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'A consultation' - Livingstone style.

Maybe I am being naive, but the concept of 'a consultation' suggests that something is being investigated without there being pre-ordained aim. Not, however, when it comes to City Hall and the Mayor of London.

The 'consultation' is about an exciting new class war attack on folk fortunate enough to drive large and / or luxurious cars. Not that it is phrased thus, it is all about CO2 emissions, which Livingstone has determined to have caused the recent floods. Uh-huh.

There is, as one would expect, some rather poor reasoning at work in the press release, and some fairly masterful sleights of hand. The attack on the owners of these cars is justified by their only being driven by '8% of Londoners'. Given that the congestion charge zone covers Westminster and K&C, the honest figure to dig out would be the percentage of these chariots of CO2 owned by people living in those boroughs, but as the average Westminsterian / Kensingtonian probably drives something a little further up the food chain than a 10 year old Toyota that would not allow him to produce a figure of 8% for the rest of us to place, metaphorically speaking, in the stocks and pelt with unread copies of 'The Londoner'. Although doubtless he would love to do that too.

And it is 'argued' further, "Some of the worst examples produce two or three times as much greenhouse gases as the average family car". Per mile? Per day? Per whatever? If I have been taxed for the privilege of driving a car in town, having once paid the tax there is absolutely no disincentive to spend all day in it, rather than just use it for the originally planned scoot to the shops.

And there's more: "The proposals are part of the Mayor's strategy to do everything possible to reduce pollution and London's contribution to climate change - a top priority as the recent catastrophic weather has brought home".

"Everything possible"? Given that by Livingstone's own admission less than half of the non-aviation transport produced CO2 comes from cars, what is he doing about his ghastly bendy buses, for instance? And that is before he targets people for breathing out, plants for photosynthesising, etc etc.

And then compare this statement: "The Mayor will keep an open mind on the proposals until he has considered the responses to the consultation".

With this: "The highest CO2 emitting cars - like some of the so-called Chelsea tractors, high powered sports cars and luxury executive cars - can produce twice as much carbon dioxide emissions as the kind of car driven by the average Londoner. By proposing these changes to the congestion charging scheme we are encouraging people to take into account the impact on the environment of their choice of car".

Any bets on Livingstone deciding not to charge extra for some vehicles? I'll happily take any money anyone wants to stake.


Cross-posted to Anyone but Ken.

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Blogger The Hitch said... 2:08 pm

Your'e angry aren't you Will?

As this is the place for informed triva try this..
In the 1968 firearms act there was/is a section that prohibited the possession of any device that emitted a noxious gas without a license, this lead to co2 powered air weapons being declared to be firearms that required a firearms certificate despite them being less powerful than conventional air weapons , all due to some effing buffoon in the home office deciding that co2 was a noxious gas . No doubt the fool hadnt considered the trees in St James park.
Good to see that Whitehall types are still *****
Cos 2 is good not bad , it feeds the plants that produce oxygene and produce our food.  



Blogger Tristan said... 2:43 pm

In modern governmental/managerial terminology 'consultation' either means asking people who you know agree with you and aren't affected by the changes or asking people's views and ignoring them.

Decisions are made, consultation is just to legitimise them and bring them into line with the wording of the rules.  



Blogger flashgordonnz said... 2:18 am

There are a number of reasons (other than the myth of CO2 being a green house gas and the myth that made-man CO2 is significant in quantity compared to natural sources) that this is all a bit unnecessary.

Firstly, the amount of CO2 produced is directly attributable to the litres of fuel burnt, right? The more CO2 your car produces, the more fuel you buy, right? The more fuel you buy, the more tax you pay, right? Therefore, you can confidently say to Ken “I gave at the office” when it comes to CO2 emissions.

Second, congestion is caused by a number of vehicles trying to fit into a space at the same time. The congestion charge already helps reduce congestion, so nothing else need be fixed. At the most, you could argue that a bigger vehicle takes up slightly more road space so deserves a bigger charge, but that must be marginal. And most vehicles take up the same amount of space when parking: one parking space. Alright, so those Swiss watch cars could fit 2 to a park, maybe three if perpendicular to the kerb: so reward them with half-price parking. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Ken extend the congestion zone to the west, suddenly giving the Chelsea tractors the right to pootle about central London wiyth only a small resident’s charge payable?

Third, “It’s emissions, stupid” that reduce the quality of the air and contribute to premature deaths. Emissions doesn’t mean CO2, it means “carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates”. No mention of CO2. Ken, if you convert your buses to run on LPG or CNG, Londoners will enjoy better air quality. Same with them taxis. Correct me if I’m wrong: your vehicles emissions are checked when your car gets its MOT and is required to meet a certain standard? (Dunno what they do if it fails: crush your car?)

Fourth, Ken thinks Cuba’s a fucking great place. Can he please fuck off to Cuba? I don’t have much, but I am offering to buy his ticket. Opodo have a ticket with Air France GBP 519.40 incl taxes & booking fees, LHR to Jose Marti, Havana, and departing 09:15 16 September. I’d stretch to that. It’s a one-way ticket, of course.
Iberia have a 07:10 business class for GBP 976.93 (2 stops) or 12:10 GBP 1,444 (1 stop) I’d need help with that, though.  



Anonymous nomad said... 7:33 am

What is Ken's offical car that he uses to attend the various functions around London? Just curious...or maybe he is jealous of that Brabus in Kensington you were mentioning a few days ago!  



Blogger Croydonian said... 7:36 am

Hitch - Yup, I cast off my mild mannered persona from time to time. Interesting point about CO2, for which thanks.

Tristan - that has the smack of truth, doesn't it?

FG - many good points there, thanks. If Livingstone can be persuaded to stay in Cuba, or the Cubans can be persuaded to keep him, or if our customs bods can be persuaded to keep him out, I will happily contribute to the airfare.  



Blogger LFB_UK *The Legend* said... 12:23 pm

I thought that man was the biggest producer of co2, just by breathing out?  



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