You can’t park here: the big electric lie

£72,000 to you

We’re surrounded by liars and charlatans at the moment, so you almost don’t know where to start really. The Guardian has recently changed its style guide, and is now referring to “climate crisis” and “climate breakdown” rather than “climate change”. This seems sensible, as I believe it was someone in the Bush administration who came up with “climate change” as a way of dismissing the anthropogenic nature of global warming, which the Guardian is now calling “global heating”.

Words are important, of course, and maybe the thinking is beginning to be a bit joined up. But not all the way.

Unfortunately, newspapers need to sell advertising, and in order to do that they need to generate clicks. One of the ways the Guardian does this, believe it or not, is to review new cars (and sometimes bicycles) in its Lifestyle section. Now, your traditional image of a Guardian reader is probably a school teacher or sociology professor in a chunky jumper, someone with a cupboard full of different olive oils and some mouldering bags of brown rice.

Recent cars reviewed in the Wheels section of the Guardian include the Citroen C5 Aircross (£23,000, quite reasonable); the Bentley Continental GT (um, £159,000 – that’s an expensive Volkswagen); the Seat Cupra Ateca (£36,000 – another expensive VW); and the Honda CRV (£28,000, no VW parts involved). So three crossover/SUVs and a luxury coupé. And today: The Jaguar I-Pace, £58,000 worth of electric SUV.

Reviews like this aren’t aimed at Dr Chunky Jumper or Professor Brown Rice. They’re designed to garner page views on the interwebs, with comments often disabled because they’re all essentially the same comment anyway.

But there we are: an electric vehicle, in the same class as a Tesla, or the forthcoming expensive offerings from Audi and Mercedes. Electric vehicles for wealthy people. You might see the odd one around, in addition to the smaller and slightly cheaper offerings from Renault, Nissan, and so on.

But here’s what has been vexing me lately. I was imagining a scenario in which I had an electric vehicle with a range of, say, 280 miles, like that Jaguar. So my regular trips to France, a 560-mile journey, could theoretically be managed on two full charges, but it’s not that simple. First of all, is that 280 mile range with a driver and no passengers and no luggage? What about, say, three passengers, and their luggage? What about three passengers and their luggage in December, in the middle of the night? And let’s also take into account the fact that the last 20% of a charge takes much longer than the first 80%, so that most electric car drivers are going to be managing about 200 miles, then needing to stop for 40-60 minutes to top it up to 80%. A Nissan Leaf, by the way, can manage about 150 miles.

Which means my 560-mile drive to France is going to need two lengthy stops at high speed charging stations.

Fine. That would work, in a world in which I am one of the few people wealthy enough to own an EV with a 280-mile range. Because I could, say, drive to the Channel Tunnel, park in a charging bay for an hour before boarding, then stop again around Reims for another boost. Another 40 minute stop just before leaving the motorway network near Langres, and I could probably be home and dry with charge to spare. And we’ve added a couple of hours to an 11-hour journey, bearable: unless you’re the cat.

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.[1]

What Kant meant by this, if I may, is that you could only consider an action ethical if it would be okay for everybody to do the same thing.

There are around 100,000 electric vehicles on the road in the UK. But there are about 31 million cars (source). If you go to a shopping centre or the channel tunnel terminal or a motorway service station, you might find 6-12 high speed charging bays. To charge that Jaguar up to 80% in 40 minutes, you need a 100kW point. Let’s say that up to 12 Eurotunnel customers can currently be driving one of these high-end cars.

There’s a reason they’re high end: because it would not be okay, and would not be feasible or practical for too many more people to be driving them. This, for me, violates Kant’s categorical imperative.

The National Grid estimates that EVs will generate an additional 18GW of demand by 2050 (source). That’s 18 billion watts. Or 180,000 cars using 100kW charging bays. Obviously, you could have more cars using, say, domestic supply and charging slowly overnight, but those figures don’t seem to suggest that 31 million electric cars will eventually replace the 31 million internal combustion engine cars on the road. And I wonder who’s going to install all the infrastructure, and then how it will be paid for. Because half of UK households have to park their cars on the street.

At the moment, electric car ownership is subsidised by the taxpayer. So those Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla owners get £3,500 off the taxpayer towards their £60,000 cars, and they get convenient charging bays in prime locations: you know, like disabled people do. I don’t know about you, but that gives me a warm feeling inside.

Can you imagine what happens when “the rest of us” want to drive electric? First of all, the welfare-for-the-rich £3,500 subsidy will disappear. Then the price of charging will go up, to pay for the additional infrastructure, and also there will be a queue. Your long journey will involve several 40-minute charging sessions and several 40-minute waits for a free charging bay. The cat/dog/ferret will absolutely love it.

Can you imagine the rage sessions when people who have been waiting 40-minutes for a bay are gazumped by a recent arrival with a Mercedes EQC and an overdeveloped sense of entitlement?

All of which leads me to the conclusion that this electric car revolution is not going to be a thing. Unless you can afford a £58,000 car.

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Melting Down is Good for Business

Rupert-Murdoch

Toxic masculinity, as embodied by Rupert Murdoch’s melting face

It’s been a week of meltdowns in the news, sure enough. Meltdown was the name of one of the CPU bugs that were revealed in the New Year. While people were still shitting their pants over the Great Apple Battery Scam (not a scam), Intel revealed something they’d been sitting on for a while, which was that the way their CPU chips works (by speculatively anticipating what they’re going to be asked to do next) leaves them vulnerable to exploits. This was trumpeted widely as a precursor to the End of All Things, Millennium Bug style, since just about anything with an Intel or ARM processor was affected, but (as of Saturday) we’re still alive. Still, you can smell the lawsuits from here, can’t you?

It was last May that all British Airways flights from two airports were cancelled because of an IT problem, and this is the kind of meltdown that pundits fear might ensue when a system vulnerability like this is revealed. More seriously, that same month saw “cyber chaos” in the NHS, as computer systems that hadn’t been updated from Windows XP were attacked over a weekend.

This is what I think of whenever people express concerns about Trump and his obsession with weapons and nuclear buttons. This past week of Whitehouse Meltdowns following the “revelations” in Michael Wolff’s book have been entertaining, and you can’t help but hope it takes us one step closer to the Hollywood Ending of this Presidency, which is when the American people collectively point their fingers in Trump’s direction and pause dramatically before saying, “You’re fired.”

While it’s clear that millions of people are going to suffer as a result of Trump’s “welfare for the rich” tax legislation and his “welfare for the rich” healthcare changes, I have less fear that he’s ever going to launch a nuclear strike. This seems like a cartoon fear of a cartoon president, a childlike clown who has no real power, and is simply going to end up being managed when the grownups take over. Trump is not Putin: he has no real power. Like the rest of the Republican Party, he’ll do the bidding of his corporate and media masters, the Ronald McDonald birthday clown of politics.

As well as being good for lawyers in class action or cease and desist lawsuits, these various meltdowns are good for the news business, as people addictively click on stories to read about how Apple or Intel are ruining their lives or how Trump’s hair is combed and lacquered. And I’ve noticed as an adjunct to all this that the papers are full of chin-stroking columns about the perils of social networking and screens. It’s all New Year New Me and Think Of The Children and, very helpfully, Black Mirror season 4. Same as it ever was, if you ask me. Ten years ago, I would chortle with my students about all the Facebook negging that the Daily Mail went in for, but like lawyers smelling Class Action, the newspapers are all smelling New Year’s Resolutions, as people try to detox from Trump and Bannon and Trolls and whatever that episode of Black Mirror was about.

Should we be worried about tech meltdowns? Probably. As rail commuters weep about paying nearly £8000 a year just to get to work, and our cars hit pot holes and have their own personal meltdowns, and the NHS suffers through yet another Winter Crisis, it’s clear that our infrastructure is fucked. And when it comes to IT, which is increasingly getting involved in every part of our lives, the infrastructure is all in the hands of corporations. So whether it’s your light bulbs, your front door, your fridge, or your TV, these CPU vulnerabilities are likely to strike anywhere. And the only way to hold these corporations to account is via the blunt instrument of the class action lawsuit. Because the politicians do not have their minds on infrastructure, do they?

In the UK, we’re distracted, permanently, by Brexit meltdown. In the US, they’re distracted by Trump meltdown. And even if they weren’t, absolutely no politician ever is interested in building infrastructure projects that won’t come to fruition until long after they’ve left office in disgrace after putting their hand up someone’s skirt. So, in a sense, we can blame toxic masculinity for all of these meltdowns. Men are really too emotional for high office.

Bring on your internet wrecking ball

DNGlrABUIAAr9RO.jpg-large..Having spent the last 20 years of my life wasting time on the internet, I sometimes wonder if I’d be happier without it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but as we all face the consequences of the targeted use of Big Data to manipulate elections and referenda, and Twitter’s latest hamfisted “improvement” irritates the shit out of us, how much of it would we really miss if it went away?

This has been running through my mind for a couple of days as the Telecom companies in the USA make yet another attempt, through their bought-and-paid-for congressmen, to abolish net neutrality, and thus allow for differential pricing, and a two (or more) speed internet, depending on what you pay for.

You may have seen the graphic above circulating, which purports to show (it’s in Portuguese, and I’m not a doctor) what happens when service providers are allowed to split the open internet into walled-garden “bundles” of different services. Note that this appears to be a mobile phone package, but the point remains – this is what people fear could happen to your regular home internet subscription as well.

Let’s take it from the top.

Messaging: €4.99 a month (opening offer; €6.99 usually?) for the privilege of using your phone as a phone (basically). Well, I guess this I’d need to pay for, just in case I end up in a ditch somewhere (with a phone signal).

Social: €4.99 a month (as above) for your Facebook, Insta, Twits, Snapchat, Pinterest etc. So, yes, I’ve been addicted to Twitter since 2009, but take it away from me? Oh, please don’t throw me in the briar patch, B’rer Fox. Sure, I’d miss it at first, but only in the same way that I miss cigarettes.

Video: €4.99 for YouTube, Netflix (in addition, I’m guessing to your monthly subscriptions to these services). Unavoidable, given that I mostly watch streaming TV services these days. So I’m in for €10 a month so far.

Music: €4.99 Spotify and whatever else those are? I could probably do without this, given that I still host all my music on my device. So unless this includes podcasts, I’m not sure I’d bother.

Email and Cloud: €4.99. So they’re demanding payment for access to your gmail and your iCloud, which is super. Unavoidable, I suppose, which puts me in for €15, plus whatever the basic monthly fee is, plus all the other monthly subscriptions.

Of course, what most customers would want to do would be to choose, say, just the services they use, so these bundles (like TV packages) are designed to have you pay for shit you don’t use – bearing in mind that you’re being asked to pay for shit that is currently free because it has nothing whatsoever to do with meo telecom or whoever they are.

The situation is this: the telecoms are going to get their money. They’re going to get their money, and they’ll keep getting their money, and the only way to avoid giving them your money is to give up on all of it, an increasingly unlikely prospect in a world in which all government agencies are basically assuming you have internet access.

But then, what might it be like, over there on the other side of the walled garden, away from cat memes and Trump tweets and robot followers and troll farms? And away from this blog, of course. All good things…

Buckingham-Winslow Cycle Path

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Google Maps

It was heartening to see this cycling infrastructure being put in a couple of years ago. It was a shame, in a way, that I had changed jobs and would have no real reason to use it. It’s a cycle/pedestrian path which has been installed all the way from the Tesco roundabout in Buckingham to Winslow, as part of an integrated transport scheme which includes the opening of a new railway station in Winslow.

It’s only about 7 miles, but it runs parallel to the A413, which is a busy road between Buckingham and Aylesbury (via Winslow), and it is completely separate from the main carriageway, making it, in theory, safe and accessible for cyclists of all ages and abilities. That’s the good news.

So since my wife had just taken delivery of her new Raleigh Stow-E-Way e-bike, we thought we’d go on a family outing to Winslow and back, with my teenage daughter the only one moving by pedal power alone.

To reach the cycle path involved crossing Buckingham, which we did via the park and though the Badgers housing estate. This brings you out onto the A413 close to the Tesco roundabout, and you can cross the ring road on the pedestrian crossing.

The first bit of bad news comes right at the beginning of the cycle path: it’s closed by roadworks, and there’s a sign directing pedestrians onto the opposite footpath. But cyclists? Who knows? So we used the road for a short stretch, then back onto the cycle route.

As all cyclists know dedicated cycle routes can be a pain to ride on because you are constantly required to Give Way to motor traffic, which often involves uncomfortable contortions as you try to turn your head like an owl in order to see over your shoulders. In my ideal world, it would be like the rules on water, where motor boats give way to sail boats. Motorists, who are not having to crane their necks to look behind them, should be giving way to the cyclists (that might be) in front of them; not the other way around.

Anyway, I lost count of the number of junctions/crossings where we, the cyclists, had to look over our shoulders to give way. They were helpfully painted red, but then this is a brand-new scheme, and we all know what happens to coloured tarmac and painted lines if they’re not regularly maintained.

The next bit of bad news concerns detritus. The narrative that cyclists are the ones breaking all the rules of the road is of course a convenient foundation myth for the Clarksonites, who are the real sociopaths, throwing McDonalds boxes, empty drink bottles, plastic bags, and other rubbish onto the grass verges and ditches that line this nation’s roads. As well as plastic, glass, and cardboard waste, passing vehicles throw up huge numbers of loose stones, and the trees at the side of the road drop their leaves, seeds, and fruit onto the cycle path for good measure. In short, you’re riding through a lot of crap, even though the underlying surface is pleasantly smooth in comparison to most British roads.

It’s also not a particularly pleasant ride because it does run parallel to a very busy A road, along which the Clarksonites do drive way too fast. You see them screaming past, on their way up to the rear end of a visibly slower vehicle, and you see their brake lights go on, and you wonder what can be going through their heads.

In Padbury, the cycle route is forced to cross the road twice, because there was clearly a reason why it couldn’t run alongside the local allotments. Crossing for the second time, I was very much aware that the oncoming Jaguar was doing at least 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. The driver didn’t noticeably slow down, either, even though there was a cyclist crossing the road in front of (I’m going to guess it’s a) him.

The next bit of bad news was that the cycle route was blocked again by roadworks at Adstock, where signs had been erected indicating that Main Street into Adstock was closed ahead. And in spite of there being many other options available, the Road Closed Ahead signs were smack in the middle of the cycle path, necessitating a detour around them, on the bit of the road where the signs could have been placed.

Riding back, there was an additional hazard caused by a workman who had parked his van on the cycle path at the same junction. He could have easily driven around and parked on the closed bit of road, but no: easier for him to block the fricken’ cycle route, which is also used by pedestrians, invalid carriages, pushchairs etc.

Another aspect of riding back was that we were now on the “wrong” side of the road, riding into the face of oncoming traffic. Although we weren’t sharing the carriageway, it was still hairy as we were buffeted by the slipstreams of oncoming trucks.

All in all, a useful commuting route, but too stressful and irritating for a pleasant leisure ride. And too many reminders that cyclists don’t matter and motorists are scumbags.

CATS EYES REMOVED

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I hate this sign, not merely because it makes you think that someone has been mutilating cats (or offering to mutilate cats), but because it is the avatar of the UK’s gradual descent to the status of a developing nation rather than an advanced economy.

Why are roads being repaired, all over the place, with cats’ eyes removed? Because it’s cheaper, obviously, but also because it requires less finesse and skill to lay tarmac without worrying about the cats. A quick bodge job, bish bash bosh, and you’ve resurfaced the road – but what have you lost in the process?

I always loved cats’ eyes, not for any jingoistic reason, but because they’re simply an ingenious invention, a brilliant solution for aiding nighttime navigation without requiring a power infrastructure – or indeed stupidly bright headlights. And they lasted years, didn’t they, if you looked after them? Modular, easily repairable, and they showed the way.

In the dark heart of Europe, where they don’t have cats’ eyes, the roads at night can be hard to see. You’re reliant on the luminous paint of the white lines, but they wear off, don’t they? And they become almost invisible when it rains heavily.

‘Cats Eyes Removed’ is a reminder of the shit country that Britain has become, the end of civilisation, the destruction of society by neoliberal ideology, and the fact that nobody in the sign-making department has any idea how to use an apostrophe.

Putting things together on climate change

 Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 09.58.21In California they are experiencing a drought – Californians have been asked to cut their water use by 20%. Meanwhile, on this soggy island in the North Atlantic, we have experienced more rain in December and January than even 2012. But who remembers that 2012 was the second-wettest year on record (the wettest was as recently as 2000)? Who, in fact, can remember a time when there was more rain than this? The answer is: nobody. Even if they were 200 years old, they couldn’t remember this much rain.

The rain map shows that some parts of the UK (including the tip of Norfolk, which must come as a relief to them) have had less rain than in an average January. But what’s an average anyway?

What we see is very much a picture of the wet areas of the Earth getting wetter … Those would be the high latitudes like the Arctic and the lower latitudes like the tropics. The middle latitudes in between, those are already the arid and semi-arid parts of the world and they are getting drier.

The problem with Britain and all this rain, of course, is that we don’t have the infrastructure to do anything with all this water. Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow store it and use it for, you know, agriculture and so on in hotter, drier times? We build housing estates and they just send water into the main sewer system of the town onto which they’re glommed. When it rains too much, the sewer system can’t cope and the rivers can’t cope and the water just spills out all over the place.

People complain about the building on flood plains. To me, this wouldn’t be so bad if the houses were on stilts, or otherwise designed to have their ground floor periodically flooded, but nobody thinks like that. It wouldn’t even be so bad if they put in giant storm drains and somewhere for the water to go, but they’ll never do that, and the nimbys wouldn’t allow it. The real problem is this country’s infrastructure, which has been deliberately and systematically neglected for reasons of ideology and greed.

When Milton Keynes was built, it was created with artificial balancing lakes, designed to take excess water from the large storm drains in times of excessive rain. But Milton Keynes is a child of the 60s and 70s. Since the late 1970s, every public service has been privatised, including the stuff of life (water), and the water companies pay dividends to shareholders instead of building infrastructure.

But it’s not just water companies. Our Victorian railway system is creaking at the seams. The ideologues who have been running the country since 1979 don’t really believe in collective forms of transport, and (of course) the privatised rail companies have no incentive to maintain or build new infrastructure and every reason to fleece as much money as they can from their uncomfortable passengers.

The bigger picture here is that, because we have virtually no manufacturing, the only way for anyone in this country to have a retirement pension is for profits and growth to somehow add value to shares without the means to actually do that. And so profits and growth miraculously appear in spite of the fact that hardly anybody makes anything — at the expense of infrastructure. All that steel that could have been smelted to improve the railways and build trains!? All that concrete that could have been poured to build better sewer systems! All those underground cables that could have been laid, along with fibre optics, cable tv, updated gas mains, and so on.

As to the roads, well. Look around you. This is what 30 years of neglect and under-investment looks like.

As the infrastructure crumbles, corporations extract profits, and miraculously pay hardly any tax. They benefit from the roads and the railways and the water system and the electricity supply and the education system and the health service that keeps their workers productive until well into their 60s, and they pay hardly any tax. They crush the roads under their lorry wheels, herd their workers into overcrowded trains, and pump water out of the ground to feed the economy, and they pay hardly any tax.

Meanwhile, the world they’re creating is turning around and biting back. Drought, floods, record low temperatures, melting icecaps and permafrost. According to some, humanity will be extinct by 2040.

If you’re too busy to read the evidence presented below, here’s the bottom line: On a planet 4 C hotter than baseline, all we can prepare for is human extinction (from Oliver Tickell’s 2008 synthesis in the Guardian). Tickell is taking a conservative approach, considering humans have not been present at 3.5 C above baseline (i.e., the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, commonly accepted as 1750). According to the World Bank’s 2012 report, “Turn down the heat: why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided” and an informed assessment of “BP Energy Outlook 2030” put together by Barry Saxifrage for the Vancouver Observer, our path leads directly to the 4 C mark. The 19th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 19), held in November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, was warned by professor of climatology Mark Maslin: “We are already planning for a 4°C world because that is where we are heading. I do not know of any scientists who do not believe that.”

And how do we respond to all this? Well, Professor Guy McPherson is given a nickname: “Doomsday Professor”. That’s that dealt with, then. Nicely trivialised. Meanwhile, we shy away from the very idea that the only thing that can help us now would be the total collapse of the capitalist economy.

If you have children, you can’t allow yourself to focus on the thought that they might not live to be as old as you are now. The information just slides off your brain and goes somewhere else.

The media help this process. The first mistake the climate scientists made was in ever referring to something called global warming. Because that has been the perpetual excuse not to pay attention, or to deny reality. But I guess they didn’t know, back in the 1960s, what the actual results of that warming would be. They didn’t have the ability to create computer models, and couldn’t take into account such things as feedback loops which increase the pace of change. They wouldn’t have been able to imagine such things as a “stuck” jet stream leading to endless waves of wet storms in the UK, or a “stuck” arctic vortex leading to astonishingly low temperatures on one coast of the USA, while the other coast suffered a catastrophic drought. Or the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Philippines, in November last year.

It’s not even that it’s just the weather, is it? It’s the weather, and the crumbling infrastructure. And it’s not even just that. It’s the weather, and the crumbling infrastructure, and the sheep wrecking, and the felling of trees, and the rising sea levels, and human greed. And the weather. It’s not as if it stops raining long enough for anyone to repair a road properly.

Do I have a conclusion? It’s always the same one: we’re all responsible. Not just in the “you voted Tory, now live with it” sense, but in the sense that we keep demanding things that the planet cannot give us. Economic growth. Pensions. New houses. Uninterrupted electric power to charge all our new gadgets. Fresh drinking water. Repaired potholes. A health service that keeps us alive into our 80s, 90s. Everything we demand, as a right, is contributing to the problem. And can we stop ourselves?

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Building their way out of a recession

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France seems determined to fund large and small infrastructure projects to build its way out of the recession. So while a lot of the shops are closing down, or look like they’re about to, the roads are being dug up all over the place. There are even rumours that we in Auxelles Bas will be put on the mains drainage system in a couple of years.

In Belfort, the thrust is towards a laudable public transport policy, with buses and hire bikes (no trams, as far as I can tell) to go along with the recent extension of the TGV to the city. There are also road and traffic calming projects out in the villages and suburbs. The French motoring class only have themselves to blame for some of these crazy schemes.

For example, in Giromagny, there’s a long stretch of straight road, speed limit 50 kmh, along which drivers tend to speed, in spite of the fact that people live along there, and there are cyclists, dogs, children, and pedestrians crossing the road to go to the Intermarché. So the planners have put in chicanes, arbitrary stop signs, changed road priorities, etc., just to make it impossible to build up any speed. In Chapelle sous Chaux, for similar reasons, they have chicanes, horrible steep speed bumps, and more work in progress. If only French drivers would take the hint and slow down.

I’ve always thought Belfort was a bit of a dump. A pedestrianised shopping black hole, but the current infrastructure works are revealing some of its beauty.

Across the river, where we don’t usually venture, there’s a charmless Monoprix (though the food hall is worth a visit), and not much else – or so I thought. Actually, there’s what they call la vielle ville, the old centre of town, before ill-fated 1980s infrastructure projects killed it off, so it goes.

Those 80s blocks of flats, conveniently located for the new 4As shopping centre, with its cinema and bowling alley, the health centre, library, and social security building, are now pretty fucking horrible, with the 4As largely deserted and the cinema long closed down. You still go through it to get to the pedestrian zone, where most of the retailers still are, but walking around the old town the other day, I couldn’t help thinking that if I was running Cache Cache or Sephora, or Fnac, I’d rather be over there.

The old town has more attractive buildings, narrower streets, what might be a pretty central square (if it wasn’t also a car park), and lots of restaurants. There is also, it turns out a proper hat shop (I bought a €59 hat, to support the local economy), a children’s book shop, and a few other places to have a browse. In addition, the fortifications, the Lion, and an Italian deli.

It comes down to this. The car is the problem, and has always been the problem, with modern city life. You don’t need a car in a city. They block up the streets, make too much noise, and turn towns like Belfort (and my home town of Dunstable) into ugly monstrosities. Bowing down before the private motorist, town planners from the 60s onwards ripped the hearts out of town centres and created, what? Nothing but an empty shell, a memory of better living.

If you drive to a city, your car should be left on the outskirts. If you live in one, you should walk, bike, or take the bus/tram. If the streets were quieter, if you could cross them without dodging parked and moving cars, they would be a better place to be.

Everybody in a car, and I include myself, is a cunt, just for being there. As you crawl over speed bumps, dodge through chicanes, and stop at arbitrary junctions, it should be obvious to anyone in a car that the problem is you.