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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
30th August 2013: Isn't sarcasm a wonderful thing?
25th August 2013: Operation Yewtree has turned British justice on its head
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Why 'human rights' is nothing of the sort ...
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
6th August 2013: How the British nation treats its friends ...
8th July 2013: The BBC biased? How can that be? They're so NICE!
26th June 2013: Think this country is a bastion of freedom and justice and a shining model for the world? Think again.
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th June 2013: is the end finally approaching for this evil woman?
31st May 2013: Now it's official - the BBC really is a left-wing propaganda machine
31st May 2013: Those evil bastards are at it again. Yes, you've guessed it - social services!
27th May 2013: Well-known TV presenter talks sense. No good will come of it.
24th May 2013: British justice is best? Only for the very poor, apparently ...
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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We wrote this week about the National Railway Museum and its colossal cockup over the restoration of its famous locomotive 4472 “Flying Scotsman”, and judging from the responses we have received already, there are plenty of grumpy old steam-lovers out there who take an interest in this sort of thing.
 
So before the steam and smoke has even begun to clear away from that scandal, the NRM seems to be covering itself with ... well, ash and cinders ... over another iconic piece of railway history. 2013 is to be marked by steam buffs as “Mallard 75”, referring to A4 streamlined Pacific locomotive "Mallard" which in 1938 became the fastest steam locomotive the world has ever seen when it achieved 126mph on the East Coast main line.
 

A4 Pacific loco “Mallard”

 
There are still four A4 Pacifics in existence in this country, 4468 “Mallard”, 6007 “Sir Nigel Gresley”, 60009 “Union of South Africa” and 4464 “Bittern”, though not all are in working condition. The National Railway Museum have decided to collect them all together, and also to ship across from the US and Canada the other two remaining A4s, 60008 “Dwight D.Eisenhower” and 4489 “Dominion of Canada”. The last two are definitely not in working order or anything like it, and the Museum – part of the Science Museum and so a burden on the taxpayer – are spending tens of thousands of pounds to tart them up and make them look presentable, though this will be a cosmetic restoration only.
 
The Museum have been remarkably coy about the cost of this exercise, which will see the two locos in the UK for two years and involved rail transport on the other side of the Atlantic, and a cargo ship from Nova Scotia to Liverpool, but “Steam Railway” magazine have used the Freedom of Information Act to get the figures. In this week's edition the magazine reveals that the cost will be well over a quarter of a million pounds, a pretty high price for what will be at best a photo-opportunity for steam enthusiasts – and a publicity stunt for the Museum which presumably hopes to get plenty of press coverage out of it. Just why the sight of six identical locomotives is so much more valuable than the sight of four identical locomotives is not entirely clear. As a steam buff himself, The GOS would rather see just one locomotive in steam than six lined up to have their pictures took.
 
So thorough has been the investigation by “Steam Railway” reporter David Willcock that he has uncovered some surprising statistics. For instance, just one trip to America and Canada by a group of four NRM contractors when setting up the locomotive loan cost an astonishing £67,000 in hotel bills and air fares between Heathrow, Chicago, Wisconsin, Toronto, Minneapolis, New York and Halifax Nova Scotia.
 
Not that the £250,000 cost to the taxpayer is the end of the story. Nearly all of the contractors involved in the move donated their services free of charge, including the haulage company Moveright International, Atlantic Container Line for the shipping, and Peel Ports and CERES the owners of Liverpool and Halifax docks, at a cost to themselves of about £260,000. The Museum claim to have secured similar undertakings for the return journey in 2014 to the tune of another £240,000, bringing the total amount of other people's money spent by the NRM to a cool three quarters of a million. Brilliant, isn't it, and so easy, spending money that doesn't belong to you?
 
And all for a photo-opportunity for a few snappers in anoraks!
 

 
The GOS says:The NRM is no stranger to scandal, mind. It's not so long ago that they were in the papers because they'd given a £25,000 contract for painting a locomotive to a house-painter who happened to be the husband of one of the Museum's curators. No one else was asked to tender for the job. Incidentally, locomotive paint is not inordinately expensive. I happen to know that most colours of paint (not red, incidentally, which is double the price) from the main specialist supplier, T & R Williamson, costs roughly the same as any good house paint, Dulux for instance. So how NRM managed to spend £25,000 on painting one locomotive is a mystery. Me and my friends could have done it for £5k and still turned a profit. Mind you, this is not the NRM's own money either, is it, so who cares?
 

 
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