Neil Hudson

Neil Hudson

Neil Hudson: Happy global warming

So, I says to my mate who sits next to me at work, “I’m going to write this week’s column about global warming...” (which he already knows I don’t ‘believe in’) ...”but I don’t want it to come across as too angry.”

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CAT FLAP: As in, getting in a flap over a cat, or a cat bite... (disclaimer: this is not the actual cat which bit me...)

Neil Hudson: Stop press! Cat bites man

one thing I won’t recommend is allowing yourself to be bitten by a stray cat. Or any cat come to that. It’s not nice. The aftermath involves needles, pus, swelling, worryingly upbeat GPs and in my case having to wear a sling.

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COOL FOR CATS: Moggies might be cute for a while but they soon turn into little terrors.

Neil Hudson: Why cats don’t make you purr

A couple of weeks ago, a news article claimed cats were good for your mental health. Pah! Are you having a laugh? Sure, to begin with cats are cute and cuddly and their tiny little claws leave nary a scratch on your skin… but no-one told you about the fleas, the ticks, the weeing and… well, the other thing. Yes, it all happens inside your house. .. usually in hard to reach places.

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Crossrail engineers walk alongside completed tracks as the Crossrail project celebrates the completion of permanent Elizabeth line track in Whitechapel, east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 14, 2017. The Elizabeth line will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through 42km of new tunnels under London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, adding 10 new stations and upgrading to 30 more to fully integrate new and existing infrastructure. See PA story TRANSPORT Crossrail. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Why I’m against Leeds Council’s plans for a ‘Clean Air Zone’

Some of those reading this may wonder why? Why would I be opposed to a system which penalises heavily polluting vehicles, such as buses and taxis? Especially buses, those rolling road blocks of the road.

Well, while bringing in charges for buses, HGVs, taxis and private hire vehicles that fail to meet the latest emissions standards (so, pretty much most of them) might sound like a good idea, in the final analysis, the logic behind this idea is fundamentally flawed. It is based on the assumption that by introducing charges, people will be encouraged to change their habits. But will the additional charge be sufficient to do this, or will it merely be an irritant, tolerated by the frequently targeted haulage industry and simply passed onto customers through higher fares by taxi firms? Likewise, bus firms are likely to find ways to pass on the charge to their customers, either that or depress wages for workers.

Meanwhile, technological advances in the use of clean energy buses are already well underway - Optare’s first electric double-decker went on trial in Leeds in September. It’s worth conceding any new clean air levy may accelerate such innovation but ultimately it will not change habits.

The council wants more people to cycle (never mind the weather) and to use park and ride schemes but for the majority, who have children to pick up, partners to drop off, shopping to get, elderly relatives to visit and a million other things, such options are neither use nor ornament.

The fear is, of course, that once such a clean air zone is established (affecting all rounds inside the outer ring road, no less), it will be extended to private vehicles, no doubt with a bewildering array of conditions/exemptions and so on.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it: none of the ‘overland’ solutions has long term viability. The answer is right under our feet: the as-yet-unbuilt Leeds Underground, an ambitious project only for people with imagination, passion and vision (and, ahem, money). A mining firm is building a 37km tunnel from Whitby to Teeside, which proves tunnelling is both possible and profitable, as it would be for Leeds.

You can have your say on the plans HERE.

My Predictions for 2018

Wow, what a year 2017 was! But there’s no reason 2018 can’t be as momentous, so herewith my predictions...

Aliens will land

You’ve seen the three ‘softening up’ stories: the cigar-shaped meteor, Oumuamua, the discovery of solar system like ours in the Draco constellation and the revelation the Pentagon has a fund to investigate UFOs - the next logical step is for them is to come clean and admit aliens are real, they have a working Stargate and Elvis is still alive.

Film

Disney, who own all of the bits of our world which don’t belong to Google and facebook, will release another confusing glut of films with cross-over ‘universes’.

Science

I’m putting my money on levitation via sound wave technology. Either that or the horizontal portable toaster.

The Law

Cannabis, which has many reputed health benefits, will be legalised, as it has been in parts of the US, thus providing a new tax stream for the government and ridding parks and other public places of the stench of weed smoked by dopey teenagers.

Global warming

The theory beloved of the political left, atheists and anyone without a cause, will become more untenable, as people generally wake up to the fact we’ve all been conned into spending billions of pounds on something which isn’t happening.

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Neil Hudson: Seriously strange Christmas presents

We’ve all been there - no, not Barnsley - I’m talking about that singularly poignant moment on Christmas Day when you open up a present from some member of your family, grin and go ‘Oh, thanks for that’, when what you actually mean is ‘What the hell am I going to do with this?’

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NUT JOB: Squirrels have stripped Bramley Fall Wood clean of nuts... so what does it all mean?

Neil Hudson: Nuts and the weather... and being over 40

Being over 40 has its advantages. Yes, you begin to notice bits of your body aren’t working as they should, yes your hairline recedes (if you’re a man) and of course you’re suddenly so out of touch with youth culture, it feels like you’ve been given a one-way ticket to the Antarctic.

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