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The following misdemeanors are all attributable to members of an elite club in the UK whose numbers are limited to 636 members:

  • 29 accused of spouse abuse
  • 19 of writing bad cheques
  • 7 arrested for fraud
  • 117 directly or indirectly been bankrupted in at least two businesses
  • 3 served a prison sentence for assault
  • 71 cannot obtain a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 arrested on drug related charges
  • 8 arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 currently defendants in a court case
  • 84 charged with drunk driving in the last year

The name of the club………

Houses of Parliament

The House of Commons

Source: BBC Radio 2 Monday 15th January 2007 The Wogan Breakfast Show & Mr B in Quinton

Sitting in the usual stream of never ending traffic – which turns a 10 minute journey into one lasting over 40 – you get to think about a lot of things, especially with the blank canvas of yet another van blocking all else from view.

If you are 10 cars back; and the lights change; what do you imagine are your chances of getting through?

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Another level of government sponsored mayhem is about to hit the flying public. As if the current round of preflight belt/ shoes/ coat removal and then the interrogation and search for liquids were not enough, the Chancellor has now seen fit to double the passenger air tax – at short notice and with effect from February 07 – meaning that passengers who booked before the tax was announced will have it collected from them one way or another – possibly at the check in desk.

This tax is supposed to make us pay for being so selfish in our mode of transport and to even up the ‘lightly taxed’ aviation industry.

The Environment Minister (Ian Pearson) recently called Ryanair the ‘irresponsible face of capitalism’, now I am no defender of Ryanair; but what exactly does the minister expect of them, they already operate the most modern fleet they can, are they expected to cease trading?

A few facts:

  • According to the Stern review, aviation generates 1.6% of global emissions
  • Assuming recent growth rates continue this would be 2.5% by 2050
  • Road transport creates 10% of global emissions – now
  • Electricity generation creates 24%
  • Deforestation creates 18% (and half of this from Indonesia and Brazil alone)

Despite these facts the government has been reluctant to invest in green energy production and has delayed decisions on public transport infrastructure projects, which could cut road traffic emissions. It is therefore fair to assume that the increased tax on air travel is simply another cash grab.

Regarding the security levels; whilst most of us accept that this is necessary for our safety there are some ‘opt outs’ available – disguise is apparently acceptable details here… is it me?

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