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Election Campaign 2019

Highlights 30th October

Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 9-Nov-2019 07:48 Message #4761962
"I also think deep down we all know what needs to be done, we just don't want to admit it"

You see this is what I mean, words but no real ideas to do something. I wonder if people in China are wringing their hands like this?
OK, so we all know there are too many vehicles on the roads and as TJR says we need to be weaned away from our cars. Weaning will cost money, so does the government heavily subsidise the cost of electric vehicles?
My car is over 10 years old and is worth a few hundred quid so do the government ban all cars over say 3 years of age, compulsorily purchase them at the market value and then offer the owner discount on a new electric car or an incentive to stop driving completely?
Or should the owner swallow the cost of losing their car but get a discount an a new electric one?
I was looking at all-electric cars, the cheapest I can find is around £30,000 but I would suggest for many people £10,000 or possibly £15,000 is about the most they could afford.
Reasonably, at the same time you would need to dramatically improve public transport for those that are giving up their cars - does that simply mean flooding the roads with buses so that you can hop on and off at will? Should bus and train travel be free to add an incentive?
Not easy is it?...
Male
FirmButFair  Male  North Yorkshire 9-Nov-2019 07:50 Message #4761963
Voicing concerns is the easy bit! Viable plans are the difficult bit.
Male
tumbled  Male  Gloucestershire 9-Nov-2019 08:16 Message #4761964
As has been mentioned, it's one thing to have ideas and concerns....it's another thing completely to get those ideas put into practice....especially without causing other issues in the process...

With the meat industry, for instance.....It's alright saying stop eating meat, and the environment will be better....but what about the thousands of people employed in the meat industry?....again, it's alright saying 'employ them in the veg industry instead'.....but it's not as easy as that....and whatever way you look at it, there will definitely be more unemployed, in my opinion......which has then created other problems.....

The whole world needs to find some answers......but that's not going to happen anytime soon....the whole world has never found a common ground in most things so far.....
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 9-Nov-2019 08:41 Message #4761966
I think the last three posts actually show in fact we're all saying similar things, we know what's wrong, how to solve the problem is the difficulty. As has been said, the whole world needs to find some answers, so if we know this, why are we actually arguing? expecting a few people on here to give answers to a question the world can't agree on is like expecting a handerkchief to plug a hole in the side of a ship, to say we should do nothing because others are causing far more harm achieves nothing - the boat will still sink. The argument about who pays is a fair point, so what's the answer? yes you're right they are just all words, so why aren't we telling those who know how to, and can do something, to do something?

Would you shoot the postie because they bring a letter with bad news?
I go back to my original point, we all know what needs doing but we won't admit it.
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 9-Nov-2019 09:18 Message #4761969
Our adversarial political system holds back a lot of good schemes. If party A declares a policy then party B is duty bound to shoot it down in flames. Then the media jump on the bandwagon and it all snowballs with meaningless headlines which can easily turn the public against party A.
Therefore party A plays it safe and declares policies which pander to their supporters or policies watered down to prevent criticism. Policies which are not viable are put forward so they are applauded in the media.
They have the money and the answers but are too busy playing politics.
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 9-Nov-2019 09:20 Message #4761970
AQuietLIfe - you "hope" they deliver? The triumph over optimism over experience? Check out Dr Bob Gill of the Great NHS Heist campaign. The plan to privatise the NHS emerged under Thatcher. It started with the dismantling and outsourcing of mental health services and establishment of the internal market - my ex husband was a senior civil servant at that time involved in it. Everyone knew that services would suffer but, like the closing of the mines and destruction of those communities, it ticked two boxes: it was a piece of ideological spite borne of innate Conservative contempt for the vulnerable and the notion, now even openly articulated, that they are somehow less human than the wealthy and don't deserve to live. It was also a vehicle for making a cash cow out of the public service with the richest potential for profit for the private sector. Private healthcare companies would make a fortune out of running ambulances or diagnostics etc while falling service levels would drive the public towards an insurance based system. Check out the CV of NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, an insurance executive tasked with the hatchet job necessary to persuade the public that the NHS is unworkable as the service Nye Bevan conceived. It is a disgusting fraud perpetrated on us by the Tories, many of whom stand to profit directly: Jeremy Hunt, Ian Duncan Smith, Nick Clegg and William Hague are just a few with vested interests; Jeremy Hunt even while he was in office. The NHS is failing because the Tories are setting it up to fail and NHS staff have been sounding the alarm for years. Why haven't we been listening? Anyone who has had to use the NHS recently will know just how bad it is now in spite of their heroic efforts. Are we going to back stab the very people we turn to to save our lives and the lives of our loved ones ?

The Conservatives have been in office since 2010 and look at the results. The misery and despair of the workhouse Britain the Tories have resurrected and excesses of the 1% are almost palpable.

This election is the most important I can remember. We're standing at a crossroads and deciding what kind of society we want to live in. If the Conservatives get another term, Britain will lurch to the right and we only have to look across the Pond to see what that will bring us: corporate corruption and perversion of democracy, militarisation, the end of the NHS, dismantling of public services, plummeting standards of education, police brutality, racism, judicial bias, social decay, misery, animal cruelty and environmental destruction on a scale we never imagined. We already have our very own mini Trump and a chilling glimpse of what will be unleashed if we don't lift this curse in a few weeks time. I would like to think that we are better than that; that in spite of the tsunami of lies pouring out of every Establishment orifice, Brits are still savvy enough to recognise BS when they see it. I voted "leave" because I see the EU as a cartel of corporate self interest but culturally we are Europeans and it's European values and aspirations we should be embracing. IMO these are the values embodied in Jeremy Corbyn's vision.
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 9-Nov-2019 09:22 Message #4761972
We see promises from Conservatives and Labour and hoping they deliver is all anyone can do. We have seen very little of it over the years from either party.
Male
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire 9-Nov-2019 09:26 Message #4761973
”I also think deep down we all know what needs to be done, we just don't want to admit it"

You see this is what I mean, words but no real ideas to do something. I wonder if people in China are wringing their hands like this?
OK, so we all know there are too many vehicles on the roads and as TJR says we need to be weaned away from our cars. Weaning will cost money, so does the government heavily subsidise the cost of electric vehicles?
My car is over 10 years old and is worth a few hundred quid so do the government ban all cars over say 3 years of age, compulsorily purchase them at the market value and then offer the owner discount on a new electric car or an incentive to stop driving completely?
Or should the owner swallow the cost of losing their car but get a discount an a new electric one?
I was looking at all-electric cars, the cheapest I can find is around £30,000 but I would suggest for many people £10,000 or possibly £15,000 is about the most they could afford.
Reasonably, at the same time you would need to dramatically improve public transport for those that are giving up their cars - does that simply mean flooding the roads with buses so that you can hop on and off at will? Should bus and train travel be free to add an incentive?
Not easy is it?...


Exactly.
Male
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire 9-Nov-2019 09:33 Message #4761974
Jeremy Corbyn's vision.

That is my greatest fear. If Corbyn and his cronies get into power everything we have achieved will crumble as he makes his ideological moves which will please only his extremist masters on the far left. Miseries which haven’t been experienced since the 70s will be back with a vengeance as the country declines into an abyss. Those too young to remember those hardships can’t even imagine the poverty and misery.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 9-Nov-2019 09:39 Message #4761975
Wow, Jewess Rebecca, you go through all that typical left-wing spiel about a few weeks to save the country, NHS etc etc and you reveal you voted leave!
What do you think about Labour's wishy-washy Brexit strategy - a pointless question I know but what the heck.
For your sake I sincerely hope Jezza doesn't let you down because it seems you will be in utter despair if your last great hope turns out to be a mirage.
As a Jewish woman (That's what the Jewess bit means right?) you seem to gloss over accusations about Corbyn and accept the Tories as a curse.
I find it incredible that all of you Corbyn supporters stick so rigidly to the party line, no wavering, not a step out of line - where do you people get this stuff cos you all say exactly the same thing almost word for word?
One cannot question your dedication that's for sure....
Female
Cautious1954  Female  Berkshire 9-Nov-2019 09:57 Message #4761977
There are some good posts on this thread particularly this last page but it is a pity about the unnecessary party political broadcast. Such broadcasts kill conversation.
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 9-Nov-2019 10:24 Message #4761981
AQL..."JustLyn. Do you feel an obligation to verbally stand beside or defend everyone who agrees with your views when they are criticised by those who disagree with your views. RJB, Michael, Corbyn and numerous trolls!"

Perhaps you are being a tad unfair to Lyn on this occasion? Many of us will post agreeing with various posts, which is all Lyn is doing much of the time.
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 9-Nov-2019 10:25 Message #4761982
Hierophant, transport planning is in my past and it's interesting you should raise those points. When people think of car dependence, they think of traffic jams but the ripple out is much wider than that: it affects health, employment opportunities, local economies, social isolation of the elderly and children's independence and development. It goes to the very heart of how communities function and how we relate to each other.

We are wedded to cars in the way that Americans are wedded to guns. We can't let go of them because we can't imagine another way of living. Marketing has anchored in our minds a connection between car ownership and success, particularly for men, and government policy has pushed car ownership with road building and destruction of alternatives, dismantling the rail network and designing pedestrians and cyclists off the street especially from the 60s to the 80s. The then Conservative Herefordshire Council recently built a massive 70s style dual carriageway, an ugly scar across the city, destroying the mature trees outside the Victorian station and ruining its setting, and displacing long established local businesses along the route and they didn't even put in any bike lanes.

The result is that you really can't function in Britain without a car and we now have two generations who have grown up seeing the world outside their home through a windscreen. These are children who never had the freedom we had as kids, never had the chance to solve problems, explore, take risks and make mistakes in a safe environment. Deprived of the chance to kick a ball in the street, they are taken from activity to activity, chauffeured around and heavily supervised or they spend long hours isolated in front of screens isolated and atrophied. When children get to the age when they can no longer be kept indoors, they emerge into the world vulnerable and with no life skills and road death is the principal cause of death of children and young people under fifteen in Britain. The carnage is terrible but unlike the Dutch we seem to accept it as a price worth paying for our hypermobility.

Socially, the effect of car dependence is to separate us from each other and to condemn to the fringes of society those who can't drive or afford a car. Research around the world reveals that people who live on heavily trafficked streets retreat away from the noise and stress, often abandoning rooms at the front of the house. If you're not meeting your neighbours on the street you start to build walls, psychologically if not literally. Strangers, even neighbours, start to feel like a threat and your sense of connection and responsibility for others ends at the gate. We've isolated ourselves to the point where any stranger who starts an unsolicited conversation with us is seen as intrusive and offensive, even threatening and heaven help anyone who talks to a child uninvited. Social interaction between children and unrelated adults is good for children - many of us can remember those conversations I'm sure - but now parents are triggered to defensiveness and even to call the police. Long gone are the days when people knew everyone in the street and kids went freely from one house to another. This has happened as the roads have become more and more alien and dangerous. We have turned our streets into "rivers of lethal kinetic energy" as one academic put it, thoroughfares for traffic deserted by humanity where crime flourishes and social interaction has been snuffed out. Someone back from a trip to the USA told me that in some areas, if you're not in a car you are under suspicion of some criminal activity - that's where car dependence takes you.

Anyone who has been to the Netherlands or Denmark will know what I mean and understand what we could have instead. Since the 70s the thrust of Dutch transport planning has been to focus on short journeys and to make it as safe and convenient as possible to
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 9-Nov-2019 10:26 Message #4761983
Not sure what happened there - TBC

Male
tumbled  Male  Gloucestershire 9-Nov-2019 10:34 Message #4761984
I was going to say......when I saw your post.....I just knew that was going to happen....

It's because you're only allowed a certain amount of characters......I'm not sure how many it is though....
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 9-Nov-2019 10:51 Message #4761985
...use a bike, bus, train or tram and they're used by everyone.

In The Hague and Utrecht there is traffic but it doesn't feel oppressive because the mindset is different: there the traffic keeps out of the way of the bikes not the other way round. The streets are tranquil even at rush hour and there is no such thing as the school run. I've seen primary schools where the kids play in public areas in the street at break time with minimal supervision. It's world away from Britain where parents dress their children up like builders before allowing them on a bike and every journey is full of stress and anxiety.

I have a Bakfiets cargo bike. It's electric and will get me over any hill even loaded with bricks. Even on our hostile roads, it's a quicker and cheaper way to get around because Hereford is completely gridlocked most times of the day but still people still waste their lives in queues and won't allow their children to walk and cycle independently. Road danger is cited as the main reason.

This is one problem that has a solution but no political will to implement it. Successive governments, Conservative and Labour alike, have been in the pocket of the road lobby since the 60s : motor manufacturers, construction companies and of course the oil industry. Car dependence has been facilitated with road building, the destruction of the rail network and by designing pedestrians and cyclists off the street. The lesson of history is that neither the Conservatives, nor what remains of New Labour nor the Liberal Democrats will ever encourage us out of cars when there is money to be made from keeping us in them and here again I see Jeremy Corbyn's proposals as our best hope.
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 9-Nov-2019 10:52 Message #4761986
ah, lol OK - serves me right. :-)
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 9-Nov-2019 11:06 Message #4761988
I was reading an article in the Guardian last week about how many African nations are planing on using solar energy as it can be produced and used locally without the need for power lines across vast areas of land or massive power stations. It seems to be being seen not as a developmental issue but as a total no brainer in terms of cost, of local production and benefits to whole communities.

China is trying to decarbonise and is investing heavily in renewables, they are still big polluters but if they can decarbonise at the same speed as they've built up thier huge carbon based economy then it will make a huge impact.

TJR. I was told something similar by a friend returning from the America, going for a walk is practically unheard of in many areas. Moving us towards car dependence was government policy in the post war years, everything from building motorways to the Beeching cuts support this too. Cycling, not something I ever do personally, is difficult in many areas, there are cycle lanes that then stop at crazy busy multi exit/entrance roundabouts, then pick up again once past the round about many of these junctions are barely safe for drivers let alone cyclists or pedestrians. But also cyclist and pedestrians can be thier own worst enemies, going to fast and not looking where they're going, or being aware of other road users for the former and wandering along plugged into their phones and being unaware for the latter.

We need to spend billions on flood defences too, look at all the flooding in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as weather patterns change and we get more deluges we could lose parts of the country as either habitation or farm land. We may need to look at building with underground parking/storage, so as flood water dosen't wash out so many homes and business.

I agree Heiro electric cars are way out of the budgets of many people, as are hybrids even used they're expensive, which means that people like me are going to be priced out and have to keep using the infernal combustion engine to get about. Although I do think that up to a point its daft to not use perfectly good things to the end of thir lives, in the case of cars so many resourses have gone into their manufacture I think as long as their well kept we should use them. For me the cost of even a used hybrid car seems like one of those "if I win the lottery" things. Theres also another strand to the car use thing, most towns and cities even small ones have out of town shopping areas that are ill served by public transport, shopping would become a full time job for me if I didn't have a car and lot of shops I use don't deliver, I don't buy enough stuff from others to get free delievery or any delivery at all, so unless I turn one room of the house into a store room home delievery isn't an option.
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 9-Nov-2019 13:35 Message #4762000
The design of some cycle lanes are obviously designed by people that have no concept of cyclist safety at all. I can think of one approaching a roundabout (with traffic lights) and some 'person' considers it appropriate to paint the cycle lane to the left of a 'turn left only' lane. What makes it worse is that I've seen idiot cyclists using the damned thing to go straight on! If you position yourself in the road so you maximise your chance of being seen, cycling can be quite safe on today's roads but there are too many cyclists out there that seem to have a death wish the way they cycle.
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 10-Nov-2019 08:51 Message #4762051
NigelID yes, most accidents involving cyclists happen at junctions. We don't really have the engineering expertise in this country to design cycle infrastructure because there hasn't been the call for it - it's like asking a doctor who's spent thirty years doing varicose veins to suddenly start doing open heart surgery. Our engineers need to upskill. Dutch junction design is constantly being refined. If a pedestrian or cyclist is killed or injured they get a team of investigators there within hours. Here we just blame the vulnerable road user and add it to the body count.

A cycle based society feels completely different. In residential areas traffic is typically limited to 10kph and if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist you are assumed to be at fault. I have seen play equipment in the street. People are drawn out towards each other, tending the flowers on the pavement and putting seating in their front gardens.

Cycling also favours local businesses by increasing footfall. People make more frequent trips because there is no stress with parking and the local markets are amazing. Wherever you go there is a buzz of activity but none of the stress, noise and latent hostility you feel in British urban areas. It's the way to go but our children are not brought up to it and changing the habit of a lifetime is always difficult.

You only have to switch around 35% of your trips to bikes/PT to get a free flowing network for commercial journeys and trips that must be made by car. Electric bikes are definitely part of the solution. I'm no athlete but I can get around the city effortlessly and more quickly than I can in my car. They are expensive - mine was around £4k - but good value when you consider that it's £35 every time you go to the pump and factor in time saved. Anyone thinking of buying one should avoid London Green Cycles - that's a whole other thread.

http://www.mycargobike.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2013-BAKFIETS-019-CARGO-LANG-NNIE-NUVINCI-MAT-GRANIET-copy.jpg

Sorry to go off topic but transport is something we really need to get a handle on. HS2 and the Tory road building programme is an obscene waste of money.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 10-Nov-2019 11:08 Message #4762070
As a driver and a non cyclist, I find the assumption that I'm at fault if involved in an accident with a cyclist really insulting and unjust. The cyclist can be a total feckwit riding an unsafe bike in a reckless fashion, earbuds in, head down, not looking where they're going often travelling faster than the surrounding traffic and taking no notice of things like traffic lights. If we're going to automatically assume that drivers are at fault then the cyclists should have to have some kid of test, at least the written part of the driving test, some kind of MOT on their bikes, 3rd party insurance and greater penalties under the law for breaking those things. Putting cyclists and pedestrians together is'nt always a good idea either, pedestrians often don't feel safe with bikes whizing around them and sometimes they're right not to feel safe, cyclist travelling at similar speeds to motorised traffic are dangerous to small children, the elderly and animals, a line on the pavement isn't enough. Here where we get lots of tourism and many places to walk, with or without dogs to ride horses or cycle slowly, teach your children to ride and explore nature are imperilled by reckless packs of cyclists, who literally bully others out of the way, we've had injured animals, both dogs and horses and people too. I'm amazed that no cyclist has been injured by a horse, the way they whizz past them, all it needs is one flailling hoof and you've got a serious injury. I realise there are many responsible cyclists for whom this behaviour is totally out of order, but what do you suggest to stop these two wheeled hooligans who ruin things for others?

Should mobility scooters be on the road or the pavement, some drivers of these are dangerous to everyone else too, should there be a point at which people should be stopped from using them? Should trains have luggage vans again so as people with scooters, wheelchairs and bikes can travel across country more easily?

How about car tax based on post code, if you live in a rural area where theres little public transport and you live miles from a shop or even small town you pay less than someone who lives in an urban area with good public transport?
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 10-Nov-2019 16:12 Message #4762086
I think it's a slow process. I remember the smoking ban coming in and all the worries and arguments over that, it's taken a few years but - in general - it's become a part of what we do when out now; people don't expect to light up in cafe's or walk around shopping centres with a fag in their hands.
We don't like change too much if that change impacts on our own lifestyle but eventually it becomes a normal part of life, yes there will always be people who push the boundaries, but change has to happen somewhere sometime, and sometimes we need a swift boot up the backside to make us realise.
The big thing about change such as is needed now, is for it to happen because it's needed, not so someone can make profit from it.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 10-Nov-2019 16:26 Message #4762088
"How about car tax based on post code, if you live in a rural area where theres little public transport and you live miles from a shop or even small town you pay less than someone who lives in an urban area with good public transport? "

Personally, I think road tax should be got rid of and fuel taxed accordingly, that way the more miles you drive the more tax you pay.
Many new cars pay little or no road tax which is understandable from a pollution point of view, but it means they contribute nothing to the cost of maintaining the roads they drive on.
A new car does as much damage to the roads as my 10 year old ford...
Male
fosy  Male  Leicestershire 10-Nov-2019 17:31 Message #4762090
if ved [road tax] was ring fenced for road maintenance use only our roads would be fantastic !

unfortunately only an average of 30% goes to road improvement etc... and that is ved AND fuel duty.
Female
The_Jewess_Rebecca  Female  Herefordshire 10-Nov-2019 17:51 Message #4762091
All fair points wonderoushen but it works in a Dutch context. In the residential areas the priority is to save lives and improve quality of life. There is a presumption rather than an assumption that in the event of an accident it's the driver who bears responsibility so there is a defence if there is evidence that a cyclist has been negligent but as cyclists are covered by the insurance of the driver who hits them, it doesn't make much difference except where criminal charges may be brought. The overall effect is to make drivers super cautious which achieves the objective. A car travelling at 10kph (around 6 mph) is going to cause much less severe injury than one travelling at 20mph and obviously at that speed collisions are going to be rare. If you're exceeding the speed limit and hit a pedestrian or cyclist then you've caused death or injury while breaking the law, but this is only on residential streets. Elsewhere on the network the traffic is freeflowing and travels quite fast and the cycling looks pretty crazy too to our eyes: babies in summer clothes on the front and back, teenagers chatting and on their phones, people transporting furniture and groceries and no-one is wearing a helmet, not even the kids, because no-one has to worry about the traffic. Drivers know that cyclists always have priority. It's a different hierarchy and changes the dynamic in the streets completely. Of course you get idiots on bikes like you do in cars. Around 22% of deaths and SI to Dutch cyclists involve no other vehicle - it's people riding into trees or parked cars - but having so many women and young children on bikes has a calming and civilising effect. I sat in a café for about an hour just watching the cyclists interacting with the traffic - it just blew my mind by comparison with what we have here.


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