John Bull Profile picture
13 Oct, 4 tweets, 1 min read
Anyone who thinks MPs are lazy hasn't seen how much time Stella Creasy has to spend each week writing to TfL about the lift at Walthamstow Central being broken again.

(I'm not being snarky here. She's an insanely good constituency MP)
I honestly think it would be quicker if TfL just gave her a JIRA account.
There's a reason she wins the seat in General Elections with the kind of majority that would make Saddam Hussein blush.

And it's not just demographic shift in the area.
Being a good constituency MP doesn't win elections on its own, but it sure as hell gives you a solid breakwater against any adverse national political shift against your politics.

Frankly the UK would be better if more new MPs, of both parties, realised that.

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More from @garius

13 Oct
Okay, this is a good opportunity to talk flood gates on the London Underground. The myths, the reality, and the known unknowns.

Spoiler: there are less than you think, and they were never there for the reasons you think. And the Thames Barrier is really, REALLY important. /1
So the first thing you need to think about here is what the Thames actually is, and what its relationship to London has always been:

It's been the city's lifeblood for centuries, but also its biggest divider. It's what protects us northerners from southerners, and vice-versa.
It was also a big barrier to the early railways. Because tunnelling under a river, particularly a tidal one, is pretty fucking hard.

So hard, in fact, that it took the combined brains of Marc, Isambard and Brunel to do it.
Read 25 tweets
12 Oct
"Housing costs are not included on the assumption that most pensioners have paid off mortgages."

Fixed that for you, BBC/Loughborough Uni. altered bbc headline screenshot - Pensions: experts say £10
(Also, not being funny, but when I retire and don't have to work anymore, 10k a year is going to be my annual bar tab. But that may be just me)
"For the first time in the assessment, Netflix subscriptions and items such as haircuts are included"

Remember kids, the people who do one of the best known pension requirement calculations started factoring in Netflix and chill before they factored in the lack of home-ownership
Read 11 tweets
11 Oct
I'm proud of the small role we played in this at @lonrec.

Whilst our main focus is London, we decided long ago that there's no point having a platform if you don't offer it to others when they need one.

When people are trying to open a door, you don't watch. You help them push.
When @GarethDennis showed me his early research on the links between slavery and the railways, it was clear that it was the tip of a large iceberg.

With my own historian hat on, It was also clear WHY it wasn't being studied: because railway history is emotional for so many.
In the most part, that's not a problem. In a way it's a good thing. It's why we get so MUCH good stuff on railway history.

But it also makes railway history intensely conservative and adherent to existing narratives, particularly around its origins and the romance of steam.
Read 12 tweets
9 Oct
A quick follow up to highlight one of the hundreds of tiny tragedies.

So on 8th October a family set out together on a journey. Their son had been approved for an emigration visa to the US, and they were off to Southampton (via London) together.

They were on the Express /1
Now I should explain at this point that one OTHER way Harrow is unique for an accident at that time is that we don't just have the accident report. We have a LOT of the original supporting documents.

This includes scrawled patient lists, police notes from the scene etc.
As a sidebar, it's worth noting that we only have these because of another piece of luck:

They were chucked in a skip during a big cleanout at the RAIB in the 70s. But someone there realised they were historically important and pulled them out.

Today, they're in Harrow museum.
Read 16 tweets
8 Oct
So some of you have asked why you haven't heard about Lieutenant Sweetwine before.

I want to be very blunt here:

It's not deliberate, but it does happen. We write out of history women who achieve things, but have to work within the system to do so.

It needs to stop.
I don't know how to make it clearer than that. I am default, videogame NPC looking motherfucker. And most of my later life heroes are women I should have heard about, as a kid, and didn't.

That makes me beyond angry. I was robbed.

And we need to stop that happening for boys now
It's not fucking woke. It's not "liberal".

It's just basic fucking facts.

I was brought up to believe I should be the best person I should be. And sexism robbed me of so many examples of how I can be that. And it made me think I wasn't allowed female heroes.

Fuck off with that
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
On 8th Oct 1952 the worst civilian rail disaster in UK history happened in London. 112 dead. 340 injured.

That accident, and the actions of one woman from Florida have saved THOUSANDS of lives.

Because the disaster helped invent the paramedic

Read on /1
Not going to go into the mechanics of the crash. For that, my #longread's below.

At 8am an express running south slammed full steam into the back of a packed commuter train at Harrow & Wealdstone.

The wreckage was then hit by ANOTHER express flying north…
You can see from the picture just how awful it was. Made worse by old wooden carriages splintering on impact, and carriages crushing up under the bridge at H&W, which still bears scars today.

But after the disaster two pieces of luck: Who was on the train, and where it happened wrecked carriages strewn across the full width of the statio
Read 26 tweets

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