Thursday, 29 September 2011


The euro is about to implode; Iran, Israel, Palestine and Turkey are flexing their respective muscles; Greece is about to go for broke; Portugal, Spain and Italy are not far behind; debt is multiplying faster than Cameron's 'U' turns; Argentina is beginning to get a tad 'bolshie' over the Falkland Islands; Witney is about to have a road foisted on it costing £20million when an alternative solution costing £4million exists; my Member of Parliament has, so far, taken 4 months (and still counting) to reply to a series of questions; Peter Oborne has now decided to provide yet another example of crass output from what passes as his brain - and what can our government come up with?  Philip Hammond has announced a consultation with a view to increasing the speed on our motorways from 70mph to 80mph, stating that "the current limit has lost its legitimacy."

With a stated intention by the EU to impose a speed limit of 20mph in towns and cities, the idea being to save energy and carbon output, the chances that Philip Hammon will be allowed to progress this idea to a conclusion is looking pretty remote seeing as this would increase both energy used and carbon limits - something about which our real government in Brussels has the proverbial 'bee in the bonnet'.

More importantly though is the fact that it obviously has not crossed this idiots mind (Yup, Brussels you're not alone, we have them in the UK too) that the current politicians have lost their legitimacy and that when the people do decide to act, they won't be offering any 'consultation' - they will, likewise, 'raise' Hammond and his ilk about 6 feet off the ground. I believe the term is 'Summary Justice'!

Update: Bearing in mind Hammond's statement that road casualities would increase 'slightly', might I quote from the latest DG Mobility and Transport email from the EU?
"The European Parliament has this week backed the European Commission's goal for halving the number of road deaths by 2020. This goal is part of the Commission's policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020.
Road safety is a major societal issue. In 2009, more than 35,000 people died on the roads of the European Union, i.e. the equivalent of a medium town, and no fewer than 1,500,000 persons were injured. The cost for society is huge, representing approximately 130 billion Euro in 2009.
In its Communication "Europe 2020 – A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth", the Commission has underlined the importance for Europe of social cohesion, a greener economy, education and innovation. These objectives should be reflected in the various aspects of European transport policy which should aim at ensuring sustainable mobility for all citizens, "decarbonising" transport and make full use of technological progress. Road safety plays an important role in the  White Paper on transport policy 2010 – 2020, as lowering the number of road users' casualties is key to improving the overall performance of the transport system and to meet citizens' and companies' needs and expectations.
A coherent holistic and integrated approach is therefore needed, taking into account synergies with other policy goals. Road safety policies at local, national, European or international level should integrate relevant objectives of other public policies and vice versa.
The proposed policy orientations takes fully account of the results obtained during the 3rd road safety action programme 2001-2010, showing that in spite of important progress made on road safety, efforts needed to be continued and further strengthened.
The European road safety policy orientations up to 2020 aims to provide a general governance framework and challenging objectives which should guide national or local strategies. In line with the principle of subsidiarity, actions described should be implemented at the most appropriate level and through the most appropriate means.
In the framework of these policy orientations, the Commission considers that the three following actions should be undertaken as a priority:
  • the establishment of a structured and coherent cooperation framework which draws on best practices across the Member States, as a necessary condition to implement in an effective manner the road safety policy orientations 2011-2020,
  • a strategy for injuries and first aid to address the urgent and growing need to reduce the number of road injuries,
  • the improvement of the safety of vulnerable road users, in particular motorcyclists for whom accidents statistics are particularly worrying."
The relevant document can be read, in its entirety here.


TomTom said...

Hammond knows that 130 km/h is the speed limit in Continental Europe and it translates into 80.778 mph.

So Philip Hammond is EU Conformist Star of the Week

PeterCharles said...

I think the change up to 80mph is more to do with harmonising our max. limit with Germany, France, Italy, Benelux, etc. where the limit is 130 kph, which just happens to be, you guessed it 80 mph. Note that there has been discussion within the UK on an urban 20 mph limit for several years and there are already some in place, as I discovered some years ago when I was driving through a mainly residential area of Swansea of all places at a little above 30 cursing as I roared past the 'blind old bat' doing less than 20 I had come up behind and then wondering why people were glaring at me and even one old boy was shaking his fist. Then I saw the sign.

Yet more of the old harmonisation tricks I suspect, what's the next directives going say? Well let's get it up before any notices so we can say it was all our idea, the EU probably saw us doing it and thought what a good idea it was. See, we're not led by Europe, we're leading Europe!"

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT &PC: Yup again I know I know.....

With the update it shows the contradiction twixt the EU wishing to reduce accidents etc and Hammond going against that wish - guess who's going to win....?

Bill said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOO! That's unfair.
Dai wants supermarkets to charge for plastic bags to save the earth. Get your priorities right WFW!

john in cheshire said...

I wonder how long it will be before the EU announce that we will have to start driving on the righthand side of the road? For Harmonisation reasons, of course.

James Higham said...

I think they lost their legitimacy long ago but it's only now it's becoming readily apparent to most. Except for the writer in the Mirror today who was singing Red Ed's praises as leader of our land.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I read the words - framework, sustainability, harmonisation, integrated, holistic, synergies,etc, I know immediately that gobbledegook will follow. These words also mean that the writer has no idea whatever, and is simply spouting "managementspeak" to impress the superiors.

The superiors meanwhile have less of an idea, and are afraid to question any such output, for it may show their ignorance.

Scum has been allowed in to the system. And we know that it always rises to the top.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Bill: I am suitably chastened and my apologies (not)!

jic: Probably and we will have to pay for that too!

JH: Agreed - the first part.....

DP111: Agreed, especially your last sentence!