Who are ASPI?
"ASPI is an independent, non-partisan think tank that produces expert and timely advice for Australia’s strategic and defence leaders." - at least that's what they say about themselves.
Based in Canberra and Washington DC - Hmm.
44 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jan 2015
‘I’ll tell you,’ said Vimes. ‘A monarch’s an absolute ruler, right? The head honcho—’
‘Unless he’s a queen,’ said Carrot.
Vimes glared at him, and then nodded.
‘Okay, or the head honchette—’
‘No, that’d only apply if she was a young woman. Queens tend to be older. She’d have to be a … a honcharina? No, that’s for very young princesses. No. Um. A honchesa, I think.’
Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
I thought the Tory way of handling things like this was to find a 'chum' (Eton old-boy, neighbour down the road, somebody I met at the golf club, ...) who may make a decent donation to the party (or the PM of the day) and bung them a few £millions, no questions asked.
In 2015 my results came back requesting another sample - end result, positive. Then a colonoscopy showing up a tumour.
At this point I had NO SYMPTOMS whatsoever.
I ended up with a stay in hospital, a loss of 50cm of lower bowel, an incision running from sternum to groin held together with 36 stables and an ileostomy bag for 6 months while the gut healed.
Not a lot of fun but if it hadn't been for this test I'd be DEAD now!
Since early January I've had b*gger all phone signal at home and all I see from O2 is a "Looks like a nearby phone mast isn’t working as it should, sorry. Our engineers are likely to be on the case already, and your service might come and go until we fix it." message.
I assume that O2 engineers wear a tutu, have little wings and a twinkly wand - or is that the fairies at the bottom of my garden?
This is Rupert Murdoch we're talking about (News of the World, Sun etc.) - he has a history of being untrustworthy. How can any decent Government, concerned about Democracy and the rights of their citizens, even contemplate allowing him even more control of the propaganda sources? Oh, I forgot, he OWNS this British Government as he did the previous one, and the one before that, and the one before that ...
Don't know about other countries but I've got a couple of 14 ltr cans of 'family' olive oil (i.e. from the sister-in-law's olives) sat waiting for me in Crete. When I went into one of the couriers to get some idea of the cost of shipping they just said it just wasn't worth the cost of shipping it to the UK.
They reckoned with Concorde it took more time to get on and off the plane than it took to cross the Atlantic. With this sort of system it's going to take more time to get on and off the plane than to fly round the world.
Spot the bottleneck here?
Being told to get to the airport ages before the flight is due to depart, queueing up for ages to hand over hold baggage, queueing up again for airport security which is completely inconsistent (on one flight to Crete I went through 3 sets of airport security and got different results from each)
Sod faster aeroplanes, I'd rather not spend most of my trip stuck in the "hurry up and wait" system for boarding and leaving and I'd definitely prefer more comfortable seats, a bit of leg room, larger windows and not having the flight crew keep waking me up to see if I've changed my mind about buying a blow up model of the plane.
Anything bar train your own staff.
Once upon a time when there were significant levels of corporation taxes it made sense to put money back into a business to do such things as train staff and invest in new equipment as that was tax deductable. Now it's all based on short term milking as much money from the profits as possible to the shareholders who'll just move on when the business looks like it's failing.
The problem with this idea is the same problem monorails have - the track, specifically the points.
It's simple building a special, fancy track to run point-to-point but a real rail network needs to switch traffic from track to track. In fact in a point-to-point system being able to switch traffic between tracks is esssential unless you want to close the entire network when a bit of track maintenance is needed.
There have been lots of designs for amazing vehicles running on tracks but the stumbling point so far has always been building the track when I see a solution for this I'll start taking it seriously, otherwise it's just another fantasy.