Sunday, 30 September 2012

All eyes on Greece and Spain

So, will Germany blink first in the stand-off with Greece?  What will Ireland make of any relaxation of terms for Greece?

Will Spain seek a bailout?

Gloomy prognosis for France:
The German psyche.
Excellent read.

Down in the swamp....

...something stirs. What can it be?  It's the Uncles.

Uncles commenting

on this

Dear me.  Whilst the Jeffery article is not to my taste, what can one say about the Uncles 'effort'?  Uncles has 'form'.  Here is a recent example from his blog:

EU finances

Stories from the Daily Telegraph.  Co-incidence that they appear on the same day?

And for good measure:

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Spain close to meltdown?

Goodness me.  This has come as a shock.

Spain really does have to seek a sovereign bailout and with it loss of fiscal sovereignty, unless of course it leaves the eurozone, which is unlikely.  Street battles, the threat of Catalonia seceding, indecision in the government.   What a mess.

See also:
Excellent article.

Will be interesting to see how this goes down, both in France and the markets:

Back to Spain.



A vintage year.

The accolade this year goes to:

Andrew Mitchell MP: for services to public displays of hubris.


Bob Atwood: for comments following defeat at the local elections.  They will come back to haunt him and future Conservative candidates in Rusthall.



Steve Uncles:  for abject political commentary on the English Passport site.

There were other worthy candidates, a saunter through my blog provides clues..  Maybe next year........

It's the economy, stupid

The phrase 'It's the economy, stupid' is a slight variation from a campaign slogan used by Bill Clinton in his successful bid in 1992 to be President of the USA.

This phrase emphasises that what is in the mind of the electorate when they vote is their personal financial circumstance: income, taxation, cost of everyday essentials, mortgage interest and so forth.  Rarely do other issues have a major impact on elections, although there are cases where local issues have affected the result in some constituencies: a second runway at Heathrow, the local NHS (Kidderminster).

It is for this reason that in the past electoral reform, changing the composition of the House of Lords, constituency boundary reform, English nationalism (either as an independent country or an English parliament in a UK federal structure), membership of the EU and green issues do not figure highly in the decision as to which party to vote for.

Are attitudes beginning to change?  Possibly.  UKIP is currently at 12% in the opinion polls.  It has benefited   from being a  party of the protest vote now the Liberal Democrats have given up that role as a member of the Coalition government. It is also the home for some disaffected Tories who consider the current Conservative Party has rejected core Conservative values.  Its main policy platform is withdrawal from the European Union, which of itself will not be sufficient to gain significant electoral support.  Hence the rush to develop a wide range of policies.

However, the travails in Euroland may result in UKIP gaining more support.  The civil unrest across southern Europe is a consequence of austerity measures forced on countries seeking to extricate themselves from the quagmire of being locked into the euro.  The grand solution of the EC commissars of 'ever closer union' and a 'federation of nation states' will only exacerbate civil strife as government becomes even more remote, unaccountable and undemocratic.

The headlines from Greece and Spain in recent days emphasises the danger when governments become divorced from the pain of their citizens.

The real issue is the effect any re-structuring of the EU will have on the issues which motivate people to vote for a political party.  It is here that the opportunity  resides for UKIP, to show the effects centralisation, EC bureaucracy and democratic deficit will have on people's ability to influence, by the party they vote for,  changes in economic and fiscal policies..

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Val Griffiths RIP

It is with great sadness that I report the death of Val Griffiths. For many years she was a Kent County Council detached youth and community worker.

Val and her colleague Yvonne Powell came to Rusthall often in the 1990s, particularly when the Rusthall Community and Youth Project was having difficulties before its re-launch in 1997.

Val and Yvonne had the skill to get alongside young people wandering the streets in  Rusthall.  At that time some people felt intimidated by the young people.  The presence of Val and Yvonne calmed matters down and many of the young people welcomed the opportunity to talk to adults who would actually listen to them, rather than hector or lecture.

Always unassuming, never slow to speak her mind and willing always to give people the benefit of her wealth of experience, Val did a massive amount of good for young people and the wider community.

Crass twerp

Take a look at this:

Unbelievable.  Many politicians are arrogant, but to make such a public spectacle of oneself by attacking the police so soon after two officers were killed in Manchester.

Monday, 24 September 2012

BML2 - a personal opinion

I support the campaign to re-open the Uckfield-Lewes railway line as an integral part of the Brighton Mainline 2 campaign.

The campaign is for a link in the Croydon area to Docklands and thence to Stratford and Stansted  Airport. The re-opening of the Uckfield- Lewes Link on available land would result in trains arriving in Lewes and having to reverse to travel on to Brighton.  To overcome this problem a direct line from the Uckfield route to the Lewes-Brighton line is proposed.  The line from Tunbridge Wells West would the re-opened, in one direction to the Tunbridge Wells station on the Tonbridge-Hastings route and in the other direction to a triangular junction with the Uckfield-Oxted line.

The proposal has a number of benefits.

  • It would enable through travel to Docklands, which is now a major destination and avoid the centre of London.  Have you ever tried catching an Eastbound Jubilee Line train at London Bridge in the morning rush hour?
  • It would alleviate pressure on the current London-Brighton route and Tonbridge-Orpington route, both are full to capacity at peak travel times.
  • It would open up much quicker rail links between West Kent, East Sussex and Brighton.  At the time of the closure of the Uckfield-Lewes line more passengers travelled towards Brighton from Uckfield than north towards Oxted.
It is time the government and Network Rail began to think strategically about improving rail links between Brighton, West Kent and  Docklands.

Portugal simmers

The Iberian Peninsula is in ferment.  Civil unrest in Portugal and threats of Catalonia seeking independence from Spain.  At the root, the failure of the eurozone, the failure of national politicians and the EC.  Something will give soon.

The come back kid?

Greece back in the news:

Dear me:

Red Lion comes up trumps!

Well done.  The pub's karaoke evening passed without incident, by which I mean that the  landlord took the necessary steps to minimise noise.  Keep up the good work.

Soon, the darts 'star' John Lowe is coming to the Red Lion, Rusthall to play a few matches, proceeds to the local hospice.  John is a Derbyshire man and lived but a couple of miles from me. He visited my 'local', The Bridge Inn, Hollis Lane, Chesterfield.     Goodness me, it is over 23 years since I was in the pub.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

BML2 - a chink of light?

Interesting development in the long-running campaign to re-open the Uckfield-Lewes railway.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Time to leave the EU?

Leaving the Scottish independence issue to one side (the SNP has claimed that an independent Scotland will remain in the EU and not have to apply for membership), the months ahead are fraught with danger for the Coalition government on the issue of the terms of UK membership of the EU, or indeed leaving the EU altogether.

Barroso has announced he is working towards a 'federation of nation states' by mid 2014 and other moves are afoot.  See:

The clammer for and against greater integration has started:,Dont-risk-losing-your-voice-in-Europe-Polands-foreign-minister-tells-UK

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Coming soon....Twerp Award 2012

The winner of this blog's Twerp of the Year Award 2012 will be revealed in October. A cornucopia of potential winners makes my task difficult this year, although a couple of pints of Guinness should assist the decision making process.

The winner must be a person or organisation mentioned in posts on this blog. Previous winners are ineligible, but may receive a commendation for persistent twerpitude (sic).

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Ghost of Panda

The Panda Pre-School Playgroup was the inspiration of the late Val Catt, a Labour councillor in Sherwood. Panda used the old Sherwood Community Centre and targeted children who lived in flats or were recommended by Social Services.  The work was challenging and Panda had a limit on the numbers admitted in order to provide a 3:1 ratio of children to staff.

A former MP (Archie Norman) commented in the House of Commons that Panda was an excellent example of targeted provision and OFSTED praised the work of the Family Liaison Officer.

All this work came to a juddering halt when the Community Centre was closed and proposed alternative arrangements to use the Little Forest Children's Centre came to nothing - and hit the front page of the local press into the bargain.

The local school children from Panda moved on to has recently been put into special measures.  A former teacher, writing in the local newspaper The Courier states:

I was aware of a trend for children to be less and less ready for school and some being positively resistant to learning.

Panda did its bit to ensure children in its care were ready for school, but Panda was sacrificed to meet a numbers game of the Government and non-targeted admissions policies.

Euroland update

Greece back in the news.
Meanwhile:  Video

Interesting 'background':

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Bundesbank speaks out

Strong stuff:

Meanwhile the pain continues in Greece:

Meanwhile, along the road to 'ever closer union':

Two further snippets:

A blast from the past

The article (link below) reminds me of the problem neighbours of the Red Lion pub in Rusthall had a few years ago.

The pub held live music nights and the noise was incredible.  A few of the pubs' neighbours got together to oppose the brewery's application under the then new Licensing regime. We argued our case at the Licensing Sub-Committee of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and won.

The current landlord has caused no problems and is keen to maintain good relationships with his neighbours.

Noise is an intrusive nuisance.  Don't put up with it.  have a word to the noise maker and if that fails to put a stop to it get on to your local council.

Latest BML2 news

From the Wealden Line website:

Party Logos

From my other blog:

Political Party Logos

The English Passport website is a source of low grade entertainment rather than serious political commentary.  A thread in the posts consists of attaching wrong, or invented party logos to stories. UKIP was saddled with the logo below

As a leading light in the English Democrats Party the owner of the English Passport site will enjoy my stab at giving the party a new logo, won't he?:

Not forgetting the strap-line: Another Fine Mess

Bob Wykes retires from Bridge Trust Board

The Bridge Trust provides high quality accommodation and support for homeless single people in West Kent.  Bob Wykes has been involved with the Trust for over 17 years, latterly as chairman.  Many homeless people have moved on to live better lives because of Bob's influence.  His departure means than not one of the original founders/ pioneers of the Trust is on the Board.

Well done Bob.  I add my name to the long list of Board members, paid and unpaid staff and clients who have much to thank Bob for.

Congratulations Jojo and Warren

Led by Jojo Stanley and Warren Light, the campaign to save the Robin Hood pub in Sherwood has borne fruit.  It is believed that the pub has been sold to what I call a 'gastro-pub chain'.  The interior is being ripped out and doubtless we shall know soon the name of the purchaser company and what it intends to do with the premises.

The site on which the pub stands was advertised  as a prime site for a residential development, but if I was a developer I would have weighed up the opposition before deciding to purchase.  Any planning application for change of use of the land would have been opposed bitterly.  So, congratulations to Jojo, Warren & Co for sticking up for the Sherwood community.

The significant issue about which nothing yet is known is whether the premises will have a bar, pool table, darts board, etc, or be solely for people intending to eat.  The configuration of the building permits the former, so let's hope it happens.

Monday, 17 September 2012

420,000 reasons not to vote Conservative

Recent press reports have mentioned the £420,000 pay-off to the former head of the paid service at Kent County Council.  The lady in question had been with the council for only 16 months.   Hard pressed residents of Kent will not look kindly on the Conservative led Council's munificence.  See:

In Tunbridge Wells, the East Division  (Tory) looks under threat as under 200 votes separated the first three candidates at the recent by-election.

There could be problems in another Division, about which I shall post once the fog has cleared.

Euroland jottings

Upheaval in Spain and internal debate in Germany make the headlines today.
Spain - the spanner in the works?
This story will run for a while. Many issues for City of London and perforce HMG.
Spiegel's initial euphoria has disappeared.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dangerous times ahead

No, I am not referring to Steve Uncle's minuscule chance of being elected to the position of Kent Police Commissioner.

Nor am I referring to the ongoing soap that is the eurozone crisis or the calls for a referendum on EU membership.

On the scale of issues, the Scottish independence issue hardly makes a mark.

The most dangerous issue around is not even the storming of US embassies, nor the civil war in Syria, nor the anti Japanese hysteria being whipped up in China.  See:

Nor is it the problem of the 'rogue' state, North Korea.

The real danger is that Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities for fear that Iran will soon have the capability to build and deliver nuclear weapons. Doubtless there will retaliation and a stepping up of terrorism aimed at Europe and the USA.  There is also the danger that Iran may try and block the Strait of Hormuz through which passes18 million barrels of oil per day.  Should the oil be blocked it will have a devastating effect on the economies of Europe (including the UK), Japan and the USA.


Uncles massages statements

A few months ago the English Passport site (owned by a limited company with two Uncles as directors) published an article by John Redwood MP.  The version according to Uncles was somewhat different to to the original and subsequently the Uncles version was changed.

The latest example of the technique is to be found here:

Consider the penultimate paragraph:


1 Vote

Scot Craig MacKinlay endorsed by David Cameron for the Kent Police Commissioner Election
Craig MacKinlay, Scottish Conservative candidate for Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s initiative to tackle the welfare gap.
Following the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford, Craig MacKinlay commented: “Those living long-term within the welfare system have been encouraged to accept a series of expectations: that the state will look after you even if you don’t put anything in: a something-for-nothing culture. It undermines their own dignity and, for the rest of us, who do pay into the welfare system, weekly, monthly, it is hard to take.”
“A single parent living outside London, with four children, renting a house on housing benefit can claim almost £25,000 a year. That is more than the average take-home pay of a farm worker and a nursery nurse put together. That sends out all the wrong signals.”
He continued: “We must help those who are out of work back into work and playing their part in our community to make it a better place for all of us to live.”
“The Scottish Conservative approach is twofold: to treat poverty at its source, whether it is a result of debt, family breakdown, educational failure or addiction; and to recognise that in the end the only thing that beats poverty long term is work.”
“If we can solve this problem,” Craig MacKinlay concluded, “I believe that we’ll have a better, safer and fairer society.”

This article is lifted from here:

Craig Mackinlay, Conservative candidate for Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s initiative to tackle the welfare gap.
Following the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford, Craig Mackinlay commented:  “Those living long-term within the welfare system have been encouraged to accept a series of expectations: that the state will look after you even if you don’t put anything in: a something-for-nothing culture.  It undermines their own dignity and, for the rest of us, who do pay into the welfare system, weekly, monthly, it is hard to take.”
“A single parent living outside London, with four children, renting a house on housing benefit can claim almost £25,000 a year.  That is more than the average take-home pay of a farm worker and a nursery nurse put together. That sends out all the wrong signals.”
He continued:  “We must help those who are out of work back into work and playing their part in our community to make it a better place for all of us to live.”
“The Conservative approach is twofold: to treat poverty at its source, whether it is a result of debt, family breakdown, educational failure or addiction; and to recognise that in the end the only thing that beats poverty long term is work.”
“If we can solve this problem,” Craig Mackinlay concluded, “I believe that we’ll have a better, safer and fairer society.”

Note how the original article has gained an addition of the word 'Scottish' in the penultimate paragraph.  Now I wonder why?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Robin Hood

The owners of the Robin Hood public house in Sherwood (Enterprise Inns) announced to a member of the Save the Robin Hood campaign team that the pub has been sold to a brewery company.   So far so good, but the name of the purchaser is not known.

Not the time to get carried away. We do not know what the purchaser intends to do.  Keep the current pub?  Demolish the pub and build a smaller one as part of scheme which will include residential development?  Will the new pub be a 'gastro-pub'?

Latest from the Dartford warbler

Take a close look at this from the English Passport site:

Barnes is standing as an Independent.  MacKinlay's family has lived in Kent for four generations and he was born in, lives in and works in Kent.  So far Uncles has failed to respond to my query concerning the English Democrat candidate for Essex who was born in Malaysia.

Now this, also from the EP site.

Why on earth should should St George's flag replace the county symbol, after all the police Commissioner election is for Kent.  Why is Uncles keen to displace the Kent symbol.  I thought it was English Democrat policy to press for the return of the historic counties?


Europe - odds and ends

Spiegel Online's euphoria on the day of the judgment has evaporated.
Will Germany agree to this?
A shot across Cameron's bow?
An issue to watch carefully as it develops.

An article from the BBC.  Sets out interesting proposition.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

English Passport

Take a look at this link.

Now, take a look at this from Mackinlay's website

Craig is 45, married, and was born in Chatham. His family has been in Medway and Kent for at least four generations – Kent runs in his blood.
He was educated at Rainham Mark Grammar School and then at the University of Birmingham where he obtained an Honours degree in Zoology and Comparative Physiology. He lived in Sittingbourne for six years before returning to Chatham. He trained as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser and is now a Partner in a Kent firm.
He has twenty years experience in political campaigning across the country, and became a Conservative Councillor for River Ward on Medway Unitary Authority in 2007, a ward that had been historically Labour held. The result was further improved in May 2011 with the election of the second Conservative for River and an improved majority.
Craig is a trustee of four charities: The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Foord Almshouses in Rochester, Medway Sculpture Trust, and the City of Rochester Round Table.

So, if by English Passport's reckoning Craig Mackinlay is a 'Scottish Conservative, what does that make Robin Tilbrook, the English Democrat's candidate for the Essex Police Commissioner post?   Mr Tilbrook was born in Malaysia.  Not noticed a mention of this on the English Passport blog.

It's show time!

Comment is superfluous

Rusthall's closed toilets

It is some years now since Tunbridge Wells Borough Council closed the public toilets in Rusthall.  At the parish council elections in 2011 some of the candidates promised, if elected, to see what could be done to to-open them.

Here we are, seventeen months later, the toilet block is in a sad condition, Rusthall's premier grot-spot.

The parish council should either re-open the toilets or demand that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council demolish the block.

The day after the Big Day

Contrary to many expectations the europhile parties did rather better than anticipated in the Netherlands general election.  The main loser was the far-right.

Spiegel Online takes a rather optimistic view of the decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court.  The caveats in the judgment may come to haunt the ESM and the ECB.

For a contrary view see:

Spiegel changing tack:

Drat!  Greece has resurfaced as a party pooper at the back-slapping celebrations following the German court decision and Barroso's state of the union message.  and

Finally, three British interest items:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

New website for SEAM

Southborough Environmental Action Movement has a new website:

You may access the old site via the new one.

Big day in Europe

Major events in Europe today.

1.  The Netherlands general election.  Will the resulting coalition government be more euroskeptic than its predecessor?

2. German Federal Constitutional Court.  As I surmised yesterday, the court has not sunk the ESM, but it has shot a warning shot across the bows which may inhibit the ESM's effectiveness.

3. Barroso's 'state of the union' speech, calling not for an EU superstate but a federation of states..

4.The Brussels push to control banks.

5. Scotland as an independent nation would have to apply to join the EU?  Alex Salmond must be livid.

5. Bungling Ashton.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

BML2 latest

Latest article from the excellent Wealden Line Campaign site.  Well worth a  read.


From my other blog.

Run up to Wednesday

Crunch day tomorrow with the Netherlands general election and the decision of the German Constitutional Court.

The Netherlands general election will lead to another coalition government - will it be pro Merkel or Hollande in outlook.  My guess is the former.

The German court decision will be the most important of the two events. majority opinion is that the decision will not sink the  ESM boat, but may rock it a little.
Other matters:
The guilty politicians.

Interesting article:


Steve Uncles enlivens the political scene with the English Passport blog.  Recently he has been 'entertaining' us with posts on the blog and his Facebook page on the subject of his candidature for the elected position of Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent.

He has had a swipe at an Independent candidate for having the temerity to have been born in Liverpool and (he claims) supporting a northern soccer team in preference to Gillingham FC and, horror of horrors, supporting a Rugby League team - the northern version of rugby  (to use his phrase).  The person in question has lived in Kent for many years, is a magistrate in Kent and until recently, the chairman of the Kent Police Authority.

However his real ire is directed at the Conservative candidate who has a Scottish name, was born in Chatham and lived in Kent all his life.  According to Uncles he is a Scottish Conservative.

Dig a little deeper into the English Democrats and you discover that the party's candidate for the Essex PCC post in one Robin Tilbrook who was born in Malaysia.  Now what does Mr Uncles have to say about this given the basis of his opposition to the Conservative candidate in Kent?   Not a word.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Save the Robin Hood: public meeting

The group seeking to save the Robin Hood public house from demolition and replaced by housing is getting its act together.   A public meeting will be held at TN2 on Monday 17th September commencing at 6.00PM.

Please spread the word.  Better still, if you are a resident living in and around Sherwood, or a former drinker at the pub, get along to the meeting.

Photos by Trish Upchurch.

Another false dawn in euroland?

Bazooka turned pea-shooter?


Sunday, 9 September 2012

From my other blog.


Criticised for having a Scottish name.

According to Steve, I'm a Dartford lad, Uncles if you have a Scottish name and are a Conservative you shouldn't be standing as a candidate in Kent.  You are a Scottish Conservative!


See also:

Uncles has also had a go at one of the Independent candidates for hailing from Liverpool. Pity he cannot spell her first name correctly  and what is a 'Scoucer'?

Needless to say, she has not been selected by the Liberal Democrats.

More euro analysis.

Interesting article.

Much to ponder.  See  also earlier posts on this blog.

Useful background to the Netherlands general election.
An interesting analysis.

Remember Greece?

Above follows on from:  &

Are we over-governed?

Where I live we have a parish council, above that a borough (district) council and, at the top of the local government tree, a county council.  Then there is the Queen in Parliament and finally the albatross of Brussels.

Do we need them all?  One of the reasons plans were abandoned for elected regional assemblies was the public's perception that we could do quite nicely thank you without any more decision making bodies.

A few questions.

Do we need both district and county councils?

In some areas unitary authorities have been created.  They are mergers of district and county councils.  Why not extend unitary authorities to other areas?

Do we need an English parliament?

This is the 'West Lothian Question.  There are devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so why not England?  It does seem barmy that an MP from a Scottish constituency can vote in the House of Commons on English health issues, but not on Scottish health issues as such matters are for the Scottish Parliament.

Why not abolish the second chamber?

Do we need a second chamber to 'revise' bills?  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have second chambers, nor do any local authorities.  What should be happening is that House of Commons select committees, the committee stage of bills etc are beefed up so that legislative proposals are subjected to rigorous analysis.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Key week for EU

A busy week in Europe coming up, the key day probably being Wednesday.

A few articles to update what is going on:

More tripe from Uncles

Have a close look at this article:

Apart from failing to spell correctly the name of the candidate he is attacking, what or who is a scoucer? Does he mean scouser?

Regarding rugby, does our author not understand that Rugby League is played also in the south and is thriving.

This from the article:

Mrs Barnes was first appointed as a magistrate member in 2001, and despite the fact that that now disqualifies her from standing in the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner Elections, Anne has decided to defy the Law and carry on.

What a load of tripe.  See:

More infantile ramblings:

And this:

Finding a loo

Travel a long distance by car and it is likely that you will have to make at least two stops to visit the loo, or have a 'comfort break'.  But where to find one when needed?

Motorway drivers have no problem, stop at a service station, but beware: you can go a long way before coming to one.  On other roads, some petrol stations have loos, often in a filthy condition.  The loo strategically situated in a lay-by is a vanishing species. You can always pull up at a pub, so long as the pub is open, but it is only polite to partake of refreshment which only stores up problems for you further down the road.  Likewise with cafes.

It is likely you will find a loo in a town, but traffic is often directed via a loo-less ring road. Should you make it into the town centre it is likely you will be hit by parking charges, quite apart from the significant delay to your journey

My own experience is that by far the best places to head for are out-of-town supermarkets.  Parking is free (usually), the loos are free, (unlike some in towns - I have vivid memories of a pay loo, with attendant to take your money, in Northallerton on a Sunday morning) and unless you have a burning desire to buy something, you can leave with your finances intact.  So, before you set off on that long non-motorway journey take a look at supermarket websites and identify stopping points for that comfort break. Oh, and take some change, just in case your needs cannot wait for the supermarket.

Recently I came across an article in which the author bemoaned the fact that at some railway stations you have to pay to use the loo. Charing Cross is a pay loo, but Cannon Street, Waterloo East and London Bridge are not.  Interesting that train passengers have to pay whilst supermarket, cafe and pub customers do not.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Outright Monetary Transactions

So, the ECB has made its move.  OMT will buy time, but is not the solution to the eurozone's problems.


Doubting voices:

See also:

EU democratic deficit

Reference has been made in previous posts on this blog concerning the issue of the democratic deficit in the European Union.  The link is to an excellent article on this matter.  Well worth a read should you be pro or anti EU, or agnostic.

And now, something different:

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

New post for Clark

I note that our MP, Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells), has been moved to the Treasury where he will be the minister  for the City and financial regulation.  He will be busy.  Could be a bed of nails.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

What area does Kent cover?

I asked this question at a meeting a few years ago when Kent County Council was setting up Kent Savers Credit Union. Obviously the credit union covers the administrative county of Kent.  It also covers Medway which most people regard as part of Kent,  although Medway is a unitary local authority.

But what of the areas that were formerly part of Kent but have been swallowed up in London outer boroughs?  Not included I was informed.

A few years on I note that Kent Savers has moved into areas now part of London outer boroughs.

From the latest Kent savers newsletter:

Welcome to Bexley

Kent Savers has now extended our membership area to include the whole of Bexley. Bexley, Sidcup, Erith and Crayford were all part of Kent until the local government reorganisation of 1965, and we are pleased to be able to extend membership of Kent Savers to those areas.

Debt crisis latest

UPDATES: 5th September

The pursuit of social justice

A couple of years ago I decided to set down my experience of activity in the voluntary sector. The document, entitled  The Pursuit of Social Justice, ran to forty pages. At the end I made the following comment:

So, dear patient reader, should you have reached this point, congratulations on your stamina.  I leave you to judge if my endeavours have been worthwhile.  Have successes outweighed failures?  It has been difficult, times of despair, times of elation, but an overwhelming sense of frustration that  so much effort has produced so little of lasting significance.  However, the fight for social justice continues.

Now, the fight has stopped as far as voluntary work is concerned. I am tired of battling, tired of the failure of  statutory organisations to fund the voluntary sector to the extent they should, tired of political platitudes and tired of the in-fighting within charities.

I shall be continuing with Communities Food for a while as I hope it will provide me with part-time paid employment.  Apart from that I have no position with any voluntary organisation.

A former political adversary had this to say about my efforts:

Can I for one mourn your severing of all the links to the Voluntary sector. I have known you for a long time and you were always involved in one or another charity, or Community Interest Company. What ever wheeze successive Governments came up with to try and transfer more functions of government to the voluntary sector, you were always there trying to milk as much funding as possible from the government to better the organisations you supported. John, to me you are the best example of being a localist I have ever known and you will be sadly missed. Well done though good and faithful servant of the people.

That will do for me.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Kent Police Commissioner election

My, hasn't Ann Barnes been quiet for a few days.  She is a candidate for the KPC post, even though she was a vociferous opponent of change.  Thought I would reprise this post:

Adding spice to the election is the announcement by Steve Uncles that he is standing for the English Democrats.  He has taken to Facebook with a number of pronouncements:

Steve Uncles - English Democrats
100 Signatures required to sign the Nomination Form for the Kent Police Commissioner Election - If you can help then e-mail me at - (You must live in Kent)

Steve Uncles - English Democrats
Removal of all fixed speed cameras in Kent, under the English Democrats.
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Steve Uncles - English Democrats
Using Police resources to eliminate organised crime in Kent

I would demand, that resources currently allocated to Scotland, Wales and N Ireland are diverted to Kent, to ensure Kent becomes a no crime zone.

Take a look on Google at his record.