Ridding our roads of poor people will shrink AA membership but it will cure the congestion, too

March 28, 2011

Back to the future.

Alf observes that the Automobile Association is somewhat bothered about public-transport proposals in our deeply indebted Super City.

It is wailing that only the rich will be able to afford to drive in Auckland as the council targets motorists to pay for its public transport plans.

Alf’s own observation is that before long only the rich will be able to afford to live there, anyway, because the Super City is in debt to the tune of $4 billion – the equivalent of about $8000 for each of the region’s half a million ratepayers.

The debt had been steadily growing under the previous eight councils and includes $1.2 billion managed by Watercare Services to build and maintain the city’s water assets.

What’s more, the Auckland Council is looking to increase its debt from $2.8 billion (which excludes the Watercare figure) to $3.6 billion over the next three years to fund its existing programme of capital works. There is no money in the financially strapped budget for new projects, such as Mayor Len Brown’s $2 billion inner city rail loop and a cruise ship terminal.

It looks remarkably like a good place not to live in.

This impression is heightened by the aforementioned public transport plans as reported at Stuff.

The money-grubbing buggers are preparing to slap a price on anything that moves.

Read the rest of this entry »


How oil companies avoid getting into hot water – it’s a pity BP didn’t apply OSH rules to its Mexican Gulf activities

May 4, 2010

You would think BP was keen to burnish its public image, especially now that its oil is about to devastate the beaches, wetlands and what-have-you around the Gulf of Mexico.

But nah. The buggers have developed a thing about water and won’t check it for their customers.

As the Herald reports today, staff at a BP station up north refused to check the water level of a woman’s car in case they were burned.

Poor little diddums.

It’s got something to do with risk aversion, which has a profoundly hollow ring to it, when you see what’s going on in the Mexican Gulf.

Read the rest of this entry »


Poll findings call for tougher blood-alcohol limits – but was the survey biased against boozers?

April 9, 2010

The most troubling news for Alf today deals with the matter of drinking and driving.

The Herald examines the prospect of the Government introducing a limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Yep, this is still only at the proposal stage, but Alf fears the 50mg is an upper limit, not a lower one.

The Herald looks at the implications, using Transport Minister Steven Joyce as its exemplar.

Dunno why it didn’t occur to them that he probably would have a chauffeur-driven ministerial car.
Read the rest of this entry »


Greens dump on car scrappage scheme

April 16, 2009

Government incentives to buy new (more efficient) cars seemed such a great idea, Alf was about to raise it with The Boss.

One of its great merits is that environmentalists have dumped on it.

Its biggest impediment, on the other hand, is that Labourites seem to be thinking about implementing it. The Telegraph says Britain’s Government

is tipped to announce a £2,000 incentive to buy a new car, according to briefings from the Treasury in advance of next week’s Budget.

Read the rest of this entry »