Monday, January 08, 2007

I'm (Not) Going Underground...

A couple of days ago I met with a friend who had travelled into London via Charing Cross station. We went downstairs to buy a Tube ticket. It was the first time that the cost of the new cash fares on the Underground really sank home.

The minimum single cash fare is now four quid!!?


Read it and weep


It was embarrassing. I actually felt a need to apologize on behalf of the city.

And all this from a Mayor who once, an Age ago, was responsible for pioneering a low cost public transport policy.

Of course, most Londoners aren’t paying four quid for a single. The cost is something like half that if you use an Oyster card.

For the moment

But once everyone has been strong-armed into using Oysters the cost of using those will be jacked up. Then everyone will be paying through the nose for public transport with the added benefit having a detailed log of their movements held on a privately owned database that will be used for only God, and the faceless fuckers running the system, knows for what purposes.

Marvellous.

One thing that’s worth bearing in mind when personal rights and liberties are being discussed is that personal freedom is about a lot more than new laws, CCTV cameras, data mining and all the more obvious encroachments that are taking place.

In our society you are only as free as you can afford to be.

For most people, having their energy bills rise by 40% in a year, paying four quid for a short metro ride or servicing the interest on their mortgage or credit card is a whole lot more restrictive than having their right to protest taken away from them.

Of course, if people get round to thinking that they are being gradually and deliberately transformed into virtual slaves on a virtual plantation then that right to protest might start looking a tad more important.


But that’s still a while away yet.

.

3 comments:

t-mix said...

You will like this:
www.signs-of-the-times.org/signs/pods/watchful_eyes.jpg

Stef said...

thx, I feel safer already

David said...

The incredible thing is Londoners all knew exactly what he was like, and still voted him back again. And guess what, I bet they do the next time. Always remember the average IQ is only 100. God help us all...