Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Greek Tragedy

In his blog and on my Facebook page I have been following the crisis in Greece since 2010. Whatever happens now, the one thing that is certain is that it is an ongoing tragedy for the people of Greece, failed by their politicians, the EU, the ECB and the IMF.

Greece is a politically volatile nation.  It has strong communist sympathies, has been ruled by a military junta and now has dysfunctional  political, social and economic systems.  In other words it is a total mess.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Psst...want an honour?

Cash for honours has a long, inglorious history.  See:


Whilst the worst excesses have been abated the awarding of honours to political cronies continues apace.

Why do some people crave honours?  There is a small industry out there assisting such people.


Pass the sick bowl please.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Podbury not at elected member of Rusthall Parish Council.

I note Tunbridge Wells Borough Council website continues to state that borough councillor for Rusthall, Mrs Podbury, is an elected member of Rusthall Parish Council.  She isn't.

Monday, 8 June 2015

HST2 on track?

The general election result probably killed off serious opposition to HST2.  Sporadic skirmishes will continue, but the battle has been lost.  However, we can but hope that austerity cuts makes HST2 look like an expendable luxury.  Kick the project into the long grass for a few years.

There is much that can be done  to alleviate capacity and speed issues using existing infrastructure. A few suggestions:

1. Re-open the old Great Central line between Rugby and High Wycombe and build a link to the former London & North Western line.  Some services could be diverted off the West Coast Main Line (WCML) to London Paddington and passengers could change at the latter for Crossrail.  There will be no connection at Euston for Crossrail.

2. Re-open the Bedford-Northampton line and extend Thameslink services to Rugby and down the Trent Valley to Stafford.

3. Increase usage of the Midland Line to Sheffield and West Yorkshire.  One way to reduce considerably travel time between London St Pancras and Sheffield would be to send trains for Sheffield via the Erewash Valley Line. The argument used against this is that trains need the Derby stop for revenue purposes.  The answer surely is to extend trains beyond Sheffield to Rotherham, Wakefield and Leeds and offer much cheaper fares from Leeds and Wakefield to London than on the old Great Northern line via Doncaster to Kings Cross.