Monday, 23 November 2015

Police farce: Indy letter

Dear Editor

Here we go again.

Barry Coppinger Police PCC of Cleveland writes in today’s Independent that police budgets should not be cut. Because he’s spoken to senior police officers.

Well I never. Xmas and turkeys are nearer than I thought.

Rather than ratchet the fear and paranoia levels up a few notches, why not cut police budgets? At the very least they didn’t prevent terror attacks so to paraphrase Dave Brown’s thoroughly unpleasant scaremongering cartoon heads must roll.

And the Paris attacks weren’t deterred by Frances’s nukes or aircraft carriers or even 20,000 UK Cold War troops still sat nearby in Germany watching their tanks rust. Or even with GCHQ already monitoring every phone and internet call.

Surely we should consider the effectiveness of a mish-mash of 43 police forces (larger than the Royal Navy) tripping over each other. Or the ludicrous procurement waste of different police boots costing from £25 to £125. Or the Police Scotland £737k copper. Or even the viability of the excess of guns and ammunition and firearms training with only 6 shots fired in anger each year.

Costs that perhaps pale into insignificance after the Chilcot and Hillsboro and Deepcut and Bloody Sunday inquiries.

In Kent we’ve been especially badly-served by the silly Ann Barnes PCC regime of £100k clerks acting as flabby cheerleaders for the police rather than effectively holding the police to account.

For example, Kent Police are simply too scared to investigate the rampant KCC Toxic Three council corruption around BVI Pleasurama or Manston and Ostend airports gunrunning or GlickGate High Court fraud.

Again, hardly reassuring in facing a real terror attack rather than blowing up unattended Xmas presents, issuing warnings on buying fertiliser, asking schools to spy on kids and their parents, not issuing parking tickets, or not arresting the real Most Wanted of rapists, drugs dealers and burglars.

And Mr Coppinger places too much faith in an extra 1,900 MI5 clerks no doubt following his Facebook feed and providing reasons to increase their salaries and pensions. A random 2%GDP defence target is a good start. No doubt the good folk of Cleveland have more to fear from excess police costs and actions especially as after the closure of SSI Steelworks there must be little left to steal or destroy.

And of course with most terror attacks now suicide bombers, there’s even less need for detective work in future…

Yours faithfully

Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate

Tim's Titbits:

1. Silence on 100 Se Rd gardengrabbing...
2. KORA and 2LB nearly ready
3. Ed Targett excellent article on tax havens eg Pleasurama corruption
4. Port, Wetherspoons and Slipways all quiet
5. Bizarre UK purchase of 20 F35 jets and then another 130: the most expensive and useless kit possible in the age of drones and massive peace outside of the Middle East and Sahel. And wasn't the Eurofightr supposed to be the UK/NATO plane? And horrifyingly MOD clerks to be 40k - already one clerk per soldier!
6. Good that Jo Gideon of Manston Airport Committee has been rejected as Kent PCC candidate by the Tories - now as irrelevant as the scoundrel Latchford

Monday, 16 November 2015

Manston and Thor. Birth defects and tumours the size of grapefruit?

Cheer up Cancer Victims. It’s not so bad.

It could be worse.

Before we talk about the problems in Kent from Infratil and Thor mercury and Southern Water and TDC and KCC have a think about cancers Agent Orange or Minamata or Thor Cato Ridge.

Almost all the info is googleable.

There’s a few interesting points in the book “An Army Waiting to Die” perhaps the definitive source on Agent Orange.

The book is useful in summarising the problems of Agent Orange but also the battles of US army veterans with the government for medical screenings and treatment – the book title referring to the policy of simply waiting for them to die off. Similar to the UK more recently with Ghurka pensions or soldiers in the Pacific nuclear tests or Gulf War syndrome of uranium and chemicals or even medals for the Arctic Convoys.

Wait long enough and they’ll die off and hey presto no extra costs to be found.

Also relevant for the Syrian War and Assad’s use of chemical weapons even more recently.

And interesting for the similar effects of Agent Orange on Australian and New Zealand veterans of the Vietnam War and with the Australian and NZ governments.

And perhaps similar to Kent's Northfleet children with their intestines growing outside their bodies:

Agent Orange was a herbicide chemical used with Agents Blue, White and Purple between 1961-70 as Operation RanchHand to defoliate the forests of Vietnam (and Laos and Cambodia) to allow for enemy troops to be exposed.
And also to contaminate rice crops to destroy food supplies – a policy of enforced famine similar to the Nazi policies in WW2 Soviet Russia.

Parts of Danang, the main USAF airbase, to this day are some of the most contaminated parts of Vietnam with toxin levels at least 350x higher than anywhere else.

Toxin levels that I saw hundreds of miles further south in Saigon in the French and American War Crimes Museum (now War Remnants) of row upon row of glass jars with deformed human foetuses – cleft lip, withered arms and legs and monstrous deformations.

Truly horrifying.

The book cites the testimony of the villagers of DakRosa amongst others who reported stillbirths, massive tumours, skin rashes, cramps, diarrhoea as well as most of their pigs and cattle and chickens dying within a few days and weeks of spraying by Agent Orange. The chemicals were so deadly that the forests would be stripped bare within days of spraying.

One farmer’s wife reported: “Her baby began screaming in agony and pulling its hair until bald spots appeared. She subsequently has suffered three miscarriages although she previously had borne six healthy children…a dramatic decline in the quantity of milk produced by two cows. Her pigs gave birth to piglets that were either abnormally large or small. Rabbits had premature or deformed offspring.”

Not ideal and sad even if it happened in 1960’s wartime far away in the jungles of Vietnam.

But that farmer’s wife was in Minnesota in 1978.

4 million acres of Agent Orange in total were sprayed over Vietnam from 1961 until 1970. But 4 million acres each year were sprayed in USA and continued until the early 1980’s, and a 1984 Vietnam war veterans settlement with Dow and Monsanto etc who manufactured Agent Orange.

3M Vietnamese are still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange with upto 1M children. As over 12% of South Vietnam was sprayed and 20% of the forests.

Only in 2010 did Hillary Clinton agree a multi-million-dollar cleanup of the Danang airbase. Delays partly because British use of herbicide in Malaya in the 1950’s were cited as not being chemical warfare.

While in the USA 50% of groundwater is contaminated and more deaths from air pollution than car accidents and more children will die from cancer than any other disease.

While the Seveso disaster in Italy in 1976 released as plume of Agent Orange chemicals from the factory with predictable results in terms of deaths etc. Perhaps Thor, Margate is simply a more mundane Kent Bhopal or Chernobyl or even Thalidomide.

So in Kent there are a few questions over the contamination by Infratil and Thor mercury.

Knowing the effects of airborne pollutants – and I’m not suggesting for one moment that aviation fuel is as specifically toxic as Agent Orange, although it might be especially at low level and repeated doses – why did Infratil and TDC and KCC and the various airlines such as KLM deliberately and repeatedly into Manston over the towns rather than the required rural end of the airport?

An extra journey time and fuel cost of moments and pennies. And already legislated as illegal... Even Paul Carter Leader of the KCC Toxic Three repeatedly cited “the planes fly straight out to sea” knowing that they should fly to the land-side. Away from the towns and people by the sea…

Even now why hasn’t he called for the contamination documents and a KCC review into Manston?

Why hasn’t animal-lover Roger Gale MP called for an investigation of the effects of aviation fuel droplets on animals if not his constituents?

All this activity with higher KCC involvement whether the SEEDA car park on the rates or the Road to nowhere even now the Parkway station.

And over 10 years of the public being illegally and repeatedly contaminated breaching all the safety standards resulting in over 4x EU safe emissions. For a tiny cargo airport of a few flights a day. Even before the plans of 30 flights day and night.

Airlines such as Cargolux or KLM and even IranAir and DAS Air.

Fitzgerald and Clark are still running Wellington Airport in NZ and Buchanan running Kent’s Lydd Airport. Perhaps adjusting the monitors there too again.

And why were the noise and air monitors repeatedly broken, run by Infratil and then simply removed from Clarendon School in the heart of Ramsgate where the planes fly lowest?

Where was the Environment Agency – specifically tasked with protecting the human and natural environment? Where were Button, Berry and Sproates when specifically tasked with pollution and airport monitoring at TDC?

Month after month in the TDC Airport Committee with councillors such as Latchford and Wells and Gideon reviewing the monitor data with clerks such as White and pretending the monitors were still there.

And Gale and King and Carter and Sandys and LocalCraig and Farage trotting in and out of the Infratil and Gloag boardroom, pledging their support and tax breaks for developing the airport but silent on the monitors or contamination.

And let’s not forget Thor mercury in Margate.

And Farage placing Manston at the heart of UKIP national policy but refusing to answer questions on contamination there or Thor.

If Cato Ridge in South Africa is so horrifying with a litany of water poisonings, sickness and deaths – so much so that the case was tried in the UK High Court – then why isn’t Thor Margate being discussed?

Where was (or rather is) the Environment agency cleanup in Kent – until at least the 2007 fire the factory was expanding. But is supposed to have closed in 1988 for cleanup with the Environment Agency.

Minamata in Japan is perhaps the benchmark and summary of such mercury poisonings – all the way back in 1971.

And of course there’s always asbestos in 86% schools: banned as a serious contaminant eventually in 1999 but detailed as a major toxin for at least a decade before then neither TDC nor KCC have a detailed register of asbestos in Kent schools. And nothing on cleanup.

The old public sector chestnut of leave it alone and take the tax-salary rather than clean it up.
We’ve seen in recent weeks the furore over red meat and sugar as toxins and contributors to obesity – albeit with a measure of choice as to whether you eat those.

But the measure of choice indeed requirement - in reducing contamination in Kent from Infratil was simply ignored.
Even now not one public statement of wrongdoing form either Infratil or Gloag or KCC or TDC or Environment Agency.

Silence form every councillor and MP.

A big game of let’s pretend and coverup and the police are too scared and the NHS can try out a few new cancer drugs at the Rare Cancers Ward at the QEQM in Margate.

Jobs for lawyers and judges and court clerks in the trials, perhaps slippery characters Like Lord Grabiner or Glick QC or Hollingworth or Downs law can while away the hours in court blaming pollen or pixie dust or maybe just some tumours but not all of them? A little bit of pollution but not a lot?

But now only 4 questions remain:
1. Who will be sacked or jailed?
2. Who will be fined and how much?
3. How’s the cleanup going?
4. How many tumours and birth defects are there?

Shut up.
Pay your tax.
Don’t forget to vote.
Cheer up Cancer Victims. It’s not so bad?

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits

• Party politics becomes ever more laughable: it now seems Jo “Oh No It’s Jo” Gideon the Tory TDC councillor stood for MP …for Scunthorpe in May. And as the old adage of voting for a rosette got almost exactly the same number of votes as the previous Tory candidate. Switching back to being the local Kent candidate is laughable but I suppose you must admire her brass neck. And now standing as Kent Police Commissioner to replace Ann Barnes. Removing the S from Scunthorpe would be more relevant for where Jo’s standing is in my view.

• Here’s the other 3 candidates:
o Matthew Scott heard of him? No me neither.
o Gavin Mackinnon never heard of him either. But worrying that he actually works for Kent Police as Head of Communications. Aren’t civil servants banned from political roles? If they’re so desperate to stand then let them resign beforehand. And wouldn’t it be a bit too cosy: a former senior KP official reviewing KP? – oops just announced today: within days of being announced he’s withdrawn apparently
• Richard Bunting not heard of him either but perhaps the best of a weak bunch as Deputy of Ashford Conservatives albeit also Islington Conservatives(!). Unless the others have any amazing policies – and with a week until the election of the candidate it’s unlikely - probably the one to vote for if you’re a Tory

• Surely an oversight with LocalCraig being only an MP and magistrate he could also be PCC as per his previous attempt? And why not Shonky crossing the floor and hoovering up a few more political roles? Or is he already UKIP PCC candidate? I hope so.

• Certainly Barnes needs replacing after the C4 documentary farce and Yoof Tsar and AnnVan mobile police stations drivel. Worrying that she’d been doing the job for 10 years before that. She’s had her chance and been found wanting.

• No news on the other parties candidates or process for the May 2016 election. No wonder nobody bothers to vote if by late November the major parties can’t even select any candidates or produce their manifesto.

• I’m often asked if I’m standing but I’ve made no decision other than concentrating on the 2017 KCC Leader election and jailing Infratil and “Stop the Corruption. Stop the Pollution, Stop the Construction”. Certainly 43 police forces is too many – the farce of one (of at least four) Deputy Chief Constables being on £737,000 is outrageous bloat and waste. Imagine the other 43 forces – and this is after Police Scotland merged four Scottish forces(!). Or imagine the waste in stocking up on guns and ammunition and training to fire only 6 shots a year.

• UN 2016 election: some process reforms – weird Buggins Turn of Eastern Europeans or Women. The organisation turning inwards on itself.

• My FOI request from July(!) popped into my inbox from TDC on Friday from Sophie Chadwick, to be fair, picking up the pieces after Planning Director Crowley was resigned. Apparently it’s illegal for me to know of the documents from the weird February rejig of Pleasurama/British Virgin Islands by TDC and Keegan/Painter selling it to Cardy their builder.

• A point of FOI detail on that though: the exclusion sought (they have to be sought they’re not automatic) was on legal professional privilege grounds. there’s a few issues with that as a wriggle:
o TDC did its own Public interest Test ie the council deciding the council was right to withold council information from the public(!)

o Legal professional privilege exemption relies on the client -not the lawyer- requesting that exemption ie TDC requesting of itself to refuse providing documents

o Legal professional privilege refers to legal documents ie issued by a law firm not general documents

o FOI is very, very clear that – as you’d expect the first and overriding principle is disclosure. The name’s on the FOI tin. If you insist on seeking an exemption, especially an exemption with a Public interest test that it’s in the public interest for the public not to know, then you need to be on very solid ground and not rubberstamping and delaying your own decisions.

o I can’t think of any FOI information to be withheld except on national security eg the nuclear launch codes. Possibly a specific price within a tender document but even then range price would be relevant eg between £500M-£1M and then the specific final price disclosed etc. I’m struggling to think of anything else. Even the Army publishes each year details of its 350 tanks and 80,000 soldiers so hardly many huge national security issues there. Routine publication of info, whether every month or quarter, simply reduces the cost of having to confirm it exists and then disclosing it. The discussion can then be around the facts: do we need 350 tanks? Should the xyz tender cost £500k or £1M?

o Sophie cited that Legal Professional Privilege was sought as disclosure “may jeopardise future criminal trials”. Indeed. But on that basis any document would be refused which I suppose is where FOI would end up: NotFreedomofInformation or in name only. And there is no criminal activity around Pleasurama is there? So why is TDC worried about potential future criminal trials? TDC have been leading on this for almost a year since the whole project could have been cancelled in February 2015 and dragged out into the sunlight for discussion. Certainly 20 years of a massive derelict site would be grounds for negligence anyway whether it’s a BVI pension project or not. How much of TDC funds have been shifted offshore already? How many civil servant and councillor meetings and documents in 15 years?

o One major sticking point for TDC though: Legal professional privilege can’t be relied on to cover up a crime…
o Two sticking points actually – I’ve asked for a list of all the documents: not the content just a list eg letter of 1/1/15 from xx to yy.

o And a third sticking point: I’ve forwarded the note to Kent Police for review by them or another of the 43 police forces rather than the usual inaction. TDC is after alone of the most corrupt councils in UK according to TDC(!), Local government Association, DCLG, Private Eye etc etc. Kent Plod should be able to get their trousers on for this.

o Who’d expect Kent’s largest seafront development to be registered in the Caribbean by and with unknown directors. Surely Bayford as a senior council official and accountant can advise on this? And I never understood why a council would build a hotel registered in the BVI…without a hotel company?

o Judge Smith’s suitcases still adrift in the aviation ether although he has been removed from the multi-billion(!) BA High Court trial

• KORA and 2LB due shortly

* No news as yet o0nthe 100 SE Rd garden grabbing form TDC

* An interesting letter back from OESCE on the Kent elections: doublehatters, civil servants standing for LibDems etc

And The Chief has issued his latest Haiku last week:

Speaking from the Kent Police Bonfire Control Room, Chief Alan Pughsley said:

"This week's Kent Police Meiji reforms haiku commemorates Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night. I ain't saying it's right but he was described as the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions:

Remembering the 5th of November, Minamata and Agent Orange

Kent corruption 0%, Infratil and Thor mercury contamination too

Police scared to take action

I'd remind the public to stay indoors and close their windows and book early for the Kent Police panto with more special announcements later."

Time for Change


Thursday, 12 November 2015

FOI review and Kent corruption: more or less public info?

I wanted to write on the FOI review by Jack Straw: email, below and you can write too or copy and paste/amend this note if you want before 20th November:

Dear Sir/Madam

Page 37 of today's Private Eye eloquently lists the outcomes of various FOI investigations: MP expenses, offshore companies, Saudi/MOD arms bungs etc.

I would particularly cite though here similar Kent outcomes:

* Infratil secretly removing airport monitors at Manston with the council thus contaminating 100k people

* Ostend gunrunning and secret IranAir flights

* Pleasurama tax haven corruption by council

* Greg Clark's gardengrabbing review

* 0% TDC salary fraud - declaring no pay increases but secretly providing 10% increases

* KCC salaries the most over £100k in UK etc

* Southern Water sewage and faeces in the drinking water

* Thor mercury banned factory open and contamination by Env Agency inaction

Also the failures:

* Environment Agency refusing an EIR request by citing the Public Interest Test - but without detailing what that involved nor why it's in the public interest for the Public not to know

* Kent Fire Brigade similarly on salaries etc

One constant theme that emerges with FOI is delay, partial information often requiring further requests and sometimes those being - mischeviously - classed as vexatious.

And certainly a theme of seeking exemptions rather than prioritising disclosure as required under FOI.

I would amend the UK FOI law simply to that of EIR with perhaps one clause for national security - but such exemptions having to be approved by a Cabinet Minister.

The UN has recommended FOI since 1948 so the UK introducing it some 70 years later is absurd - as are wriggles such as draft documents not being released, meetings not minuted or written on post-it notes to circumvent FOI.

We need more not less FOI eg routine monthly publication of dept staffing and salaries which DFID already does and to prevent waste such as the Daily Mail revealing one Scottish Police Deputy Constable on an outrageous £737,000.

And restricting secret court sessions eg Judge Smith's suitcases or GlickGate.

After 10 years, FOI has highlighted the British Disease of Secrecy and much of government being to protect the salaries of those in government: a Rolls Royce civil service but up on bricks.

Please advise if you need any info.

Kindest regards


Time for Change

Tim's Titbits

* announcement on KORA and 2LB next week
* 100 SE garden grabbing just appalling mega-carbuncle: surprised at Ward and Co and DanielGent construction involvement even TDC supporting then failing public at last hurdle - more later
* Myanmar election: c.90% of seats so far to Aung San - a huge majority even with 25% of seats reserved for military
* astonishing KCC tobacco and fossil fuel investments: Carter and Simmonds stuck in the past - UK should lead COP21 with divesting such investments across public sector and universities. So much for the KCC Public Health remit investing in Marlboro. Idiotic.
* shocking Daily Mail revelations on NHS etc bloat and waste - that wouldn't have been possible without FOI. Kent NHS backoffice costs?
* Fun but bizarre lawyers: Scousers and Lord Harley of Counsel - weblinks to follow. Thank goodness we don't have the death penalty with such fools
* Bizarre hereditary Lords election yet again: another of the 92 die off so only they can elect another one? Ridiculous. Get rid of them and unelected Bishops - the only such parliament in the world

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Kent Police begin weekly Haiku: update

Speaking from the Great British Shakespeare room at Maidstone Police HQ Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said:

"Many people have congratulated me on the Kent Police haiku from last week and asked for more. Especially as in the bustle of our everyday policing days it's often relevant to take time out and reflect on reform - whether that be procurement, tasering junkies and dealers, wider social policy or verse.

That's why I'm delighted to be continuing the Meiji Kent initiative to promote such activities through the medium of haiku.

I wandered lonely as a cloud on my beat

Winter draws in

Many pensioners dead from cold"

Chief Constable Pughsley went on to point out that no more than £50M of the Kent Police £300M budget would be spent on poetry, and the cost would anyway be far cheaper than normal Kent council corruption or social failure.

Time for Change


Tim's Titbits:

* a useful meeting at TDC this week on the 100 SE Rd garden-grabbing - some initial reluctance to take action but realisation of just a monstrous carbuncle. I'm surprised at Daniel Gent Construction and Ward and Partners participating in this sort of thing. And certainly TDC have plenty of grounds, given the Local Plan and National policy to reject this sort of blight. Photos to follow.

* TDC in last week's Private Eye yet again with Rotten Boroughs and "Wells Hung" article on Manston and resignations and the bizarre story of Freudmann struck off as a solicitor and Head of Shropshire council(!) and his lawfirm partners letting his car tyres down(!).

* Remembrance Day and Myanmar elections fall on the same day tomorrow - and for the UK's Forgotten War sparklingly well-maintained Commonwealth War graves across Burma and Thailand. Not in Vietnam though - and hideous failure by the Australian War Graves organization too.

* KORA and 2LB underway.

* EKFOS and Pav under discussion: astonishing oversight by Visit Kent given the Spectre James Bond movie - the largest UK film ever and after Skyfall - the previous largest UK film ever. And of course East Kent's links to Bond and Fleming whether the 007 bus or Moonraker rockets under the cliffs. The latest UK exports reports has film tourism specifically as contributing £2BN in income/investment to UK.

* Slipways and Port seems to be slipping around again. Just a mess.

* While illegal parking: pedestrian zones, yellow lines and on pavements is as bad as ever.

* Lord Grabiner of GLickGate's LIBOR report to follow and still no sign of Judge Smith's suitcases.

* And with airport luggage prominent given the Egypt bomb at SharmAlSheik has resulted in much tighter security - worth noting the EgyptAir 3am flights into Manston when it was closed and also into Ostend. Buchanan of Lydd as with Freudmann and Infratil and Gloag seem to have had a loose if not downright incompetent and dangerous approach to running airports. As KCC Leader I will seek jail sentences for them.

* Excellent Daily Mail investigation into public sector fatcats and bloat and FOI: £737k for one Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable? Ridiculous.
Time for Change

* Maidstone cultural desert:
Time for Change

* North Kent 10th worst place to live: Demos/PWC report:
Time for Change

* Excellent review by Ed Targett of KCC fossil fuel and tobacco investments:
Time for Change

* Myanmar: Aung San election as of midnight local time: winning 97% of first 119 seats.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Manston spirals downwards and GarbuttMP2020 points

Garbutt draft KCC Leader 2017 and MP 2020 manifesto out for consultation and a few points in more detail below:

1. Lebanon: women’s rights tweak – illegal for a woman to vote unless she's completed elementary education. Doesn’t apply to men. A minor gender equality tweak though as both sexes c.94% complete elementary education. Nevertheless gender discrimination given all Saudi women can now vote. Only UAE and Brunei have equal opportunities of not allowing anyone to vote(!).

2. EU vote at 16: #whennotif the EU introduces a universal vote at 16. How can territories such as Jersey or various German regions or nations such as Scotland and Austria allow vote at 16 but not elsewhere? Wasn’t a key point of the EU to introduce consistent standards?

3. UK elections exams: politicians are the only public sector workers without exams. Elected then 5 years of fixed term power. Kent has politicians that can barely read or write. A simple multichoice exam on various political points should be introduced. While a minimum and maximum age for such roles say 30 and 80 should be introduced as well as fixed terms.

4. Royals and Military Oath: abolish the loyalty oath of the military to the royals and replace with to parliament and the public. A 17th century leftover.

5. End Dictators: one of the greatest threats to UK eg Saddam, Gadaffi etc. End the last 5 African dictators with fixed terms and no extensions eg Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Zimbabwe etc.

6. UN Secretary-General: clear election procedure and public and UN Assembly choice rubberstamped by Security Council. No more Buggins Turn empty symbolism and secret rotas of tame officials: an East European this year or a woman next year. Maybe both at once to solve a non-existent problem. Closed shop discrimination.

7. Nuclear disarmament: the only WMD not limited. Reduce stockpiles to under 1,000 for USA and Russia and under 50 for existing nuclear nations with roadmap to zero.

8. Rabies: 70,000 deaths every year mainly in India nb the global death rate is 0.88% pa: c.54m deaths – and 90% of those could be reduced with existing infant care eg measles vaccinations etc. Why should UK have twice the infant death rate than Sweden for example?

9. G20 Third World aid: roadmap to 0.7% GNI aid budgets nb the EU spends more on dog food than the global Third World aid budget.

10. #GlobalGoals: now launched and ratified 1stjanuary 2016 to achieve zero poverty etc by 2030. Not one Kent public sector organisation as yet signs up. Road accidents to be halved etc but Tobacco Framework feeble. Strangely no mention of a unified Space Programme for 2030.

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits: Misc points:

A. Predictive policing: Kent Police’s Mystic Meg policing experiment results in…an 11% increase(!) in crime according to The Economist last week. Who would have seen that coming? Yet strangely Kent Police seems to be hailing this as a great success and the basis for more research. More later and details of Kent Police Panto and 007 review…

B. Worth noting the excellent Kent Police drug den raids in Operation Jupiter: a drugs den raid every day, and Knife Amnesty 2016.

C. Kent Tourism silent on James Bond/Fleming Trail given the launch of Spectre after Skyfall the biggest Bond and British move ever. Shocking. Positively shocking.

D. Ann Barnes yet again with over a year(!) for CPS/Police/PCC/KCC and Uncle Tom Cobley and all to investigate a minor insurance car prang. The Yoof Tsars and DaftAnnVan mobile police stations twaddle. What an utter, utter waste of time and money. 2016 Police election in May.

E. Silence from FOI Finchy and the Kent Fire Brigade £1M fire station on the rates. Interesting too with the Jack Straw review on the effectiveness of UK FOI. I’ve never understood how having the EU EIR provides FOI yet the UK introduces its own law – with numerous (possible) exemptions. The British Disease of Secrecy.

F. Silence on the Broadstairs rape lawyer.

G. Silence on Gale MP being sued by the council for criticising the council.

H. Just awful Vagina Added Tax: bizarre VAT charge on tampons not instantly rectified as a medical or public health issue and even available on prescription like condoms or the pill

I. Manston: Freudmann offers sweeties and a pony to the Carter and the councillors with holidays to Torremolinos for a cargo airport on the rates. Just like EUJet then… And never mention the missing monitors and 4x EU safe cancer levels. But nothing else done in 6 months. Nothing. No TDC or KCC activity at all. Nothing. Only fake election promises and another dance around ignoring the aquifer.

J. Silence on Discovery park and pharma/science jobs.

K. Silence on the bizarre slipways building at the only(?) Royal Harbour in UK if not the world: first a restaurant then a Hornby thingummy. A bungalow in search of a reason on the rates.

L. Silence on Button and Sproates at TDC the Manston pollution clerks.

M. Silence on the aquifer pollution and Thor mercury contamination.

N. Silence on the BVI tax haven Pleasurama reshuffle and fake Wetherspoons Pav consultation.

O. Litter Police: £50k to the contractor and c.£3k to TDC? Why aren’t the normal police handing out tickets or council staff on an afternoon rota?

P. Silence on the £12M shortfall and council tax strike requiring more budget cuts. Who would you sack at TDC?

Q. Silence on 100 SE Rd gardengrabbing: bizarre planning permission approved despite being repeatedly rejected excuse. And Daniel Gent Construction carbuncle.

R. Grabbin’ Grabiner speaks: Lord Grabiner, the head of the GlickGate fraud firm One Essex Court finally speaks in the Lords – silent all this year – to resign the Tory whip (amend: it was the Labour whip but how would you know?). But still silent on why as a Lord he was charging hundreds of thousands of pounds for chairing a Bank of England review of the LIBOR fraud – and heavily criticised by Parliament for a feeble report. Silent on GlickGate of course with hatches battened down to avoid explaining Glick’s review and the Ali Bongo barrister Hollingworth providing fraudulent invoices to High Court – but refusing to do so to BSB. Silence. More time as a director at Wentworth the £125k entry-fee golf course, advising Parliament on tax(!) or director of Lincoln’s Inn selecting barristers for the High Court closed shop…no doubt.

S. On the tax point I don’t understand how barristers employed in a barrister company are described and taxed as self-employed? Do you? Even LLP lawyers aren’t classed as self-employed?

T. Silence on Judge Smith’s missing underpants. Dread nought he says in the Smithy Code - although it seems to have come out as Fister not Fisher(!). Although it is the Royal Navy. The underpants must be found – even if the CEO of BA is arrested and jailed and brought to High Court on the rates. 100 High Court judges seems about 80 too many.

U. Red Meat and Sugar Tax cancer etc: feeble UK food safety standards and delays for #whennotif reform.

V. COP12 Climate Change in November in Paris: talking shop of inaction. Why has every public sector office not switched to solar or wind electricity? A simple and quick and cheap no-brainer. A UK lead potential too in a Climate Parliament of Mayors of smaller towns beyond Big City Bloomberg initiatives etc eg Kirklees rather than New York etc.

W. NemoLink Planning permission for cables through Pegwell Bay the SSSI and Ramsar UNESCO site. Surely the whole point of such designations is that they are meant to simply avoid such construction work? Silence on burying the pylons too. More to follow.

X. Redcar SSI/Scunthorpe/Motherwell UK steel industry etc: how foolish to allow the destruction of the UK steel industry with the growth of hispeed rail and UK car industry – State Aid twaddle given the German government for example actively funds say Volkswagen and China’s State steel industry has been illegally dumping cutprice steel for years. Northern Powerhouse and Maker’s Britain falls at the first hurdle.

Y. Payday Loans reforms underway but Victorian Living Wage reforms weak: credit to Aldi introducing the 2020 Living Wage of c.£9ph already(!). More reasons to shop at Aldi!

Z. KORA and 2LB and EKFOS nearly ready.

Tim’s Bits: some personal bits and bobs of mine:

1. Looking for university lecturer role at Kent Uni, CCU, or LSE or Thammasat: advertising/business studies. Anyone know of anything?
2. DVD or online shop link for Contraband movie set in WW2 Ramsgate.
3. Insurance company client wanted:
4. Volunteers wanted: charity tenders nb weblink changing in the next day or so.
5. Kent’s apples and orchards. Anyone know?

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Broken Kent and UK elections

FAO Michael-georg Link, Director OSCE, Office for Democratic Institutions

Dear Michael-georg

In your OSCE election observer/reporter role I wanted to raise various issues with the UK/Kent 2015 elections:

1. Not free: £500 or £5k charge for candidates
2. Illegal candidate: LibDem in in Thanet North election George Cunningham a civil servant for the EU/Taiwan
3. Dual roles: MP and magistrate – not strictly illegal but not a separation of powers
4. Doublehatters: numerous candidates standing for roles ie 4 seats but the same person so reducing democracy and increasing costs
5. Parachute candidates: numerous candidates from out of area ie diminishing local representation
6. Numerous family members and ex-civil servants standing
7. Police silence on point 2 despite being the required investigative authority
8. Electoral Commission: ditto
9. Vote at 16: bias to some UK regions eg Scotland (as well as in EU eg Austria) with greater representation
10. Postal ballots: numerous and weak
11. Election night ballot box counting discrepancies: some counts returned within two hours and some 12 hours for similar numbers of ballots
12. Hereditary Lords: a strange internal/undemocratic election when a hereditary Lord dies
13. Lords: excessive numbers – the largest assembly outside of China
14. Civil service £62k fee for election night – excessive cost and should be contractually required
15. FOI: weak and presumption towards seeking exemptions and minimising EIR and illegal eg Environment Agency and Fire Brigade refusing Public Interest test
16. UK High Court: fraud and weak BSB/SRA regulatory oversight as Clementi review
17. Sangcom – previously Al-Yamamah – Saudi guns for bungs bribes by MOD with specific MOD and civil service departments to bribe Saudi princes
18. Local Government Ombudsman: a tame whitewash facility
19. Ostend/Manston/Lydd/Vienna airports gunrunning and banned flights
20. Election manifestos vague/incomplete and not provided unti 10 days before an election despite fixed terms
21. Thor/Southern Water pollution ignored/illegal

It is worth noting the various corruption incidents in Kent – by the councils eg Infratil monitors, Pleasurama BVI tax haven, 0% salary fraud etc as detailed in Private Eye describing the councils as: “ a byword for corruption”.

Can you advise on the above are OSCE election observers seem invisible in UK and the above should form part of your reports and recommendations for reform.

Kindest regards
Tim Garbutt

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The end of Wells and UKIP with Manston.

Clearly Manston is already a dead duck.

Indeed one point that seems to have escaped UKIP et al’s notice is the sale of Jentex at the corner of the airfield – which was the fuel store.

So UKIP – and Tories - are trying to reopen an airport without planes or fuel or radar or buildings – only a runway that could be a lorry park.

Maybe a Parkway train station soon.

Don't titter.

And after, almost 6 months, nothing for UKIP to show for being elected but an internal revolt and end of their majority to just one - and now none.

And the DCLG poverty figures slide backwards to one of the worst in UK. Today Medway cited as the worst in UK for Year 4 schools.

Not exactly a flagship process for Britain’s only – and last? - UKIP council.

While at KCC any plans for Manston and trust in Latchford and Shonk and the NF chap were completely rejected. So UKIP at County has absolutely no policies.

And to lose one District councillor is careless. But five?

And are election promises so weak in a British election that all the parties are idiotic enough to want an airport on the aquifer? What next? A free Ferrari for everyone? A nuclear reactor on the aquifer? Free cancer?

Bayford and Gale and the Tories have hardly covered themselves in glory by remaining silent on their policy for Manston.

Surely attention must focus on Bayford rather than Wells now for explanations on Manston and BVI Pleasurama.

Interesting that today’s Private Eye details c.60% of property sales by value in Kensington are to tax havens…and the most popular destination for tax haven funds in UK is…BVI - as funded with Pleasurama.

With a Tory crackdown on tax havens Bayford as the senior Tory figure from Ezekiel onwards must have details of Painter’s and Keegan’s plans for the site and funds? And I don’t understand why a council would get involved in building a hotel without a hotel company? And shunt the money offshore?

And why are TDC – despite Crowley leaving – allowing the bizarre new sale of Pleasurama to Keegan/Cardy (see point 7 below) to cover their tracks when the whole thing expired and could have been cancelled instantly in February?

As KCC Leader I will halt the development and call in the police. Sussex Police if Kent Police are too scared.

For this we pay over £3Bn in Kent tax?

Chimps and lame duck governance.

But the new spat between Wells and Yerrall of River Oak is revealing for a couple of things:

1. Despite public utterances to the contrary there have been neither meetings not emails between TDC and Riveroak until last Wednesday when Wells supplied a whole bunch of rather lame excuses for Riveroak to respond to. These have suddenly emerged? Not before May? Or in the last 6 months? And very bizarre Wells rounds on the Manston supporters to get them to source crowdfunding - despite his election pledge!

2. Astonishing that Tony Freudmann of Riveroak and formerly Wiggins at Manston was not only Leader at Shropshire County Council but was banned from that role as well as struck off as a solicitor and Deputy Judge(!) for stealing client money. So much so that his law firm partners not only withheld his company car when they sacked him – but let the tyres down to make sure he didn’t take it(!).

The latter raises some key issues:

A. How on earth did TDC and KCC think Freudmann at either Wiggins or now Riveroak was suitable to run Manston? So much so as Wiggins when it went belly-up after the EUJet scandal had various other accounting fraud issues raised.

B. The increasingly ridiculous LocalCraigMP - now reduced to highlightiong tax on public loos, yawn - and Gale and Bayford remaining silent on the Tory election promises to reopen Manston. How will they do that without fuel and on the aquifer?

C. An interesting point in Yerrall’s emails that TDC had previously hired KCC for legal advice(!) before using their own lawyers – presumably Geoff Wild of the Toxic Three and his huge lawfirm on the rates of 150 lawyers at KCC?

D. As with Glick QC and Hollingworth of One Essex Court (the former a High Court Judge) we have the astonishingly feeble oversight of lawyers and barristers. The SDT Tribunal for Freudmann made much of the outrage of stealing client money but excused it on the basis that it may have been the lawyers funds later! Presumably if they’d issued a large enough invoice to take it! And rather than jailing him as they admitted was the main route, chose to issue a fairly minor fine. And up he pops again.

As with the Broadstairs rape lawyer, in hiding for accusing a rape victim of lying about their client and to withhold testimony we need far tighter implementation of the Clementi reforms.

Silence so far on Smithy’s suitcase: Judge Peter Smith’s (he too was involved in GlickGate briefly you may remember) lost suitcase where he threatened the arrest of the BA CEO(!) in a separate BA case in High Court unless he had his underpants returned.

I will be writing to the Chief to see if Kent Police have had any lost property handed in.

Smithy’s a bit of a character with his Smithy Code in the Da Vinci case. You couldn’t make it up.

He's at it again. But the Judge must have his underpants back.

The SRA and SDT and BSB are tame whitewash organisations designed to dissolve away complaints and boost law costs. And often taken over by lawyers themselves despite meant to be independent. While secret courts and lack of jury trial ensure courts are closed shops for lawyers.

How can for example Glick QC run One Essex Court yet sit as a High Court Judge in the same court where most of his cases are heard? What an outrageous conflict of interest.

We need far reaching legal reforms if the UK legal system isn’t to remain the laughing-stock of the world for only Russian oligarch libel cases on the court rates:

• Fixed and transparent fees and end of fees upfront – the latter a licence for invoice shaping
• End Judges working for law firms
• End barrister and lawyer secret meetings with Judges
• End magistrates sitting as MP’s – as with LocalCraig
• End secret courts and reintroduce jury trial and a minimum of 3 judges per case
• Limit shunting cases to different courts
• End LLP law firms and barristers/staff as supposedly self-employed
• End the new guilty court fees in advance
• Uphold courts financial limits eg High Court £100k
• Overhaul SRA etc to act for the public not lawyers

No wonder only one barrister in 800 years(!) has been jailed.

And astonishing with the breathtaking corruption in Kent through most political parties and councils, not one lawyer or law firm has stepped forward to highlight such injustice. Given their whole work ethic is supposed to be upholding justice – and often funded for it through Legal Aid or CPS as well as practising it in public-funded courts it seems astonishing.

Perhaps Kent lawyers and judges don’t drink or bathe in Southern Water.

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits; Misc Points

1. KCC have finally issued under FOI their latest investment funds details – your tax funds for council and police etc pensions. And c.£40M invested in 2 tobacco firms. And c.£100M(!) with Climate Change oil and gas firms. Hardly sensible given both KCC’s public health remit and Climate Change cant. Please email me at if you want the full list of investments

2. On the latter Climate Change point, it’s astonishing that Ashford’s recycling rate is only 13%(!) despite signing various empty Climate Change council pledges – I do have my doubts as to whether Kent’s recycling after being sorted by the public is simply dumped in the same landfill hole?

3. G20 Summit in Turkey next month and an astonishing bit of guff from the pre-Summit tourism pledge – more later

4. 2LB and KORA almost ready to launch

5. Dreamland wooden railway to reopen this weekend – announced this week. Shambolic marketing. Who knew?

6. Silence on the ownership of Dreamland and 100 SE Rd gardengrabbing still although I’ve been asked to another TDC meeting (5th November is the earliest they can apparently), and Wetherspoons and the Pav given Edwina’s recent resignation given this murky activity. Ask Simon:

7. Pleasurama clifftop scaffolding only just finished being put up- after repairs were due to be completed. So much for Cllrs Townend and Evans in Planning. Silence too on the weird sale by TDC from tax haven Keegan et al to Cardy. Surely Messrs Bayford and Painter must know something about this? And why exactly a council would be building a hotel without any hotel buyer? And on the largest seafront plot in Kent if not the UK? And the whole lot registered in a Caribbean tax haven? Surely Bayford as Tory Leader or LocalCraig MP/Magistrate or Gale will speak up given Tory and EU policy of clamping down on tax havens? Why not call in the police? As KCC Leader I will and cancel the whole stinking mess.

8. UK heroin deaths triple – and rise in knife crime. Kent Police snoozing in the station rather than sorting out machete sales. They’re already banned.

9. FOI Finchy silent: still no news from CEO Millington and James Finch at Kent Fire Brigade on the fancy Ramsgate Fire Station: can you help? Simply email Finchy and say

“Dear James, Under EIR please advise to me the issues Tim has raised with you.”

Some 10 years after FOI legislation (that was required way back in 1948 by the UN and nations such as Sweden and USA have had for almost 50 years) we still have the public sector desperately trying to cover up what it’s doing on our dime.

10. An excellent article in The Economist on the reduction of malaria to under 500k deaths with 44% of at risk groups (mainly under5’s in Africa) now with bednets. As well as the reduction of polio to almost zero and measles to 96k deaths down form 2M in 1980(!). Astonishing though that eradication of such diseases as well as rabies or Chagas or EU rare diseases is supposed to take another decade or two. Why? There are billions in funding and excellent communications in roads and railways and radio and television and internet. And these diseases in EU and USA were eradicated almost 50 years ago. The collapse of Syria has shown that the greatest long-term threat to Britain apart from Climate Change are dictatorships and pandemics not refugees or terrorism as such.

11. Operation Stack in parliament today again – more later. Still with a £500M price tag though as KCC bleats about refugees costing an extra £8M. I’ve asked for details of council reserves – how much is set aside each year for such contingencies. Have a guess. We’ve already seen c.£37M of your money invested in tobacco as above.

12. Homer sues Gale letter – more later. Fascinating the council Chief Executive threatening to sue the MP (as with Cllr Driver before) for accusing the council of incompetence etc. Presumably with public funds. Fascinating. Silly. But fascinating.

13. LIBOR jail sentences progressing with more bankers on trial for rigging the rates on your mortgage and credit card.

14. An interesting point on UK guns for bungs with Saudi – essentially an MOD mechanism to sell jets and pay bribes to Arab princes (as we know in Kent with Jonathan Aitken the former MP and Al-Yamamah case part of the Sangcom fraud). Why are UK civil servants and tax being used in this way? And astonishing that the UKTI dept (DSO)that deals with arms sales has 120 civil servants based in London – more than all the other UKTI sectors put together. No wonder UK does so badly in exports if we’re all busy funding monopoly arms companies and monopoly public services and Arab princes. Shut up! Work Harder! Pay more!

15. Good that both smoking in cars and plastic bag legislation introduced – although reducing stores and banning plastic bags completely and in all shops is a flimsy waystation to real reform. The Pacific Plastic Patch is the size of Texas and will only get bigger as plastic corrodes

16. Ramsgate Port and GEFCO car shippers: more later - although I don’t understand how Wells is claiming 50 new jobs for drivers? Surely cars would be c.10 per car transporter and the drivers of those transporters would drive them on at Ostend or wherever, and off and away from Ramsgate? Resulting in no new jobs at all beyond - perhaps - a few more security guards or cleaners and noise and fumes? Or is it a car park?

17. Pegwell Bay Nemo Link: more later, but apparently TDC has given planning permission to lay cable through the middle of the UNESCO site. What’s the point of UNESCO and SSSI protection then?

18. Kent Police and Manchester Police investigation into Chief Inspector John Buttress who is accused of various spurious crimes by his own police force that were all dismissed – and Manchester Police now lose control of Salford as Mexchester with two gang shootings yesterday, 18 in the last year, plus the deaths of the two policewomen by grenade.

19. SDG goals #globalgoals launched last week. Not one Kent sector public sector organisation even pays lip service to them as yet.

20. Marina Slipways - more later but what a mess again.

21. Parkway £17M train station. Stop tittering. You've paid £17M for it.