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Michael Ball

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Comments (48)

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge: crowdfunded bid to recoup wasted millions fails

    Michael Ball's comment 6 January, 2020 6:28 pm

    BTW Paul you really should get your facts right. Both Boris and Sadiq promised not to commit another penny from the public purse over and above the £60m capital promised. What killed the Garbage Bridge was the need for a guarantee of £3m per year to cover the running costs: Sadiq refused to provide this guarantee, as promised in his election campaign.

    Boris was of course ready to break his pledge, and desperately tried to get the guarantees signed before he left office, but his most senior officer refused to sign them off because conditions had not been met (simple things like they didn't have the land or the money).

    It was in fact the internal incoherence of the Garbage Bridge and false claims of its proponents which stopped it progressing, not Sadiq. But don't let that get in the way of you consistently repeating your mantra that Sadiq cancelled it and that opponents were miserablists. After all, a similar approach to truth and dialogue has served Johnson and Trump well.

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge: crowdfunded bid to recoup wasted millions fails

    Michael Ball's comment 6 January, 2020 6:16 pm

    Paul did you write Boris' fatuous election slogan "Get Brexit done" for him?

    If opposing this makes me a miserabilist, supporting it makes you a fatuousist.

  • Comment on: Garden Bridge: crowdfunded bid to recoup wasted millions fails

    Michael Ball's comment 6 January, 2020 10:24 am

    Yeah, why not throw another £150m at this unnecessary folly? Never mind the blocked views of St Paul's! Never mind the 7 million additional gawping tourists on this most overheated public space in London! Never mind the over-engineered design, the huge unsustainable mass of concrete with a copper coating! Never mind the £3m annual running costs - I'm sure the good voters of Blyth and other assorted Northern constituencies which voted Boris would be glad to pick up the tab on this Londonista extravaganza...

    It makes me realize how far we've come: Boris was defeated in 2015/16 by rational argument and the increasing evidence that this was an over-expensive bauble which had been smuggled passed quality control and value-for-money analysis. This couldn't happen now: Boris would just repeat ad nauseum "Just build it" and the people would rush to the polling booths to acclaim his decisive wisdom.

  • Comment on: Leading Scottish architect slams PFI over hospitals crisis

    Michael Ball's comment 23 September, 2019 11:19 am

    Why is this scandal still going on and so poorly understood? We are coming up to the 20th anniversary of the succesful campaign to see off a PFI of Pimlico School - a campaign strongly supported by the AJ - where parents, staff and governors saw off what should have been the first PFI 'pathfinder' in schools, backed by Blunkett and led by Jack Straw, chair of governors, until he was defenestrated.

    The gross inappropriateness and clear perniciousness of PFI was obvious to us then - negotiating inches on the widths of corridors and the serving temperature of school dinners in a 35 year contract when what we needed was £10m to address the 30-year backlog of repairs.

    We thought we were fighting for all schools and public buildings, that the news would get out and the people would rise up, that the administrators and politicians would respond rationally, Blair's 'what works'... Huh! As if. A merry prelude to todays political bonfire.

  • Comment on: Mayor rejects ‘unwelcoming, poorly designed’ Tulip

    Michael Ball's comment 17 July, 2019 3:35 am

    Hooray - the Fatuous Days are over!

    This is a kind of 'reverse Garden Bridge' move, by which Sadiq signals he is serious about sorting out our city rather than waving through every waif of self-referential nonsense. The reasons - rubbish at ground, impact on views, serves no real purpose or public good, sustainability - could all be applied to many of the tall buildings Sadiq has waved through, but we should rejoice at his Damascene conversion, not complain that he didn't convert earlier.

    But why is Paul Finch so grumpy? Is his obsessive moaning for 'fun' a kind of reverse virtue signalling??

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