Dumb Ways (for your train service) to Die

I wrote a thing at CityMetric on the Melbourne rail-fail yesterday - go and read it. It turns out that 40-year-old state-of-the-art technology doesn't age super-well if you don't upgrade it, and that only having one train line through your city isn't a great idea either. Disappointingly, they rejected my suggested song-based title, so I'm … Continue reading Dumb Ways (for your train service) to Die

A gigantic flaming symbol of decades of dismal failure

Thoughts with the family and friends of those killed or injured in Kensington today by a readily preventable design failure and a fundamentally corrupt construction industry - aided and abetted by decades of generic national decline and classism, followed by seven Pharoah-style years of active class war, combined with a local authority that's always hated … Continue reading A gigantic flaming symbol of decades of dismal failure

The famous Ipsos MORI went to Rome to see the Pope…

Election opinion polling in the UK doesn't have a great record, with famously drastic poll upsets in 1992 (the 'shy Tories' year, although perhaps not actually) and 2015 (Milifandom, and the overprediction of the youth vote). The Brexit referendum result polling also has a bad rep, which is a bit undeserved, although the dire and … Continue reading The famous Ipsos MORI went to Rome to see the Pope…

I confess, my destiny’s manifestos

As we all put on our party hats for the UK election, I've written a couple of pieces at CityMetric on the parties' manifestos and why their transport plans are stupid: Why Labour's rail nationalisation plan is interesting but basically stupid Why the Tory plan to drop Crossrail 2 is interesting but basically stupid I … Continue reading I confess, my destiny’s manifestos

Australia’s new restricted migration visa rules: serf’s up!

Despite being largely immune from the economic woes that afflict flyover America and northern England, Australia is by no means immune from the present worldwide levels of hysteria about migrants taking our jerbs. We also have a struggling centre-right Prime Minister, who is beseiged by the far-right headbangers who dominate his party (and, to a … Continue reading Australia’s new restricted migration visa rules: serf’s up!

Don’t believe the 500 million quid passport story until you see it on the side of a bus

The UK's worst tabloids are running today on the Glorious Brexity News that the government is planning to spend £500 million on returning British passports to their former glory - changing them from the wicked EU's suspiciously French-sounding burgundy to good traditional English blue/black. The interesting thing about the £500m passport change story is not that it's … Continue reading Don’t believe the 500 million quid passport story until you see it on the side of a bus

Depends on how foreign your Aberdeens are

I did a thing at Citymetric on the interesting way folks are completely happy for Scottish companies to run the railways in southern England, but lose their minds when Hong Kong companies do the same thing. My favourite self-quote: The RMT, famous for being the least sensible or survival-oriented union in the UK since the National … Continue reading Depends on how foreign your Aberdeens are