Regular visitors may have noticed that the number of new pages on this website has dropped off a bit. This is because the GOS is, to be quite frank, finding it difficult to cope lately (all together: "Aaaah, poor thing!"). There are so many stupid and outrageous things happening in the world today that sometimes he just sits and stares at his computer keyboard, not knowing where the hell to start. So he thought it would be a good idea to collect together a number of smaller items, and give you …
Part 1: Transport and the Environment
Jeannie Hoddinott, spokesman for Staffordshire camera partnership, for saying "The onus is on the driver of the vehicle to prove their innocence, not on the Partnership to prove guilt".
All the supine motorists who haven't yet realised that if the government raised the price of a gallon of petrol by £4 there'd be an uproar, but that by imposing a road-pricing charge of just 10p a mile they'll be doing exactly the same thing, assuming a car that does 40mpg.
All those of us - the majority, without doubt - who haven't noticed that the government have mapped out our future already. The Transport for London (Supplemental Toll Provisions) Bill, clauses 14 & 15, state that anyone who interferes with tolling equipment, obscures their numberplate, uses false documents, or obstructs a council official from entering a car to examine equipment fitted therein, will go to jail for six months. That's back to the drawing-board for a lot of us, I should think …
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council lead on roads and transport, who obviously knows that if you tell a lie loudly enough, somebody somewhere will believe it, in an email to The A140 Campaign about the dangers of the A140 in Suffolk: "Comparisons to the A140 in Norfolk show that the lengths of road and accident rates are similar in the two counties but because the traffic flows are higher in Norfolk they have in the past suffered from larger accident numbers". In fact, figures show the opposite: between 1987 and 2005, 57 people died on the Suffolk stretch and only 21 in Norfolk. But hey, why let a few facts spoil a good story …?
Bryan Edwards of the Norfolk camera partnership for not spotting his own deliberate mistake when he talked about people putting up fake speed cameras, saying "If people put up fake cameras, motorists could be coming along, think it is a camera, brake or get distracted, and that could actually cause a collision". That can't happen with a real camera, of course. W*nker.
The Mid and South Wales Camera Partnership who have issued a taxi driver with a speeding ticket for driving through Newport at 420mph.
The Manchester bus company that has had to take all its vehicles off the road because there are concerns about the competence of its drivers. 100 out of 130 drivers are Polish, and many speak little English.
Kirklees Council who have refused to supply a lollipop lady to help school children cross a busy road - because the road is too dangerous. The children will continue crossing the road unaccompanied.
The parking wardens in Burnley who went into a private church carpark and gave one of the parish volunteers a ticket fro parking there. This is the same council that has in the past issued tickets to delivery drivers, milk floats and a police car.
The vandals in Lewes, Sussex, who have been blowing up parking ticket machines by putting industrial-strength fireworks in them. They should be doing it to speed cameras as well.
Sir Nicholas Stern, who has no sooner delivered his alarmist and deeply flawed report on global warming, than he has retired on a pension of £60,000 a year.
West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership who are surprised to discover that in a recent poll 80% of drivers believe it's OK to exceed the speed limit and drive at what they know to be a safe speed for the conditions. It's no surprise to us!
Councillor Ricky Henderson, transport leader for Edinburgh Council. Asked about the revelation that some £35 million has been raised with parking tickets that were illegal because they didn't have both the date of the offence and the date of issue on them, he claimed "The wording on our tickets conforms and has always conformed with national guidelines - but the tickets were altered slightly when the dating issue came to light". So why have several motorists appealed and won, then?
The government which has awarded the Cyclists' Touring Club the sum of £300,000 to "raise awareness among cyclists of climate change". What do they expect cyclists to do - fart less?
George Moonbat, the maverick and nonsensical Guardian columnist, for saying "Every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned". Not that we're against drowning airline executives, you understand. It's just that there are better reasons for doing it, starting with lost luggage and ridiculous check-in times …..
The road safety experts who predicted that when the US relaxed its speed limits in 1995 there'd be an extra 64,000 deaths a year. In fact, casualties have gone down every year since.
Hampshire police who have stopped 4,000 drivers in the last three months under section 44 of the anti-terror law. Nobody in Hampshire, not one single person, ever, has actually been charged under section 44. It was just that the officers fancied a chat to while away the time. Trouble is, won't those innocent drivers now be entered in some database somewhere as terror suspects? Nice.
Norfolk camera partnership (again) for continuing to issue speed camera tickets to drivers on a section of the A140 at Hempnall despite the fact that the speed limit had been removed. We wonder how many of the poor b*ggers paid up?
And finally, just to give credit where it's due and maintain a bit of balance in this deeply skewed world, here's a non-w*nker if ever we saw one: "The declared intention of New Labour and those who form their core transport policy is to wage a war on car and biker ownership. Although many on the left claim that they see the Emperor's New Clothes, a lot of bike campaigners are pointing out his nakedness. Put more accurately, this is quite literally a war on private powered transportation in the UK under many guises such as "safety", "social justice" and "the environment". A good A-level student could blow all such arguments out of the water. There must now be an increasing number of vehicles which they have successfully removed from UK roads and which are now permanently SORNed and in a state of disrepair and immobile. This is exactly what they wanted to happen, yet it is still not enough. The appear to want to squeeze the public until the pips squeak."
And who said this? Dennis Healey, ex-Labour minister and politician. Oh for the heady, innocent days when you could still occasionally find a politician with an atom of common sense and the courage to talk about it! Ho-hum ….
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