Johnson ahead

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by paolo, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    Cheers. Will be interesting to read through the service level agreements.

    I would suggest that actually TfL is best placed to manage the risk of the project given Bombardier's track record.

    Can't see any reason for it to go tits up though, can you?
  2. scott_forester

    scott_forester probably talking shite

    Sure I can, it's a massive project that they've calculated the cost of ten years in advance and under written it with our cash. Just look at the 2012 games costs.

    I'd be surprised not to see my council tax go up.
  3. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    2012 is a different issue. It hasn't been planned in meticulous detail for the last 20 years.

    Sure, the costs could well go past current estimates. Same is true as if it was a private consortium managing it, apart from that they would charge a premium for the risk.

    I can't see Ken charging voters for any shortfall. It will come from businesses or central governement if it has to come from anywhere.
  4. scott_forester

    scott_forester probably talking shite

    The funding arrangements exclude any additional contributions from central government, TfL and the Mayor of London would need to raise it.
  5. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    Where did you get that from? I didn't say that nothing should ever change. I said that this particular thing isn't really a problem (or at least, not the one you suggest) and therefore doesn't merit the action that it has.

    If you want to debate, you could at least try reading and responding accurately.

    I'm also not a Tory.

    I admire your idealism, but we all know that 99.99% of this travel isn't "kids" going to town to visit an exhibition. It's youths cruising around their neighbourhoods, hopping on and off buses as they please, causing delays for other passengers and crowding out the bus where it doesn't need to be.

    Why not? Firstly, for the economically illiterate among us, it's not their money in the vast majority of cases. It's their parents' money. Secondly, spending money is all about making choices and setting priorities. If you're got £5 pocket money a week and you want to spend it travelling to "town" to visit an exhibition, great. Everything costs money and everything has an opportunity cost. The sooner children understand this the better.

    Are there any other things children shouldn't have to spend money on? Clothes? Food? MP3 downloads?

    I'm not saying that at all, am I?

    Well Mr Livingstone has had eight years to make the roads safe for children to walk and cycle and to create an environment where bicycles are unlikely to get stolen. If he's failed -- and you seem to suggest that he has -- then perhaps it's time someone else had a chance to see if they could do better.

    I don't see why corrupt and incompetent local politicians should be elected to try to compensate for the failed policies of corrupt and incompetent national politicians of the same party.

    I didn't say that, did I? I do remember saying that children should behave themselves, just like everyone else. I also made the general point that providing free (ie. taxpayer-funded) travel for a whole section of society that can broadly afford it anyway is a flagrant abuse of public office and shows a curious approach to setting priorities.

    Then perhaps people like you should try harder at explaining to people like me why we should support harebrained schemes like this.

    I don't know whether society exists for the Tories (I'm not one) but it certainly exists for me. I don't see why unlimited free public transport should be a "right" for anyone, though we may accord it as a privilege for some that deserve it and are unlikely to abuse it.

    What's your point? That there are some poor people in London? I already know that. How do we get from there to giving free bus travel to children from households earning over £50,000 a year?

    Sorry, I forgot. They won't be able to get to Tate Modern otherwise. :rolleyes:
  6. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    in the form of a business rate supplements. Which means the government being asked to step back in. The government has agreed that funding is "secure".
  7. scott_forester

    scott_forester probably talking shite

    Hopfully I'm wrong and you're right.
  8. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    You said that the majority of kids in London can afford to travel did you not? That's clearly not true as over 50% of kids in Inner London are below the poverty line. Perhaps you would like to retract your view now?

    I would also like a response to the question put to you about the inadequacy of means testing as a policy designed to assist those caught in a poverty trap.

    Why bother about households earning over 50k a year? They'll be paying their fare share under income tax.

    *goes off to answer your other points*
  9. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    So, you base your policies on children having a certain amount of pocket money? How much is enough? Should children be means tested also?

    Anything required to allow them to take part in society I would think should cover it. Do you have an objection to that?

    You still haven't shown how they can afford it. Or broadly afford it, what's the difference?
  10. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    Not at all. If there's a case that some households don't have enough income for their reasonable needs then that needs to be addressed. Giving free public transport to all households hardly seems like a reasonable way of doing it.

    The shortcomings of means testing have got nothing to do with the "poverty trap". The poverty trap is where some people cannot escape poverty no matter how hard they try. Again, if that's still the case after ten years of a supposedly "Labour" government then I'd look to their economic and social policies and try to avoid electing one of their members to run London.

    So should everyone have to pay for it, whether they use it or not?

    Should everyone have to pay for thousands of unnecessary journeys? Is that green?

    Should everyone have to fund a scheme that makes life a misery for the poorest adults in London who are dependent on using the buses (and pay to do so)?

    Public transport provision is a scarce resource. Public transport isn't inherently sustainable, only relatively so. Demand needs to be regulated by price. Drop the price to zero and demand goes through the roof, but the system can't scale easily to provide extra services.

    It's just a gesture, and a thoughtless one at that. The people that suffer the most are the poor and vulnerable, for whom public transport was always unpleasant and risky. This policy has made it substantially more so.
  11. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    It's for the parents to decide. Children are not independent economic actors. I can't believe you still don't comprehend that.

    I suspect that even should I accept that principle you and I would disagree on the details of what constitutes necessary participation.

    I mean that most households can afford for their children to travel as far and as often as they reasonably need to do so. Where there needs to be provision for special cases (eg. school travel for children from low-income households) then there should be special provision. But more generally the underlying problems here for those that are poor (and that's a minority of households in London) are not public transport problems. They're economic problems.

    I think you should address your special pleading to Mr Brown on that account.
  12. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    You're still linking a childs existence to his parents income. Is that civilised?

    I'm not talking about "the poverty trap", I said "a poverty trap". That is, those people whose income is dependent, say, on contract based work. How does one assess their income? Or, say, a child from a family whose father would rather drink his income than give it to his child. Or, a family who suddenly needs building work, or any other examples from countless different situations a child has no control over.

    That's what you would do. I would vote for the best person for the job and lobby him as hard as hell to get the real issues on the agenda.

    The real issues are real Londoners. Not the imaginary average incomes stereotypes that you describe.

    Perhaps you haven't noticed, but everyone does pay for it whether they use it or not. It's called the London precept. Are you suggesting we should scrap this too?

    How are they uneccessary? Because you wouldn't chose to do it? That's hardly reasonable.

    Again with this poorest adults stuff. Look mate, if you don't like London, you can move. Kids can't.

    I'm well aware of the price constraints on PT. I do it for a living.

    It's not just a gesture, it's a stance.
  13. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    Children's welfare is a civil matter.

    So you don't refute the principle? That's encouraging.

    I should hope we could agree. Society doesn't exist within disagreements.

    You still haven't given any proof of this. Either provide some proper justification or accept you just don't know.
  14. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    How melodramatic. It's not their "existence" - it's their bus travel. Society already provides for their "existence" and where that's deficient we should address that.

    Households whose income varies over time should make provision for that. Giving all children in London free bus travel just to take care of the tiny number who'd like to get to an "exhibition" and can't afford it because Daddy has drunk their bus fare is getting things somewhat out of proportion.

    I think we'd differ on who's the best person for the job. And incidentally, I'm hardly enthusiastic about Mr Johnson either, but I suspect he at least wouldn't come up with nonsense such as this.

    I know plenty of "real Londoners" and many of them complain to me about the behaviour of young people abusing public transport with their free rides. These people are generally from low-income groups because the people I know in higher income groups tend to drive and wouldn't be seen dead on a bus.

    I'm suggesting that politicians should be a little more circumspect before they commit taxpayers' money to stupid schemes with significant negative and hopefully unintended consequences.

    Ah, but there's the rub. I have an opinion and a vote. Simply saying that you have a different opinion and a vote hardly gets us further forward, does it?

    Their parents can, can't they? Plenty of them probably moved here in the first place.

    With attitudes like yours, I'm hardly surprised that you work in public administration.

    Well then maybe London needs a thoughtful politician running the city rather than a posturing egomaniac.
  15. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    tell me about it... I used to be sweet as pie

    I agree.. But his view on social welfare is what is most important to me. Especially in these financially precarious times. Even more so seeming as we are all still waiting for a means testing structure that doesn't discriminate.
  16. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    First and foremost it's a family matter. We interfere with that at our peril. You might want the kind of government that raises children on behalf of their parents but I certainly don't. Dressing it up as social or "civic" concern doesn't make it any better.

    To borrow a very pertinent line from Mr Cameron, there is such a thing as society but it's not the same as the state.

    My idea of society isn't one that's imagined and imposed by government and funded by taxation.

    Taking a cursory look at the documents on the GLA site you linked to it looks like around a quarter of London households are on low incomes.

    Once again, you're proposing to continue to raise taxes to fund this scheme. If you want to perpetuate it, justify it. I want to scrap it.

    What's coming up next week? Free trainers for the under-25s? I mean, how else would they get around? Can't have them barefoot because their parents have had to splash out on a bottle of whiskey.
  17. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    Half the public thinks you're not doing enough. The other half thinks you shouldn't be doing anything at all. :rolleyes:

    Mr Livingstone could be the risen Christ but he'd still be irrevocably tainted by his affiliation to Labour. That said, I think his record speaks for itself, and not in a good way.

    Is Mr Johnson the answer? Not really, but I think it's time to break the Labour hegemony at City Hall. For at least one term I don't think he could do any worse and it might just provide space for new people and new ideas to seep in where they wouldn't otherwise.
  18. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    Who said anything about raising on our behalf. I'm talking about ensuring that they have the means at their disposal to allow them access to the levels of service we expect our children to have. Schooling is essential as a common good yes? So access to schooling should be universal to should it not? Why make people pay different amounts to get to the same end?

    Oh really... So, streetlighting for example. Imagined by governement and funded by taxation. Not a good thing in your book then? "Kids don't need lights. They never had lights before and were 'broadly' ok."


    If you want to talk about society then you're raising issues about commonality aren't you? Areas where we are all alike.
    What is more alike than children's welfare?

    [quoteTaking a cursory look at the documents on the GLA site you linked to it looks like around a quarter of London households are on low incomes.[/quote]

    Oh, only a quarter. That's alright then.

    Apart from it's not just a quarter. It's a quarter at any one time.

    I would like to see universal provision of food and clothes vouchers. But I can't see a London Mayor getting away with it.
  19. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    I think you'd find he could.
  20. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    The more the state makes decisions about what children should expect and provides those things, the more they impinge on the parents' domain. Clearly it's not an all-or-nothing situation but one where an appropriate balance has to be struck. In my opinion it's now gone too far towards the state (often through the agency of schools and teachers) deciding not just that children should be educated, but what they should learn, what they should eat, what they think about sex and drugs and a whole range of lifestyle issues that were traditionally thought of as private matters for families and individuals.

    The left likes to praise diversity when it suits them but in practice is literally schooling a whole generation into its own homogeneous cultural vision.

    There are some areas where there's broad consensus and some where there isn't. Pretending there's a consensus on everything the left would like to see is probably the kind of fundamental mistake that's likely to cost Mr Livingstone his job very shortly. If you want all these things (I'm not talking about street lighting) to be accepted as norms you have to make the case. And I appreciate that's what you're trying to do here.

    Beyond basic issues of physical health and safety, there's a huge diversity in people's opinions about what's good for children. And the devil is often in the details. Most people would agree that children should be educated, but what they should learn and how they should learn it is hotly debated.

    It seems to suggest that this kind of policy isn't appropriate to me.

    You're right. I can't see him getting away with it either.

    Must dash. To be continued, no doubt.
  21. untethered

    untethered For industry & decency

    Better the devil you don't know...
  22. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    cheers :)
  23. scott_forester

    scott_forester probably talking shite

  24. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    Given that more than 50% of kids in inner London live below the poverty line, and lots of 'better-off' kids would still be from families poor enough to merit a means-tested bus pass, plus the richer kids are less likely to use public transport at all, ISTM that administering a means-tested system would cost far more than giving all kids free travel.

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