Thursday, November 27, 2008

Questions for the NO Campaign: On Rape Video and MART

Have recently added this set of Clarifications to the Will Hutton, He Say YES post HERE. Why should the people of Greater Manchester vote with a company worth a Billion-plus instead of for the future transport and breathing needs of their children and children's children? There are some questions

CLARIFICATIONS Thu 00:01: The Trafford Centre is one of the four main businesses in the Peel Holdings portfolio. Peel are worth around a Billion last time I counted and have recently bought a slice of the British Film Industry too.
The Trafford Centre and Peel Holdings are major backers of the NO campaign(s), unwilling to give any indication of their expenditure in cash, kind and opportunity cost.
According to Dave Carlson of Sonassi, one of the producers, the Mall Rape 101 Video team aka "Stop This Madness" had a meeting with the Trafford Centre team and the concept/treatment/outline was agreed. During the same meeting Sonassi were recruited by the Trafford Centre high ups as members of GMMG.
Although any professional cuttings service or alerts facility would surely have found a video whose tags included "Trafford Centre" and "Comedy". So why did the powers that be, having some foreknowledge of the project and an alert on 19 November, we must assume wait to be rumbled or for viral tipping point, before acting?
Sonassi continue to host the "Free Manchester Partnership" website although this has been amended in various ways since Rape Video Gate. Not only is that disgusting "Comedy" removed, but so are other off colour artefacts, and also links to GMMG and Stopthecharge. They also have an express disclaimer claiming there are no links to th Trafford Centre or Peel.
Now, we know why GMMG/StopTheCharge/Peel/TraffordCentre want to disown these chumps, even if they do protest too much and surely but surely would have known the video they effectively sponsored with free facilities at least was online. But we do not know exactly why GMMG/StopTheCharge/Peel/TraffordCentre are not close bosom friends with MART (Manchester Against Road Tolls) and MART Tameside.
The theory that this was because of some level of BNP connections or overlap has been denied in the strongest terms by Sean of the Dead Cocker. So why exactly were the MARTs chucked out in the cold? Any and all tips welcome. Proof required for the controversial or contested.


Gareth said...

If everyone left their car at home and used the improved transport system then how on earth would the expansion be paid for?
Or is it in reality that this is about not reducing congestion but for it to be another source of tax income for Labour?
If the scheme doesn't repay the loan back then every council tax payer in Greater Manchester would have to pay it through Council Tax increases as each Council have their name down next to the loan?

Paul said...

Boycott The Trafford Centre - its crap anyway

Chris Paul said...

There is no one on either side of the argument who thinks everyone should or will "down cars" and never use them ever again.

In fact it is the NO side that are positing this nocarmageddon of yours in the hope of scaring people that there will be huge precepts on the rates. But many people will of course be happy or v happy or at least willing to pay for a clearer run to work and back.

The maths of the proposers does model a not insignificant drop in peak time crossings of the two cordons. However even at that there is a good deal of flex room.

If the effect were greater than anticipated and persisted at these levels there would be environmentalists doing cartwheels no doubt but unless this reached extreme proportions not seen in Sweden or London or anywhere there wouldn't be a problem.

In fact the payback time and switch to investible earnings is expected to be well within the 30 years.

This is not an unfamiliar model for big transport infrastructure projects. Part paid by investment - public or private or subscription e.g. penny shares - and part paid by traffic. Peel benefit from this model themselves.

Most people tending to the NO side out here in punter land seem to be mistaken about all or some of the direct costs for themselves or their connections AND also judging the proposals on the existing buses etc.

For example:

"I cannot get to work on public transport. I am a teacher. I need to sit for an hour each way in a car commuting. There is no alternative."

This is not a real example but let's say the person lived in Tameside and worked as a teacher in Blackley/Moston.

They mythically face a sometimes jammed route to the M-Way with cameras and lights and then what can be a crawl round the M60 and more off M-way crawl and stress at the other end. Reverse in the evening. As you know there are some chronic car queues in Tameside.

Using the journey planner linked from GMPTE it is possible to show that such a journey can be undertaken by two very short legs into and out of a BR hub. Victoria. With sufficient changeover time (c 20 minutes) to deal with delays.

And there is about 26 minutes total on the two trains. 46 minutes station to station. Healthy 5 minutes walk either end. And time to mark some books, catch up with some email, listen to music, chatter with other passengers, read a paper and so on.

There are several other combinations for this particular mythical journey.

Most car freaks have not even checked what they could do NOW, never mind what may be available later. As Malcolm Gladwell showed in Blink was it, or Tipping Point perhaps, a quite small decrease in volume frees up systems nicely.

He also showed how REDUCED speed limits can SPEED UP transit time.


Better than fibbing up some non-existent problem.

gareth said...

Come on Chris it wasn't unfounded the facts are if people left their car at home then the expansion could not be paid for under the scheme so in turn would result in the councils having to pay off the loan which would mean council tax going up.
For the scheme to work they need congestion thats the plain and simple fact about it.
Now if you can say that is untrue then i would appologise but you can't.
Other than tell me some properganda from the yes campaign it wasn't us on the no who has been pulled over standards and had a leaflet pulled is it?

Chris Paul said...

Of course your scenario is "true" Gareth there's no denying that.

It's a ridiculous TRUISM in fact.

"If there's not enough money coming in there won't be enough money coming in."

Blether. No-one in their right mind believes that everyone will down cars. But enough will switch modes or switch journey times to make a difference.

And for the 60-70% or so of the population that rely on passenger transport and not cars they will see a current patchy transport network revolutionised by £3 Billion that would otherwise take about 50 years to arrive at current annual spending rates.

It boils down to the "no one in their right mind" test. And the No campaign do not pass this.

Speaking for myself only I would rather have a leaflet pulled up, rather than pulled, for a small and correctible mistake than have a Rape Scenario Video, approved by the Trafford Centre on the basis of its outline at least, pulled because it used a Rape fiction to promote a charge fiction.

What do you say about that? Are you one of the ones that liked Sonassi's little comedy?

gareth said...


So the scheme is nothing to do with reducing congestion but for making money thanks for confirming my point.

gareth said...

Oh and also it wasn't a small mistake it was underhand and decitefull.
The people running the yes campaign are very experianced in elections so iam not having that Chris.
Regarding the Trafford Centre they are responsible for their own actions and i dont agree with the video you were mentioning.
I only hope Greater Manchester makes theright decision in the end.
But heres hoping that public money spent 8 million pounds will be refunded back to the public from when the yes campaign has finished.
As the yes campaign should have been funded by the private business who are wanting it and not the tax payer

Chris Paul said...


I'm having a real job here working out whether you are serious and mistaken, or just fibbing.

The scheme aims to massively improve passenger transport and then when that's done to charge a relatively small amount to a relatively small amount of people so that some of them - not all of them - will switch to passenger transport or change the timings of the journeys.

A small change in volume of traffic on any given network at any given moment can make a huge difference to the throughput.

And the YES campaign has been funded by private sources. You're getting confused between that and the FACT campaign.

Best w

Chris P