine, a protest vote) on the 23 June 2016 because I was so upset about the refusal of my MEPs to take seriously and to engage with me over the hundreds of millions of pounds going into our tram extensions when other transport priorities were very much more important and helpful in reducing congestion, pollution and greenhouse gases.  I only got to see one MEP when my wife and I went, with UKIP, over to Strasbourg in either 2014 or 2015.  MEPs never have surgeries in the UK!  My wife is a strong leave voter.  UKIP were brilliant in organising it all.  I can't remember the name of the excellent woman who did it all.

UKIP in Kidderminster and Wellington have also been the best political party in giving me time to explain the problems of Metro blocking/stopping the 120 Kms Black Country Mainline Railway from ever being finished.  However, they still did nothing, as far as I am aware of!  And Bill Etheridge refused to even reply to any e-mail or text.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

This autumn, I had seven days cycling and walking over the hills of the Scottish Borders

This autumn, I had seven days cycling and walking over the hills of the Scottish Borders.  I met a guy who commented that our society and culture is locked into fossil fuels. Such is our deep rooted addiction and complete dependency on them, we cannot survive without them.  Yet, they are quickly being burnt and, in the process, changing disastrously the chemical composition of the atmosphere. As Margaret Thatcher was well aware in the 1980s but did nothing!

Our food and drink landing on our table depends entirely on finite fossil fuels.  Without them we cannot feed ourselves or even get our drinking water.

Of course, we all have to become frugal fossil fuel users and, I think follow the example of Greta Thunberg.  I am also urging us all to insist that our political and civic leaders get their priorities sorted, show real leadership and reverse their spending priorities that lock us even more firmly into exploiting oil, coal and gas.

Apparently, Brexit is costing us billions that boost fossil fuel burning and disastrous greenhouse gas emissions.  As is the £1.8 BILLION, to 2026, to replace some buses and trains with trams in the Black Country and Brum. I am referring to Metro and Sprint that, along with Brexit, are all foolish diversions and a dangerous irrelevance from responding to climate catastrophe and the very mixed blessings of burning our remaining fossil fuels.  In the 1980s, I accepted the science that we are sleepwalking into a nightmare entirely of our own making.

If you think I am on the right lines, please write and speak to the leaders and their addresses, here:   September 2019 A5 flyer
Plus, to your MPs and MEPs and councillors.  Our priorities must change. Our personal life styles to one of minimum fossil fuel use.

“The more we spend, the more we burn fossil fuels, it seems to me.  Have I got this right?” SELF, 16 February 2019
“More or less right! … ”  SIR JONATHON PORRITT, 17 Feb 2019

"Just one caveat: as we decarbonise our grid, we’ll obviously be burning rather less of the reserves of remaining fossil fuels, and relying more on green electrons. But the rule of thumb still holds for the time being!"  Porritt, 27 October 2019


We are living infinitely on a finite planet;
Living unnaturally on a natural planet.
The epitomy of folly!

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Their "passive provision" is so passive that it is non existent!

I have re-read your email, below. 

Your crusade, you mention, needs to be, I think, on the most achievable and urgent goals. That  means:

Helping me stop the folly of building on the only feasible site for the rebuilt Dudley Castle Hill railway station.​  ​This, when the authorities SAY they want the passenger trains to return but are only building in "passive provision" for freight trains as they use the line for six to ten trams every hour!​  ​This is either a lie or incompetence or, to put it more kindly​, ​the top people are being disingenuous,

Do you think, Andi as men of integrity, that we should be doing all we can to point this out?​  ​Should we politely point out that their "passive provision" is so passive that it is non existent?  How about a little activity to end the dearth of absent trains in the congested, traffic choked Black Country?

Should we helpfully point out to them that they are planning to spend ten times more per Km on the glitzy glamorous trams than simply putting back the commuter, regional and intercity trains​,​ with Railfuture's nine stations?​  ​Do you think that all this might just be in line with your "political and financial constraints that exist", below?

Did you know that national FoE wrote​,​ earlier this year​,​ that there are 100 ​towns and cities with free bus travel, including 30 in the USA and 20 in France?

How about the W Mids GP arguing for this rather than​, at a time of continuing austerity,​ nearly £2 BILLION on Metro and Sprint?

Please comment, Andi. You are our leader, after all.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Proposed Clent Hills Regional Park

Dear Prof Kathryn

I am delighted to read about the W Mids National Park that you have drawn up. I wonder if you feel able to go one step further?

I am asking for your agreement, support and promotion to give national park standard protection to our 30 sq Kms Clent Hills Golden Green Triangle with its boundaries of one motorway and two dual carriageways around the 1,000 feet high Clent Hills and its foothills of fields, woodland, footpaths and fishing pools.

The 30 sq Kms Triangle has obvious and natural boundaries from the three major roads south of the Halesowen bypass that is one of the major roads.
It has the Clent Hills Country Park on one side of it.
One Woodland Trust property and many other delightful woods.
The unofficial, but still walked for 150 years, Dowery Dell Trail following the line of the Halesowen Railway from Hunnington Station to Longbridge Station.
A large network of public paths and bridleways.

This proposed 30 sq Kms regional park is adjacent to the two million population of the Black Country and Brum.
It is vital that it is now used, increasingly, for organic food farming to cut back on very harmful fossil fuel food miles.
It is essential for recreation and for amenity - for all the population on its doorstep.
It is urgent to stop the insidious urban encroachment, with national park standard of protection.
It can help postpone Attenborough's "collapse of civilisations", "extinction of much of the natural world" and "time is running out" warnings.

IT IS INEXCUSABLE THAT IT SHOULD EVER BE CONSIDERED FOR RESIDENTIAL AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. 46 'Call for Sites' are within Dudley's green belt.

Would you, Professor Kathryn, feel able to support national park planning constraints and laws governing this important triangle?

The more people who can go along with my suggestion, the sooner we can stop built development of all kinds coming to the Clent Hills Regional Park.  Please call it by this name that then helps to get the authorities to also accept the name, to use it and therefore to live up to that name and all it entails in forbidding built development on land that has never had built development.

With best wishes

Tim (Weller)

Can you find the COMPLIMENT in this piece?!

16 March 2017

Dear Russell - and copied to Railfuture as a question for their Transport Forum on Thursday 6 April in the Banqueting Suite of Birmingham's fetching Council House, please.

Mark Cooper has sent me a copy of your e-mail to him, dated 7 March 2017.

What is pertinent to ask is this.  Why has Network Rail and its predecessors disposed of:

  1. Many tens of kilometres of urban, double track railway lines and stations in the West Midlands?  They have been turned into roads, homes, trading estates and, used for retail use.
  2. Other urban, double track railway lines that had successful passenger trains for one hundred years are still denied today's commuter and intercity trains, plus stations.  Why is this?
  3. Why is the half used (well done for achieving this, by the way) the half used, 120 Km Worcester, Black Country, Derby railway line still without passenger trains between Stourbridge Junction and Bescot and between Walsall in the Black Country and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire?
  4. Why is your transport infrastructure, that you own, only partly used and even totally unused except for trees, a proposed 2 Km test track and a planned 7 Km of trams on the 120 Km Black Country Railway?
  5. Please explain why trees, a test track and a short tramway must have priority over much more useful commuter, intercity and freight trains.
  6. Are you aware that road congestion is now costing the West Midlands economy £2.3 billion every year?  Never mind railway congestion and overcrowding!
  7. Are you at all bothered about rising greenhouse gas emissions from wasted and, even many years of destroying perfectly good railway infrastructure - in the four boroughs of the Black Country, in particular?

I would be glad to understand Network Rail's rationale, your logic, or just your very strange thinking for wasting and even destroying your very own assets and infrastructure, please.  Are you all of sound mind? It cannot be a shortage of cash or staff, when your HS2 partners are being given £55.7 billion to add new lines to your national railway network while busily destroying ours in the heavily congested and traffic polluted Black Country!

Please ensure that Mark Carne, Chris Grayling MP and Cllr Roger Lawrence all read this even if, as usual, they have no answer to my rather obvious questions.

Best wishes for a little better success with your railway in future years.  Could you pick up some tips as to how to do it from Europe?


Dear railway industry and ORR.  Declan, please could you take a look and comment on my e-mail at the very foot?

Thanks for your decency in replying, Russell.

However, should you not be so ashamed of your industry's performance that you would want, immediately to pass my e-mail on to the ORR, yourself?  Like your good selves this august body (dormant or dead?) is also quite unabashed and apathetic and acquiescent in the non use, part use, misuse and even total obliteration of railway infrastructure that was in high demand for 100 years.


Best wishes for better - whenever you can all start

Monday, 16 September 2019

HALF A BILLION TO WIPE OUT CAPACITY AS £56 BILLION IS BEING SPENT TO INCREASE CAPACITY!

Dear James

Thank you for you typed letter of the 13 September 2019.

Everyone of our dear, so well meaning MPs and councillors are destroying 20th century high speed railways to then build brand new high speed railway lines - just as the runaway greenhouse effect takes off so very nicely to warm us up a little.  Let me explain.

You are all quite happy to spend an official £449 m, plus cost overruns, for "bus on rails" trams to further wipe capacity out of our West Midlands railway network while wanting £56 BILLION, plus colossal cost overruns, to increase capacity with HS2 and, yet more billions of pounds and greenhouse gases for HS3 and Crossrail 2.

The Minister of State for Transport is clueless and cannot get his head round that "conversion of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line (part of the 120 Kms Worcester to Derby mainline railway) by TfWM to light rail operation" may well prevent the reopening of the Camp Hill line and its three rebuilt stations to be the success we want it to be.  The full 120 Kms Black Country Railway for REGIONAL AND FREIGHT TRAINS, not TRAMS is the key to the  success of the Camp Hill reopening.  I am quoting from Chris Heaton-Harris's letter to James Morris, dated 30 August 2019, coming up here:

PLEASE READ WHAT NETWORK RAIL AND DfT SAID IN MARCH 2018:
Some VIPs say, in effect, it is folly for another of the W Midlands’  last mainline railway lines to also be destroyed. They want heavy rail on it, NOT light rail “bus on rails” trams or, a test track for very light rail.

Network Rail and DfT say, “safeguarding a heavy rail corridor ... is of value” for the unfinished section of the 120 Kms mainline railway “of national strategic significance”.  Safeguarding does not mean turning a total of 6.7 Kms out of the wasted 56 Kms into a piddling little shuttle tram line that prevents the return of daytime freight, intercity, regional and commuter trains between Worcester and Derby when “the other SW-NE route (via Bromsgrove) is already at full daytime capacity.”

A 120 Kms mainline railway is also far too long for tram trains and train trams to be operating in future years.  The now destroyed Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level railway might have been suitable for such experiments. That railway is now a tramway for time and eternity.

from letter dated 8 March 2018 from:
Lisa O'Dea
Correspondence Manager
Department for Transport

The crucial paragraph I have quoted from:

“I have sought clarification on the situation from Network Rail, who inform me that this is a section of railway of national strategic significance. Investment in the corridor would allow for continued freight growth given that the other SW-NE route (via Bromsgrove) is already at full daytime capacity. From a
passenger perspective, safeguarding a heavy rail corridor across the Round Oak-Bescot route is of value as this is the only corridor which could accept freight traffic displaced by further passenger flows into central Birmingham (SELF: from the reopening of the Camp Hill line). I understand from Network Rail that recent discussion on the project has therefore focused around how best to balance the interests of freight and passenger rail traffic.”

The TfWM and WMCA are out of order, out of control and out of their minds.  I think, the lot of them need a good kick up the backside to wake them out of their slumbers and to snap them out of their obsession with light rail trams since 1981.  They are careless about contributing further to the nightmare we are all sleepwalking into.
Not one transport expert at TfWM/WMCA has been able to explain what this actually means:
"We are working with the WMCA and Network Rail to ensure that passive provision for freight trains is retained in case this line is required for that use at some point in the future." (the Heaton-Harris letter of 30 August 2019). I fear this is disingenuous, indeed dishonest gobbledygook, that means nothing.  Once converted to tram operation, only night operation of freight trains on the Black Country Railway, taken off the Camp Hill line, may be possible to allow for the new commuter, half hour shuttle service on the Camp Hill line.

PLEASE PUT ME RIGHT WHERE I AM WRONG

Tim Weller

MS Serenissima and Noble Caledonia

Dear Laura

We had a wonderful time on our 2-10 September cruise on the 'Serenissima'.  Our first with yourselves.

We do want to join one of your cruises again but only for a 'no fly' cruise.  We are concerned about what might, now be the runaway greenhouse effect, so we are wanting to cut our greenhouse gas emissions.  We do try and avoid flying when we can.  We would like Noble to do the same!

In addition, we would certainly return to you if you appoint Neil Horrocks as Cruise Director and Rene as Musician.  They were both brilliant, especially when they were on the piano at the same time.  Neil's wonderful flamboyant, never before seen and never will be seen in any concert hall worthy of its name, finale brought the house down.  Very, very funny!  He and Rene are both superb assets that you must not lose!  Rene's star quality was his voice and brilliant performances on piano and keyboard.  We loved the karaoke.

You could also do no better than hire the amazing young Scottish musicians that Neil discovered and got on board for one evening's entertainment when we had to have a second night in Fort William.  They were from there and in international demand.

We would also like to get on one of your cruises that tries again to get to Loch Scavaig, Canna and Colonsay.  You could add in Rum, too!

Please make sure we don't miss out on hearing about another cruise with Neil and Rene.

Thanks again for a great time.

Tim and Linda Weller - full contact details, at the very foot!
-- 

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Write to these people who rule us!

Tim Martin ,
James Morris ,
Margot James ,
Margot James ,
Mike Wood MP ,
Ian Austin ,
John Bills ,
"Cllr. Hilary Bills" ,
Tom Dare ,
John Spellar MP ,
Dudley Council Plus ,
Julie Dunn ,
"Kerry Jones (CE_SEC)" ,
Alan Hopwood ,
Alan Lunt ,
Cllr Karen Shakespeare ,
Cllr Mike Evans ,
Helen Sharp ,
Iain Povey ,
Kevin O'Keefe ,
Parmjit Sahota ,
Tim Johnson ,
Simon Phipps ,
Keith Harrison ,
Peter Rhodes ,
Mark Andrews ,
Cllr Dave Tyler ,
Black Country Bugle ,
Black Country Chamber mag ,
Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust ,
Stewart Towe ,
Sarah Middleton ,
Corin Crane ,
"Cllr. Les Jones" ,
Sam Hadley ,
Gary Sambrook ,
Gary Sambrook ,
Helen Martin ,
Jim Cunningham ,
Green Care ,
Matt Rogers ,
"Matt Williams (DUE_AD_EnvMan)" ,
Cllr John Martin ,
Patrick Harley ,
Qadar Zada ,
Peter Lowe ,
Lowell Williams ,
Neil Thomas ,
Editor Blackcountryman ,
Stuart Everton ,
Deborah Cadman ,
Deborah Cadman ,
Express and Star ,
Birmingham Mail ,
Adrian Chiles ,
Adrian Goldberg ,
Nick Gregory ,
Radio WM ,
Radio WM ,
Mayor's Office ,
Andrew Browning ,
Valerie Vaz MP ,
Adrian Bailey MP

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

CLENT HILLS REGIONAL PARK

Dear friends

I am asking for your agreement, support and promotion to give national park standard protection to our 30 sq Kms Golden Green Triangle with its boundaries of one motorway and two dual carriageway​s​ around the ​1,000 feet ​high Clent Hills and its glorious foothills of fields, woodland, footpaths and fishing pools.

This proposed 30 sq Kms regional park is adjacent to the two million population of the Black Country and Brum.
It is vital that it is now used, increasingly, for organic food farming to cut back on very harmful fossil fuel food miles.
It is essential for recreation and for amenity - for all the population on its doorstep.
It is urgent to stop the insidious urban encroachment, with national park standard of protection.
It can help postpone Attenborough's "collapse of civilisations", "extinction of much of the natural world" and "time is running out" warnings.
IT IS INEXCUSABLE THAT IT SHOULD EVER BE CONSIDERED FOR RESIDENTIAL AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.

Please write to, speak to and lobby the people whose e-mails are public - MEPs, MPs, councillors, Dudley Council officers.

The more people who can go along with my suggestion, the sooner we can stop built development of all kinds coming to the Clent Hills Regional Park.  Please call it by this name that then helps to get the authorities to also accept the name, to use it and, therefore to live up to that name and all it entails in forbidding nearly all built development on land that has never had built development.

to Maria Machanoses - one pertinent question

Dear Maria

When there is a half used, 120 Kms main line railway between Worcester, the Black Country and Derby, would you agree that the more responsible and prudent expenditure would indicate that the middle, unused section in the Black Country and South Staffordshire, should be used once again for the freight, regional and commuter trains we so desperately need and that were so successful for 100 years until 50 years ago?  More information, below.

Many thanks and best wishes

Tim

5 Clever Tricks


  1. Why is it that for decades our political leaders and transport experts are so useless that they dismantled our extensive tram network?
  2. Their next clever trick was/is to rebuild the tram network using the railway  network, of all things!
  3. At the same time, idiocy no 3 is still to think that homes, shops and offices are meant to run down railway lines!!
  4. Today, £35 m is to be spent to build an innovation centre on the only feasible site for the Dudley Castle Hill railway station. This, on the UK's only mothballed and easily reinstated mainline railway.
  5. But it's being turned into a piddling little shuttle tram line! THIS IS SUCH STUPIDITY THAT WE NEED THE EU TO BAIL US OUT!

Your piece on XR

Dear Peter (Rhodes of the Express and Star)

Is it fair for me to liken the Combined Authority/Network Fail to Extinction Rebellion?

You wrote, last week, "when ... Extinction Rebellion (XR) block a motorway they are, in effect, taking over the lives of thousands of other people without their consent."

Over the last 25 years, we have seen more than a doubling of railway passenger numbers to bring overcrowding on our trains and the continuation of 'Grand Central Shopping Centre and Diesel Perfumed Station Tagged Along As An Afterthought In The Basement Of The John Lewis Store' as one of the worst railway congestion bottlenecks in the UK (BBC Midlands Today reporter, Peter Plisner but my name for Grand Central station).

In addition, the officers and politicians of the Combined Authority (CA) and the VIPs of Negligent Rail (NR) steadfastly insist that they can only finish the 120 Kms Black Country Railway "of national strategic significance" with 6.7 Kms of shuttle trams, a trail of trees and an extended cycle-walkway in rural South Staffordshire.  This, on a mainline railway alongside or near to congested, slow moving traffic on the M5/M6 and main roads.

Therefore, am I entitled to say that our railway and transport authorities are acting like XR on nearly every day by refusing to do something positive, practical and helpful to relieve congestion by putting the much needed commuter, regional trains and stations on the middle 56 Kms of the 120 Kms between Worcester and Derby?  Like your XR, CA and NR even more frequently, make life more difficult for us all by deliberately impeding our progress on both roads and railways.  And nicely enhancing the natural greenhouse effect to copy planet venus.  Not a nice model to follow, unfortunately.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

I want the GP to be upstanding and outstanding

Dear Andi - time for me to reply, in blue, below to your most welcome last e-mail of the 23 June, when you wrote:
"Hi Tim 
"Thank you for the respectful and less aggressive tone in this email. I do appreciate it.  Certainly not aggressive, I hope since I am forever going on about trying non-violence and making friends as a more helpful and positive UK foreign policy!  Sometimes I have to be forthright and straight.  And, you are in a prominent leadership position, Andi so I do expect more from you.  You are my leader, too after all.

"However in my last email to you I also made it clear I won't respond if you copy lots of others in. Let me restate that it's not polite to spam all sorts of people with no declared interest in the subject. Jonathan Bartley is not involved in this conversation. Jonathan is even more important than you are, Andi.  I met him in person in a public place when I tried to tackle him about my concerns.  He explained that he could not speak to me, then but, gave me his card for me to contact him.  A week or two later I wrote to him.  There has never even been the courtesy of an acknowledgement, let alone a reply.  This is no way good enough, Andi.  Neither are our Solihull or Birmingham councillors, or any of the others you have included. Do you understand that by copying all and sundry it is perceived that your intent is to publicly embarrass the primary recipient of your email? Conversations like this must be private and confidential, or there can be no trust between us.  Andi, others have got to be aware of what is going so very, very wrong.  It is not just you but all your GP members who must be won over in order to change your very mistaken transport policy.

I have been campaigning and working for a greener and more sustainable, sensible and ecological society since I moved here, to this house, in Jan 1976.  I have been attending FoE meetings since the 70s and GP meetings since the 80s.  I have been, largely, a successful failure.  However, in those matters where I have got my way, it has been through maximum publicity, making waves, well and truly stirring things up and making a nuisance of myself!  Only by pleasantly but constantly pointing out that something is wrong and that there is a far better, more constructive and helpful way forward, have I won.  Well, actually, mostly lost!  I have used mock battles (x2), interviews, press releases, petitions, letters/e-mails, phone calls, personal visits, gate crashing politicians surgeries, observing umpteen boring meetings at council HQs and transport HQ and catching the politicians before they skipped off to evade me.  I even went to the Strasbourg Parliament to see one MEP who never held surgeries or wrote to me but did see me, there (but a complete waste of time)!

"But as you have listened to at least one of my requests I will reply on this occasion. 

"It is true that WMGP has not debated or voted on rail policy. This is not good enough, Andi.  And my very own political party has never given me a fair hearing.  I attended one Dudley GP meeting, this decade where I was allowed to tell the meeting about the idiocy of turning our local mainline railway into a short, shuttle tram line on part of it.  But, only while you were all voting on some important matter or other.  None of you were interested or at all bothered!  However, I think you misunderstand how the Green Party works.  It should work by hearing my side of the case and not just the Establishment's.  Please don't be one sided in formulating transport policy.  Hear the other point of view.

"Members democratically decide national policy, with proposals subject to energetic debate and taking evidence into account. This sets out our broad policy agenda.  What about deciding on LOCAL policy, a wasted mainline railway almost a stone's throw from where we were sitting in that Netherton GP meeting?  Never a debate/discussion, no evidence and no hearing of my side of the case on a vital local and regional and even a national issue

"We don't set regional or local policy in this way. There are many reasons for this. One is that we simply don't have the time or resources to do so at  regional level, given our current electoral position. Manifestos are drawn up by small working groups given authority by the regional executive. They will do so in line with national policy and adapt it to local circumstances. There is no members vote on developing regional policy - if we tried to do this we would never do anything else! And we certainly wouldn't have an MEP and around 100 councillors, as we do now.  Deciding to no longer run roads, buildings or extremely extravagant Metro trams on railway lines should NOT be a highly complicated issue for GP members to grapple with and to come down on the side of ONLY trains going back on train lines.

Is your first priority, Andi getting members elected or postponing extinction?

"On public transport nationally the Green Party sees roles for tube-like metro systems, for both heavy and light rail lines including trams as well as investment in bus services. Like you, we want to massively expand the provision of public transport and make it as cheap and accessible as possible - free public transport is something we'd love to see happen.  Excellent.  So please shout about it using the evidence I have provided you with.

"But as a political party we must keep all options on the table that aren't diametrically opposed to our objectives. NOT options that are stupid and scandalous and unsustainable, Andi just because they are public transport.  What is politically possible isn't always our ideal scenario but that's just politics - it's messy and imperfect. Most of the time we have to compromise or we get nothing at all. Of course - we could crusade for utopia and be proud of our glorious failure. But we're more interested in making change happen. So don't be preoccupied with getting councillors elected who still don't do much when they are.  So our much vaunted and hoped for Cllr Will, only lasted one term before shooting off on his grand tour of Europe with Vicky.  The Solihull Opposition GP have not lifted a finger to help me because, like you, they want trams as their top priority instead of using the £2 BILLION to get the trains back and reversing the gradual decline in bus use.

At the last count, in Stourbridge in May, did you say something to me about not standing yourself because you were co-ordinating all the other GP candidates who were standing?  Should you not have been leading from the front, Andi and doing the two jobs?  At least, I stood simply to have the opportunity to courageously mutter something, anything green and sensible from the platform.  I would have loved to have heard other GP candidates spout off for one or two minutes, as I tried to do rather lamely last May.  The most important sentence was my last: "You are about to authorise something as silly, for half a billion pounds, as putting London Underground trains for 6.7 Kms on the London to Paris, Eurostar, HS1 line."

The 'brief', parabolic history of humanity must now be on the slide and the prophetic Green Party is silent.  A guilty silence.  Truly disappointing.

"As I've said many times, we support bringing back trains on the Black Country line, but we can't rule out trams or Sprint buses in all circumstances everywhere. But you should as a true green and Green!  It would be unethical to mislead the public about what is possible given the political and financial constraints that exist.  But you are misleading the public.  The financial constraints demand that you understand that fareless, electric, priority at traffic lights, bus lane, buses PLUS, the trains and stations back where the lines still exist is the politically sensible, prudent and the financially responsible thing to do.  NOT FINANCIALLY BRUTAL, FISCAL STINGING, METRO-LIKE TRAMS, ANYWHERE.  My advice gives the least greenhouse gases.  And that is all that matters.

"You are completely free to disagree and campaign for your own vision, if that's what you want to do.
I first stood for the Greens in the 1992 General Election.  In my own constituency of Halesowen and Stourbridge as it was called then.  My agent was the wonderful Quaker and Green activist Joyce Millington of Stourbridge.  For years, she had been rightly calling for fossil fuels to be rationed, as we nearly had in 1973 during the three day working week to save oil.  I completely agreed with her.  It is even more urgent, now that all good Greens and greens should be calling for fossil fuel rationing; that we should be getting out of all fossil fuels as quickly as possible - out of enlightened self interest.  That is what I will be doing if there are any public platforms that I can get on, if I get nominated as an Independent candidate for Metro Mayor next year.

I want the Green Party to be fearless and outspoken.  To be different from the other parties.  To stand out from them with integrity and honour.  To be as different from the grey parties as the awesome Greta Thunberg in sailing instead of flying and, in using buses and trains instead of cars.  PLEASE Andi!

All the very best to you, my friend

Tim