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I’m losing the will to live…

Right now I’m sat at home in front of the laptop, scanning more old slides and listening to the live debate on Brexit in Parliament, where MPs are playing a political game of ‘It’s a Knockout’, gradually showing support (or not) for various propositions which included crashing out of the EU and a second referendum. The result was that disaster wasn’t averted, it was merely delayed. No resolution had a majority to pass so all failed. Instead, they can be graded by the number of votes.

The problem is that we can see that, despite everything that’s happened over the past few years, there’s still a significant number of MPs who are away with the fairies – or should that be Unicorns? A subtext of all these machinations has been that some of the main Brexit players on the Tory side are ditching all their (claimed) principles for two reasons. Either they see Brexit slipping away from them (and their hope of financial enrichment) or they’re manoeuvring to bid for the role of Prime Minister now that it’s painfully obvious that Teresa May is a ‘dead man walking’. Yes, I mean you Jacob Rees Mogg and Boris Johnson!

The only thing to come out of today is that the Brexit can has officially been kicked down the road – for what it’s worth. Now we have to wait until Monday to find out what Parliament mat decide to do. The one ray of hope is that the motion for a second referendum received the highest number of votes and may yet pass – although my personal preference is for Parliament just to revoke article 50 and save us all from the bloody hassle and uncertainty!

After seeing how useless some MPs of all parties are at sticking up for the best interests of the country and their constituents there’s a task of Augean stables proportions needed here. Voters need to stop voting for pigs just because of the colour of the rosettes pinned to them. Instead they need to ditch the old tribal allegiances and vote for candidates who genuinely want to serve their country instead of themselves or their narrow political dogma.

Finally, the house adjourned for the day and I could concentrate on other matters. I’ve managed to scan another 40 old rail slides today, which include the early days of privatisation. I particularly like these two. This is London Kings Cross on the 29th July 1997 when GNER had stamped its image on the East Coast Main Line. Well, it’s early image, because if you notice, their logo’s in white, which gave way to gold lettering after just a few months. In the foreground is the unique 89001 which was brought back from store to add extra capacity to the fleet. GNER really sweated the fleet compared to BR. If I remember rightly, they ran double the number of services with the same fleet. Now, 22 years later, the scene is set to change even more as the existing Intercity fleet (now run by LNER) is being replaced by the new Hitachi built ‘Azuma’ trains, the first of which will enter service in May.

06767. 89001. Kings Cross. 29.7.97crop

A couple of days later I was over at Clapham Junction, where engineers were renewing track through platform 10. In those days safety standards were a lot more relaxed. The worksite was separated from the operational railway by a bit of plastic tape and the PPE (Protective Personal Equipment) that rail staff wore – whilst better than it was 15 years earlier – was nothing compared to today’s standards! Another thing to notice is how tatty and run-down the overbridge was compared to today.

06776. Relaying track in platform 10. Clapham Junction. 31.7.97crop

Right, that’s enough from me. Now it’s time to call it a day…