Wednesday, May 09, 2007

'This is the worst.'


Reading this about the latest government project to fall into ruinous chaos I found myself intoning the words “ No worse , there is none”. You really despair don’t you

'The cost of widening the M1, Britain's biggest road-building project, is spiralling out of control with each mile costing more than £21m. The National Audit Office was called on last night to investigate why the price of the project has risen from £3.7bn to £5.1bn. The latest estimate makes the 240-mile project bigger than the annual economies of a third of the world's nations' - The Observer.

Sometimes I `m angry but at times a deep weariness overtakes me and I feel I am falling into madness

DESPAIR

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a poet who , for most of his life was obliged to slave at an unforgiving job which at time lead him to near suicide , his health was broken and he dies a failure . he was ‘discovered’ only after his death thanks to the efforts of Robert Southey and taken up by the moderns who were awed by his radical use of phonetic techniques and vocabulary. He is passionate poet and one with whom all we undiscovered geniuses can sympathiseJ. Noone has ever written so eloquently of despair …..

No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief’


NO worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing—
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked


‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief’.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.


"The worst is not, So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.' " King Lear











31 comments:

Jenny! said...

That's alot of money for a road! Is the end result going to be worth it?

Jenny! said...

That's alot of money for a road! Is the end result going to be worth it?

Ed said...

Jenny, of course not - it really needs about 6 extra lanes not just 1.

This government is like water torture - drip, drip, drip of minor bad news stories.

Only £1.4bn accidentally given away in tax credits last year - THAT THEY ADMIT TO!

Electro Kevin said...

Nu Labour has been a con-merchants' charter at every single level, including their own.

Newmania said...

THAT THEY ADMIT TO!

I saw that Ed ...it is just becoming agony isn`t it

Newmania said...

EK its not coincendence is it . I thought Douglas Hurd was impressive on question time saying that bad choice after bad choice cannot all be ad hoc. There is a central problem

Ed said...

Without looking too much like a conspiracy theorist I can't help wondering whether the whole thing is to plan - so that having proved that our system is broken we will need a complete overhaul which of course Old Labour will be only too happy to provide.

Croydonian said...

Quite the rayon du soleil today, eh 'mania?

I think the man needs a pint.

Newmania said...

rayon du soleil

So Croydonian !

An honour I must say.
Yes but cannot

rats

mutleythedog said...

Cheer up Mr N - it will soon be Christmas!

mutleythedog said...

Jenny- our Government is both mad and incompetent. Thankfully it is also pretty incompetent at being made or we would all be dead.

Ellee said...

Our transport system has been igmored more than any other govt department - what improvements have been made to our public transport system over the last 10 years, I challenge you to tell me. Are there not less frequent bus services, more congested roads, overcrowded trains forcing passengers forcing to stand, and the underground is expensive and dirty.

Ed said...

There are more buses in London - but I dread to think how much per added passenger journey they have cost.

Apparently before Livingstone came to power the bus network in London ran a small surplus and now it costs £1bn a year in taxpayer subsidy.

Anonymous said...

Newmania - you have upset me! I was forced to study Hopkins for English A level several years ago and hated it - I need a "dappled" room

Newmania said...

Bloody Hell Ed you seem to know everything !

Ellee I thinknits awfully hard to convince people that you can be more competent , cynicism is so ingrained .It dioes start to seemt ol me that there is a ( taran tara ) systemic problem of delivery even for policies mis conceived in the first place

Newmania said...

Bloody Hell Ed you seem to know everything !

Ellee I thinknits awfully hard to convince people that you can be more competent , cynicism is so ingrained .It dioes start to seemt ol me that there is a ( taran tara ) systemic problem of delivery even for policies mis conceived in the first place

Newmania said...

I need a "dappled" room

Ha ha anon , yup same here . I like it but I can see the always alliterating ango saxonly might grate

Ed said...

I doknow everything

I doknow everything

...

I don't know anything about poetry and that is a fact.

Philipa said...

It is the attitude that festers in the civil service/local government that fosters the problem. For example, I chanced upon a scam, by a manager, costing hundreds of thousands in local government and felt this was the tip of the iceburg. It was - when I alerted my superiors I was told to shut my mouth and later found that advancement wasn't going to come my way easily. Later my role changed and I was in charge of services for a dept. It was usual for the dept to put in a request for a job and for the costing to be returned to be approved through their own budgetting channels. This is usually done independantly and I will explain that. I was aware that they wanted a number of jobs and due to my close working with them was aware of their future needs. Rather than cost for each job independantly of the others, I advised a strategy that would give them what they needed at a fraction of the cost and also pave the way for their future requirements. I was hauled over the coals by my superiors - that wasn't the way 'we' worked. Even something as small as memory chips - I sourced a generic chip at a fraction of the cost and advised pooling projects to buy in bulk, thus getting a better deal. My manager called a meeting when I pressed the matter and placed me in front of a panel of IT technicians, expecting me to be shot down. I wasn't and one even apologised to me.

Ministers often don't know what the hell they're talking about. The minister in charge of building that stretch of road probably doesn't know jack - about building or project management, he relies on advisors. The advisors that have their own, time honoured way of working, and all along the line, they take a little piece. Until they got to me, the one who annoys everyone by being honest.

When a company tenders for a job, they should do the job for the money stated. That's it.

Newmania said...

I must say Phillipa builders that are our clienst treat Coucil work as a honey pot

Philipa said...

You say in one line what it takes me an essay to put together, and pour forth great poetry too!

I may never blog again, well, not until I've pieced together my broken ego.

CityUnslicker said...

We need far more roads as I have said at my place. There is simply not the rail capacity to cope witht he population increase and the economics of rail are actually quite weak.

Whether it is necessary to gold plate the roads is a moot point.....

Ken subsidises the London buses heavily N. i thought this was common knowledge, it is mostly subsidy for his evil oyster card scheme!

Newmania said...

Phillipa don`t tease me as you well know brevity and I are only distant aquaintances . You are on wonderful form today..as you always are.

XX

Newmania said...

CU taking delicate steps from your sick bed ...glad to see you virtually up and about at least.
I like Oyster Cards , cheap and easy. So do most people

Ed said...

I love the latest Livingstone ads: "half price when you pay on Oyster" - except the "half price" was the cash fare two years ago!

I'm not paranoid about them watching where I go - after all who cares what bus I get on where.

Electro Kevin said...

Do we need far more roads CU ?Don't they just beget more traffic ? And isn't the best deterrent for excessive car use congestion ?

The M25, for example, dubbed as London's orbital car park and that's because it has become a victim of its own success. I'm not being negative or defeatist, but this must have a limit surely - and that's not to mention the looming energy crisis. Like buying new wardrobes, we always manage to fill them. Then there's my area packed with Brummies because of the highly successful M5, now there is a demand for roadspace for 'immigrants' visiting relatives, etc

I'm surprised that the economics for rail are 'quite weak', particularly on urban routes, but viewed as stand-alone business entities (unlike on the continent) suffering long-term under-investment (unlike the continent) it's true that they struggle to make profit and fail to justify their existence without consideration to the wider and indirect benefits, particularly to commerce but also to stress levels and safety (when they work !), and therefore it's no wonder that they are unloved here (very much unlike the continent)

Newmania said...

I'm surprised that the economics for rail are 'quite weak', particularly on urban routes,

I`m also suprised EK...I `d like to see CU back that up .

Ed said...

Rail is probably hugely profitable on the (short) big city commuter routes and is definitely profitable on the Intercity routes.

Didn't Mrs T "loan" BR a certain amount to buy fast Intercity trains and they paid the exchequer back more quickly than expected? Surely a model there for state investment (not Brown's definition of the word).

Not sure that a good chunk of the network is profitable - but there has to be some level of public transport in our towns and cities and between them otherwise we would all have to have cars.

We do need better roads though - but also much higher petrol tax to discourage inefficient use of them. EK the extra traffic is a result of economic growth - stifling trade by not building infrastructure can't be a good idea.

Philipa said...

EK - the brummies are probably complaining about all the Londoners there.

Fewer cars on the road? Try fewer people - the current immigration policy is exacerbating the situation. That and all these dreadful women leaving their kitchens to work - moral decline everywhere!! Any sane, intelligent man knows that a woman should be at home looking after the children, not on the road in a vehicle, which they clearly can't handle, congesting it! And then these women, after being given the vote, given mind you, have the temerity to leave a marriage!! I mean good grief! A woman should be grateful for any poor slob willing to take one of them on and let them pick up after him. GRATEFUL! Let's face it - any woman who is, shall we say, less than cordial, is just an embarrassment and obviously in need of a good seeing to. If only they could all find a man to make their life complete. Trouble is, not all of them have the intelligence to realise how fulfilling cooking organic food and home schooling their poor oppressed little bigot can be. Pity.

It's all the fault of women; single mothers, female teachers, you name it. But mainly single mothers.

Have I apologised for the Iraq war? Sorry.

CityUnslicker said...

the reason rail is weak is purely because of capacity limits and the sheer difficult of expansion.

We have the same railway we had nearly a century ago, the trains are just quicker and twice the length.

In the longer term the reason I say rail is 'weak' is that it cannot possibly cope with the increase in demand.

people need to travel and so we need more roads. Without them we condemn ourselves to less travel or paying a lot more as travel services become scarce.

I did a post about this here

Electro Kevin said...

Philipa - I didn't mean it to sound like that, in fact Londoners are rare round these parts but that would probably change if the A303 were to be widened past Stonehenge.

Ed - TOCs are in receipt government subsidies. Until recently the only stand-alone profit making operator was GNER. It is now struggling having over-bid for its franchise. I think privatisation was a stupid idea and the demise of such a capable and revered organisation supports this.

Regarding the stifling of trade being a bad thing - my desire would never be to stifle real trade, but neither do I think it right to create artificial trade through opening up routes that encourage yet more commuting and the fragmentation of families whereby granny lives 200 miles away and now needs state support to survive. Good for Barrats builders, bathroom tilers, Ghatso cameras, car part suppliers ... but is this really 'growth'? As well as that Brown's policy of never ending economic growth seems totally at odds with green policy and simple reality because 'growth' of this sort cannot go on indefinitely - we all know that.

Then there's Philipa's point - the hulking great Mammoth in the living room (not you, Philipa)- uncontrolled immigration, probably the biggest cause of the exodus of white collar workers to commuter towns - if that's Brown's idea of economic growth then whoopee doo.

Hope you're feeling better, CU.
(BTW many trains have got much shorter since privatisation - Virgin Voyagers - and in some cases on the Great Western train times slower)

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