Neil Hudson

Neil Hudson

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.

News 1
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.


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’.


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.

Opinion 1
As far as I know, there are no lifts on the Serengeti. PIC:  Kelvin Zhang/Guzelian

Neil Hudson: Things not to do in a lift

Able bodied people who use lifts to go up or down one floor should be taken outside and (no, not shot)forced to run around the nearest block twice as punishment.


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?’

CAUGHT IN THE ACT: High time for internet giants to clean up their act or face the libel courts.

Neil Hudson: Time for web giants to clean up their act... or face the courts

Social media platforms like facebook and twitter are heading for a fall. What they have effectively created is a virtual ‘Wild West’, in which anything goes and never mind about the morals.

A picture of a dwarf hamster, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this column

People in Leeds are walking way too fast...

A while ago, former Top Gear motormouth Jeremy Clarkson said that ‘Leeds resembles Las Vegas’ (or something along those lines) because of all the building work going on.

Waging war on tinnitus

Two years living with... tinnitus

This week I am reluctantly marking two years living with tinnitus: a horrible condition which, for those who don’t know (how lucky you are) is ringing in the ears.

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.

Andrew (back row, right) alongside the 17 other contestants

Neil Hudson: The Apprentice - time to fire the format

The Apprentice used to be one of the best things on TV.

GOING UNDER: Sometimes the answer to your problems is right under your feet.

Neil Hudson: Time to start dreaming... of an Underground for Leeds

It’s all coming out now, isn’t it? The fallout from the forever doomed NGT Trolleybus scheme continues - a watchdog scrutiny committee report concluded this week that it was probably a bad idea from the off. Wow, really?

Self-service Shopping - November 1972

The folly of self-service tills

Three words that wind me right up: self service tills.

Neil Hudson: Uni fees should be fairer

Neil Hudson: Uni fees should be fairer

Inevitably, at this time of year, we get around to discussing the legitimacy of student university fees, which can now be up to £9,000 a year.

WATER TREAT: The river at Otley full of people in pedalos and rowing boats.

Neil Hudson: Hire boats return to Otley’s river for first time since 2001

Otley has its boats back and I can report they are amazing. If you’ve not been down there to try them out yet, then what are you waiting for?

Sean Bean in Game of Thrones... he epitomised Northern honour

Comment: The North needs to make a stand

I don’t want to get all Game of Thrones on you but The North needs to make a stand.

CRAZY DAYS: Mad-for-it 1980s WWF wrestlers Legion of Doom can now be seen just about every week on the Otley Run

Trump brings back glory days of WWF buffoonery

I am sorry but I cannot get overly worked up about the Donald Trump CNN take-down video. It’s utterly hilarious.

Derren Brown.

Derren Brown would make short work of EU negotiators

Now all that General Election nonsense is out of the way, our full (and it has to be said wearied) attention can be turned to the much more onerous matter of Brexit. (Sigh.)

"Come on, then" is possibly the most frequently used phrase... in the world. Ever. Maybe even the universe.

The most common phrase used by parents the world over is...

I’ve figured out that the most common phrase used by parents (myself included) is ‘come on then’. It is used innumerable times throughout the day, mostly to chivvy the little ones along.

Actor Stephen Fry arriving at a Service of Thanksgiving for Lord Snowdon at St Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey in central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 7, 2017. Lord Snowdon, born Antony Armstrong-Jones, died peacefully at home on January 13 this year. See PA story ROYAL Snowdon. Photo credit should read: Hannah McKay/PA Wire

When is it okay to ‘insult’ God? Stephen Fry was almost prosecuted after he appeared to break strict blashemy laws...

Earlier this week comedian/actor/presenter/author/and general know-it-all Stephen Fry was in the papers after he described God as “capricious”, “mean-minded” and “stupid” during a TV interview in Ireland.

BOREDOM CENTRAL: The old YEP site used to be interesting but is destined to become very very dull.

Neil Hudson: No interest in apartments

Two words that upset me. ‘Offices’ and ‘apartments’. Especially when they appear together. I just find them really, really, really boring.

TRUMP EFFECT: Donald Trump's impeding presidency has been bemoaned by liberals but there could be a silver lining.

Neil Hudson: Politicians are about to get a dose of their own medicine

Basically, you’ve got it all wrong about Trump. So, jump off the band wagon and tread your own path for a change. Go on, you can do it.

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