(t(rain)ed) under

It is heartbreaking to read about the disruptions the weather causes to people and transport of goods. train lines are rained under throughout Britain and even electrical fires have broken out. Yet it is just part of the normal earth warming patterns that we see increased rains, more flooding and all the problems that come with it.

Yet I do wonder whether people in our government planning departments are plain stupid or just try to ignore the warnings.

I think that the Mayan calendar marked the change in the environment correctly in that it predicted it as a known pattern to occur on earth. Perhaps earth warming is always caused by some type of over population of a species that happens to be pre-dominant on earth at that time, whether its dinosaurs or humans.

Yet we see plenty of more plans to build high speed train lines between London and Birmingham, built Crossrail in London and all just because men like to play with trains. It is quite and totally predictable that Crossrail will suffer immense flooding with rising seawater levels and that train lines in the centre of Britain are likely to suffer increased flooding due to higher rain and groundwater levels.

Yet the government feels fit to announce that they plan to spend billions on new high speed train lines. Estuary airports are likely to be built but what when tsunami style waves hit it, what if water levels rise generally, how much can the whole airport rise with it and what are defences for storms?

Simultaneously the government has announced they want to have less critical thinking in universities instead of more.

I think Britain is an excellent example how jobs for the boys help to bring decision-making processes to stupid dimensions. It’s not just boys, its also the whole network of company and personal relations that brings silly decision making processes about. It is definitely wrong to accuse any particular individual of Cronyism and lose follow on libel battles at High Court level because the practise goes through society like a mesh generally and one simply cannot point out single individuals who are involved in it.

Has anybody seriously considered better water based transport services *like boats? Obviously the cargo industry has catched up with new demand and developed huge container ships. Many more human travels could be switched to boats and house building could change to floating homes for example. There could be new industries like plumbing points for house boats for example or homes that could float and stand on firm ground.

Obviously life has to slow down in some respects to avert away from air based fast travel to more slow but manageable sea based transport. Also what does the rising of sea levels do to the value of land deeds?

*This content was added on 23/12/12

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Death by hand gun the statistics

People killed in 2011 by use of handguns legally or illegally are:

  1. Great Britain = 8 (Pop 62.500.000)
  2. Sweden = 21 (Pop 9.540.065
  3. Switzerland = 34 (Pop  8.000.000)
  4. Germany=  42 (Pop 82.000.000)
  5. Japan = 48 (Pop 127.500.00)
  6. Canada = 52 (Pop 35.000.000)
  7. Israel = 58 (Pop 7.950.000)
  8. United States 10,728 (Pop 315.000.000)

It must be said that the ratio of death per 1000’s of population ratio is particularly  high both for Switzerland and Israel. It would be interesting to compare other statistics alongside, e.g. deaths by traffic accident or various health conditions for example. Statistics of substance and alcohol abuse are also important.

Showing is the fact that prohibition of ownership does not stop use as Britain is an example of this but having easy access makes it an ‘easy’ solution for many to solve problems with.  The US has roughly over 200 times more gun killings than Canada and Japan but US has 10 times more people than Canada and only 3 times more than Japan when Japan is a tiny country compared to the US, it doesn’t make sense to say that close living causes the stress that makes people kill.

gun-control-stats-2013

I do not know about the law in those countries about gun ownership. However I came across another set of interesting statistics about the causes of death and the article says that death by Baseball bat is the biggest culprit. See the picture.

Is there any point for country borders any longer?

Since we are part of the EU, there is no longer any point in even having any country borders because we have freedom of Labour movement, freedom of this and freedom of that. The Crossrail will be built by Siemens a German company. Now even NHS hospitals are supposed to be taken over by German healthcare providers.

I am not scared about that because having grown up in Germany, I benefitted from excellent health treatment that is not even available in this country. I had an operation in a private hospital on NHS terms here in the UK so that I could get the operation quicker. It seems rather obscure logic to argue that we need to have UK run hospitals when the papers are constantly full of reports that hospitals are dirty for example or patients get abused in the native healthcare establishments.

As I already blogged several times, our service industry is already controlled by India mainly and our manufacturing takes place in China, most of our oil comes from Russia nd Saudi Arabia. So where does the UK actually  have any serious role to play? What is the  point in having a nation but for cultural reasons and even that is not important for the UK any longer because the country is filling with immigrants who bring their foreign culture with them.

The only countries, which manage to preserve their cultures are the ones that sell us the services we are no longer able to provide for ourselves. Has this got to do with de-generation or is it simply internationalization.

Of course it must be nearing mental cruelty for the older generation that fought in World War II against Germany that the former enemy now enjoys such a renaissance. Yet the circumstances are entirely different and one mustn’t bear grudges forever. (with very few exceptions). Britain is so loaded up with foreign immigrants that it would not be able to restore some type of workable discipline within its workforce. Even the imported doctors are unable to function because they are not trained  up (or is it down) to the British standards. Many people do not speak English properly and the English themselves are wedged in the class-war divisions that tear the country’s industry to shreds with a cynical government that keeps on pouring oil onto the flames.  This government seriously talks of building more housing to spurn on the economy.

I think a lot of people, including myself live in the past, they remember the good old times and think things got to be like that again, if we only do this and that and the other. That is why I joined the Conservatives at one point because I remember how good we once had it but that is really just a memory from the past.

Cllr Peter Greenhalgh from Swindon

hopefully paves the way with his practical and sensible decision to turn off speed cameras. Why?
Because the council has to spend £320.000 for up-keep and all the proceeds from the fines go to the government.
Another fine mess the Labour government got itself into.
The Conservative Councillor quite sensibly concludes that they can spend that money more effectively increasing road safety and reducing accidents without filling the coffers of central government.
What a silly idea of a government anyhow to make local councils pay for something they cannot benefit for themselves.
the temporary vehicle activated warning signs can be seen here in my neighbourhood, they are speedometers, if I might call them that and each time a vehicle approaches and is over a certain limit a flashing warning comes up.

Whilst Road safety charity Brake calls the decision reckless, I would say it works well here in my neighbourhood, Tower Hamlets, a Labour Council.

But out of fairness to Brake,and the drivers, I would say that if a council maintains speed cameras out of their own budget, they should also be getting the proceeds.

Report on Yahoo News from Michael Holden

Commuting

Statue dedicated to the traveller in Oviedo, Spain

Statue dedicated to the traveller in Oviedo, Spain

If this “parking tax”as proposed by Sadiq Khan, Labour’s new minister for transport, as reported by the Press Association and picked up from Yahoo News, gets the go ahead, we can look forward to the re-structuring of traffic soon unless the car industry comes up with cars that are so environmentally friendly and cheaper to run that the amount of an eventual £350 per year of parking tax could be recouped by the users.

Initially the “parking tax”is scheduled to start off with £185 per year, to be paid by companies that provide car parking spaces for employees. This scheme is to be tested by Nottingham City Council. Is it coincidence that we get the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham scenario again? But really Sadiq Khan should be on the side of Robin Hood shouldn’t he, as Labour Party minister who opposes extradition treaties with the US!

What are the real motives for this new tax grabbing incentive? Could it be that Mr Khan is genuinely concerned about the environment and wants to discourage use of the car to curb omissions or does Mr Khan think that the use of car parking spaces take away from potential housing being built?

I always thought that companies could use their property any way they liked but that will now be challenged by this new initiative of the Labour Party.

On speculation what such a new tax would create we first of all have to look at the fundamental change of rights of owning property as the business owner will be told you can do anything that is not environmentally and health detrimental and you cannot provide car parking spaces for employees unless you pay us a tax on it.

For traffic we get the gist is that the revenue created shall be used for a tram system. Not too bad a motive I suppose but as of now traffic – and I speak as a resident of London – is already having problems sharing the thoroughfares sensibly and happily between buses, cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

Our roads are set up to allow for cars and buses in the middle, the sides are reserved for pedestrians but increasingly shared by cyclists who do not want to keep to the roads. We do have an “on your bike” campaign going on as well and I just wonder whether the whole traffic infrastructure should be re-thought to allow more driving space dedicated to cycles, whether the direction of policies is going to be, ban cars from the roads, unless they are public transport and only allow company vehicles or otherwise pedestrians, trams, buses and cycles on the thoroughfares or should we strive for battery driven cars that need to be parked somewhere at the cost of parking tax.

Not an easy decision but having taken to foot and public transport my point of view is that I miss clarity on national policy about transport issues, this also being stirred up even more by the current dispute over rail franchising and profitability of the rail network.

We get the keep to the time tables movement who do not understand that unless you have roads like in American cities, wide and not narrow as in London’s Bank area, we cannot keep to regular times, that also put pressure onto the argument and caused time displays of buses predicted arrival times, which are not reliable as I could see.

We get the back on your bikers who cause cyclists to use pavements as cycling routes.

And there are many more transport initiatives and all those taken together, cause our local environments to be riddled with transport thoroughfares of one sort or another. If things go on like this we have to invent floating houses so we can escape the constant flow of traffic in front of our doors or virtual schools so our children avoid being run over by bikes on the way to and from school.

The emphasis of our lives is not where we live anymore, our homes are not the centre of our lives any longer and business activity goes on around it, our homes are mere containers from which we emerge to go somewhere else to work , shop or holiday and hence all our homes are surrounded by some sort of constant traffic. With all those schemes traffic tends to increase rather than decrease and our local economies nonviable with fast food outlets becoming the norm for social gathering rather than pubs, who would also find the parking tax unaffordable. With fast food outlets the gathering can take place in the street, hence we see so many congregating around them at night time.

We should examine what is the idea of a home and how many hours we spend out of it and live out of suitcases, and take-away cartons. Surely and originally a home was a permanent place to live and work activities took place around the home either by rural production or economic activity but this is apparently no longer so, and since we have created the travelling citizen, government have become viable institutions but without it, they could not fatten their MP’s to the extend they do now.

4 young adults killed in car crash

Such stories always sadden me a lot, because we parents always spend so much time and effort and love into bringing up our children and then they go out and then die at 2:10 am in the morning on a Chester road. We loose so much, we almost loose ourselves when our children die a needless death at the prime of their lives.

Yet we built the technology, the vehicles that carried those young people to their deaths. Henry Surtees aged 18 died in a motor racing accident. I always ask myself, are we spending enough efforts and time to give our children not only the technology but also the mentality to responsibly cope with this technology.

A car is a pretty powerful instrument, it can kill someone instantly if handled wrongly and it is apparent that whoever drove that car with 3 others in it, didn’t keep control over it and it remains to be seen why.

Recently in my own neighbourhood some joy riders stole a car, 2 boys and 1 girl, found themselves chased by police, driving around a corner too fast and crashing into 3 parked cars. Luckily on this occasion nothing more than damage to the vehicles happened.

But at 2AM in the morning, on a stretch of country road, few obstructions but trees and bollards, it is quite possible to get too much speed, have excited conversations going on about the event one comes from and one looses control over the car.

What just worries me is that there is often no 2. chance to make it better next time, to be more careful and despite the media constantly reporting such incidences happening again and again, which should be a warning to others, these incidences happen again and again.

I just always think that if you have something to look forward to in life, you are very careful not to mess up that chance, yet people take very high risks for short term excitements, even to the point of death.

But in our societies today, we go to great efforts to raise our children, it costs a fortune to raise and educate them, yet in a short moment, that life is gone. And I do not blame the alcohol. I do not say, well if we were not having any alcohol this would not happen, as so many Muslims may want to tell us.

Look at Muslim countries, they do not drink, are not allowed to drink but radical clerics teach young persons to kill themselves wantonly instead. So the act of dying doesn’t seem to matter to many young people on both sides of the world either through foolish alcohol consumption, fast driving, emotional excitement or wantonly with a plan to kill others too.

This is a point that interests me why a portion of young people have no interest to reach an old age, either through careless behaviour or wanting to end their lives voluntarily, as this point is very important to find why young people find no desire to survive their elders.

Because in each case be it through carelessness or want, young people make the decision to risk death, by either putting away their instinctive self-protection by acting carelessly or by willingly entering into a suicide pact.

Is there a gene, a chemical in young person’s body that can cause them to act in such a manner? Are they mainly young, childless persons or people with children? I shall try my best to find out, unless scientists are already on the job.

Another question this raises is do young people have a choice to really do what they want to do or do pressures upon them cause them to behave in the way they behave either by voluntarily and instinctively choosing instruments to put themselves to death or by being given material to do this.

I know this article might sound far fetched for many readers as our minds are not trained to see things in this way, the media always have a way of positive reporting, however I think we must come out of the mould to find solutions to pressing problems.
What the statistics say, drink driving

Is Nihilist ideology responsible, either through war or Anarchy?

I don’t think that a young person’s act to go to an early death can be explained by religious differences, that would be putting it only into one perspective, the act of being reckless with a young persons life is a matter that should concern all religions.

From a population point of view, we constantly get these GREEN arguments that lots of people use lots of resources on earth, that indicates that individual lives are not cherished but seen as a burden by those GREEN thinkers. Then we see these rises in populations and reductions again after each war, we have a boom and bust not only in the economy but also in human terms, we should look at this and examine how much we really care about each individual and what we do to reduce acts of destruction, self-destruction, acts of war.

But there must be an international will to resolve this issue world wide, or we’ll not be able to work on it. The Muslims must not want to take over the Christians and the Christians must not try to take over the Muslims.  Tolerance must be a very hard thing to do for many.

Yet so many times we deal with this as parents, the children say, “I do it because soandso does it”, and we are telling our children, you should not copy bad behaviour and so this goes around and around, just like the earth does.

I think we will never be able to resolve this issue and just have to live with it.

Car in garage, get on the train

British rail first class wagon

British rail first class wagon

The most positive bit of news I read today was that rail operators want more rail lines to enable an extra passenger capacity of 1 million.

Those lines that were closed under the 1960s Beeching cuts now come in handy again. A bit like fashion, keep it in the cupboard long enough.

The car craze is going to come to an official end, even though even this morning I could not help admiring a sports care breezing past me and wondering whether I ever can afford one of those myself.

Definitely business for train travel is going to be booming the more the environmental lobby publishes for greener living and since even the most sceptical scientists have acknowledged that the oncoming earth warming is due to our making, e.g. carbon emissions, the train has it.

Well in the 60s the car industry had much to gain by selling us automobiles and now since its getting gradually out of fashion even those inner London narrow roads can breathe a sigh of relief as they will not be widened ever.

One obvious advantage for train travel, for those who can’t afford a chauffeur is that one can get quite a bit of work done, whilst sitting in a train carriage equipped with hot spots.

I love to ride my bicycle

Map of the triangle that includes, Approach Road, Old Ford Road, Sewardstone Road, Victoria Park and names some local schools in the area

Map of the triangle that includes, Approach Road, Old Ford Road, Sewardstone Road, Victoria Park and names some local schools in the area

and yes, I used to do it for a living, when I could not get any other job, I signed up to be a cycle courier and I was 43 at the time and had 5 children, nevertheless I couriered around London, cycling 12 hours per day and carrying weights of up to 30kg on my back.

So I know how difficult it can be to go around London and to avoid riding on pavements. It is simply just the shortest route, especially when one has time pressures. Who can remember the famous pictures of Boris Johnson and David Cameron being caught out cycling in places where they should not be?

View Larger Map
In my local area, e.g. around Sewardstone Road, Approach Road, Old Ford Road, we get a fair amount of cycling on the pavement. People come from the park and continue across the zebra and on the pavement, especially so as the new boulders have been erected to stop a direct descending from the park into Approach Road.

But, as had been mentioned in a recent meeting on Parkview estate, parents bringing their children to Gatehouse School often cycle on pavements, through Parkview estate and not too slow neither. Just yesterday I witnesses a young boy with his father racing around the estate on the way to school.

We all love Gatehouse School as a most valuable addition to our local community and especially also as Gatehouse School now rents the hall from our local church. I know some parents there and had some dealings with them years ago about the fencing to stop local youngsters climbing over their wall to use the play equipment there.

On that point, we hope to improve play facilities in the area very soon and await approval that the play area behind Rosebery House can be revamped.

Back to cycling, I very much welcome the initiative to increase cycling rates but miss the travel infrastructure for this. Here in East London we usually have heavy traffic going in and out of London from cars, Sewardstone Road is especially busy and so is Old Ford that is very narrow.

I however do get alarmed when I walk along with my 4 year old and bikes are zooming past. When I remarked to a Gatehouse parent recently, I was called stupid. I don’t think it is necessary to lower the tone that much, at least, one could answer, I can understand your concern and we could make a working group on how to improve the pedestrian areas and or road to allow for easier cycling routes but nothing of the sort.

Both Approach Road and St James Avenue are very sleepy streets, with hardly any traffic and the path through Parkview estate is used by parents bringing their children to one of the 5 local schools in the morning. Maybe we could improve awareness to take care for cyclists not to alarm pedestrians as to their style of cycling, so that we all can use our footpaths in peace.

I personally disagree with the Mayor on the point of traffic in London. I feel it should be restricted to delivery vehicles and public transport and taxis and allow the rest of the city to become pedestrian areas. The density of traffic in London is alarming and the air quality a concern. I am rather green and to really encourage more cycling one has to reduce the street traffic from cars.

Cyclists, are in a category that doesn’t fit in either with cars or with pedestrians but they are doing the right thing and get my encouragement, but just not too fast on pavements when it can be avoided. The danger is that one is late one morning and realises how fast one can cycle to save time and then tends to cut that little bit of time to be even more economical with time planning and gets faster and faster each day.

If anyone is interested in a working group to improve the traffic infrastructure around East London, here Bethnal Green please get in touch. I wish to thank all parents from a local school who were kind enough to return my questionnaires about cycling on pavements.

I don’t think that our local cycling problem is an isolated one and that this needs addressing everywhere. Hope we can learn from the Dutch who got a great cycling culture.

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