Congestion Charge

Apparently plans are afoot (although maybe awheel would be a better description) to increase congestion charges, car tax and flight surcharges. Such a move should ensure the private companies and government can increase the indirect tax burden by extolling their green credentials. I’m sure if the melting Greenland ice mass had any kind of facial features, it’d be wearing a happy expression and possibly a hat at a jaunty angle. And the again, maybe “ if we now extend it’s humanism to include half a brain “ it’d realise that this is nothing more than windsock politics mated incestuously to sanctimonious sound bites.

But that’s not what this is about. Although I may return to it later once I’ve calmed down a bit.

This morning the train suffered congestion. Now those of you born after Jimi Hendrix died (i.e. of a proper age) may remember a British Rail advert where an InterCity 125 rolled unconcerned past lines of stranded vehicles unmoving due traffic congestion. Well I’d like to take somebody to task about this although this is extremely unlikely since everyone in so called authority abandoned the failing railway with their fat state funded pensions years ago.

Nevertheless as Viz so memorably put it: someone should be told. Can someone explain to me how a train track can suffer congestion? It’s not like a few extra trains from another operator can be slipped in is it? Or maybe they can Yeah, Hi it’s Ron from GWR, Paddington is a right shit hole this morning, can we stuff a few of ours in Marylebone? They’ll be a beer and some pork scratchings in it for you”

There can be no other logical explanation other than an alien abduction of a platform or the timetabling software generously allocating terminating berths in some kind of fantasy configuration: yes 4 in the main platform, two on the roof and one in fourth dimensional phase space.

Ah the timetable or an aspirational vision” as Chiltern Railways like to think of it. Not even lightly bolted to the planet we call reality. The driver this morning differed from our normal happy go unbothered there will be a three day delay because the executives are sorting out their bonuses but I don’t care as I get paid anyway” being supplanted by Marvin the Paranoid Android on anti depressants I’m really sorry you’ve been abandoned in this dark dank tunnel, it’s probably congestion but who the hell knows, nobody tells me anything and I’ve read Austin and Keats but they just treat us like robots¦” at which point I turned up the MP3 player and waited for nightfall.

This does put me in mind of graffiti scrawled on a platform around the same time of the lying advert. Satirically lampooning BR’s timetable, it suffixed the boast 25 Trains leave from this station for London EVERY DAY” with Yeah, but only seven get back“.

Graffiti is not what it was.

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