Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The stories cycling activists must hate – and I hope I live to see delivered

I’ve really come to loathe and despise most activists and campaigners, but as with all generalisations, have to be clear I’m only referring to those who see their campaigns as a job, and one they will be out of if they ever acknowledge the delivery of anything they are campaigning for.

I’m not going over old ground, like some sort of broken record – there are enough old posts filed on the subject in this blog.

So…

I was intrigued, but NOT surprised (since I stopped listening to activists) to read that plans for a ‘Green Network’ (to be launched in May 2019) with 500 miles of walking and cycling routes connecting the city centre to parks and nature areas, ALREADY has some 60% of the access network is already in place.

Listening to the whining noises always coming from cycling activists, you could be forgiven for thinking that figure was closer to 0% than 60%.

The network includesCuningar Woodland Park, Pollok Country Park, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Park and Castle Semple Country Park.

The Cunningar Loop Bridge was a great addition, over the River Clyde and the Clyde Walkway, as it meant no longer having to go from Shettleston, almost to Rutherglen, to get to the park, as it connected it at Dalmarnock, just past Parkhead.

Cunningar Bridge River

Cunningar Bridge River

The only one listed which I haven’t touched is Castle Semple Country Park, which is simply the furthest from me, and I’d never even heard of. Apart from the Botanics, I can reach all the others via cycle paths or cycle routes.

The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network has prepared a blueprint, on behalf of the eight local authorities in the Glasgow City Region, which aims to make outdoor areas easily accessible for everyone in the region.

Probably the most relevant aspect is the identification of areas that need to be addressed to ‘Join the dots’, as the most frustrating thing I come across is spots where I find I’m between safe/quiet roads/routes, with no obvious means of connecting the two.

Filling in these gaps would vastly improve the existing networks.

A report to the City Region Cabinet states: “The blueprints identify what already currently contributes to the two networks that should be protected and if necessary improved, and where there are gaps in provision that need to be delivered.

“The blueprint will contribute to delivering sustainable inclusive economic growth and increasing wellbeing by contributing to making the Glasgow City Region a successful, sustainable place where people want to work and where they live healthy lives.”

They also hope the blueprint will make the region a natural, resilient place that improves and protects the environment, a connected place providing opportunities for exercise and mental wellbeing and a place that encourages active travel contributing to a low carbon economy.

Plan unveiled for ‘green network’ in Glasgow linking city centre to parks in the region

I hope they can do this without too many delays brought about from complaints by ‘special interest groups’, who must be heard, but seem to be taking far too much power for themselves nowadays, as opposed to being totally ignored in the past.

A better balance needs to be struck, as projects such as this can seem to spend far too long stuck in the dispute stage.

 

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14/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Cloud cuckoo land – or where all the damned activists must (want to) live

I’m usually a fairly tolerant person, but I have to confess that I find myself tending to lose patience with all the activists and campaigners who seem to be popping up these days, making absurd claims and demands.

I’ve already poked the cycling activists in the eye after now spending a year cycling in Glasgow, and the city centre, where I was scared to go after reading the activists’ warning about how dangerous it was there, how the place was ‘gridlocked’, and how my health would suffer as I fought my way through clouds of pollution.

Sorry, ain’t seen none of that, and often cycle through almost deserted streets, maybe a little busy at peak times.

Then there are the various Green Loonies, who keep going on and on and on endlessly whining about pollution of all sorts, also telling us traffic is killing us in droves, or that waste is not being tackled, or that recycling needs to be addressed.

While I wouldn’t say things are perfect by any means, these things are being addressed (in the real world, and in real world ways, which are never fast enough for activists), and more ‘joined up’ systems are needed, but these changes take time.

The latest lot I just spotted have come up with this gem…

They (Get Glasgow Moving) want to see the creation of a publicly-owned bus company and transport authority, affordable, integrated ticketing and a city-wide smartcard for across transport networks, bike hire stations with free access for concessions, and a “coordinated, long-term vision and investment”.

A statement from organisers reads: “Most people in Glasgow rely on public transport to get around (only 49 per cent of households have cars), yet our public transport network is a total mess.

“Investing in public transport is essential for expanding our city’s economy, addressing inequality and social isolation, reducing toxic levels of air pollution and tackling climate change.

“Bickering between political parties is letting Glasgow down. We are decades behind other cities in providing affordable and sustainable transport.”

A rally to demand better public transport in Glasgow is happening tomorrow

They seem to have selective myopia, and don’t even see their own ‘success’ – just blindly keep whining on and on…

The petition was originally handed in to elected members eight months ago and chiefs at the campaign group have now been invited to the council’s HQ to discuss their aims further at a committee meeting.

Then again, there’s probably an “Activist’s Handbook” that instruct them never to acknowledge even the slightest success, otherwise the “enemy” will see it as a sign of weakness, and take stuff back.

I used to think many such groups deserved support, and I’m sure there are some good and honourable ones out there.

But nowadays, I think they seem to fail when their aims and claims are reviewed and tested against reality.

For example, in their above manifesto, to say “our public transport network is a total mess” is really ridiculous, and an insult to the intelligence of the reader.

It may not be perfect, but that’s far from any sort of justification to exaggerate in such a blatantly provocative way.

On the bright side – always consider that we live in a country where we CAN have them (and better still, can ignore them,or even poke fun) 🙂

Activists

If you want a good example of a BAD activist, and one who has far too much time on his hands (assuming ‘he’ is an individual and not an activist group posing as an individual), then have a look at the Comment area after this article: Scotland ‘could be net-zero for greenhouse gas emissions’

Even though I no longer read these (and tend to refer them as ‘Moron areas’, my brief glances are enough to see that contributor ‘GeorgeH’ is some sort of single-issue activist who plays out like broken record, repeating the same mindless dogma time after time, as if constant repetition will either turn into facts, or convince people to believe.

Update

In a later article, there was some more info…

More than 10,000 bus users have signed a petition calling for a world-class publicly owned transport service across Glasgow.

Members of the Get Glasgow Moving campaign have asked councillors to call for an amendment to the Transport Bill, which is being finalised at the Scottish Parliament.

Petitioners want a publicly-owned system where operators can run both commercial and non-commercial routes.

They presented their case to councillors on Thursday afternoon before meeting with Transport Minister Michael Matheson at Holyrood.

This went on to give some insight into the strangely distorted working of the logic of campaigners’ minds…

Ellie Harrison, founder of the movement said: “We are a volunteer-run grassroots campaign set-up in 2016 to demand a world-class, fully-integrated and accessible, publicly-owned transport network for everyone in our city.

“I’m sure you’ll be aware, most people in Glasgow don’t have access to a car including nearly all of our campaign members.

Previously, their claim was…

A statement from organisers reads: “Most people in Glasgow rely on public transport to get around (only 49 per cent of households have cars), yet our public transport network is a total mess.

Note the careful, quiet, change from ‘households‘, to ‘people‘, and that they reveal ‘nearly all of our campaign members’ don’t have access to a car.

That suggest to me that they are a special interest group, NOT representative of the wider population!

It’s also amusing to see them cite a Munich bases system as their model – probably forgetting that Germany’s taxation and public funding regime is not the same as Scotland’s.

Perhaps this group thinks a wand can be waved, and the money for the bus system they want will appear by magic.

But…

I’m spending far too much time on this, so read the rest of the fun here…

Campaigners call on council for publicly-owned bus service

Full disclosure

In case anyone thinks I drive, I DON’T, the best I can afford now is good shoes, and a bike.

I rather like getting on a train two or three times a year, but have not been on a bus for about twenty years, or maybe more.

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Damned activists – no sense of humour, and no credibility

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m really coming to the conclusion that activists are becoming increasingly desperate to protect their ‘jobs’.

While there was a place for them in the past, when the public was poorly educated about their issues, and there wasn’t the amount of information floating around that we now have thanks to the Internet, these single-minded agenda groups are becoming tiresome.

While it may be my opinion that many of them are almost redundant today, such has been the progress of the issues they were once able to campaign reasonably for, they are beginning to turn into the ‘Nazi Hunters’ of their chosen causes.

That’s NOT a derogatory comment about Nazi Hunters, merely a realisation that their time has come, and that the last few genuine Nazi war criminals are so old, and have evaded justice for so long, that there is no real point in pursuing them. Most have lost their minds, or are so ill that even if found completely guilty, no court will send them to jail (and have to look after them).

A couple of activist items in the news suggests they need to be viewed with care now, as their claims become increasingly dubious.

First was the calim of Greggs vegan sausage rolls being dumped daily…

Rumours are circulating on social media that a couple are buying up vegan sausage rolls from Greggs and binning them in protest – but staff are denying it.

A Facebook post by Vegan Glasgow states that a man and woman have been regularly buying a large quantity of vegan sausage rolls from Greggs in Buchanan Bus Station and throwing them directly in the bin.

The post reads: “Vegan Glasgow has been contacted today by more than one of our community of page followers about a man and woman who go into Greggs at Buchanan Bus Station, Glasgow every day in the morning and buy 40 Vegan Sausage Rolls and put them ALL in the bin!

Confusion over claims Glasgow Greggs’ customers ‘binning’ £40 of vegan sausage rolls every day

While I’m not touching Facecrook to check, there seems to be no evidence in the form of pics or video to support this.

If there is, it’s certainly not mentioned in the articles, so Vegan Glasgow loses any credibility for not providing evidence, which would b easy enough to provide from any mobile phone nowadays.

Then there was the silly reaction to a bit of fun from Poundland…

It’s the thought that counts when giving presents – or is it?

Discount retailer Poundland has caused controversy with its latest Valentine’s Day gift, a heart-shaped package with nothing in it.

The Gift of Nothing, naturally priced at £1, is intended as “a bit of fun”, says the retailer.

But Friends of the Earth and other campaign groups have complained that whatever Poundland was thinking about, it certainly wasn’t the environment.

Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth’s lead campaigner on plastics, criticised its use of “wasteful plastics”, adding: “Let’s hope folly like this goes unloved and doesn’t reappear.”

Another campaigner, Sian Sutherland of A Plastic Planet, said: “This product is designed to go straight into the bin, but will last for 500 years.

“It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world.”

Poundland ‘gift of nothing’ sparks criticism

Their logic is so badly flawed I’m tempted not to point out that…

Had there been ‘something’ in the packaging, then packaging would have been binned.

As it is, the packaging IS the something!

So I suspect less of those will go in the bin as people keep the joke item as a fun memory or keepsake.

In fact, if you think about it and apply the activist’s logic, this is a product they should be ENDORSING…

After all, it actually has NO PACKAGING AT ALL!

So…

Like I say…

SAVE US FROM THE ACTIVISTS!

Poundland Gift of Nothing Pic Credit @KimxPxPA

Poundland Gift of Nothing Pic Credit @KimxPxPA

23/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Do all ‘campaigners’ think people are stupid?

Am I the only person who is coming to the conclusion that many campaigners and activists have no real interest in whatever they are endlessly whining on about, and are really just frustrated little Hit dictators who’s real aim is just to TELL people what to think or believe?

I’ve already thrown a few posts in here about the tripe spouted by many cycling activists, which almost made me give up moving off my own suburban roads into the streets of Glasgow, which they claim are dangerous and polluted.

I won’t lower the tone of my Blog by using the appropriate word for their claims (or outright lies), but it starts with sh.

Now, after reading that Glasgow is the FIRST city in Scotland to enact an LEZ (low emission zone), and a schedule for its wider implementation, guess what?

Yup.

Air pollution campaigner Gavin Thomson said: “The toxic, illegal levels of air pollution in Glasgow causes hundreds of premature deaths and life-limiting conditions.

“Unfortunately, the weak terms of this low-emission zone – only applying to one in five buses – won’t achieve any significant change for air quality.

“This ‘no ambition zone’ means fumes from transport in the centre of Glasgow will carry on poisoning people’s lungs for many more years.

Pollution campaigners demand more action as Glasgow launches low-emission zone

I’m sorry, but…

I’ve driven and walked through Glasgow for decades (and now even cycle), and the city is almost like a Ghost Town as regards the traffic (and I think I’d be on a safe bet if I added pollution) level today as compared to the past.

And let’s not selectively ignore the fact that the vehicles on the city’s roads 10, 20, or more years ago did not have any of the emission controls fitted to current vehicles, AND were burning LEADED petrol.

Back in the ‘Good Old Days’ I used to sit in Argyle Street, nose to tail in traffic jams that meant it took ages to get from one end to the other (and no alternatives, the side streets were all jammed too), with vehicles spewing visible muck into the air.

I don’t think I’ve seen such a thing for years.

Seriously, I cycle along Argyle Street alone, except when the red lights catch the few vehicles there, and I catch up with the group. Cycling activists’ claims of gridlocked and polluted streets are utter nonsense today.

Go look for yourself if you don’t believe me.

If claims such as this are true…

Mr Thomson said councils must be bold in their approach to tackling pollution.

“Private bus operators in Glasgow are getting a free ride while everyone else is suffering the effects of illegal levels of air pollution,” he said.

“Three hundred premature deaths are caused by air pollution in Glasgow every year. We need bolder action by the council, and bus companies need to prioritise people over profits.

Then I think there must have been a conveyor belt, or maybe barges floating down the Clyde, to ship out the thousands of bodies as people dropped dead in the street in those.

I think the reality is that that campaigners are seeing the end of a cushy wee number they enjoyed, and are keen to spread scare stories to keep themselves in a nice easy job. Alternatively, we should find out who is promoting them.

For example, after reading one apparent news article about how dirty the air is, and how good air cleaners are at dealing with it – I found a little ‘SPONSORED’ tag on the page. The writer sold… air cleaners!

Unlike the councils, which have to deliver practical, measurable solutions and work within legislation against which they can be judged, campaigners just have to open their mouths and whine, while having no legal requirements to meet, responsibility to meet targets, or provide justification that can be checked.

Seriously folks.

Question them and their claims – while not true of all (there are good people out there), they are becoming ever more dubious, and seem to be getting closer to being Snake Oil Salesmen and Quacks as the years pass, and what they were campaigning for is being delivered.

And, they get to play the ‘Shame Card’ if you dare challenge them, and retort with things like “Do you WANT people to die?

I think it’s time to give these various campaigners a run for their money, stop giving them support, and chase them.

If they were serious, they’d be supporting, not criticising…

Scotland’s first low-emission zone launches in Glasgow

Scotland’s first low-emission zone launched in Glasgow

And…

Extra £1m for green buses as low emission zone launched

Almost makes you long for the days of running those aforementioned Snake Oil Salesmen out of town 🙂

Angry Mob

02/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , | Leave a comment

   

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