Anorak News | Hav-ana A nice Day

Hav-ana A nice Day

by | 13th, September 2006

BEINVENIDO to London. Twinned with Caracas. “Hav-ana a nice day.”

Ok. Ok. We realise that Caracas is in Venezuela, but like Cuba it is a socialist haven and we could not resist merging the two to form a neat slogan.

In any case, the first part is true. London is doing a deal to become the Caracas of Europe. As the Guardian reports, London mayor Ken Livingstone and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez are plotting great things.

The arrangement is simple. London will give Caracas help in running its transport system and in fighting crime. London will give Caracas training in the use of CCTV, “fingerprint technology and neighbourhood policing. Consultants would help with waste disposal, air quality and adult education.”

This is just great. If things go to plan, Venezuelans can experience the joy of being watched by the authorities as they go about their everyday lives.

They can look on with a sense of renewed purpose as a half-empty No. 73 bus sails past the bus stop because the driver is retuning his iPod.

Caracas can yet be the London of the south. As Ken says: “We have poor people in London. We are the richest city in Europe and yet we have the disgrace of child poverty.” Hurrah! "They have a vast population living in slums, and we have a lot of experience in terms of housing policy and all the things we know about how to take a city and make it function."

Keep the Red Ken flying, that’s what we say. The poor and downtrodden of London will be joined by the poor of Caracas in an integrated transport policy the likes of which the world has never known.

And what else does London get in this deal, besides a sense of pride? Why, oil of course. Venezuela has loads of the stuff. And Ken is doing a deal to get enough to supply London’s 8,000 buses with fuel.

Granted, the oil is polluting and will add to green house gases. But it is cheap. And it will put bread on our tables and bring about and end to poverty in Caracas.

And that is the bigger picture…

Posted: 13th, September 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink