Thursday, 19 July 2018
Khun Tanyatorn Tongwaranan makes some typically elegant points in her article on Green Smart Cities with Delhi as an example:
That struck a chord in my Mayor and MP campaign here in East Kent to: "Stop the Pollution. Stop the Corruption. Stop the Construction".
Green issues a vital but somewhat neglected in Kent as the Garden of England and East Kent with its array of orchards and Blue Flag beaches. And new Garden Cities but more of those later.
A countryside and seascape perhaps familiar to Thai eyes via The Darling Buds of May television series with a pre-Hollywood Catherine Zeta-Jones or films such as A Canterbury Tale or Contraband by Powell and Pressburger, perhaps most famous for the Red Shoes film, a favourite of Martin Scorsese.
Leaving aside my EKFOS - East Kent Film Office and Studio project - the Hollywood connection is vigorous through East Kent with Ian Fleming's James Bond 007, Cannes and Oscar winners Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall. Even 1960's film icons such as Rita Tushingham visiting Surin Thai restaurant (try the sea bass!).
And Marlon Brando a keen hiker through the East Kent countryside near the Channel Tunnel now under threat with tarmacing for Operation Stack as a lorry park in the event of the likely chaos and delays from any Brexit should it happen.
### Kamikaze Brexit limps on ###
10 UK Cabinet resignations in as many days, including the Brexit Minister David Davis and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, the silliness of Brexit is limping to an end.
But if Delhi residents are keen supporters of trees and Smart Cities then surely East Kent and Bangkok residents should be as vocal?
Bangkok has the fewest green spaces of any world city. And Thailand has lost its tree cover to just 32% in 40 years. Cambodia even more from logging through Isaan - the view from Preah Vihar, part of the wider Royal Road, showing how much destruction has been wrought on Cambodian and Thai jungles. While Kent's famous orchards, cited by Charles Dickens and Shakespeare (King Lear set on the moors near Dover) have been reduced over 50% since 1945.
And Sheffield council has been felled for felling urban trees. That steel city surprisingly leafy and green. And trees of course one of the best pollution captures and cleaners.
Environment Minister Michael Gove wisely making attempts to rectify these problems with upbraiding Sheffield council and a Northern Forest of 7M new trees - but taking 25 years to plant it seems. That seems astonishingly slow given 11m UK schoolchildren and 2M students on hand to plant their trees.
And as slow as the rather absurd UK policy to end diesel cars by 2040 - not especially difficult to do as Volkswagen has already announced it will cease making them in 2030. That a rash of rather silly water-is-wet policies thrown up by Brexit - a Parliament vote this week on ensuring the free-flow of medicines to UK from EU mere hot air gasbagging if not the downward death spiral of a Kamikaze Brexit.
And Brexit has sucked the oxygen out of the Westminster Village with no policies or governance at all other than thousands of new Brexit clerks merely retyping EU laws with minor tweaks on the rates.
An argument if nothing else for a codeified and reduced law system as in France.
Former Foreign Minister and Brexiteer Boris Johnson in his first Daily Telegraph column urging greater UK exports to ASEAN and The Gulf and China, as well as the wider Commonwealth such as India. Bizarrely though ignoring the trade gap in Latin America and Caribbean.
### Meiji Kent and EU and Japan ###
That thrown into relief with not one major UK trade deals signed in the two years since Brexit and this week EU and Japan signing one of the largest-ever trade deals. That positive for Meiji Kent companies such as Hitachi and Fujifilm - and if Brexit was in any way likely no doubt there would be calls for East Kent passporting rights with its c.1M citizens affiliated with Belgium or Northern Ireland/Eire.
The rot setting in through with the European Medicines Agency uprooting from London to Amsterdam, and a tsunami of companies from Aston Martin to Jaguar Landrover to AsdaWalmart to Lloyds - all expressing concerns at any border delays or transferring to European Smarter Cities such as Dublin and Frankfurt.
Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg in London and Boeing in Sheffield three of the larger companies weathering the Brexit storm to expand in UK. With my Sincerity Advertising hat on the Home Nations such as Wales and Scotland ripe for expansion too despite delays on the Swansea Tidal Lagoon and lack of Scots seafood reseeding and exports.
Even 110k military and 100k police could take up trees - perhaps tree planting one way of getting them out of the barracks and police station. While Kent Royal Engineers are leading the way not just in the Sudan of the world's fewest roads, or completing the Cape2Cairo railway - the last few miles still to be closed from the 1898 Sudan Military Railway (that built in mere months without JCB diggers or Six Companies bulldozers, just shovels)to improve UN peacekeeping and DFID and USAid.
But the Royal Engineers and Kent’s Ghurka Engineers are also key in reversing the creeping desertification of the Sahel along the southern edge of the Sahara. Tree planting and irrigation canals (as in Afghanistan) vital in securing the soil and sand drift. While the giant sand berms of Western Sahara are a key line in the sand for resisting the Sahara drift and resulting Climate Change conflict of reduced soil and water wars.
Kasetsart University, linked with Newcastle University in UK, recently promoting the UN Topsoil initiatives - UK topsoil reduced by 40% since 1840 and concerns over few harvests left with Surin Farm.
As with Thailand's Doitung and King Bhumibol self-sufficiency programmes, there is a wider need for crop selection and tree and hedgerow planting to literally secure the land. UK lacking the effort on model farms or planned crop selections, as with Thailand divesting land from rubber harvests for more useful crops.
And a wider issue with many UK farmers over the age of 65.
### Surin Charity and Hyde Park Corner English language schools ###
Surely such education aspects are relevant for every UK and Thailand school, whether my Surin Village School Charity or Hyde Park Corner English Language Schools or not. Even the neglected basics such as handwashing and food preparation given UK’s main strategic threat of pandemics. Certainly the Surin Comic as with the UK Embassy Cambodia Skytrain STEM comic and Blue Broccoli STEM and Engineering book are relevant too. One day a year planting trees would hardly render Thai and UK schoolkids into fools: Children's Day or Teacher's Day as a Tree Day?
With UK in freefall at the moment, PM Prayut or Khun Thanathorn may not be available to run the country part-time (UK not Thailand as despite the Brexit mess Parliament breaks up a week early to prevent the May government falling), nor the watermelon politics of Yingluck and Thaksin that translate well to Kent.
For UK is almost unique in Europe with a weaker than it should be Green party, just one MP in the vigorous Caroline Lucas, part of the Green Coast tidal surge along the Channel from Brighton to Ramsgate to London, and in Kent the Garden of England just one KCC county councillor in the quietly capable Martin Whybrow.
The new UK Green leadership in Berry and Bartley urging at least one Green on every UK council. Perhaps the Greens as the third largest party, either solus or in alliance, is viable too.
If the Garden of England can’t field a strong Green opposition especially against the pinstripe building projects of houses and roads vanity projects and white elephants under the Carter Toxic Two regime.
All that surprising in the age of Climate Change, and compared to Green activities in Germany and Holland and Belgium and Scandinavia, and perhaps the reason for such old-fashioned views in Kent with UKIP now wiped out with mercifully nothing done. Or foolish policies such as investing the $3BN KCC budget in state pensions with failing crops such as tobacco and fossil fuels.
Eire this week the first nation in divesting all its state funds from fossil fuels - no doubt yielding lower pensions for Kent's policemen and teachers and clerks in not divesting fossil fuels sooner.
While the London Array windfarm off East Kent, one of the five largest renewables sites in UK and one of the largest in the world, has still seen no electricity price reduction windfalls in Kent.
Vattenfall surely relevant for Krabi solar farms Khun Tanya? Even Sister Cities International links with Kent and Virginia.
Although the Kingsnorth power station one of the largest in UK and my policy on Richboro power station, have both been demolished and all UK coal mines closed - perhaps relevant for EGAT policies on those coal power stations in Krabi, even POTUS Trump rustbelt coal policies in West Virginia.
### Cockneys and coal ###
Coal on beaches a 1970's environment policy fail that infected not just Newcastle and Northumberland (the denouementxxxx of First Cockney Michael Caine's Get Carter showing Jarrow coal waste dumped at sea). But East Kent's now-closed hovercraft site (Caine cropping up again smuggled onto the hovercraft in The Black Windmill movie) built on old coal ash from the Richboro power station.
The digging up of the Manston airport runway and demolition of Thor mercury and Ramsgate fire station on sports grounds is long overdue, the Pleasurama corruption site now being cleared for bread and circuses or at least a Planet Hollywood funfair. The Paramount theme park long delayed and as with Dreamland in need of an overhaul.
California leading the way with all new build houses requiring solar panels surely to be implemented in Kent and UK before too long, if not trees specified too to ensure minimal greenwash as say Ebbsfleet Garden City. While the quality of architecture design an issue to ensure standards more of Venice than a verruca at worst or Eurosplodge at best on Kent.
FOI and the better EIR version of the EU still not ingrained in UK public culture relying on secrecy to mask incompetence or the rampant corruption of Manston airport or One Essex Court or Magnitsky scandals.
The Grenfell tower block fire scandal revealing failings in fire prevention but also specification standards of room sizes and open spaces. And surely demolishing all UK's 1960's tower blocks is overdue as with the blight of Margate seafront's Arlington House.
Even the horrifying scandal of 329 Kent schools (16 in East Kent) still with asbestos despite it being a known and banned carcinogenic building material.
KCC and the Toxic Three now Two regime of Paul Carter and lawyer Geoff Wild, Alex King suddenly resigning after 29 years a councillor, still refusing FOI on details of 7 court cases, funded by tax, of dead teachers and pupils from inhaling asbestos fibres.
While Councillor Ian Driver here in East Kent on another extremist list for helping expose the Pleasurama corruption. Even sued by his own council CEO Madeline Homer, with a $30k charge on his house for revealing secret council documents of the Pleasurama corrupt sale by senior councillors and civil servants, the largest land sale in Kent. And still with unknown owners.
But the Northern Forest stretching from the Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood to Kent's Downs and coast surely a spur for UK and Thailand and India Smart Cities, as per the Nokia and SAP and ABB work from the TrumpDavos15Friends and resurgent UK and USA tourism work with Incredible India, and no doubt Thailand's dynamic Ambassador Sam in Delhi, kickstarted by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley earlier this month.
As an aside, The TrumpBlenheimFriends is interesting with UK's richest man Jim Cathcart urging on the newbuild Landrover Defender, that much-loved classic vehicle the UK equivalent of Jeep or Humvee, and often used as a farm workhorse for tasks such as tree planting.
UN Water policies as vital for the sunken forests of India and Thailand, or Kent housing on flood plains, or even the water wars of upstream dams in China and Laos or Pakistan or Iran.
Kent with less rainfall than Syria even before the heatwave of the last few weeks facing the absurd spectacle of reduced reservoirs and hosepipe bans despite having the longest coastline in UK and desalination sites already opened near London. UK water companies under intense Parliament scrutiny over million dollar salaries for monopoly services and excessive leaks and pollution, even corporate manslaughter charges for negligence as Flint, Michigan.
But why not an RFID microchip sensor on your tree when it's planted? The discovery this week of a rare Tudor ship sunk near Whitstable on the edge of East Kent dated to 1581 by its wooden planks. RFID that much easier and protective of tree cover. Interestingly the shipwreck discovered by volunteers documenting Kent's WW2 pillboxes and bunkers.
### The Great Hedge and Hedge Fund of India ###
But perhaps India the best framework for green policies not just with 5M trees planted in one day (couldn't UK and Thailand each do that too, it's not rocket science) but also with The Great Hedge that was planted by UK as a tax barrier in nineteenth century colonial India.
If it could be done then without hispeed rail or cars or internet and radio or television then such forestry programmes could be done faster now. Even a Great Hedge Fund with The City and Wall Street and Asian Development Bank, even UN Habitat Fukuoka Smart City and slums funds to fund such green projects.
Even the UK DFID $20BN budget is too often either wasted on fripperies or simply not spent at all with accounting fudges. Perhaps similar issues around the UK Foreign Office $2BN Stability Fund or even UK's Thai Embassy $400M land sale disappearing into a black hole for tea and biscuits rather than being redeployed in Thailand. Trees and gardens swapped for more Central malls infill.
Perhaps money does grow on trees after all though. Certainly the crunch of Climate Change that more evident in the Kent Big Apple (Kent inventing environmentalism with Charles Darwin on his return from Chile) and need for Johnny Appleseed programmes.
The Commonwealth Summit also kickstarting tree planting with the Commonwealth Canopy to document and expand sites and plant new forests from Kenya to Kuala Lumpur.
Perhaps Kent orchids as with Thai orchids a relevant crop for seeding amongst new forests and hedgerows for increased biodivsersity especially with the collapse of bees.
The cost of reduced crops and increased famine easily quantifiable and costed as is the Resilience damage of that lost topsoil and the forest fires and landslides and increased storms.
The best time to plant a tree really is 20 years ago or now - whether in East Kent or Thailand or India's countryside or Smart Cities.
Time for Change
Note: Judge Mann castigated for Sir CLiff RIchard/BBC decision also involved in One Essex Court fraud case.
Wednesday, 18 July 2018
POTUS Trump got off to a quick start on NATO derailing even before the Summit in Brussels while still in USA that the European nations should pay more for their defence.
Something that plays well into the rustbelt States of the Trump heartland and - as with Brexit and ending the EU gravy train - repatriating USA taxes back to USA.
Except there are a few problems.
One is that the USA military presence is at one of its lowest ever levels since US Army Europe was first founded and sent overseas in 1942.
Just 35k US troops in Europe and many of them office staff is hardly a massive saving if reduced to say 25k or 15k. That 35k troop level is really the minimum to act as a Russian deterrent and tripwire for say Donetsk and the Baltic states.
If there was any substantial danger of a Russian invasion beyond Russophobia and sabrerattling for the military-industrial complex increased budgets.
Similarly US navy and Air Force cuts have already been made eg closing Mildenhall in Sussex one of the first USAF bomber bases in WW2.
Russian Bear bomber radar probes of UK are now just once a month.
While here in East Kent, questions should perhaps be asked of UK defences given Russian ships often sail through the English Channel - and without a hint of a surprise attack on Big Ben or the County Barn.
As so often, it does look as though the Colonel Blimps of the UK military and MOD have been talking up the threats while investing in the wrong sort of defences.
Lots of shiny kit such as aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines - too expensive to use, or risk being sunk.
And not the weft and weave of realistic defences such as Cyberwarfare (UK nuclear submarines surfacing to reboot Windows XP or nearly nuking Trump's Florida summer house?).
Or P8 maritime planes to hunt down submarines.
Even the armoured ambulances and personnel carriers that Denmark manages to deploy in Helmand to prevent its troops marching home without their legs.
Or a lack of helicopters, and ones that can't dustoff when it's dusty.
### Blimps for Blimps or drones? ###
While the F35 jets to eventually fly from the aircraft carriers without aircraft have already been surpassed by drone technology without being used. Two UK aircraft sunk in minutes off Singapore in 1942 worth remembering for any drone strikes around the Spratlys and Paracels.
Apt for the 100 Years of the RAF that the last year of manned flight may already be upon us. Why bother with F35 jets - or talking up the new Typhoon - if a drone surveillance and missile can be used more cheaply instead.
BA may be short of a few pilots but that's all.
While the flypast of the most Typhoons ever at just 22 planes suggests that there is no real need for jets anyway.
Perhaps the best route is to bite the bullet and fold the RAF into the Army Air Corps.
Even sack a few dozen of the 40 Admirals for 20 warships, and fold the Navy into an Army Command.
Less brass hats and silly parades and clearer lines of command and reduced inter-service rivalry.
Few would suggest even a 1% chance of war with Russia - certainly less if Putin can agree with Trump reduced nuclear weapons from the Helsinki Summit. And which president or soldier or sailor with a UN ban now in place would want to risk war crimes trials for manufacturing or deploying or even using nukes?
Look at the mess Putin and Kim Jongun and Assad have gotten themselves into with just a few banned chemical weapons. Or the Sarin cult of the Tokyo subway attacks being executed in Japan last week.
Rather, UK's likely military actions are Afghanistan, and reconstruction of Iraq, Syria and Libya - how did ISIS manage to take over almost all of Arabia so quickly from NATO?
And Afghanistan as NATO's first armed conflict has looked less than ideal for 70 years of training and funding.
And the Sahel, effectively Europe's southern frontier now, and the poverty and conflict through Chad, as the cornerstone of West Africa and with a new UK embassy, and USA Special Forces actions and deaths in Niger; French and UK troops in Mali and Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
Or the Ebola pandemic crises of Liberia and DRC Congo - all the more important with the Lords committee on NTD Neglected Tropical Diseases and AMR antibiotic resistance vaccines stalled. Even the 1M affected by EU Rare Diseases.
Peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia one of the few bright spots in that region.
### Africa's World War One now ###
And UN Peacekeeping in DRC Congo: over 5M deaths in what is described as Africa's World War One.
And none of these conflicts require aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines or even the persistent drone strikes of the Obama years. B52 strikes in Afghanistan seem as excessive and expensive as the as-yet unknown RAF strikes in Syria and perpetuation of forever wars without an end in sight.
Except merely live-fire weapons testing for the next military-industrial weapons prototypes. Those admirals and generals need a revolving door into an arms company when they can no longer dig a ditch.
While farmers with nothing more than kalashnikovs and motorbikes and pickup trucks, coping with dirtpoor conditions and weak medical care, are perhaps also redolent of Trump supporters in heartland USA rather than the Sahel or Helmand.
Although Trump dining with Jim Cathcart of Ineos at the Blenheim Summit, as well as Johnson and Johnson and BlackRock, redolent of the #TrumpDavos15Friends, is positive for rebooting the iconic and much-loved Landrover Defender in UK. With Ford or Jeep again if Jaguar Landrover aren't interested or asleep at the wheel.
That Ford AR Braille window glass or Mitsubishi HUD windscreens would be cool too.
But Trump does have a point on the 2% NATO target even if he's already suggesting it should be 4%. Think of a number without any criteria of need. As with the ludicrous nonsense of UK already overspending at 2.3% and more military calls for 3% or 4%.
A 50% or 100% increase in UK military spend as wasteful as it is absurd given the more productive needs of the NHS.
As with the Royal Navy citing Russia cutting underseas cables in the Atlantic it's astonishing how these military threats suddenly appear at budget review time. Go tell it to the marines. Although they might be wondering why HMS Ocean the main amphibious landing ship has been sold off to Brazil on the cheap with Resilience support needed for Caribbean and Pacific islands of the Commonwealth, and Nigerian Delta.
While the US Marines must be wondering how long the Europeans are going to allow dead refugees to wash up on the shores of Tripoli before an imperfect peace and less than perfect democracy is imposed on the road to peace and prosperity.
As with American earmarks and new defence budget of $700BN (UK and France each c.$50BN so have a long way to go to realistically match USA funding - perhaps with worse medical care or schools), it might never be realistic - and almost all 1M USA troops are sat in barracks in the lower 48 states or watching their nuclear missiles corrode.
### Pass the SALT POTUS ###
Just 35k troops in Europe, 30k in Korea and 20k in Afghanistan. The American taxpayer must at some point be questioning what exactly its military is for and is doing.
General McMasters long ago citing the real issues of threats from endemic poverty in Arabia and Africa.
Perhaps the Pentagon is mainly a threat to the taxpayer. 900k troops sat in barracks in USA is a lot - perhaps more SALT talks needed.
Or for UK and EU, dictators such as Saddam and Gadaffi or Mugabe now gone and the last few in Kazakhastan (UK judges setting up a court on the UK rates?) and Azerbaijan or Equatorial Guinea. And why would the UK want to fund Royal Navy bases in the Gulf States to prop up less than democratic feudal royalty: Dubai and Brunei not allowing anyone the vote. Especially as the oil wells start to run dry.
Solar power, such as Desertec reboots, much nearer to home in the Sahara and Levant.
The lack of reconstruction in Afghanistan and Libya and Iraq beyond mere bombing is telling of strategic failure. UK and USA each with aid budgets of $20BN (USA or EU not yet reaching the 0.7% target) have the wherewithal to rapidly achieve the UNSDG30.
By 2025? Malaria nets and vaccines already exist. It's merely delivering them. It's not rocket science as DHL or Walmart or Tesco would attest.
NATO made up its 2% target itself - and there is no specification of what's included in that 2%. Hence the European nations all with differing percentages - and Germany criticised for just 1.24% and being that much nearer Russia. And relying on Russian oil and gas, and OBOR rail routes through to Siberia and Shanghai.
While Angela Merkel must no doubt be thinking of the potential of a NATO shift westward to Eastern Germany's poorest constituencies. The bierkellars of Bavaria hardly in need of American military dollars as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. Perhaps because of those troops.
Certainly the UK bases in Germany are closing fast, perhaps only 200 now in Paderborn, and being replaced with smaller troop tripwire contingents in the Baltic states and Poland.
Perhaps Chancellor Merkel and Martin Schulz should consider the potential of a Sarajevo Shift to the Balkans for the EU itself. The $1BN boondoggle of a NATO HQ vanity office block in Brussels hardly indicative of wise military spending. While the plethora of EU and UN agencies in Brussels and Bonn and Geneva and Vienna could be moved into the Southern Balkans of Albania, Montenegro and Romania and Bulgaria. Even Southern Italy.
Much as East Kent is overdue UK and EU and USA investment, such as elements of Pfizer and Janssen and offshoots of a Channel Four relocation to Liverpool.
It's astonishing that every UK public sector office in London hasn't already been allocated to a region, especially unemployment blackspots in the Whitehall Out Of Whitehall programme.
And USA bases to the east and south to Europe as relevant for the drugs war, as West African cocaine routes or the Caribbean or Helmand and Shan heroin. Scotland announcing last week its highest ever heroin deaths at 934, and the most heroin deaths in Europe. Extra security needed at Trump Turnberry golf courses to keep the junkies out not the demonstrators?
NATO less about keeping the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down and more a balanced and realistic European defence strategy.
And why didn't Boris Johnson resign a week earlier and save on the airfare to a mega-important and urgent meeting in Kabul. Now he has resigned perhaps he will be laying down in front of the bulldozers at Heathrow. With Trump flying into Stansted perhaps there's a more sensible rebalancing of airlines at existing half-empty UK airports in the Heathrow debate.
But beyond the NATO Summit budget wrangles or the meltdown of the May government, (for a moment there POTUS Trump might have been turning up to Downing St to find nobody there. PM May is still there? Maybe that's why he went to Blenheim instead) how special is the Special Relationship?
Better late than never as usual on some of the F35 jets - but a few bits of military metal on the rates can't just be the basis of UK-USA trade?
USA Sports with baseball and American football and the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team in London next year is positive. Maybe some ice hockey too. And certainly it's not too late to begin preparing for the LA Olympics and 2026 USA Soccer World Cup.
### Why has UK missed out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics though? USA too? ###
Surely an expansion of that Channel Four activity too. Even a reconfiguration of BBC and ITV and BT Sport channels on Freeview and Sky. Just one Turner Movies channel for 100 years of Hollywood and 70 years of American television? POTUS Trump might even have a word with Fox News.
Pixar must surely be considering a variant of the Disney channels, much as Disney must be considering how best to deploy its new Star Wars franchises.
Surely Brand USA and Visit Britain are closely involved in extra tourism beyond just a POTUS visit?
While the fruit of the prairies in wheat and meat reduced to just chlorinated chicken makes a nonsense of American (or Kent) apple pie or Idaho potatos or Virginia craft beers and breakfast clubs, and Californian chardonnay.
And those cancers and diabetes and dementia and AMR aren't going to cure themselves without greater links between UK and USA universities and pharma research labs. Even pushing further ahead on AI and VR. The University of Texas still one of the few universities with substantial advertising courses. And questions being raised in Private Eye magazine on the £1M salary chancellor of Bolton University and links with State University of New York and plethora of honorary degrees.
But why not UK-USA cooperation on the Peace Corps concept now UK schools have longer terms? Gap Years and Gap Summers could be coordinated with DFID and USAid for example.
Just one $100M F35 could fund a dozen prototypes of say telemedicine bathroom mirrors and DNA databases and still upgrade that rusty Marine One helicopter.
Even seed funding for the Scotland-Eire Bridge. Easier access for those Trump golf courses if nothing else.
And UK-USA review of the Arctic Circle in terms of pollution and Climate Change.
$30BN over 5 years for schools for 65M Millennium goals children not in class is a small price to pay, whether with Surin Village School Charity or not, against that Pentagon $700BN budget for just one year.
And if POTUS Trump is near to a Nobel Peace Prize for North Korea and possibly Putin detente and DRC Congo expanded peacekeeping, then why not delivering on the Obama leftover of closing Guantanamo Bay prison. Even reconsidering Gitmo as a USA colony with a new post-Castro regime and Puerto Rico Resilience damage.
Mars 2030 with the first woman on Mars under a UN flag, would surely be the work of moments for NASA and UK Space Agency and European Space Agency at Houston and Cayenne. Even Putin and Star City. And perhaps more viable than a Scotland Spaceport - UK's last satellite launch way back in 1971(!) from the wide open spaces of Australia's Woomera rocket range. Perhaps again with the new Australian Space Agency picking up steam in The New Space Race.
Even refloat the Lincoln Center adrift with four leaders in five years (or is that UK?) with arts links such as the Turner Contemporary and Rijksmuseum and Tracey Emin and Vincent Van Gogh in East Kent.
Seeing as East Kent invented USA, a celebration of Tom Paine or Pocahontas might be fun too, even Leeds Castle as the design basis for the Oval Office again.
Time for Change
Thursday, 12 July 2018
As if anybody could have missed the soaring drama of England's victory over Sweden in the World Cup.
England progressing to Croatia and then almost France in the final. Already the young team with the most England goals (11) since the 1966 win. And Kane, with Hurst and Thailand and Japan and Leicester's Lineker, the only England hat trick scorers in a World Cup.
But the drama was almost eclipsed by the Wild Boars football team trapped in a Chiang Rai cave. And the sad death of Navy Seal UDT demolition expert.
With the young footballers now released from captivity, the Wild Boars in future surely in demand by football and UK and Thailand fans. Muangthong United already with a tribute and the FIFA CEO inviting them to next week's World Cup final if they are fit enough.
An invite to the England celebration party too no doubt or at least next year's FA Cup Final and a visit to the National Football Museum in Manchester.
And Amy Sawitta Lefevre on BBCTV detailing the rescue attempt and forlorn image of the schoolkids' bicycles at the cave mouth. And Jonathan xxxx detailing some of the heartfelt banter of the Wild Boars classmates urging them to return and finish their homework.
And a concern they were hungering for KFC fried chicken rather than Thai BBQ chicken.
The vast caverns of Thailand and Vietnam ably navigated by the Derbyshire cave rescue team surely now on every emergency services 112 speed dial much as cave temples such as Phraya Nakhon or just the beautiful secenry of the Peak District of Derbyshire will be on many tourists itinerary.
The Peaks perhaps rivalled only by the Whitby Coastliner rated as UK's most beautiful bus journey, or the 007 Ramsgate-Canterbury-Dover bus route the inspiration for Ian Fleming's James Bond.
Even the Manila side of the Pacific potential for Moneypenny BPO call centres and database work (Microsoft not Crapita? If it's delivered this side of the 22nd century) from Palawan to Zamboanga.
With UK football in the ascendancy even before the Premiership restarts there is the growing potential of Sports Diplomacy not just football in Thailand and ASEAN, but South America (this year's World Cup dominated by European teams and little showing of the silky skills of even Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina).
While Wimbledon tennis sparks off not just the potential for Thailand - that Buddha temple again and in London and here in East Kent - just around the corner from Centre Court. Or cycling such as the Tour de France and La Vuelta, even a Tour de Balkans through all points from Slovenia and Croatia and Albania and Montenegro.
With the Western Balkans Stabilisation Summit this week, even Kosovo, and North Macedonia now smoothing over its rivalry with Greek Macedonia - a miniCyprus in the making avoided.
Especially with the flashpoint danger of the heavily-armed Greek-Turkish mainland border.
But cricket in India and the Caribbean as easy a hole in one as Beach Soccer or Volleyball. East Kent also trialling specialist and community sports such as Pickleball, Walking Football and Boules, with Goalkeeper School and the weft and weave of the excellent FA Community grassroots programmes with Arsenal, Millwall and impressive Charlton Athletic work amongst many others.
Sports Diplomacy - and ASEAN's insatiable demand for UK football - an opportunity, as the FA's men in blazers do rather well, in extending the beautiful game beyond just the mega-clubs.
Certainly important in the trade aspect too for the UK's Thailand Trade Envoy, and UK's Cambodia Trade Envoy Ed Vaizey.
No doubt Liverpool and Manchester's United and City and West Ham are warming up though - the National Football Museum and World Cup BBC Russia Tapestry a highlight of the World Cup. Having been fortunate to work on advertising previous World Cup Soccer and Rugby, the new museum is a hidden gem of UK tourism and soccer.
Much as the Scotland-Eire bridge gained support amongst the latest Brexit shenanigans from former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. A bridge - the work of moments by Arup or Kent's BalfourBeatty/Quin or The Six Companies - freeing up Southern England's roads from freight traffic but also boosting Waterford with the main Eire Europort along with Dublin, Belfast and Space City Glasgow.
The latter place in need of something more than the highest-ever, and highest in EU, heroin deaths just announced. A bitter pill to swallow from the failure of Helmand and Shan through the last decade. Much the same in heroin hosptos of manchester, Dublin and London even the spread like Japanese knotweed of County Lines drugs through the regions.
And with Heathrow expansion, there is a grain of truth in the potential, beyond the Isle of Grain or Veetee Rice, for a Boris Airport in the North Sea and crowded South East, eventually, as with Hong Kong's floating airport.
But lost in the dangers of the cave rescue and fervour of UK soccer was the monsoon dangers of 100 dead in Japan storms. Parts of Japan with 3x times the highest rain levels ever recorded. And not one but three ferry sinkings again in a matter of days: two in Indonesia with over 200 dead and one in Thailand with 49 missing.
And not one of the Wild Boars (ages 11-25) being able to swim.
A statistic eclipsed in Vietnam with 4,000 drownings each year compared to 40 in UK - and every UK schoolchild learning to swim. Even without the 34 UK county Olympic swimming pools construction pencilled in by Kent's dynamic UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch also a part-time football referee.
Or Surin Village Charity Schoools as a hub for the 65M unchooled in the world to dispense vaccines and spectacles and swimming lessons with the English lessons.
But the RNLI whether from the Thames or Ramsgate UK's busiest lifeboat station needed as much as those medevac and search and rescue helicopters airlifting the Wild Boars to hospital. Interim Head of the Civil Service Mark Sedwill the proud Trustees Chair of the RNLI at its Thames base a few metres from the Houses of Parliament. Ramsgate featuring in the design of the Palace of Westminster by Pugin.
And new Ambassador in Cambodia xxx must surely be pondeirng the potential from Bill Longhurst on a range of measures:
* Road safety - Cambodia as dangerous as Thailand and those medevac air ambulances as needed.
* RNLI on the Mekong and Tonle Sap and coast, although it may be too early for a Tour de Tonle Sap cycle event.
* ASEAN Rail: July pencilled in for PM's Prayut and Hun Sen to open the first stage of the BKK-PP route, and completed by December from PP to HCMC. Although no sight yet of the new PP-HCMC route and stations. As with the BBB-Build and New Clark City strategies in Philippines, ASEAN Rail so far a rapid and sustained and excellent effort through the highways and byeways and subways and ports of a resilient and prosperous 21st century ASEAN from Chiang Rai to Cebu.
* Tourism: UK's Newmarket Holidays the xxx boosting the caves and Bamboo Railway and bridges of Battambang in its first tour.
* The Royal Road to link Siem Reap/Angkor and Isaan temples in Thailand - even the Thousand Islands of Laos (a marathon and cycle track and swim route all in one?). The Ironmen of Krupp and Tata no doubt beefing up their steel output for ASEAN Rail.
* LIDAR aerial ground surveys of the temples around Angkor Wat: UK and Australia advances cited in a BBCTV documentary on Mayan Guatemala and EU xxx supporting the excellent work by xxx. The PP National Museum brief animation of Angkor surely the basis of, if not Pixar and Pocahontas, then EKFOS: East Kent Film Office and Studio with PP's film studio. And LIDAR relevant for the Forgotten Palace work in BKK and other UK embassies even forgotten North African landmines?
* AusAid already bridging Cambodia and the Commonwealth - surely expanded Commonwealth memberships a key issue for any UK embassy and trade dept from Chad to China.
Myanmar or East Timor aside in Asia, Prince William's first Royal visit to Palestine, as was, laying the groundwork for Palestine now, and hitech Israel, even, with Jordan already, a Levant Federation of smaller states with Lebanon that is the Anglophone speciality of the Commonwealth. All the more so with NEOM and solar energy tilting the strategic focus and centre of gravity of Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean from the oil of the Gulf states.
* French colonial architecture restoration in Phnom Penh, a rare gem too, even HCMC's Basson.
* Cambodian silk or PP ballet might well rival Thailand's creative industries too.
* 40% malnutrition in Laos and Cambodia: just 10 days underground leaving the Wild Boars emaciated and that a horrific daily reality in many parts of ASEAN - and certainly a positive reality for UNFAO in Rome and Bari and UNICEF and Red Cross and SUN in BKK and London.
* Charity work beyond Surin Village School charity activity such as Clearly spectacles and treeplanting both features of the successful Commonwealth Summit, and malaria nets and Operation Smile cleft lip palate surgery and hospital ships.
On that last point the 170 universites in Thailand needing UK links (and Australia and USA) whether teacher training Rajabhat colleges or the Wild Boar schools. As would Chiang Ria hospital on the Golden Triangle with Laos and Myanmar and unknown Cambodia hospitals.
All against the backdrop of Pandemic as the UK #1 Strategic Threat, beyond a Russian invasion of the Baltics and Visegrad nations or nuclear war betwen Pakistan and India or terrorism spread beyond the Sahel and Arabia or ASEAN, or even meteor strikes littering Arizona or Cancun or Siberia.
Mars 2030 and Space Industry surely a strategic priority too beyond the Cambodia Space Project and Resilience satellites.
For TB and Bird Flu is the main hotspot in ASEAN by UN, and rabies whether dogs or bat droppings - those Wild Boar cavers held in isolation wards - with 40k deaths in India a year and first cases in Kalasin for a generation.
ASEAN hospital links vital for UK security as well as diplomacy as Chevening scholarships expend from 20 Cambodians a year from Bristol to Exeter to Newcastle's Kasetsart to Kent's 4 universites - as vital as vaccines and pandmeic details in the NHS.
The quietly capable John Ashworth Shadow NHS Minister providing a rigorus critique of the ageing and threadbare kit in UK hospitals from CAT scanners to Xray machines to AI diagnostics. USA Ambo Johnson will be ensuring healthcare providers such as Janssen and Pfizer, or Bayer or Deloitte (both TrumpDavos15Friends) are stepping upto the plate this side of the Atlantic?
Just as well as the Trump Summit this week might not have anyone to meet him from the meltdown of the PM May government.
In my Sincerity Advertising work the new Sorrell S4 venture of Holland's MediaMonks digital agency described as "a peanut" by mega-WPP, or the humble Idaho potato symbolic of the potential surge in UK-USA trade beyind the chimera of mega-MOU and hard-soft-or-softboiled-Brexit or chlorinated chickens.
All tepid tea and biscuits twaddle compated to the vigorous activity of Idaho and its red potatos (was former VP Dan Quayle right and it's potatoe?) with extended promotion in Walmart-Asda. Or Wyoming and its broader ASEAN activity: more than UK. Probably Montana and Utah and Colorado too.
An astonishingly weak cup of trade tea served up by UK although the rising tides of vigorous work by Liam Fox Trade Minister and DIT Trade and Chambers of Commerce designed to bridge the UK-USA trade gap with Kent and Singapore's Antony Philippson.
Sincerity Advertising USA aside, there's surely potential for say 50 states and 1,000 companies of UK and USA extraction (#50x1000x2) to be cherrypicked to have their slice of the trade cake and eat it? The warm words and hot air of Brexit buttering no parsnips for over two years now.
While the Channel Four documentary (preparing for USA Sports again?) Inside the USA Embassy in London, has Ambo Woody nervously seeking views on the value of the F35. Pricey junk mainly seems to be the consensus. Even without the UK's empty aircraft carriers. With the 100th anniversary of the RAF, surely the last manned flight is at hand in a year or two with drones? Even folding the RAF helicopters out of interservice rivalry and bloat and into the Army Air Corps.
Sonny Perdue's xxxx or Yale research on healthy eating and peanuts and walnuts and pistachio nuts. And East Kent core company Bakkavor Foods (with Saga Holidays and Hornby toys, Givaudin perfumes, Channel Tunnel/Eurostar and P&O ships and Dreamland and Paramount theme parks and Kent orchids) expanding to Charlotte USA for speciality breadsxx Texas (with South Carolina peanut butter or Virginia cranberries?).
Washed down with a Californian chardonnay or Maine craft beer (or a Pepsi?).
And Hornby-Airfix surely ideal for links with the hidden gem of ApBac museum and its dioramas.
And that before the kickoff of USA football, soccer if you must, World Cup 2026 - or 2024 Los Angeles Olympics. Sepp Blatter of FIFA even raising a potential UK Home Nations World Cup for 2030. That 2030's decade a crowded field with Morocco and ASEAN and China football potential.
East Kent needing further medical assistance not just with ensuring 3 excellent East Kent NHS hospitals rather than cuts for bloat and oensions, or the mirage of hard-to-reach and still under-performing mega-hospitals, but also tobacco cessation with Thanet featuring in the Independent as the 2nd worst hotspot in UK for tobacco: 24.7% smokers.
Just as UK smoking falls to a youth low of 19% from 26%. Horrifyingly, parts of Kent with a worse mortality rate than Afghanistan - even without the civil war or B52 bombings.
Tarmac seems to have eaten more of KCC's $3BN budget (separate from the NHS and Education budgets) than reducing the tar coating Kent's blackened lungs.
While rot seems to have set into both NHS dentistry services - mentioned in PMQ's- and provision of GP's in Kent.
With my MP and Mayor hat on, the only real solution is each town controlling its tax budget - both council tax and business rates - and the 3 Kent districts such as East Kent controlling their portion of the $3BN budget with any deprivation weightings and (the krama of shame or xxxxx in Kent Year Zero Ground Zero) doublehatter reductions.
Perhaps an England-Belgium match is best for Kent services rather than just the World Cup.
Even England-France, with the delays on Eurostar/Channel rail commuter services to Lille or derelict Pfizer wind turbine and National Grid at Broad Oak megapylons blighting Vattenfall efforts, and Dungeness nuclear and Channel shipping air pollution with the Cote d'Opal.
Shades of Khun xxxx Thailand Tourism Minister continuing the efforts begun by his predecessor Khun Kobkarn Thailand's Japan and tech expert, on the overlap of Sports Science and Medical Science and AI along the EEC Corridor (and a repurposed UTapao airport a stone's throw away from the pineapples of Chantaburi and Hua Hin), from Toshiba to Mitsubishi to Hitachi. And of course Panasonic.
That important for ageing societies such as UK and Thailand - new materials for tennis rackets and tennis elbow arthritis for example. And the importance of STEM deftly translated for younger generations with Blue Broccoli for girl engineers (those girls can as Sport England hoardings have it) by Bryony Matthews for Deputy Ambo for Cambodia and author of Skytrain STEM books.
The potential perhaps not for Skytrain through the very different broad Toulousean boulevards of Phnom Penh over the klongs and caals of Bangkok but certainly Great British expertise in the bus and train and public transport, even those Chinook air ambulances again an impetus (for solar power and tress?) for Sheffield with former Green Leader xx and former Deputy PM Nick Clegg.
While Hun Sen election aside and EU sanctions, Cambodia must be keen to raise its tourism potential from 4M visitors without jeopardising Angkor Wat in the future.
But as of now, football is coming home on track for the Wild Boars and World Cup England.
Time for Change
Friday, 6 July 2018
The latest Kent Police drugs raid of a supermarket(!) full of cannabis plants (over 1,000) in Ramsgate town centre here in East Kent raises several concerns.
A supermarket full of drugs puts Boots and Superdrug almost to shame - the cannabis site was previously a Blockbuster video store (shades of old technology) and then a Morrisons supermarket (in its strategic search for different formats in the discounter wars with Lidl and Aldi).
With Helmand in Afghanistan producing 90% of heroin for UK - again the highest ever production which raises issues over what NATO have been doing for years. And Shan heroin in Myanmar - the remaining 10% of UK heroin - and flooding across the border to India and China and damaging their citizens without an Airbase Heroin similar to Khe Sanh.
And Frontline Kent's role in the Golden Triangle of Europe with London and Paris and Amsterdam nearby.
The Thailand cave rescue of the Wild Boar youth football team in Chiang Rai in what was the Golden Triangle of Thailand and Laos and Myanmar testimony of the efforts of cleaning up hard drugs use and supply with Doitung and OTOP etc.
The decline of the Kent Blue Light football cup a missed opportunity in Sports Diplomacy with Arsenal guidance, and Kent's Margate, Gills and South London's Millwall and Crystal Palace and West Ham etc etc.
While Canterbury has upto 30 rough sleepers each night on the High Street, Ramsgate lucky to have just half a dozen, although the bizarre incident of the tent pitched two years in a row, and the only item with police parking tickets in the pedzone, all contribute to the real concern of a lack of police patrols in Kent town centres and waves of drugs in UK towns.
Prowl cars of no use if they never stop or merely become a fire brigade responding after the event or petty hopscotch patrols. Chief Constable Pughsley a keen yoga fan, as well as zumba, tieng himself in knots to beef up the detective squad rather than just a guncop goon squad sat by the caviar and champagne fountain in the police canteen.
Indeed there is a wider argument of court reforms and white collar criminal lawyers and barristers as with Glick QC and Hollingworth of the One Essex Court fraud team to both free up the courts for rapid response on drugs crimes and the law and accounting funding of drugs crimes.
Even the extra sentencing effort on a Kent Extra Year or 10 Day Prison for drugs crimes.
Kent even failing on Almeria links so far but not descending as yet to hiring Colombian drugs lords as tourism spokesmen as in Carboneras.
But without juries to restrain the excesses of the law courts who knows what dodgy deals are done in closed courts. A Conway of Lawrence Stephens solicitors and Judge Daley order on the back of a brown envelope? And even dusty old Judge Dutton not sure if fraud is even a crime and bizarrely holding his own Appeal: Judge Dutton on reviewing Judge Dutton's case finds Judge Dutton is correct.
Absurd but just silly old man wandering in out of the rain to set up a court that would be more suited to the back room of a pub. Marking your own homework, and then some, on the rates, and with other people's property is an apt statement of truth.
### A pandemic of drugs ###
The new Novichok poisoning though in Amesbury near Salisbury with a heroin and drink addict highlighting the County Lines problem in all UK market towns. And possibly discarded drugs kit such a syringes or vials causing the latest Novichok outbreak. Perhaps some discarded from the horrifying Sunday Times report on NHS euthanasia by syringe drivers and Dr Mengele care homes and now baby units.
Novichok cases a concern highlighted not just with the Spanish Flu 1918 pandemic but 49 measles deaths across Europe this year. The New European newspaper citing not just a 3(!) page article on the Brexit delays at Dover port, but also the NHS issues of Brexit: the reduced use of E111 health cards for expats and tourists, EUrAtom availiability of isotopes for Xrays etc and the key roles of the EU Disease Centre in Stockholm for Pandemics and 1M EU Rare Diseases.
The latter in need of DNA research as with cancer and dementia. Even diabetes and arthritis.
As the wheels finally fall of the Brexit bus and it runs out of gas outside the Chequers Summit, perhaps a PM Hunt with NHS heft, and Govey and Sajiv frontrunners in the reshuffles to rip up Brexit and new elections in 2019 with Fox and Greening.
Leaving Novichok 14 dissident assassinations aside for a moment (a pint of Novichok to go with your Polonium sandwich Comrade? Perhaps down the out-of-control town centre booze barns of Wetherspoons), the Sunday Times detailing the ISIS raid on Mosul University in 2014 that managed to gain uranium isotopes for a dirty bomb and only by accident missed the Cobalt90 far more dangerous isotopes.
Presumably there are tighter checks on isotopes in other universities and manufacturers and hospitals and airports? There are?
A sarin Tokyo subway attack again not impossible, nor another nasty rash of anthrax attacks cropping up in Wall Street or Madison Avenue and Piccadilly Circus.
That a sobering reality for Chief Constable Pughsley (and his Dover port, and Kraken sea and Pegasus air smuggling work in Frontline Kent). The Chief also has a friend who is concerned at the Pfizer Viagra drugs increase announced in USA this week, despite POTUS Trump's concerns along with MS13 Central American drugs gangs running amok through Mexican and American ghettos.
Along with NHS concerns over £2 skin creams sold for £90. You could buy 4 machetes for that in Kent and still have change for the Kent Police drugs den raid fund.
### Trump in the snow of Helsinki ####
Surely the Helsinki Summit with POTUS Trump and President Putin in Helsinki not only raising the issue of the details of the Novichok attacks now the Russian labs have been demolished, or celebrating the great success of the World Cup beyond mere Russophobia, but laying the groundwork for detente on nuclear disarmament.
500 nukes each? Under 50 for every other nuclear nation - especially with the UN nukes ban now in force. And the Hiroshima anniversary so near and most nuclear missiles 10x that holocaust.
What soldiers and manufacturers and clerks would risk war crimes trials for handling nukes? Look at the reduction of napalm and landmines and Agent Orange biological and Mustard gas chemical weapons already. Possibly phosphorous. Even those Novichok chemical labs rapidly blown up.
POTUS Trump no doubt casting his shrewd property developer eye, not just in Helsinki or St Petersburg, but over the value of the new NATO $1BN office block in Brussels. Or the silly bloat of UK Colonel Blimps attempts for a 3% UK military tax budget despite the UK overspending on the agreed 2% NATO target without even specifying what beans and bullets and boots are included.
With Berlin that much closer to Russia and spending less than 1.5% for panzers and subs without Uniparts, and only 30k US Army Europe troops as an initial tripwire, a UK reduction to 1.5% would be sensible with a roadmap to Moscow in the EU.
The Balaklava -Scottish trooping of the colour and keys - and Murmansk regiments and invasions usually of that much more concern to Russia over the years.
And the supposed uplift of a further 1.5% deployed to the NHS with its shortfall, of c.2 or 3 percentage points compared to most European medicare systems. No wonder with £2 skin cream costing £90. Ambo Woody must be chomping at the bit to expand Johnson and Johnson and Janssen in UK with those prices. £88 profit. That's nearly three American slum-hospitals.
Although he could write his own cheque here in East Kent's Pfizer Discovery Park. Dollars, Euros and Sterling accepted. Even a yen for Yen and Yuan. Perhaps a free bag of heroin and an invite to the Kent Police Xmas party. The noisy newsagents and streetdrinker shop raids always take place no later than December.
With North Korea surely the basis for an astonishing two Nobel Peace Prizes in a year for POTUS Trump. Even a hat-trick of his own with increased peackeeping in the carnage of DRC Congo.
And a UK McMasters Strategy far more realistic in the UN Habitat slums of African and Arabian peacekeeping and prosperity than Cold War fantasy tank battles across Russia and Germany again.
Although there's more white powder in Kent than Helsinki at the moment.
But the Blockbuster drugs site is exactly the sort of return-to-use and turnkey projects needed in town centres to boost the local economy (carpenters? electricians? builders?) and deny them to the drugs gangs. The Daily Mail already vigorously campaigning on the death of the High Street whether business rates or online stores or lack of stores or inept management.
Every Ramsgate shop should be cleaned and repaired ready to switch on the lights and open the doors even without the failed Mary Portas expensive flannel.
Or the potential, located out of town, as with the empty Manston warehouses, used as (very) temporary homeless shelters by the Sally Army and Red Cross with portaloos, beds and clean clothing and bedding and rapid DSS support and beach-cleaning jobs to limit and reduce junky tourism.
Certainly London social dumping reaping a grim toll in Kent. Margate headmaster Matt Tait cited in The Times of Kent teachers as social workers first.
Many schoolchildren might also get on the Corbyn bus of recent days rather than the Brexit bus back to a far-right fantasy of 19th century welfare and child chimney sweeps, with NAO (National Audit Office not a NATO typo) rightly citing a smartphone and computer as essential for modern life. Probably a Raspberry Pi and 3D Printer and free wifi too.
Even healthy school dinners as detailed by chef Jamie Oliver, and begun in Virginia with the McAuliffe administration swimming through the sharks and reefs of budget deficits etc that the KCC of the Toxic-Three-now-Two at the County Barn under Paul Carter struggles with despite a $3BN budget and most £100k salaries in UK local councils and highest councillor salaries.
### Remain and Reform ###
That gravy train as with the Remain and Reform needed in Strasbourg has run out of steam just as ASEAN Rail is picking up pace with Meiji Kent Hitachi and Fujifilm groups. East Kent as a Euroregion already would easily qualify for associated EU membership even without associated Northern Ireland and Eire passports. Zut alors. A hard border on the Medway. Tarmacking over West Kent in Operation Stuck-in-the-mud-and-past for once.
All that mere pennies compared to a nuclear submarine, or nuclear accident and Nuclear Winter (just look at the disruption from the minor air burst of the Bali and Iceland and Hawaii volcanos), and cheap compared to that vanity white elephant NATO HQ or gold-plated Ramsgate $1m fire station garage.
Government budgets used to fund more backoffice memo clerks of minimal use - indeed the rampant corruption and incompetence at TDC and RTC resulting in all government funds being cut to stimulate protests and riots, or at least gnashings of dentures (Ramsgate's Fort Hill main dentist closed, and the Stroke Unit?) amongst Kent's geriatric governance.
I'm hearing reports of new heroin dens in Newington requiring no doubt police undercover work and in prisons rather than the bizarre Lush Spycops incidents or pricey and unregulated Met facial recognition software detailed by Green Lords Jenny Jones. A step change to Tiananmen up from Kent Police's PredPol Minority Report.
While the teen knife deaths in Tottenham which may as with the POTUS Trump visit require support from Kent Police, but County Lines drugs mules moving drugs out of London into the regions. Although presumably the Ramsgate Blockbuster drugs were going into London.
And Unite trade union's Len McClusky wisely warning of the choking effects of Japanese knotweed in the Brexit garden with London's breakfast table - and cocaine supplies - hampered by wave after wave rail and ferry and airport and lorry strikes in a summer and winter of discontent at falling living standards.
### Infamy infamy ###
UK already nearer G27 than G7 GDP per head. And that before Jaguar Landrover or Siemens or Airbus or Nissan or Ford or Toyota or Honda or HSBC or Deutsche Bank or EU Medicines Agency leaving or downsizing in what is clearly UK's kamikaze Brexit.
Not since Mitsubishi began have there been so many Zeros on the horizon of the balance sheet.
Ageing hulks such has Boris and Davis even Corbyn long since holed below the waterline in UK's political Pearl Harbor.
A policy that will live on in infamy remembered by the droves of EU workers and nurses leaving these shores whether from the orchards or hospitals. Maybe the cocaine and heroin industries can take up the slack. Afghanistan and Colombia and Mexico are doing OK with successful drugs industries?
Certainly Mitsubishi innovations as its heads-up displays for car windscreens - windshields if you prefer - needed in Meiji Kent and more widely.
Especially if the Kent Police Uniforms Dept is delaying on tactically deploying Hello Kitty socks or a Doraemon hanky, even Isaan silk trews linings with or without a Sailor Moon. And PM May's Frieda Kahlo bangle probably attracting much appreciation from Ramsgate fashionistas such as Vivienne Westwood.
While there are as yet no explanations of the Manston-Infratil pollution monitors crimes nor the cocaine flights of jumbo jets landing at 3am when the airport closed at 11pm. Nor EgyptAir cargo planes taking off from Cairo when Manston was already closed. Even UN banned flights and IranAir sanctions busting flights. Osama himself could have been flying into Big Ben from the safe havens of NATO and Commonwealth frenemy Pakistan.
Maybe flights from Sahel, and narcostates such as Guinea and Malta and Albania, or Sudan next. Cyprus with more money laundering than Londonski. Those One Essex Court and Palmer Biggs and Lawrence Stephens and FRP whitecollar criminals and bog-standard lawyer theft again.
Indeed with streetdrinkers sat under new ASBO Streetdrinker signs there may need to be Kent Ghurkas deployed to escort Kent Police on patrols -£250M budget and 6k staff with senior staff on upto £350k salaries - or the Girl Guides as MiniCops volunteers on the rates.
Perhaps a team of Hash Brownies. With a machete each.
Certainly the Girl Guides have more to do with their innovative Period Poverty badges against the cost of aiguilette curtain braid and feather duster epaulettes for police uniforms, and a pretty velcro Union Jack with a thin blue line on it.
Even reducing turnups on police trews could be a saving of almost 112.999%. Approximately.
Certainly more police forensic scientists needed at CCU Broadstairs with a fashion college and tourism campus.
And Brexit a delay on NHS DNA research rollout. Those 1M EU Rare Diseases again or 70 years of NHS data stuck in a Crapita cupboard somewhere gathering dust or thrown in a skip with the Windrush records. Microsoft could be getting on with it as we speak.
A 70M NHS database the work of moments for Silicon Valley and Roundabout. Even a DNA Bathroom Mirror. A 1M EU Rare Diseases database lightning fast too.
A rather neat advertising campaign though by the good folks Miles and Barr estate agents in Ramsgate on Road Safety - Kent Business award winner with Surin Thai restaurant, try the sea bass! - using their Sold signs for a 20mph awareness campaign. Presumably something on TB and Measles and Flu vaccinations next? Vaccines of no use without 95% coverage and London the TB capital of Europe.
Though the police should be more concerned about white lines of drugs and yellow lines of parking as a redline in Kent.
Time for Change
Surely USA's UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has galvanised both India and USA with her tour last week.
Paypal launching an extra 600 jobs into Chennai and Bangalore. While Krupp’s (TrumpDavos15)merger with Indian Tata steel rolling ahead smoothly.
And with UK as a founding partner of the Commonwealth with India a resurgent emphasis on India trade important beyond tea and biscuits. Or chai.
The importance of India in the world hardly surprising as already on some measures it has the largest population ahead of China. And is forecast to be the world’s largest economy in the next decade.
A golden opportunity that UK in particular would be foolish to idly fritter away. Whether with Commonwealth support not just in India but also neighbouring Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Over 200 years of trade from colonial times - and before and after - with the outstanding success story of India’s railways, or Indian support in World War One and two.
And of course the Indian subcontinent diasporas that make UK their home whether the corner shops detailed by BBC World presenter Babita Shama, or Indian curry restaurants as prevalent as the great British Pub - Chicken Tikka Masala often cited as the UK’s favourite food. After Great British Fish and Chips form the East Kent coast of course.
Or the doctors and nurses that form the backbone of the NHS, the world’s largest employer. My doctor here in Ramsgate from Nepal, in the flesh rather than telemedicine, given the strong links with Kent's Ghurkas.
As an aside I’ve never understood why the NHS doesn't make more of its BAME links: more Zimbabwe nurses in the NHS than Zimbabwe for example. Or the contribution of Filipino nurses and a Ghana mother and daughter nurse and doctor winning the first NHS BAME Windrush awards last month.
Certainly visa reform and training courses more relevant than mere medicare plunder from the Commonwealth host nations.
And with Brand USA tourism making sterling efforts on expanding its India and China tourism, surely the opportunity is there for UK to assist with the Commonwealth as I've detailed previously:
Ken Juster, USA Ambassador to India gamely pretending to understand the rules of cricket (nobody understands them, Ken) is surely laying the groundwork for expanded USA sports in India much as in UK. Next year seeing Ambo Woody in London - described by the BBC as the John Wayne of USA diplomacy no doubt with Brooks Brothers stetson and Levis 3 piece suit - cheerleading the baseball and basketball league and reinvigorated NFL games, even the Harlem Globetrotters stopping by as the United Korea basketball teams launch.
Ice hockey would clinch the set for a slamdunk. UK's dynamic tourism and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP based in Kent, near UK Business Minister Greg Clark, already calling for Olympic swimming pools in every UK county and I’ve urged a skating rink in East Kent.
Quietly capable Damian Collins MP of East Kent, the UK Chair of the Culture and Tourism Parliament Committee now back from Washington and the Facebook and Russia election inquiries, and reviewing UK sports with FIFA and the World Cup.
On India Tourism though the opportunity must surely be for UK and USA support and expertise (both nations with over 35M inbound tourists, and the world's leading tourism destinations in London and New York.
The tourism marketing basics of an Incredible India Year should really be an India Decade - much as the UN Decade of Road Safety has been safely steered through the UN - to maximise growth and prosperity across the Indian subcontinent.
Not just the essential and usual fare of promoting the Taj Mahal or Goa - but Hidden India as with Hyderabad and UK consul Andrew Fleming's efforts.
For surely the wider opportunity is coordinating tourism across all India's cities and regions. And with UN Habitat in Fukuoka developing the UNSDG30 goals on slum improvements. Especially the Trump Davos 15 Friends opportunity with Finland's Nokia and Smart Cities as already demonstrated in Chattanooga and Nashville.
Finland with a looming EU ban on the fur trade - its exports second only to China - no doubt keen to replace that shortfall of jobs with hi-tech high-paid and high-skilled work.
Those extra tourists would want hispeed wifi and trains for their smartphones too. Possibly a Starbucks and McDonalds too or three. Richard Branson's experimental Hyperloop already being trialled in Pune.
And Jurgen Maier the dynamic Siemens (TrumpDavos15 again) UK CEO no doubt keen to expand the new East Yorkshire HS3 rail factory.
While Anheuser-Busch would want to be to the fore with Cobra beer (Lord Bilimoria product for the Indian beer and curry markets) and Kingfisher beer on an expanded Indian foods market. Much as Veetee rice depot here in Kent or my local Ramsgate's Walmart-Asda expanding its curry ranges with cloves and cinnamon and chillies – Cambodia and Isaan cardamom pepper soon?- and low fat variants.
Walmart surely ideal for expanding Keralan coconuts as well as Carolina peanuts with Georgia peach Sonny Perdue at USDA. Yale University highlighting the science behind the healthy eating boom of nuts yet, as with California raisins, the low volume a barrier to lower prices for UK consumers. And surely Virginia cranberries rather than rice a strategic food growth programme for USA.
Both India and Thailand as the world's largest rice surpluses and exporters surely crucial too for UN FAO SUN programmes in Laos and Cambodia, and Africa.
There's a wider debate on UN reforms to focus on India, Africa and Rest of the World. Certainly increasing the brave Indian and Bangladesh peacekeeping efforts already on the ground in Kivu in DRC Congo. Former UN-SG Kofi Annan wisely citing that the 20k UN troops in DRC Congo are too large to be invisible but too small to be effective – few would argue with an increased troop presence for DRC stability on the continuum from peace enforcement to peacekeeping to peace and prosperity.
While Goa the only beach resort I've seen along with Margate Beach (the Kent Blue Flag beach not the Myrtle Beach Tower) with oil tankers berthed offshore rather in port. POTUS Trump tweeting on such shenanigans for rigging the oil price as well as Torrey Canyon shipwreck pollution.
And, according to a friend, Viagra prices up 19% despite POTUS Trump vowing to wage war on the drugs prices, as well as MS13 drugs gangs, that handicap American medicare. And increased output of the little blue pill from East Kent’s Pfizer Discovery Park the largest USA inward investment in Europe at one point. And surely again with Janssen et al – Xatalan glaucoma eyedrops prices up but not export sailings from Dover port to all points south of Western Sahara.
The Walmart supermarket shelves groaning under the weight of the ever-expanding ranges of Indian tea, and biscuits and naan bread, whether flavoured or not. And a tourism niche of tea plantation homestay and FairTrade labour reforms too.
While I've heard very positive reports of Pondicherry on the eastern seaboard as a hidden gem of India with its French colonial heritage. The New Orleans of India if you will.
And certainly massive potential with an ageing society - Richard Gere and East Kent 007 Judi Dench not the only American and British greyhairs at the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for cruise ships as that Indian infrastructure is readied. East Kent's Saga Holidays one of the world’s largest cruise operators with their ships essentially floating cities for the Indian Ocean.
In my Surin Village School charity role the potential is there for delivering on the 65M children not in school in mainly India and Africa. The proven template of a $30k school for 1m schools at just $6Bn a year over 5 years delivering the UNSDG30 well before 2030. UK and US aid each with $20BN aid budgets each year even without the potential for Microsoft computers in schools and Nike or Adidas (TDF15 again) sports shoes on schoolkids feet.
American Princess Markle already delivering on an Indian tampon charity and now British Medical Association of doctors calling for free tampons. That a crucial factor in India hygiene factors with public and school toilets as the water and sewage infrastructure develops.
Eventually Myanmar with Commonwealth membership a distinct possibility. That making greater rail connectivity with India through Bangladesh to India and ASEAN a reality. Thailand’s dynamic Ambassador to India Sam xxx delivering on the tourism and sports goals for that economy. Probably already copies of Nikki's India visit dresses and scarves are on the racks in the Mini-Mumbai of Pratunam market in Bangkok.
And if those new Ford and Jaguar Landrover factories in India (the latter warning of its £80BN UK investment after any Brexit) might build the cars themselves with ABB Robotics and drive themselves with SAP software (both TrumpDavos15 Friends) then they'll still need the STEM graduates to start them up. Indian visas a key issue for PM Modi already with UK - and surely for every UK and USA university given those nations dominance of The Times World University League.
And Brand USA must be keen to encourage the backpacker market for India and Peace Corps. Maybe UK will eventually get with that programme too for Gap Summers and Gap Years.
I've fond memories of trekking through the Thar desert near Punjab - the Pakistani nuclear tests an annoyance - and Rajasthan from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur. The latter indicative of the depth of Anglo-Indian culture with polo, and tiffin again. And with my Sincerity Advertising hat on, a vast country that tourism has only just begun to make its mark upon, and the rather weak state of the Indian advertising industry.
While Ms Haley's eastern seaboard with cross-party support from Senators Graham and Virginia Commonwealth Kaine and McAuliffe must surely focus Brand USA and Visit Britain and Visit Kent (and East Kent) efforts through rather underused airports such as Atlanta.
Especially with the current debate around London Heathrow airport landing slots for airlines and runway expansion. Birmingham airport perhaps a template with Memphis Aerotropolis with DHL or Doncaster Airport plans for a strategic reshaping of air and freight passengers from USA to UK and onto EU.
With Charleston Boeing citing 700 Dreamliner jets output, those and more will be needed for the extra tourists. Even work with Sheffield’s Boeing and HS3 engine parts. While Airbus – the Pepsi to Boeing’s Coke – in Filton, Bristol and Broughton, North Wales and Toulouse would need to pick up the slack too.
Especially with a wider peace across not just DRC Congo and Sahel and Sudan requiring aviation reform on the banned from EU airlines and absurdity of better air links with Africa form the colonial powers of old than between nations. Or a 20 year old British Airways Jumbo jet limping over to India.
Kent's backdrop for Bollywood movies on location may well be a format for the Virginia and Carolinas Film Offices and EKFOS too. And the UK Consuls in Los Angeles and San Diego and Carolinas. the ad death of Peter Firmin of Canterbury’s Small Films this week the creator of Bagpuss, the most popular children’s TV show ever in UK, as well as The Clangers and Ivor the Engine, leaves a black hole in Kent and UK film industries.
UK Ambo Vicki Treadell, the Miss Moneypenny of Malaysia. wisely pointing out the timezone potential of various digital industries from USA to UK to ASEAN in a 24/7 globalised economy. Why shouldn’t the next Pixar blockbuster movie be filmed in LA, with digital effects processed around the clock in Charleston, Chennai, Chiswick and Chantaburi? Or other C-list towns.
While Sikhism region front and centre in UK at the moment with debates on a Sikh war memorial and the groundbreaking first Sikh soldier Trooping the Colour last month outside Buckingham Palace in turban rather than bearskin. And strong Sikh community links with Kent Police and Archbishop of Canterbury and the various temples with London Open and Kent Welcoming after the disastrous blip of UKIP and Brexit silliness.
Surely ripe for crunchy trade policies with India and UK and USA ahead of next week's Trump visit.
Time fro Change
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Terrific news that the Songkhram River in the Isaan region of Thailand and a tributary of the Mekong is being considered for RAMSAR protected status as detailed in The Nation newspaper and NY Times on the Chaopraya:
RAMSAR being the natural and water equivalent of UNESCO Heritage Status developed from the Iran summit of 1971.
And here in East Kent, just down the road from Ramsgate's Royal Harbour and opposite the Julius Caesar landing site and just up the road from the White Cliffs of Dover, Pegwell Bay already has RAMSAR status.
A status often neglected in the past: runoff from Manston airport, cabling from the new Thanet Array windfarm, the disused Hoverport and the now-demolished Richboro power station undermining the wetlands considered Britain’s Camargue in the white horse county of Kent.
Even now the extraordinarily foolish blight of a disused wind turbine on land and the first National Grid mega-pylon at Broad Oak (with those oaks chopped down as in Sheffield, much as Thai tourists to Sevenoaks might be disappointed at those oaks reduced in storms) that could easily be buried underground.
The sort of blight of a green jewel that was all too frequent in the haze of the 1970's that still lingers over much of Kent planning.
Certainly Pegwell Bay needs renewed efforts and investment to preserve it - and the Songhkram River needs similar efforts to develop its RAMSAR status.
UK and Thailand working together with the UN?
### HSBC Water and Trump Davos ###
A still unspoilt tributary of the Mekong is hugely important in preserving flora and fauna - especially fish. It was reassuring to see HSBC Water of Thailand involved (the CSR water division of HSBC Bank), not just as a Trump Davos 15Friend, but I was involved in discussions on HSBC Water Vietnam in the Mekong Delta around My Tho which were very impressive.
Surin Village School Charity with the first Thailand school built for just $30,000 for c.50 children suggests a format for the 65M children still not in school (90% of the education UNMDG achieved). In outline terms, 1M extra village schools for those 65M kids at £30k would be $30BN.
Built over 3-5 years a cost of c.$6BN per year is hardly outrageous, with UK alone funding DFID’s $20BN aid budget for just 0.7% GNI. Even without USAid, AusAid or ADB, EBRD and AIIB funds.
POTUS Trump right to flag up Germany at the G7 Summit for freeriding on both the NATO 2% target (Berlin nearer 1.17% although who knows with bizarrely no specific NATO criteria) for European defence and the UN 0.7% aid target (Berlin nearer 0.3%) – along with other EU nations.
And those last 10% of schools in hard to reach places key if nothing else – leaving aside the splendours of education in itself – as minihubs for distribution of vaccines, condoms, spectacles such as James Chen’s Clearly, soap such as Lifebuoy, clothes (UK football shirts in the Global South seem the schoolwear of choice), shoes (or is it trainers), university MOOC’s and tampons. Even Amazon Kindles, Microsoft computers, and Raspberries and Blackberries or Huawei phones for healthier, educated and interconnected generations.
Children born today already expected to live to over 90 years old.
Smart brands such as Adidas TD15F or Samsung would no doubt be keen to get in on the ground level of such schools and a growing generation.
And Thailand is still under-performing in UNESCO World Heritage Sites the Doi Suthep or Fort Mahakan vandalism less than ideal. While East Kent has not just the White Cliffs of Dover UNESCO site but also Canterbury just a twenty minute drive away with not one but three UNESCO sites around Canterbury Cathedral.
Apart from Julius Caesar, St Augustine the founder of the Church of England actually has his trail beginning at Pegwell Bay, through to Canterbury and down to Rome presumably an offshoot too to the Camino de Santiago Way.
Apart from demolishing Richboro power station in my MP and Mayor manifesto I've also argued for the East Kent and Canterbury UNESCO sites to be interlinked.
As an aside on energy, also closing Dungeness nuclear power station faster, that near the famous movie director Derek Jarman garden. And with Kingsnorth power station, one of the largest in UK also now closed and demolished to meet EU emission targets and reduce those 40k UK deaths from air pollution each year, as UK closes its last coal mine and achieves record use of renewable solar and wind and wave energy.
UK's Thailand diplomat Dan Fieller highlighting just 6 coal power stations left in Thailand with one being built and one more on the Mekong in Laos, and heated debate over Krabi plans surely indicates ASEAN switching faster to solar. Margaret Tongue, UK Deputy Ambassador in Bangkok highlighting that Asian solar power is 38% hotter than Europe – Thailand, with battery storage reforms, as a nett exporter to say China and even India still-growing as the largest population in the world?
While further afield but not so far away across the Pacific, California’s mandate for 50% of electricity from renewables by 2030 (and reforms needed for 1.3GW of extra energy from its three largest utilities) beginning to be delivered by SCE, Southern California Edison, for its 15M customers. And AES installing a huge 100MW lithium-ion battery storage facility. Perhaps to rival Elon Musk’s Tesla work, and Australia batteries, with Panasonic.
### Mombasa to Myanmar and Manila to Fukuoka ###
On a recent conference visit to Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock in Myanmar and a spot of hiking it was astonishing to see the spread of mini-solar panels, about the size and weight of a pad of A4 paper, powering small houses with lights, fan, television and fridge plus wifi and mobile phones and motorbike batteries.
Without a surge in window glass solar panel tech in UK and Asia (and unbanked financial services?)UK could be being left behind - Philippines already launching 5G internet in 2019 and a much wider range of free wifi hotspots.
Those solar panels not so dissimilar to those exhibited by Chi Onwurah MP Shadow Business Minister in Parliament with Vodafone for African cities and UN Habitat slums - clearly the political will and technology and DFID budgets under the capable stewardship of former UK UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft are there to make it happen well before 2030.
Is it so outrageous to consider the Songkhram River RAMSAR and UNESCO status with the Mekong as a whole, and the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia - an ASEAN Blue Route? Even the Chaopraya and budding Riverfront Promenade in Bangkok: shades of the Victoria Embankment and Big Ben and Parliament that also has UNESCO status.
And an opportunity to refresh some of the klongs and canals and riverways at least from the rising tide of plastic waste. An issue facing Thailand in the Pacific Plastic Patches (ADB and navies adrift on cleanup?), a whale choked on 80 plastic bags and a Floating Island of Garbage off Hua Hin.
Those choked inland waterways affecting cities as HCMC and Manila and Jakarta too. As well as beach closures such as Boracay, and the DiCaprio movie site Maya Beach for a respite from overtourism.
In my Sincerity Advertising role, tourism brands such as both Philippines and Boracay for example often needing to diversify both markets and other destination sites such as Puerto Princeca or Zamboanga and Mindanao.
A vigorous Daily Mail newspaper campaign to clean two huge grotspots in the River Don near Doncaster and East London Lee Valley even then taking almost a month to gain momentum from the UK Environment Agency. No doubt even longer with Kent Environment Agency and concerns over EIR/FOI requests wrongly refused and ignored and pollution sites such as Medway river, cited by the Independent as one of UK’s worst top ten polluted rivers, and Thor mercury, Kent’s Minamata.
### Hungary for Water ###
President Duterte even taking time off from the Drugs War and Spratlys issues to supervise the restoration of Boracay. For if Build-Build-Build is the sustainable watchword in a growing Philippines economy then that has been well-balanced so far through Ceboom and the Jobs-Jobs-Jobs of a safeguarded and long-term resilient tourism economy.
While Ambassador Bogyay of the Hungary UN Mission has not just banged the drum for the Budapest World Swimming Championships last year that showcased the sparkling glamour of that city and Danube, but also the UN Water Summit in 2019.
The ACMECS Summit in Bangkok this week should be interlinked with the Water Summit next year.
Any of the above water projects would be ripe for the UN Volunteers and Red Cross organisations too? Surely those two organisations, and school and university students initially, need to have watertight ways of working together on Climate Change and Resilience issues?
The floods across MittelEurope recurring more frequently with avoidable deaths.
With the wipeout of UKIP in UK, and East Kent, the final MEP's leaving the European parliament next year, and this week with UK immigration figures sensibly adjusted not to include foreign students.
And with 97% of foreign students returning home after completing their degrees, surely East Kent with 4 universities and dozens of language schools, and UK universities more generally, should capitalise more fully on its Visegrad links.
With Kent twinned with Bacs-Kizkun in Hungary and Lake Balaton area near Slovenia, in the recent past surely it's time to wash away some of the dust and rust over Kent's Sister Cities and Regions too whether Hungary or Virginia on the eastern seaboard of USA.
The clean and unspoiled waters of Pegwell Bay and now Songkhram River might be ideal to do just that.
Time for Change
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Certainly a few tears must have been shed in the Casa Rosada with the IMF having to step in with a $50BN loan to prop up Argentina's banking system and currency.
Shades of UK in the 1970's and the 2008 Crash.
But especially galling for Argentina with it happening in the middle of the G20 Finance Ministers Summit and just a week before the G7 Summit in Canada.
And it reinforces the economist's joke that there are four types of economies: growing, falling, Japan and Argentina. Japan exceptionalism in weathering the storms of the financial markets, and Argentina unfortunately too often not.
Yet there is a glimmer of a silver lining to the peso woes, for surely the IMF and G20 action is a spur to greater trade with Argentina and Latin America in general.
UK's DIT dept this week confirming for the first time 25,000 UK companies exporting to ASEAN a positive amid the ongoing David Cameron former PM target of an increase of UK trade.
The dark days of the Falklands-Malvinas dispute are long behind us, new UK ambassador Mark Kent quietly building relationships with his counterpart in London, Carlos Sersale and galvanising the UK-Argentine public and private sector into action beyond just mining, fossil fuels and armaments that have long suppressed UK growth.
The astonishing coup too of British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson kept on a firm leash to lay wreaths to the Argentine dead in Buenos Aires.
And that just a few months after sterling work with the Red Cross and CWG, the latter probably the best government department and already activating Kwai UNESCO status work, to search and recover war dead on the Falklands.
That apt for here in East Kent with the South Sandwich Islands named after the actual Sandwich, town and food and a trigger for the dark days of the 1982 conflict. While Margate featuring a Buenos Ayres (sic) street commemorating an earlier UK conflict in the nineteenth century. And Saga cruises, one of the largest cruise ship operators with dozens of cruises through the Caribbean and Americas.
And in my MP and Mayor campaign I've called for a resolution of the Falklands dispute: too long a dispute with Argentina as a modern democracy, much as with tax haven Gibraltar and Spain, a relic of an Imperial past long-gone, and a drain on the MOD.
The Mount Pleasant MOD runway surely as wasteful as St Helena's windswept disaster.
And if the Falklands had been a Scottish or Irish isle the population would long ago have been evacuated to the mainland - just 300 residents on West Falkland and only 1,800 in Port Stanley. Smaller than most East Kent villages.
### UK and Argentina growth ###
But let's leave aside the potential of dual citizenship and UN oversight of the islands with UK and Argentina eventually as a wilderness reserve, and even those Antarctic wildlife cruises. Although with the latest report that plastic has now swept into the Antarctic oceans, just about as far away as it's possible to get from humanity, then a cleanup is first overdue with the Atlantic and Pacific Plastic Patches.
And there is that glimmer of hope for expanded UK and Argentine activity: the hard currency of tourism not just to cover the IMF activity but strengthen the two economies with tourism.
Antarctic cruises aside for whale watching or penguin peregrinations, or shampoo bottle spotting, already Norwegian Air has begun extra flights to Buenos Aires (with a BA buyout too?). Already this year several newspaper features of that neglected gem in the tourism calendar. Even the possibilities of nature and horse riding tours. And Argentina featured in the Chris Tarrant railway show - of previous and future UK investment -but also this week with BBCTV Patagonia Earth's Paradise, with shades of similar primetime programmes in Thailand and Myanmar.
For with the Argentine-Chile rail link already underway with Siemens - no doubt fuelling the carriages of the new East Yorkshire factory and TrumpDavos15Friends (is that trademarked?) and HS3 activity - both Santiago and Buenos Aires will be fully linked via Rosario port.
And there is the opportunity for UK rail experience to link with Montevideo in Uruguay and up the Brazilian coast through the metropolises and tourist destinations of Sao Paulo and Rio - both already some of the largest cities in the world.
### BRICS and clicks ###
While if UK trade in the BRIC nations is faltering with Russian sanctions and China in general awaiting a boost from the Cameron-Xi development funds as part of that export target, then India and Brazil - and their megacities - are too large to fail for UK.
London Tube contracts already in hand for Buenos Aires for example, are a template for UK excellence in subways as in Crossrail, for megacities such as Sao Paulo. That Buenos Aires-London tube link surely low hanging fruit for UK and Argentina and IMF reassurance?
And Argentine brands such as TOMS Shoes represent an innovation in trade: designed in California and made in Argentina with the ethos of buy a pair of shoes and one is donated in say Malawi etc. An astonishingly innovative brand. While UK reach in the fashion world from catwalk to Camden market and the Commonwealth surely a key opportunity.
Prince Wills speaking eloquently as patron of the Liverpool Business Festival opening this week with an emphasis on expanding UK SME exports beyond the current 30% of businesses, and that usual over-reliance of Rolls Royce and BAE.
Prince Wills though best-placed as a former air ambulance pilot to highlight the Commonwealth as the mother of all networks - and speak eloquently on those island states in need of better Resilience in air sea rescue, and city/rural air ambulance, helicopters and national airline fleet upgrades and sustainability.
### Rolls Royce trade ###
And relevant of Rolls Royce engines 4,000 back office job losses to focus on 18,000 engineers and £1BN cash flow by 2020. As a Rolls Royce teaboy I know the value of working on Concorde and airline and motor engines with my dad. The Rolls Royce reshape under the quietly capable CEO Howard East to Defence, Power and Civil Aerospace, a slight misstep in not consolidating the Marine business in ship drone tech etc?
Prince Wills surely cleaning his helmet visor to scope out a better future for HUD and AR. And his wife no stranger to the importance of family online businesses whether fashion or party gizmos. All crucial for a 21st Century Digital Britain whether the High Street or 17% of online sales.
While the purring of the Midlands Engine would be louder with a focus on Jaguar for cities and Landrover out of town. Even the new Landrover Defender project across the pampas. Ambassador Woody of USA in London effortlessly slipping UK-USA trade out of first gear and into cruise control with a visit to the Jaguar Landrover factory, and first glimpse of the new Landrover Defender massive project by UK's richest man Jim Cathcart.
I fondly remember as a child riding in a Landrover Defender to Rolls Royce Derby and Birmingham with engine moulds for Concorde.
Only Britain could stall such an iconic motor brand as Defender - imagine if USA failed to grow Jeep or Ford? While the Fort Worth F35 Texas factory and its 3,200 workers must be thinking of Boeing HQ in Sheffield, and Airbus in Toulouse cargo planes ands helicopters -the good folks of Texas and the Cajun Navy still not superdry after the floods?
### Space for UK and USA growth with Latin America too ###
The space telescope in the Atacama surely an opportunity to interlink the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency launch site in Cayenne and NASA. Surrey Space satellites across the Kent border expanding in both meteorological data (the Atlantic and Pacific Patches again and Resilience storm and volcano warnings) and space junk cleanup.
Immarsat technology for example ideal.
The opportunity too for Argentina and UK scientists and universities to work closely together on the new Seabed Mapping Project - Mars more familiar than the seabed -much as Kent's Charles Darwin began with the Latin American coast.
And the Magellan anniversaries from 2019 onwards an opportunity to further market Argentina, with Spain and Portugal, beyond just Buenos Aires. The Straits of Magellan and Falklands of increasingly less strategic influence with the importance of the Panama Canal for UK trade and links through the Caribbean, California and Pacific.
And brands such as Lincoln & York with its 50k square foot Lincolnshire warehouse sourcing, roasting and packing 8,000 tons of coffee a year. And with the UK's largest coffee roaster with CEO James Sweeting in use with the pre-1994 days before Starbucks entered the UK coffee market. hence featuring as Sunday Times International SME exports leader with 265% profits increase. Poland a focus now in its 40 overseas market revenue increase from 20% to 50%, but a template for UK's wider coffee strategic importance.
UK's coffee and cake and pizza king Luke Johnson - Channel Four, USA's Border books, Silicon Roundabout et al - eloquently detailing the issues around UK and USA incubators and universities and his Centre for Entrepreneurs hub and thinktank. 2% rollout so awful from a standing start for UK? East Kent's CCU University crunchy on its business work ahead of T-levels vocational exams - despite its stalled Broadstairs campus silliness.
Vietnam's quietly capable PresidentTran Dai Quang celebrating UK efforts in Vietnam but calling for specific and pragmatic projects, no doubt wider Vinh seaport activity.
Argentina could have greater prominence in UK trade in the Southern Cone and the issue of cocaine as with Colombia now joining NATO security and this week's EU drug monitoring report citing UK as the cocaine capital of Europe with 4% of under 35's trying cocaine in the last year - double the EU average of 1.9% and with only Spain and Eire and Holland coming close on 2.5%.
UK trade requiring greater impetus beyond 70% pure coca in Peru and Bolivia and Paraguay in its wider Latin America trade growth.
But, with East Kent's James Bond, and Kent's Rolling Stones featuring heavily in Argentine appreciation, broader efforts are possible with the Creative Industries - not just say UK and Argentine film shoots in each other's nations or advertising and fashion.
### Sports Diplomacy ###
Sports Diplomacy for example underway with rugby Pumas and polo (Prince Wills probably more keen on beach polo and crazy golf. Perhaps not.) and football.
Spanish for gringos also hampered with a lack of Argentina TV channels in UK and language learning - surely a freetoair swap with BBCTV the work of moments and a UK trade template?
Deloitte, also a TrumpDavos15Friend (it must be trademarked?), announcing the UK Premier League worth £23BN which seems light to me especially with Amazon announcing one tranche of the £3BN broadcast rights. And BT ousting CEO Gavin Patterson for failing to maximise both the BT Sports rights and 5G (that UK Digital Future again), and the Premier League announcing a 10 day winter break, the ground is ready for increased sports eg Argentine Primera leagues and Ossie Ardiles.
Jeremy Corbyn hardly likely to urge less momentum on his Arsenal team leading UK efforts on Football Diplomacy. Another massive UK export opportunity.
Even extra channels of USA sports as NFL and baseball expand in to London next year. While the Channel Four HQ bid, formerly the champion of niche or neglected sports, viable for Liverpool and proximity to BBC Media City in Salford but also niche bids by Brighton and Kent.
Food a key factor facing Argentina and Uruguay in future - the Fray Bentos corned beef UNESCO heritage site in Uruguay an indicator of the rise of healthy eating, WHO citing red meat as cancer-forming, and an issue for the wheat and meat stock of Argentina as much as Thailand's Senator Tammy Duckworth Illinois caucus and Colorado colleagues whether they like Coors or not.
KFC already developing a non-meat menu and less-fried versions which is no easy task for a Kentucky fried chicken expert from out of heartland USA to main street worldwide. Easy with Sonny Perdue and USDA USA farm exports stocking up the barn ready for a DHL delivery.
A factor no doubt in expanding Argentine red and white wine sales even the grapes in themselves to UK supermarkets. Certainly less appetite in East Kent for New Zealand lamb and wine after the Manston-Infratil crimes. A booming UK retail sector with the Tesco purchase of Booker wholesalers and possible mega-merger of Sainsburys and Asda-Walmart.
Only UK as a nation of shopkeepers could fumble its retail offering (that digital retail trade again too) in Argentina and Latin America's malls?
Amanda Murphy of HSBC (TD15F trademark pending) citing in their Navigator report cycling clothing manufacturer Rapha with its outrageously superb £48M exports 71% of sales - no doubt slipstreaming key UK events such as Tour de Canterbury and Tour de Yorkshire through Tour de France and Spanish la Vuelta - Tour de Patagonia next for UK and Argentine growth?
Time for Change