Sunday, May 18, 2014

Megatrucks and dredging: the bizarre world of An Independence From Europe (sic)

There's something about the Euro elections that leads to some truly weird and wonderful stuff coming through the door of Woodford Towers.

We all hear plenty about the anti-Europeanism of Nigel Farage and his mates in UKIP, but there's rather less coverage afforded to Mike Nattras MEP and his peculiarly-named 'An Independence From Europe' party.

A postcard-sized A6 flier announces that this little-known outfit tops the ballot paper. We should apparently look for its logo, which - confusingly - is the EU symbol and the word OUT, with a big red cross through it. At a glance, therefore, it looks as if Mike is actually against his own plea to exit the 26-strong club of nations.

A rambling, closely-typed statement touches on the following issues: extradition; road pricing; the EU Army (sic); the HS2 rail link; free movement of workers; the closure of the Welsh Assembly; incinerators; private prisons; flood defences and megatrucks (which are, I discover, 60-tonne, 25-metre vehicles beloved of Brussels bureaucrats).

"Some MEPs boast of their 'points' for being collaborators by making law in this aggressive New Empire," writes Mr Nattrass FRICS, who somehow managed to get himself elected to the European Parliament in the West Midlands. "We must stop this never ending sausage machine of EU regulations killing UK business and impacting on working people."

A powerful ending to the leaflet, surely? But Mike can't leave it there. He decides to throw in the Ukrainian conflict too. "Does the EU's aggressively expansionist attitude improve relations with Russia?" he asks. "Why should we be drawn into conflict by the EU?"

If only there were more room for Mike to carry on, but red type at the bottom of the page announces: "Insufficient space to list the unlimited EU interference."

Imagine if he'd had the money for A4 folded to A5.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Card clash

Transport for London have invented another atrocious piece of jargon to accompany 'touch in' and 'touch out'.

The largely incomprehensible world of Oyster is now apparently rife with 'card clash'. 

Passengers are warned via posters and Tannoy announcements to avoid this bizarre affliction, which occurs when your contactless credit card is inadvertently charged as you tap your Oyster. You end up paying double bubble, so 'hard cash' is probably a more appropriate description than card clash.

The way it's presented is a little like an unfortunate venereal disease. Something that happens when you're careless. As opposed to a stupid design flaw in a system that's screwing you.