Although I was back in the office yesterday, it was something of a quiet day- few people around. As I arrived at my local tube station the joy of the latest tube fare increases was fully apparent: a zone one journey has gone from an extortionate £3 to an eye popping £4- a 33% increase. As usual Ken "sobersides" Livingstone came out with some tosh to justify this disgraceful state of affairs. London tube fares are not just higher than any other major city in the world- they are a multiple of the fares in any other major city in the world. This, together with the near doubling of bus fares and the likely further increase in the congestion charge beyond £8 a day, is just another example of the punishment that the incompetent administration in City Hall visits upon Londoners. I might feel less aggrieved, were it not for the constant drip of Mayoral propaganda on posters across the tube network: the latest being an anti-nuclear poster campaign. Frankly, the cost/benefits of nuclear power stations may not be quite what Greenpeace suggests, and I resent my money being spent on simplistic propaganda based on questionable science.
Mind you, this morning my good humour was slightly restored by the comedy act that is Migration Watch. Having claimed that the benefits of immigration were actually only 4p per citizen, the very next item on the Today Programme was about the elementary mistakes that job seekers make on their applications. Such things as poor grammar, including misspelling "Curriculum Vitae" were amongst the most basic errors. Migration Watch would prefer to impose further costs on British business by forcing them to pay for training, in order to fill skill shortages and thus eliminate the need for immigration. The fact that this would erode British competitiveness to the point that British firms would leave the UK in greater numbers does not seem to have occurred to these Daily Mail reading bigots. Immigration keeps jobs and taxes in the UK. Without it, the jobs would move to where more skilled and more disciplined workers actually live: the quality of the native British labour force is simply uncompetitive as it stands. The 4p number is as spurious as most of the other Migration Watch statistics. Still- it did allow me a chuckle as I emerged from the shower.