Hello everyone. This post is a brief one focussing on the bird life I have seen since the start of 2023. The only species I have seen that is not included in the photo gallery is the giant pigeon, which I could photograph almost any time I wanted to. The others are below, with a few labelled…
Links, puzzles and pictures. Public transport features, as does some general politics, and mathematics. The pictures are of course my own.
I have many links to share with you, and wilkl be setting a puzzle. I will be putting up another of my tree posts immediately after this one, so my pictures feature stuff other than trees.
This section comes in two parts, starting with…
NEWS FROM MY LONDON TRANSPORT WEBSITE
Just before lunchtime today I received the following email:
I am writing regarding http://www.londontu.be
My name is Andrew and I work for Nicola at Tour London. Nicola is a tour guide in London UK who takes individuals and groups to the most famous landmarks in London, as well as discovering hidden gems along the way! We were wondering if it were possible for us to appear on your “links” page in any way given that we share such a similar topic.
Alternatively would you be interested in content pieces? Nicola has a vast knowledge of London and would love to share it with your audience.
Finally, If not content, do you have any other advertising opportunities?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Andrew | Marketing Executive
Naturally, I was delighted to receive such a communication, and I have since put in some links, done a special post about this site and ‘pressed’ a couple of their pieces. Please visit londontu.be to read about this in more detail, and then explore tourlondon to see what they have to offer.
WE OWN IT – TRANSPORT
Of course, I followed up the bus and train links. Here is a paragraph from Privatisation Fails Buses:
30 years ago, our bus services were deregulated and privatised. This has been a disaster for our buses. Fares went up and routes that weren’t profitable were cut, meaning you now pay more for less. In 2017, the Bus Service Users Bill was passed, which included a clause which bans local councils from creating their own public bus companies.
On this page are the Big Five bus companies that grew out of deregulation and privatisation in the 1980s – together they control 70% of the bus travel industry in the UK. Many of these companies either own, or are owned by, rail companies as well.
Read more about bus services, and how and why we want to bring them into public ownership, here.
Next up comes Privatisation Fails Railways:
British Rail was broken up and privatised between 1994 and 1997, and since then rail services in the UK have been provided by private companies. There are 16 rail franchises in the UK, where the government gives train companies funding to run services for a certain period.
Many of the companies that run our trains are European state-owned companies who reinvest millions of pounds a year in dividends from their British operations into their own transport systems. As you’ll see, these companies often own franchises within franchises. You might be surprised to learn who owns your morning commute! We’ve also listed three ‘ROSCOs’ or rolling stock companies, who lease trains to rail companies.
Read more about the privatisation of rail and what we can do about it here.
Royal Mail workers have voted by a huge margin to take strike action. The official voting figures are:
This means that 65.593% of all those eligible to vote cast their vote in favour of strike action. I did this calculation myself, entirely in my head, but here for the record is how to get there…
Calling Turnout T and Yes votes Y and Overall Percent Yes as O we have O = TY/100. Putting the known figures into this we have O = (73.7 x 89)/100. To avoid decimals until absolutely necessary we change this to O = (737 x 89)/1000. To calculate 737 x 89 we can reduce to single figure calculations as follows:
737 x 89 = (700 x 89) + (30 x 89) + (7 x 89), and then splitting these up 700 x 89 = (700 x 80) + (700 x 9), 30 x 89 = (30 x 80) + (30 x 9) and 7 x 89 = (7 x 80) + (7 x 9). We now have a series of multiplications which can all be treated as single figure multiplications, with in some cases zeroes to be stuck on the end. Multiplying them out gives us 56,000 + 6,300 + 2,400 + 270 +560 + 63. Adding these together we get 65,593, and dividing by 1,000 requires a decimal point to go between the first and second five, giving us 65.593%. PS It took a lot longer writing this out than performing the calculations in my head!
I have two links for you about this vote:
- Vox Political’s piece “Royal Mail workers have voted to strike by a huge majority”
- www.independent.co.uk whose piece is titled “Royal Mail faces first national strike since it was privatised“.
A SKWAWKBOX QUADRUPLE BILL
The Skwawkbox, one of the best new media sites around, has had several particularly outstanding pieces recently:
- “A Conference For The Many Not The Few” – an account of the Labour Party conference by activist Sarah Henney.
- “The Latest anti-Corbyn Media Trick to Watch Out For” – exposing a dirty trick that MSM are likely to be using in the near future.
- “HUNT’S ‘UBERISATION’ OF NHS IS TORY BLUEPRINT FOR OUR WHOLE SOCIETY” – On the unofficial minister for rhyming slang launching a new NHS app, and his real reasons for launching it.
- “SIGN/SHARE PETITION TO FORCE WEAK MAY TO #SACKBORISJOHNSON” – exactly what the title suggests.
PHOTOS 1 – ANIMALS
From Monday and yesterday:
This puzzle comes courtesy of brilliant:
PHOTOS 2: VIEWS