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  1. I think Grayling objects to the principle of TFL controlling lines outside of London (even if they are primarily lines that go from and to London from towns in the home counties), and he and Khan have fallen out about it. Can't see any movement until Grayling is moved on at the earliest.
  2. Assuming Crossrail runs successfully then in a couple of years I can imagine TFL/ MoL pushing for control of a few more suburban lines around London and expanding the "overground" model further.
  3. Think longer term. If your plaster walls are knackered and it's coming away with the paper then you're probably going to need to at least re-skim before decorating again, and maybe even discover you need to do a bit of deeper repair work to the wall. Find a good decorator who knows how to plaster, and get them to quote for the lot (stripping, patching, skimming) - will take half the time, though you will lose the meditative enjoyment of stripping back the paper yourself. Hiring a steamer is more or less essential for the task if you go the DIY route.
  4. After a gap of some 30+ years, I've recently taken the piano up again. After 6 months or so I'm playing stuff that I would only have dreamed of being able to play as a youngster (I'm just about there with the piano intro to Firth of Fifth by Genesis, Prog Fans) - in part because I've got more discipline nowadays and can committ to doing 30 mins most days. Phil's advice is sound I think - little and often is better than a chunk of time less often. Other stuff I've found useful: Part of playing/ learning a new musical instrument is pathway development - finger and hand positions will feel weird/ difficult/ impossible to start with, but keep trying and after 3 or 4 weeks you'll hit shapes and notes you're aiming for more naturally Think musically - when you're away from the instrument, think in your head about how you want the piece to sound and play it through in your head, imagining yourself playing it that way. I've found this has helped when it comes to actual practice Don't be afraid to play in front of someone else (even if that means just practicing in a room with a door open) I've only messed about on guitar, but found that being able to read scores in musical notation useful, even though lots of guitar scores are tabbed. If you can take two things on at once, then learning to read music and understanding basic scales will be a big help down the line when you move into improvisation - though you'll be fine without if you can't be bothered and have a natural ear for it Enjoy it! You'll be suprised how quickly you can pick things up.
  5. Not going to defend Johnson's record. But the role of Robin Wales (the self-same Robin Wales quoted as being outraged in the article) in negotiating stupid loans to fund Newham council's contribution to the stadium also needs to be reported upon: At present, around 80% of council tax revenue in Newham is going towards repayment of poorly-negotiated loans, taken out under Wales' Mayoralty.
  6. $deity wept

    The divorce thing is not really law, and more CofE theology and practice - and they removed the restriction on divorcees remarrying in a CofE church a few years ago. I believe that Catholics can still not legally be monarch, but the spouse of a monarch (or spouse of another member of the royal family) can be Catholic. Happily and just in case, the BBC have today unearthed the news that Harry's intended is in fact Protestant (we await, all agog, to discover whether she is of the Calvanist, Baptist or Lutheran persausion) and will be baptised/ confirmed as such before the big day.
  7. We're led to believe that as it hides the less palatable reality - that by and large, market competition laws are there to benefit corporations (and especially larger ones).
  8. Burnham and others were crucified less for following the Whip, and more for selling out the poorest in society - apparently in exchange for a chance of better newspaper headlines for a couple of days. No wonder Corbyn (well-documented flaws, history, limitations and all) walked the popular contest.
  9. Yeah, but... really? Not all Bills are equal, surely:
  10. Food and drink thread

    Made some chilli paneer for me tea - hot and spicy, but not so hot it wasn't wolfable Very cold Polish lager at hand, purely precautionary and just to be on the safe side.
  11. What if England win the World Cup

    But the Aussie-based players wouldn't attend, as the NRL wouldn't let them travel.
  12. What if England win the World Cup

    Nige would organise a celebratory pie n pea supper for the lads.
  13. It's a fair question, and I'm not sure. Trying to put tighter boundaries around what can be dealt with as a "workplace disciplinary" versus what needs to be dealt with by police might be a starting point. One of the alarming sub- narratives of this story has been people reporting pretty serious incidents to the party machine rather than the police, and then being surprised and aggrieved when they are told to keep their mouth shut and not take it further. If it was a workplace rather than criminal matter, I'd hope/ expect that any workplace disciplinary policy was followed. From my limited experience of investigating workplace problems I understand it is a hugely stressful experience, both for the accused and for the accuser, but have seen that there is at least some transparency involved when informing someone that they are being investigated (i.e., what they are alleged to have done, approximately when, and to whom if another party is involved - and also if they are being asked to stay away from the workplace pending a review). It's unclear if that was the case with Carl Sargeant. Perhaps it is the conflict between "party discipline" and "good employment practice" that's one of the issues to resolve.
  14. An object lesson as to why: 1. Dealing with issues and allegations promptly at the time they are raised is critical (assuming they are raised of course) 2. Trial by media and public opinion is never the place to sort out individual cases