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Home > Politics

1 today!

17 February 2004

Happy birthday to the congestion charge! (If youíre nipping out for balloons and cake, do go by bus). Being only one year old, the CC probably doesnít yet know itís reached an important date - to use the logic of Kerry McFadden when she won the nationís hearts by skipping her daughterís first birthday in order to stay in the jungle and possibly reap a fat advertising contract from Curryís - but by this week next year, the little charge will be having sleepless nights of excitement.

One person who isnít excited is that old hag Amanda Platell. She uses the Evening Standard to proclaim bitterly that it is:

ďOne year since I stopped going into London to meet friends for lunch or an evening drink; one year since I stopped popping to Marylebone High Street for a spot of retail therapy, or Bond Street or Oxford Street for that matter... You see, Ken, it worked - youíve forced those of us who donít like your stinking overcrowded tubes, and donít live near a bus route, out of London. And when John Lewis in Oxford Street say business is down nine per cent since the introduction of the charge, you say itís their fault.Ē

What exactly does she expect Ken Livingstone to think, reading that...? ďOh dear, I have inadvertently prevented dippy snobs with too much money from belching in and out of London to lunch and shop in their guzzly cars, clogging the roads and polluting the air because they canít bear to walk between shoe shops! That was never part of the plan!Ē

As for the fear that the multi-million-pound industry of John Lewis might have dropped nine per cent in one shop (which theyíve presumably picked up in their out of town stores, since people simply go to those instead) perhaps we should petition for a motorway to be built between Amandaís front door and the handbag department. Come on, Britain! By causing only this tiny blemish to the face of London (possibly razing Westminster Abbey out of the way to keep the road straight) we could, together, really boost those John Lewis profits.

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