Population Control and, I Love Our Government, NOT
When I was born a hundred or so years ago there were about 2.5 billion souls walking the earth. Now, there are just shy of 8 billion. When earnest people talk about “going green” and “saving the planet” they ignore this inconvenient fact and, whatever else we do, if we don’t work to get this number down, substantially, the rest is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
With that in mind I wish to humbly offer a group for consideration for culling: those that carry out pointless customer satisfaction surveys. Customer feedback is very important in working out how well, or badly, you are doing in business and what you need to improve. But that is ALL about listening to what your customer wants to tell you; it is absolutely not about getting your customer to rank a series of poorly structured, often irrelevant questions chosen by you.
Example: a few days ago, I ordered garden compost to assist me in my desire to produce at least some of my own food. I did this online and agreed to the delivery time as a part of the transaction. The company had to load bags on to a truck, drive to my house and drop them where I point. My only human interaction was to wish the truck driver good morning. I try to always be polite after all, point, and say thank you when he’s done.
So, what’s to rate? The product ordered was delivered when stated. This is binary, they did it: 5; or didn’t: zero. It is not amenable to any finer analysis, and yet they want me to rate their service on a five-point scale which incidentally never includes zero. Same thing when I came to PIE: two airlines and three hotel stays resulted in five customer satisfaction surveys, none of which allowed me to give any feedback on the issues that I wanted to address! Cull them, kill them, stop them wasting air and water. (Update, it’s now six, as the people that did my pre-flight Covid test also want a bloody review!)
Calm down Peter, this should be about parking, after all.
Once again, the UK government has raised the prospect of addressing the scourge of footway parking, and then almost immediately kicked it back into the long grass. Every year the government recognizes the need to take action to address footway parking and then does nothing. This May was the same. A resounding silence.
In 1835, when William IV was on the throne, a new law banned driving a “carriage” on the footway. The fine is up to $600 plus unlimited compensation for damages (to the footway). Back in the 1800s, nannies used to get prosecuted for pushing baby carriages along as, after all, it was a carriage. The law is still on the statute books, and it still can be used against car drivers.
But, and it’s a big but, it requires putting the driver in front of a magistrate, so it isn’t. Now the government could convert this to a ticketable offense almost with a single sentence law, but driving isn’t parking, so they keep promising, but failing to deliver, a new parking law. Presumably, in the government mind, the current law is not useable because of the risk of a miscarriage of justice when drivers who lift their cars onto the footway are unfairly penalized. Mind the flying pigs!
Remember E scooters? I am not a fan. Well, the jolly old British government agreed on some limited trials before making any decision on whether or not to allow their widespread use. It very quickly became obvious that they were being used dangerously, instead, often illegally, like on the footway; and often by people who were not allowed to ride them because of their age or lack of a driving license.
The result? The government will legislate to allow their widespread use. When I was younger, trials were to test things and to provide objective evidence upon which a rational, evidence-led decision could be made. Now it seems that the decision is made in advance of the trial and the evidence is used to justify the decision, even if it points to the opposite conclusion.
Meanwhile, as part of its green agenda the government has announced a $2bn fund for municipalities to increase access to EV charging facilities. Whoopee. The plan is to offer a massive uplift to the number of public charging points nationwide. Unfortunately, there seems to be no commitment to upgrade the power grid that will be required to make this happen. Presumably this will be funded by fairy dust. Cynical moi?
The motor industry’s take on this is rather more bleak. Some 12 months ago, there was one public charger for every 16 registered electric vehicles. The figure is now 1:32.