Checking in, Kingston weirdness, new improved high speed

Just realised I haven't posted anything here for ages. It turns out that I'm alive and well but haven't been motivated to do any long-form rants about anything lately, which may be a positive reflection on my mental health, I suppose. Relatively recently, I wrote a Citymetric piece about the weirdness of Kingston-upon-Thames, which is … Continue reading Checking in, Kingston weirdness, new improved high speed

A bad way to find out that bureaucrats aren’t fans of cunning plans

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the UK Home Office is bad.┬áReally bad. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly bad it is. And yet, the story that's gained media attention today is one where the Home Office doesn't seem to be the main party at fault, and where it isn't doing anything particularly unreasonable. Shane … Continue reading A bad way to find out that bureaucrats aren’t fans of cunning plans

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!