Monthly Archives: January 2017

Echoes

Now transcriptions of Trump’s inaugural speech are available, I can confirm the historic echo I thought I heard.

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

Wow!  That is surely too close to be pure coincidence.  His own words, or a speechwriter?

One people, one nation, one leader.

But will he do as well as his role model in rebuilding his country’s infrastructure and industries?  History tells us where that eventually leads.

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Travel made easy

Back from Brighton a couple of days ago.

That’s kind-of more newsworthy than a simple journey should be.  Travel to Brighton has been disrupted, first by a lot of general disruption on Southern Railways, and more recently by strikes adding to travel problems.  Brighton’s commuters have a lot of horror stories about their troubles.

By planning my journey at specific times of day, I can travel from here to Brighton on just two trains, both operated by First Group, and changing at Westbury.  So I can easily avoid the disrupted trains.  However, that puts me on a short train of just three coaches for the Westbury-Brighton journey.  And from Southampton, it’s a stretch served also by much longer Southern trains, many of them eight coaches.  So the worry was that my train might be overwhelmed with refugees from disrupted Southern services.

So I took a few precautions.  I booked in advance, and avoided not just any Southern services, but also their strike days.  Booking in advance still seems to be a nightmare, but I eventually managed.  Phew!

Come the actual travel, everything is far better than I’d dared hope.  Not only are the trains running smoothly and on-time, but I find I have ample space to spread out.  Indeed, a double-seat to myself throughout both outward and return journeys.  Even in January low season, that’s unusual!

I can only infer that the news of disruption has driven potential passengers away.  People with a choice about it are avoiding travel, not merely in the regions affected by disruption, but also on the mainline service from London to southwest England, well clear of the disruption.  All the better for those of us who do travel!

The Power of Denial

Someone from the Red Cross describes our NHS as a humanitarian crisis.  Oh dear.  OK, bit of commentary in the media, politicians spin it.  No big deal.

But then someone from the NHS denies it, thus invoking the Power of Denial to make it a much more serious story, less likely to be relegated to a footnote in Current Affairs by next week.  And it’s not even an unqualified denial.  Whoops!

My first reaction: how silly to rise to the bait.  But was it deliberate?  One shouldn’t attribute to Conspiracy what can be explained by Cockup, but in this case I’m not at all sure.