Kids, actually

This is why good cycling infrastructure is so essential to getting people out of cars and on to bikes.

Subversive Suburbanite

I’m relatively new to Twitter, and most of my tweets get (and deserve) very little attention. I’m happy if I get a handful of likes, and retweets are unexpected. But a couple of my recent tweets have gone out of control.

This one was retweeted over 240 times:

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Richmond Council’s air quality plan

LBRuT is consulting on its plans to tackle air pollution in the borough – you can give your response here, although the multiple choice style makes it difficult to respond meaningfully. The deadline is Monday 30 October.

This is what I put in the ‘any further comments’ box:

Introducing 20mph across the whole borough.

Introducing more cycle lanes and infastructure.

More measureable aims than outlined in the plan.

More planting of trees and shrubs to absorb air pollution.

A clear plan showing how the council aims to cut the traffic by 73% on George Street, Richmond.

Trial of car-free days.

Introducing more expensive parking charges for the most polluting vehicles.

A swift, actionable move for all fleet vehicles to be electric rater than the wooly statement that you’ve made.

Working with all retailers acoss the borough to get them to adopt a ‘close the door’ policy to stop heat escaping.

Get all taxis to switch off engines when stopped outside stations, and buses when they’re on George Street.

No chopping down of mature trees.

Remove the car parking at the Twickenham Riverside development to prioritise public space and people instead.

Introduce bicycle hire at Richmond station to destination hubs eg Ham, which has poor pubic transport connections (during peak hours).

Introduce rush-hour direct, electric mini-buses between Richmond and Ham to stop residents using cars to get to the station.

Bring in electric mini-buses between Richmond station and Richmond Park at weekends to reduce traffic to/from the park.

Support Richmond & Bushy Parks bring in car parking charges to deter people parking in car parks while they’re at work (Kingston Hospital) and to reduce traffic at weekend.

Find ways to reward people who cycle/walk/take public transport into retail centres with discounts, rather than offering free parking as incentives.

Remove the proposed underground parking for the redevelopment at Ham Close and use it for more housing instead.

Demonstrate clearly how much money the council plans to spend on improving walking/cycling in the borough.

At the moment, this plan does not meet the Mayor’s plans for healthy streets, nor does it propose any modal shifts.

Carry out a feasibility study for a walking/cycling bridge between Ham and Twickenham to improve connectivity and reduce congestion on Richmond bridge and the Petersham Road.


Another Antisemitic Voice

Thought I’d share this as it highlights some of the issues faced by those who are both Jewish and progressive/socialist.

Half Chips/Half Rice

I am often asked about antisemitism on the Right when I am discussing the current trend of Left antisemitism. Isn’t there just as much if you look hard enough? Antisemitism is transitory. It exists all over the political spectrum, it ebbs and flows, currently it has found a home on the left.

For the doubters I would recommend examining the way Jewish matters are discussed in alternative left-wing media outlets. Take Mike Sivier, the author of Vox Political, one of the many pro-Corbyn blogs that sprung up or surged in popularity to compensate for Corbyn’s slaying at the hands of the mainstream media (MSM).

(Every time I type the letters MSM a little part of me dies)

In April Sivier announced that he was standing for Labour at the local elections. Sivier had written scores of articles defending Ken Livingstone. In fact he had penned pieces in defence of every…

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Yoghurt and juice. Mum, Alzheimer’s and me.

Not all my usual fare, but as many of my friends are now going through similar experiences, I thought this might touch a chord.

Pin Prick

Hannah lies flickering in the half light, much as she has done for the last two years. It isn’t as painful now but I rarely leave without having first had a good sob somewhere, just out of sight of the door, in case one of the carers comes in. She flickers on and off and fades in and out. Sometimes she might say a name of an old acquaintance or a friend or an old worry. Sometimes her foggy eyes alight on me and she says: “Oh darling, thank you” and then promptly falls asleep. I sit by her buzzing bed, with Classic FM playing in the background and read her stuff; bits from the Herts Mercury, lines of poetry, things that lie dotted about the house. I no longer expect a response and in its own way it’s rather peaceful watching her lying there – breathing in and out…

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