London and Londoff – Published 9 Jan 2007

Londoners are Britain’s cash cow. They pay for everything. Twice. If you told them they had to pay £5 to flush the toilet, they’d uncomplainingly do the online credit card payment via their wifi laptops – whilst sitting on the bog.

They never question, they never lobby, they just pay – and promptly.

“Would you like a ride on this bus, sir?”

“Yes, how much is it?”

“Twice as much as everywhere else, sir.”

“And where do I pay?”

“Through the nose.”

“Great. Wait a minute, this bus isn’t moving?”

“That’s right. Our buses don’t move. They sit stationery in traffic for your convenience and safety.”

“Well I don’t like to complain…”

“We know, sir.”

And so on.

congestion charge carLondon Mayor Ken Livingstone asks us all to pay more for the congestion charge. We all sigh knowingly and reach for our wallets. The price will keep increasing.

The congestion zone expands vastly next February.

Or will it? Silly Ken forgot to get planning permission for all the thousands of ugly cameras on poles he’s put up round London and now some councils, the one or two still with some aesthetic values, have complained.

Will he have to take them down? No, he’s going to fight! Right now there’s probably a legal battle going with both sides hiring lawyers that I don’t know who is going to pay for. Wait a minute, yes I do.

And for all those who thought this blog wasn’t going anywhere, read this: Tonight I saw a car driving through Notting Hill. It had a pole coming out of the roof with a camera on top (I’ve done a little artist’s impression for you, above, left).

I read up on it and apparently Mayor Ken bought a fleet of these cars to fight congestion! He’s putting these camera-cars on the road …to fight congestion. That’s not mad. Seemingly there aren’t enough cameras on poles to see all the grid-locked traffic, so now he’s got his (presumably stationery) camera-cars filming us…

I need to lie down. I need to talk to a professional. I’ve become unhinged. 


I’m not against the C-Charge, by the way. It’s just that I seriously doubt that it will have any effect on congestion. I do however believe it will make a lot of private businessmen operating the outsourced cameras very rich.

On the subject of the cameras…

For those who have read this far, a little factoid: Ken’s ugly, illegal cameras are there for the congestion charge, which operates 7am to 6.30pm, yet they stay switched on 24 hours a day. Wonder why. Thought we were all meant to switch our electrical stuff off at night.

everywhere cameras


Dogs Must Be Carried‘ left this comment on 4 Feb 07
I suppose the small cars with cameras are an improvement on the bloody great Transit vans he’s been using thus far, parked in inconvenient spots across the West End. And it looks as though he’ll have to hire people of limited stature to drive them around, so at least those of us over six feet tall will be able to have a bit of a laugh whilst waiting for our bendy bus to get stuck at a box junction.



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