Natural Consequence

Listening to the radio this morning and during the “What The Papers Say” section the presenters discussed an article in the Daily Mail. Now, clearly, anything in the DM is utter bullshit and should be ignored but I couldn’t help but be curious at the language the news BBC presenters used. It went along the lines of:

Councils are going to charge more for car parking . . . . . this will affect Sunday shoppers and church goers.

I’m not sure I agree with their assessment. I think it will affect people who want to park their cars. What those people do after they have parked their cars is entirely up to them. If you are using a service then you should expect to pay for it somehow, this seems a sensible approach to me. I’m don’t even want to get started on the righteousness invested in “church goers” as if they should have the freedom to do their religioning. I’ll shout this out later but going to church regularly doesn’t make you any more “moral” than the next person. May I kindly remind you of which system of moral belief has spent the last fifty years systematically covering up child abuse: step up the catholic church.

Councils charging more for the services they provide is a natural consequence of the austerity measures imposed on this country by successive governments since  the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Local councils have had their central government funding cut massively and so they need to either raise more money by themselves or cut services. It’s ingenious because it keeps the anger at local politicians rather than those in Westminster as your local council has to charge more but it’s NOT their fault.

Austerity has royally screwed this country over and the natural consequence of less money around was Brexit. The Tories have imposed their version of hatred on the peoples of this land and will make us all poorer.

Just for amusement here are some quotes from the DM website article about the parking charges and my comments:

Motorists face steep hikes in parking charges to plug holes in council budgets.

True, but no explanation about why the government isn’t funding the councils.

Some town halls are bringing in fees on Sundays to catch shoppers and churchgoers.

Replace “catch” with “charge for services”.

A number of local authorities are in extreme financial difficulties with much of the pressure coming from the rising cost of social care.

Because we don’t want to help those who are less well off or damaged within society. We want to park for nothing. The pressure is coming from chronic underfunding and rising inflation costs.

‘The war on motorists has got to stop,’ said Tory MP Robert Halfon.

“WAR”. Ha ha. Making people pay for a service they use is considered “WAR”. Perhaps the Tory MP could argue for increased central government funding for the councils to ease the legitimate parking charges. I hadn’t noticed a “war” on motorists. I’d love to hear an expanded explanation about that.

Dover and Bristol are planning to reintroduce Sunday charges in car parks as well as on streets.

So why the fake outrage? It’s hardly a war is it if these charges were in place before.

‘When will councils recognise that growing their income depends on low-cost and accessible parking, not knee-jerk cash grabs from hard-working motorists?’

English councils made a £819million surplus from parking fines, fees and permits during the 2016/17 financial year.

“Cash grabs” interpreted means paying for services. “Knee-jerk” implies a sudden change and easy decision. I suspect that having to raise charges is the last thing the councils want to do but is a necessity. The £819 million figure is disingenuous as it includes parking fines and is spread over the whole of England. Let’s face it, if you park somewhere you shouldn’t and get caught then pay the fine. There is no distinction in the article about how much income comes from those who break the rules. This figure use is designed to increase rage at councils rather than place that anger where it is deserved. This is what happens when your media is biased. To balance this I will probably have to have a look at a left leaning newspaper and so I promise to do that at some time.

Ninety-five per cent of town halls plan to increase council tax next month. Meanwhile, bin collections, libraries, social care and other services have been slashed.


The number of households enjoying weekly rubbish rounds has plummeted by a third since 2010, the National Audit Office revealed this week.

OK, and this is important because? . . . . . . .

There are three paragraphs defending the action and it would be remiss of me to neglect to mention them.

Martin Tett of the Local Government Association said: ‘Local authorities remain on the side of hard-pressed motorists, shoppers and businesses and do not set parking charges to make a profit.

‘Car parks cost taxpayers money to maintain and improve and any surplus is spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12billion roads repair backlog and creating new parking spaces.

‘To protect such provision, and in the face of an overall funding gap that will exceed £5billion by 2020, councils are being forced to make difficult decisions.’

These are followed directly by a paragraph telling of charges increasing in Bournemouth. The overall “reporting” in this article is designed to keep people angry, to keep them annoyed at “social costs”, to keep them thinking that motorists are hard workers and shouldn’t have to pay for these things. This is social engineering on a massive scale and it keeps happening in EVERY article in the piece of shit newspaper and website. The DM claims that the web version is an entirely separate entity but as Private Eye points out they both share the same executive editor.

The DM and Express along with other media have used their positions and influence over the last 12 years to engineer a social divide, to encourage hatred, to encourage an insular approach. They are the scum of this country. They are the ones fostering hatred towards people who are different or have needs. They promote the entitled view they so desperately mock.

It is time for me to stop or I’ll end up in a full blown rant and that’s not needed on a Saturday morning. I’ll leave you to ponder the use of language by our media.

Summer Of Parking

This summer was not a good one for me attempting to park the car. It seems I’ve been a little unlucky or forgetful!

The first incident was caused by me largely not connecting the dots and being in a slight rush. I parked my car at work when I left for CCF Camp. When I did this the entire site was locked because it was being used by the Ramblin’ Man music festival in the park nearby. I managed to get into the car park and was going to park “out of the way” in my normal spot. I decided there and then that I really wanted some CCTV coverage of the car so I zoomed around and parked in the main part of the car park.

I thought little of this until the Tuesday. I was walking down to the Eden Project and I had a phone call asking if the spare keys were nearby. Could I get the car moved as it was blocking the route for a new water and electricity trench that the school needed to build. There was a few hours of consternation until I was eventually called and told that a car breakdown service had been instructed to move the car. I was relieved.

Not In The Way Anymore
Not In The Way Anymore

Bora Horza Gobuchul no longer blocked the path for the trench. I had been told about this work that was going to take place, but did not combine this fact with where I parked the car.

The next incident was parking at the M’era Luna festival. Along the journey we had received updates about the parking and rain situation and we arrived around midday to park. The queues into the car park were long and we wondered what the delay was. I followed the instructions given by the parking attendants and turned onto the field. Drive fast they said and don’t stop.

Well. That’s all very well for a manual non-hybrid car without and traction control electronics. I think we managed about 100 metres across the field before we became embedded in the mud. The car was not going anywhere.

Fucking Stuck
Fucking Stuck

We weren’t the only ones. There were many cars getting stuck including a BMW X5. Shortly after this the organisers closed the car park and managed to arrange alternative parking for the festival attendees. One of the attendants explained there would be a tractor when we wanted to leave. I was quite distressed because the car was beeping and flashing lights at me. There wasn’t anything I could do and so I turned the thing off. Andy did well to calm me, slowly my stress lowered and I managed to enjoy most of the weekend without panicking too much.

Before leaving the car park we found the emergency tow hook and I read the instructions about how to fit it and be towed. Mentally I prepared myself for the car to be broken and the steps we would have to go through to get home.

Sunrise Over Bora Horza Gobuchul
Sunrise Over Bora Horza Gobuchul – note the lack of surrounding cars

On the Monday morning, in quite a gorgeous setting, we flagged down the tractor man and he towed us out of the hole. I had to put the car into neutral which I rarely do but it all seemed to work well. As we neared the edge of the field the tractor chap unhooked us and said we had to drive the last three metres by ourselves. I’m not really sure why. I wanted a tow to the road so I had a proper surface to drive on.

Tow hook fitted and ready to go
Tow hook fitted and ready to go

I floored the accelerator and the car moved to the road. I shouted to Andy to get in and we left. A few miles up the road I removed the emergency tow hook. We headed to the UK. All seemed far better than I had expected!

The good news is that since I am now back at work the summer is officially over and I have had no more parking incidents. I even had quite a time in the Lake District and then Bradford and neither resulted in issues. My nerves have dissipated now.

Parking Signals

This communication is to give some advice on how to give signals when someone else is parking their car. To me this seems an obvious thing to do, but so many people don’t do it so it needs explaining. This is partly made irrelevant by “parking sensors” but then I don’t really agree with them in the same way I don’t agree with automatic headlights. If you can’t park your car you shouldn’t be driving. I know technology is there to make life easier but let’s face facts: some people aren’t good enough to warrant owning a driving licence.

The Situation

You want to park in a tight spot and need someone to give you hand signals so you know where your car is in relation to other (fixed) objects, another car or fence post.

Bad picture of car parking

The Wrong Hand Signal Method

The person guiding you into your parking spot waves their hand backwards and forwards. This gives you, as the driver, absolutely no information and all the power and control is in the hands of a potential moron who is helping you park.

Bad Parking Signals

The Correct Hand Signal Method

This method relies on the helper being able to indicate distance by just looking at the gap but it gives you are driver information and the ability to control the situation. The hands are held apart roughly the same distance that is between your car and the obstruction. As a driver you now know distance and rate of closure. You, as the driver, can decide when you are close enough and also have overall control of the situation. This method should be taught to everyone.

Good Parking Signals

So, there you have it. How to give parking signals. I don’t even want to begin to explain what bumpers are for!

Quality Parking

Watched this guy park, get out, check his parking and then walk away. What a knob! He might as well have parked right in the middle of the two spaces.