Archive for the ‘Work’ 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


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

Occasionally the House of Lords in the UK functions as a proper second line of defence against the excesses of government.

By the very nature of rejection the Article 50 Bill and sending it back to Parliament with an amendment to be debated for reasons that encompasses all that is decent and well meaning to others from all nations sends a strong message to many around the world.

In particular it sends a powerful message to the government’s and citizens of the European Union that there are many of us in the UK that are not the acronym of the word BREXIT I have arrived at.

Blindingly Rejoice Excessive Xenophobia Intolerant Thoughtlessness 

Currently, this could be an improvement 

Former minister calls for new tax to save NHS and social care

So once again citizens of the UK are there to be ‘milked’ because of the political establishment taking no action or investing properly since the general elections from 1945.

That old question “I’ve paid my taxes and National Insurance all my working life and I’ve got bugger all for it when I need it” produces rolled eyes and exasperation but it’s still valid.

The NHS and social care system has been a political football in control of the government of the day and it is we the population who have paid the price.

Funding for the NHS has been since the general election of 1951 according to what central government deems appropriate in conjunction with the political ethos of the party in control and offset by their other spending commitments. 

These other commitments have been partially due to circumstances but there are many borne from their own ideology of how Britain should be governed.

The revenue from National Insurance contributions goes into the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s coffers to be dealt out according to political doctrine. And the question is, does the amount obtained from from these contributions exceed what is actually given to the NHS.

The possibility of this being the case can be cited from another example, that of Vehicle Excise Duty, or ‘Road Tax, and tax on fuel. 

This is a considerable sum that goes to the government and should be used for the building and maintenance of the UK’s road system … and with some justification the whole transport infrastructure of the country. 

If this is the case then why is the UK one of the developed countries that uses the least percentage of this revenue for its directly related purpose?

Social care funding is even more cynical. Here central government place the responsibility onto local government, which in turn are funded by their central government paymasters. 

“No they don’t as I pay an exorbitant Council Tax charge” I hear you say. That’s true but the average income from this is approximately one third of what is needed by  local government. So if you’re standing outside with a placard or berating your local county council councillor about their decision to close a day care centre just remember the cuts from the two thirds of their budget to make them take such a decision comes from Westminster.

Just like the financial industry nearly bankrupting this country and placing the burden on those who can afford it the least, successive governments have patronised us about we as citizens having to pay our way and ‘cut our cloth’ accordingly to our circumstances.

We get lectured about getting into debt and buying on the ‘never never’ using loans, credit cards etc.  and inferring do we really need a lot of the gizmos, gadgets or material goods we purchase. 

Well! I’d like to ask the government do we really need a nuclear weapons system upgrade costing £100 billion over the next 10 years? 

Is it really necessary to pour billions subsidising private rail firms so their bosses can live like Lords and shareholders benefit from the rich pickings of high fares and the average £1.46 profit made for every £1.00 spent by rail companies? When I might add it has been proved to the contrary when an emergency nationalised section of a rail route in Kent was able to run more cost effectively and put £1 million back into the Treasury in one year.

Just like the financial institutions governments have spent what they have coming in, and more, on things we don’t need … just like the futures markets … and not put aside revenue obtained from us for what is was intended and now we’re expected to pay for their mistakes. 

Don’t try to be happy. We’re programmed to be dissatisfied

A long time ago I was given by colleagues as a present a mug coaster with ‘Grumpy Old Git’ on it. I took it in the mickey take it was intended … and yes before you say, it was intended that way 😀

Anyway, I fully recognise my tendency to approach some … well alright! most things :D… in what many describe as in a ‘glass half empty’ context.
As many who know me, I prefer the alternative ‘realist’ and/or ‘pragmatic’ because I find trying to be totally upbeat and positive as not only a tiresome waste of energy but also in my humble opinion pretty much impossible to achieve. This is I might add is a lot different of convincing oneself you are happy and most things have a positive stance to it.
This is a personal attitude of this concept. I don’t look upon anyone else with, or trying to achieve, such a state of ‘self utopia’ as anything but just a person doing their best to get through life in a way that’s good for them … and if it spreads a bit of sunshine to others around them then that’s a bonus. 
It’s a bit like religion really in that if it works for you and you consider it makes you happy then I give my best wishes to you. 
My ‘realist’ attitude could be claimed as a self defence mechanism by some. If that’s the case, then in the example of a plane crash, I’d rather come down safely on the runway with no undercarriage and a controlled bellyflop than the less chance of survival of partial nosedive crash because the pilot was optimistic the wheels were down to connect to the tarmac.
So it appears my stance on this isn’t so negative as some others think as this article I have posted with this missive shows #justathought

Rail fare increases prompt call for part-time season tickets

Even more reason for return to a nationalised rail network as franchises end. #RailRipOff 

I’d go even further and say with the digitisation of the tax system by HMRC it’s technologically possible to provide tax breaks for workers below a certain earning threshold who don’t own a car and exclusively use public transport to get to work.