Tag Archives: Whinging

Stamp out bureaucracy

This year I’ve used up all my old definitive stamps, sending my Christmas cards before they force us to use barcoded monstrosities from February, now only six days away. Perversely Christmas non-barcoded are still valid for another six months. Before politicians in their wisdom, broke up Royal Mail, we could have exchanged them in the post office instead of downloading the appropriate form and sending it off.

I’m not a sheepdog

We have all seen the black and white films: Cary Grant is walking along a rain-swept London street and sees a cab in the distance, he whistles, and the vehicle practices an impressive u-turn. But how does this transcend real life? A question posed by Taxi Point found the whistle divides opinion. The whistle is still heavily used by the hotel doorman to call up the next taxi when the rank is set back from the entrance. This act has been used for decades and even dates back to horse and carriage times. TaxiPoint asked its readers whether it was rude for a customer to whistle at them when trying to hail a taxi. Some were quite happy with bringing whistled, however, the main argument for cabbies was that they didn’t like the action as it was the link to a submissive command usually aimed at dogs.

Another one comes along

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi look set to join Uber in London’s private hire vehicle market. After issuing thousands of vehicles for private hire use, I suppose it makes sense to Sadiq Khan. After the Government curtailed Chinese involvement in rolling out 5G due to data protection concerns, you might have expected Transport for London to follow suit.

Peeping Tom

Londoners should have learnt to ignore the anaemic hallucinations plastered on new-build hoardings. They usually contain the same components – a city bathed in permanent sun, populated by adults of unidentifiable ages who stroll aimlessly through the landscaped parkland surrounding their new apartments, with not a high-rise social housing building in the vicinity. Most worryingly in these CGI renders is the implied position of the viewer – frequently these images show the dappling of trees or foliage creeping into frame, suggesting the impoverished onlooker gazes at these people from behind a tree or bush. They are rich, smugly unaware of onlookers. We are perverts. Peeping Toms watching a development paradise.

Mapping black spots

The London Cycling Campaign has named the most dangerous junction systems in London. They are in King’s Cross, the Shoreditch Triangle and Holborn. The London Cycling Campaign held an event at the House of Commons where they announced plans to publish ‘a full list of more than 20 dangerous junctions via an interactive map covering all of London in early next year’. It’s about time someone did it.