Monthly Archives: April 2015

Labour Party keeps spamming me

A Loidensian, it transpiresI HAVE ATTEMPTED to ask – very nicely – the Labour Party to stop spamming me with emails asking me for money.  I’ve never been a member of the Labour Party and have no idea how it has got my email address. So after receiving this one, below, from the travaillistes, I have asked the authorities – the Electoral Commission –  to investigate.  Because enough is enough.  


Iain McNicol


Mike Magee
Today at 5:56 PM

Said Business School makes bid for Osney Power Station

Old Power StationAS WE mentioned a week or two back, Oxford University – which last year had zero plans for the Old Power Station (left)  in Arthur Street, Old Osney, suddenly did a u-turn and said it would be leased to the Said Business School for 30 years.

You can see what the “congregation” said here. We are so looking forward to executive accommodations…

Anyway, down in Mill Street – we were written up in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales you know – and us moderns describe the shenanigans as Carry On Mill Street, we  received a paper missive from the Said Business Centre inviting us to air our views.

Here’s what they had to say, sort of…. 


OsneyPowerStation1 1

There’s an A&E crisis in North West London

Dr Helen SainsburyOver the last four to five weeks I’ve visited the Central Middlesex Hospital and Northwick Park hospital, in Harrow, several times. I haven’t visited Ealing because although that is part of the same trust, it is a step too far.

I haven’t been ill myself – I’ve been Nurse Mike, unlikely though that seems. I’ve had some problems with soft furnishings – but that’s a very different story.

I know Northwick Park hospital only too well. After I had my “heart event” I spent weeks in there – got to know the nurses pretty well, so well, in fact that they were prepared to issue me a nurses outfit so I could go to the social club where the lasses and lads drink.

My, how things have changed. The North West London hospital “trust” has decided to amalgamate every single accident and emergency case at Northwick Park, although the infrastructure to support such a move doesn’t seem to exist.

Let me explain. I was working at a magazine I started called The Register at the time, and on my way back to work after a rather shortened sabbatical, I realised that I was having what people call “a heart attack”. After letting two or three Metropolitan lines go, I took myself down to West Harrow tube station and said hey guys, can you call an ambulance?  That might not happen in the future. West Harrow doesn’t seem to have any staff any more. It is all automated.

Within minutes, the ambulance tipped up and delivered me to Northwick Park A&E, where the lovely quacks and quackettes confirmed my self diagnosis.

I won’t dilate on this, but the fact I was at West Harrow tube station, a mere 10 minutes from Northwick Park saved my life.

So, picture this.

You live in Ealing, Harlesden and points east, south, west and north of the area and you are diagnosed with a stroke or a heart event. The ambulance tips up in, say, Ealing, and by the time you get to Mega A&E Northwick Park, your heart/brain has stopped. Well, then, you are dead, and Soylent Green material.

So yesterday, we tipped up at Northwick Party and there was “road rage” because gazillions of people and probably relatives were tipping up at the brand spanking new A&E department at Northwick Park which has, let’s face it, rather a narrow entrance because it was built in the swinging sixties or whenever.

Except it isn’t a brand spanking new A&E department. It looks just like it did when I had my heart attack in 2001 when I worked for The Rogister and stayed there for weeks upon weeks until Harefield Hospital rescued me.

Surely, given a general election in a few weeks time, mainstream politicians should be thinking hard about this? In between times, in the last four to five weeks, I have discovered such disaffection amongst senior to junior NHS staff that I fear for others. Like all of us. The doctors seem confuzzled, the nurses seem confused, the poor bloody infantry haven’t a clue either.  So, politicos, what are answers to this North West London Hospital Trust conundrum? 

Oxford’s Old Power Station seems to have a use

geeseA WHILE BACK, I sent a Freedom of Information request to Oxford University – I wanted to know what the future of this building was.

Here’s what the authorities said last year – Ox Uni “had no plans”. Now Oxford University has plans.

The Old Power Station has had an interesting past – in the late 1890s it provided electrical power to Oxford, fuelled by coal. A look at the 1901 census shows quite a few people in Mill Street worked as stokers to generate the energy.  As far as I’m aware, it’s been used for many purposes since, including, anecdotal evidence suggests, testing jet engines.  It is certainly much higher than it was originally.

I’m grateful to readers of this blog that have now indicated what its future might be.  According to this Congregation notice:

“The capital investment priorities of the University, covering building, equipment, IT infrastructure and provision for matching emerging opportunities, are set out in the Capital Masterplan approved by Council. Two of the capital priorities have bearing on the future of the Old Power Station building.

“The first is a need for a Joint Museums’ Collections Study Centre – a facility that would bring together those parts of the museums’ collections which are not on display, or otherwise located, within their main premises (including artefacts currently located in the Old Power Station), in a state-of-the-art facility.

“The second is a need for better and more centrally located facilities for the Executive Education programme offered by the Saïd Business School. That facility would provide space for teaching and social interaction, together with accommodation. The Old Power Station has been identified as an ideal location for this facility, being in close proximity to both the school and the railway station.

“As each individual project within the Capital Masterplan remains subject to the usual approval processes within the University, Congregation’s authority for this future use of space at the Old Power Station is now sought. Project approval, through Council and its Planning and Resource Allocation Committee, will be sought in due course.”

To that end, the resolution is: “That the Old Power Station building (building number 189), approximately 4,020 sqm net usable area, be allocated to the Saïd Business School for a period of thirty years, the allocation being effective upon the building becoming vacant and subject to Council giving approval for the project to convert the building into a new Executive Education facility to proceed to completion.”

Well shiver my timbers! Some of us locals would like to know if the people who live in the Executive Accommodation will buy us locals a round at The Kite – a pub built in the early years of the 20th century, no doubt to satisfy the thirst of the poor bloody stokers.   

Port Meadow campaign

Ah, the Old Power Station and my FOI request…