Monday, 5 August 2019

Here’s £100M worth of Damn Good Advice on advertising Brexit Boris

The Boris announcement of £100M for an advertising campaign for Brexit struck a chord as I was rereading United States of Advertising guru George Lois’ memoir Damn Good Advice.

Lois famous for the passion of Muhammed Ali cover for Esquire magazine of The Louisville Lip struck by arrows in St Sebastian style for being martyred over refusing the Vietnam draft.

Lois, one of my advertising gurus along with Osborn (Alex not George), and even stuffy old David Ogilvy, and Drayton Bird DM guru.

I was pondering though the Lois 20 Times Square property branding (a number 20, a multiplication sign and a square - and a healthy dose of creative genius) for an article on the NYC Hudson Yards.

But the potential waste of £100M of tax funds on a Brexit propaganda campaign shovelled into less than 3 months before the Halloween exit of 31st October stuck out.

I would point out I’ve worked on various ad campaigns for Labour and LibDems, and Public Health and NHS too, but the vast majority of my advertising works for consumer goods whether tourism or planes, trains and automobiles along with washing powder and food.

The stuff of life.

And gaining every creative and effectiveness award in the world, from UK to USA and Europe (Asia soon) along the way, even the UK’s largest ad agency at one point although, as with many ad agency conglomerates, that was largely financial engineering rather than creativity.

So here’s £100M worth of free advice Boris.

Don’t. Do. It.

I’ll send an invoice for £33M per word in the post – the full stops are free.

Why not to do it?

Well, in all sincerity, who isn’t aware of Brexit in UK if not the whole world? New Foreign Minister Dominic Raab hardly needs to detail the topic to EU or world leaders as he start at the ASEAN-EU meet in Bangkok. And it’s worth a refreshing pause to see that Australia, Canada and USA and Eire and EU amongst the first to wish him well.

Although warm words apply no Kerrygold butter to Brexit parsnips.

And with 100% awareness you don’t need to spend £100M for 3 months worth of advertising.

And to persuade or reassure Remainers and Brexiteers? Again you don’t need advertising to do that in 8 weeks or so (American Princess Meghan’s September Vogue cover is already out to rival American Princess Soma – better hurry up Boris with those copy deadlines if you are going to do it).

Even if it would work.

Or the media owners didn’t stick up their prices, and the public, over such a bloated Autumn windfall that the PM has now alerted them to. Heinz baked beans might 57 varieties of reasons to be miffed at media space being held back or over-priced too.

By Xmas a failed Brexit may not amount to a hill of beans, but those unsold tins of beans and soups and ravioli, surely will, especially after stockpiling already.

Sure, some of the larger agencies would take the money and run ads day and night on television and online. And press ads and supplements along with posters on every billboard from Downing St to Acacia Avenue.

And it would hardly persuade one person one way or another.

At worst it would seem to be propaganda. At best it could help the advertising budget of the excellent Remain newspaper The New European – why no Eurostar ads or British Airways or AirFrance or Hilton hotels? Remoaners not likely to travel to Europe?

And it would be utter waste: most UK ad budgets under £10M for a whole year. Kellogg’s cornflakes for example spending $750BN globally on advertising. Presumably a sensible portion of that on in-box bioplastic toys (Disney or DC or both? that Carrie wouldn’t need to pick out of the Plastic Patch oceans.

£100M of a Boris Brexit would become heavy duty wallpaper covering UK eyeballs, and failing to make the case as to why such a short-sighted is clearly needed. Or not.

£100M could even fund a decent-sized Tom Cruise movie (in a Bozza wig?) – a Cruise Control Brexit rather than crash and burn? Sir Thomas of Mapother IV might do the acting gig for a gong and support for UK-USA media.

But such funding could even, with a General Election looming, be seen as yet another violation of UK’s increasingly tarnished election rules, and a bridge too far to USA money politics.

With 3 Prime Ministers in favour of Remain but floundering around like stranded kippers to pretend they want Leave beyond a few votes, throwing money at the problem won’t solve it. And certainly not with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Trade Minister (cheese and pork exports Ms T?) with the G7 UK and world airwaves at their command.

And couldn’t £100M (or £90M: if you really, really, really think a Brexit campaign would be useful, just waste £10M) be better spent on say nurses and teachers – even a Teacher or Nurse Day as a UK bank holiday a la Thailand societal reforms– recruitment.

Sending the MOD/RN Prime Minister branded jacket off to a charity shop (to sit unsold next to the Hague baseball cap?) and begin nuclear disarmament talks. £30BN or so saved on rusty and warehoused nukes and subs might even fund a worthwhile Brexit ad campaign.

And what would that Brexit campaign cover? A picture of Boris’ face with a Macca-style thumbs up, and Brexit is Great slogan underneath his tousled haired fizzog, day after day for months and months on every television and website and newspaper front page?

Millions of Brits registering to vote (16 and upwards, no Battlebus or Russian or Yankee jiggerypokery please, although how would we know?) on or #bozzabrexit?

Perhaps not. And perhaps the charlatans of Cambridge Analytica have proved Govey right in his fear of some experts and election shenanigans as bad as the Battlebus fraud here in Kent and eslewhere.

Buy a Kindle for all 11M UK schoolkids – with a Brexit screensaver or, shades of 1984, Vote Big Brother Boris if you must – and review literacy standards of 8 years old at age 16 as somehow acceptable in First World Britain.

Unless slipping down the G7 league table to G25 or so now (those decades of Big Tobacco and HFSS Foods and Cancers and Social Care failures are already starting to bite into UK mortality and productivity aren’t they?), and tumbling further in a post-Brexit UK of Honda closures, Vauxhall Ellesmere Port closures, East Kent 007 Aston Martin cutbacks, EU Medicines Agency closed, 40% on UK lamb exports and 10% on cars is WTO viable.

Even here in Meiji Kent, just a stone’s throw from Calais and EU markets and tourism, and with Farage and UKIP demolished, the Japanese must be laughing up their kimono sleeves at Britain winning the war and Japanese mega-investment with Nissan Sunderland et al - but losing the peace and then losing the EU and largest and wealthiest trade bloc in history.

Perhaps those lamb export extra tariffs not so bad for Kentish lamb rather than trade with the Kiwi Killers of Infratil, or the monstrous stench of live sheep exports through Ramsgate port. And that port viable as a Discovery Park/Pfizer SEZ Freeport and Ostend ferry again as part of Seaside Sea Changes?

Certainly UK vaccines will need to be produced in bulk – shouldn’t that have been done strategically anyway rather than spaffing £100M up the wall on some frothy ads - or after heavy delays at Dover (£70M a day if closed) Port (UK and Eire's largest) work their way through the clogged arteries of the UK road system.

Even experts like Govey must see that his daily Brexit meetings are a fool’s errand and a waste of time – unless there’s free Jaffa Cakes and exceedingly good cakes.

Or, oy vey, perhaps Labour and Jezza C’s LatAm-lite revolution could win the general election, perhaps Govey’s fellow-Jock, Foxy has hidden a dram or three of his favourite breakfast whisky in the Cabinet filing cabinet to drown the win-or-lose sorrows of Brexit.

So here’s £100M of free advertising advice again, Boris:

Don’t do it.

To help, I won’t even charge for the full stops.

Time for Change

Letter to Parliament on Dreamland etc corruption

Hi Meg

In your PAC Chair role can I flag up the very fishy sale of the Dreamland amusement park site in Margate - the largest site in Kent.

I've copied Madeline Homer and Tim Howes as TDC council CEO and lawyer as the sale featured in no recent election manifesto.

Nor were tenders issued for competition - and the sale was nodded through in a 6 minute unanimous council debate last week - lead by Bob Bayford TDC Leader previously Deputy Leader in the Ezekiel regime jailed for council fraud for similar compulsory purchases.

Dreamland and Pleasurama and Manston stink of council corruption.

TDC as you know is one of UK's most corrupt and incompetent councils and has form with:

* Grayling fishy ferry of Seaborne without ships
* Wetherspoons mega booze barn
* Brett port aggregates #1 and #2
* Pleasurama mystery insurance fire and BVI tax haven
* Manston airport - Infratil removed monitors/pollution data and sudden sale to Delware/Swiss tax haven company Riveroak last month - PAC previously questioning the Gloag/Stagecoach owners.

Riveroak owned by Tony Freudmann who busted Manston with Wiggins previously and featured in Private Eye Rotten Boroughs for managing to be struck off by both the law society and as a council CEO.

An interesting point would be the missing Manston fines and tax rebates for corruption.

You and fellow parliamentarians will be suffering excess air pollution as Manston was the main report site for the South East and London.

Slightly more positive the KCC Toxic Three are now reduced to only leader Paul Carter with the resignation of Geoff Wild KCC lawyer and involved in Manston.

Sands Hotel and Arrowgrass Caymans Island company are the new owners apparently although FOI/EIR requests are ignored.

Can this be reviewed as part of the white collar criminal and enabler functions at PAC of companies such as Lord Grabiner's One Essex Court etc?

Madeline and Tim I'm sure would relish being interrogated by PAC, or police, if TDC remains silent and secretive.

I struggle to see why they haven't resigned their £150k salaries from this rotten borough.

Certainly the Dreamland sale should be suspended and called in.

Best wishes and keep up the good work at PAC.

Kindest regards


Thursday, 1 August 2019

Cuba Renaissance on track with UK and A Different Gringo strategy?

Certainly a Cuban Renaissance with UK is underway with dynamic new Ambassador Stokes and the first UK Royal visit to the Communist nation by Prince Charles and Camilla earlier this year.

Charles lounging next to John Lennon on a Malecon bench, before leading British Classic Cars through the throng of USA sanctions 1950's classic cars. Those Chevy's and Cadillacs probably powered by old lawnmowers or offcuts of vintage John Deere tractors - Nothing runs like a Deere after all, or after 60 years of sanctions.

Although none of those vehicles capable of lobbing a nuke onto USA in some notional rerun of the 1962 Missile Crisis. While North Korean tractors towing its missiles in parades before returning to the fields, a testament to POTUS Trump in moving beyond Cold War frameworks and forbearance on USA military action as with Iran's nukes programme.

Prince Charles also pausing over a Duchy Original biscuit to view a Cuban organic farm - certainly a Communist - and Caribbean - economy powered by sugar and tobacco is unlikely to cause a seismic shift in its population's fortunes.

Prince Charles flying off from the rabidly successful Cuba visit, and around the Caribbean Commonwealth, rather than cruising away via East Kent Core Company Saga Cruise ships, although Camilla launching the latest ship - that in search of new ports or trade freeports - in Dover last week.

While Ambassador Stokes LVO (Licensed Victuallers Organisation) is best placed to consider the future of both Havana and Bacardi rum in UK supermarkets.

While Cuban culture is cooking on gas with Onel Hernandez the first Cuban player to join the UK Football League, at Delia Smith's Norwich City and Carlos Acosta showing a clean pair of Cuban heels to rival the Bolshoi at the London Ballet.

### A rum do for UK to miss Cuban Rail? ###

But Ambassador Stokes is surely building up a head of steam over the massive potential for UK-Cuban trade in the refurb of Cuba's miles of rusty railways. The former Vietnam Ambassador no doubt pondering the wisdom for Cuba and UK of the first 19 Chinese trains for Cuba and promises of another 200 sets next year.

Certainly the miles of rickety Vietnamese railways no great advertisement for such activity - especially as ASEAN now signs off the HiSpeed loop from the Bangkok hub into China. The BKK-PP link is now delivered from my 2015 MP manifesto and work for PP-HCMC and Kwai upgrades to Yangon confirmed which is positive for a UK Strategic Rail Group to secure UK transport exports.

China's pace in hispeed rail matched by its crashes, and abroad its investments stalling as in Ethiopia: a railway built without the necessary infrastructure is a pub without beer.

Britain taking no lessons in rail from anyone: inventing them with the Crab and Winkle line at Canterbury to the East Kent coast at Whitstable. The new LNER East Coast hispeed trains. And Kent's success with HS1 and Eurostar and Channel Tunnel, reducing shorthaul EU flights and securing the London 2012 Olympics and potential for HS2 and HS3.

And that UK success not just for UK with East Kent Hitachi and Balfour Beatty or East Yorkshire Davos 15 Siemens, but Bombardier and Dennis buses from the Midlands to Northern Powerhouse to Northern Ireland and Canada for the all-important Climate Change seamless public transport that can unblock many town centres.

### UK Big Ticket from Infrastructure to Movies ###

And UK Big Ticket Infrastructure from The Shard skyscraper to London 2012 Olympics. (An Havana bid building beyond the Senegal 2022 Youth Olympics? And apt for Isla Juventud and a memorial to Fidel's first imprisonment after Moncada Barracks Revolt), and Crossrail and SuperSewer.

Apt too with Fidel whiling away the days reading East Kent's the Dean of Canterbury and Julius Caesar (Caesar's recently discovered fort in Ramsgate, founding UK, surely another tourism fail by the County Barn?) and learning English via Vanity Fair and smoking JFK's favourite brand of H. Upmann cigars - some things beyond sanctions.

Churchill’s cigars also featured at his home in Chartwell West Kent.

But with Big Ticket Infrastructure of course UK leading the way on the first Metro/Tube/London Underground - the first of 200 around the world - again Havana no doubt considering how to preserve the Malecon for UNESCO status with transport links say to Varadero beach.

And if the first trial run of the Chinese trains is clunking through the 500 miles to Guantanamo then UK expertise as the safest railway in Europe is no doubt needed, much as Kent's level crossing are being upgraded.
The Castro handover from Fidel to Raoul to Miguel Diaz-Canel already seeing a developing internet and wifi, ripe for UK experience on Digital Rail and tube and bus.

In my politics work as MP and Mayor candidate I've urged A Different Gringo strategy for UK in Latin America. And that all the more relevant for Cuba and its Yankee Go Home philosophy (and much of Latin America) after the Bay of Pigs 1961 invasion, that also holed the Kennedy and successive USA administrations below the waterline until now.

Ambassador Woody in USA bathing in the luxury of a Special Relationship developing to an Extra Special Relationship with UK and USA and Treble Club of tripled exports. He might well be lighting an Upmann cigar with $100 bills after the success of the USA Year of Sports and NFL and baseball so far in UK.

And how different USA and Cuba would have been if Castro had taken up baseball with the New York Giants in 1948. Fidel preferring to swim with the sharks of Communist revolution rather than USA sports. Harvey Mackay a Baron von Football before Ambo Woody in developing NFL in Cuba, also cites Fidel's love of USA ten-pin bowling with his own rink in the basement of parliament.

Perhaps a Crazy Golf course down there too: the pyramid with the hole on top etc. To rival the new course in Rochester Cathedral?

Certainly that USA Year of Sports extending into media reforms of the Monroe Doctrine in UK and USA beyond just VOA broadcasts. The Cricket World Cup (no Cuban team?) in UK highlighting the slow death of a sport relying only on satellite monies rather than free to view broadcasts.

The quietly dynamic Lord Hall of BBC raising the issue of just 4% of UK sports on BBCTV yet 40% viewing suggests an overdue dedicated BBC Sports channel (and BBC Three resurrected?), if not greater cooperation with Channel Four's public remit as in the quick broadcast of the Cricket Word Cup Final with an advertising share.

Ambo Woody no doubt gnashing his teeth over the years lost in UK and EU with Channel Four ending its NFL coverage and innovative sports such as Sumo and Kabaddi. Much as Northern Ireland after 50 years of Troubles is now celebrating the Golf Open's return.

But regardless of the Brexit mess or an FTA chimera it must be a bureaucratic beanfeast yielding thin gruel compared to say Perdue Product range from the open range of Heartland USA to UK supermarket shelves whether Idaho potatos, Virginia craft beer or Illinois cornflakes.

Cuban sanctions a potential POTUS Trump foreign policy success, beyond NFL or World Series (baseball not soccer) transfers, before 2020 after the moves to United Koreas and Eritrea-Ethiopia successes?

Those voters in Little Havana in Miami, and warmer relations with their families 90 miles away from Key West, might be key than chads to both Republicans and democrats in the 2020 election.

### Cubans in East Kent Airfix and Hornby ###

A reduction of USA sanctions is certainly less of an upheaval than a Brigade 2506 action - but the Bay of Pigs a US-led Caribbean D-Day far beyond the usual US Marines policing and meddling missions through the Caribbean since the Platt Amendment or the Maine, even the invasion of the Commonwealth's Grenada.

An East Kent Core Company Airfix kit of Cuban soldiers and militia resisting the Americans, or Cuban troops in Africa may be irrelevant in the 21st century, although certainly UK and Cuban medicare links are viable.

And why not Cuba in the Caribbean Commonwealth eventually, perhaps even with Virginia Commonwealth and the other 3 USA Commonwealths as affiliates initially and ultimately hands across the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans.
Certainly Guantanamo is looking pointless as a military prison with just 40 Taliban prisoners and, as with Vieques, less relevant as a US Navy base.

Fidel long refusing to cash the USA cheques (a great potential display for the British Museum, or even Cleveland's dynamic Museum, beyond Ethiopian loot stored in the basement out of sight?) for supposed rental of the occupied site.

And Cuba exercising restraint in not occupying the base or water plant or withdrawing fire brigade support.

The American taxpayer - whether in Little Havana Miami or Del Mar Lago may well consider the affront to Cuban pride of an imposed US navy base at Gitmo (and Bahia Honda long relinquished) and the cost, compared to Cuban and USA Coastguard support for drugs trafficking crackdowns between Mexico and Colombia.

### Cuba Libre or Riggsed democracy ###

While UK tax havens such as British Virgin Islands and Caymans no doubt costing the USA and UK taxpayer in money-laundering via Riggs Bank and Equatorial Guinea again (a modern day Haiti National City Bank?) perhaps more, than refloating Puerto Rico after the hurricanes and cleaning up Vieques from years of US navy target practice.

Certainly Ben Wallace UK Security Minister is on the right track for a crackdown of UK white collar criminals and enablers such as Lord Grabiner's One Essex Court corrupt barristers and Palmer Biggs lawyer fraud.

Kent's NYC spitfire AOC no doubt shaking off Communist accusations (NHS medical care and top-slice taxation strangely centrist to UK eyes) in the feverish atmosphere of the latest POTUS Trump tweets. And AOC no doubt pausing over a Cuba Libre to consider the value of Nyorican and Haitian and Jamaican caucuses galvanised and welded together in NYC.

Certainly they are more positive voices than Russian (is it even Communist any more?) tomfoolery, (beyond Crimea and Syria’s Latakia warm water port to rival Gwadar in sight of Oman and Hormuz), from the KGB playbook of Putin to prop up Venezuela and the tsunami of refugees breaking over Trump's Wall.

While Trump particularly short-sighted in trimming USA aid to Central America and the Caribbean with a Syrian-style exodus underway as affected Europe recently from Venezuela and Honduras and Nicaragua.

Walls and helicopter gunships go so far and so much less than consistent aid to refloat broken nations. A few more years of Brexit twaddle or Boris silliness and Kent refugees may be voting with their feet through the Channel Tunnel to Belgium.

And the largest ever cocaine haul in Philadelphia and latest cocaine submarine that infects American cities, whether Sanctuaries or not shows the value of more coherent USA and UK strategy in the Caribbean.

The wider Blue Economy no doubt of more value to the Caribbean and OAS than drugs subs - and Ambassador Stokes must be pondering beyond the chimera of USA sanctions the united front in Canadian and Spanish and UK tourism and investment in Cuba already.

The Canadian Commonwealth and the Six Companies no doubt keen to participate in hispeed rail beyond both Vancouver and Vieques. And develop Panama and the trade lifeline of its canal.

### Cajun Navy and US Coastguard? ###

While Louisiana again and no doubt Texas keen for UK and Canadian navy cooperation under USCG and the Cajun Navy for the next hurricanes, as well as hospital ships as USNS Comfort and even Virginia’s Operation Smile.
Perhaps hospital ships needed for Puerto Rice not just for Hurricane Maria but now massive Ricky Resign protests over the Governor.

And UK coastal MP's such as Johnny Mercer in Plymouth and Penny Mordaunt in Portsmouth (towns rusting in the sun on the Channel as here in East Kent) must be taking a fresh view on Royal Navy ship and staffing given two Admirals per warship bloat and rise of roboships and a UK Shipbuilding Masterplan for hospital ships and supply ships beyond vanity aircraft carriers too expensive to risk being sunk.

State Dept head Mike Pompeo perhaps holding off changing his name to Pompey in solidarity with Fritten Park, rather than Corbyn as a left wing regime, in the UK-USA Year of Sports.

And calmer voices needed not just on POTUS Trump race trash talk but on such issues as the horrifying fact of the Caribbean’s 38M people with the second highest HIV levels after sub-Saharan Africa. Perhaps nothing could be more vital for UK-USA and the ripple effect for Caribbean in closer links with universities, the NOASS hurricane systems and Atlanta pandemic disease centre.

While Ambo Woody must be pondering the potential with USAid of extra Durex condom and Always tampon factories for both public health and prosperity – even before considering HIV and Ebola vaccines.

The Mooch, hardly a Communist or Democrat, distinctly uncomfortable on BBC News at such rants. And Ambassador Woody no doubt laying aside the soft soap to translate UK concerns at such views and Darrochian and Khan petulance - compared to the mega-potential of the Treble Club and Rust Belt Revitalisation for UK and USA before the 2020 election.

Especially as Airbus in Bristol and Toulouse and Boeing in Sheffield must be considering the overhaul of Cuba's air fleet and helicopters with increased tourism. And coffee exports for the Starbucks of the UK High Street - Santiago or Saint-Marc or San Juan could rival Hua Hin for pineapples on UK and EU supermarket shelves.

While former Eire Ambassador to UK Bobby McDonagh writing in the New European of Irish concerns of Boris as PM for the Ulster and Eire, and UK, economies even beyond the Scots-Irish Bridge and The Six Companies and Brexit backstops. Boris’s warm words on Brexit or confusion on the Garden Bridge, Channel Bridge or Boris Airport or Heathrow Bulldozers (JCB or CAT?) or even Boris Bikes suggest he can put no Kerrygold butter on UK or Eire parsnips.
The UK and Eire economies linked in to deliver on funding the expansion of both Eire and UK embassies and trade offices

### Munro Doctrine to Monroe Doctrine ###

The UK's 19 warships (when the engines work) 10 subs and 45 other ships increasingly leaky and redundant since being launched in the mid-1980's.

And no shots fired in anger since WW2 except briefly in the Falklands - that Imperial leftover not worth the bones of one grenadier and increasingly a ludicrous MOD cost with warmer relations with Argentina and a wider Munro Media Doctrine alongside the USA Monroe Doctrine.

Those Saga cruise ships along the Argentine and Chilean coasts and Antarctica far more relevant to Port Stanley and UK ports than warships now.

Cuba too must be looking at the potential of Jamaica not just for its new nurse training programmes and language schools with UK, but also with its beginnings as a forward-positioned aid base. Native Spanish speakers all the more relevant too for UK schools and universities with the growth of Hispanic USA beyond the Scots-Irish past?

And Cuba must be kickstarting its music and movies industry beyond the Buena Vista Social Club - East Kent's James Bond long citing Cuba in movies such as Octopussy and Halle Berry hi-jinx but in Pinewood not on location in Isle of Pines. Cuba rivalling Jamaica and Bahamas as the spiritual home of James Bond beyond East Kent?
The Jamaican economy boosted again with the new Bond25 movie.

BBC interest in Cuba and Shepperton Studios alongside EKFOS East Kent Film Office and Studio could change all that for the better.

Just as Cuba and Latin America is changing.

Time for Change

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Email to TDC CEO Madeline Homer etc on Pleasurama and Dreamland etc East Kent corruption

Friday 12th July 2019

Hi Madeline

As CEO of TDC can I briefly flag up to you 3 major concerns raised in my MP campaign and to you/Tim Howes previosuly:

1. TDC planned sale it seems to Sands Hotel etc of Dreamland - the former a tax haven company and latter the largest seafront site in Kent and receipt of public funds etc. I've never hear of such a main site simply been allocated and that against corruption concerns as with the Fishy Ferry of Seaborne and Wetherspoons Booze Barn allocation and Brett aggregates.

2. Pleasurama - site ownership murky and BVI tax haven. Will the site be cleared this Summer even if a £1 CPO is needed?

3. Manston £16M sale to Riveroak: Delaware tax haven and missing monitors/fines - have these been reissued to Gloag/Riveroak etc? And corporate manslaughter raised?

I'll write more fully later but clearly 3 tax haven sales by a small District council is a concern and given the Gang of Four council staff/councillors resignations/jailed etc.

Copy to media/Parliament.


ASEAN 2030 World Cup back of the net for Thailand and Indonesia but UK fumbles the ball?

Even with the confusion of the Thai elections now resolved for the moment with a PM Tu party and Pheu Thai and Future Forward opposition, the ASEAN Chair Summit last month, raised some interesting actions.

An ASEAN Space Agency is wise for weather satellites and 5G - surely an opportunity for UK/EU Space Agency support, and the new Australia Space Agency celebrating a slightly rusty first birthday at Woomera lauch site. Even the potential of a Cambodia Space Project banging the drum for a retooling of the ASEAN car industry with a Morlam or Kundrum inspirational ditty.

The crashed Australian car industry may even be galvanised again through Space Agency retooling its POTUS Trump missions to Mars and Europa. A woman on Mars by 2030 and space colonies of 3M people also factored in by the Bezos and Tesla and Branson space missions.

An ASEAN Military Medicine programme is realistic in USA DARPA terms as something of a sticking plaster over expanding military budgets and perhaps more useful in Sports Science (UK as a Sporting Superpower as Australian cricket now realise) - and VR and AR for Thai companies such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi, even True and AIS.

An ASEAN Culture Contest a twist on the Eurovision Song Contest karaoke or more crunchy UNESCO Cultural Heritage protection for say Morlam music of Isaan.

But perhaps most worthy of a Mexican Wave through ASEAN and indeed UK is the ASEAN agreement to bid for the 2034 Soccer World Cup. PM May this Summer seeming to concentrate on the cricket and jam rather than previous claims of the 2030 World Cup for the UK Home Nations.

The Brexit mess revealing a deep seam of amateurism in British politics and governance and with the shilly-shally of a World Cup 2030, the spectre of a Britain where its word is no longer its bond. With Khun Thanathorn in London again to detail Future Forward policy on conscription, military budgets and Thailand 4.0, could he stay on and run the place if Uncle Tu can't spare a half day each week?

But on the 2034 World Cup, ASEAN is on a sticky wicket initially after the shambles of the Hanoi Games of 2019 cancelled at the last minute or unravelling of TPP into more talks about talks froth.

### Big Ticket Vietnam infrastructure all at sea? ###

Indonesia wisely stepping in to wipe the egg off Vietnam's face for the Hanoi Games farce and now to lead on the World Cup.
Is Vietnam incapable of delivering big ticket infrastructure and social programmes?

Certainly the Vietnam Transport Minster wise to urge a hurry-up on rail developments: the PP-HCMC rail link surely to the fore. Even the relocation of Da Nang airport and Vinh deep sea port as a Haiphong #2 beyond ceremonial minuets over tea and biscuits.

The UK-Vietnam Strategic Dialogue more an endless dialogue rather than anything strategic or indeed deliverable as per those failed Hanoi Games rocking confidence in Vietnam trade and growth, perhaps as anything more than increased manufacture of Arsenal football shirts as a lead on UK Sports Diplomacy.

It would be nice to think that: viet nam doc lap thong nhat va xa hoi chu nghia muon nam, long live an independent reunified and socialist Vietnam would be a UK and Vietnam crucnhy deliverable beyond the steam off the tea cups.

Both the UK and Vietnamese people no doubt concerned at the delay and costs of mere meeting room hot air, even without Climate Change such as Mekong Delta floods.

Vietnam's HSBC Water initiatives perhaps a way forward beyond the Paracels for UK-VN naval cooperation - as well as supporting UK and Thai troops in South Sudan UN Peacekeeping and policing. A regiment of Vietnamese troops sat in barracks of no more use in Nha Trang than in Northampton.

And the chair of the Thai FA Committee Khun Somyat wise to highlight a similar GOWI get-on-with-it approach to the 2034 World Cup, but not to be hampered by 10 ASEAN members (11 with Timor by 2034? Even Papua and Solomons?) each wanting their piece of the football apple pie.

The Japan-Korea Cup and indeed four Home Nations of UK 2030 (5 with Eire or still 4 with a reunited Ulster and Eire by 2034?) sensible templates (and indeed USA, Canada, Mexico in 2026) for say a maximum of 3 ASEAN hosts: Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.

Yes, even rusty Myanmar with the 15 years to 2034 enough time to not just put the World Cup on the road to Mandalay, and stimulate the undernourished Myanmar soccer potential, but also build/redevelop the stadia with the Six Companies approach, and Kwai etc transport links. Even London Undergroud Metros that would be familiar to Oxford's Aung San Suu Kyi.

### Mind the gap in global rail and metro ###

And Berlin's Metro Station at Wittenbergplatz with a London transport gift of the station sign should surely be a template for UK Metro (Tube if you prefer) excellence and innovation from Buenos Aires to Buffalo and Tel Aviv to Taipei. UK design carving out the tunnels not just as Crossrail or SuperSewers but carriages and even Harry Beck's graphic design of the iconic Tube map used around the world.

Some corner of a foreign Metro station is already mapped out as forever England, but a London tube sign as Wittenbergplatz would be a nice flourish for further rail links.

The UNESCO Heritage site of Bagan an ideal backdrop for the new Beckham's and Messi's keepy-uppy photo-opportunities for the 2034 World Cup. As would, with my Sincerity Advertising football shirt on, backdrops (real not UK green screen film effects) of Indonesia's Bali beach soccer and Thailand's Royal Road temples near to the world-class Buriram Sports City (an E-Grand Prix motor race soon?) in Surin province.

Khum Somyat must surely be polishing his football boots at the Thai FA to alert the UK FA as the Home of Football, of the 2034 bid, not as the Thai proverb: Ao paeng nuan pai khai chaowang - coals to Newcastle or Kasetsart way, but rather deploying the full weight of UK FA and in FIFA, even Khun Tippy's Leicester FC Siamese Foxes and the Premier League and all 92 UK football clubs, for a successful bid way before 2034. And 2030.

While wiser heads in ASEAN such as Manila's dynamic Resilience Minister Karen Jimeno must be thinking of a battle for city bids to some extent, yet considering the potential in Display Events before and during the 2034 World Cup.

And any post-2034 legacy of stadia and Metro Manila infrastructure improvements that UK very successfully achieved after the 2012 London Olympics would be maximised even without marshalling ADB and AIIB or rather EU and OECD and EBRD support.

Plus ASEAN not yet full steam ahead in developing swimming pools and school swimming lessons, whether Surin Charity, Thai Small Schools, or not is clearly a short-sighted approach for an eventual ASEAN Olympics, that Kent's sports expert Tracey Crouch MP is leading in UK.

Ms Crouch as an FA referee might well blow the whistle to begin consideration not just of World Cup Display Events but also future Olympic sports and display sports. She'd have no stronger supporter than me in my MP and Mayor campaigns.

Except perhaps Richard Graham MP Gloucester's ASEAN Minister and a cheerleader for Indonesia in UK and building bridges and the need for a massive uplift in UK trade, in ASEAN long before the 2030 and 2034 World Cups.

It's too early though for Hyde Park schools and Project Chaika.

UK as a Sporting Superpower, the Cricket World Cup in venues throughout UK, Netball World Cup in Liverpool and USA NFL and Year of Sports in just one summer, suggest more could and should be done in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and even 2022 Senegal Youth Olympics preparation. The latter the first Olympics in Africa and alongside the Morocco HiSPeed rail, first in Africa recently visited by Liam Fox Trade Minister. No doubt for metro/rail connections to Cairo and Riyadh and Neom, even the revitalised Cape2Cairo rail via Wau and Juba.

The PCC police elections next year may even see Chief Constable Pughsley dusting off his police whistle for a reinvigorated Kent Police Blue Light Emergency Soccer Cup, from the bottomless well of the Kent Police Innovation Fund.

Sporting Superpower UK surely absurd in lacking Olympics pools in every county as are the lack of ice rinks given Bangkok can manage it in 30 degree Climate Change heat. As can Miami, almost 60 years ago in the bravura ice rink hotel opening scenes of East Kent's 007 Goldfinger movie.

### ASEAN Smart Cities and couch rambutans ###

While smaller ASEAN nations such as Brunei or Laos or Singapore (and Timor and Solomons?) must also be thinking of not just Display Events (keepy-uppy along Orchard Road?) but, given hopefully record crowds of supporters and tourists crashing their websites and road works, and niche events that can blossom as Kent orchids, such as E-Sports.

Although the Thai Sports Science team may be needed to get ASEAN couch potatos (couch rambutans?) away from computer games and into the fresh air of the various ASEAN Smart Cities.

Indeed a UK and ASEAN Alliance for 2030 and 2034 might well ponder the opportunity with the men in blazers of the FA, as the founding fathers of football, and FIFA for a 2038 India World Cup from New Delhi to Hyderabad. Perhaps even an India-China Winter Olympics in the Karakoram or Kashmir or Nepalese highlands at some point.

PM May surely basking in a relaxing summer of cricket and hiking and jam-making and wheatfield wandering, and possibly pondering a backbench role as a roving envoy for Great British Cricket in India and UK-Commonwealth-USA frenemy Pakistan of nukes and Afghan safe zones and heroin and Kashmir sabre-rattling etc.

Indeed perhaps a refreshed PM May can not just get former cricketer Imran Khan on-side on such issues, and UK's lead in womens sports in general, but develop given the UK lead on diasporas, an India Federation of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan within the Commonwealth, for a linked-up approach to development rather than UK tearing itself apart on a Who Lost India debate as with China.

Perhaps given former PM's John Major and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and David Cameron Brexit warnings, Mrs May may bury the hatchet with POTUS Trump - before Kent Pocahontas Liz Warren does, or scalps him with it -and benefit from USA experience in outlining a UK-PM Library system and forum, on similar lines to USA Presidential libraries and UN Elders for sage advice.

POTUS Trump so far looks as though his Presidential Library won't be needed until after 2024.

While Jeremy Corbyn's fellow redshirt Keir Starmer railing in his lawyerly way under Hilary Benn's wise Brexit chairmanship, against a UK fudge on Brexit. And both no doubt keen to move Labour beyond socialism in one tube zone noodling and navel-gazing.

Or Cuban revolution amongst Jezza's courgettes of the allotment (except for China taking first base in Cuban Rail overhaul), and as with Tom Watson urging Remain, to wake up and smell the Nicaraguan Fair Trade coffee - or Vietnamese coffee - and bat for UK Sports in cross-party support in the Indo-Pacific sports arena and beyond.

An ASEAN World Cup in 2034, and UK World Cup in 2030 plus an India World Cup in 2038 would indeed be a hat-trick worth cheering from the rooftops and terraces in delivering sports to the peoples.

UK's mandarins might well have an extra half-time Florida orange themselves as a welcome break from the Brexit and Darrochian mess damaging UK's reputation near and far.

Time for Change

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Fast track Thailand and Cambodia rail - and UK?

A vigorous full page editorial today from the Bangkok Post emphasises the success and potential for the new rail link from Bangkok through to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. The link opened in April by both Prime Minister Chanocha and Hun Sen just a few weeks before the ASEAN Summit chaired by Thailand emphasised connectivity.

That all the more relevant for the next link from PP through to HCMC in Vietnam as Vietnam chairs next year's ASEAN sessions. Indeed the Vietnam Transport Minister urging a hurry up on such links. That at the Strategic Dialogue in London last week between UK and Vietnam - usually the discussions more tea-and-biscuits Dialogue than Strategy and even less on delivery over the last decade.

Perhaps the current rail timetable not factoring in the potential to ease congestion on Thailand's roads - as well as a road safety boost beyond the zooming minivans.

The Bangkok Post again this week with a full page article Bullet Train Bangkok to Beijing - a pastiche of the Michael Caine later Harry Palmer actioner - on the potential for hispeed rail from Bangkok and indeed Singapore upto Hong Kong and Beijing's OBOR:

While with Khun Thanathorn and Pannika of the Future Forward party in London this week, the Thai opposition leaders after the recent Thai elections, the debate no doubt centering on Thai military budget doubling under the junta to 7% GDP (UK and EU around 2% and higher even than USA's 6%) and conscription - but also the Hyperloop and Isaan initially raised in the election.

Isaan to the fore, and the slow train of development even before the Charter referendum with Ubon and Laos only connected to BKK in the 1950's according to the Isaan Voices book, in the new report from Asia Foundation by the dynamic Khun Rattana Lao:

With the now open Thai-Cambodia rail link on my 2015 and onwards manifesto, Richard Branson and Hyperloop and Isaan surely a feature in Thailand as well as the next UK election likely this Autumn after the Boris-Hunt PM battles building momentum for Redshirt Jeremy Corbyn's Labour and Remain.

Certainly it's too early to discuss in detail the 10,000 islands of Laos or Vinh deep sea port or Project Chaika. Or even Bangkok as ASEAN hub for Sincerity Advertising and PR.

The UK in Thailand gaining another boost with the announcement of 750 new Tesco stores - no doubt to rival 7-11 for rail station outlets as well as malls.

And The Independent, whisper it quietly, today urging on HS2 the UK equivalent of the bullet train after the success of HS1 and Hitachi here in East Kent: Eurostar trains linking London with Paris and Brussels through the Channel Tunnel:

That perhaps more important for UK infrastructure with delays on Heathrow and Gatwick development and the setback for UK-USA infrastructure cooperation for the moment in the POTUS Trump, rightful, concerns over Ambassador Darroch insults and leaks.

Neither helpful in plugging gaps in USA's crumbly rail and airport infrastructure - perhaps POTUS Trump's 1776 airports slip in his 4th July speech accurate in the cement needing to be poured to repair USA's ancient infrastructure beyond the Hudson Yards and Mexican Wall to pull together USA again.

Certainly the 2020 USA elections will need to show more concrete results than just a few East Kent Core Company Airfix or Hornby models of airports or railways gathering dust in the White House basement.

But Thailand's leap forward on ASEAN links deserving of more momentum not just on the PP-HCMC link or Laos and Isaan but through Kwai and Kanchanaburi upgrades to Yangon and onto India.

The sensitive updating of the Kwai links with Thailand and UK and Australia (the latter with the rather marvellous Hellfire Pass museum already) cooperation with East Kent and Japan's Hitachi and Toshiba, through to Imphal and Kohima in India perhaps no greater symbol of 21st century reconciliation.

Australia may even benefit in overhauling its hispeed rail network not just on the East coast of Brisbane to Sydney and Adelaide or even onto Perth. But rather tourism boosts and the strategic closure of Western Australia's backdoor onto the Indian Ocean - the continental circular road network only completed by 1985.

Perhaps this week's UNESCO list flagging up the potential with new sites in Myanmar with Bagan and Laos at the Plain of Jars - my desk as I write this with a pencil jar from the Jars.

And Isaan's Khmer temples placed on the UNESCO Tentative List - the Royal Road through Cambodia to Thailand surely a mega-boost to tourism and trade along with the rail links. Even ahead of the 2034 ASEAN World Cup bid:

And if UK efforts have been rather feeble in Laos and especially Myanmar (and the briefly touted UK 2030 World Cup bid) given the potential for Commonwealth links with India and Malaysia an Australia, the the new UNESCO site in UK with the Jodrell Bank space telescope form 1957 highlighting the potential for the new ASEAN Space programme with UK and Australia. That Cambodia Space Project echoing the music of the spheres, before the next tsunami or Climate Change floods, with weather satellites, seabed scans and robot subs etc.

All relevant to summit the next phase of the Thai car parts industry.

Thailand and ASEAN certainly should be reaching to outer space once the outer reaches of Thailand and ASEAN's borders are bridged by rail.

The UK's expertise in inventing and building railways and metros and stations and bus interchanges and mega-tunnels and super sewers through UK and Asia and USA is poised to help.


Monday, 24 June 2019

Police review update: Ramsgate and Kent

Crediit where it’s due I wanted to point out, almost 2 weeks after the first police review meeting, things are much improved in the town centre with tramps, pedzone cars etc.

Some issues remain:

1. In 2 weeks I haven’t seen any police foot patrols day or night. Prowl cars excellent.
2. Some tramps remain at the BetFred benches: drunk and yelling and litter before 6pm and drug gangs/groups:

3. Lots of bicycles in the pedzone: zooming through, wheelies, groups of kids and often going the wrong way through – is CCTV working? Road Safety generally 20mph (and road crash maps) and future bike reg/insurance/helmets?
An OAP/child will be seriously injured or killed soon.

4. Cars on pavements: mainly the kebab shop Slovak reg car and beach kiosk owners – the pedzone and seafront should also be extended soon: 8am to midnight? And marina/harbour car reduction. Same day towing/fines and clamp/crush should be viable: plenty of free car parks

5. Street drinking from newsagent single cans still an issue – a condition of licence/no sales before noon? An ASBO Most wanted ban list? Tobacco controls a separate licence issue?

6. A useful update would be on drugs gangs and dealers/County Lines as it goes underground again – Lords report on seaside towns heroin use and largescale former Blockbuster store town centre cannabis site/Manston 3am flights/yachts shows a major issue

7. Wetherspoons review: seafront funnelling into town centre/seafront – the largest pub in UK

8. Prowl car non-999 tasks review: ASBO noise policy with TDC closed at night, parking tickets, litter/grafitti grotspots, broken street lights, potholes reporting

9. Generally, concern over port still being used for live animal exports: collusion between port staff and police despite a council vote to end use: Port Act 1847 and Animal Welfare allows lorries to be turned away

10. FOI on staffing/salaries/ EK rota etc useful against £250M budget – excessive guns/ammo/training a concern

11. Thanet Metals dumped van/immobile sign by Copart Ltd near Pfizer (and several Bedz Ramsgate eyesore roadside signs), and broken wind turbine for scrap/dismantling nearby at Richboro/MT Energie

12. Manston airport DCO and Pleasurama and Dreamland final stages of council corruption

13. Pandemic #1 UK strategic threat: TB to ricin etc etc. A review of vaccines/policy etc would be useful

14. Truancy: by school and offrolling

15. Social dumping: by Maidstone and London – review of care homes, police presence etc

16. Bank Holidays and festivals: police overview

Hope these points are useful.
Kindest regards
• disused wind turbine near MT Energie and Pfizer
• £280M KCC pension funds
• £20M Canterbury shopping mall purchase
• Canterbury West mega car park
• Nemo mega pylons
• 30% RTC council reserves
• £1.5M Harbour St fund
• KCC commuter train link to Lille and Eurostar connection at Ashford