Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category

Regarding my tweets over 3rd & 4th April 2018 about Keycard loading issues at Eastbourne Station, which you were obviously not made aware of (join the club) it transpires there is substantial work taking place causing entry/exit barriers to be inoperable.
Whilst purchasing my April commuter travel requirements online on Monday 02/04/18 there was no prominent warning on your website of this happening. Also, there was no information of any systems/arrangements in place for customers to load their Keycards as you require us to do for validating and recording our journeys.
Upon visiting Eastbourne Station on Tuesday 03/04/18 to load and validate my Keycard all barriers were inoperative. Once again, there has been no advance warnings displayed at the station. Nor was there any on site information or arrangements provided by Southern Rail for Keycard customers. Platform staff, although perfectly polite couldn’t assist whatsoever. It was the same situation this morning 04/04/18.
Upon return to Eastbourne station early evening on 04/04/18 I enquired at the ticket office, and again they couldn’y assist, nor could give any idea of a completion time/date of these works taking place.
Can it please be explained how I and other Keycard customers can get them loaded and validatded to prevent …
(1) Technically travelling illegally on YOUR trains.
(2) Not being subject to at least a penalty fare if our explanation is dismissed by an on board supervisors when an ‘invalid’ keycard shows up.
(3) No issues going through barriers at our destinations.
(4) Our rail travel recorded for the purposes of Delay Repay compensation if needed.
To place the onus on us Keycard using customers to try and resolve an issue to travel legally and correctly on your service because of situation brought about entirely by Southern Rail is totally unacceptable and needs to resolved quickly by you the company, not us the customers.
This situation you have placed regular paying and travelling customers after having paid substantial sums to which in effect we cannot prove if challenged whilst having to travel to our jobs is a gross dereliction of your customer information and services duties, and I suggest possibly in contravention of your terms of operation within the franchise agreement.
Peter Lacey
04 April 201


For years fans have moaned about particularly foreign players overreacting to tackles in the English Football Premier League. One potential leg breaker and two chop down tackles in recent games on Kevin DeBruyne of Manchester City FC … who certainly can’t be described as an overseas player who ‘makes a meal’ out of tackles on him … and none of those responsible sent off. He’s injured and the animals are sent back to their cages to ready up for the next skillful player

pic Reuters

Kevin DeBruyne limping off today after a third tackle on him in as many weeks where the offending player was considered to have been ‘lucky to stay on the pitch’                                  (pic by Reuters)


Southern Rail up to their old tricks again … misleading their customers. Text here of an email sent to me and thought I’d take advantage of this little prompt. I have just logged on to buy my ticket today with a start date of 2nd January at the old price.. which the text implies … and you’ve guessed it! … it’s at the higher price. So one has to assume ‘Southern Fail’ designate a “season ticket” as one for 12 months as opposed to ones for shorter periods which are described on my account as my “monthly SEASON ticket” …. Not only could it be perceived as a con, they couldn’t even make that small concession to lesser ‘season ticket’ holder customers paying highest train fares in Europe plus worst service.Southern Rail Tickets Renew

Are we sure we’re going to have a good time?
Or just pretending in the hours of the light of day,
At night time when we’re alone and it’s quiet,
Where do some thoughts drift to?
To the bank account going into overdraft,
Or the credit limit reached on the card.

Concerns of how you’re judged by the festive fare you provide?
Then invite and enjoy with people you know who won’t care,
Yes, Christmas is a time for family,
But also for the good friends,
The sound, honest and reliable ones,
Those who’ve ‘had your back’ throughout the year.

And spare a thought for those away from their families,
Including the ones on standby and working to help, care or keep us safe,
And the ones who rely on a foodbank and donated children’s gift,
For too many the predicament has valid reasons and no fault of their own.

Try not to worry it has to be perfect,
Because it won’t as it is a microcosm of real life where nothing is.
So all you can do is your best,
And the responsibility is on others of gratitude and making it great,
With recognition of your hospitality and kindness,
You deserve nothing less.

Christmas isn’t just special in the way we should treat others,
But the hope it confirms what we’ve felt and how we’ve acted throughout the year,
No one is perfect and we make mistakes, bad decisions or upset others,
But if you can say at least you tried to put things right,
Or live as a better person because of something you can’t change,
Then you deserve the best festive season ever,
And may this continue into 2018 and remain.

Peter J. Lacey
© December 2017


Having had a particularly bad year on a personal level, I was advised to take up a hobby to concentrate in times when needed. It was preferably an activity which one had to solely hopefully absorb my mind shutting everything out.

Many years ago as a child and teenager I liked painting so thought I’d give that a try. I decided to experiment with the medium of acrylic paints, partly due to cost, and partly of its flexibility in the type of work that could be produced.

Having eventually finished my first one in getting on 40 years, here is the result.

The title is not only for the depiction of the picture, but also the end result. Still!… although somewhat dissatisfied, it could be worse I suppose.


A Bit Rough


A clampdown on gazumping and other tactics that cause misery to housebuyers and sellers is being drawn up by the government as part of a renewed attempt to reduce the cost and stress of buying a home.

The Tories want to sort this out  and are asking for evidence from industry professionals within 8 weeks. This is a commendable and justified to finally make an offer a legally binding matter in English law at a distinct point in the proceedings.

In another area of housing policy alongside this announcement, Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary revealed a possible move by the government in the November budget of partially reversing its austerity doctrine by borrowing to invest heavily in new homes and associated infrastructure.

However, in these potential housing policy announcements, a further comment in relation to the new homes investment by Mr. Javid indicates yet again where the priorities lie for this government.

‘While councils “have a big part to play” in the plan, as do housing associations, the “biggest role” should be taken by the private sector’

In contrast, only about ten families so far from the  Grenfell Towers fire disaster have been rehoused, and apparently the government have decided sprinkler systems in tower blocks are an additional safety precaution that’s unnecessary.

At a time of a housing crises where social housing should at the forefront of policy, the percentage target number of 300,000 new homes per year will no doubt be higher in the private sector.

In addition, there is a case for the more than 200,000 homes sitting empty in England – worth a total of £43bn to be utilised and renovated for the social hosing sector. Is there an issue here though? Is it because property speculators in the UK, from abroad and offshore fund investors are of the ‘family’ of rich and privileged that also include members of the Conservative Party and/or their wealthy business backers?

Consequently, is it not surprising this Tory government won’t provide the resources to local councils to track down these mysterious property owners and fund the compulsory purchase and renovations of these empty dwellings?

There is a genuine belief in the Conservative Party that a homeowner is more likely to vote Conservative. It’s even alleged George Osborne stated this privately when Chancellor in discussions about the possible political fallout electorally of the benefit cuts. He is alleged to have commented this would be negligible due to a majority affected were unlikely never to own their own homes, and this would probably reflect in their voting choices to be of no political advantage to a Tory government.

‘Gazump’ – make a higher offer for a house than (someone whose offer has already been accepted by the seller) and thus succeed in acquiring the property.

Sources: Guardian/Observer UK editions and associated published official documents.

Saw this on Facebook.

Reaction below …..

The irony of quoting words such as ‘subordinate’ and ‘colonial possessions’ make me suggest a wider history is read with a bit more if a perspective attitude.

 Lets not forget we’ve had the same monarch since 1603 and there was also a Union Act at that time, although not of the full type there was eventually to be in 1707. There were many reasons on both sides for the Act of Union 1707 to be agreed …not least Scotland was broke!

Up to 50% of money circulating in that country was either lost or tied up in the disaster of the Scottish Darien Company which independent Scotland set about with such astounding ignorance and lack of forethought as to the reactions of the Spanish and English having their areas of influence and trade encroached upon. And don’t go blaming the English for their blockade .. it was a time of empire building and you were attempting nothing any different than England, Spain, and France etc. were … so don’t go there!
You blew it! … and Scotland would have done exactly the same as those two countries did. Rightly or wrongly by 21st century values, but at that time everybody was at it. 

There is often the North Sea Oil argument brought up … how England took most of the revenue from that. That conveniently brushes aside the £billions invested in Scotland prior to the oil being extracted in the first place!

Even back in 1707 we coughed up nearly £400,000, of which nearly 60% was used as compensation for that failed attempt at …. yes … a subordinate quasi-colonial possession.

 I’m not saying it’s okay … I’d preferred if my vote of remain was a success. I also respect Scotland and like the place and I’m perfectly happy and respect your decision if you ever vote to become independent. However, I get fed up with the ‘whoa its me’ … ‘ya English bastards took all our oil and all that’ … ‘Us Scots are wonderful we’re not to blame for anything’ attitude. It’s bullshit! … you had a chance to go independent and guess what? … as with the Darien fiasco, you blew it again! … You wanted to stay with the Bitch Mother of Parliament at Westminster so stop whining!

Either do something about it this time around  or lets just get on FFS!