Category Archives: Politics

Lighthouses and f-signs

British embassies being advised how best to deal with expats without cash. British banks preparing for a eurozone collapse. You’d think the UK was part of the eurozone, the amount of scare stories it’s been pumping out this past week. A eurozone collapse and subsequent break-up isn’t around the corner — the phrase “Meanwhile in…” is particularly relevant here; the Netherlands isn’t massively worried about the whole thing and it seems that the only government shitting themselves in fear is the British. But — and I’m stressing the word ‘but’ like a Boeing wing undergoing testing — let’s assume that one morning, the Netherlands wakes up and the euro’s ceased to exist overnight. The most plausible plan of action would be to reinstate the currency we had before 2002: the Dutch guilder; a currency with some of the most colourful banknotes I’ve ever seen.

250 guilders (gulden) banknote

A ƒ250 banknote from the 1980s. © De Nederlandsche Bank; scan ©; fair use CDPA 1988 §30.


→ Do people care for an EU referendum?

Cathy Newman writes:

When pushed, 67 per cent of those polled by YouGov last month said they would rather have a referendum on Britain’s EU membership than not. But they had to be pushed – because actually, they don’t really care.

In my eighteen years in Cambridgeshire, membership to the European Union was never an issue raised. Not that it couldn’t be raised but that it wasn’t at all important. We had the guided busway and bin collections to concern our political lobes with.

I would be deeply saddened to see the United Kingdom withdraw from the EU but, if the Daily Express wants the country to commit economic suicide with its largest trading partner and force me against my will to return to my homeland, that’s the public’s decision; and, to be honest, I hated them beforehand anyway.

The 31

Today, the county learnt that fifty-odd bus routes in Cambridgeshire will be withdrawn or truncated as a result of—as Cllr Mac McGuire put it—"the fact [that] funding is tight". My local route, the 31, is under the axe; its bus driver Malcolm has said that as the contract is up for renewal in mid-2012, that is the most likely time the service’ll be withdrawn. Cllr Kilian Bourke said "[the axing] create whole communities where, unless you are able to and can afford to drive, you will be isolated".


Your Council is *this* incompetent

If you’re aware of the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, you might be aware that certain lengths of the northern section‘s maintenance track flood. A logical solution to this ‘defect’ would be to raise the level of the maintenance track above that of the water table but this solution isn’t exactly possible or practicable. I now quote section 3.14 of an agenda item to Cabinet, dated tomorrow (14th December 2010):

There has been a considerable amount of informal use of the maintenance track by cyclists and pedestrians over the last twelve months. A number of these have opted to use the guideway past the flooded sections. This will obviously not be acceptable once bus running commences. It is therefore proposed to augment the small flood warning signs already provided with gates across the maintenance track, carrying appropriate signs, warning that the track is flooded and advising against trespassing on the guideway track. These can be locked open when not required and locked closed when the track is flooded. This will not prevent use of the maintenance track but will give the fullest possible warning. It should be noted that visibility on this section of the Busway is far in excess of stopping distance, nonetheless bus drivers will be advised to be particularly vigilant when the maintenance track is closed.

I’ll leave you to judge the Busway team’s near-awkward level of idiocity.