Thursday, October 19, 2006
Blogging from Hungary
I'm writing this entry from Budapest where I'm spending a few days on business. Politically, Hungary has been going through some crazy times this year. The admission by the prime minister that he lied in order to win the general election seems to have had a mixed reaction. There is now a permanent demonstration by the opposition outside the Parliament building. My Hungarian colleagues on the other hand seem to take the view that "at least he's told us the truth now!"
Despite all this it's good to come back again to a country that has made so much progress in very few years. Next week they'll be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising, that doomed attempt in 1956 to free themselves from communist rule. Now, as a stable democracy (despite the PM's efforts) and a member of the EU, that 50 years seems a very long time indeed.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Loath as I am to link to an article in the Telegraph, this one is too good to miss. Winchester's refuse collection is contracted out to Serco, who are supposed to collect from 7.00 am. They've been getting earlier and earlier in this patch and waking lots of people up in the process. Last Friday an Oliver's Battery resident took matters into his own hands. He used his car to trap the lorry in a side road and refused to budge until they agreed to come back at a reasonable hour.
Lots of e-mails flew around that day, culminating in this statement from Serco:
"I can only apologise for being in the Oliver's Battery area at an unacceptable time this morning, this came about because I trusted the crew to take the keys home the night before. Unfortunately my trust was abused and the vehicle left the depot far too early.
In future no vehicles will leave the yard until the keys have been issued to the driver by the supervisor."
A victory for people power!