Open Letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
To: Mr. Sadiq Kahn, The Right Worshipful Mayor of London,
A PROPOSAL TO REDUCE VEHICLE EMISSIONS IN LONDON
Mr. Mayor, under your leadership, London has made great strides to reduce vehicle emissions and you deserve every accolade you’ve received for your efforts in this regard.
There is always the opportunity to do more however, as the air quality problem in the UK’s major cities won’t be solved by one, two, or even three programmes or directives — such is the scale of the problem that has enveloped the City since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Therefore, please consider this proposal as a complementary and/or alternative solution to your innovative and existing vehicle emissions and congestion charges legislation.
I PROPOSE STICKERS FOR CARS AND TRUCKS BASED ON FUEL TYPE AND DAILY USE IN LONDON
Drivers who opt for ‘the cleanest fuel type’ will be rewarded with ‘lower daily use charges’ while those choosing high-polluting vehicles would pay comparatively more.
- Electric Vehicles (EV) travelling in the City of London would be required to place a GREEN coloured sticker inside the front windscreen — and EV’s would be charged £10. per day (via sticker ID number/OCR street camera) for each day it is driven in the city. On days where the vehicle isn’t driving in the city, no charge would occur.
- Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (PHEV & HEV) travelling in the City of London would be required to place a BLUE coloured sticker inside the front windscreen — and such a vehicle would be charged £20. per day (via sticker ID number/OCR street camera) for each day it is driven in the city. On days where the vehicle isn’t driving in the city, no charge would occur.
- Petrol Vehicles (ICE) travelling in the City of London would be required to place a RED coloured sticker inside the front windscreen — and ICE vehicles would be charged £30. per day (via sticker ID number/OCR street camera) for each day it is driven in the city. On days where the vehicle isn’t driving in the city, no charge would occur.
- Diesel Vehicles (ICED) travelling in the City of London would be required to place a YELLOW coloured sticker inside the front windscreen — and ICED vehicles would be charged £40. per day (via sticker ID number/OCR street camera) for each day it is driven in the city. On days where the vehicle isn’t driving in the city, no charge would occur.
- Vehicles not registered with the City of London would pay £50. per day (via licence plate/OCR street camera) for each day it is driven in the city. On days where the vehicle isn’t driving in the city, no charge would occur.
And those people who choose to leave their cars at home on any given day (possibly choosing to take public transit or carpool with friends/co-workers) or walk to their destination, etc., would save themselves a significant amount of money annually.
(1) Rewarding Drivers Who Choose Less Polluting Vehicles & (2) Lowering the Aggregate Miles Driven Annually on London Streets Will (3) Result in Cleaner Air & Less Congestion in the City of London
While I have no studies to prove my assertions, I believe the financial situation of every driver who drives in the City of London will prompt their choice of vehicle and allow them to self-regulate their decision to drive, walk, or take public transit to their destinations.
Consequently, this programme would help drivers who use London’s road network switch more quickly to less polluting cars and trucks, and may find themselves choosing to walk or take public transit more often to their destinations. While this may not be true in every case, I imagine that it will be true for many Londoners and those who travel through the City of London.
Perhaps a poll could be arranged to ask drivers;
‘Would you like to ‘pay more per day’ to continue driving your polluting vehicle on London streets, or would you like to ‘save money by switching’ to a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation?’
- I feel that taxicabs should be exempt from these fees.
- I feel that government fleets should be exempt from these fees.
- I feel that car rental companies should be exempt from these fees.
- I feel that buses operated by any person or company should be exempt from these fees.
- Transport companies (trucking firms) could receive a discount for monthly or annual prepayment.
- Exempt all vehicles between 12:00am–6:00am to encourage driving during the least-busy hours of the day.
- A link on the City of London website could allow drivers to register their vehicle and have their stickers mailed to them.
In closing, your excellency, I hope that in this way the City of London could serve as a template for UK metropolitan areas with a population of one million or more.
Further, I wish to thank you for your diligent efforts to solve the longstanding and challenging air quality problem in London, and for allowing me the gift of your valuable time to read this well-meant proposal.
John Brian Shannon
Publisher of LetterToBritain.com
Thumbnail image courtesy of: EconomicTimesIndiaTimes.com
What the EU Election Result Means to Europe and to the World
The Emotional Context of the EU Election 2019
If you want to begin by discussing the result of the EU Parliament Election 2019 in an emotional context there’s certainly no problem with that here (I’ll try to keep the euphoria out of my voice!) as the political map in the European Union has changed dramatically in less than one week, causing panic among pundits throughout the EU.
It seems that some people in Europe are frightened by democratic elections and may lose enthusiasm for democracy when the election results don’t go their way — but when the results go their way they’re among democracy’s strongest proponents!
It’s the funniest thing to see when politicians, pundits, commentators and even normal citizens gloat about ‘how great and strong our democracy is’ when election results go in their favour — yet at the very next election when the result goes the other way, they shriek about ‘how our democracy is broken’ and those other parties need to be outlawed! Hehehehe!
You either have the courage of your convictions or you don’t. Hissy fits are uncool.
The one thing that adults must admit and understand is, that in a democratic system sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don’t. The peril of democracy.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” — Forrest Gump
Looking at the EU Parliamentary Election 2019 from a Practical Standpoint
Whether you’re pleased with the results of the EU election or not, one thing that must stand-out is that the EU runs a clean election. Not a word about election fraud, not one report of armed men taking over polling stations to prevent citizens from voting, and no candidate (to my knowledge) broke campaign laws.
A sincere ‘Well Done!’ to the European Union. That’s the way to do it.
On a related note, it’s another reason why EU election monitors are sought-after the world over particularly where elections are taking place in or near conflict zones, and in developing nations where democratic elections benefit from the assistance of a mature democracy to attain a clean (free from fraud) and safe election framework.
Even myself, as a Brexiteer (and notwithstanding that I hate the ‘black hole’ that is the EU budget, etc) admire the EU for being able to pull-off clean election after clean election, and it makes me happy to think that even after Brexit the European Union will continue to be the kind of neighbour any country would appreciate.
We all have neighbours we like and neighbours we don’t like, but in the post-Brexit world, the EU will remain a neighbour we like. May that ever be the case.
The Rise of Nigel Farage and The Brexit Party
In 1973, the UK joined the European Economic Community and a democratic referendum was held in the UK on June 5, 1975 that allowed Britons to approve/disapprove of that decision. British citizens voted to approve EEC membership by a comfortable margin. It must be noted that in joining the EEC the UK was not asked to give-up any amount of national sovereignty.
Subsequently, the UK was invited to join the European Union (the EU was a new entity as of January 1, 1993 and it replaced the old EC/EEC framework) and in 1998 the UK government did vote to join the then-recently formed EU. British citizens weren’t given an opportunity to vote on EU membership until 23-years later in June 2016, whereupon Britons voted to Leave the European Union. It’s important to note that in joining the EU, the UK did give-up some amount of sovereignty, and that under the UK constitutional framework that existed then (and now) it was (still is) something illegal that UK politicians approved.
At no time in all of this did the EU break any UK law. Rather, they merely asked the UK to join their union. Therefore, this is not an issue with the EU, this is an internal UK (House of Commons) matter.
In summary, the UK joined the EEC legally in 1973 and with the benefit of a UK-wide referendum in 1975 — but the UK joined the European Union illegally in 1998 and without the benefit of a UK-wide referendum to approve it until 2016.
It wasn’t until 23-years later that Britons were offered a chance to vote on the issue, and the first chance they got to vote on EU membership (June 23, 2016) they rejected it.
Illegally joining in 1998, and then forcing Britons to wait 23-years to voice their opinion on joining the EU, isn’t democratic enough in the 21st-century, no matter how much we love our EU neighbours!
All of this is what has led to the Brexit referendum, to the hiring of a ‘Brexit Prime Minister’ (Theresa May) and an election win by Theresa May (June 8, 2017) in an election where all major UK parties campaigned on a pro-Brexit platform.
Further, the rise of UKIP, and now The Brexit Party and their astonishing success in last week’s EU election from a party that’s only weeks old at this point, have resulted from errors made by a previous UK Parliament.
The Brexit Party won 29-seats — and that, without running any candidates in Northern Ireland, nor did The Brexit Party run candidates in every constituency in England, Wales, or Scotland. Amazing!
Had The Brexit Party run candidates in all constituencies, they might’ve captured as many as 60 of the 74 seats available to the UK in the EU Parliamentary Elections 2019.
The Future of Brexit
In the wake of EU Parliamentary elections, if UK Conservatives don’t now deliver a reasonable Brexit by October 31, 2019 they will lose the next election in the biggest political landslide in British history and may never form a government again.
The time for ‘talking about talking’ is over!
Likewise for Labour; If they’re seen to be obstructing Brexit, they’ll go down at the next election as never before. Other parties will simply take their place and both Conservatives and Labour will become unknown to a new generation of voters who demand responsive and accountable politicians in government. And that’s a fine thing.
Citizens Want Responsive and Accountable Politicians in the 21st-Century
At the next UK General Election the Brexit Party will run a full slate of candidates in the UK and win a majority government on a platform of delivering Brexit (and they will deliver Brexit!) while the Liberal Democrats will represent ‘Remainers’ and form the official opposition in the House of Commons. The Green Party is likely to make significant gains and take seats from the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons.
British MP’s in 1998 pulled a fast one on Britons and then didn’t give British citizens a say on EU membership for 23-years — and having finally gotten a vote in EU membership they’re not about to give up their right to shape the country as they see fit.
Whether Brexiteers realize it or not, The Brexit Party exists merely to correct an historic mistake that hasn’t been corrected in all this time, and it will; Become the government; Fix the mistake once in power; And eventually merge with whatever is left of the Conservative Party in the post-Brexit era.
That is the way of things. And nothing can stop it short of an asteroid destroying the planet.
A wrong will be righted. And life will go on. Sans drama, one hopes!
Brexit Party win massively in EU Election while Conservatives & Labour get Hammered at the Polls
Just to help you wrap your head around the scale of The Brexit Party win in the EU election 2019, I’ve posted this graphic courtesy of the BBC.
Please click the image to visit the original article where you can see some interesting charts that help to break down voter preferences.
EU election results May 27, 2019
Areas in BLUE are Brexit Party winning seats
Here is the Summary across the UK as of May 27, 2019 (10:00am BST)
Don’t forget to watch this short video with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage discussing what might happen next in Brexit.
Congratulations to Nigel Farage and his team on their momentous win in the 2019 EU election!