Sunday, 9 December 2012
To celebrate Anti-Corruption Day (http://www.un.org/en/events/anticorruptionday/ ), and the UK in the top 20 at number 17, here's my favourite Kent corruption scandals (worth remembering KCC rates itself as the best county council in UK with a £2Bn budget, oversight of other public servces with a national tax rate of c.42% and Kent GDP of c.£25Bn):
1. Infratil and TDC and the missing Manston fines and monitors - increasing both council and cancer. Several million quid in fines missing - and all for Infratil a company with higher profits than KCC's budget.
2. Pleasurama-Bungarama - a series of mysterious insurance fires and Ramsgate Labour's largest-ever donation of £25k and a Caribbean tax haven company that's never built anything.
3. Southern Water - not just shit in the sea but in the water supply and water pumps. Surely they should be called Southern Cholera? And the best bit: siphoning off any public claims to their insurance company loss-adjustors to maintain their £300M profits on the rates.
4. Thor Mercury - poisoning Margate before being closed and poisoning Africans in Cato Ridge in one of the worst-ever pollution and corporate manslaughter incidents. Except it never closed in Margate. For 20 years. The HSE and Environment Agency as with the above points have excelled themselves in charging for failure and coverup.
5. Kent Coastguard. Too lazy to stop ships berthing off Kent's Blue Flag beaches. Or deciding to call out the RNLI - a charity - to do their work for them.
6. The Manston aquifer - under the runway and silence from our public-funded MP's, councillors and civl servants. Maybe they're hoping nobody will ask any questions about water quality or outfall from Manston into SSSI and UNESCO Pegwell Bay. Maybe Southern Water's loss adjustors could be called in for a haggle over fines and jail sentences and rig the NHS statistics and Coroner reports?
7. The KCC Laser £2M electricity fraud, Carter2 wages and KCC booze, tobacco and guns investments on the rates and FOI refusal - not corruption at all just normal incompetence and coverup for you to pay through higher tax and missed opportunities.
8. Lydd airport development - council bungs detailed in High Court by the airport manager himself.
9. Lack of Climate Change policies and economic growth - again not corruption at all just normal incompetence where you and your children pay twice. Once for non-services and twice for a failed future.
10. Boris Island 1 and 2 and Carter Crossing at Dartford 2 - not corruption at all just normal Kent as London's Patio rather than the Garden of England, and the Council-Construction nexus of Grand Projects for the construction industry and civil service careers. At least it's not empty housing estates.
11. KCC taxis and chauffeurs - a surplus of duffers being driven around the county for ceremonial guff on the rates in secret. See point 7 and FOI.
12. The slums of Medway and Dover. Not corruption at all. Perfectly normal to have derelict towns centes yet building empty housing estates on green belt - see point 10.
13. EKO and TDC and RTC audits with McGonigal maths. Shush. It's not for you to see the invoices. And see point 1 for missing fines and higher tax.
14. The slums of Thanet - see point 12 and lack of room sizes, design and garden footprint as the Grange Rd Rover development and Arlington House.
15. The Northfleet children with their intestines growing outside their stomachs. Perfectly normal. Nothing to worry about. Neither is lifting rabies restrictions at Ramsgate Port for the most infectious disease on the planet. Not corruption just spectacular failure to safeguard the public.
16. Dreamland: semi-burned down in more insurance fires and one of the UK's top tourist destinations still derelict after 10 years. While the Turner Centre built and rebuilt over 15 years and silly claims of 500k visitors in the first year. Not corruption just cobblers.
So there we are, Kent's corruption scandals and a series of failures and frauds on the rates.
A freshly-printed crisp £5 pound note not payable for any other examples to firstname.lastname@example.org
And don't forget to shut up and pay your rates for the police force and courts to not investigate.
Remember, the Infratil monitors were remnoved back in 2006. Thor was supposedly closed in 1988. And FOI became law in 2007. Better to preserve public sector salaries and pensions than solve the problems.
Happy Anti-Corruption Day in Third World Kent!
Time for Change.