Saturday, December 13, 2008


Don't Blame Me, I Voted For the Congestion Charge

When I checked a couple of weeks ago, the referendum turnout was only around 25% but I see that after that it grew so that it was eventually 53% of the 1.9m balloted once all the postal votes had been counted. The 'yes' people did not sell their message very well and the 'nos' were able to play on underlying-uninformed- fears of a charge which could exceed a grand a year and might go up even higher. A 4-1 majority is pretty emphatic but to me merely reinforces the gist of my last post that voters will almost never vote for 'pain'. In fact, if voters, rather than the Commons, had been given the chance, I doubt very much if Churchill would have been returned on his 'blood toil, tears and sweat' manifesto of his famous speech of 13th May 1940.

Charging would not have started until 2013 and by then 80% of the improvements in public transport would have been completed. Only one in ten would have been affected and two thirds of housholds would not have had to pay the 5 pound charge: discounts and exemptions would have covered the lower paid and those in peripheral areas. Given that Edinburgh rejected the idea in 2005, it now seems highly unlikely that Leeds, Bristol or Cambridge will go for it.

So we have a future of 'more jam' to look forward to but on our roads and not our bread. The £1.5 bn and 10,000 jobs incentive offered by government in exchange for our democractic compliance was ignored. So, rather like the voters of Sark, voters in my region have fended off something they don't like but only at the price of a massive financial hit, more congestion, more pollution and the whole idea of self restraint in aid of anything at all let alone climate change being held up to bitter mockery.

Sorry, but where do you get the "only 1 in 10 will be affected" and the "exemption for the lower paid"?

The TIF bid documents themselves said 20% would pay the charge and only those on the minimum wage would get a small discount. This is very few people and the administration to discount these people would probably have cost more than the discount they received.

One important issue as well, it is clear the majority of people do understand the issues and voted against the congestion charge.

Your claim of increasing congestion and pollution has no basis. Car use within the charging zone fell some 14% over the past 9 years without a charge. Cars emit 12% less CO2 than 10 years ago which is more than can be said for buses.

One final comment, 90% of people do not readily accept the man made climate change alarmism (King report) peddled by the IPCC and others, so maybe you are wrong and the majority are right?

The real issue here is far more important. Is the UK still a democracy driven by the wishes of the majority or have we descended into an authoritarian dictatorial regime where politicians lie to gain power and then go about their own agenda's without any regard for the wishes of the electorate?

At the very least, politicians who claim to represent the people of Manchester are disconnected from those they claim to serve and have wasted vast sums of public money on a scheme which never had democratic support.

Those responsible should resign immediately and be made to pay from their own pockets the wasted millions spent chasing this badly designed and unwanted scheme.
I don't usually publish anonymous comments; however, I got the 1 in 10 figure out of today's Times- a reputable source I would have thought and a better statistic than your 90% not accepting reality of manmade climate change 'alarmism'. People who still claim such rubbish are clearly incapable of receiving and undrstanding rational argument. If this is the best the 'No' campaign can come up with, few in the 'Yes' camp will think their arbguments bested.
Hello again,

The 90% was in The Times, but it is a figure which comes from the YES campaign and is one of the many untruths told during this campaign to try and win the vote.

If you read the TIF documents themselves, it clearly says 20% and there is no research to show the 10% figure to be valid.

The 10% figure for those who embrace climate change and are fully engaged in changing their behaviour comes from a presentation by the author of the King Report.

Just exactly how do you claim those who doubt the reality of MMGW are "incapable of receiveing and understanding rational argument?"

I would suggest it is those who believe without question the MMGW alarmism are people who are easily led and fail to really research the claims themselves.

If you can show me a single piece of scientific research - a real laboratory experiment which shows how CO2 as a gas heats the air I would like to see it.

In the mean time, please take a look at:
Still anonymous I see. The nexus between CO2 and the warming of the atmosphere has long been established. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas – it traps heat radiation that is attempting to escape from Earth. The physics of this process was established by the Irish physicist John Tyndall (1820 – 1891) and the effect was calculated by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius (1859 – 1927). I'm confused by your referece to the King Report- do you not mean the much better known and authoritative Stern Report of 2006?
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