Thursday, 16 August 2012

Olympics Late Event - World Diplomacy

Gold goes to Ecuador

+1 for well staged statesmanship
+1 for annoying pompous nations
-1 for actually being somewhere Assange will feel safe when/if he gets there considering how much income Ecuador receives from the USA.
Overall score +1

Silver goes to Julian Assange

+1 for exposing attacks on Afghan civilians and children and other dubious practises
+1 for annoying pompous nations
-1 for failing to answer to allegations in Sweden, even if they do seem a little suspicious
-1 for poor handling over the release of the bulk of the leaked cables (eg endangering other operatives)
Overall Score 0

Bronze goes to Sweden

-1 for failing to send interviewers to London for the Assange case
Overall score -1

Wooden Spoon goes to UK Government

-1 for talking about violating, in spirit at least, the concept of diplomatic sanctity
-1 for apparently demonstrating that we are still the lapdog of the USA
Overall score -2

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Why are Germany's trains cheaper than the UK's?

My season ticket from Robertsbridge to London Terminals costs £4236 per annum[1] for 2nd (standard) class. This is due to increase by an estimated 6.2% at the end of 2012.

This ticket of course is valid for one route only.

So why is it that in Germany I could buy a Bahncard 100 [2] for £3138 which allows:
  • Unlimited travel on DB trains (except car trains and ICE Sprinters)
  • Valid at all times
  • Also valid on loads of city local trains and busses
  • Upto 4 children ages 6-14 ride free if accompanied
So how do the Germans do it and how long do we put up with an unreliable and overpriced service?

[1] Although I can get a cheaper rate of £3796 by purchasing a ticket from Robertsbridge to Oxted via London and leaving the system at London - it is an anomaly and valid within the fare regulations. Still more expensive than DB trains though!