Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year Honours and the Limehouse Link

click photo to enlarge
There's nothing wrong with a society recognising those who make an exceptional, selfless contribution to their community. Unfortunately few societies manage to do this well, and the UK does it exceptionally badly, shrouding the whole process in secrecy and frequently using it as a reward or bribe for politicians and their supporters. This year's New Year Honours List has recently been published and is no different from those of previous years - a mixture of the deserving, the unexceptional who are rewarded with status for doing what they get paid for, and a sickening list of gongs for the establishment's boys (and girls). It's the latter group that the list exists for, and the former are there simply to make the cronyism and paybacks by the government to those who work for it, bankroll it and publicly support it, appear less obnoxious and more legitimate.

The whole system, as I've said before, stinks, and it is only the fact that some principled people turn down the chance to become a Dame, a Lord, a Sir or to have anachronistic letters after their name, that makes the whole thing bearable. So today, rather than despair about the thirty or so members of the Conservative Party who received honours, or Lynton Crosby who "masterminded" the election of the current government and is rewarded with a knighthood (as well as the fat salary he received), or actors, actresses, sports people and the rest who leaven the unsavoury pile with a sprinkling of populism, I await a Freedom of Information Request that lets us know who turned down the baubles of the Queen and the Government in this round of honours giving.

Today's photograph was taken in the Limehouse Link, a 1.1 mile long tunnel that runs from the Tower Bridge approaches to the northern edge of Canary Wharf. It has the distinction of being the most expensive stretch of road in Britain (£50,500 per foot at 2011 prices). Interestingly, this is simply a relief road tunnel constructed, as its rectangular section suggests, by cut-and-cover methods, and not one that passes under the River Thames.

Happy New Year to All.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Limehouse Link Tunnel, London - Out of Focus
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (34mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On