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The ups and downs of London town - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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July 8th, 2005


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11:18 pm - The ups and downs of London town
Obviously yesterday's developments in London are very sad. Every Friend's relative or Friend's Friend that had a near miss saddens me; every Friend's Friend who is left to worry about one of their friends in turn far more so. I send warm thoughts and prayers to all those who worry. The effect LJ has had of improving the networks of our lives is undoubtedly positive on balance, but it also brings us all closer to grief. Americans for whom I am the token Brit on their Friends list, I'm OK here in Boston, but we are all a few degrees of Kevin Bacon away from someone who (nearly) wasn't.

I shall return to London next Friday, late on the morning of Friday 15th July, and can spend some time in the city before travelling up to Birmingham for Manorcon (happily, with added jvvw). Would it be convenient for any of my Friends to see me that day?

Not all discussion of London should be sad, though. I am absolutely thrilled that London won the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, which comes as a remarkable surprise to those who have been following tales of how far ahead Paris has been. Paris have so much excellent infrastructure in place already that this is at least as much a victory for British politics and people skills as anything else, but that's by no means a bad thing from a British perspective. I'm sure we will host an outstanding Paralympics and an excellent Olympics, though I have a gut feeling that Paris might be able to host better ones. A quick poll for British folk, please:

Poll #528604 For British residents and/or citizens only, please: Olympics poll

British citizens and/or residents: thoughts about London getting 2012 Olympics?

Strong approval
14(36.8%)
Weak approval
12(31.6%)
Weak disapproval
7(18.4%)
Strong disapproval
5(13.2%)

Thoughts about tickyboxes?

Strong approval
19(54.3%)
Weak approval
12(34.3%)

I have a gut feeling as to how the Olympics poll will go and it is something like 20% strong approval, 40% weak approval, 10% weak disapproval, 30% strong disapproval. At least, I expect there to be more broad approval than disapproval, more weak approval than strong approval and more strong disapproval than weak disapproval.

This will help London's infrastructure considerably, filtering through to the rest of the country in time. (The part where some of the stadia will eventually be reconstructed elsewhere in the country is particularly wise.) People talk about the London transport infrastructure being improved, but the excellent Always Touch Out suggest there aren't actually all that many Olympics-related transport projects. It has been discussed that there is no real prospect of Crossrail being ready in time for 2012, but this might be the impetus required to advance the Cross River Tram scheme so it's ready in time. We shall see.

It's interesting to note that the five Premier Partners of London's bid for the 2012 Olympics were British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Accenture, British Telecom and EDF Energy. The last one is interesting because even though it has local credibility by being the new owners of London Electricity and a couple of other regional UK electricity companies, but the EDF part comes from the fact that they're a part of Electricité de France. According to Wikipedia's EDF entry, it does seem somewhat like a hedge play by the French government against London winning.

There's also discussion of the possibility that there may be some Olympics-related multiple mind sports festival somewhere along the line, to which one might hope that people with some experience of the same might find some consultancy work. It's not clear when, if ever, these events may take place - I've seen speculation that events will take place at Summer Olympic venues a year afterwards, or at Winter Olympic venues somewhere down the line. I'll believe it when I see it, but it's nice to potentially be seeing it (and being part of it) in London!

The only downside is that there is suddenly a popular Conservative politician in the country - a former Private Secretary to the leader of the Conservatives, at that. Lord Coe has said that politics is something that he has been and done and doesn't want to do again, but people would call for him to earn a knighthood or a lordship had he not had a title already, so I wonder whether there would be a way for a current peer to become the next Conservative Prime Minister...
Current Mood: shockedvery pleasantly surprised

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:imc
Date:July 8th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)
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The only downside is that there is suddenly a popular Conservative politician in the country

There already was, thanks to Big Brother…
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From:fruufoo
Date:July 8th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
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I may be in London on the 15th. Am travelling back from Rich's next wednesday to Slough, but I'm not going back home from Slough until Daddy is. So, I might be around then, and might not. In any case, Mama is planning to take me up to Middlesbrough sometime soon to check on the house. :)
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:July 13th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Any more definite information as to whether you'll be available in London on Friday or not, please?
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From:fruufoo
Date:July 14th, 2005 12:17 pm (UTC)
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I'm in Slough until Sunday, so yep, I can be in London. :) Mama's taking me up to Middlesbrough on Sunday, though, and we'll be around for a few days, so I could just see you up there (the prospect of taking the tube in this heat not being a terribly appealing one. ;) )

Our Slough house phone number is 01753 645009, if that helps. :)
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:July 14th, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, it does. I return to Middlesbrough on Monday in the afternoon and will be working Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30am to 6:30pm (and 6:30pm to 6:30am on Thursday-to-Friday and Friday-to-Saturday) but it would be wonderful to see you in the 'Boro if there's a gap in your schedule.
(Deleted comment)
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From:fruufoo
Date:July 14th, 2005 09:49 pm (UTC)
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We'll be getting to Middlesbrough on Sunday evening, and Mama says that she doesn't actually need me around for anything, so I'm free to socialise until we leave. *g*

Monday or Tuesday evening? :)

Are they allowed to have you working for that long at nights? I'm pretty sure you're not meant to be able to work shifts like that.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:02 am (UTC)
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Yes indeed. I think the latest working hours directive means that I couldn't work all night shifts if I wanted to, but the current scheme definitely stays on the right side of the law.
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From:amuzulo
Date:July 8th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Grrr... how dare you guys steal the Olympics from us in New York! :-P ;-)
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From:hedwig_snowy
Date:July 8th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
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Maybe it's not such a great thing after all? I'm sure the ratings will be high for Cricket and Rugby. ;) They couldn't kill sychronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, or tennis? (which we can see every weekend on TV - which would be understandable for U.S. viewers with Baseball, but we haven't seen alot of softball until recently)

Baseball axed from London Olympics

"Baseball and softball failed to win a majority of votes in a ballot of members at the IOC Session and became the first sports to be cut from the Games since polo in 1936."

"I expect there to be more broad approval than disapproval, more weak approval than strong approval and more strong disapproval than weak disapproval."

You have E.S.P.??? :)
From:daweaver
Date:July 9th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)

This is London Transport

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According to Thursday's Torygraph (it was the only paper I could find yesterday afternoon) the planned links are:

* DLR extensions from Canning Town: south to Woolwich Arsenal (opening 2008) and up to Stratford International (scheduled for 2010)

* East London Transit: Barking to Ilford, and Dagenham Dock; Romford, and Gallions Reach. (Work underway; alwaystouchout gives further steps not mentioned.)

* Greenwich Waterfront Transit: Woolwich Arsenal to Abbey Wood and Greenwich. (Funding secured.)

* Eurostar connections to St Pancras and Ebbsfleet; there will be a huge car-park at the latter site.

Not mentioned in the Torygraph were DLR to Barking Reach, the extension of Stratford DLR (due 2006), or the Thames Gateway bridge between Beckton and Thamesmead (provisionally due 2013, could yet be open for 2012, and would be a pre-requisite for any cross-river service other than the DLR.)

The city section (can you tell it was dull yesterday?) mentioned that Accenture had also got their fingers into the pies of Paris, Madrid, and New Amsterdam.

There is no constitutional bar preventing a member of the upper house from becoming prime minister, but the experience of (Lord) Alec Douglas-Hume suggests that he would face immediate pressure to take a Commons seat.

As for popular Conservative politicos, there's always Boris Johnson, Dr Fox, Derek off of Brig Bother, er, Justine Greening, er, Caroline Spellman, er, er, Boris Johnson's Dad...
[User Picture]
From:addedentry
Date:July 11th, 2005 06:21 am (UTC)
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The only downside is that there is suddenly a popular Conservative politician in the country

Is Coe eligible to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year (again)?

As daweaver points out, the monarch can ask any Member of Parliament including the Lords to form a government, regardless of whether they lead a party.

[I'll be preparing to move house on Friday, though lunch near Holborn between 1330 and 1430 may be possible.]
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:July 13th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
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Given your "may", any more definite information as to whether you'll be available in London on Friday or not, please?
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From:addedentry
Date:July 14th, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
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Situation unchanged - I can't travel too far from work in an hour, but could happily enjoy an ice-cream in Lincoln's Inn Fields or meet you at Waterloo Bridge.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:July 14th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Okey-doke. Am not sure if I will be proceeding directly to Birmingham or not, but I shall try to mobile you either way.
From:daweaver
Date:August 1st, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
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Another entry for 2016, as Montréal throws her hat into the ring. Hasn't the city suffered enough?

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