London

Face of the day

Churchill patting Rommel, a cocker spaniel owned by General Sir Bernard Montgomery (Monty) in Normandy in August 1944.

Churchill patting Rommel, a cocker spaniel owned by General Sir Bernard Montgomery (Monty) in Normandy in August 1944.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. He is a historical figure that I admire because he symbolises to me the determination and tenacity of the underdog. Britain was not winning the war when he became Prime Minister and he had to deal with defeat and failure but he never gave up. His speeches are still quoted today because of the way he used the spoken word to inspire and to energise the British people. One line from one of his speeches is as relevant today for the UK as it was back in 1940.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo:Anthony Linck And George Rodger. Chelsea Arts New Years Eve Ball, London.

Photo:Anthony Linck And George Rodger.
Chelsea Arts New Years Eve Ball, London.

The Chelsea Arts Ball, 1947

The Most Scandalous Party of New Year’s Eve

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James Delingpole on Smug Cars

James Delingpole hate Smart Cars (Smug Cars) and the Toyota Prius (Pious).

His column in the Daily Mail explains.

All right. I admit it, I’m prejudiced. I hate Smart cars.

I’ve loathed them ever since I glimpsed the first ones, crawling along the streets of London — from 0 to 60 in about half an hour — some time in the mid Noughties.

The Smart car was the brainchild of Nicolas Hayek, the man who invented Swatch watches. His idea was for a small, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly car that would be easy to park in small, city spaces.

The Swatch company started working with car giants Daimler-Benz in 1995 and the first of the new cars was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997.

The car’s makers boast that their vehicles — from exterior to seats, even the car battery — are 98 per cent recyclable, and each car is classified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).

They run on regular diesel or petrol, but are considered eco-friendly because they do around 70 miles to the gallon and their carbon emissions are low.

The truth, though, is that the Smart car — or Smug car, as it should really be known — masquerades as something modest, simple, practical and back-to-basics when, in fact, it’s just a poseur’s gimmick.

Driving a Smart car is the modern version of those horrid old back window stickers that used to say: ‘My other car is a Porsche.’

Except the difference is that if you have a Smart car, your other car probably is a Porsche.

Have a look at the price list and you’ll see what I mean.

These things aren’t manufactured for peanuts by some charming little yogurt-weaving collective in Wales.

They’re made in Germany by Daimler, with pricing to match.

Even the most basic, two-door model doesn’t leave you with much change out of £11,000. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Georg P. Uebel.

Photo: Georg P. Uebel.

Attacking the Queen

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Council arrogance under Len Brown

You can’t really expect civil servants to respect ratepayers when the Mayor doesn’t.

David Seymour relates a discussion he recently held with an arrogant Auckland Transport official.

“Get a life” -Auckland Council to Mt Eden residents.

I had the most extraordinary conversation with a senior Auckland Transport staffer on Sunday afternoon. He introduced himself as a key part of the City Rail Link team and asked if I supported it (I’m very leery of it). I said:

“Well I think it’s fair to say that while everybody would love to have a train service like London or Tokyo, my constituents in Mt Eden, for example, don’t want to live in the kind of density required to support it.”

To which he replied:     Read more »

Face of the day

Jean Mary Sandel

Jean Mary Sandel

There are so many unknown treasures in New Zealand and this amazing lady is one of them. Her wiki page is barely one line yet she was a pioneer and ahead of her time. She died at such a young age too, after achieving  so much. Women like this are my heroines as this is what a real feminist looks like. Someone who goes toe to toe as an equal despite the odds and despite the difficulties. It is because of women like her that my daughter knows that if she wants it badly enough she can aspire to achieve it.

Jean Mary Sandel was a notable medical practitioner. Born in Kaipi, Gisborne on Boxing Day, 1916 she was the only child of Mary (nee Gow) and Arthur Sandel, who was a licensed surveyor.

Her name lives on as the name given to the Jean Sandel Retirement Village, in Barrett Road, New Plymouth…
…Jean’s family moved to Taumarunui, from where she attended New Plymouth Girls’ High School as a boarder – one of about 27. There she made her mark as an outstanding student and leader, named Dux in 1932 and 1933.

She was the first girl in Taranaki to be awarded the Royal Life Saving Society’s Diploma. She was also a life-saving coach. At the matriculation exams in 1933 she did so well she won a junior scholarship. Writing was also a strength, as she was placed first in the essay competition at the Hawera Show.

Despite her academic prowess, Jean wasn’t totally happy at school. “The expectations of me were too high,” she explained.

In 1934, Jean Sandel began studies at the Medical School at Otago University aided by a national scholarship, and she finally graduated MB ChB in 1939.

Yet, she admitted to Reverend Tom Woods, the minister at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, and his wife Patricia, she found her medical studies, “a struggle” – mostly due a certain male chauvinistic attitude towards women studying to become doctors at that time.

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How long before Len tries this here?

Len will be looking for something else now to control us and to raise even more taxes..

What better way than to have a congestion charging and add on a special tax for diesel vehicles….so he can tax his own buses he will try and force us onto.

London will follow Paris and introduce an outright ban on diesel cars which are causing “serious health damage” in the capital, campaigners warn.

The Mayor of Paris has announced radical plans to ban diesel cars from the French capital by 2020 due to concerns about how much pollution the cars cause.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is also grappling with the issue of how to tackle pollution from the fuels fumes which contain tiny particles and nitrogen oxides and have been increasingly proven to be seriously damaging to health.

France, which has the highest number of diesel cars on the road, will now ban the cars out right with Anne Hidalgo, the Parisian Mayor pledging “an end to diesel in Paris in 2020″.  Read more »

Face of the day

Pippa Doyle

Pippa Doyle

One of New Zealand’s most secretive military organisations has opened its high-security doors for a 93-year-old woman.

Tonight, it was a meeting of war heroes when New Zealand’s Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata kissed 93-year-old Pippa Doyle, one of the great if unknown secret agents of World War II.

Apiata was in the audience as Pippa – otherwise known as Phyllis Latour Doyle – received France’s highest decoration: the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honour (knight class).

 DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.


DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.

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Photo Of The Day

Scenic Traverse Photography is the work of Kristen M. Meister.

Scenic Traverse Photography is the work of Kristen M. Meister.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

How 888,246 red ceramic poppies captivated Britain and brought WWI to life. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Thomson, John, born 1837 - died 1921. A 'November effigy' being paraded through the street, c.1877. At the time this photograph was taken it was common practice in early November to parade effigies of unpopular public figures as well as Guy Fawkes. In his notes to the photograph, Adolphe Smith refers to the effigy shown as being a 'meaningless monstrosity' created purely for the purposes of entertainment and profit.

Photo: Thomson, John, born 1837 – died 1921.
A ‘November effigy’ being paraded through the street, c.1877. At the time this photograph was taken it was common practice in early November to parade effigies of unpopular public figures as well as Guy Fawkes. In his notes to the photograph, Adolphe Smith refers to the effigy shown as being a ‘meaningless monstrosity’ created purely for the purposes of entertainment and profit.

November Effigies; Street Life in London

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