Not voting Green (by a member of the Green Party)

In which a fully paid-up, card-carrying member of the Green Party sets out why he will not be voting Green in the 2015 General Election.

And in which the same fully paid-up, card-carrying member of the Green Party will be resigning his membership as soon as the 2015 General Election is over.

I’d like to set a scenario before you.

Imagine that you found a political party that you agreed with.

Imagine that the more time you spent reading about the same political party, the more you found that their core ideals and stated political goals chimed with your own personal, social (and political), values.

Imagine that you move beyond the certainty of voting your support for this party in the 2015 General Election.

You read this parties election manifesto.

You love it.

You became a member of the Party.

And then…

Imagine, some months later, you stumble across some Party policies that are not in their 2015 General Election manifesto.

But these policies are Party objectives.

One of the policies you discover says:

TR320
Smaller, low powered vehicles are generally preferable to most cars (especially those with a single occupant) as they take up less road space and are more economic consumers of fuel. However, the Green Party does not wish to see increased use of cars because they emit pollution and noise and can endanger road users. The aim is to encourage much less use of high powered machines and for low powered machines to offer an alternative for those who currently use cars and could not transfer to more sustainable (transport) modes.

That’s blatant vicitimisation.

Picking on just one form of transport?

This is a vote losing policy.

Is that why this policy is not in the 2015 General Election manifesto?

What car-owning (or car-driving) voter is going to vote for a political party that has stated it wants to see all cars reduced to tiny, limited output engines?

You dig on in to the party Policies and find:

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The Green Party would take measures to encourage a transfer of car manufacture and use from larger, powerful machines to less powerful ones. These would include setting and enforcing strict noise limits and, for higher powered machines, speed limiters

Well, any person who uses a car for any form of transport is going to support this party, are they?

Now the thing is, these policies are not 100% accureate.

But with one or two minor edits in these policies, each of these political objectives are Green Party objectives…

But not for cars.

For motorbikes.

Yes, this is the Green Party singling out motorbikes for wholescale legislative curbs, yet leaving every other form of road user untouched.

These are those two Green Party policies, unedited, and with one more policy included:

TR320
Smaller, low powered motorcycles are generally preferable to cars (especially those with a single occupant) as they take up less road space and are more economic consumers of fuel. However, the Green Party does not wish to see increased use of motorcycles because they emit pollution and noise and can endanger road users. The aim is to encourage much less use of high powered machines and for low powered machines to offer an alternative for those who currently use these or cars and could not transfer to more sustainable modes.

TR321
The Green Party would take measures to encourage a transfer of motor cycle manufacture and use from larger, powerful machines to less powerful ones including scooters and mopeds. These would include setting and enforcing strict noise limits and, for higher powered machines, speed limiters

TR322
For the safety of other users, the Green Party does not feel it appropriate for motorcyclists to be able to use any priority measures put in for pedestrians and cyclists, including those shared with public transport.

These are the most blinkered, uneducated, short-sighted, stupid and illogical transport policies.

These policies fail to recognise motorbikes as part of the solution of our increasingly congested roads.

These policies penalise motorbikes through the use of inaccurate sweeping generalisations.

These policies fail to understand the benefits of motorcycling over the use of cars.

These policies lack all manner of comprehension of the problems that British roads face every day.

These policies are why this Green Party member will not be voting for the Green Party in the 2015 General Election.

These policies are why this Green Party member will be resigning his membership after the 2015 General Election.

That these policies are hidden, that these policies are not in the Green Party 2015 manifesto is beyond dishonest.

The Green Party needs to be called out on this blatant victimisation.

One can’t help wondering what other nasty, victimising, policies the Green Party might have tucked away, that are also not highlighted by their 2015 manifesto.

Blogathon 18/14 – commuting differences

Today I commuted on the VFR.

When I got to work I hopped off the bike and did a little dance and didn’t stop smiling for at least an hour (even though it was 6.45am when I arrived at work).

And on the homewards leg, when I arrived back at my house, I danced around the VFR singing loudly and smiling.

Even now my heart is full of such joy – this is what commuting on a motorbike can do for you.

Tomorrow I will catch a train to London, and then I shall ride on the Victoria line from Euston to Victoria.

Then I shall walk, about a mile, down to Westminster, dodging people as I go.

After a five-hour technical meeting, I shall walk the mile back from Westminster to Victoria, I shall submerge myself underground, and shall ride back to Euston.

Then I shall endure the homeward leg on The World’s Most Expensive Railway.

You want to reckon whether I’ll be singing and dancing and smiling when I get off the train in Rugby, at 7pm tomorrow evening?

Or when I get off the tube at Euston, before I get my train back home?

The inhumanity that we, in this country, seem to accept with no thought of rejection, that we inflict upon our commuting selves every day, is indescribable.

Since when did it become acceptable to shoe-horn people in to spaces so crammed with other humans that the threat of injury is very real?

Am I the only person who can remember that the Moorgate Tube Disaster produced rules (rules, not guidelines) on acceptable limits of square footage per passenger?

Am I the only person who can remember that the needlessly high death rate at Moorgate was because of overcrowding?

Does anyone – ever – get off the rush-hour underground, singing and dancing and happy and smiling (other than in satisfaction at having got out alive)?

The elephant in the room that is London’s transport calamity (because no matter how or where one looks, it is a terrible calamity), is that the entire transport network has reached capacity.

Where does London go from here?

Seriously.

Where does London’s rammed transport network go from here?

Blogathon 4/14 – a bloody good servicing

Today, just as soon as I’ve finished work, I’m taking a small detour.

The VFR has a hot date.

She’s going to get serviced to within an inch of her life.

I got the VFR in July 2013.

I had her serviced by Simon, the amazing mobile motorbike mechanic (makes a mental note to tell you the story of the VFR’s servicing by Simon) in August.

Here’s the thing.

The VFR’s former owner did all of the bike’s servicing himself.

He kept meticulous records of what work was done on which dates, what parts were replaced, what was adjusted, which components would need looking at next time.

And he made his notes in the inside rear cover of a Haynes manual for, yep, the Honda VFR800.

When I bought the bike he gave me the manual, which was brilliant of him.

It’s a rolling record of the VFR’s service history.

Marvellous.

Er.

Except.

Yesterday evening, when I got back from my hectic weekend of awesome, I did some housework.

Yeah, you can put the sarcasm away now.

But I did.

I vacuumed upstairs and down.

And then I did the house.

Ahahahahahahahaha!

Ahem.

No, seriously.

Then I stripped the bed, turned the mattress, put the linen and some shirts in to a prewash soak.

And then I tidied a bit.

While I was tidying over there *points* I uncovered the VFR owner manual and the VFR’s official service record.

I will confess I’ve spent time reading the previous owners notes, but never glanced at the service record.

Until last night.

The most recent stamp in the VFR’s service book was at 5,000 miles.

The bike has 60,000 on the clock now.

*gulp*

Notwithstanding Simon’s service last year, in Oxfordshire, that’s a hell of a lot of owner-maintained servicing!

So today I picked up the phone and spoke to a local motorbike dealer and, as a result, I shall be handing the VFR over to them after work tomorrow.

This doesn’t mean that commuting duties will fall upon the Daytona.

On Wednesday I have to drive to Darlington (and back) for a work thing.

Yes.

Drive to Darlington and back.

Because even in the Jag I can drive to Darlington and back for significantly less money than The World’s Most Expensive Railway Network want to charge me for the same journey in cattle class.

Oh yes, and I can drive there and back two hours quicker than The World’s Most Expensive Railway can do the journey.

Hmm.

Maybe the VFR isn’t the only thing that needs taking apart by experts.

Blogathon 5/13 Quiet!

HELLO?

I’M ON THE TRAIN!

YES, THE TRAIN.

TO LONDON.

I’M IN SOMETHING CALLED THE QUIET CARRIAGE.

IT’S VERY NICE IN HERE.

AND QUIET.

………

But seriously, what the actual?

I should be able to hear my wristwatch tick (as opposed to my faithful Hunter pocket watch*).

Instead there’s that boy over there playing music out of his mobile phone.

And that girl over there? I can hear her masticating.

And the old lady behind me is sending THE WORLD’S LONGEST TEXT MESSAGE AND SHE HAS HER KEYPAD TONES SWITCHED ON AND SET TO STUN!

Getting rid of 4th class was a backwards step.

Really.

*I don’t actually have a Hunter pocket watch

Same song, different tune

ATTENTION PARENTS!

When you are in a public place with your offspring, you need to remember a simple set of rules:

  • You own that fucking child
  • You have a total responsibility to be a parent to your child at all fucking times
  • Being a parent is not a part-time thing
  • If you ignore that child of yours, it will run fucking riot
  • It will whine and cry and scream and it will make a fucking noisome din
  • But because you are the parent, you can tune the rioting brat out
  • We, the rest of humanity, we fucking can’t
  • If you ignore your fucking brat and it runs riot and whines and shouts
  • I will fucking stamp on it
  • And it will be YOUR FAULT
  • Just because you ignored it
  • In a public place
  • And let it go fucking mental
  • Within the sight and hearing of someone who doesn’t fucking care about it
That is all.

An outpouring

I’m, watching Strictly Come Dancing for no reason other than The Manic Street Preachers are performing. The Manic Street Preachers. On Strictly Come Dancing. Strictly Come Dancing. The Manics.

Jesus.

Anyway, the air traffic controllers strike in Spain is a hell of a story that, surprisingly, isn’t getting the in-depth examination that it should be.

The story behind the story is that Sr. Zapatero has enacted a congressional law that put the striking civilian air traffic controllers under military command. Under this law, any civilian air traffic controller who does not report for duty could be sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

Out of the establishment headcount of 2,200 controllers, 442 are being reported by the military commanders for prosecution. I’ll be watching the developments of this story with great interest.

Meanwhile.

Soph and I did this weekend’s show this evening, a radical switch from our normal Friday pre-pizza fest, to a Sunday evening show.

As well as listening to four exceptional pieces of music, we talk about the continuing preparations for our third birthday and our confirmed special guests. And we talk about the need to have a higher degree of organisation behind the scenes. And the increasing demand for web content, and the pressures that these things bring – hence the need for better organisation.

Sending signals

Journalists, WTF? I know the house style of the The Sun is best summed up as ‘aim for the worst of all that is bad in society and then lower your sights 45 degrees further”, but what, exactly, does this headline in today’s copy of the Sun convey to readers?

Doesn’t it convey ‘gay slayer or foreign spy, meh, they’re all the same’? And what is the divine intervention that The Sun journalist has, to enable him (or her) to *know* that either a foreign spy (not a British spy!) *or* a ‘gay slayer’ (what is one of those, anyway?) did this awful thing? Don’t you just love the British tabloid press and the standards they evidently have? Don’t have, I mean.

Listening to music is one of life’s great enjoyments. I spend huge amounts of my time in a world filled with pleasant sounds. The continually-falling price of personal mp3 players and mobile phones with the same capability, coupled with a decent pair of earbuds, have given all of us the opportunity to have a private, portable place of pure phonic pleasure. (yeah, sorry about that alliterative whimsy there) But when I was in London the other day, there were two teenagers on the tube, listening to music on their mobile phones. Without headphones. Let me use different words. A pair of teenagers, sitting and chatting together, were listening to different tracks of music *aloud* on their mobile phones. Did I mention they were chatting over their music? Hey kids, here’s a message for you:

Planning a magazine cover can’t be an easy job. There must be so many different factors to consider…

There has been a significant amount of traffic and chatter about Mary Bale and her alleged feline-binning proclivities. I can’t help wondering what a person with similar tendencies would do if they came across little Koda…

I’ll tell you one thing, I’d rather be in the company of Koda anyday, than having to sit on the tube in the presence of two teenagers, shouting their conversation over the loudspeakered tinny din of two portions of noise pollution.

Exclusive! Daily Mail staff in sex horror!

So I was just in the kitchen cooking one of my speciality snacks (you will notice I didn’t say ‘meals’), when I started wondering about cheese-graters.

If someone could please invent a cheese-grater that didn’t remove the skin from my fingertips, I’d buy it.

Anyway.

We were show-jumping this evening, a session with Owen.  At one stage Owen said, ‘What are you feeding Tom, Bren?’

Rocket fuel, obv.

Tom showed no sign that he had been out on Saturday (you’ve read the result, already, yes?) as he towed me all over the show-jumping course.

I honestly expected him to be a little laid back.

Ha!

I was back in control for our second lap and after the third, faultless journey over the course, we called it a day.

Owen had a good time at Broadway this weekend; 2nd, 7th and 8th, but even these results must be no consolation for his Badminton disappointment, one of his four-star horses being unwell, whilst the other didn’t make it off the wait list.

Meanwhile, in other news…

I’m at home tomorrow, but on Wednesday I’m off up to Worcester. It’s a work thing, not a pleasure thing. I have decided to be radical and let the train take the strain; Charlbury to Worcester Foregate Street and return. I’ve got a four-minute walk from the station in Worcester.

I had a really bad night’s sleep last night; less than two hours, and then I was up for five hours, then back to sleep for three more.

It’s safe to describe my state right now as ‘knackered’.

I’m going to use tomorrow to have a burst of activity on ‘Shelved’. I have done no work on the Sitcom for a couple of weeks, but I have done a massive amount of thinking about it.

The bottom line is that I want to rethink the first and last episodes. I think there is a way to make a visual gag in episode one, dovetail in to the last episode of season one, in such a way that the comedy ending of the season becomes lastingly bitter-sweet.

And the headline above?

Well, can you imagine having sex with Jan Moir?

*shudder*

Leeds

Unexpectedly, I am invited to Leeds.

The meeting is at 11.30 and I’m giving myself an enormous amount of time in which to make the trip. This means I can enjoy the journey rather than have to endure it as one massive stress-fest.

I’m already planning a couple of minor detours for the trip up/down.

I have to travel by car because, bizarrely, our national train network can’t get me from here to there and back again in anything less than a seven hour round trip.

I’m not sure that’s what we’d call ‘progress’ in the 21st Century.

Nice fanny!

Oscar Wilde said of the divisions between the UK and the US, that we were ‘one nation divided by a common tongue’.

Setting aside the masterful – and very typical – double entendre, today I’ve seen several examples that underline Wilde’s thinking.

Today is the 9th Annual No-pants on the Subway Day and in the UK a number of poorly-educated delinquents who possess little (if any!) understanding of the English Language have attempted to ‘join in’ by not wearing trousers on the Underground.

Fuckwits.

It’s the Annual No-pants on the Subway Day. It’s not the Annual No-trousers on the Underground Day. Don’t they know anything?

Have these morons lost all comprehension of English?

A subway is a piece of underground pavement that (usually) enables pedestrians to walk from one side of a busy road to another without having to play chicken with the road-users.

The Underground is not a subway.

And while we’re on the same topic?

Your trousers are not your pants.

Twats.

I bet these idiots don’t refer to their arse as their ‘fanny’. I bet they don’t say ‘garbage’, but instead use the common word ‘rubbish’, I bet they say ‘petrol’ not ‘gasoline’ and I bet they manage to pronouce ‘aluminium’ correctly.

This isn’t an anti-American rant.

This is the rant of someone who has a hard enough time getting the underpowered and far-too-dim lightbulb of understanding to illuminate the darker places inside the heads of people, through the use of plain, simple English.

Adding further confusion by using terminology from foreign countries is very counter-productive!

Ferstein Sie?