On passenger rail:
- start by identifying the centres of population that have massive transit between them, and rail has a low market share, and work out how to fix that. Examples: Ruhr or Frankfurt - London, Frankfurt - Paris, Amsterdam - Paris
- this is not just about new lines. It's about unblocking congested junctions and stations, and also finding ways to up speeds through heavily built up areas
- good luck sticking a 300km/h railway through the places on that map! The inhabitants will *scream*!
At least with Theresa May on Brexit you knew there had been some thought, some reflection, some preparation before she said anything. It might have been wrong or dangerous, but at least there was thought.
With Johnson he blurts out the first bullshit that springs to mind.
I find this really corrosive.
The intellectual laziness. The carelessness. The abject lack of understanding for those on the other side of the table. The chronic inability to put oneself in the shoes of others.
If I behaved the way Johnson does - either in my personal or professional life - I’d be a laughing stock.
No one would employ me. Friends wouldn’t talk to me or would disown me.
The people in that sort of inflatable boat flotilla might get away with doing that - they might have luck they are not infected, that they were not close enough to someone who was, and being outside probably lessens the risk. We don't know.
I am not doing that. That would not be my thing even in non-Corona times. But I am still self isolating and social distancing as well as I can.
But I am enormously privileged to be able to do that. My work is digital, I work from home, I live next to a park for air and exercise.
"An infectious uncertainty"
By Mary Wakefield, Cummings's wife, in The Spectator
This is a rather peculiar one I admit, as it mentions her son administering Ribena to Cummings, but perhaps more importantly she states she thinks she had COVID, something Cummings at the Press Conference denied. And neglects to mention all of this happened in Durham not London.
Let me conduct a little thought experiment for a moment
Imagine Coronavirus had not happened, and instead the Daily Mirror / Guardian had dug up a different Cummings scandal - imagine he had allegedly bribed an EU official to get info on the Brexit negotiations
How would that one play out?
Johnson would stand by his man.
Cummings would defend his conduct - that it might not really have been in the spirit of negotiation, but he was doing it for the best for Britain.
The most plausible timeline is that Wakefield already had symptoms and vomiting on Thursday 26 March, so Cummings broke isolation to go to Number 10 on Friday 27 March - to then run from Downing Street middle of the day on 27th
These pieces about how #Coronavirus has wrecked a borderless Europe annoy me - especially when they quote Macron about opening again. France has been the biggest hypocrite on #Schengen since 2015, with DE close behind during the refugee crisis!
Also the basic issue is this: does restriction on the movement of people make sense during #Coronavirus - yes, it does. Because it can stop transmission. The problem is closing borders is about the only mechanism states have, not least because 2015 broke that taboo.
Germany has suffered this a bit less perhaps, as with 16 Länder local restrictions for health reasons are easier to do. But elsewhere in Europe that's not so much of an issue.
The narrative being woven here by the College is this:
- because there was no consensus on which of five candidates to go for in November, none of them should be reconsidered
- Mogherini, considered on her own, was unanimously approved by the Selection Committee
But if you put all of them *together*, AND you assessed all of them according to the published criteria, I am pretty certain Mogherini would *not* have emerged the victor - as she did not comply with the criteria, but other candidates did