Easy, obvious wins for the taking! Pick the low hanging fruit, first!
Thursday, 31 December 2020
Nightingale hospitals, Charles Windsor of Wales and easy, obvious wins for the taking!
Wednesday, 30 December 2020
Margaret Attwood and Prince of Wales talking
Monday, 28 December 2020
MY TRANSPORT CONCERNS
My bee in my bonnet, as you know, is no democratic debate, for and against, as regards spending £1.6 billion, now on Metro trams replacing buses and trains. With a total of £15 billion on mainly tram extensions to 2040 that is Andy Street's intention. It will almost certainly be taken on by Liam Byrne, if he is elected on 6 May. Again, never a public debate in any of the seven council chambers as to whether this is wise/sensible expenditure of public money!
RIGHT TO ROAM and improving access
Dear Guy - and copied to other interested parties for their thoughts, PLEASE!
It was brilliant to hear you on 'BH' with Paddy O'Connell on Radio 4, earlier this year. Well done!
Where do you stand, Guy over OS maps giving greater prominence to accurate mapping, rather than publishing public rights of way that, sometimes bear no reality to what you find on the ground? And, showing accurate crossings of walls, hedges, fences in open access land, instead of relying on Definitive Maps (DM) that are, sometimes, misleading? Too often, I find straight lines and gentle curves marking PROWs in open access land on the OS Explorer map. Would they be better left off, perhaps?
For example, on the Worcs/Salop border, in a one-kilometre square, I have found five rights of way on the definitive map, copied onto the Landranger and Explorer maps, that go through a home, private gardens, rivers/streams without bridges and totally unnecessary duplication of two invisible paths (Worcs 502 and 660) a few metres to the west of one that walkers do use (Worcs 661) at Lower Doddenhill Farm. In fact, the OS cartographers diverted the one round the home, deciding on this occasion not to rely on the legal document (the DM) - Worcs 507 path - straight through New Brick Barns bungalow!
I would like our top priority, to encourage walking, to be this: to have welcoming signs and gates or safe stiles where rights of way meet roads. Then, easy to follow paths that encourage more to return without having to use maps. Gates, rather than stiles and excellent waymarking would also help to encourage use.
Right to roam is lessening on public rights of way as footbridges never get maintained. When dangerous to use they are closed & rarely get replaced (Worcs seem to be better than Salop re wooden footbridges), especially the longer ones over major rivers because they come under Countryside Services that are starved of funds. Should those longer footbridges become the responsibility of Highway Departments, in the hope that they would then get maintained/replaced? Even, Grade 2 listed public footbridges are allowed to collapse (R Rea)!
As vital, natural resources become in shorter supply during this century, should we not be returning to the walking and horseback that were so popular for millennia - until the discovery of the rather mixed blessing of fossil fuels?!
It would be great to hear from you, please Guy - and others for their thoughts.
from Ben Goldsmith
“Man worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature; unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.” Hubert Reeves
Sunday, 27 December 2020
Tweet to Guy Shrubsole
Where do you stand, Guy over OS maps giving greater prominence to accurate mapping than recording public rights of way that bear no reality to what you find on the ground? And, showing accurate crossings of walls, etc in open access land, instead of relying on DMs?
I would like our top priority, to encourage walking, is to have welcoming signs and gates/stiles where rights of way meet roads. Then, easy to follow paths that encourage more to return without having to use maps. Gates, rather than stiles and excellent waymarking.
Right to roam is lessening on public rights of way as footbridges never get maintained. When dangerous to use they are closed & rarely get replaced, esp the longer ones over major rivers because they come under Countryside Services that are starved of funds (instead of Highways)
Right to roam is diminishing on even public rights of way as footbridges never get maintained. When too dangerous to use they are closed and rarely get replaced, especially the longer ones over major rivers because they come under Countryside Services (instead of Highways) that are always starved of funds.
Ursula von der Leyen questions PM’s understanding of sovereignty while OBR expects Brexit to hurt GDP
His optimism contrasted with the expectations of the government’s own independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, which expects Brexit to shave 4% off GDP in the medium term.
From 1 January, most UK nationals will lose the right of free movement and British businesses will face significant extra costs in doing business with its biggest export market.
The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, gently questioned Johnson’s understanding of sovereignty, the watchword of the British negotiation led by David Frost, as she welcomed the agreement.
She said: “Of course, this whole debate has always been about sovereignty. But we should cut through the sound bites and ask ourselves what sovereignty actually means in the 21st century.
“For me, it is about being able to seamlessly do work, travel, study and do business in 27 countries. It is about pooling our strength and speaking together in a world full of great powers. And in a time of crisis, it is about pulling each other up. Instead of trying to get back to your feet, alone.
“And the European Union shows how this works in practice. No deal in the world can change the reality of [the] gravity in today’s economy. And in today’s world, we are one of the giants.”
Von der Leyen referenced Shakespeare, the Beatles and TS Eliot as she ushered in the new era. “It was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it. It is fair. It is a balanced deal. And it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides,” she said. “At the end of a successful negotiation I normally feel joy. But today I only feel quiet satisfaction and, frankly speaking, relief.
“I know this is a difficult day for some, and to our friends in the United Kingdom, I want to say parting is such sweet sorrow but, to use the line from TS Eliot, what we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is often a beginning. So, to all Europeans, I think it is time to leave Brexit behind.”
At long last we have a Brexit deal – and it's as bad as you thought - Tom Kibasi
We already know its contours: a barely-there treaty that will make trade harder and destroy jobs. Labour should oppose it.
‘The main impediment to a better deal is not the EU but hardline Tory ideology.’
Boris Johnson always expected news of a deal to be greeted with jubilation. It was to be his moment of triumph after three decades of climbing to the summit of British politics by railing against Brussels. The rightwing press dutifully rallied. Even Nigel Farage declared: “The war is over.”
But with Britain in a state of crisis because of the government’s botched response to the pandemic, most people will react with relief or perhaps indifference. For all the triumphalist claims of the Brexiters, the sunny uplands they told us to expect are no more than another cold, dark, wet winter’s day. The 11th-hour antics means there will be little scrutiny of a trade deal that could shape Britain’s economic destiny for a generation.
To Michael Bourke, ret Bishop of Wolverhampton
Thanks so much for sending me your helpful talk that I have now read and, re-read. It reflects some of my own thoughts and has increased my understanding. Thank you.
and we are her guests. We know that nature can be cruel and
inhospitable, and yet, as today’s environmental movement
testifies – despite everything (the second part of my title!) –
the natural world is not just a blind mechanism or a material
resource for us to exploit. It mediates a presence and a
sense of wonder."
Wednesday, 23 December 2020
MY QUIZ of 12 ... oddities, eccentricities, peculiarities ...
Tweets to MMA
UK Tram Ltd called trams "buses on rails" at the time of the Croydon tram crash in Nov 2016. "Of a total 69 passengers, there were seven fatalities and 62 injured, 19 of whom sustained serious injuries." Please put electric buses straight on the road without bothering with rails! 27 Dec 2020
BRILLIANT! Well done. However, you are spending finite resources and adding to greenhouse gases on replacing perfectly good and acceptable buses and trains that desperately need investment - with trams! This is seriously irresponsible. Espec at £81 m/Km for Eastside extension.
12.2.21:- Jordan, everyone one of us loves the slick, swish, smart trams. But, thousands of us are now inconvenienced forever because, with priority for trams over buses, we have a longer and slower journey into the city centre by bus or by bus/tram. The Five Ways underpass means no buses.
Tuesday, 22 December 2020
First duty of local and regional government should be to defend the interests of the poor and not the rich elite, like them who can well look after themselves.
30 August 2018
To Croydon Trams
Dear Anthony Norris-Watson and Stephen Spark
Monday, 21 December 2020
BRILLIANT Zarah Sultana MP
The Spectator describes me as “the permanently outraged MP”.
Sunday, 20 December 2020
WICKED COWS HAVE WHALE OF A TIME AT CRICKET WICKET!
You might like to know that the permissive path round the Hunnington cricket ground was closed to the public after the cows used it! I was asked on Sunday (13th) to remove the signs by the committee. This week I've covered them with grey plastic on the four posts that you and Nina installed. The broken yellow PROW disc is now gone completely, too! Jenny, from the railway station, is now a lot happier - I think - when I met her dog walking on the public path a couple of days ago! She'll have it to herself more. Especially, since she put four strands of wire across the only gap from her drive onto the cricket ground to make it more obvious that the public are not welcome.
- a large oak branch laid across the path in the open woodland owned by Romsley and Hunnington Sports and Social Club (this was seen on 14 Dec);
- rather obvious hoof prints on the public right of way (seen 11 Dec);
- the theft, this time, of the broken remains of the Worcs CC yellow arrow public right of way disc on the corner concrete post, where the kissing gate is needed (14 Dec) ;
- the theft of my slasher and the second, lighter one left on the ground, with plastic bags in which I had left them, strewn around (11 Dec).
Left out people still divided in a myriad of left groups and parties and so we never win!
I agree with Corbyn, particularly over "the Black Lives Matter movement has fuelled a global response to the scourge of racism, and how the climate crisis threatens us all." This means, I think, that all left out people (that includes Corbyn!) should unite in Left Unity for action on social justice, climate justice and non-violence. All our little factions and divisions on the left simply weaken our urgent, sensible and right actions. Remember, 'Life of Brian' film and the myriad of rival groups fighting the Romans, 2,000 years ago! Very funny BUT, we are still like it today!!