Archive for July, 2006

Hug a Hoodie?

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

I've been pondering this Hug-a-Hoodie message from David Cameron ever since the media picked up on it a few days ago. I can see that it's a case of social inclusion and that all they want to do is blend in with us and not be stigmatised just by what they wear. Fair enough.

Well as it happened, I was lucky enough to find myself in a situation only last night when I could put this to the test. One of these so-called teenager "hoodies" decided to attack me for no apparent reason, which left me with a very upset girlfriend, a broken nose and about 2 litres less blood. Oh silly me, if only I'd hugged him instead! But my problem is one of timing: when exactly should I attempt this hug? Should it have been as he was insulting me? Or maybe just before the punch to my face, or perhaps just afterwards? Obviously the young fellow wasn't aware of my intentions to give him a loving hug, otherwise I'm sure he would have just left us both alone.

I could really do without being punched again over a simple misunderstanding. But you know what, I'm just not sure that Hugging a Hoodie is really for me.

Sir Ken defends Congestion Charge increase

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Reuters August 2016

Recently knighted president of London, Sir Ken Livingston, today defended plans to increase the Congestion Charge for London pedestrians as being "realistic, fair and good for the new global economy". Ever since the controversial charge was introduced 4 years ago in 2012 in a bid to reduce pavement congestion, Sir Ken has been under sustained pressure to make pedestrians exempt from the charge. When asked to justify the proposed 25% increase to €65 per pedestrian per day, Sir Ken told reporters outside his Dorney Wood residence that "the costs involved in deploying the charge must not outweigh the revenue generated". The congestion charge has still only operated at a profit during 2009, the year when private cars were banned from the central London zone altogether, but the president was still defiant, "we still need to find ways of reducing the dangerous levels of pavement population during peak times, and increasing the charge will encourage many people to consider whether they really need to make the daily commute into town". When he was asked if there were any plans to resurrect the Tube network, he replied "no". The Underground network was closed in 2008 following the Livingstonegate scandal which revealed the misappropriation of investment funds, which saw 98% of the total revenue being directed towards private security and decoration companies, leaving 2% for track and train maintenance. Sir Ken was cleared in the subsequent investigation that looked into his relationship with these companies. Despite being on the board of directors for 46 out of 48 of the private companies, his position was not considered to be a "conflict of interest". Mark Trottalot from the London Ramblers Association said today "what we are seeing on the pavements is Livingstonegate all over again. He wasted all that public money on paint and CCTVs at the same time as watching the Underground network grind to a halt. He hasn't become the 3rd richest man in the UK by chance, and the fact that he now owns a company that will bring face recognition technology to our pavements is very worrying indeed".