Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Boris Island, Jenny Jones and another near miss.

So how goes the 'feasibility study' into Boris Island? Have the surveyors been hired and the architects consulted?

Apparently not:

"The current work draws upon in-house expertise and poses no extra cost to the GLA. I am expecting a progress report shortly. If this recommends that further work is undertaken by outside specialists then this option will be fully costed."

In-house eh? I wonder what that involves. A quick visit to Simon Milton's office perhaps, or an even quicker phone call to David Cameron?

How about Assembly Member Jenny Jones? She seems happy to help:

"Will the study being undertaken by GLA officers in to your proposal for an airport in the Thames Gateway consider the difficulties to construction that could be posed by the wreckage of liberty ship SS Richard Montgomery, which sank off the coast of Sheerness in 1944 carrying a cargo of explosives, around 1,500 tons of which are reportedly still on board the wreckage."

Ah yes, that old wreck. Surely Boris considered that before announcing his scheme? Didn't he?

"Thank you for highlighting this important issue. I will make sure that my officers consider the implications of this in their current evaluation of Thames Estuary airport options."

Phew, well done Jenny. That could have all got very messy there indeed.


Will said...

"The review is underway and I hope to report my findings by the end of the year."

I think he could probably report his findings a bit sooner couldn't he? Nobody wants it and nobodies paying for it. Boris Island=FAIL!

Tom said...

In-house expertise? That profligate old Ken Livingstone was paying airport design experts to sit around doing nothing all day, was he? Pull the other one, Boris, you mean Malthouse and Ranger, don't you?

Alex said...

This really is the Dunning-Kruger administration, isn't it?

The Troll said...

*coughs* *quickly looks at Wikipedia*

"The Dunning-Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which people who are worst at a task show the most illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average.

"Kruger and Dunning noted a number of previous studies which tend to suggest that in skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis, "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" (as Charles Darwin put it). They hypothesized that with a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree:

1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill."

Tom said...

That does fit with Boris's comments about boffins and 'British know-how' - not that it doesn't exist, but it's not clear how supporting Thatcherite policies has ever done much for British know-how except flog it off (*cough* BR Research Derby *cough*).

Obviously, the original Routemaster was a product of this kind of public sector money-no-object-take-your-time thinking, which vanished shortly after 1979. Likewise the High Speed Train, which was a product of smart engineers of long experience doing the evolutionary thing on a shoestring.

The leaked RM designs so far are generally rubbish things done by design students with no experience at all, which is why they're being leaked.