Wednesday, 23 September 2009

On holiday for a week

No blog posts. See you on the other side.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Laying the foundations for more motorist-shafting

As the Evening Post reports:

Bristol's long-term recovery from the recession will be hampered by the city's clogged streets and poor public transport system, business leaders claim.

Sounds like a chance to hammer the bus companies? No, a chance to hammer drivers, of course!

"But in order for the economy not just to pick up but to see sustained long-term growth, changes must be made now in time for the renewal of increased demands on our road and rail network.

"These changes will be expensive and unpopular in some quarters, but politicians need to go ahead and make them and stop putting them off until after the forthcoming election."

So no prizes for guessing who they're planning on hitting.

Mr Sturge said: "We are hearing, from all quarters the idea of making Bristol entirely car-free on a Sunday. That would be a big change for Bristol and not one which would be acceptable, in the short term, to all parties, including many employers. But positive change for the long term inevitably will need investment and pain in the short term which may be unpalatable. Bristol is in a great position to pioneer radical change – but does it have to be so radical as reclaiming our streets for pedestrians?

Making Bristol entirely car-free? What fucking planet are these people living on? Clearly not this one, if they're claiming they're hearing it "from all quarters" which is just plainly a lie. They're hearing it from the hand-wringing vegan Bishopston cyclist contingent I expect. But all quarters? I think not.

The IoD's Question Time debate will take place at law firm Smith and Williamson's offices in Portwall Place at 6.30pm.

Bristol City Council, the West of England Partnership, transport planning expert Leo Eyles from Steer Davies Gleave, sustainable transport group Sustrans, and Justin Davies, managing director of bus group, First Bristol will take part.

So, the motorist nice and fairly represented then?

Maybe I should turn up.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Well, that's Bristol's motorists fucked, then.

Bristol City Council have appointed Peter Mann, who is currently assistant head of transport of Oxfordshire County Council.

And of course, we know that Oxford is so car-friendly, isn't it? In fact, it was rated the most car-unfriendly city recently.

Peter's team have gleefully introduced huge pedestrianised zones, CPZ's, 20mph zones, cycle only zones, etc, etc, all in order to try and force people (mostly finanically) out of their cars, rather than tempt people into public transport by making it more attractive (cheaper). So this is what we've got to look forward to.

He will be paid £92,000 a year to improve the city's daily traffic situation, with congestion estimated to cost the Bristol economy £300m a year in lost productivity.


He said: "I've visited Bristol a few times and I was very impressed with its vibrancy and economic growth.

"I am very excited about taking on the challenge of improving its transport infrastructure.

So when he talks about "improving [Bristol's] transport infrastructure" what he actually means is "improving Bristol's Public Transport infrastructure, and, I suspect, "the car owners can get fucked".

But it doesn't seem like he has even planned that bit right:

"I don't think that getting tough with the bus company will necessarily get the right results.

"I much prefer to work in partnership in order to improve public transport"

But that's what everyone before you has done, Peter, and it didn't fucking work. Hence we have a terrible, unreliable bus service with extortionate fares.

Jon Rogers chimes in:

Lib Dem Cabinet Councillor Jon Rogers, who is in charge of the council's transport department, said: "Cutting congestion is one of our 'six to fix' commitments to the people of Bristol.

"Residents and businesses have told us what they need in terms of better public transport, sustainable travel, smart choices and better infrastructure. We have appointed Peter to put their vision into practice.

"We know it can't be achieved overnight, but we intend to work to a system of tight priorities which will see the most important changes made first. We are confident we have appointed the right person with the right focus."

I dread to fucking think.

BCC Bin Plans, Gary Hopkin's Arrogance

A comment on my blog has pointed me rather helpfully to a thread of comments on Charlie Bolton's blog on a post which was picked up originally by the Evening Post.

The premise reported by the EP, basically is this:

Residents in Bristol are likely to be given smaller wheelie bins for their rubbish – and still only have them emptied once a fortnight.

The city council says the move will help increase the amount of rubbish being recycled. Households in the city are currently given 240-litre bins, but a smaller 180-litre bin is soon expected to become the standard size for households with between three and five people.

The 240-litre bin would be phased out and households with more than six people would be given a 180-litre and a 140-litre bin.

This shows the Council's typically totalitarian attitude towards most things now: They want people to recycle more and more, which people quite rightly aren't so willing to do whilst they see their bin collections diminishing and yet council tax rising. Also I suspect people are gaining scepticism about the benefits of recycling (like I've always had) and scepticism about Climate Change in general. In my opinion the environmentalists have fucking blown it, by ramming alarmist nonsense down our throats 24/7, and thankfully I think they're beginning to catch on.

Look, the world is not going to be saved by us recycling potato peelings or tin cans. How much difference do you think it'll make, when halfway around the world, China and India are sprouting up coal-fired power stations every week?

I, like many people, am simply not prepared to carry on paying council tax, which increases year on year, and have the council insist I turn my car into a fucking bin lorry, and my kitchen into a waste recycling and seperation centre. That's their fucking job, and most importantly, we pay them handsomely to do it. The fucking cunts.

However, it wasn't going to be long, of course, before this mustachioed moron turns up in the EP article:
Lib Dem Cabinet Councillor Gary Hopkins denied it was a long-term aim to tax people who produced too much rubbish.

Of course it fucking is. Don't insult our intelligence.

He said the authority was exploring the possibility of a voluntary "opt-in" scheme where households could elect to reduce their rubbish in return for a council tax rebate.

Yes, I expect you are, but I'm willing to bet not before you've raised council tax and reduced bin sizes and possibily collections further. Then you'll be working from such a baseline that you can give people (what I suspect to be rather meagre) rebates and still be quids in.

He said that "waste doctors" who help people with rubbish problems have always been able to resolve issues if they are prepared to recycle.

OK, how about the issue that bin collections were reduced from every week to twice monthly, saving huge amounts of money, but yet council tax has increased? Answer that fucking "issue".

So on Charlie's blog, someone who wishes to remain Anonymous quite rightly points out

So if your bin is stolen or destroyed you will get a smaller bin to replace it?

Isn't that a little unfair on those unfortunate enough to have this happen to them?

Although this is, as you say, a long term process, but the principle remains doesn't it? If you apply this logic to other situations, such as the council removing other services it doesn't stand up. What about if the beloved BCC were to announce that 1,000 citizens a year were to have the use of libraries removed by a lottery system? Having a bin stolen or damaged is a random event - so it adds up to the same.

Smaller bins doesn't mean there will be less rubbish produced. It does however mean there is less waste the council contractually are obliged to collect, and therefore a nice cost saving.

Which of course is what this is all about, though Gary Hopkins is not man enough to admit it.

Charlie comes back with typical greenwash bullshit:

As far as I am concerned, the age of chucking rubbish in a bin and off it goes has to come to an end. People, all people, need to start taking it seriously.

Why does the age of "chucking rubbish in a bin and off it goes" have to come to an end? It's what we pay the council a lot of money for. Presumably "taking it seriously" just means we ALL have to turn our kitchens into waste seperation centres. I expect Charlie's dream involves everyone recycling everything, taking all our plastic waste in our cars (spot the problem for the greeners there?) to plastic recylcling centres in supermarket car parks as well as all our tin cans, bottles, etc - but crucially he's probably not that bothered as to whether council tax reduces as a result or not, whereas that's what most normal people are frankly bothered about.

Anonymous then points out that if someone gets given a smaller bin as a replacement, they'll still be paying the same tax as someone who still has their big bin:

The service has been reduced from previous, for a select number of people, with no relevant reduction in tax.

Indeed, but this is exactly what happened when weekly waste collections were reduced to fortnightly. No reduction in tax, but it must have saved the council a fortune. They'll argue it was diverted to recycling, but I would point out that the city's recycling service was up and running at the state it is now before the change came into place, so that doesn't fucking wash.

A couple more choice quotes:

Your paragraph 4 suggests that us council tax payers need to change our habits to accommodate these cost cutting measures, so by forcing us to accept smaller bins you can influence our behaviour so it fits with your budgets and ideology. As you say, "people need to start taking it seriously".

People don't have a choice under this system, do they? They are forced to "take it seriously"


What I am interested to know is where the council ceased being a servant of the people, and started to dictate how people should behave? You are servant of the people Charlie, not a moral authority in any way shape or form, and the attitude displayed here is clearly "fcuk them if they don't want to recycle, we'll just give them smaller bins and fines until they do as we want"

Then, bugger me if Gary doesn't wade in again with a huge, stinking mound of bullshit:

From a value for money/service point iof view over the last few years we have dramatically improved the recycling service both in terms of volume and variety that can be recycled and gradually therefore reduced the amount of space for unrecycled waste.

What a load of FUCKING CRAP. How on earth has the recycling service improved? It's no different from how it was 5 years ago, but yet bin collections have "gradually" (my arse) been reduced from once a week, to once a fortnight, with no reduction in Council Tax to reflect this. In what possible fucking way is this providing "value for money"? Most people's rubbish is plastic, not tin cans and bottles. We have no choice about this, as it's how supermarkets and others package food becuase it's cheap to do so. Why then, do you not collect plastic from the door? You force us to drive it in our own cars to collection points.

If we as a council spend millions on landfill taxes and penalties then it would be the Bristol taxpayer who would be penalised.

So instead, the Bristol taxpayer is penalised by having dramatically reduced waste collection services, with no decrease in council tax.

Then the arrogance really kicks in...

The vast majority of Bristol residents have worked well with our recycling services but there are some who do not fully understand.For them we offer face to face advice and anyone who feels that they could not cope with the new bin size graded to their size of family can ask to speak to an adviser.If there is a genuine reason why they need a bigger bin they can get one.

"Do not fully understand"? Oh, we understand only too fucking well, you arrogant prick. I wonder what your face-to-face advice would say to someone who wants to know why their waste is only collected half as much as it used to be, but yet their council tax has increased?

There is a tiny minority who are just difficuilt and irresponsible enough not to respond to help offered and feel they have a right to make life difficuilt for everybody by dumping their rubbish as they see fit.
I personally do not see why this minority should dictate to the majority,damage our environment and cost everyone else in Bristol cash.

So because I'm not prepared to accept my waste collections being halved with no reduction in council tax, and I'm not prepared to turn my pride and joy into a fucking bin lorry to take my plastic waste to a collection centre (that's your job) and I'm also not prepared to turn my kitchen into a waste collection centre (again, that's your job and god knows we pay you well enough for it), I'm "difficuilt" [sic] and "irresponsible?

Pray tell how I'm damaging the environment by not recycling.

I expect to see an increase in thefts of large bins pretty soon. As well as sales of "metal bin" incinerators from B&Q increasing (which is my preferred option, fuck the environmentalists).

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

IDS has a plan.... fix the Benefits System.

Plans to get 600,000 people off welfare and into work are being proposed by an independent think tank set up by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Hooray! Getting 600,000 people off welfare and into work can only save money in the long run.

The Centre for Social Justice proposes scrapping a system which it says makes it difficult for people to earn more at work than they get in benefits.

They're already talking sense. I quite agree - the fact that 50% of government spending goes on the welfare state is such a fucking ridiculous state of affairs for something that was always supposed to be a safety net to stop you hitting rock bottom, rather than a lifestyle choice for the lazy and feckless who can't be bothered to work. So tell me Ian, how does your think-tank propose to implement this brilliant plan?

It says spending more than £3.7bn to subsidise those on low wages in the UK would make work pay for more people.

Oh for fuck's sake, you fucking stupid slightly-orange bald-headed moron! The welfare state is already bloated as it is, and you're proposing to spend more money?!?! What fucking school of finance did you study at? Rather than reducing benefits so it's more attractive to get a job, you're suggesting paying fucking subsidies to people on low wages? Fuck me, what's next? A blanket reduction of higher wages across the board?

Under current rules, the think tank says claimants taking a job with a salary of less than £15,000 find themselves worse off than if they remained out of work once state support is taken away.

Actually I think some have calculated it closer to £17,000. Pretty much the upper ceiling of a wage that a feckless idle chav can expect to earn.

It says its proposals would benefit low-income households by £5bn and lift 200,000 children out of poverty but that middle-income families would see "modest" falls in certain tax credits.

God, not one of those woolly statsistics again, for fuck's sake. What does this actually mean? And how would it benefit low-income housholds by £5bn, when the scheme is only costing an extra £3.7bn? These all sound like numbers you've pulled from your fetid orange arsehole, Ian.

Friday, 11 September 2009

A step away....

...from horn speakers fixed to lampposts blaring out Soviet propaganda.

Text messages are being sent to people enjoying a night out in Bath warning them to keep the noise down and behave or to risk an £80 fine.

The council said it is a better way to communicate with people aged between 18 and 30 as posters had little impact.

A bluetooth transmitter sends text messages to 21 mobile phones every 40 seconds within a 100-yard (91m) radius.

When you first read this article you assume that they're going to text persistent offenders before they go out on a night out (which would be bad enough). But no, these aren't targeted, they're sent to every fucking person that walks past. A businessman in his 40s who has stayed late at the office and is walking home could recieve a text telling him to "behave".

Anti-social behaviour co-ordinator Tim Harris, of Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: "It's not just about telling people 'you can't do this and you can't do that'.

Of course it fucking is, Tim. How fucking dare you try and claim otherwise? That's exactly what it is! And it's not even like your being selective about who you send it to.

"It's very much about giving out information for their own personal safety.

Oh, right. Well that's fine then. You cock.

But in thisisbath's article he gets even more arrogant:

He said: "Young people don't go about reading lengthy posters and some of them don't even read newspapers.

"They contact each other using mobile phones, so this way we can make sure they are digesting this information."

Sounds like just what you'd expect from an "Anti Social Behaviour Co-Ordinator. Go fuck yourself, you arrogant cuntwaft.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

God, at first I thought this was something much worse...

When I read this article on the BBC.

Boyle is 'edging closer' to Porno

Ugh, what an image.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

So, chavs, basically

The BBC has published a list of names of schoolkids most likely to act up in class.

And what a fucking surprise the list is:

Pupils called Callum, Connor, Jack, Chelsea, Courtney and Chardonnay were among some of the ones to watch.

Is it safe to assume we can add "Darren", "Tracy", "Arron", "Jordan" and "Tyler" to that list?

Basically, the names that pikey chav parents give their kids. The list of names does not at all surprise me.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Islamic Search Engine

How very telling on what a truly medieval, fucked up religion it is.

And yet...

Friday, 4 September 2009

More bullshit from Brown

Unsurprisingly again, on Al-jaBeeba.

Gordon Brown will say Britain is doing the "right thing" in Afghanistan in a speech later, a day after a ministerial aide quit over government strategy.

Labour MP Eric Joyce, a parliamentary aide to the defence secretary, resigned saying a time limit should be set on troop deployment.

The prime minister will say: "When the security of our country is at stake we cannot walk away."

He will also say that financial and logistical support is being increased.

What's all this "will say" future tense bullshit? If he hasn't said it yet, why the fuck are they publishing it? Is it because they've been sent a script by Number 10 and told to report it as front-page, headline news (which I'd point out, it has been)? And people say the government don't control the media? Fuck sake.

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Brown's aides were keen to stress that the speech was not a response to Eric Joyce's resignation and had been planned for some time.

But yet, entirely coincidentally of course, it's going to be made today? Just another fucking example of how stupid those in power think we are.

He said Downing Street was more concerned about criticism in the The Sun newspaper, which has accused the prime minister of not showing leadership on Afghanistan.

So what the fuck are they going to do? Shut it down?

Welcome to China.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Attempted justification for a national DNA Database

Is tucked away here:

Officers believe they have the killer's DNA from the crime scene. The profile does not match anybody on the national database.

How long before someone points out that if we had everyone's DNA on there, they would know who it was?

Ashamed of the human race

Or at least, I was after reading this story on the Evening Post website.

Not, of course, because some guy jumped to his death (although I've always believed suicide is an incredibly selfish way of dealing with things), but firstly that the police thought that this one solitary fucking nobody (in the same way, in the grand scheme of things, that you are I are a solitary nobody) was a reason to close the entire M5 Northbound, and secondly, for the comments on the story that frankly make me weep for literacy in this country, and especially Bristol.

yes why was all 4 lanes closed,my heart goes out to the dead mans family,this man did need help and support ,and now another needless death ,we hope things like this never happrn again but it will ,people will always take their own life,but did they really need to shut all for lane,all we hear at the moment is the safety of the emergency services,how wide is one lane ,and there is 4 lanes ,the could have closed 2 or even 3 lanes ,and have plenty of room for safety,could have put up a gaint screen to stop the sick rubber neckers looking and so on and so on ,One final thing to ponder on ,what would of happened if the man was still standing there today ,would the m5 still be shut,i dont think so
stephen, bristol

To start, possibly the worst displays of punctuatiuon I've seen in a while, but I guess at least he spelt "their" right. Somebody needs to introduce this guy to the full stop.

The man fell in the water so it would of been hard to get the net over the water, the police done what they needed to do, they closed it to stop people rubber necking!! If they has opened up one lane then whats the bet that people will have a good old nose and end up having an accident?!? The police obviously didn't want an accident to occur right by where this man was, They needed to make sure the man and the people who were there to try and help him were completely safe, I was not stuck in the traffic but a life has been lost, i just wish people would stop moaning..... you all have your lives dont you?
Danielle, Shirehampton

The location of this person came as no surprise to me anyway. I bet she cried when Jade Goody died.

what was wrong with putting a up screen and closing a lest the traffic moves.that would be the sensible idea.wiil the insurance companies if you claim for the delay pay out for the missed flights.or make a excuse in not paying the would the people in the traffic jam feel then, about the police closing the motorway,and the jumper.not very happy i believeif they are out of pocket
geoff, bristol

I wonder how people like this can read newspapers, magazines, and not wonder why the first letter of each new sentence is capitalised, when they don't.

Then it all goes a bit downhill...

First off i dnt see why every1 is arguin about this unfortunate incident and this poor man felt that low he had to end his life, the police done what they thought was right.. they obv no alot more than what people rightin on here do, if they didnt close the motorway there would have been more accidents caused by rubber-neckers slowing down trying to see what was goin on when its none of there business and as for the person names as M5, bridge sayin 'Why didn't they push him off straight away that is the most selfish comment ne1 could ever send, how do u think his friends n fam r gna feel and u dnt kno what was going thru his head at the time, no1 knos so shoudnt judge! if i was stuck in tht traffic i would certainly be more concerned about a persons life rather than getting homeor newhere else l8.. i completely stand by the police decision to close the motorway they obv did what they felt was right and dint reli have much time to think about it as a man was hanging off a bridge!!! shame on most of you!! and my thoughts r with this man and his family.
vickie, southmead

Fuck me, where do I start? Is her surname "Pollard"? Again, the person's location comes as no real suprise, but this one is wierd because she alternates from spelling words like "business" and "unfortunate incident" correctly, but then switches to such gems as "dint reli". Maybe the bits that make sense were actually written by "Hannah, Redland"? Vickie definitely cried at Jade Goody's death.

i think i have to agree with vickie here, the people who have wrote nasty comments about him is outragous and all of u should be ashamed of yourselves there is no need to say all that really is there. this poor mans family is going through hell right now thinking why did he do it, what have we done rong and all u lot r thinking bout is being stuck in traffic for 6 hours of your life when a poor man has lost his, i have total respect for the police and sevices of how that dealt with it, it is now in the past so all of u get over it and let him rest in peace and let the police and sevices do there jobs like u do as no one complains to u lot about urs!!!!! rest in peace
chris, bristol

Is this Vickie's brother? I've had to lower the spelling/grammar bar quite a lot with this one, and highlighted the only bit that actually made me laugh out loud.

What the fuck is wrong with the schooling system in this country? I don't know the age of these people but I think it's safe to say they're all in their teens. Do you think you'd see teenagers from, say, Sweden writing like this?