Boris Johnson

The Leavers say thank you!

Brexit means exit for two significant politicos.

Boris gives the Remainers a headache. Boris gives the Remainers a headache.
During the Brexit referendum campaign many alliances were made and new friends found. No doubt for the Remainers this is awkward, it brings back the memories and the hurt, but for the Leavers it's different. We are getting back to normal catching up on jobs in the garden and around the house and planning a little 'thank you' party sometime soon. It's in this mood we say thank you to two characters who have in their own and very different ways made a huge contribution to the referendum result.

First Boris Johnson. One of the features of the result is that the political establishment went into this referendum secure in the knowledge they would win. How did they know this? Because they had asked people who they could trust to tell them what they wanted to hear. Then proving their stupidity they believed it. In other words having started out rather detached from political reality they enhanced their isolation. Now Johnson has never been detached from public life in the same way that other politicians are, it's as if he defies gravity and more besides. He does as he pleases and the public like him for this.

His contribution to the Leavers was immense. He raised spirits and gave hope in a way no other politician from either side of the debate did. His critics will say he peddled lies about the EU.

Transport, jobs and politics, are we on the right track?

Cameron is in another fine mess of his own making

BREL built locoBREL built loco
The news about the problems at locomotive builder Bombardier leading to the closure of the Derby works brought forth a range or reactions; the ritual gnashing of teeth being the one the MSM liked best. However, the first wave of reporting left out as much of this story as it reported. A typical MSM headline talking about Bombardier as 'the UK's last train maker' was not an incorrect statement but it would be wrong to try to pass off Bombardier as the last British train maker, for it is an enormous Canadian company. So the 1,400 jobs at the Derby HQ, while vital to Derbyshire, are perhaps no more than natural employee flows over the whole of the company on a global basis.

Thinking aloud, should it be, allowed?

Was it better years ago, before climate change?

Ford Popular, like the horse, ideal in the snowFord Popular, like the horse, ideal in the snow
Winter, a disaster for some but an opportunity for others? So here we are, not even the New Year yet but the weather has brought us down. In countries with a tradition of very low temperatures there is the concept of 'cabin fever'. This affects people who stay inside from the fall of the first snow until spring and, as a result of their self imposed imprisonment, they go a bit mad. Oh dear I hear you say! Remembering that 'stay inside' is the advice of the 'authorities', of all stripes, who don't wish you to experience their ineptitude first hand. In an age of air travel a larger than ever number of UK residents have had experience of winter in countries where a lot of snow is to be expected. I have watched snow blowers at a small rural airport in Canada clear a runway in a blizzard so a mid-sized Boeing jet could take off. It was -20C and just minutes after take off the runway was again covered. The journey to and from the airport was done in a small Toyota with snow tyres and was both safe and done at a reasonable speed. By contrast we have all seen the pictures of life in the UK, even gritting lorries have gone into ditches; from the top to the bottom of the great pyramid of public servants it seems hard to find anyone able to do it right. Years ago it was deemed reasonable to suggest we have in the UK "the wrong kind of snow". Increasingly it looks as if we have, as a nation, the wrong sort of attitude and the wrong sort of public servant too.

The new London bus

Taking the public for a ride, and other stories

New London bus New London bus
Nearly there, the new London bus takes another step closer to production and the streets of the capital. When Boris Johnson started on the campaign trail to be Mayor of London he made a lot of comments about bendy buses. As a well known cyclist Johnson came out with phrases like "being scraped to paste", this had a meaning understood by fellow cyclists' who have feared the things since their introduction.

Other people may have thought his comments had an ideological element to them as it was his predecessor, Ken Livingstone who had introduced the continental styled, and built, 'bendies' to London. Initial fears were that this would be too much of a good thing and a flop were routinely expressed. On this blog the bus, its design and manufacture were discussed HERE.

All could be well as the bus will be built in Ballemena, Northern Ireland by Wrightbus. This is a family run business and a success few people will have heard about. It currently employs about 1,000 staff and could expand to meet the London order. Ironically Wrightbus is a manufacturer and exporter of bendy buses! The company is privately run and warrants comparison with the DeLorean sports car project.

Listen to the things our Prime Minister says

And the difference between a prison and a trap is?

One can, one can'tOne can, one can't
Does our PM need help and advice with his PR? It is a well know fact that before leading this nation to the sunny uplands David Cameron worked in public relations. Mind you that was a long time ago, has he lost his touch? The question arises as the PM and his deputy have jointly written to the cabinet before it goes off on its summer break - "Dear colleague".... it starts. It's the letter a boss sends to his 'team', designed to both thank and buck-them-up. There's plenty to rake over but one line sticks out -

Our government’s purpose is to make two major shifts in our political and national life: The first is a radical redistribution of power from government to communities and people, to reverse decades of over-centralisation.

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