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Showing posts from July, 2022


Slow Streets

    A Slow Street in Barcelona - this image is from Luke Spray's excellent Twitter thread on this topic which features many more examples.  Click here for more Greetings from the Plague House. Two of us caught Covid this week, so I thought we needed a more cheerful topic. What's a Slow Street, I hear you ask? Slow Streets aren't just those where someone sticks up a limit board saying 20 KPH or plonks down one of those annoying roundabouts in the middle to calm traffic. I have seen some of this work going on around my home town - for example, tree plantings in the middle of some of our already narrow streets, but didn't understand the rationale behind it, so here goes. What do we mean  by Slow Streets? Slow Streets are ordinary urban streets which have been transformed to be more people friendly, not just spaces optimised for cars. Some may ban cars altogether, though delivery vehicles are usually allowed.  The main thing is that cars take second place to walkers,

Crime and Punishment - Protecting Whistleblowers

As in Many cities and countries around the world,Tasmanians flock to a protest against the imprisonment and extradition of Julian Assange, among the world's biggest whistleblowers   It was International Whistleblowers’ Day on the 23rd. of June in most parts of the world except for the USA which celebrates it on 30 th of July, so you could say that I’m at least early for that one. The importance of whistleblowers cannot be underestimated in terms of bringing wrongdoing, corruption and fraud to light. Whistleblowers help to avoid health and environmental disasters and the loss of public funds, yet in many countries whistleblowers are harrassed, persecuted, gaoled or worse and lack the protections which they sorely need.  Legal Protections for Whistleblowers Recognising their importance, the UN incorporated protection of whistleblowers in the Convention against Corruption signed by 140 countries in 2003 and this has since been signed and ratified by 137 countries including the U