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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
by John Brian Shannon | March 23, 2017
Yesterday’s terror attack in London has sharpened the will of Britain to face terrorism in all its forms, and has served to demonstrate the resolve of Britons to soldier-on despite a display of violence clearly designed to rattle citizens.
This is the London that survived The Blitz and returned stronger than ever. If terrorists are trying to cow a population into submission they chose the wrong city. The merchants of terror will soon find that they have expended much effort for little gain.
Terrorists want big headlines, a terrorized populace, and an over-compensating government that takes corrective measures far exceeding the scale of the problem.
Any publicized response to terrorists should be considered ‘overcompensating’ because more people are killed in Western countries by lightning than are killed by terrorists. More Europeans are killed by falling down their stairs at home than have been killed in the entire history of modern terrorism in Europe. And thousands of people are killed every year in car accidents. Yet the governments of Europe haven’t declared war on cars, stairs, nor lightning.
Tragic as yesterday’s events are, giving the perpetrators and backers of such crimes too much airtime only serves to reward and encourage them.
The Rise of Terrorism vs. The Rise of Knowledge and Responsibility
‘Under the radar’ for many, our civilization has entered a new era; A time of changing attitudes, a time for new pathways to better outcomes.
Knowledge has become more broadly available, more engagement occurs between citizens and their governments, more diversity adds to our understanding of the world, and along with the omnipresent globalization factor, all of these work to shape our worldview and the worldview of people in every corner of the world.
We’re now in an era akin to the time when Homo-sapiens superseded the Neanderthals, which was a time of unprecedented change. But our point of change is where the practitioners of ‘Win-Lose’ paradigms will be superseded by the practitioners of ‘Win-Win’ paradigms. (Terrorists and their thinking will become obsolete as ‘Win-Win’ thinking gains more traction)
The games desperadoes play which are designed to horrify and control large populations, are so 20th-century. Terrorists are rapidly becoming caricatures of themselves similar to ‘Achmed the Terrorist‘ of Saturday Night Live fame.
Why? It seems that wanton destruction and spreading fear have become the goals (for some) in the 21st century.
Terrorist groups no longer make demands, nor recite carefully worded manifestos that were years-in-the-making, nor do they bother to rail against the religious beliefs of Westerners, nor against alcohol, bikinis, or any other taboos created by puritanical control freaks.
In their own control-drama world they lost at the ‘Win-Lose’ game, a paradigm that they chose from the outset, because they believed they could ‘Win’ at that game. But they lost.
Now they console themselves by staging terror attacks sans-message to assuage their disappointment — a sad way for any human being to live their life, and let’s not forget the profound sadness they create among the innocent people caught in the crossfire of their destructive acts.
They Didn’t Start Off That Way
It’s a safe bet that every single human was born perfect — ‘free from sin’ as they used to say.
And in a perfect world every person would mature and fulfill their best destiny.
What failure it must be then that shapes young minds to eventually become killers of innocent people due to an imperfect understanding of religious texts. And then to fall even further by taking innocent human lives out of the sheer disappointment of having lost at the ‘Win-Lose’ paradigm.
Humans can’t fail much worse than that.
And every bit of it is preventable, either by every child receiving an advanced education so as to be able to properly understand the proper context and meanings of religious texts (for example) — or by teaching young minds that the only outcomes worth pursuing are ‘Win-Win outcomes’. Either would be fine. Both would be better.
“If you treat a man as he could and should be, he will become all that he can and should be.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Keep Calm, and Carry On
In the meantime, while the human race continues to stumble unevenly towards Win-Win outcomes, the best way to manage the people who’ve grown up without the benefit of a proper education, without context in their lives, and are largely untaught in the concept of ‘Win-Win’ thinking — is to *not overreact* to their violent attempts to control outcomes.
And in so doing, we remove the incentive for them to practice their ideology.
by John Brian Shannon | February 14, 2017
It has become fashionable in recent weeks to talk about arranging some kind of special status for the City of London so that EU citizens can easily travel to London without the need to pass through UK customs.
Which would be convenient, wouldn’t it?
No pesky border guards to answer to, no briefcases opened and searched, and no wasted time for important EU-centric bankers and their European Union customers — and that applies whether they’re travelling for family vacations, to arrange financing for an EU business, or to meet their mistress in Calais.
Soon, bankers from every country will move to the UK to have all the advantages of EU access, combined with the privileges of living in Britain: A veritable banker’s paradise where the financial industry informs the UK government exactly how things will be.
Look now, it’s happening — just that it’s happening in slow-motion and nobody is seeing it for what it really is.
The Painfully Obvious Future of a ‘Special EU Status’ London
It’s so obviously in the EU’s interest to contrive a situation whereby London residents vote in a referendum to join the European Union, even as the rest of the UK continues to leave it (effectively sectioning-off London from the rest of the UK via the London Ring Road and Gatwick Airport) at which point the rest of the United Kingdom no longer held together by the economic gravity of London would probably dis-unite.
If Britain grants London ‘Special EU Status’ eventually it will become an EU City-state, Principality or Duchy, and Britons will need a passport to visit London.
Therefore, I can see why Brussels would want to contrive a ‘Special EU Status’ (SEUS) plan for the city of London, and I’m astonished at the innocent naiveté of Britons.
Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel practically ‘mansplained’ to British Prime Minister Theresa May how “The UK will not be allowed to cherry-pick the bits of the EU it likes” — even as EU negotiators do their own cherry-picking — with London as the plumpest and richest cherry in all of Europe.
Allowing this plan to come to fruition will create a weaker and less-united United Kingdom and it will handover the ‘gold’ (London) to the EU. And there’s not a thing Britain can do to prevent it once the City of London is granted any kind of EU-centric special status.
Yes! It’s a wonderful plan if you’re a member-state of the European Union, a Europhile, or a London banker who wants to avoid the hassle of going through customs with the little people.
Apparently the thinking goes along these lines; The world already has a global ‘1 percent class’ who own more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth and will own 80 percent of the world’s total wealth by 2035, so it’s obvious that the world should have a distinct ‘banker class’ and their friends the global elites can accomplish that via alternately bullying and schmoozing the UK government into a customs-free zone with the EU. Which seems to be working.
“Oh, and a peon holiday every Monday in London, Elizabeth. We don’t like Monday morning traffic. Cancel their other holidays to make up for it. Sniff.”
I would like to ask the UK government; Where else in the world are bankers allowed to travel without passing through customs because the bankers arranged the passing of a law that allowed them to do so? And where else in the world would a country that is leaving a Union, leave behind their own capital city with most of the country’s wealth?
The answer is; Nowhere on Earth has this happened, and for obvious reasons!
Rather than incrementally handing Britain’s most historic and important city to the European Union, it would be smarter to simply invite the EU-centric part of London’s financial sector to leave. Ah, Paris in the spring!
Losing the EU-based financial sector that operates out of London is surely preferable to losing the entire city of London to the EU — which WILL happen over time if the Special EU Status zone is approved, resulting in the consequent dissolution of the United Kingdom.
Is There a Precedent for Integration that leads to Assimilation?
All law functions on precedent and there is a rather large precedent for this in business law — the case of the United States vs. General Motors in the 1960’s. It’s a fascinating story.
In the early part of the 20th-century many manufacturers built vehicles for the American public who were decidedly pro-automobile. Ford was the first company to utilize innovative automotive production line assembly techniques and the company grew exponentially — in fact, they couldn’t keep up with the demand for their car, the Model T.
At the time, General Motors built trucks and other vehicles for the U.S. military, and heavy industry vehicles for the mining and forestry sectors and GM was heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Chevrolet simply fed off the demand that Henry Ford’s company couldn’t meet.
It was a brilliant strategy for Chevrolet. They adopted Ford’s assembly line manufacturing innovations and met most of the consumer demand that Henry couldn’t.
So successful was the Chevrolet plan, that the first car to outsell the Model T was the 1934 Chevrolet Coupe, which was Chevy’s version of the Model T which was available in every colour imaginable — unlike the Model T that was only available in black. Henry Ford painted all his cars black because that allowed the largest number of cars to be built in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost-per-unit. (No fussing with colours)
Ford grew, Chevrolet grew, and General Motors grew.
By the 1950’s, Chevrolet decided to turn the tables on its main competitor (Ford) by taking a note from Henry Ford’s playbook — outsourcing. Chevrolet lowered costs by outsourcing some manufacturing to the massive General Motors Corporation which accommodated Chevy’s request to build a few hundred thousand engines per year at a lower cost than Chevrolet could have ever imagined.
GM even asked Chevy to send over their engine specs and said they would build Chevy’s engines exactly how Chevrolet wanted. And with higher manufacturing standards.
It worked so well for Chevrolet that they later asked GM to supply transmissions, window glass, seats and door panels, and finally car bodies for Chevrolet. And General Motors happily obliged.
One sunny morning, GM began a hostile takeover of Chevrolet. Chevrolet objected and so did the U.S. government — and understandably Ford, Chrysler, Studebaker and the other automakers strenuously objected to the hostile takeover.
But during the discovery process to verify which company owned what, and which company was most responsible for Chevrolet’s massive success — even Chevrolet’s legal team couldn’t make a clear distinction. Neither could the FBI or U.S. Department of Justice investigators. Nor could the U.S. Supreme Court judges deciding the case who were left with no recourse but to allow the merger to proceed, as nobody could tell them exactly what constituted Chevrolet and what constituted General Motors!
Everyone in the industry was furious. Yet Ford, Studebaker, Chrysler, the new American Motors Company (AMC) and others couldn’t do a thing about it. And the U.S. Department of Justice wasn’t happy either.
It took approximately 25 years for GM to absorb Chevrolet, but in retrospect they could have done it in 18 years if they weren’t so busy playing it safe. (To better ensure their assimilation plan worked)
Chevrolet became a victim of its own brilliant success, while General Motors had a stellar plan all along; Integrate until nobody can tell the difference.
Assimilate London is exactly what the European Union will do with a separate-customs-arrangement-London.
It would be criminally naive to think otherwise.