Was watching Vintage Antiques Roadshow before the news last night and they had some London Transport Routemaster buses on the programme. It was a sad day when they got rid of the design and went for the driver/conductor model. The open rear platform of the Routemaster, combined with a clippy, ensured that buses stopped at bus stops for an absolute minimum of time, avoiding clogging up streets for several minutes while passengers queue to pay their fare to the driver. Added to this, passengers could board and alight at places that were not scheduled bus stops, adding convenience to the service - as well as the frisson of a modicum of risk. It was probably a result of a combination of the all pervading Health and Safety and halving the manpower cost; however, there are other considerations these days, like city centre congestion, more efficient services and customer service.
Spotted Putin on the news last night giving his endorsement (and hence the kiss of death) to Sepp Blatter. Putin's not exactly untainted by the whiff of corruption himself - more like the stink of corruption. Is it my imagination or did Vlad look like he'd paid a recent visit to the Wind Tunnel School of Cosmetic Surgery? He's definitely looking more Asiatic of late.
"Our bidding campaign was held honestly. Russia is not mixed up in corruption, everything is fair for our part," Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko assured reporters in Zurich. Well, based on previous official statements from the Russian government, it's now assured there was corruption involved.
One hears that other paragon of virtue, George Galloway, is standing for London Mayor. About as much chance of him becoming Mayor as Blatter or Putin have of being believed about anything.