Monthly Archives: February 2007

Letter from Tony

Along with approximately 1,800,000 other folks this morning, I received an email from our illustrious liebenfuhrer Tony Blair regarding road pricing.
 
Basically it says" tough shit fatty, we are going to do it anyway so get fucked, so there!!"
 
Thanks Tony.
 
Those who are interested can read the full transcript below
Good luck.
 

E-petition: Response from the Prime Minister

The e-petition asking the Prime Minister to "Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy" has now closed. This is a response from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Thank you for taking the time to register your views about road pricing on the Downing Street website.

This petition was posted shortly before we published the Eddington Study, an independent review of Britain’s transport network. This study set out long-term challenges and options for our transport network.

It made clear that congestion is a major problem to which there is no easy answer. One aspect of the study was highlighting how road pricing could provide a solution to these problems and that advances in technology put these plans within our reach. Of course it would be ten years or more before any national scheme was technologically, never mind politically, feasible.

That is the backdrop to this issue. As my response makes clear, this is not about imposing "stealth taxes" or introducing "Big Brother" surveillance. This is a complex subject, which cannot be resolved without a thorough investigation of all the options, combined with a full and frank debate about the choices we face at a local and national level. That’s why I hope this detailed response will address your concerns and set out how we intend to take this issue forward. I see this email as the beginning, not the end of the debate, and the links below provide an opportunity for you to take it further.

But let me be clear straight away: we have not made any decision about national road pricing. Indeed we are simply not yet in a position to do so. We are, for now, working with some local authorities that are interested in establishing local schemes to help address local congestion problems. Pricing is not being forced on any area, but any schemes would teach us more about how road pricing would work and inform decisions on a national scheme. And funds raised from these local schemes will be used to improve transport in those areas.

One thing I suspect we can all agree is that congestion is bad. It’s bad for business because it disrupts the delivery of goods and services. It affects people’s quality of life. And it is bad for the environment. That is why tackling congestion is a key priority for any Government.

Congestion is predicted to increase by 25% by 2015. This is being driven by economic prosperity. There are 6 million more vehicles on the road now than in 1997, and predictions are that this trend will continue.

Part of the solution is to improve public transport, and to make the most of the existing road network. We have more than doubled investment since 1997, spending £2.5 billion this year on buses and over £4 billion on trains – helping to explain why more people are using them than for decades. And we’re committed to sustaining this investment, with over £140 billion of investment planned between now and 2015. We’re also putting a great deal of effort into improving traffic flows – for example, over 1000 Highways Agency Traffic Officers now help to keep motorway traffic moving.

But all the evidence shows that improving public transport and tackling traffic bottlenecks will not by themselves prevent congestion getting worse. So we have a difficult choice to make about how we tackle the expected increase in congestion. This is a challenge that all political leaders have to face up to, and not just in the UK. For example, road pricing schemes are already in operation in Italy, Norway and Singapore, and others, such as the Netherlands, are developing schemes. Towns and cities across the world are looking at road pricing as a means of addressing congestion.

One option would be to allow congestion to grow unchecked. Given the forecast growth in traffic, doing nothing would mean that journeys within and between cities would take longer, and be less reliable. I think that would be bad for businesses, individuals and the environment. And the costs on us all will be real – congestion could cost an extra £22 billion in wasted time in England by 2025, of which £10-12 billion would be the direct cost on businesses.

A second option would be to try to build our way out of congestion. We could, of course, add new lanes to our motorways, widen roads in our congested city centres, and build new routes across the countryside. Certainly in some places new capacity will be part of the story. That is why we are widening the M25, M1 and M62. But I think people agree that we cannot simply build more and more roads, particularly when the evidence suggests that traffic quickly grows to fill any new capacity.

Tackling congestion in this way would also be extremely costly, requiring substantial sums to be diverted from other services such as education and health, or increases in taxes. If I tell you that one mile of new motorway costs as much as £30m, you’ll have an idea of the sums this approach would entail.

That is why I believe that at least we need to explore the contribution road pricing can make to tackling congestion. It would not be in anyone’s interests, especially those of motorists, to slam the door shut on road pricing without exploring it further.

It has been calculated that a national scheme – as part of a wider package of measures – could cut congestion significantly through small changes in our overall travel patterns. But any technology used would have to give definite guarantees about privacy being protected – as it should be. Existing technologies, such as mobile phones and pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes, may well be able to play a role here, by ensuring that the Government doesn’t hold information about where vehicles have been. But there may also be opportunities presented by developments in new technology. Just as new medical technology is changing the NHS, so there will be changes in the transport sector. Our aim is to relieve traffic jams, not create a "Big Brother" society.

I know many people’s biggest worry about road pricing is that it will be a "stealth tax" on motorists. It won’t. Road pricing is about tackling congestion.

Clearly if we decided to move towards a system of national road pricing, there could be a case for moving away from the current system of motoring taxation. This could mean that those who use their car less, or can travel at less congested times, in less congested areas, for example in rural areas, would benefit from lower motoring costs overall. Those who travel longer distances at peak times and in more congested areas would pay more. But those are decisions for the future. At this stage, when no firm decision has been taken as to whether we will move towards a national scheme, stories about possible costs are simply not credible, since they depend on so many variables yet to be investigated, never mind decided.

Before we take any decisions about a national pricing scheme, we know that we have to have a system that works. A system that respects our privacy as individuals. A system that is fair. I fully accept that we don’t have all the answers yet. That is why we are not rushing headlong into a national road pricing scheme. Before we take any decisions there would be further consultations. The public will, of course, have their say, as will Parliament.

We want to continue this debate, so that we can build a consensus around the best way to reduce congestion, protect the environment and support our businesses. If you want to find out more, please visit the attached links to more detailed information, and which also give opportunities to engage in further debate.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Blair

So there you go

Thanks Tony   

                                      

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Athletics & Alcohol

 Hi all, sorry I haven’t been aroud for a few days, we had some friends up for the weekend, and I just haven’t had time to get on here.
 
My Jedi Dive master ( thats the bloke that taught me to dive ) Colin & his girlfriend Kirsten are going on a round the world trip for year starting April ( St. Georges Day to be precise),and this was our last chance to see them before then. 
 
So after a few drinks, we sullied forth to our local eatery for the procurement of some spicy nosh from the Indian subcontinent… and more drinks!
Upon our return from said curry house, we decided that as we were going to the Norwich Union athletics at the NIA ( courtesy of Colin.. cheers matey!) we didn’t really want to have much more to drink…. so out came the Stolychnaya Vodka and a shooting we went…. followed by more spirits, why the billyo fuck do we do these things?
As a semi retired drinker, ( weight loss resoltion No.1), all this stuff went straight to my head, not to mention my arse, and I had to get up at 5 oclock (a.m… yes there are two 5 o’clocks in the day) & take a massive dump.
I now  have a slight insight to the pain of childbirth, as it felt like I was giving birth…
 
Facking hell !!!
 
How do you girlies do it?
Anyway my arse is still throbbing like buggery 3 days later, I do hope I haven’t done anything more serious to that very important part of my anatomy!
 
I digress….
 
 After a quick brekkie of bacon sarnies ( can’t be beaten ) we sullied forth to the NIA in Birmingham to watch the athletics, and very good they were too.
We sat in Block 2 over by the Pole vault run up, so any of you that were watching the tv saturday might well have seen us, I was the one wearing a Hawk Kawasaki team shirt..
 
Seriously though, as a committed football fan, where YOUR  team / country in any competition is the alpha & omega of existence, it was really refreshing to see a crowd give unilateral to support to ALL the athletes whatever country they were from, and whatever sport they were competing in.
Put shot, long jump, high jump, pole vault, running …. all supported and cheered on by the crowd.
Well done!!
Also I got the chance to see some really fit birds, parading aroud with very little in the way of clothing on,  mmmm, nice…….
 
Spurred on by the sporting prowress we had seen on display, we decided that that we DEFINITELY were NOT going to get blasted, as Colin had a long way to drive the next day, so it was off to the local far eastern emporium (chinese this time ),for a takeaway, and NO pop… thank fuck, my head wouldn’t take much more, and had one of those very nice relaxing nights in with friends, chatting, laughing,sleeping ( in Mrs Dogs case, poor old growler was knackered), that happens once in a blue moon.
 
Sunday morning saw us up bright & early , which was a bollox for me as I had booked the day of work, to see them both off.
I really wish them both well, and I hope everything works out for them, and I wish I had the bollox and time  (and cash) to do it myself.
Good luck you two!!!
 
Thats when the fun started, first up a ladder 15ft in the air trying to fix our bastard drainpipe, which is leaking ALL over our skydish, ( I’m frightened of heights!), then a phone call from me  poor old mum, who had fallen over in the shower, and hadn’t wanted to disturb me as she knew we had guests up for the weekend!!!
 
Luckily for both of us,well mainly her,  apart from a bump on the back of her boko, ( head), and a few bruises she seems to be ok, and it transpired upon further examination, that my sister had been round on Saturday, and had administered lots of TLC and sympathy. 
 
Phew!!!
 
On a different note, I watched 2 contrasting TV programmes on Sunday night,  Top Gear, that will please Tinks, and the 9/11 conspiracy theories.
 
I think I will discuss these in another entry, as this one is starting to go on a bit,so see you soon folks, thanks for getting this far, if indeed you have, and if you haven’t……..
 
Oh , and my arse is still hurting!!
 
 

 
Very fit Brazillian Pole vaulter

Bekele – 2000m World record holder

 Hello Everyone

 Run run run!

 
 Sue Barker
 

Why?

What is it that makes a man want to rape and kill a 2 year old child?
 
2 years old………………
 
 
Has it alway been like this ?
 
Have I had my head stuck in a hole for nearly 50 years?
 
 
 
 
WHY??
 
 
 

 

 

Snow…schmow!!!

 Clucking Bell!!!
 
Four and a half hours to go less than 20 miles!!
 
Where the fuck where the gritters… gone to bastard asleep I think, because they certanily hadn’t been on the roads yesterday.
Coupled with the fact that I was getting REALLY pissed off looking at the same set of traffic lights for an hour was the ever increasing pressure on my bladder.
 
3 and a half hours in the trip, the aforementioned organ decided that all that days previous liquid consumption was going to arrive at the same time.
 
I started to get an insight into the pain of prostate problems…..
 
Stuck in the middle of non moving traffic, on a main road in Birmingham, surrounded by cars , buses, and cheesed off folks walking home, the possiblilty of a bladder relieving piss was very far off.
 
This then became a battle of wills, my will NOT to pee my pants, and my bladders will to throw everything out.
 
Mrs. Dog came up with a very interesting suggestion…. pee into my sandwich box!!
 
Now there were a couple of things against this.
 
One has already been detailed above… stuck in traffic, middle of Birmingham etc…being arrested for indecent exposure….
The second almost as important was that if I did indeed let go into the previously mentioned sarnie box, was that for the rest of its soon to be short lived life, my sarnies would taste of piss!!
Happily for all concerned, my power of will was such that I managed another hour of bladder squeezing until I got home, where the lovely Mrs.Dog was waiting with the front door open, so that my bladder and I could part with its contents post haste.
 
Ahhhh. sweet relief!!
 
I wrote in a previous blog that I love the snow….. There is an outside possiblilty that I might be changing my mind!
 
Take care out there
 
 

Snow… what snow?

 Hello folks!
Well the weather boys got it right this time!
I love the snow… when its not too bad, and I haven’t got too far to go.
This mornings trip to work ( 20 miles approx ) was a real doddle, due to all the schools round here being closed for  " Health & Safety Reasons " ??
When I were a lad in tut good old days we used to go to school though all sorts of weather conditions, even when the boiler broke down, we were there , with our paddington bear duffle coats all done up tight… brrrr!
 
Kids today don’t know how lucky they are! 
 

Paddington on his way to school this morning.. only to find it shut due to snow!

Just to keep you all amused I have posted some snow photos .. if anyones got any better ones ( and I’m sure there will be! ) let me know and I will pop over and have a look.

 

On Our Road

     Out The Back

 

     

 

  

Work…. notice the complete  lack of humans around!

 

Keeharr !! This weather is  shit!

 

With any luck we might get away from work early today…..

I hope so, I don’t fancy workimg until 8pm tonight, them having to drive through drifts of snow… in the dark! 

See you all soon……  hopefully!!

 

 

A Different Perspective

I have been sent some interesting pictures, which no doubt some will have seen before, but they are worth looking at if you haven’t……….
Just don’t try staring at them for too long!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catch up time

   Hi Everybody!,
I have returned to the land of the present after a brief time in a dark place, and hopefully now, normal service can be resumed!
 
What’s gone on since christmas ?
Well I don’t know really, it all seems to have gone by in a flash.
 
A few football games…a draw  , some spankings (ManU),some losses,  a couple of wins, so its same as usual on the footy front.
 
I’ve been out a couple of times and got VERY VERY  drunk,  which suprisingly hasn’t dented the dieting too much , and cycled fucking MILES on my new aquired for chrimbo exercise bike, nearly 300 to be more accurate, phew!
 
Oh yeah, and got a feewacking puncture on my motorbike last monday, and then had to travel 20miles home from work on a decidedly iffy rear tyre.
That made the journey home on the motorway interesting I can tell you.
Luckily for me ,and my soon to be pillaged pocket, they managed to plug the hole, and it is fine now.
 
Me poor old mum has scraped her car up a wall, no damage to her physically, but she is a bit pissed off about it, as it sounds expensive….. and thats about it really, not too much to report I’m afraid
 
Ahh, there is one thing….
 
Resolution Update.
 
Regular readers ( he said sounding like the Radio Times ), will remember my 3  New Year resolutions.
 
1. Get down to 12 stones or less.
 
This is proceeding nicely and post pooh & piss first thing in the morning , i have so far got down to about 12st 6.
Well Done Me ! ***
 
2. Wear everthing in my wardrobe.
 
Not going so well with this I’m afraid as there is some stuff that I just can’t abide the thought of putting on, and now looking back I wonder why the fuck did I buy it in the first place! ( must be chrimbo presents), though I have worn quite a few items…..
hmm I was going to give this one a low rating, but on reflection, and the fact that there is still 11 months to go, 
Keep on trying **
 
Now the biggie
 
3. To have a complete day of no swearing.
 
I have to confess to abject failure with this one.
 
It not that I swear ALL the time, but it is quite a lot, (  all blokes working environment, & watching the Villa can drive you to distraction sometimes! ), and every night I got to bed thinking " tomorrow, that’s the day " then some silly twat does something stupid on the way to work, or I forget , and indulge in the usual morning greeting which involves some part of the human body, and wham bang , thats it for the day then.
 
So i’m afraid I must give this one
Must try harder… MUCH HARDER! E- not good enough!
 
Thats nearly 2 out of the 3 so overall I think I am quite pleased with the progress.
 
I will keep you updated as things go on.
 
See you soon!