Monday, 19 March 2018

Trump and 15 Davos Friends #1

Kent's Spring and tourism season off to a chilly start with a few days of snow and cold weather. But not quite as cold as Davos.

Perhaps though a foretaste of ingrained Climate Change with extended colder winters and hotter summers. Horrifyingly the Daily Mail citing 10,000 extra NHS deaths in just January and February - by way of context for that grim toll there are just 1,700 UK road deaths each year.

The bad weather all the more reason for greater UK Resilience efforts - the Johnson and Johnson Resilience Box a useful tool for every kitchen. And wider concerns over the National Grid and NHS database cyber attacks from the Salisbury spy poisonings - the UK with just 6 days of Winter gas supplies in reserve.

After the kerfuffle of UK and Russian embassy exchanges and Putin confirmed for another 6 years as Russian leader all the more reason eventually for a New Yalta on UK and EU and Russian relations, beyond merely NATO and KGB militarism.

Much as Morocco and its 2026 World Cup bid, is a fresh alternative to the rather too many moving parts bid of USA-Canada-Mexico, and could reframe UK and EU - if not the USA eastern seaboard from Maine to Miami on North and West Africa relations.

Sport proving its wider value in the United Korea teams at the Winter Olympics and in UK as a Sporting Superpower.

The Morocco bid not just effective in the transport links and reworking of stadium sites that proved vital in the success of London 2012 (surely with China 2008 the template for Olympics success?) but also the timezone factor for global television, radio and internet audiences.

Surely the Olympics and World Cup mega sports events requiring greater long-term planning for their success as the hosts rotate through the continents. I've written previously on the potential for Thailand and ASEAN for the 2030 decade World Cup and Olympics bids. Argentina already warming up on the touchline for the 2030 World Cup bid.

The first African hispeed rail already underway in Morocco would be completed by 2026, even all the way through to exisitng links in the port cities of Nouakchott in Mauritania and Dakar in Senegal.

Dakar, Africa's western-most port for the Americas, is crucial for West African trade and development of UNSDG30 through the resurgent economies of Sierra Leone and Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire to the mega-cities of Nigeria.

While a Gibraltar bridge would further integrate the EU economies with North and West Africa, much as the Channel Tunnel has done here in Kent. Trade from Manchester to Moscow to Marrakesh would be expedited as are the Cape to Cairo connections that deliver on the OBOR, China's new silk route.

Lord Bridges, is a keen fan of bridges, much as Asia and the Atlantic need metaphorical bridges, as in the David Cameron and George Osborne regime previously with new China funds, and AIIB and BlackRock.

Both Messrs Cameron and Osborne are welcome in Kent for their efforts previously in saving the Pfizer/Discovery park site here in East Kent, the largest USA inward investment in Europe dating back to the Marshall Plan, and the crunchy need for TB vaccine production in post-war Europe, rather than the subsequent Viagra production that once stiffened the sinews of a now rather limp Kent economy.

A wider rather than deeper EU encompassing Russia and the Mediterranean nations is surely the future of a United States of Europe. Much as the United States of America provides a federal overlay on state autonomy. An EU budget notionally doubled to 1% of European GDP is surely more bureaucratic bloat and national duplication than it's worth given Brexit concerns.

The silliness of Brexit now unravelling by the day with realistic fears of 30 mile HGV tailbacks from Dover, Kent and Europe's largest port requiring the Transport Minister to confirm there would be no extra border checks.

Simply confirming a transition [period until 2012 is hardly a breakthrough but rather very expensive politicians and civil servants achieving not very much since 2016.

While the Northern Ireland and Eire border of any Brexit descends into a fantasy of some unknown AI technology of the future. The Brexit aftershocks potentially reverberating through the Eire economy - Port Rosslare in County Wexford, Eire's Dover if you will, a key strategic interest in expanding trade through Dublin and Belfast.

Perhaps St Patrick's Day is an opportunity for leprechauns to staff the border. Cheaper too, requiring no more than a bowl of Lucky Charms and a splash of milk.

Leprechauns aside though - and the Irish tourism and foreign ministries understandably proud of the global event that it has become along with 61 extra Irish businesses in USA last year - POTUS Trump can set aside his tartan and Tam O'Shanter to wear his shamrock with pride as both the White House fountain and Chicago river turn green.

And surely it's not unreasonable for the Trump Davos 15 Friends from his Swiss Summit to tee off their activity in Europe and USA. A Davos Cup if you will.

First off the mark are Siemens, as detailed previously, with a new East Yorkshire rail factory and 700 UK jobs surely well-positioned for HS3 work to upgrade links across UK from Liverpool, Ireland's and USA's nearest UK port, with Hull, just completing its superb City of Culture work, as UK's nearest port for Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

Leaving Ramsgate and Dover to one side for the moment.

And Siemens no doubt a front-runner for HS2 instigated by the David Cameron regime with the London Underground and Crossrail (One and Two) tweaks that are Europe's largest construction projects.

And vital for the HS1 rail connectivity here in Kent (Siemens previously active with Vattenfall here in Ramsgate for the London Array the largest wind farm in the world) with Hitachi and Eurostar - the new Amsterdam rail route open this month.

That London-Amsterdam inital route a concern in return journey delays merely due to a lack of carriages. While East Kent could easily benefit from NHS coordination with the new and empty Calais hospital (some of those 10,000 early deaths might have been prevented with a bit of French healthcare) and commuter routes to Northern France and Benelux.

Siemens (Davos#1) no doubt would balk at doing everything - but with shades of the Six Companies - there is surely no obstacle that the Trump Davos 15 Friends can't overcome together whether by formal or informal joint ventures?

Nestle (Davos#2) and Adidas (Davos#3) might well focus more on sponsorships, whether the Morocco 2026 bid, or the new David Beckham Miami soccer team. Surely a hole in one there for POTUS Trump's Florida winter home in deepening UK links and developing a rundown area of Miami?

Victoria Beckham's fashion work and USA expansion, surely a UK strategic interest as part of its fashion portfolio. Adidas a fashion brand as much as a sports brand.

While Nestle increases in chocolate raisins or peanuts would not just fuel a soccer or NFL game but also the West African cocoa and North Carolina peanut economies. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina active on this month's USA trade mission to UK and a keen advocate of peanuts the official state snack.

As an aside, the boom in healthy eating and anti-obesity work from Yale reports on the benefits of legumes and tree nuts surely not reflected yet in market growth and reduced prices. Walmart Asda urging supplies of tree nuts surely a boon for farmers in sunset industries such as tobacco.

Cote D'Ivoire a Nestle and FairTrade strategic interest as much as Nestle is a Cote D'Ivoire strategic interest. Those ports and railheads at Dakar and Nouakchott again for the supermarkets and consumers of Europe and USA.

But if POTUS Trump is active in the rust belt industries and towns of West Virginia and Detroit, American trade tariffs such as steel, are a blunt weapon to boost the American economy.

New investment already in Motor City by Ford surely can't be hindered by Volvo growth (Davos #4), the 2018 car of the year in the XC40 SUV, and with my Sincerity Advertising hat on some rather excellent advertising. Much as Ford in UK is boosting Dagenham and Barking with the new 3 litre engine - an Essex Engine to rival the Midlands Engine given the OBOR links into Margaret Hodge MP's constituency?

Beyond the spark of new factories and AI and Robotics relevant to both Siemens and ABB (Davos #5), perhaps the most vital part of the transport industry is the supply chain of spare parts and logistics connections. Howell in Michigan an outpost of the Thai Summit Group, also active in India, and one of the founders of the new Future Forward political party in Thailand as that nation returns to full democracy guided by Uncle Tu's FDR fireside chats.

Auto parts as crucial to Thailand (and UK and USA) as is Tourism. Those 2030 World Cups and Olympics again. Along with the Just In Time supply chain management crucial to global business that Brexit is foundering upon. And certainly DHL Thailand no doubt learning lessons in how not to do it from DHL UK and the KFC fiasco of chicken shops without chicken - a variant on a pub without beer or coffee shop without coffee. The latter a concern for Nestle brands beyond just Nescafe.

The good folks of Bidvest Logistics plucking KFC from further disaster in taking back the KFC contract - let's hope they charge double.

And if logistics oils the wheels of industry then so does oil, for the moment, with Statoil (Davos #6) rebranding as Equinor to postion itself much as BP has gone Beyond Petroleum for a renewables world. And Morocco and Gibraltar railways and bridges aside, both Algeria and post-conflict Libya must be a shoo-in for solar panel growth.

Even refloating the Desertec mega-project alongside Prince MBS's Neom City-State that if not necessarily making the desert bloom would power all of Europe and Africa and Arabia.

As an aside, Equinor celebrated as something of a rebranding success in the Daily Telegraph last week, compared to Phillips, a great Dutch brand in electronics and healthcare now rebranding as Signify for its lighting division. Huh? Why? That's a lot of advertising money to rework that brand.

And a delay in casting light on the DNA Bathroom Mirror?

With the isolation of the P53 gene at the root of many of the 200 cancers the DNA Bathroom Mirror becomes a household doctor - and no doubt as ubiquitous in every house as an electronic toothbrush or front door. One for Siemens again - or perhaps Panasonic?

Surely it wouldn't be so outrageous to have a Japanese adjunct to the European and American flavour of the Trump Davos 15 Friends? Whether the Meiji Kent thrust of the afore-mentioned Hitachi in Kent, or Panasonic or Toshiba in Thailand or Mitsubishi. Nissan and Toyota and Honda already key ingredients of the UK Northern Powerhouse with the Sunderland factoryone of the largest manufacturing sites in Europe.

France's Total Oil (Davos #7) may have some way to go beyond the US Conference of Mayors or National Association of Governors to overcome the USA war crimes listing for its Myanmar pipelines and switching to solar.

(To be continued - from Davos#7 to #15)

Time for Change

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Death Island UK #2 with death of USA and EU trade?

The rigor moris of Brexit has long set in with UK paralysed at Westminster and Holyrood and Cardiff Bay over the conundrums and what-ifs of Brexit. Whitehall's mandarins rotting where they sit in trying to execute an impossible trade policy.

Brexit has for two years paralysed government with nothing being done. Our expensive politicians and civil servants seem to gotten the country into a pickle of their own making.

The dreary daily litany of EU cherrypicking or having cake and eaten and fantasies of frictionless trade are unlikely to butter any parsnips or bake any Kent apples into American pies. UKIP all the more bizarre in Kent - and a wider Conservative issue as what David Cameron wisely termed UKIP fruitcakes and loonies drift back into the Tory ranks - with its reliance on UK and European tourism and trade.

And Dover as Europe's largest port ferrying the car parts of the Midland Engine that keep Toyota and Ford and Nissan and Kent's James Bond's Aston Martin purring seamlessly across the sea, and shunting them under it through the Channel Tunnel.

As an aside, the Channel sea routes as the busiest in the world long overdue both Climate Change and air pollution testing and restrictions on ships. Although clearly KCC under the Toxic Two and TDC can't be trusted on monitoring.

East Kent certainly needs jobs: the foolish delays in 5,000 jobs at Pfizer-Discovery Park the largest USA pharma inward investment site in Europe due to astonishing mismanagement and governance. Government seems to have learnt nothing from the coalpit closure s of the 1980's in reliance in a single industry and effective management of sunset industries. While just 2,000 further jobs would provide full employment in East Kent.

It's worth noting that Siemens of the #DavosTrump15 with one deft move have provided at least 700 jobs in East Yorkshire for a rail factory. A boon not just for that region but bringing German and UK engineering expertise together in the supply chain for HS2, HS3, Tube etc even ASEAN Rail. While Siemens subsidaries in wind turbines are already turning in East Yorkshire and no doubt ideal with Kent's Vattenfall Swedish electricity giant and solar panel subsidiaries.

In contrast the Grand Tarmac Projects of Manston and Stack yielding nothing but the hot air and wind heating the County Barn of Kent and a surge in cancer cases and corpses through faked air pollution data.

As Ramsgate Mayor I wouldnlt hesitite to instigate not just Red Cross Week as a regular feature of Red Cross Town - with the good folks of the RNLI centre stage too obviously, medevac helicopters foolishly downgraded in the Northern Powerhouses of Belfast's Bombardier and Derby's Rolls Royce and BAE's Preston factories - but also Johnson and Johnson Day.

An outrageous bias towards J&J as one of the world's leading skincream and personal care companies?


Why not?

It's a great company from Tylenol onwards and the UK-USA Special Trade Relationship won't be very special if trade isn't encouraged.

Maybe Toilet Duck could clean out the Privy Council too - they'd certainly need gallons of the stuff for KCC and TDC councils. Even Esmerelda the pig used as an air freshener in the council chambers is feeling faint.

But neither J&J or Janssen or Ambassador Woody Johnson should be under any doubt of UK and East Kent support for their growth. UK failing dismally - as is USA - in 200 cancers research, Diabetes 5 strands, Dementia an unknown unknowns and EU Rare Disease Day. Even London as the TB capitral of Europe, and a measles epidemic all needing greater efforts. Much as graphene as a wonder material is drifitng sideways with nothing produced.

How absurd that 130 UK univerisites aren't each linked to a USA university and with a Cancer dept etc.

But J&J Day would be a day to fill up your Resilience Box - obviously with Johnson and Johnson products but let's not be too prescriptive against Unilver or Colgate-Palmolive or Reckitt or Boots.

Suncream and bandaids should form some of the prerequisites of any Resilience Box and while Asda Walmart would want a few weeks to stock up on tinned food essentials whether John West Liverpool-Thailand's tuna, or Fairtrade tea and coffee, Welsh spring water and the Man from del Monte hurrying up deliveries of tinned pineapple and so on.

J&J Day should probably be held early in April the start of the tax year to give the good folks of J&J an early profit boost and begin preparation for Winter (it happens every year - go tell it to the Royal Marines).

And the Resilience Box should hold photocopies of prescriptions and medical database printouts even DNA profiles as the NHS DNA rollout builds up steam. Any rare prescriptions and OAP's at risk could also be flagged up on a medevac database. Unless Crapita rarther than Microsoft are hired to deliver it.

While I like most people would defer to Ambassador Woody on both the NFL playlist and stocks of vaccines to be held for call off in UK and rotation through Africa and India. Winter's here so the flu vaccine has run out let's have a cup of tea and bumble along can't be England's motto each year.

While the New European article on the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed more people in months than the years of trench warfare in Flanders Fields just over the water from Kent, details the horror of bird-flu-based diseases.

Yet the horror of Ebola showing how vaccines can be rapidly produced from scratch.

Surely any Kent-Thai police coperation should include not just the locations of supermarkets and pharmacies and vaccine stockpiles, helicopter and medevac systems and even the new mega-farms that hinder and endanger organic sales. UK-USA trade is hampered to some extent by the very real fears of chlorine-washed chicken and salad, Frankenfoods and animal antibiotics.

The latter one of the key factors in AMR the antibiotic-resistant bugs that would yield a medieval plague from nothing more than a scratch from planting a Kent orchid. And UK has much to learn from Stanford University efforts on Pandemic swabs of the NYC subway etc as an early warning system for TB etc.
Even sampling the sewers as a bio-chem attack forewarning.

And it's no use crying over spilt American dairy products on their way to UK if a pandemic closes the ports and airports and fills the hospitals.

An excellent series of trailers for BBC4 documentary Contagion! highlights the likely effects of a Pandemic across UK. No doubt 30% dead as with Spanish Flu and Black Death plague.

Pandemic now upgraded to the No.1 threat facing UK.

That making something of a mockery of the usual threats of Russian invasion (or neglected flashpoints such as the Greece-Turkey border) as the MOD budget cuts draw near - undersea cables in UK under threat! Or more realistically an electro-magnetic pulse bomb a real but rather overheated claim for budget detailed to Congress.

And are the Magnitsky crimes really so different from Lord Grabiner and One Essex Court, Britain's best corrupt barristers? Crooked courts and barristers and lawyers and judges? Rigged sessions? Whitewash and coverup? Random charges and jail sentences? No wonder Russian oligarchs feel at home in paying off the UK High Court.

Parliament long-delayed in sentence reviews, judge performance, capped legal fees, closed courts reform with cameras in-camera and so on.

While Putin's pre-election unveiling of new sea and air nuclear missiles Kraken (named after the Kent Police drugs ship and yachts searches?) and Balalaika (citing Kent's Beatles lyric in Back in the USSR? - surely UK should have more of the Red Army Choir and Bolshoi as well as Russian pop stars? But Kraken and Balalaika look as if they should be named Photoshop and Greenscreen. Surely Chernobyl proves nukes in Europe are a danger for everybody and a UN disarmament already begun?

One Australian thinktank suggestign new North Korean fighter jets no more technologically advanced than the ride-on planes outside supermarkets. And fears that rain on the parade might dampen Pyonyang's cardboard missiles. At the very least firing them over Japan rather silly if they veered off course - something of a failure for Chinese diplomacy and sanctions especially with a President for Life Xi. A North-South Korean Summit and unification talks sensible as the summer weather and clear skies and US Marine Expeditionary forces arrive.

Much as the Pentagon claims of a missile gap with Russia in the 1950's Cold War proved to be just so much hogwash. The new Pentagon $700BN defence budget dwarfing the USA and UK aid budgets of $20BN each. Even nuclear missiles not much use against superbugs.

BBC Hard Talk Stepehn Sackur interviews with even Johnny Mercer MP a potential UK defence minister as poacher-turned-gamekeeper rather than mere military cheeerleader, expressing reluctance for more military funds from such waste and incompetence. Certianly not the absurd random 3% breaching NATO's carfeully worked-out(?) 2% target.

As with Kent's Tom Tugenhadt chairing the Defence Committee, broken ports such as Portsmouth and Chatham - even Ramsgate with an expanded yacht marina given the 2nd largest sail festival after Cowes - need to sail a different course rather than relying on naval overbuild.

While the Sobchak Russian Election interviews detail Russian opposition to the Crimea annexation and Ukraine invasion. The 1980's KGB playbook of Putin limited to minor destabilisation of Eastern European nations and dissident attacks.

Kent's Margate is twinned with Sevastopol in the Crimea - and Soviet-style tower blocks such as Arlington House that litter Havana and many Russian cities - and road signs such as Alma Road (no JFK Street) celebrating the first Crimean invasion by Britain rather than Russia. Surely more consideration needs to be given within NATO and EU over very real Russian fears of Western invasion whether 1812 or 1853 or 1914 or 1941 and the carnage and chaos that ensues. Even the 1920 invasion by UK and USA troops.
Russian troops in Paris or Berlin, even Georgia in 2008, comparatively a mere blip.

Much as wiser voices in Russia must see the Partnership for Peace with NATO already laying the building blocks for full EU membership. It's hardly outrageous to consider an EU stretching from Manchester across to Moscow or Stockholm down to Sudan. Certainly the collapse of Libya and Syria that sparked much of the recent UKIP froth (and every Med refugee corpse washed ashore a testimony to the failure of NATO navies) requires in-depth planning of not just the reconstruction of those nations but the wider integration of North Africa and Levant with Europe.

It's hardly outrageous for the brio and brioche of UK coffee culture to encompass Ethiopian coffee for example. Starbucks now a strategic industry for UK and USA and Caribbean and ChiangMai as Texaco previously? At the very least there's a lot of potential for Isaan silk whether tablecloths and napkins or socks and skirts.

And Thai princess Maha this week highlighting orchids with Kew Gardens surely positive for UK-Thai trade even Kent orchids.

I've long highlighted the potential for UK trade and Kent orchids with the revival of the Battle of the Flowers. UK agriculture failing under monocrops and dustbowl topsoil removal of trees and hedgerows and bees.

Prince Mo MBS of Saudi Arabia visiting UK, to see UK efforts on gaining the Aramco listing, also marks a break from the past of an insular Saudi Arabia with Neom potentially a new city-state off Aqaba and key Israeli tourism site at Sharm-el-Sheik near the mouth of the Suez canal. BP forecasts of oil demand remaining high through to 2040 perhaps overdone given VW ending the diesel combustion engine by 2030, first UK driverless car routes underway this year, 5G wireless across EU by 2020 and vigorous growth of solar panels and wind turbines batteries.

Perhaps Prince Mo MBS could do more with UK graphene for desalination plants and irrigation canals across Arabia.

General Sir Gordon Messenger the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff likely to step up to the head of the military role this Summer and as with General Nick Carter head of the army wisely holding onto their epaulettes and sword in walking the right side of the military-industrial line, in calling for yet more money for military failure.

But still neglecting the costs and input of GCHQ already monitoring every Facebook post etc in their calls for more cyber warfare funds. Surely duplication along with USA upgrades of Menwith Hill. The Five Eyes security sharing irrelevant to Brexit but more a liaison failing with the Five ASEAN Eyes.

##While the collpase of Northern Ireland in powersharing in Belfast for over a year without government and calls for the status quo of both an open border and EU membership must surely encourage Ireland unity, already de facto with open borders and shared passports, ahead of the 1922 anniversary.

Sinn Fein descriptions of Northern Ireland as a putrid little statelet hardly so outrageous given the jerrymandering dilution of Ulster to the Six Counties to instigate a Protestant majority. Yet concerns over the Kingsmill supermarket bread incident of a Sinn Fein councillor now sacked, in celebrating the horrific Kingsmill Massacre. Exactly the sort of ethnic cleansing incident that rightly stokes Protestant fears of a Northern Ireland Catholic majority within an Eire Catholic state.

Protestant civil rights potentially in jeopardy now as Catholic civil rights were 50 years ago. Certainly no UK parliament oversight over the £1BN bung to DUP by the May government and how/where it will be spent in Belfast.

Indeed perhaps a concern is whether Eire would actually want to govern Northern Ireland given the collapse of industry and tourism: 70% of the economy a form of UK Communism in being reliant on State funding. And weak efforts not just on the Bombardier trade crisis but even marketing Game of Thrones locations - as Eire is doing with Star Wars sites - and Titanic museum.

Armalites and butter aside, Northern Ireland health indicators are the worst in UK. And as in Kent, the Northern Ireland border highlighting how Brexit is a nonsense in the JIT modern world. UK car parts and Irish animal parts crossing each border several times before being processed.

Job growth in thousands of extra customs officials sat on the rates watching the driverless lorries go by is hardly socially useful. The flow of cocaine and heroin and pills only likely to increase - 70% of Afghanistan lost to the Taliban and the source of 90% of UK heroin, and all the more reason for Airbase Heroin within the Shan highlands and Doitung work for the other 10% of UK heroin.

The techwar approach of million dollar missiles on mudhuts or B52 bombings of motorbikes or even more bizarrely, nuclear weapons loaded onto bomber planes, only goes so far. the failure of Reconstruction - any attempt at Reconstruction - likely to hinder Afghanistan and and Iraq, as well as Libya and Yemen and Syria, even Congo and Chad and Sudan for generations. Equatorial Guinea not just the world's slowest growing economy at minus 7% but possibly the last dictatorial regime propped up by American oil companies.

Certianly the NHS database just a year ago wiped out by Crapita or Lauri Love hackers or North Korean hackers is a real failing along with Windows XP in aircraft carriers and subs.

As is the affable John McDonnell chancellor-in-waiting being unable to name any business heroes in the FT. As the head of Camden housing dept previously, those tower blocks looking suspiciously Soviet. And as with asbestos in schools no explanation from any of the main parties as to how fire regualtions could help set tower blocks alight.

Corbynism with over 90 Labour front bench resignations is looking suspiciously like old wine in old bottles for a thin gruel of 1970's socialism. Energy price caps and zero fat foods and interest rate caps the work of mere moments rather than another snap election to hustle through foxhunting or some such nonsense. No wonder 50% of the electorate don't vote.

Nationalising trains as a flagship policy is hardly outrageously awful but hardly likely to grow the UK economy. While Jaguar Land Rover crawling to a halt as manufacturing is suspended over water supply problems is a concern not just with rust in the Midlands Engine but here in Kent.

While the quietly capable Lord Gus O' Donnell the former head of the UK Civil Service and Britain's Talleyrand in deftly weaving through a variety pack of governments since 1979, rightly calls for 100 year planning in UK governance.

A child born today would be likely to live at least to 90 years old and a Gilgamesh Strategy long needed as horrifyingly UK and USA life expectancy has managed to fall two years in the last five. That takes some doing.

The May government surely one of the worst in UK history and one of the worst manifestos ever, with every policy now jettisoned, still leads Corbyn's Labour suggesting either a lack of talent or a lack of effort. Karen Buck MP's housing strategy unlikely to get off the ground if she's so easily lead up the garden path by the Bar Standards Board for One Essex Court?

And UK as a G7 nation tumbling to the bottom of that league table amidst the Brexit waffle. And already more a G25 on GDP per head.

All the more reason for Ambassador Woody to send a fax to Bill Gates ahead of Wimbledon - another tech presidential run with Zuckerberg being served up? - not just to write his own cheque on the NHS database - an NHS 70M database would fit on Bill's car keyring and take less time to start up.

But also to tee up a parade of US business talent over the next few years to deliver more than KFC and DHL (4 warehouses into one won't go) on the Special Relationship:






McAuliffes 2!




Gates 2!

Time for Change

Death Islands Thailand and UK?

An excellent and horrifying article by The Sun on 1st March provides food for thought for UK and Thailand.

Across pages 16 and 17 Chief Feature Writer Oliver Harvey details nine deaths on Koh Tao since 2012 under the headline "This isn't paradise it's Death Island" and "Backpackers hotspot haunted by 9 tragedies".

The most infamous deaths being the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller and subsequent arrests of Burmese migrants Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin. But also Kent tourist Christine Annesley found dead near Sairee Beach on 21st January 2015 and Belgian tourist Elise Dallemagne found hanged in May 2017.
And a petition of 15,000 names to be delivered to 10 Downing St yesterday Tuesday 6th March, is calling for an investigation into the deaths, by Pat Harrington the mother of Ben Harrington, killed in 2012 in a moped accident and possible robbery.

Beyond the personal tragedies of each death there are clearly wider concerns for the UK and Thai tourism industries: Koh Tao has just 2,000 residents with an influx of 500,000 visitors each year. Both UK and Thailand tourism are perhaps the most successful tourist industries in the world regularly reaching over 35M visitors each.

While The Sun article, one of Europe's largest newspapers, also cites 362 UK citizens dead in Thailand - one of the highest death tolls anwhere in the world - and Thailand's second-most lethal roads in the world after the warzone of Libya.

While both former Tourism Minister Khun Kobkarn and current Tourism Minister Khun Weerasak were both vigorous not just in investigating such incidents but attempting to move the dial on both Thailand's road accidents and wanton backpacker culture. The Sun article citing not just full moon rave parties but the availability of cocaine, cannabis and Yaba crystal meth.

Clearly there are concerns in Kent not just Koh Tao with quotes on: "I do not believe what the police have told us" and "Youngsters need to be warned about this island. It's comletely corrupt. Don't go" concerning for Thai and Kent police in their future work.

Similar problems surface here in Kent with the Infratil directors absconding from Manston to Wellington airport in New Zealand, the surge in knife crime in UK up 20% needing more than just knife amnesties and astonishng horror of over 100,000 rapes each year in UK.

The Oscar-winning 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is clealry not fiction in terms of highlighting police efforts on crime. While the spate of Russian spy murders and Magnitsky crimes with Litvinenko in London and Perelichnyy in Surrey and now Skripal in Wiltshire raise concerns over State terrorism in UK.

Russian MP Yuri Lugovoi - suspected of the Litvinenko murder - citing not just over 200 years of distrust between Russia and UK and USA but a flawed UK justice system hiding Russian oligarchs. The recent parliament debate on white collar criminals of accountants and lawyers etc is hardly surprising given the activiities of One Essex Court under Lord Grabiner of BHS and Laurence Stephens solicitors Andrew Conway posing as HMRC officials and Palmer Biggs law faking costs with their barrister.

In my Kent politics campaign "Stop the Pollution. Stop the Corruption. Stop the Construction" now moving into the Ramsgate Mayor stage after the collapse of Manston airport drugsmuggling, Iran Air sanctions, banned Russian aircraft and widespread council corruption on airport monitors and construction projects such as Pleasurama and Dreamland tax havens, I've long urged a closer partnership between Kent and Thai police.

Improvements in Road Safety are surely a nobrainer given the excellent UK work on roads over the years - albeit with the slight increase in road deaths. And Resilience work - snow not so much of a problem in Thailand - on floods and Missing Persons. Lincolnshire Police storming ahead on road work and a Resilience Forum and conference sessions of Police, Red Cross, Salvation Army etc.

The upward tick in hate crime in Kent - minor but persistent hate graffiti, insults and bullying - has been aired through the UKIP blip. Kent unfairly tarnished as a heartland of UKIP after the wipeout and dismal efforts of UK's only UKIP council now ended after lasting just two years.

Bizarrely Mayor Trevor Shonk, a nice enough chap, one of the two most senior UKIP elected figures in UK with the appalling Neil "cash for questions" Hamilton of the Welsh Assembly. The UKIP MEP's already resigned to redundancy after the 2019 elections even without Brexit.

The casual racism of UKIP MEP's such as Janice Atkinson filmed by BBCTV in Ramsgate referring to her own Thai constituent, a friend of Surin restaurant, as "a ting-tong from somewhere". And other pejorative references to coconuts and golliwogs and so on suggest an insular and backward-looking Kent. The above race jibes are hardly likely to encourage Thai-UK trade nor say Jamaican tourists - Ramsgate long a destination for London faith group awaydays from the wider Caribbean and Indian and Bangladeshi communities. Archbishop Trevor Wilmott of Canterbury Cathedral long a bastion of tolerance and inclusivity even citing the aim of a Buddhist temple. East Kent, despute the UKIP stain, a home for various dissenter groups and mosques and synagogues along with Greek orthodox cermonies, jehovah's Witnesses and so on.

The Koh Tao 2014 murders though were also the subject of a detailed BBCTV documentary and The Sun article citing Koh Tao police chief Lt-General Chokchai Sutthimek on how the island is safe for tourists. Moped accidents and suicides and swimming pool drownings are a part of the grim litany of deaths in any busy tourist destination - yet with 362 UK deaths and the scourge of yaba and Myanmar heroin closer police cooperation rather than Scotland Yard detectives turning up for a few days of sunbathing (not even Johnson and Johnson suncream?) is vital. And 15,000 people may be wrong in petitioning Downing St but they certainly should be heard.

The Kent Police Innovation Fund already deployed on work around the New York City Predictive Policing Programme dramatised by Tom Cruise in Spielberg's Minority Report. And for Kent's small towns perhaps best shared on a regular basis with ASEAN and USA's smaller towns.

My rival Police and Crime Commissioner candidate rightly citing the need to maintain police tech capability as part of its STEM work (the potential closure of Broadstairs campus of Canterbury Christchurch University yet another dimunition of East Kent's socio-economic improvements. A forensics lab as part of a Hendon of the South for police and forensics training hardly outragously complex or expensive.

It's worth quoting though Lt-General Sutthimek from the Koh Tao article:

"The causes of tourist deaths are varied from drowning and motor accdents to suicide. Only David and Hannah were murdered and that case was solved".

Defenders of the Burmese migrants have yet to state who, if not them, carried out a double murder that evening. Television footage showing a very narrow track to the beach and a very small beach.

But how much support could be given by a dedicated UK police team to such issues? The website FarangDeaths also highlighting the real concerns of large number so deaths of foreigners in Thailand: Russian, Chinese, German, Italian as well as UK.

While the EU 112 emergency 999/911 helpline is surely the forerunner of a global emergency helpline with 101 as its non emergency variant. Much as Thai Police and Thai tourism's xxxx helpline requires a global rollout. Stumbling out of a car crash in Kent, Kenya, Kingston or Kunming you hardly want to be struggling to remember the emergency phone number (if there is a phone signal) or struggling with the language if you do get through.

The deaths in a ditch after days of car crash, a warning not just of Police Scotland emergency call centre delays and errors but also wider Resileince measures whether floods or forest fires or snow and sickness. And with the bloat of a $1M fire station in Ramsgate - my first act as Mayor will be wrecking ball politics to demolish it and dig up the runway at Manston - it raises questions with Grenfell and the absurdly expensive and never used regional fire centres over Fire safety budgets.

9 deaths on Koh Tao is a tragedy for both UK and Thailand.

But Death Island UK a little harsh? Perhaps not: UK life expectancy falling two years in the last five and Flu and Measles Pandemics.

Time for Change

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Snowflakes? And Resilience Kent and USA etc? It gets worse.

A Sun editorial on Kent panic buying for milk, and fighting in the aisles in sleepy Lenham before the police restored order and no doubt a good ticking-off concerning.

Proof again if it were needed of just 3 meals from chaos without effective Resilience.

The Royal Marines rightly something of a scapegoat after the shoddy RM and RN response to Caribbean storms - late ships, broken beach equipment and forgetting their guns it was more of a badly organised stag do than Resilience response - last Summer (the storms will happen again Royal Marines don’t forget to write it in your diary even without the Commonwealth Summit!).

The Royal Navy invariably effective only when run as privateers or by the Army.

All the more concerning as RM was right to bang the table about the loss of HMS Ocean amphibious landing ship - again a shoddy trade for the vanity project of aircraft carriers.

Perhaps the Royal Marines rot set in with leaving Deal in Kent for the clotted cream and caviar luxury of Devon. Or even earlier with the Army commandos rather than Navy running the show.

The loss of 70% of Afghanistan to the Taliban or until recently the loss of all Iraq to ISIS also suggests something is wrong in Resilience and Reconstruction of those nations.

And when the soldiers come marching home with their legs in their rucksacks they’d rightly be concerned at not just the lack of medical support but in the lack of explanation of the generational task of years rather than beer and medals and home for Xmas with not a shot fired.

Syria and Libya facing the same destruction and no doubt lack of Resilience and Reconstruction plans.

Certainly though it’s to be hoped the US Coastguard are put on point to coordinate all Caribbean resilience activity from their Texas hurricane activity and support of the Cajun Navy. And to coordinate sensible shipbuilding plans with the shipyards of Norfolk (Virginia) and UK.

The dodgy One Essex Court fraud throwing up Judge Suitcase Smithy briefly, who made some interesting points on Jacky Fisher RN and his rigorous scrapping of dozens of pre-WW1 ships as a waste of steel and men. Do we really fund the Royal Navy for 40 Admirals for 20 main warships?

The snow days highlighting not just the excellent work of Kent gritters and snow ploughs and binmen (recycling though far too weak given Germany has 90% recycling compared to UK’s 40%) for weeks now but also the need for lavish amounts of medevac air ambulances and cargo helicopters and planes for snowed-in roads and car crashes and medicine deliveries.

The US military albeit with a new $700BN budget already with 300 Chinooks – UK failing to provide even one to Afghanistan and that failing to dustoff because it was dusty.

How you like them pricey military apples? A shocking MOD scandal and of UK aviation that surely the new USA Boeing HQ in Sheffield and EU Airbus HQ in Toulouse must be working on?

As with TB vaccine etc supplies such medevac helicopters could easily be rotated through Africa and India too. And of far more use than F35 fighter jets already surpassed by drones.

My brief thoughts on the Defence review:

###to follow

Food for thought.

Much as Sir Martin Donnelly of DIT trade points out that Brexit means exchanging a 3 course meal for a packet of crisps. And Liam Fox Trade Minister rightly pointing out that Brexit is proving more complicated than a packet of Walkers crisps - possibly like Leicester's Keith Vaz as with Liverpool’s Louise Ellman and Brighton’s Caroline Lucas - long a friend of Kent he's a supporter of Gary Lineker and the Siamese Foxes.

Dr Fox, suckled on the udder of the tax milch cow of the NHS (dentistry though long the rotten tooth in the smile of the NHS), has made superb efforts on trade (former PM David Cameron right to urge every UK embassy to be car showrooms etc) rather than excessive overduplication of UN and NGO’s on human rights etc.

While even Lord Bridges of Bridges couldn’t rescuscitate Boris’ Channel Bridge or Garden Bridge. And the grain of sense in Boris Airport at Sea lost in the wider Heathrow debate and delay.

While the excellent The Sun City pages now extended to a daily must-read highlights the UK could miss its 2020 31TN export target. 81% of SME's in the dark over export support and no doubt under siege form the Big Energy companies. Tracey Boles' City column citing Growth Street's Greg Carter that SME businesses are key to such export increases beyond the usual faces of Rolls Royce etc or the corporate welfare of arms deals of BAE etc.

And the Daily Mail City pages on 21st February citing the largest one day fall in Walmart shares by 10%. the lead article by Hannah Uttley detailing points on Walmart underinvesting in UK, online competition from Amazon and WholeFoods and Ocado cited as a possible purchase by Kroger or Walmart.

With 11,700 stores worldwide including 642 UK Asda stores – 2 in East Kent – 2.3M staff and 270M customers weekly it’s hard not to paraphrase POTUS Harding that what’s good for Walmart is good for UK and East Kent and the good folks of Ramsgate Asda.

Much as key East Kent companies such as Saga cruise ships, Pfizer, Bakkavor and Givaudin and Eurotunnel, amongst several, have long been neglected by a too-centralised and too bureaucratic and public sector focused KCC. Closing tourism offices and Brussel offices amidst the brief blip of Kent UKIPism especially foolish. Especially with a revitalised Eire trade and tourism offices and the Welsh government trade offices expanding the wider UK and Commonwealth trade footprint.

Dr Fox though wouldn’t be wrong - like me - to sit at the knee of USA's Farm Minister Sonny "Big Buddy" Perdue who knows one end of a cow, and the US farm industry, from the other, and write a prescription on how UK and USA especially the Kent Big Apple can expand trade and nutrition. Kent's sister-state in Virginia under Terry and Dorothy Macauliffe already active on healthy school eating that would be relevant for Lanarkshire Councils new holiday eating programmes. Scotland long neglected in UK trade activity and an over-reliance on whisky.

The Virginia Breakfast Club not just an 80's movie with the debate on SNAP meals and Farm Boxes. Britain’s malnourished children might want to raid the scurvy Royal Navy’s store of limes. So might the thousands of dead and dying Mediterranean refugees failed by Europe’s navies.

Ramsgate's Great British American Asda Walmart active in its support not just big brands - and who knew Greggs has more stores than McDonalds or, whisper it quietly, even Starbucks - but Americana foods such as the craft beers of Maine, and hopefully Virginia, and roots recipes such as Louisiana lime perfect for us limeys and already not a lemon as The Grocer gold award winner.

Certainly the good folks of Starbucks iconic in the brio and brioche of an expanding UK coffee culture. Caribbean Resilience faltering for USA in Puerto Rico recently and Haiti for even longer. While the Cold War antagonism of USA and Cuba – crickets or sonic war in Havana? - surely calls for the UK’s #AnotherGringo strategy to review the Cuban economy rusting under sanctions and a reliance on sunset industries such as sugar and tobacco.

Much as the Sandinista regime of Nicaragua not just a difficult the Clash album – World Clash Day a marvellous thing too as Kent’s Rolling Stones tune up get back on the road with the No Filter tour - but an American distraction from coffee culture as foundation and Fairtrade industries as with steel in UK.

And South Carolina's Nikki Haley in Honduras to reinforce the no coups rule of the bad old days of military rule in Latin America, and a cocaine focus that with FARC ceasefire must surely end cocaine production in South America and Caribbean islands to concentrate it in Central America and Mexico?

Are UK-funded judges and QC’s really ideal for a Kazakhstan commercial court given the Borat failures of the High Court. Surely fumigating the rats nest of One Essex Court or the Bar Inns more relevant and certainly taking on a few rape cases or organised crimes cases rather than designing their own pretty judicial robes? On the Kazakh rates or UK rates?

This week's BBC4 documentary on the Naples to Sicily Ndraghenta mafia organised crime astonishing as it is horrifying centred on Italy's largest container port xxxxx - the Dover of Italy, here in Frontline Kent. And even tunnels through the Calabrian towns for drug smuggling - shades of Vietnam's Cu Chi tunnels and surely requiring US Army Europe support for Italy and Spain with UK and EU on organised crime?

The Messina bridge between Sicily and Italy long delayed due to Mafia involvement and with an Adriatic bridge/tunnel restricting the potential growth for UK allies such as Albania and Romania and Bulgaria and Turkey. Essentially a clear trade route from Palermo through Istanbul and Tehran to the markets of Mumbai. Kent's Canterbury univerisities and farms with the largest Romanian community outside of Bucharest.

While the Greek-Turkey border conflict as also in a divided Cyprus a neglected but more realistic conflict than any war with Russia. And a restraint on China's OBOR. Much as the Davos in the Desert could create a progressive and autonomous city state of Neom under Prince MP MBS - although surely that's Jordan's role?
And again hardly outrageously complicated for hispeed rail links through Cairo to Morocco (the hispeed link to Senegal and the cocoa and coffee markets of Ivory Coast and West Africa Commonwealth already begun) and a Berlin to Basra rail route again with a wider not deeper EU reforms and progress.

But if South Carolina and UN’s Nikki Haley is mercifully turning down the volume on Stevie Nicks and poodle rock of Britain’s Def Leppard and USA's Motley Crue. Surely harmonica player and VP candidate Tim Kaine must put some George Jones on the jukebox and hum along with Brand USA and UK/Commonwealth work with India - American tourists to India a key target for USA and India growth. India must surely be crying out for phased and increased tourism from USA and UK?

While UK's Rushanara Ali must surely be banging the Bangladeshi drum for better rail and resilience links through to India and Myanmar as the Himalayan snows start to melt? even the potential of Water Wars from the Tibetan plateau of the Ganges and Mekong etc.

And UK environment minister Govey is calling for gold standard UK farming standards amid rightful concerns over USA chlorine chickens etc - perhaps the KFC closures for lack of chicken (you had one job KFC) a positive. Anything served in a bucket can't be ideal. And certainly not much better than the repulsive slop of supersize pink goo or mechanically-rendered meat served up as tinned hotdogs etc.

While Lord O'Donnell rightly wary of drinking the Brexit snake oil - more and more excellent medicines key in East Kent with the echo chamber of Pfizer's Discovery park the largest USA inward investment in UK from the Marshall Plan after the chaos and carnage of WW2.

The Special relationship on sound footing with calls for Ambassador Woody Johnson not to be shy but to bang the drum and table for an outrageously lavish expansion of Johnson and Johnson and Janssen products in UK and Kent.

Chief Constable Pughsley of Kent Police, like me, is a keen user of J&J products and sends me his Resilience tips recommending a dab of talc in his underpants (Isaan silk?) to stop his truncheon rubbing. I recommend a dab of J&J baby lotion after shaving, although the Chief insists on Gucci aftershave before tucking into his traditional Kent blue serge breakfast of fried eggs, rice porridge and caviar. Vive la difference.

The Winter snow though surprising everyone, not just the Royal Marines, and no doubt emptying the NHS shelves of Flu vaccines.

I would urge Ambassador Woody (positive he's even changed his name in solidarity with US-UK cinema and Pixar and the Caroline Munro Doctrine - UK special effects powering many of the Hollywood blockbuster movies and games such as Star Wars) not just to jam his New York Yankees baseball cap firmly on his head to improve the NFL and USA sports in UK but consider a massive rollout of J&J and Pfizer et al with UK and USA universities research.

In Kent the Paramount theme park surely no Mickey Mouse project or a Mission Impossible. And why not an honorary knighthood for Great British American Tom Cruise for his sterling efforts on filming in London over the years. His recent broken ankle no doubt requiring more than a Band Aid or Tylenol from the NHS.
Shouldn’t every one of UK's 130 universities have links with USA universities as well as specific Cancer(s) - the Daily Mirror not shy in supporting UK Cancer Research - Diabetes, AMR and Dementia. All largely incurable at the moment with disparate research.

But a vigorous Times article yesterday by Patrick Kidd with Speaker Bercow's rare hissy fit described as worthy of a basketball player.

While even more unusually I completely agree with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on UK support needed for Prince Mo MBS of Saudi Arabia's progressive reforms - Chief Constable Pughsley laughingly urging caution over encouraging women drivers - exactly the sort of progressive and tolerant reforms that UK has long urged.

And that Trevor Wilmott Archbishop of Dover -who runs Canterbury Cathedral while the Archbishop of Canterbury is down the pub has urged - from the CofE’s privileged position. Kent a beacon of tolerance with mosques, Greek Orthodox celebration's in Margate (near Kent's Winter Gardens not Margate Beach convention centre in South Carolina), Jehovah Witnesses in Ramsgate and so on. Moses Montefiore a Jewish icon long celebrated in Ramsgate too - Israel as a startup nation must surely want to capitalise on links? - and the small Buddhist chapel in Canterbury long overdue larger premises.

While a #50brandsin50states would galvanise UK-USA trade rather than meaningless and forever-and-a-day-mega-trade deals that butter no parsnips. Brexit yielding in theory no trade deals at all with the EU which forms 50% of UK exports. The dynamic Julie Bishop Australian Minister rightly urging expanded UK-Oz links (Oz lamb and wool to replace NZ lamb with the Manston Infratil extradition delays?) but those far smaller and more distant than EU.

The Six Companies and Bechtel inspiring in the building of the Hoover dam and UK failing to bang the drum not just on Kent's Chunnel but also Crossrail Europe’s largest construction project – a BBC documentary inspiring on the former US female paratrooper bouncing out of bed to start digging - or even Balfour Beatty and LAX airport rail that would help fuel the furnaces of Welsh and Rotherham steel. And kickstart the development USA’s crumbling infrastructure highlighted in the POTUS trump SOTU speech or of graphene - still no products emerging from the lavishly-funded labs given the stuff has been invented? Any of those Clash fans or the 101ers might heed London Calling not just with the wheat growing thin but, living by the river, the desalination possibilities and needs of rising tides of Climate Change.

It's worth citing the excellent Pulitzer Freedom Forge book by Arthur Herman on the vast potential of USA manufacturing that in 1944 only 70% of the USA economy was focused on wartime production yet:

“American factories were building a plane…and 150 tons of steel every minute. Shipyards were launching 8 aircraft carriers a month…and 50 merchant ships a day.”

Clearly Climate Change poses no problems in producing solar panels or Resilience and cargo helicopters even recycling and renewing airplanes faster. A 20 year old BA jumbo jet flying to India? Planes littering the Arizona desert rather than say recycled through shipping down San Diego and the western seaboard to Chile?

But why not HSBC as one POTUS Trump's #Davos15Friends working with USA and Kent's excellent new Metro Bank expansion in UK to reduce the empty noodling on graphene? The City Mail’s Mr Deedes under the Walmart article also highlighting HSBC Chair Jeremy Flint paid £500k not to work and the banks handing the ammo to Jeremy Corbyn for tighter regulation after the LIBOR fraud pittance.

Prince Mo must surely be banging the Saudi Arabian drum not just for HSBC and UK graphene desalination but with Neom better Port Sudan and Jeddah links to Kuwait.

The Arabian and Sahara deserts could bloom beyond the narrow strip around the Nile with Agritech soil sensors (UN and Kasetsart and Govey highlighting just a few topsoil harvests left – Dustbowl again without trees and hedgerows?) and desalination and solar panels. The work of moments for #Davos15 such as Siemens (are they coming back to Ramsgate with Vattenfall?) and HSBC.

And Sudan the last gap in the Cape2Cairo rail link that would benefit from a China and India facing trade and on through to Europe.

While Kent’s Royal Engineers and Ghurkas already active in Sudan and Afghanistan and no doubt keen on an expansion of Sudan and Somalia and Nepal Resilience. As with Haiti and Puerto Rico not much done from the Nepal earthquake years ago. Sudan as the world's nation with the fewest roads benefiting not just from Royal Engineer Bailey bridges and UN peacekeepers but coordination with UK's JCB and USA's Caterpillar on road and rail links and Resilience airstrips.

As the snowflakes subside in Kent - did Chatham’s ski and snowboard centre really close due to snow? No wonder just 5 UK Winter Olympics medals - Johnson and Johnson might even shift some suncream and aftersun lotion in Arabia and Asia. Do J&J make suncream? They must do, they can make anything.

Time for Change

Friday, 23 February 2018

Garbutt for Ramsgate Mayor March 2018

To Richard Style, Ramsgate Town Clerk, Friday 23rd February 2018

Hi Richard

As per the RTC election below I'd like to stand as a coopted candidate before the 28th February deadline.

Manifesto as previous points from 21st November 2017:

KCC as with TDC merely issuing automatic council tax increases a fraction of a per cent below that required for a public referendum also suggests bloat and a lack of governance.

And clearly with the collapse of Leader Wells TDC UKIP, and Henry Bolton Leader national UKIP and the KCC wipeout of every KCC UKIP councillor - as well as the public having so little confidence in the councils they refuse to participate in elections as well as councilor resignations - reform is needed:

1. Ramsgate council tax (c.£17M per year) paid to RTC for redistribution to other KCC councils etc as necessary.

2. Dig up the Manston runway and an inquiry into the Manston-Infratil crimes of removing air monitors etc

3. Cancel Pleasurama, Ramsgate new £1M fire station and Dreamland tax havens etc

4. Thor mercury contamination review

5. Brexit: Remain and Reform

Please advise of the process/next steps.

Stop the Pollution. Stop the Corruption. Stop the Construction.

Copy on my blog and to councilors.

Kindest regards


Friday, 22 December 2017

Mafia Island - Malta. And Kent?

A vigorous article in The Independent on Saturday newspaper by crime reporter Cahal Milmo details the horrifying murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Daphne murdered by a car bomb of Semtex explosive that blew her car off the road and several metres into a field...

Shockingly the fifth car bomb murder in Malta in the last 18 months, not dissimilar to the anniversary of the murder of Judge Falcone last week, and Malta holding the EU Presidency earlier this year.

And now a 1M Euro bounty for her murderers. And some 2 months later 10 arrests after EU pressure highlights a rot in Malta’s governance.

And Kent.

The death of Cllr Ken Gregory opens up that KCC seat (and TDC as a doublehatter?) but the May 2019 TDC or RTC(?) elections are far, far away and nothing likely to be done now East Kent governance has collapsed into KCC meetings cancelled, and budget shortages now the pay rises are completed, and process restructuring with 20 fewer TDC (and KCC?)councilllors by 2019.

I will cancel Pleasurama immediately and return the funds - except to a tax haven, and donate them to the Red Cross charity in that case - clear and turf the site as a temporary fix for the Summer and begin a public consultation on the best use of the site. Probably in my view as simply a part of the promenade, bandstand, park concerts and gardens.

And investigate a new Ramsgate Lido and ice rink and pier, Vincent Van Gogh gallery and Landings attraction.
Nothing done and nothing will be done.

Still needed is the demolition of the Ramsgate £1M vanity Fire Station foundations and Arlington House decrepit 1960’s tower block, and Thor mercury factory cleanup. Even without public protests Manston, as airport now cancelled completely or new town, or Pleasurama as something or other by the mystery owner wouldn't be planned and built in a year.

Pay your tax for nothing and shut up.

But Malta’s Daphne highlighting from the Panama Papers of 11.5M leaked files from the law firm Mossack Fonesca which detailed offshore firms linked to Maltese politicians, civil servants and judges.

Hardly difficult to do in UK either with corrupt judges and barristers as Grabiner of BHS pensions (secret shareholders in a plc isn't corrupt?) and Glick and Hollingworth of One Essex Court, perhaps Britain's most corrupt barristers, and Steve Palmer of PB Law and Andrew Conway of Laurance Stephenson - the latter posing as an HMRC official a blatant crime.

Beyond the blatantly corrupt nature of the High Court an astonishing conflict of interest with Judges also serving as barristers. Sitting one side of the bench one day and the other side of it the next day. and adjudicating on their own firms cases or colleagues in other firms. An outrageous blurring of responsibilities - especially with closed courts and no jury trials.

But both main parties in Malta the Labour Party and Nationalist Party creating a culture of wrongdoing and impunity is also hardly unknown in Kent with neither Tories or Labour nor UKIP (LibDems and Greens essentially invisible in Kent except as Lords or MEP’s)speaking out on the Manston and Pleasurama corruption but rather complicit in remaining silent and trying to cover over the traces.

Clearly Wells and Shonk as the last UKIPpers are a busted flush and must resign. TDC’s UKIP now not in control of the council merely the largest party, while the only other UKIP-led council in Great Yarmouth collapsed this week with resignations and defections to Tories.

Perhaps the Tory party’s greatest problem apart from the Brexit silliness and collapse of austerity removing the last vestiges of the claim for economic competence, is the return of the UKIP chumps.

Clearly Philip Hammond’s autumn Budget fumbled a few issues head-on:

• cancelling Brexit and detailing specific EU reforms: Remain and Reform is UK’s best option
• cancelling NATO’s absurd quango-claim for 2% of national budgets as both the Ukraine and Syria conflicts reduce: UK already 2.3% and as high as 5.3% compared to an EU average of 1.3% and woeful MOD procurement of F35 junk aircraft and vanity aircraft carriers
• cancel Universal Credit rollout – and end a 6 week wait for benefits and sanctions for anything more than fraud, and all public sector helplines to be freephone numbers
• fastforward HS3 and HS2 from the North to get Britain working and put flesh on the bones of the Northern Powerhouse
• cancel dental charges given the epidemic of children with rotting teeth in a supposedly free NHS
• cancel crack cocaine betting machines form the fumbled consultation – indeed gambling advertising
• divert MOD funds to Cybersecurity given the North Korean meltdown of NHS computers in May and concerns over Chinese funding of Hinkley nuclear reactors etc
• ramp up housing insulation programmes and solar power, and 5G broadband to get Britain working sustainably
• deliver a Plastic Tax/Landfill Tax for FMCG packaging and coffeeshop cups to safeguard the oceans and expand UK/Overseas Marine Reserves and end Pacific/Atlantic Plastic patch
• end live animal exports in/out of UK – especially Ramsgate and Kent ports - with a tweak to the 1847 Port Act
• fastforward the NHS DNA database – end Crapita involvement in databases for say Microsoft
• develop Doitung heroin and cocaine policies – and troops to Afghanistan -given the rapid increase in UK and USA drug deaths. Surely it’s absurd for frontline Kent with 90% of illegal EU drugs seized in Belgium, that UK and EU drug deaths and gangs and routes from Southern Spain to Southern Italy or Slovak guns are not a regular feature of the weekly cabinet meetings?
• specify the energy prices cap: £2 per day and Rail/Tube fares caps: £50 day return and £2 per day – funded from LIBOR fraud tax. The UK over-reliant on the City at the expense of manufacturing from food to pharma and public social programmes
• specify an interest rate cap eg 9.9% as in Germany not the absurd 1,000 payday loans etc
• cancel UK arms exports beyond EU/NATO as Germany – specifically ending Saudi arms dodgy deals eg Sangcom
• cancel UK/Overseas tax havens eg Jersey/Gibraltar and Caymans etc – and end UK death penalty in Caribbean before 2018 Commonwealth Summit
• specify Flu and TB and AMR vaccines production and stocks per hospital

And so must Bayford and Iris of the Tories and Labour: too long in power and too stale and too incompetent and too corrupt.

Also in the Independent's feisty and dynamic Kent reporter Janet Street-Porter highlighting the overhaul needed of the UK rail system with the problems of the £5.7BN new Hitachi trains. Made in Kent at Ashford? Concerning if so. Very concerning.

23 UK rail operators needing a shakeup, rail safety and guards on trains seemingly fizzling out to a 28% pay rise shakedown instead - and why can't train fares be simplified and capped?

£50 maximum for any UK return journey Lands End to John O'Groats or anywhere else? £2 for a Tube journey - and the excellent £1 value already of most buses.

Yet KCC trying to cancel Kent buses after the councilors voting themselves a 15% increase the larst uin UK councils and the most £100k salaries in UK councils. Clealry though the bus review with Stagecoach etc is ideal for reviewing the missing Manston fines and overflight cancer cost by SHP/Glaog/Stagecoach.

But rather than the ideological navel gazing of nationalisation or not, why would any political party want to allow the public to be overcharged if not fleeced.
And if fairer train fares isn't rocket science £83BN in public funds for the Met Office should be - including weather and phone/TV/radio satellites refroms? Even without Brexit or Yingluck phones (the 79p 2G phone offer by the good folks in Ramsgate EE surely a fab Xmas present and the basis for rollout to school dinner kids and OAP's and emergency usage) and Bono/Independent's Red humanitarian work?

Why wouldn't EE or Samsung etc want to produce a few million extra handsets at minimal run-on cost? Even expanding factories into UK as with Jand J’s Janssen. Even a £5 emergency always-on tariff for their database) it's easier for East Kent to get better Belgian and French signals. Probably cheaper too with EU roaming charges now capped.

Kent Orchids still a fab Xmas present too - and part of Ramsgate Manga Town 2018.

But calls growing for the resignation of PM Joseph Muscat in Malta for a Panama company, Egrant, receiving $1M from the daughter of the Azerjaiban President.
The Azerjaiban Laundromat money laundering scheme notorious also in London even deposing Price Andrew as UK Trade Envoy c. 3 years ago.

But the Magnitsky law raised by Bill Browder's Red Notice book now passed in Canada - UK too soon given the wave of Russian oligarchs using the High Court, even in the Magnitsky fraud and murder itself?

And questions remain over two other Maltese politicians' offshore trusts owned by Keith Schembri Chief of Staff to PM Muscat and Konrad Mizzi former Energy Minister.

While one of Malta's main online gambling companies - that also prop up UK tax havens in Gibraltar, Jersey and the Caribbean - some 1.2BN Euros or 12% of Maltese GDP was suspended over fears it had been infiltrated by the Ndrangheta mafia of Southern Italy's Calabria.

Southern Italy's main cargo ports notorious as cocaine routes from Latin America.

And that Arab Spring/ISIS monies and Libyan oil funds passed through Maltese banks - POTUS Trump in more trouble with insults at the deaths of 4 US Special Forces troops killed in nearby Niger as highlighted by reporter Nick Turse. The Kony banditti hunt also by US Africa Command troops in Uganda and across the Sahel also quietly halted in expensive tech-failure.

The new $700BN Pentagon defence budget seems over the top in everything except results – especially with 14 UN Peacekeeper deaths in DRC Congo the most in an incident for a decade.

ISIS has lurched to a halt with the retaking of both Raqqa in Syria and Kirkuk in Iraq. And the drone death of Kent ISIS flag-bearer Sally Jones. But Marawi in Philippines - a town of over 1M people -also retaken from ISIS with c.200 military/police/civilian deaths marks a surge in ISIS activity in ASEAN especially in Malaysia and Philippines and upto 800 ISIS soldiers returning to UK from Raqqa.

Daphne Caruana Galizia described Malta as a Mafia state.

And Kent?

Clearly questions need to be asked, not over the jailing of former TDC council chief Sandy Ezekiel for forced sales of properties in Margate. That was c.4 years ago not this year and not involving the biggest sites in Kent.

The sale of Pleasurama - a strange sale by TDC council as recent as this Summer with KCC changes to the land that nobody seems to have details of for c.£2M or was it £20M with hotels and apartments?

56 councillors seem to be cowed into silence.

Pleasurama the largest seafront project in Kent, and derelict for some 20 years after a mystery fire by the now deceased owner of Dreamland, Jimmy Godden, also had several mystery fires and changes of ownerships.

Bob Bayford as deputy Tory leader under Sandy Ezekiel and sharing an office with Terence Painter, the estate agent with the rights to Pleasurama, must have details of the site and be keen to share them with the public.

And Iris Johnson the Tory leader involved in progressing the recent £2m(?) mysterious sale to Cardy etc must know the details and be keen to speak up.

As must Madeline Homer TDC CEO - £125k salaries as much as the Prime Minister for a small council, means they can't remain silent. Certainly not against the backdrop of Cllr Ian Driver being prosecuted for airing the secret deal as part of his elected duties and now a £20k charge on his house a chilling effect on local democracy. And on a bizarre Domestic Extremist list – separate to the Most Wanted list, surely drugs gangs overdue - as a councillor, generated by Kent Police beyond sight of and sign-off by councillors and commissioners?

Perhaps Helmand transfers for improvements in municipal government there would be for the best?

KCC may not know details with the Toxic Three involved in the Manston-Infratil crimes (remember KCC-USA at Manston?) now reduced to a Toxic Two of Paul Carter KCC leader and Geoff “Redaction” Wild KCC lawyer with KCC deputy leader Alex “Burgher” King resigning promptly after 30 years of lunching on the rates.
And the Gang of Four of TDC politicians and civil servants, Ezekiel, Samuel, White and Latchford all resigned but living locally available to speak up.

With Kent OAP Winter deaths skyrocketing (what are the figures last year and this?) they may not last the Winter even without a detailed review of the Vattenfall windfarm and solar farm and free electricity.

Bayford and Johnson may also have details of the Dreamland sale - the largest amusement park in South East England, top ten in UK - now owned by Sands Hotel and Arrowgrass a Cayman Islands offshore company (Pleasurama a BVI offshore company - strange for East Kent to have so many Caribbean offshore companies for public projects).

The Maltese Mafia island cases highlighting a zoo (Dreamland's lion cage repairs progressing) built by a businessman on land without planning permission and links to the Labour party with a 50,000 Euros fine later cancelled.

Shades of the local Labour party receiving its largest ever donation from a local friendly multimillionaire for Chinagate warehouses at Manston?
The Dreamland sale peculiar in involving Lottery funds and major losses by suppliers and no known tender process as with the Johnson sale of the Pav to Wetherspoons, and no councillor authorisation of licences etc, only one civil servant authorising all of them - for the biggest pub in Britain.
Perfectly normal for Kent it seems.

The Sunday Times detailing not just the awful food at the Wetherspoons but raising the issue of how Wetherspoons managed to buy the site from TDC and the quality of the heritage conversion looking like council pebbledash rather than a Grade 2 listed site in the Grade 1 listed harbour, the only Royal harbour in UK
As with Pegwell Bay a UNESCO site, astonishingly shoddy protection of unique assets.

And the New European newspaper highlighting Chief Mullet Tim Wetherspoon’s bizarre Brexit stance of against immigration unless it affects his East European barstaff and in favour of Brexit for trade deals to knock 3p off his chicken in a basket pub meals. Clearly he’s a Scrooge and a humbug.

I can't see the good folks of Sands Hotel/Arrowgrass continuing with Dreamland over concerns of the range and quality of food outlets there and the Lottery/creditors issue.

All these highlighted in my MP and Mayor campaign: "Stop the Corruption, Stop the Construction. Stop the Pollution" for some 10 years now.
Is Malta a mafia island? Yes it seems to be with murderous collusion over the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Is Kent a mafia state? I don't think so. Not completely - and not now.

Chief Pughsley has a firm and fair control of Kent Police, perhaps UK's most liberal police force. Last month’s arrest of Dover Port Border Police for cocaine and heroin and gun trafficking are unfortunately the sort of thing that can happen anywhere rather than a systemic problem as with Pleasurama etc.
Kent Police receiving 3 outstanding consecutive certifications for the HMIC Police Inspectorate is very positive – albeit for the rather fluffy legitimacy instead of kicking drug den doors in – and with holidays capped at 30 days, lays the groundwork for 2018’s more vigorous approach on junkies and dealers, rapists and road deaths.

You don't have to be a Xmas prophet to see that Frontline Kent needs more vigorous action for its lavish budgets.

The homeless campsite on the High St now ended after c.14 weeks(!) a particularly weak police effort, and beach shelters but highlighting, from last year, Kent's need for excellent homeless and rape crisis centres in the 3 districts.

Key questions for any at Kent Police must be: when did you last patrol on foot or car? And how many arrests did you make last month? The days of ranks and ranks of police sat in the police station are over.

All the Infratil UK and EU and NZ except Wellington airports now closed. Even Ostend airport gunrunning into Africa reducing.

Perhaps Jacinda Ardern the new NZ Labour PM from Wellington – and former Blair aide in London - will be active on Infratil extraditions.
But is Thanet a Mafia island? I don't think so now, there's no widespread collusion. It's just the politicians and civil servants that are corrupt.
Not one public statement on Pleasurama or Dreamland or Manston-Infratil and not one civil servant sacked or jailed for the missing fines and faked air pollution data.

Worth remembering not just 5M global tobacco deaths, but also 5M air pollution global air pollution deaths and c.40k deaths in UK - and the Manston monitors lynchpins in the South East and London air quality monitors. London Mayor Sadiq Khan highlighting air quality as London's biggest problem - no wonder as the Manston monitors are faked, it’s worse than he thinks.

But let's hear from Carter or Wild or Johnson or Bayford or Homer.

Let's hear from them - say a public inquiry to raise questions over these issues. Even some questions from Kent's journalists.
Let's hear from them.

The public concerns over Pleasurama and Thor mercury and Dreamland for years show the council cabals have no public approval.
Elderly outgoing MP Roger Gale silent on Pleasurama and the Manston-Infratil details, as is Ramsgate's Chatham MP Craig Mackinlay also a vocal supporter of Manston - the largest election fraud trial of supporters bussed in from around the UK given minimal support, delayed until next Summer.
All perfectly normal from our Kent politicians it seems.

Malta, unfortunately too late for Daphne Caruana Galizia, is now publicly calling for investigations and a 1M Euro reward.
Now I will increase my $1 reward for the Manston-Infratil arrests - by one penny.

The reward is now $1.01 for the arrests of the Infratil directors and TDC officials removing and faking the Manston-Infratil monitors: Bogoievski, Fitzgerald, Baker and Clarke at Infratil and Berry, Button and Sproates at TDC. Gloag and Charles Fitzgerald of Manston in hiding.

And how strange that this Summer with the new Riveroak consultation, TDC and RTC councils now vote against Manston airport expansion. That with UKIP/Tory majorities and the main manifesto point by Leader Wells and Mayor Shonk. You will remember the UKIP (national and local policy pledge) cancelled within 6 weeks of being elected.

They need to resign. They'll never be elected again. And when will they speak up on the Manston aquifer and digging up the runway to clean and replenish it?
Even new UKIP leader Henry Bolton cancelling his Chairmanship of the Manston group and clamming up on Manston despite being keen to air his views on strangling badgers(!). Where do UKIP find them? Space Cadet Aidan Powlesland is my favourite with his secret underwater base in the Falklands.

Silence over the $1 sale from Infratil to Stagecoach Gloag to the SHP venture from their Cleveland site for thousands of houses on the aquifer now as unlikely to be built as an airport. Only $1 lost rather than the £20M tax spent on documents by the Toxic Two for the KCC Manston Parkway.
Malta is a mafia island and Kent not that much different.

Jonathan Benton former head of international corruption unit at UK's National Crime Agency saying; "...there isn't the confidence in the judicial process and the rule of law".

Malta not Kent he meant or is it the other way round?

20 years of Pleasurama fires and tax havens etc.

20 years.

And far more scrutiny required of Paramount theme park and Thames Gateway and Discovery Park and Open Golf projects to ensure they're kept on track and properly delivered through the City rather than the usual bumbling around and slide into drab tarmac and housing estate projects.
And concern over the performance of Saga and Hornby as major East Kent employers – what if we had the same incompetence that yielded 5,000 job losses at Pfizer?
A housing estate not just at Manston but also Dreamland and Discovery Park at various points. Let's hope not at the toxic Thor mercury site - surely Roger Gale near the end of his life could review the site toxins?

As Mayor-in-waiting and MP-in-waiting I will ensure no Kent project has any offshore company or tax haven involvement. Not even Malta - surely UK police and Europol and FBI/DEA will be flown in to support the investigation of a Commonwealth and EU island?

Kent's Learmonth Learjet long overdue for rapid response for police investigations or stranded or jailed Kent citizens as Joshua French now released from death row in the Congo.

Learmonth's Learjet if done properly a minimal cost in sensible procurement/on-call/FOI use across 43 forces and gradually reducing champagne and caviar in the Kent Police canteen vending machines and dividends from budget investments in the Las Vegas Golden Nugget. Balancing those costs with reducing storage space from the tons of Barnesy noodles and a larger cocaine and heroin warehouse.

Any new council or police tax precepts unlikely without massive reform – what happened to the 20 extra Kent guncops at £5 per house per year? £5 if you can spot any copper these days.

And Afghan heroin and Myanamar-Shan heroin production actually increasing after a decade of NATO troops involvement and flooding UK and USA streets with the highest ever drug deaths. The new USA mini-surge in Afghanistan and Pakistan safe havens – POTS Trump this week rightly citing Pakistan, in the Commonwealth, as a rogue nation - not yet fully supported by not just Kent's Ghurkas but UK troops in general. Such as the Irish Guards beginning Panther Gold in Thailand’s Kwai region.

With the trial of Obiang’s, son in Paris, President of Equatorial Guinea one of the most despotic regimes in the world, surely US Africa Command efforts must also be focused given Peak Oil and the end of oil on that regime.

Obiang propped only by half a dozen American oil firms. No doubt the coup against Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe amid rumours of opposition candidates being poisoned will result in more of the chaos that infects Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Yemen. 2018 a year of election s in UK and beyond.

And good that the dynamic Dave Mairs is elected to the Pegwell Bay Association to protect the UNESCO site from NEMO pylons and dredging etc. The SSSI and RAMSAR nature reserve needing the last remnants of the derelict hovercraft site removing and linking with Canterbury Cathedral and Dover White Cliff UNESCO sites and Pilgrim Trails.

Xmas surely the right time for not just Canterbury Cathedrals;’ UNESCO heritage sites but Xmas choirs as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage? One for Dover’s Archbishop Trev after the Xmas rush?

And it's good South Coast Green MEP Keith Taylor and colleagues have spoken out on the Malta murders. As Germany struggles to construct its Jamaica Coalition after the recent election between Merkel and Schulz of Liberation Route Europe, it's to be hoped the German government and Greens in that coalition will also be speaking out too.

The murder of Malta's journalist Daphne Caruana Glaizia is a horrifying scandal.

And horrifying too that with Laos' Sombath still missing after police arrest. Argentina's activist Santiago Maldonado - another disparu - has been founded murdered and dumped in a river after his arrest and disappearance in August.

And the Deepcut barracks 4 murder-suicide inquiries by Surrey Police reopening(again).

Next week the Kent MP sex scandals rushed out for the Parliament Xmas recess, and defence review with RN ship sup on bricks in port again, and year review of Kent's public services - congrats to the GPO in advance.

Time for Change

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mayor Shonk and Ramgate Town Council collapse

Hi Trevor

As Mayor can I raise the following writtten questions for the Town Council agenda this Wednesday: please advise:

1. Pleasurama corruption: who owns the site and likely clearance before the Summer season of 31st March onwards - and given the Panama Papers etc tax haven involvement and Manston air pollution monitors/fines eg

2. Vote of no confidence process before May 2019 elections: you've done nothing at KCC and TDC and now RTC and should resign

3. Police update: foot-car patrols ie rough sleepers on High St with a tent for c.14 weeks - also street drinkers, parking on pavements/pedzone etc

4. Pegwell Bay UNESCO site improvements: old Hoverport clearance, NEMO megapylons twice the height of existing ones and disused wind turbine near MT Energioe

5. RTC staff salaries/pensions/expenses/reserves for the £400k budget - the staffing seems to have grown from one to 8 with nothing done

6. Slipways at Listed Harbour update: cancelled but signage

7. Harbour St £1M fund from a year ago

8. Xmas lights upgrade and 2018 events

9. £17M in tax paid by Ramsgate public (plus national tax etc) but only c.$400k received from TDC £30M budget, KCC £2BN budget and Kent Police £250M budget etc - clearly the funds are being spent elsewhere or wasted

10. Manston Parkway £20M airport rail station update

11. SHP £1 Manston airport purchase: who owns the site - and aquifer update

12. Ramsgate broken sewers update

13. Pavilion sale update to Werhrspopons wiohtout councilor involvement and awful Sunday Times review "don't order the food"

14. Thor mercury and Margate TOwn council/East Kent council update/TDC reductions

15. Kent Police gun and knife amnesty update

16. Rapes and traffic accidents in Ramsgate and East Kent

17. Channel shipping air and water pollution and radioactive waste update

Copy on my blog.

Time for Change