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Banditry



The idle musings of John B



Last Build Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:22:45 +0000

 



Checking in, Kingston weirdness, new improved high speed

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:22:45 +0000

Just realised I haven’t posted anything here for ages. It turns out that I’m alive and well but haven’t been motivated to do any long-form rants about anything lately, which may be a positive reflection on my mental health, I suppose. Relatively recently, I wrote a Citymetric piece about the weirdness of Kingston-upon-Thames, which is … Continue reading Checking in, Kingston weirdness, new improved high speed



A bad way to find out that bureaucrats aren’t fans of cunning plans

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 09:10:55 +0000

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the UK Home Office is bad. Really bad. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly bad it is. And yet, the story that’s gained media attention today is one where the Home Office doesn’t seem to be the main party at fault, and where it isn’t doing anything particularly unreasonable. Shane … Continue reading A bad way to find out that bureaucrats aren’t fans of cunning plans



Dumb Ways (for your train service) to Die

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 11:37:07 +0000

I wrote a thing at CityMetric on the Melbourne rail-fail yesterday – go and read it. It turns out that 40-year-old state-of-the-art technology doesn’t age super-well if you don’t upgrade it, and that only having one train line through your city isn’t a great idea either. Disappointingly, they rejected my suggested song-based title, so I’m … Continue reading Dumb Ways (for your train service) to Die



A gigantic flaming symbol of decades of dismal failure

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:40:27 +0000

Thoughts with the family and friends of those killed or injured in Kensington today by a readily preventable design failure and a fundamentally corrupt construction industry – aided and abetted by decades of generic national decline and classism, followed by seven Pharoah-style years of active class war, combined with a local authority that’s always hated … Continue reading A gigantic flaming symbol of decades of dismal failure



The famous Ipsos MORI went to Rome to see the Pope…

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:13:11 +0000

Election opinion polling in the UK doesn’t have a great record, with famously drastic poll upsets in 1992 (the ‘shy Tories’ year, although perhaps not actually) and 2015 (Milifandom, and the overprediction of the youth vote). The Brexit referendum result polling also has a bad rep, which is a bit undeserved, although the dire and … Continue reading The famous Ipsos MORI went to Rome to see the Pope…



I confess, my destiny’s manifestos

Fri, 19 May 2017 13:01:34 +0000

As we all put on our party hats for the UK election, I’ve written a couple of pieces at CityMetric on the parties’ manifestos and why their transport plans are stupid: Why Labour’s rail nationalisation plan is interesting but basically stupid Why the Tory plan to drop Crossrail 2 is interesting but basically stupid I … Continue reading I confess, my destiny’s manifestos



Australia’s new restricted migration visa rules: serf’s up!

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:34:17 +0000

Despite being largely immune from the economic woes that afflict flyover America and northern England, Australia is by no means immune from the present worldwide levels of hysteria about migrants taking our jerbs. We also have a struggling centre-right Prime Minister, who is beseiged by the far-right headbangers who dominate his party (and, to a … Continue reading Australia’s new restricted migration visa rules: serf’s up!



Don’t believe the 500 million quid passport story until you see it on the side of a bus

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 09:19:06 +0000

The UK’s worst tabloids are running today on the Glorious Brexity News that the government is planning to spend £500 million on returning British passports to their former glory – changing them from the wicked EU’s suspiciously French-sounding burgundy to good traditional English blue/black. The interesting thing about the £500m passport change story is not that it’s … Continue reading Don’t believe the 500 million quid passport story until you see it on the side of a bus



Depends on how foreign your Aberdeens are

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:53:04 +0000

I did a thing at Citymetric on the interesting way folks are completely happy for Scottish companies to run the railways in southern England, but lose their minds when Hong Kong companies do the same thing. My favourite self-quote: The RMT, famous for being the least sensible or survival-oriented union in the UK since the National … Continue reading Depends on how foreign your Aberdeens are



On moving to SSL, infinite loops, and the downright impossible

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 08:17:05 +0000

Those of you who pay attention to such things (and, realistically, most of the people who read this blog are tremendous nerds about one thing or another) may have noticed the exciting green secure HTTP padlock to the left of the URL in their browser bar. Yes, we’re now officially just as secure as a … Continue reading On moving to SSL, infinite loops, and the downright impossible