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February 18, 2003

Normal Service Now Resumed

So. What's been going on while I've been poorly? Well, 390,000 British people declared their religion as 'Jedi Knight' on the 2001 Census. That means that we apparently have more Jedi than Jews, Sikhs or Buddists. Watch out for Yoda appearing on "Thought For The Day" any day now.

"Spotting the new Congestion Charging signs I was, when thought I had. Traffic chaos a rift in the force is. Ken Livingstone a Sith Lord may be. Strong in the force you are, young Sue."

On further thought, he'd be pretty indistinguishable from Rabbi Lionel Blue.

Of course, there are still far fewer Jedi than people describing their religion as 'none', and atheists and humanists still don't get a spot on "Thought for the Day", much to their annoyance. (Apparently the explanation is that atheists get a platform on Radio 4 for the remaining 23 hours and 55 minutes every day.)

A million or more people marched peacefully in central London on Saturday, including many of my friends. "Make Tea, Not War," said the signs. Not me, though; I was having a lovely weekend in Lincolnshire doing essentially nothing (a bit of sitting around, a bit of watching babies playing on the rug, a bit of drinking tea, that sort of thing) with my whole family.

And my life was not complete without Perversion Tracker, a site which monitors releases of really, really rubbish Mac OS X software (via Forwarding Address: OS X).

Posted by Alison at February 18, 2003 08:19 PM

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How's the congestion charge working in practice? The only coverage I saw was on the first day when it all appeared to be going better than planned. this may interest you but congestion charging was raised at a Dail Committee on Transport recently when it was stated that it would be impossible to introduce congestion charging in Dublin because we don't have the "excellent" public transport system that London has. I'm not sure who said it. It might have been Owen Keegan, Dublin's Director of Traffic who was appearing before the committee at the time.

Posted by: David Stewart at February 22, 2003 12:49 PM

We don't really know yet because it's the managing of fines that's critical. Traffic was down more than expected, even given that it's half term week in most of London.

First fines arrived Friday -- and my member of staff who drives in and didn't pay the charge got caught and fined. Nobody else I know has had a fine; so I guess it's working at present. They're manually checking all the photos before sending fines out so I guess it will be fairly reliable.

Posted by: Alison Scott at February 22, 2003 12:55 PM

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