2018 A Few Highlights and Insights by Derek Wyatt

2018 A Few Highlights and Insights by Derek Wyatt

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BBC News

I think their news reporting on television, radio and online has reached a new low. I stopped listening to the “Today” programme in January and have not missed it. I started when Brian Redhead was the star turn. But no more. I am now campaigning for there to be a rival to the BBC News and for it to be paid for from the licence fee. It simply is not possible to believe that they spend £100m on their web sites. A rival might be a mixture of “Sky”, “C4”,” ITV News” and the “Huffington Post”, you get the drift, and it would make the BBC sit up. They are so arrogant.

 

Traffic in central London

Our pollution levels are frighteningly high and dangerous. Three things have come together; less space for cars, because of the £2 billion spent on cycle lanes’ so longer queues at lights and idling of engines, a congestion charge which is too low and so ineffective, and too many taxis/Ubers/AL and the like. TfL has over- licensed the Uber world, and we have 40,000 extra of them. I would licence cycles at £25 a year. They have bodies of cash spent on them,  but have contributed nothing to our collective bottom lines. Either that or charge them for using the lanes.

 

I would ban parts of central London to cars in rush hour; I would use the Singapore congestion charge system on a road by road basis and I would implement the Athens scheme of only being able to use your cars on alternative days (odd and even number plate recognition). TfL just sits on its collective hands. In central London I would bring in a circular green tram system and free connected hop on and off golf carts. We have lost our imagination.

 

Parliament

This has been the worst year I can recall (I am approaching 70) for our political mistresses and masters in Parliament. Woeful leadership, outright lies on Europe and a refusal to accept that the building itself has had it. Now they have agreed to pay;  well it is bound to double, about £10bn over 10-12 years and it is bound to over run, to bring the place up to speed. For half that, they could have turned it into a Political Museum, converted the many offices into MPs and Peers flats and moved en bloc to Battersea, King’s Cross, Victoria or even Canary Wharf. They could have even bought the QE2 building opposite Parliament, raised it and replaced it with a modern set of chambers. I just hope that by the time you have read this, we have made arrangements for a cross party group to take over the Brexit talks which would include an option for a second referendum, though quite what would be on the voting slip escapes me.

 

Huge Congratulations to the people who run our Museums, Galleries, Gardens and Parks.

Without doubt we have the best in the world! Well done or rather well done the boards, the cleaners, the talent , the volunteers and the executives who make them so special. In my favourites of the year I would put Battersea Park, which is the most improved, Chelsea Physic Gardens, Kew, the truly wonderful V&A, the great additions at the Royal Academy, Hyde Park, if only for the parrots and, of course, the Chelsea Arts Club! Champagne all round.

 

Three Wishes for the New Year

  1. Greater courtesy by car drivers: we should bring in a system which rewards kind and thoughtful drivers
  2. Let’s try and pick up litter on the roads surrounding our houses as they do in Sweden to huge success
  3. A Happy Christmas and pray for REMAIN!

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