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Thread: London's Congestion Charge Two Years On

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Even observing all the stereotypical formalities and courtesies, imo the UK shows promise of blooming into Europe's premiere police state.

    Congestion charging seems OK, but that road-use scheme is the devil's work.
    Britain is far from becoming a police state, if it was, then for most instances many European countries are already there and large chunks of the world are corruption quagmires. :laugh:

    Seriousness aside, Britain has actually become more 'free' while the likes of the US, Germany, Italy and France have seen the reverse, with increases in restrictions on the press (Freedom House: Press Freedom 1994-2005).

    Press Freedom

    Germany
    1994 - 11
    2005 - 16

    US
    1994 - 12th
    2005 - 17th

    UK
    1994 - 24th
    2005 - 18th

    France
    1994 - 19
    2005 - 20

    Italy
    1994 - 25
    2005 - 35




    Political Rights (where 1 is good, 7 is bad)

    US
    1994 - 1
    2005 - 1

    UK
    1994 - 1
    2005 - 1

    Italy
    1994 - 1
    2005 - 1

    Germany
    1994 - 1
    2005 - 1

    France
    1994 - 1
    2005 - 1




    Civil Liberties (where 1 is good, 7 is bad)

    US
    1994 - 1
    2005 - 1

    UK
    1994 - 2
    2005 - 1

    Italy
    1994 - 2
    2005 - 1

    Germany
    1994 - 2
    2005 - 1

    France
    1994 - 2
    2005 - 1




    Freedom Status (where F [Free] is good, NF [Not Free] isn't good)

    US
    1994 - F
    2005 - F

    UK
    1994 - F
    2005 - F

    Italy
    1994 - F
    2005 - F

    Germany
    1994 - F
    2005 - F

    France
    1994 - F
    2005 - F




    Although I believe that we can never give up protest, debate and the like, its pretty clear that Britain isn't somehow becoming less free, when for most instances its been the total opposite: the UK has been getting 'freer'".




    Well it might sound like the devils work, but its the only way that more revenue can be be generated for public transportation, increase the efficiency of the road network meaning less road accidents and delays, heping the environment, while also forcing people to use public transport instead of using the car for meaingless journies eg taking the kids to school when clearly walking or public transportation are valid alternatives.

    In the UK, some university graduates devised a device which taps into your mains and counts how much electricity you are using and displays this in a variety of formats, eg how much current electricity you are using, etc. If you turn off lights, the TV, etc.. the meter deducts this and shows how much you would be paying. It turned out that in the trials, people worked out how much it cost to have the TV on (even on standby) compared to say the radio, and the result was people migrated to the radio and didn't watch TV any more.

    The South of England meanwhile is now getting in some parts less rain than parts of the Middle East and its now become mandatory to have meters installed so that people are more careful with the water they use.

    Essentially the UK is moving towards a high-efficiency, little waste, renewable energy based pay-as-you-go economy.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    Britain is far from becoming a police state, if it was, then for most instances many European countries are already there and large chunks of the world are corruption quagmires. :laugh:

    Seriousness aside, Britain has actually become more 'free' while the likes of the US, Germany, Italy and France have seen the reverse, with increases in restrictions on the press (Freedom House: Press Freedom 1994-2005).


    Essentially the UK is moving towards a high-efficiency, little waste, renewable energy based pay-as-you-go economy.
    Nick - I live and do business in the UK and I simply do not recocgnise the country you describe or most of your characterisations. It is widely acknowledged the the UK is THE most controlled country in the entire world with only such regimes as Myanmar and North Korea having more restrictive freedoms enshrined in law.

    Some facts:-

    A fifth of the world's CCTV cameras are in the UK and the average person is caught on film 300 times a day.

    A network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years. "The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts."

    The police have access to advanced travel details on more than 40 million passengers a year who travel on domestic flights and ferries within Britain. I know as my airline has to provide this data.

    A new EU directive "requires every telephone company and internet service provider (ISP) to save call records and internet logs up to two years", supposedly in order to "aid law enforcement". The information that will be stored includes details of numbers dialled, call duration and location, websites visited and header information on emails. The UK is ahead of the game here.

    ID cards are voluntary? town hall officials will be asked to police the scheme by using the Electoral Register to identify homes and individuals without cards. "The register will be cross-checked against the proposed Identity Card Database. Those who fail to register for a card or to keep their details up to date when, for example, they change address, face fines of up to £2,500." Were you in the UK at the time of the poll tax riots? You aint seen nothin yet... (oops that could be construed as incitment to riot. can I expect a midnight "knock on the door"?)

    Andy Burnham, the Home Office minister, said in a parliamentary written answer that there were 'no plans to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in ID cards'. However, a leaked letter from Mr Burnham indicates that the chips will use radio frequencies to allow "contactless" reading of the card by special scanners."

    You DO need permision from the police to demonstrate; the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which bans "unauthorised" free speech within a one-mile radius of Westminster. The maximum penalty for this heinous crime is a week short of a year in prison. An unelected police officer will use his/her judgment as to what is acceptable.

    The NHS is building a database of everyone's medical history to which, it is believed, MI5 will have access.

    I could go on and on.....but to illustrate the rule of unintended consequences; this week is snowed in North Wales. The Chief Constable issued a diktat that anyone throwing snowballs be arrested. Their DNA would be sampled.They would go on a database. THese are the kind people in charge of our individual freedoms...


    I also have friends working in the renewables field and they tell me how the UK is so far behind Germany that it is embarassing.

    As for your view that the Thatcher regime cleared the "dead wood" of the old industrial cities I don't think even die hard tories still believe that one.

    The mining communities have not regenerated. Many of the valley towns in South Wales have as much as 47% of people on dissability allowances. I remember in the '80's when in my home town of Liverpool factory after factory closed down. 1,500 jobs, 2,000, 3,000 week after week after week and always on a Friday as that ensured the news was lost nationally in the weekend. So many lives were destroyed, so many families ruined and it is really sad that you so glibly dismiss all that went on in those days. It's unforgivable.

    Liverpool remains one of Europe's poorest cities and is a European Objective One city for that reason. The Capital of Culture is a smoke screen to obscure the lack of real industry and commerce being established here. Most people here work for the government.

    Don't get me wrong - I firmly believe that our problems are self created and I'm one of those actively campaining for a directly elected mayor (ala New York City) as a start to sorting the city out.

    I don't think there is a conspiracy to suppress our freedoms (i hope there isn't) but little by little and perhaps even with good intentions we have arrived at that stage and still it continues. The congestion charge was a scheme with well defined objectives and may broadly be described as working. However, just yesterday the police suggested that the technolgy be broadened to enable individuals inside vehicles talking on moblile phones whilst driving to be identified. I think its called "mission creep". See how these things develop?

  3. #33

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    ^ Thoughtful, plausible post...and terrifying.

    Much worse than what's happening in the U.S.
    Last edited by ablarc; March 18th, 2006 at 03:34 PM.

  4. #34
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    England is smaller and that is something that is easier to do on a smaller scale.

    Not that we should not fear its development here, just that it will take longer.

  5. #35
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Fantasy? Or Foretelling the Future??

    V For Vendetta in theaters Friday March 17:http://vforvendetta.warnerbros.com/



    Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta
    tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (NATALIE PORTMAN) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (HUGO WEAVING) known only as “V.” Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

    Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Virtual Studios, a Silver Pictures production in association with Anarchos Productions Inc., NATALIE PORTMAN in V For Vendetta, starring HUGO WEAVING, STEPHEN REA and JOHN HURT. Directed by JAMES McTEIGUE, the film is produced by JOEL SILVER, THE WACHOWSKI BROTHERS and GRANT HILL from a screenplay by THE WACHOWSKI BROTHERS, based upon characters appearing in magazines published by VERTIGO. The executive producer is BENJAMIN WAISBREN. The director of photography is ADRIAN BIDDLE, B.S.C.; the production designer is OWEN PATERSON; the editor is MARTIN WALSH, A.C.E.; and the music is composed by DARIO MARIANELLI.

    V For Vendetta is a United Kingdom-Germany co-production.

    V For Vendetta will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    Nick - I live and do business in the UK and I simply do not recocgnise the country you describe or most of your characterisations. It is widely acknowledged the the UK is THE most controlled country in the entire world with only such regimes as Myanmar and North Korea having more restrictive freedoms enshrined in law.

    Some facts:-

    A fifth of the world's CCTV cameras are in the UK and the average person is caught on film 300 times a day.

    A network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years. "The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts."

    The police have access to advanced travel details on more than 40 million passengers a year who travel on domestic flights and ferries within Britain. I know as my airline has to provide this data.

    A new EU directive "requires every telephone company and internet service provider (ISP) to save call records and internet logs up to two years", supposedly in order to "aid law enforcement". The information that will be stored includes details of numbers dialled, call duration and location, websites visited and header information on emails. The UK is ahead of the game here.

    ID cards are voluntary? town hall officials will be asked to police the scheme by using the Electoral Register to identify homes and individuals without cards. "The register will be cross-checked against the proposed Identity Card Database. Those who fail to register for a card or to keep their details up to date when, for example, they change address, face fines of up to £2,500." Were you in the UK at the time of the poll tax riots? You aint seen nothin yet... (oops that could be construed as incitment to riot. can I expect a midnight "knock on the door"?)

    Andy Burnham, the Home Office minister, said in a parliamentary written answer that there were 'no plans to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in ID cards'. However, a leaked letter from Mr Burnham indicates that the chips will use radio frequencies to allow "contactless" reading of the card by special scanners."

    You DO need permision from the police to demonstrate; the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which bans "unauthorised" free speech within a one-mile radius of Westminster. The maximum penalty for this heinous crime is a week short of a year in prison. An unelected police officer will use his/her judgment as to what is acceptable.

    The NHS is building a database of everyone's medical history to which, it is believed, MI5 will have access.

    I could go on and on.....but to illustrate the rule of unintended consequences; this week is snowed in North Wales. The Chief Constable issued a diktat that anyone throwing snowballs be arrested. Their DNA would be sampled.They would go on a database. THese are the kind people in charge of our individual freedoms...


    I also have friends working in the renewables field and they tell me how the UK is so far behind Germany that it is embarassing.

    As for your view that the Thatcher regime cleared the "dead wood" of the old industrial cities I don't think even die hard tories still believe that one.

    The mining communities have not regenerated. Many of the valley towns in South Wales have as much as 47% of people on dissability allowances. I remember in the '80's when in my home town of Liverpool factory after factory closed down. 1,500 jobs, 2,000, 3,000 week after week after week and always on a Friday as that ensured the news was lost nationally in the weekend. So many lives were destroyed, so many families ruined and it is really sad that you so glibly dismiss all that went on in those days. It's unforgivable.

    Liverpool remains one of Europe's poorest cities and is a European Objective One city for that reason. The Capital of Culture is a smoke screen to obscure the lack of real industry and commerce being established here. Most people here work for the government.

    Don't get me wrong - I firmly believe that our problems are self created and I'm one of those actively campaining for a directly elected mayor (ala New York City) as a start to sorting the city out.

    I don't think there is a conspiracy to suppress our freedoms (i hope there isn't) but little by little and perhaps even with good intentions we have arrived at that stage and still it continues. The congestion charge was a scheme with well defined objectives and may broadly be described as working. However, just yesterday the police suggested that the technolgy be broadened to enable individuals inside vehicles talking on moblile phones whilst driving to be identified. I think its called "mission creep". See how these things develop?
    The sad thing is, its individuals like yourself that make the freedom of speech camp look ridiculous - comparing the UK to the likes of Myanmar or North Korea is a large joke and its because of ridiculous comparisons that extreme right wingers will resort to the 'looney left' argument thus paving way for more erosion of our freedoms. My last post clearly illustrates this and debunks such idiotic myths.

    Firstly there is nothing wrong with CCTV's unless they have been used for devious purposes which to my knowledge they haven't. You might get weirdos putting them in changing rooms and the like but thats illegal as it is. I give the example of London Transport, where vandalisim and attacks on staff and passengers has been cut because culprits have been caught clearly on CCTV, arrested and then sentenced thus stopping them from committing further acts of crime that cause delays on London's trains and buses. The result has been higher staff moral, higher punctuality and efficiency (as less buses are out of action due to vandalism damage) and higher passenger usage of the transport network.

    That sounds a lot like the current speed camera situation which has might I add actively reduced accidents and fatalities on Britains roads and decreased reckless speeding.

    Well if you fly within Britain then you should be ashamed (unless you are coming down from Scotland)! That aside, this is more to do with the fact that British airspace is amongst the busiest in the world: the CAA needs to know exactly where you are going so that you don't end up flying into a intercontinental flight. London's 5 international airports alone handle as many air passengers as those that use either all the French or German airports. I believe the UK as a whole has something lik as many air passengers as France and Germany combined....but in an area far smaller. Thus there has to be a clear hierarchy to ensure collisions do not happen. You can't for example take your private plane and decide to fly to London, because you need to ensure that national air traffic control has your flight path secured. Christ - could you imagine if we didn't: the chances of mid-air collisions would be far too numerous.

    I'm unsure about domestic ferrys - I don't need to say give info of my trip between Gosport and Portsmouth, I just pay the fee and cross. The Coastguard is well aware of these ship movements to ensure that there aren't collisions with Navy ships, fishing boats, other ferries or container ships which plough the same routes....afterall I live in a city which is home to the world's 2nd largest navy, a container and continental ferry port, several large marinas (including 2 of the largest in the UK) as well as the busy mainland-Isle of Wight catamaran, hovercraft and vehicle ferry services! You'd hope the Coastguard have details of the exact number of ships ploughing through the water, especially as the mouth to Portmouth Harbour is less than 100m wide! The English Channel also happens to be the busiest water route in the world serving some of the largest container ports in the world.

    You can't arrest those who commit spam, actively pursue child pornography if you don't actually have evidence which could be wiped or tracks covered by the individual in question. That said this information is not used against us: I don't get a message popping up telling me that I've spent to much time on a forum, or anything like that. They aren't even using the information, just storing it so that if a case came up against person A involved in paeophilic acts, that they can trace their activities to build up a case to ensure that they are actively got a rock solid case against them rather than a flimsy case which coud lead to this individual going underground and continue his dirty acts. Also the information could be used to track 'friends' who might be into the same sort of crap....but if you havent been looking at child porn or been sending millions of spam e-mails...the information wont be used, or can't be: the government doesn't have anywhere and never will have the resources to go through all our information.

    Well there wouldn't be much point in it being voluntary, because a NHS tourist could claim to not have one - it would be a waste of money. There won't be riots over ID Cards, there will be over the cost though and I suspect if you can't get it lower the government won't bother. Unless you attack people, damage property or infringe upon the free movement of other people then I don't see how you would be getting a 'knock on the door'.

    Well I'm all for a contactless card: cut down on waste of resources and limits the chance of fraud and corruption of multiple databases by multiple individuals from multiple sources. That would actually cut in infringements on liberties. Its why we've got the Oyster Card in London - moves totally away from the ticket machines which at the moment are aging, require more maintenance and is a large reason why prices are slightly higher on normal cards. Also Oytser Cards are 'pay as you go', so you have greater choice over where you go rather than a plain paper card which . An interesting development is that this information can be used to create a transport network that is responsive to the concerns of the travelling public: ie you can map lines or routes that are over-congested, etc... and employ resources to combat this problem. The result has been that priority zones that are now easier to identify can have funding allocated and work started meaning transport in London has improved. Infact we should all be aiming towards a national Oyster Card because its so efficient. In Japan, the cards are integrated into mobile phones along with e-money, meaing people pay for items using their contactless cards and use it on the transport network. By 2007, the Oyster Card will also be able to be used to pay for goods at a newsagents or shops. By 2010, the entire heavy rail network of London (1,200+ stations) will most likely have adopted Oyster cards. New York I believe is in the works of a similar system, which I believe will start operation later this year but only on PATH and New Jersey Transit and not the New York Subway.

    I'm unsure exactly what MI5 would gain from knowing our medical history....maybe they are creating a device that will wipe our memories to stop us thinking of free thoughts. Get real - the NHS, our doctors and other doctors around the world have had medical records on us for decades for the simple fact that they use it to diagnose us. When you go to the doctor and complain of a chest pain, the doctor can check your medical history to see what antibiotics you might have alergic reactions to or past symptoms which might be the result of a much larger and serious problem. Looking at historical records of your family it could be possible to note that they all suffered from a rare lung cancer, but without these records you'd have to rely on word of mouth to ensure that the right diagnose is given! I can't think of any country that has a healthcare systems which doesn't keep records. As a geographer who has taken a few lectures in Health and Geography, data which you identify is used to acknowledge that there have been a breakdown of procedures at Sellafield and the result has been higher levels of cancers in the surrounding area. Health trusts and the NHS can combat rising problems of poor health by allocating funds to specific treatments that are then allocated to the areas that need them. This happens elsewhere on the continent and explains why European health care systems are amongst the finest on the planet.

    MI5 aren't the people we should be worried about, its insurance companies gaining access to our genetic information and profiling people before they have even been born. Thankfully that is something that would never happen because nobody would stand for it.

    I don't believe people should be arrested for throwing snowballs, unless its deliberately at cars on a motorway which could cause accidents or at people and property if stones or other objects are encased within the snow, etc...

    The incident you are refurring to is about a boy who chucked a snowball at someone which knocked their teeth out, he was arrested and then released on police bail. Are you suggesting that people should get away with throwing snowballs at people that actually cause physical harm and it would appear that those that don't cause harm to others won't be arrested. Get your facts straight instead of distorting the picture.

    The UK lags behind Europe when it comes to recycling, but is rapidly developing into a renewable energy (wind, wave, etc...) based economy. This will be behind the likes of smaller countries like Denmark and Iceland though who have far larger access to renewable energies, but Britain will have a far larger renewable base compared to say France and even Germany. 50% is a large figure for a large economy like Britain. The world's largest off-shore wind farm is going to be built in the Thames Estuary (the farm will be the size of Manhattan) with each turbine being over 100m in height.

    I'm not saying that somehow that it was all happy, but that had it not been done then, it would be happening now and the damage would be far harder to manage. Unemployment would be far higher, the UK wouldn't have moved towards finance, business services and the knowledge economy meaning the average Brit would be far poorer.

    Liverpool isn't exactly rich, but neither is any British city but now that is all changing - Liverpool is now a Capital of Culture, its economy is expanding thanks to new high-tech industries, retailing, the knowledge economy and business and financial services and its population is growing. The Capital of Culture is not a smokescreen: its a European honour handed out to cities that have and continue to make significant cultural contributions. Liverpool is rivalling Manchester as a new skyscraper centre and its designs are far nicer. Between 1995-2001, the GVA for Liverpool rose 6.3% per annum (London grew at 5.7%), while job growth was 9.2% between 1998-2002. I'd consider that a success.

    Outside international observers, eg Freedom Houses' indexes clearly show the opposite with Britain becoming more free over the last 20 years, not less. Your comparison with Myanmar, etc... are severly flawed and will be used against yourself and others by the far right to dismiss your claims and then proclaim that further actions should be taken to correct these gaps. Lucky for you I don't actually wish for more constraints.

    The UK already has a low number of road accidents and fatalities compared to the US (per passenger km, etc...), Europe and other nations, but too many people still are injured and killed on our roads. People talking on moble phones are distracting themselves while driving which has been proven to be the reason behind many accidents in the UK. This is now illegal and I see no problem as to why it shouldn't be used to catch these sort of individuals out! Unless of course you believe it is a right to talk on the phone while driving and putting yourself and others at risk? Pure madness!

  7. #37

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    The technology talked about previously where people on mobile phones could be caught by using cameras which are used to take pictures of those caught speeding caught this individual....She had no hands on the wheel because in one hand she had eyeliner and had compact in the other. She wasn't speeding, but she was driving at 32mph. It so happened that she was serving a 20-month driving ban for drink driving which had just been imposed a week earlier!

    Taken from the BBC New article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/4785686.stm


  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    The sad thing is, its individuals like yourself that make the freedom of speech camp look ridiculous - comparing the UK to the likes of Myanmar or North Korea is a large joke and its because of ridiculous comparisons that extreme right wingers will resort to the 'looney left' argument thus paving way for more erosion of our freedoms. My last post clearly illustrates this and debunks such idiotic myths.
    Nick - you misunderstand the rationale for tracking movements; it is not that of aircraft movement rather the tracking of INDIVIDUALS movements that we are required to report.

    The is local airport ATC congestion in the London terminal areas at certain times of the day and year but in general there is no ATC congestion and what there is slowly being remedied by “free flight” initiatives.

    Of course working in the airline industry I am may appear biased but I can provide independent data which Challenges assumptions about railways' green superiority. The weight and fuel requirements of trains have increased to the point where rail will become the least energy-efficient form of transport. Trains had failed to keep up with the motor and aviation industries in reducing fuel needs. i.e. Virgin's SuperVoyager rolling-stock is around 40 per cent heavier per seat than the ageing 125s it replaced and tilting Pendolino trains are reckoned to weigh more per seat than the forthcoming Airbus A380 double-decker.

    An express train travelling between London and Edinburgh consume slightly more fuel per seat (the equivalent of 11.5 litres) than a modern diesel-powered car making the same journey. The car's superiority rises dramatically when compared with trains travelling at up to 215mph. Assuming the continuing dominance of fossil fuel-based electricity, French TGV-style rolling-stock would require twice as much fuel per seat as a Volkswagen Passat, and more than a short-haul aircraft. As 50% of UK electricity is coal derived it can realistically be said that the UK’s so called “green electric” train are still cola powered. Further – the pollution of those generators is dumped in the immediate area with unknown impact on the locality whereas aircraft disperse their pollution over a wide area.

    Diesel powered trains which by far form the majority of trains in the UK fare even worse in terms kg/CO2/km as well as carcinogenic particulates. For shorter sub-150 mile journeys this pollution/energy deficit is amplified as these trains run stop/start operations and for most of the day operate at sub optimum load factors.

    In short – for distances greater than 100 miles, aircraft are slightly more polluting than a fully occupied diesel car but less polluting than a high speed train. They are not heavily subsidised by the tax payer and also have less noise impact. Don’t make the mistake I did and book a relaxing week in the South of France within two miles of a TGV track. Want to know what one sounds like? Imagine a thousand tonnes of glass being dropped for the top of the Empire State Building hitting the ground.

    In social terms, they are also affordable; a walk up fare for a 200 mile train journey is between £180 and £290 for 1st class. LCC’s equivalent would be £34. Only the wealthy can afford to take the train and even then they are subsidised by the less wealthy. I am proud to be in the (LCC) airline biz and to paraphrase Popeye Doyle – “..i’d rather be a lamp post in New York than part of the rail industry”!!!!

    There was a case in Liverpool recently were council employees were using CCTV cameras to spy on a single woman in her apartment. Facial recognition software in South London has not produced any verifiable impact on crime there and studies show that where cameras exist it simply displaces crime to areas where they are not present. Of course the cliché goes that Mussolini made the trains run on time….

    Knock on the door? An elderly couple who were harassed by local youths asked the police for protection. They got no response until one night there was a “knock on the door”. The police came – but not to deal with the local kids but to caution the couple whose crime was to ask the local council to put their church literature alongside that place in council offices for sexual diversity. In short – the police wanted to know what they think, not what they did.

    Smart Cards are great an we are attempting to introduce them instead of paper tickets and boarding passes but they are VOLUNTARY!

    I’m not sure why MI5 want all our medical histories. It’s an OFFICIAL SECRET….

    The Taliban banned kite flying. Brunstrom, Chief Constable in question bans snowballs. He also advocates blanket speed cameras. Meanwhile, his force detects just 6% of burglaries. He ordered a change in uniform to one resembling Mosely's black shirts. His police also behave like the stereotypical southern “red neck” police you see in movies; I have met them….

    I wish I knew of these financial and knowledge centres you speak of replacing industry. In Liverpool and other local cities there are plenty of call centres but these are now moving to India en mass. As I said, there is a massive expansion of government jobs which I am opposed to in principal – hardly a loony lefty me!

    Liverpool City Council has a moratorium on tall buildings which we are trying to fight.

    Liverpool’s GDP is STILL 73% of the EU average afar 14 years of £100’s millions of EU Objective one money.

    Of course the Capital of Culture is seen by some as an honour but to me its patronising in the extreme to be "awarded" such a thing by a bunch of self appointed, self important indivduals working for yet another quango. Without googling can you say who is this years captial of culture? next years?

    The caught on camera example you cited whilst being hilarious (yet misogynistic) was that rare example of a traffic patrol car capturing someone. Fixed cameras have largely displaced traffic police but how can a camera detect DUI? I bet a camera didn't catch her DUI. The abitrary nature of traffic camers has led to todays annoncement that 1 MILLION drivers are just one offence away from being banned form driving. Also – as any cop will tell you, they stop people largely through intuition; remember the Yorkshire Ripper was caught by a traffic patrol.

    The comparison with i.e. Myanmar is apt; already the UK government has drawn up plans for marshal law for when bird flu strikes. The surveillance state will be empowered further by more technological based restrictions on freedom that can be used when a political party feels threatened for whatever circumstance they deem fit. Why are they so afraid of us?

    I’m not paranoid – I just think less government is better and I value my privacy and freedoms. The congestion charge IS the thin end of the wedge and its success has given too many officials a hard on as to what else technology can be used for by government….
    Last edited by Marksix; March 10th, 2006 at 09:11 AM.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    Nick - you misunderstand the rationale for tracking movements; it is not that of aircraft movement rather the tracking of INDIVIDUALS movements that we are required to report.

    The is local airport ATC congestion in the London terminal areas at certain times of the day and year but in general there is no ATC congestion and what there is slowly being remedied by “free flight” initiatives.

    Of course working in the airline industry I am may appear biased but I can provide independent data which Challenges assumptions about railways' green superiority. The weight and fuel requirements of trains have increased to the point where rail will become the least energy-efficient form of transport. Trains had failed to keep up with the motor and aviation industries in reducing fuel needs. i.e. Virgin's SuperVoyager rolling-stock is around 40 per cent heavier per seat than the ageing 125s it replaced and tilting Pendolino trains are reckoned to weigh more per seat than the forthcoming Airbus A380 double-decker.

    An express train travelling between London and Edinburgh consume slightly more fuel per seat (the equivalent of 11.5 litres) than a modern diesel-powered car making the same journey. The car's superiority rises dramatically when compared with trains travelling at up to 215mph. Assuming the continuing dominance of fossil fuel-based electricity, French TGV-style rolling-stock would require twice as much fuel per seat as a Volkswagen Passat, and more than a short-haul aircraft. As 50% of UK electricity is coal derived it can realistically be said that the UK’s so called “green electric” train are still cola powered. Further – the pollution of those generators is dumped in the immediate area with unknown impact on the locality whereas aircraft disperse their pollution over a wide area.

    Diesel powered trains which by far form the majority of trains in the UK fare even worse in terms kg/CO2/km as well as carcinogenic particulates. For shorter sub-150 mile journeys this pollution/energy deficit is amplified as these trains run stop/start operations and for most of the day operate at sub optimum load factors.

    In short – for distances greater than 100 miles, aircraft are slightly more polluting than a fully occupied diesel car but less polluting than a high speed train. They are not heavily subsidised by the tax payer and also have less noise impact. Don’t make the mistake I did and book a relaxing week in the South of France within two miles of a TGV track. Want to know what one sounds like? Imagine a thousand tonnes of glass being dropped for the top of the Empire State Building hitting the ground.

    In social terms, they are also affordable; a walk up fare for a 200 mile train journey is between £180 and £290 for 1st class. LCC’s equivalent would be £34. Only the wealthy can afford to take the train and even then they are subsidised by the less wealthy. I am proud to be in the (LCC) airline biz and to paraphrase Popeye Doyle – “..i’d rather be a lamp post in New York than part of the rail industry”!!!!

    There was a case in Liverpool recently were council employees were using CCTV cameras to spy on a single woman in her apartment. Facial recognition software in South London has not produced any verifiable impact on crime there and studies show that where cameras exist it simply displaces crime to areas where they are not present. Of course the cliché goes that Mussolini made the trains run on time….

    Knock on the door? An elderly couple who were harassed by local youths asked the police for protection. They got no response until one night there was a “knock on the door”. The police came – but not to deal with the local kids but to caution the couple whose crime was to ask the local council to put their church literature alongside that place in council offices for sexual diversity. In short – the police wanted to know what they think, not what they did.

    Smart Cards are great an we are attempting to introduce them instead of paper tickets and boarding passes but they are VOLUNTARY!

    I’m not sure why MI5 want all our medical histories. It’s an OFFICIAL SECRET….

    The Taliban banned kite flying. Brunstrom, Chief Constable in question bans snowballs. He also advocates blanket speed cameras. Meanwhile, his force detects just 6% of burglaries. He ordered a change in uniform to one resembling Mosely's black shirts. His police also behave like the stereotypical southern “red neck” police you see in movies; I have met them….

    I wish I knew of these financial and knowledge centres you speak of replacing industry. In Liverpool and other local cities there are plenty of call centres but these are now moving to India en mass. As I said, there is a massive expansion of government jobs which I am opposed to in principal – hardly a loony lefty me!

    Liverpool City Council has a moratorium on tall buildings which we are trying to fight.

    Liverpool’s GDP is STILL 73% of the EU average afar 14 years of £100’s millions of EU Objective one money.

    Of course the Capital of Culture is seen by some as an honour but to me its patronising in the extreme to be "awarded" such a thing by a bunch of self appointed, self important indivduals working for yet another quango. Without googling can you say who is this years captial of culture? next years?

    The caught on camera example you cited whilst being hilarious (yet misogynistic) was that rare example of a traffic patrol car capturing someone. Fixed cameras have largely displaced traffic police but how can a camera detect DUI? I bet a camera didn't catch her DUI. The abitrary nature of traffic camers has led to todays annoncement that 1 MILLION drivers are just one offence away from being banned form driving. Also – as any cop will tell you, they stop people largely through intuition; remember the Yorkshire Ripper was caught by a traffic patrol.

    The comparison with i.e. Myanmar is apt; already the UK government has drawn up plans for marshal law for when bird flu strikes. The surveillance state will be empowered further by more technological based restrictions on freedom that can be used when a political party feels threatened for whatever circumstance they deem fit. Why are they so afraid of us?

    I’m not paranoid – I just think less government is better and I value my privacy and freedoms. The congestion charge IS the thin end of the wedge and its success has given too many officials a hard on as to what else technology can be used for by government….
    You've got to be kidding me to think that you could somehow think you could either take a boat and sail it down say Portsmouth Harbour or along the English Channel (busiest shipping route in the world) without informing the Coastguard:
    a) If you get into trouble they can more accurately pinpoint your location and get to you rather than take hours trying to scan the entire area
    b) Stop collisions by ensuring corridors are free for larger ships, eg cruise liners, naval vessels or container ships, others for fast vessels like catamarans and hovercraft, others for the coastguard to be able to patrol the waters without interference and others for leisure craft, fishing boats, etc... If you don't have proper path/corridors, the chances of a collision increase drastically - its been like this for decades and the result has been lower fatalities from collisions.


    Its the same with air traffic: you can't just take your cessna willy nilly over London without consulting air traffic control. They might deny you the airspace as its currently full of Boeing 747's....but that isn't because its a restriction of your freedom, but to stop accidents happening! Civillian aircraft don't have radar - the pilots rely on air traffic control and their own eyes.

    I'd consider 130mppa+ London bound/departing (excluding other US-European flights) above London to be congested - there are more large planes above London than any other city in the world. London is served by more 747's than any other, while this will continue with the new A380's - you can't risk the chance of people flying wherever they want because not only could you kill yourself, but hundreds of others. I think John Travolta only a few weeks back tried something stupid like cutting up a plane on descent into LAX: hundreds of people could have died had he made a mistake on his descent.


    Trains less fuel efficient than planes? Not even the bulky US commuter trains are as bad at fuel consumption as the average plane are! A Eurostar train handles as many people as two B747's, but has a carbon footprint 15x less than that of a single B747. A plane consumes more energy on going down a runway for takeoff, than most commuter trains (which can carry tens of thousands over the course of a single route) do on a single journey!

    A major fact is that the vast majority of trains within the UK aren't diesel but electric: third rail or overhead: around 85% of UK rail passengers use electrified rail services (the vast majority being in and around London). Once you factor this point in, planes drop off the scale very rapidly.

    Do you even know what a plane sounds like? Where do you think planes get their fuel from? You only have to look at the health problems related with people around Heathrow to note that tens of thousands suffer, while far less do so with trains. You also don't get anywhere as near as the problem in decibels as a plane than a train. Another thing is while trains currently source energy from renewable sources such as wind and wave, planes can not. Also due to the UK's movement towards more renewables, the percentage of trains running on wind and wave electricity will dramatically increas.

    Trains on average are far less polluting and less noisy than planes. What other crazy idea are you going to bring up?


    Although I use low cost carriers, I still prefer Eurostar and I'm a student: its less noisy, less hassle, quicker, more comfortable, has better food and better amenities.

    Socially, airports tear up vast areas of our cities and countries and have far more negative impacts upon hundreds of thousands of people who are unfortunate to live under flightpaths. Environmentally they are catastrophes, while economically they handle far less people....there are single stations in London that alone handle more people than all of London's aviation traffic which itself is larger than the entire aviation traffic of either France or Germany.


    CCTV alone does not solve or completely stop crime. Lighting accompanied with CCTV does work though - thats why crime tends to be lower in the UK than on the continent.


    I watched the programme that you are referring to...but it wasn't a balanced programme and because of that its hard to paint an overall picture of a country far larger than the complaints of one or two people who have had wrongs committed against them.


    Oystercards could essentially be seen as not being voluntary, in the sense the old card methods are being forcibly phased out because they are less efficient, cost more and aren't effective for a modern London.


    Yes of course, its an 'official secret' that MI5 want our medical histories....any other crackpot delusional conspiracy theories? Trying to fabricate facts is a low tactic used by many ideologies to gain an upper hand on the others and you've just played that card.


    Again incorrect, he isn't banning snowballing. He is arresting/questioning those that use snowballing to commit bodily harm and not those that are having fun. That is a major difference and illustrates your view of trying to paint a society of no-fun, state control when in reality, you can throw snowballs, as long as you don't intentionally throw a snowball that ends up hurting someone (and you'd have to be pulling my leg if you didn't think knocking several teeth out from a snowball isn't intentional).


    Funny that you should talk about Brunstrom and speed cameras.... I scanned this in some time ago for something else....on the one side you have pro-camera, the other anti-camera. Do you notice a correlation with the two AND the study areas: speed cameras reduce speeding and serious fatalities. How is that wrong? Speed cameras it could be argued are saving people and their freedoms. Yet this is all becoming far to similar: you produce a crazy theory, I debunk it.





    Major growth in government-related jobs in the regions is due a shift from Whitehall in London. That said the knowledge economy, financial and business services clearly show Liverpool performing pretty well: government isn't everything.

    Wasn't 20 years ago, Liverpool something like 60% behind the European GDP per capita - that would highlight a massive improvement! Liverpool is now he 61st richest city in Europe and there are what - several hundred European cities...and that isn't an improvement? What a laugh! Also many European cities are different to British cities due to the spread of economic wealth not being wholly concentrated in the city itself but in the surrounding areas - a bit like in the US, but not to such an extent.


    You might find it patronising, but its an honour not dished out lightly: cities have to actively compete to work towards achieving this status! Do you have some fetish in trying to show that Liverpool is somehow a wreck when its clearly the opposite?


    What is so wrong in 1mn people being close to being banned from driving? There is a reason why there is a points system: if you continue to disobey the Highway Code then you get points put on your licence. Everyone might be unlucky once and get some points, but those that manage to tally up various motoring offences and then do get a final tally that bans them: SHOULD be banned. What example would that be setting if people that should be banned didn't get banned? Legalised carmageddon? People speeding because no matter how many points they get: they won't be banned? What next - commit 10 murders and then you might be considered for jail. The society you believe in is something close to anarchy!


    Well because plans have been drawn up to ensure that there isn't an en-masse breakout amongst birds by ensuring the population don't spread the problem...doesn't mean the UK is like Myanmar. Infact many other European countries have already gone one step further by bringing the military in to curb the problem eg France and Germany - does that make them worse than Myanmar because they have actually put policies in place to restrict further contamination, while the UK hasn't actually done anything - other than plan for the worst case scenario which may never happen? Its clear that the UK is nothing like Myanmar - infact its one of the most democratic and free countries in the world and not only that: its actually becoming more free! I do query though as to whether you have actually been to Myanmar or Rangoon like myself (I was born and brought up in the region)?


    The clear sign of paranoia is denial of paranoia when nobody here (including myself) mentioned it....




    To sum up your last post:


    You: Don't believe that there is any air traffic congestion over London
    Reality: Near misses are a daily occurance, its getting more crowded and this isn't helped by indivdiduals wishing to fly willy nilly inbetween intercontinental jets

    You: Believe planes are more sustainable than trains
    Reality: Most UK trains run on electricity which can an is (increasingly) being derived from renewable sources, while planes will never be able to achieve this unless some miracle happens in the long-term

    You: Believe planes to be socially rewarding
    Reality: More people have been able to fly, but they are economically, environmentally and socially damaging under mid-long haul flights. Hundreds of thousands live under flight paths, while many others health is severly affected by planes. Economically they consume far more land than say a possible maglev station, yet transport far less people

    You: CCTV cameras are bad
    Reality: There are checks and laws in place to ensure that inproper usage is dealt with, while vandalism and crime on London transport is on the decrease after CCTV identifications across the transport network

    You: Believe that MI5 wants our medical records for some unknown reason because its meant to be a 'secret'
    Reality: MI5 has no need for our medical records while we need these records though within the NHS to ensure treatment is more effective and less painful.

    You: Believe snowballing has been banned
    Reality: This is false, snowballing is not illegal, but those that commit harm, eg breaking several teeth should not be allowed to get away

    You: Believe speed cameras to be bad
    Reality: Speed cameras have been shown to not only reduce speeding, but accidents and fatalities

    You: Believe Liverpool is somehow worse off
    Reality: Liverpool has been performing exceptionally well compared to most other European cities and has seen above UK growth per capita, a growing population, as well as booming employment and being crowned European Capital of Culture

    You: Believe drivers who have committed multiple traffic violations shouldn't be banned if they get enough points
    Reality: That defeats the whole purpose of the system: to stop people breaking the speed limit and could mean many cases of where individuals who have sped and killed others could be let off or not be punished because it would not be illegal to speed

    You: Compare Britain to Myanmar
    Reality: Britain is actually becoming more 'free', with ever increasing press freedoms and scoring the highest marks possible when it comes to political rights, civil libertis and freedom status

    You: Claim to not be paranoid
    Reality: I actually think you are (as can be clearly seen from your posts) and you're denting the liberal cause by fabricating information to try and support your stance. Your result will only to be forcing people to the far-right and thus creating deep divides within Britian - maybe though this is your goal afterall?




    Every point you make, I can easily break down. You not only make yourself look like a fool (in front of the actual news reports, facts and figures) but shame the entire liberal legacy. You should be ashamed.

    Now like I keep reminding....back to the London Congestion Charge....

  10. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    Now....back to the London Congestion Charge....
    About exhausted.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    About exhausted.
    I quite agree - this guy is is very confussed!

    Let's leave it here and move on.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    I quite agree - this guy is is very confussed!

    Let's leave it here and move on.
    How can we leave it though when in the previous sentence you note me as being "confused" when clearly I have a larger grasp over the socio-political-economic factors within the UK and have clearly deconstructed all your points systematically without hesitation or requirement to fabricate points to somehow uphold my idea.

    I didn't study several years of Government & Politics to listen to tripe from individuals like yourself that claim to be liberal but act in their own interests.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    individuals like yourself that claim to be liberal but act in their own interests.
    And whose interest do true liberals act in?

  14. #44

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    It doesn't matter what ideology it is, power is always the goal. All ideologies have different pathways towards achieving or attaining this goal, individually or collectively.

    In other words a bad liberal can be as bad as a bad socialist or bad conservative. You can also have though good liberals, good socialists and good conservatives. Marksix is a bad liberal who is almost giving the impression of making liberals in Britain look like deluded crazed individuals. He also doesn't seem capable of grasping the workings of British politics, as is evident from all the posts here which have torn apart his factless and foundless argument.

  15. #45
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    sorry for being a bad liberal - i do try

    here's another "fact" for you; Dr John Reid, minister that WAS in charge of road policy/road charging scheme is now head of the discredited home office and more to the point, responsible for implementing the sinsiter ID card and database state which he enthusiastically promotes.

    In 1973 Dr John Reid, a former trade union leader, at the height of the cold war, little more than ten years after the Cuban missile crisis and witnessing the crushing of the Hungarian uprising by soviet forces, three years after Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was awared the Nobel literature prize for such works as "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" and "Gulag Archipelago" joined the communist party.

    When he tells us there is no sinister intent behind the Labour Party's ID card and surveillence state and that "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" one might ponder if the fellow inmates of Solzhenitsyn and all of the current inmates of Britain's and America's gulags had anything to hide and anything to fear.

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