Source (copy/paste):

“If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists — when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government — then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.”

That’s what Boris Johnson wrote yesterday in his resignation letter.

But he’s wrong.

What have female cyclists got to do with Brexit?

Mr Johnson is known for his sometimes-tangential anecdotes — as anyone who remembers his speech at the 2008 Olympics, in which he claimed the British invented table tennis under the name “whiff whaff”, will tell you.

But we were still a little surprised to discover that this parting missive on the issue of Brexit — which he was apparently still writing when Number 10 confirmed his departure — spends a lot of time on vehicle regulation.

The former Foreign Secretary wrote: “we seem to have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February, when I described my frustrations, as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts.

“We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.”

His concluding thought on the issue: “If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists — when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government — then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.”

“Supported at every level of UK Government”?

That’s quite a compelling account of how the EU has stifled common sense policy-making by a national government. The problem is, Mr Johnson is wrong.

It’s true that when he was Mayor of London, Mr Johnson campaigned to introduce tougher rules on lorry safety to protect cyclists.

But he’s left out some key details.

For one thing, he neglects to mention that the regulations he’s talking about were in fact put forward by the European Parliament, and backed by 570 MEPs, with 88 voting against. He also fails to acknowledge that those laws have actually been passed.

More crucially, Mr Johnson is wrong to say that the laws in question were “supported at every level of UK Government.”

When the regulations were put forward by the EU, the UK government explicitly did not support the proposals.

A government spokesperson told BBC News in 2014: “Where we are not supporting European Parliament proposals, it is simply because they will not produce practical changes in cab design and could lead to additional bureaucracy for Britain.”

The European Council, which includes representation from the UK government, later adopted the directive.

Mr Johnson should know he is wrong

It’s curious that Mr Johnson has chosen this particular example to demonstrate what he sees as the problems with EU regulation.

Not only did he know that the European Parliament had proposed the laws, he also knew that the UK government opposed them — because he explicitly called out ministers on the issue at the time.

In January 2014, Mr Johnson said: “If these amendments, supported by dozens of cities across Europe, can succeed, we can save literally hundreds of lives across the EU in years to come. I am deeply concerned at the position of the British Government and urge them to embrace this vital issue.”

Perhaps in his hasty drafting, Mr Johnson has misremembered the exact chain of events.

A source close to Mr Johnson told FactCheck: “Boris called for change more than a year before EU measures came into force. If we had taken back control we could have implemented them immediately in order to save lives.”

David Farrier goes to the Auckland International Film Festival and, guess what, it is total balls

“no-one is breaking any laws here, but it seemed fairly obvious that this festival was taking indie filmmakers’ money, and providing very little in return – like, say, playing their film. ”

Strikingly similar scheme than predatory journals: see

Links used in using curl for Clarifai

Update: I have now a project on github that is a cctv that uses Clarifai to identify concepts and make animated gifs:

php code, to find out what is in an image:

$random_string=substr(str_shuffle(MD5(microtime())), 0, 5);

echo ‘<h1>’.$random_string.'</h1>’;


$ch = curl_init();

// set URL and other appropriate options
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_VERBOSE, ‘1’);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST, “POST”);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, “”);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true); // curl_exec returns the value

$headers = array(
‘Content-Type: application/json’,
“Authorization: xyzabcd”
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, $headers);

$fields = ‘{“inputs”:[{“data”:{“image”:{“url”:”‘.$imgurl.'”}}}]}’; // Your image here.
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $fields);

// grab URL and pass it to the browser
$result = curl_exec($ch);

// echo ‘<h2>’.$result.'</h2>’;

$mydata= json_decode($result, true);

$concepts = $mydata[“outputs”][0][“data”][“concepts”];

// var_dump($concepts);

for($i=0;$i < sizeof($concepts); $i++ ) {
if($i != 0 ) { $conceptlist .= ‘, ‘; }
$value = $concepts[$i];
$conceptlist .= $value[“name”];

echo “<h3>Concepts: “;
echo $conceptlist;
echo “</h3>”;

// close cURL resource, and free up system resources

echo ‘<img src=”‘.$imgurl.'” alt=”‘.$conceptlist.'” title=”‘.$conceptlist.'”>’;

Finally: C:\Users\vim\curl\curl.exe –verbose –libcurl tmp1.c -H “Authorization: Key xyzabcd” -H “Content-Type: application/json” –data “{“”inputs””:[{“”data””:{“”image””:{“”url””:””″”}}}]}”

(You must replace xyzabcd with your own API key)

Alexandra B on Twitter


About BBC Question Time,from 11th January 2018. The cut is around 19 mins 40 seconds.

“Polite as always, I just submitted my complaint to . Feel free to take info from my text. Taxpayer-funded corporations should be accountable and explain why they edited a point about politicians’ accountability.”

The complaint:


“To whom it may concern,

I was given the great opportunity to join the Question Time audience and have my say on issues that are at stake for me as well, in the diverse Islington in London.

I am a PhD Student in London, a Cambridge graduate, and an EU migrant. Some would say I am more of an ‘expert’ on migration than most of your guests who speak about, without speaking to, EU migrants in this country.

Mr Dimbleby was very nice and offered me the chance to voice my opinion at the end of the first broadcasted question, just before he went to announce where Question Time will be next week.

I openly criticised the lie that Mr Raab, one of the panelists, deliberately propagated to silence opposition voices on the issue of citizen rights. He said the deal on EU migrants’ rights and expats is done and dusted. I commented that it is not, because nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. I also added that the current settled status that the Government proudly disseminates with all sorts of infographics on all channels possible is, in fact, not in line with Vote Leave’s promise on 1 June 2016 of ‘automatic guarantees for EU citizens’. Settled status is not automatic as one has to apply and pay for.

Mr Dimbleby did not ask the panel to comment, as he did for other comments, but I thought this is standard practice – not all comments get a panel reply. He went straight to announcing the next QT locations. I later found out the BBC cut out my intervention from the broadcasted version. My first assumption was that my comment was not included because of time constraints.

After further investigation and discussion with others, I came to realise there is a chance the BBC deliberately edited my comment so that the Conservatives’ lie on the deal being done holds true and does not increase opposition. Does the BBC have any good reasoning behind this editorial choice? Is my voice as an EU migrant who is actually knowledgeable on the topic not good enough?

Thank you.”