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5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - May's Brexit plan rais... · 0 replies · +1 points

Don't worry. There is zero chance of the EU agreeing to her proposals. Then it will be their fault when things go bad for all the Euro economies as well as ours and their power will be reduced. The member states led by Germany will then take over the negotiations.....

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Redwood: Fewer tr... · 0 replies · +1 points

On bus lanes I was involved in a transport debate in WInchester 20 years ago, and I was up against a spokesman from Friends of the Earth called Gerald. I mentioned bus lanes and said that some of them made sense because they smoothed the flow of traffic when buses were stopping all the time, but that ones which continued up to the junction/lights made things worse because they reduced the total traffic flow. Gerald's somewhat unguarded response was that of course bus lanes were about removing road space from cars, not about helping buses. He almost ridiculed the idea that any bus lanes could be a positive win win measure.

As a direct result of that comment I won the debate by 96% - 4% - an unbelievable result (imagine if the Brexit vote had been like that)

This story is terrifying for our democracy - this Gerald and his organisation were part of a group of NGOs working closely with all levels of Government to cement a raft of anti car policies in place. He was so unused to any dissent from this anti car mantra that he regarded his outrageous statement about bus lanes as completely non controversial. He seemed astounded by the reaction of the people in the room. FoE also went on record saying that speed limits should be reduced far below what was reasonable from a safety perspective in order to take the glamour out of motoring and promote a modal shift into walking and cycling.

What astounds me is how easily these people get away with this - the media seem too frightened of their emotional blackmail to call them out

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - John Redwood: Fewer tr... · 0 replies · +1 points

So true - even in London, I believe bus occupancy is 14 on average - Ken Livingstone put a lot of effort into increasing this from 12 to 14 and its never been higher even in the heyday of buses. Dont get me wrong I like buses, I'm a geek on all forms of transportation, but you cant force people onto solutions that simply don't work. Transport needs have changed as everything becomes more specialised and flexible, and outside of London and major cities the "Shared Uber" is a much better solution - something you can call up and is cheaper if you pick a time that others are travelling too.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Renata Jones: Shared s... · 0 replies · +1 points

You need to be very wary of any local measure that claims to reduce accidents.

Whenever a "flavour of the month" local safety measure is introduced, political pressure will lead to areas where accidents have recently happened being prioritised. Usually, there is no particular reason why these accidents have happened in this particular place in this particular year - it is just chance. So if you did nothing, the chances of the same number of accidents happening again would be very low. So any road safety measure you introduce on this basis automatically "works"

Its like repeatedly tossing six coins until you happen to get six heads, then introducing a shared space scheme and claiming that is responsible for the fact that you only get three heads and three tails on the next toss. Its called "Regression to the mean"

This is how you can get a safety "improvement" from introducing something, then another from removing it

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Like Hague, I voted Re... · 0 replies · +1 points

I don't disagree with any of this - there are indeed plenty of working class people who voted remain - especially in areas where employment is dominated by multi national companies.

I think the minimum wage actually has a downwards pull on wages because it allows employers to stick to an "official" number that is then very difficult to break, but the laws of supply and demand must mean that a labour pool suddenly expanded by millions of Romanians and Bulgarians must reduce wage growth. Interesting to see that the fall in the pound since Brexit has coincided with real wage growth resuming - jobs here not quite as lucrative as they used to be.

I'm not necessarily saying the Brexit voting working class are right - they are just reacting to their immediate circumstances. Who do they think will pay all the tax if the city of London moves to Frankfurt? Them, of course!

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Like Hague, I voted Re... · 5 replies · +1 points

All this talk of Brexiteers and Remainers runs the risk of missing a vital point. The Referendum result was not delivered by ageing middle class little Englanders who still harbour the last remains of desire for an imperial past, as disbelieving remainers suggest and the likes of JRM like to delude themselves is the case. It happened because ordinary, mostly white working class people turned out to vote in unprecedented numbers, and they voted for Brexit because they think they are getting a raw deal from EU membership (and in general). Their pay is being held down by immigrants, they have lost well paid jobs due to foreign imports or they are tradesman who cant charge what they used to because some Pole or Romanian will undercut them. We forget this at our peril.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - If Brexiteering Minist... · 0 replies · +1 points

The EU will never agree any kind of deal which allows Britain to carry on as before but outside the union, which puts them in a strange kind of alliance with hardline Brexiteers.

However, as the deadline looms, the other member states will act in their own vested interests to force elements of a deal that suit them onto the agenda. For example BMW will not want to pay tariffs on cars it imports to the UK, nor on engines and cars it exports from the UK to Europe, so they will (are already) exerting enormous pressure on Mrs Merkel to broker a deal which stops them having to.

Personally I think Teresa May is playing a blinder in making this looming possibility the EU's fault for saying no to every deal.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Chloe Westley: You thi... · 0 replies · +1 points

Its not as simple as that. People dont understand Brexit and they are bored with it - they will only blame anyone if the end result hits them in the pocket.

At the moment, whatever we want is irrelevant as the EU will not agree to any soft Brexit deal as they fear for their power and jobs if Britain is seen to get away with leaving with no ill effects.

The game will only really start properly when the other member states see a clear and present threat to their interests from a hard Brexit - tariffs on BMWs for example.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Chloe Westley: You thi... · 2 replies · +1 points

So what kind of Brexit did people vote for then? I didn't see any choices or proper arguments laid out by either side in the worst political campaign I have ever seen (and thats saying something).

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Interview: Andrea Jenk... · 0 replies · +1 points

The direction is the same - I think you underestimate the power of Barnier & Co (especially but not exclusively in their own minds), but the point is the member states only tend to unite in their interests at the last possible moment, hence it isn't Theresa May's fault that there isnt a deal now.