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 Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:00 am

Below is Boris's article back in September supporting the Tunnel and cleaning up the river, then he has changed his mind, Simply astonishing and shameful using the sewage as a political football. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad


12th Sep 2011

David Walliams's Thames swim: it will take a super-sewer to get London out of this mess

If I were not so infernally busy, I think I would go to the banks of the Thames and cheer for David Walliams as he continues his epic downriver migration – like a lost whale or some vast confused salmon – from Gloucestershire to London.

What a hero. He is not only raising loads for charity. He is simultaneously drawing attention to one of the key environmental problems of our time; and he is thereby pointing the route to long-term economic prosperity for this country.

He has only one thing to fear, as he porpoises along. There is one risk more dangerous than the cold, or the currents, or the rats or the pike or the snagging of underwater weeds or the churn of outboard motors or even the siren call of foxy Henley ladies as they lean from their launches in their leopardskin bikinis and invite him inside for a warming cup of tea. The thing he has to worry about is rain.

Yes, rain is the danger, even for a man in a wetsuit and immersed in the Thames. Because as soon as it rains more than 2mm, the sewers of London are no longer able to cope with their burden and pwooosh – the Bazalgette interceptors are discharged into the Thames, with consequences that simply cannot be ignored.
It is not just that poor David Walliams will be at yet graver risk of an upset stomach, or that the rowers of Putney start to find the water full of unmentionable items. Nor is it just the massacre of fish and other aquatic life-forms. We are facing the long-term deterioration in Thames water quality, and unless we act now I am afraid no one in their right mind will be swimming this river in 10 years’ time – certainly not beyond Teddington.

The sewers of London are already so full, and so much rainfall now sluices into them off the concrete and tarmac rather than sinking into the turf, that these Bazalgette interceptors are already exploding into the Thames about 50 times a year, and the discharge rate is increasing the whole time.

When Joseph Bazalgette built his remarkable system, he thought big. His sewers are still robust, and they are impressive feats of architecture and engineering. But they were designed for a city of 2.5 million people; and the population of London is now pushing eight million, and heading for nine.

In one of the crimes for which we are truly all guilty, society is now discharging an awful 50 million tons of raw sewage into the river in London alone, and unless we are bold in our plans, that figure will rise to 70 million tons in 10 years; and no matter how gutsy David Walliams may be, his future swims could well be banned by elf ’n’ safety.

When Bazalgette designed his interceptors, in response to the Great Stink of 1858, he assumed that they would only kick into action in emergencies – truly torrential downpours of a kind that happen once or twice a year. That is why it is time to recognise that we can no longer rely on Victorian capital, and why Thames Water is right to be consulting on its proposed super-sewer, known as the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Of course, it must construct this cloaca maxima in a way that minimises hassle for local people and avoids damage to riparian beauty spots. But the basic idea is excellent, and essential. At a depth of 75 metres – below the Tube and other excavations – and with a bore the width of three buses, this huge tunnel will run winding beneath the course of the Thames from Richmond to a series of vastly improved and upgraded East End sewage works. A separate leg of the tunnel is proposed to run from Abbey Mills to the Beckton sewage plant, to end or greatly reduce the discharge into the Lee. It is a breathtakingly ambitious project, on a scale that would have attracted the approval of Brunel and Bazalgette themselves.

We have the prospect of protecting Walliams and other migratory forms of river life, such as sea-trout and salmon, and of ensuring that a much cleaner and sweeter river flows through the heart of the city. If we fail to act, we face smells and pestilence and a serious reduction in our quality of life.

This new super-sewer is the right thing to do for the environment – and it is above all the right kind of thing to do for a country still struggling to get back to growth. Never mind the supermasticated arguments about the 50p tax rate (which seem to be moving in the right direction). I know that George Osborne is also thinking about the economic stimulus that can be provided by infrastructure projects – and he is right. Big construction projects such as a supersewer generate myriad forms of employment – not just builders, but designers, architects, engineers, planners, and the list goes on. They create long-term competitiveness by making the city more pleasant to live in and move around.

And it is a mistake to think that these projects always need to be funded by the taxpayer. There are plenty of investors and wealth funds around the world who can see the potential long-term revenue streams that can be generated by investing in a significant and beneficial piece of infrastructure.
In other words, it is largely a question of vision, and of political will. It is becoming clear that this downturn could go on for so long that we need to think not just about projects that are “shovel-ready” now, but ones which could be “shovel-ready” in two, three, or five years’ time.

We are massively expanding Tube capacity, we are putting in Crossrail; but we need to go further. Even as these improvements come on stream, we will be struggling to catch up with the growth in demand. Commuter networks are jammed; Heathrow is running at 99 per cent capacity. We need Crossrail 2, and a new airport.
We can’t afford to keep muddling along and relying on historic investment. On sewers, rail, river crossings, ports and airports it is time for neo-Victorian boldness. It is the right thing for jobs now, and the right thing for this country’s long-term competitiveness.

27th April 2012

27 April 2012

Boris Johnson orders rethink over Thames supersewer

The future of the Thames supersewer was in doubt today after Boris Johnson announced plans for a full consultation over the project.

Mr Johnson said he is “concerned over the rising cost” of the scheme as well as the disruption to Londoners living along the route.

His latest intervention in the row will be seen as a last-minute attempt to secure Tory votes in boroughs along the Thames before next week’s City Hall election.

Insiders today said that, depending on the result of his consultation, Mr Johnson could end up pressuring the Government and Thames Water to return to the drawing board despite years of work on the £4.1 billion project.

His Labour rival Ken Livingstone today accused the Mayor of a “clear electioneering ploy” and said he was “putting his interests before the interests of ordinary Londoners”.

Thames Water wants to replace London’s inadequate Victorian sewer network with a large new tunnel, with construction due to begin in 2016.

The 20–mile underground pipe, would trace the curves of the river and be punctuated at ground level by ventilation columns at about 20 sites.

There have been complaints that the large columns could spoil famous views across the capital, including those of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

Mr Johnson today told the Standard: “It is vital that we clean up the Thames and I am committed to support measures that achieve this. But I am increasingly concerned over the rising cost that it will impose on Londoners, already hard hit by the current economic climate, and also the severe disruption for many people in some parts of London. We need greater clarity on whether this is indeed the best scheme that could be devised.”

Opponents of the scheme today welcomed the Mayor’s announcement.

Stephen Greenhalgh, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham council, said: “We are delighted Boris has called for this additional consultation. The supersewer is a costly white elephant that will blight our riverside and disrupt the lives of millions of Londoners for years.”

Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham, said: “I strongly agree with Boris that we need to have a proper re-assessment of the supersewer. In February, I led a delegation of Fulham residents to see the Mayor, and they told him the devastation this project would bring, and it is a common sense approach to now assess whether the full £4.1 billion project is necessary and affordable.”

A spokesman for Mr Livingstone said: “Despite personally signing off the proposed London supersewer sites earlier this month, Tory Boris Johnson has now cynically demanded a review of sites. This is a clear electioneering ploy by the Tory Mayor.”

A Thames Water spokesman said: “We will remain accountable to the Mayor, Ofwat, Defra and most importantly, our customers, on the cost of the scheme.”

The Economist magazine today backed Boris Johnson, saying he deserves a second term. It said he had “been a good mayor rather than a great one” but “on the big issues, his instincts are right”.


TAC Email to Boris April 2012


Dear Mr. Johnson,

We are writing to request an urgent clarification of your position with respect to the Thames tunnel (or so-called "super sewer").

Last November you made a clear statement in suppport of this project.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/8756640/David-Walliamss-Thames-swim-it-will-take-a-super-sewer-to-get-London-out-of-this-mess.html
http://www.thamestunnelnow.org/boris-johnson-thames-super-sewer-london-mess/

More recent reports indicate that your position has changed, moving beyond the ambigous towards stalling the project further.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/davehillblog/2012/apr/10/boris-johnson-london-super-sewer-politics
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/fulham-and-hammersmith-news/2012/04/12/under-fire-boris-johnson-denies-misleading-market-and-sewer-opponents-82029-30744739/

We need not remind you that the Thames is in a perilous state, suffering from some 39 million cubic metres of raw untreated sewage discharge each year.
The river is filthy, unfit for recreation and hazardous for wildlife.
Last June the discharges after a prolonged dry period resulted in the deaths of some 100,000 fish.

The Thames tunnel is the only viable solution to cleaning up our capital river environment.
It is vital that these plans are actually implemented and do not become a political football.

We request an urgent reply from you on this matter.

Regards,
Ed Randall
Secretary, Thames Anglers Conservancy
P.O. Box 863
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 9BR


27th April 2012 - Boris Reply






AND why do we need it??

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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:00 pm

If any angler votes for this clown they will need locking up!


Richard Twisted Evil
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James Annear



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PostSubject: boris and the super sewer-shameful!   Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:56 pm

Whats the alternative Richard,
Blubbing Red Ken or The Gay Copper?
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Rob Hay



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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:10 pm

Unfortunately as usual the alternative is, there is no alternative
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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:57 pm

HI Richard,BoJo is a sherwd politician who is playing to the influential Fulham and Chelsea crowd,I would compere him to the clown in Stephen Kings book "It,"watch him turn when and if elected. In Wapping we have the underused King Edward VII Park which is earmarked for the Super Sewer project, and this has been met with opposition from the West London crowd who have bought River fronted Property.I have always put our view forward when in conversation,and have even managed to convince them of the need for the project.
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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:33 am

James Annear wrote:
Whats the alternative Richard,
Blubbing Red Ken or The Gay Copper?
To be truthful James, voting Tory is not in my DNA, I'd vote for either of the two above in preference to that clown!


Richard pirat
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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:43 pm

Hi richard
Its not in my DNA to vote Tories,but remembering some of the tricks Ken's pulled in his time(£200.00 a roll waperpaper,£150.00 plus a bottle of vintage wine and lets not forget the Budda along the embankment how many millions did that cost? dont get me started and everytime he has a spend up our rates in London go up 20% above the rate of inflation
Dont be fooled into thinking the tube fares will go down,he's got to keep the Unions happy where do you think the
money will come from?
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James Mitchell

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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:58 pm

Both are politicians coming up to a tightly contested election. Both have to play to their own core constituencies.

Ken has to play to the inner city, Labour voters, and unions. Boris has to play to the outer “doughnut” (commuters and suburbs), Tory voters, and the City. Paddick doesn’t have to play to anybody in particular because he is just going through the motions to secure a seat in the House of Lords.

From a Thames Anglers’ perspective, what does that mean?

Boris doesn’t care so much about poorer and working people. His main concern is keep City regulation to a minimum, and keeping his hand out of the pockets of middle-England. So he isn’t going to interfere too much in anything environment related, apart from maybe planting a few trees. As a small state Tory, he is ideologically less inclined towards big infrastructure projects, like the Thames Tunnel. Even if he objectively he knows it is a good idea, as John points out he is in danger of provoking core Tory areas like south west London. Hence why he “promised” no further runway at Heathrow – but even his proposed Thames Estuary Airport is risky for him because it impacts on the Tory dominated Kent/Medway region the most. He would also be less likely to intervene (regulate) in potentially damaging private enterprises like hydropower.

Ken doesn’t really care about leafy suburbs and making things nicer for people who live next to the river in Hammersmith or Fulham. Or, at least, it is hardly top of his priorities. His main policy area is transport infrastructure improvements. This means he is more inclined towards projects like the Thames Super Sewer, which also create jobs for low income groups> he has the luxury of being able to largely ignore Tory voters in the areas affected. So, again, his emphasis is not on the environment, although his predilection is to big state spending projects. Famously though he does breed newts, so maybe he has a quiet interest in water-life generally?

If you’re voting on policies relating to Thames angling alone, I’d say Ken is the better vote. He doesn’t have to worry about Tory voters in the leafier areas that will be impacted by infrastructure projects. Boris does, and even more so because he will soon be running for party leadership. He will need to make a decision sooner or later as to whether his second term will be a lame duck one. Will he fail to act on important issues, like this one, in order to avoid losing key Tory support and leave himself a clear run for party leadership? Ken, however, doesn’t care, and is likely to do as much as he can to make his mark on London in what will be his final term of office. Probably, that means he will break his promise on fares, raise his share of council tax, and spend big on and force through infrastructure projects, like the Thames Super Sewer.

All of this is generalisation, of course, but then most politics is.
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PostSubject: Re: Boris and the Super Sewer - Shameful!   Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:35 pm

Great post James, very sound comment.

Just to add in that Paddick supports Hydropower, he can do one as well Evil or Very Mad

http://www.brianpaddick.com/london_2012_manifesto.pdf

(search for Hydropower, (on yer keyboard Ctrl F ) )
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