Friday, 21 October 2016
Kent Fails on Manston corruption : dig up the runway, sack more councillors/clerks, jail Infratil
What a dismal week for Kent.
First, the collapse of Leader Wells and UKIP on Manston, with their only policy rejected as essentially idiotic. No wonder Wells’ fat-suit has deflated, it's as if somebody had pull the plug on him and his policies.
Or perhaps his UKIP colleagues are eating him piece by piece for such blatant failure.
Rather, the UKIP and Tory policy was simply pretending to reopen Manston while covering up the aquifer and monitors scandal and cancer.
Now Craig Mackinlay is caught up in a rape scandal with his aide in parliament. Exactly what Kent doesn’t need is a police raid on his Parliament and constituency office.
Nor what seems to be drink-fuelled excess on the rates in parliament, leading to rape.
Parliamentary jollies to Hungary and Gibraltar, and Instro military-not-military drones debacle, seem to be in the absence of Craig fulfilling any part of his manifesto.
Certainly he could have been active on reviving the KCC links with Hungary and Virginia.
All those are now seemingly empty guff on the rates rather than ongoing policies. With Tim Kaine the former Virginia governor (and Virginia resident) now likely to be USA Vice-President it’s a massive failure of Kent’s efforts so far.
Then we have Space Cadet Russ Timpson of the Libdems who pops up after over a year to raise any sort of Manston manifesto… by calling for a Spaceport. I don’t think he’s quite understood the size of a Cape Canaveral – or the aquifer under the space runway.
A perfect candidate to send to Mars on a one-way mission though.
Then UKIP were lucky to get away with just punching their own MEP and nearly killing him, and sparking yet another leadership contest.
Awful and failed.
But, a wider problem of parachute candidates as with Craig - or indeed turncoats as Wells and Latchford - is that what do they care if their constituency is dragged through the mud? Nothing to do with where they work and live.
Let’s hope Craig as a magistrate issues a full and frank statement of what’s been going on and assist police with their inquiries. For the rape incident, as well as the Channel Four fraudulent election expenses.
As with Matthew Scott the PCC Boy Commissioner another Tory Boy activist and MP aide – and indeed Mackinlay himself as a former PCC candidate – we have the destruction of grassroots democracy with head office candidates simply traipsing from election to election form John O’Groats to Land’s End to be elected.
And then do nothing as with Laura Sandys previously who at least resigned early.
For LocalCraig to claim on his election manifesto that he and his wife live and work in Ramsgate is as laughable as it is illegal. Our Chatham accountant may be able to count but he seems to struggle with geography. Perhaps he’ll just say anything to get elected.
We need a new law on local democracy banning anyone from being an MP who doesn’t work or live in the area for say 5 years previously. Plus doublehatter laws. At worst you’d have a local idiot for no more than 5 years. Or Gale for 30 years - though to be fair that's beyond mere incompetence.
The rota of four public general meetings at RTC seem to have been pushed back to the last few weeks of the elected year. Handy for delay and lack of scrutiny ad keep taking the paycheck.
Indeed the rape lawyer at Broadstairs seems to have been brushed under the carpet on Craig’s watch too. Who is that lawyer?
Margate’s Joshua French on Death Row in the Congo has also been ignored by Mackinlay and Gale as they indulge in the pollution and cancer and farce of Manston.
And silence on Thor mercury: and the streets around Westwood Ind Est: Farley Rd and Nash Rd etc
While the HSE are dithering again over the Pavilion and asbestos with Sanderson builders claiming there is a secrecy clause in their contracts with Wetherspoon on reporting asbestos removal...
Let’s hope they have cleaned it all up, given workers without masks and piles of rubble dragged onto the pavement.
And to add insult to injury, a rerun of the Edwina Crowley TDC Planning director farce with Abigail Raymond the new TDC Planning Director now also setting up her own private consultancy planning firm. Perhaps Consultancy Abigail will overrule TDC Abigail’s decisions or rubber-stamp them?
I’m sure Pleasurama’s mystery owners would be interested in that.
Certainly Madeline Homer as CEO on £120k with now not one but two Planning Directors in a row over dodgy dealings needs to act fast.
As with Edwina the only option for Abigail, TDC or Consultant, is a P45.
The reality is UKIP and Tories have collapsed in less than 18 months of being in power at TDC and RTC. The danger as with UKIP at KCC where nothing has been done, is we allow then to limp on for another 3 years bereft of ideas, claiming they're excellent and picking up the paycheck for nothing.
I will stand against Trevor Shonk as KCC Leader to remove Trevor from what little power he has left, as the old and failed rump of UKIP – and stand for KCC Leader in direct opposition to Paul Carter who has faded into obscurity along with the planes that fly out to sea, he claimed.
I will write to the Chair of RTC and TDC and KCC requesting a vote of no confidence in our political leaders and call for Direct Rule from Westminster before May 2017.
A council tax strike will help spur that on – simply delay payment, make short payments, wrong payments and refuse to pay TDC council tax.
The council couldn’t be more useless could it?
In particular I will call for:
• cancellation of the Slipways café/building overbuild farce and Brett mess of another TDC clerk involved at the Port with John Bunnett following on the heels of the Gang of Four’s Brian White – both key figures in the Westwood Cross mess and destruction of the town centres
• cancellation of Wetherspoons mega-boozer and asbestos site – bizarre that the councillors haven’t called this in as approval was only given by one clerk, Philip Bensted. Even for East Kent that’s laughable democracy. If the councillors don’t take a firm grip of the civil servants and hire and fire for improvements and taxcuts then they will run riot on bumf and bloat and dodgy deals. And still no details of zerohours reforms by Sports Direct and Wetherspoons
• cancellation of the £8M(!) Ramsgate Kent fire station/garage and replace with a new swimming pool
• $1 CPO purchase of the corrupt Pleasurama site and £3M TDC blood-money given to the Red Cross charity
• Increasingly I think corrupt or failed councillors should have the removal of their portrait from the council offices and a bonfire of their ceremonial robes
Our Killer Councillors with the cancer of Manston and Thor have failed us.
Time for Change
• no details as yet of the Eastcliff Bandstand repairs ready for the Sgt Pepper anniversary, or revoking of 100SE Rd garden-grabbing. Only in Thanet could the council ignore its own Local Plan
• no news as yet on the Old Police Station being made safe by Steve Albon at TDC, after a falling windowpane injured a passerby
• no news as yet on the demolition of Arlington House 1960’s tower block eyesore – which would assist the Dreamland amusement park of the future
• awaiting full details of the East Kent Supercouncil debates in Canterbury – none in Thanet?
• Astonishing with every Kent hospital and ambulance in special Measures and not one public statement from our MP’s or head of NHS (who is that?: all the more need for a PCC-type role for both Health and Education for accountability)
• Good to see Almeria UAL group of universities underway for closer links with EK universities and colleges – ASEAN too. And we need a top 200 global university in EK – I’m not convinced that many of the Beckham Studies non-courses will achieve that. I was astonished that one Advertising graduate had never heard of David Ogilvy, rather like studying Beckham Studies course and never hearing of Pele, or Beckham. I like CCU but reforms are needed especially with a new Broadstairs campus and Cliftonville for student digs rather than overbuild of Canterbury
• Some improvements on illegal drive-through after 10am in the High St – still parking on the pavements though and on a Sunday. It’s no parking at any time (especially on pavements and yellow lines) and delivery access only before 10am. Very foolish for the car-owners as people pushing past the cars with wheelchairs or pushchairs will undoubtedly scratch the paintwork or break the mirrors. And how foolish of Kent Police to charge £200M a year in tax yet somehow think they don’t issue parking tickets at night. Next they’ll be not catching rapists but making wolfwhistling a sexcrime and not investigating burglaries through windows.
No doubt payrises and drones expected instead. Let’s hope The Boy PCC Commissioner is taking a firm grasp of KP activity and budgets – he’s unimpressive to the point of being Barnesian so far
• Unimpressive too is Susana Galvan the British Council director of Myanmar now Taiwan – more later on the most bizarre conference management I’ve ever seen. The British Council is a rather excellent and important disseminator of UK Culture (some excellent work in Thailand and Laos and Vietnam with MAG too, you’ll be reassured to hear how your tax is being well-spent) but to have this sort of overpaid nonsense on the rates is appalling
• pleased to see Lucky Iron Fish featured in Entrepreneur magazine with Unilever – hopefully as a forerunner of wider distribution
• no sign as yet of the new UK and Laos postage stamp designed by a UK artist
• Good to see Heineken and Panasonic batteries taking wider root in East Kent – hopefully the innovative TOMS Shoes branching out from their first, new UK shop in Covent Garden as the official EK shoe
• Surin Charity busy working on developing schools for Buriram, Sisaket, Siem Reap and Battambang – a mix of Isaan and Cambodia: Justgiving site to follow soon. Thank you again for all your support for the first school especially Ellington School
• no news on the £50k RTC/DCLG Coastal Communities Fund for Harbour St from July– no doubt part of the absurd 30% reserves and thus of no use at all. Certianly just £50k in grants after over 5 years of a £400k budget per year is a concern
• Green and the BHS scandal underway with a parliamentary debate on removing his knighthood and a description of a "Billionaire spiv and criminal" – and certainly should ban Lord “Grabafee” Grabiner too, the BHS CEO as a High Court Judge and QC. An appalling scoundrel and mess. Would you want Grabiner sitting on judgement of you or friends or family? A hasty judgment and off to the gallows as he rushes off to fill his boots at BHS? More later on GlickQC and Hollingworth fraudsters and BSB Sara Jagger and PB Law aka PBI law
• Interesting that the repugnant Andrew Conway of Stephens Law (another law firm to avoid like the plague) admits that his firm was involved with pretending to be Inland Revenue Officials – although it definitely wasn’t him, he says. How do these scoundrels remain lawyers instead of being struck off? Or private detectives not being licenced?
• ClicheWatch: if any politician uses the phrase: “not providing a running commentary on Brexit” it simply means they haven’t a clue – the sooner the whole mess is scrapped and we remain in the EU the better. It’s not gone well, so far has it?
• I must admit after its first 100 days, to being rather underwhelmed with the new May government. May is looking like Maybe. Decisions such as not to call an election next year, Hinkley, HS2, Heathrow delays etc all look to be drift. On Heathrow I’m not sure we need anything more than a redistribution of airlines among the existing airports. Heathrow is stuffed but Gatwick and Stansted empty. As is Birmingham which had by far the best policies of the airport debate. The Boris foolishness over Boris island has also set back sensible long-term plans for an airport off Norfolk or using derelict US airbases for EU flights that are the growth area rather than Asian flights within Asia that are the hype of the aviation and cement industries.
• Crunchy policies by May on economic reform whether Whitehall out of Whitehall, or maximising DFID budgets beyond the gin-palaces of Brussels and New York are thin on the ground. 20k UK troops are still on the ground in Germany, rather than new bases in Sierra Leone or Kenya, is Cold War bloat of benefit only to Germany’s economy. While new aircraft carriers and submarines are bloat and vanity-junk that wouldn’t last past the first drone missile nor the thousandth. No wonder we keep losing the wars we fight. Churchill would have sacked more generals and admirals. And UK has no Space programme to speak of as Obama calls for Mars by 2030. OK there’s Timpson’s Manston-Space-thingy although I doubt we should rely on that. FGM and Modern Slavery are worthy issues but of minimal relevance to UK – and don’t the police do those anyway? Knife crime and Climate Change and Air pollution and Cancer and Drugs deaths are all greater issues afflicting Britain. Certainly for a Prime Minister’s new or defining policies. Hinkley and more nukes is unutterably foolish as the world moves to solar etc. Rather Brexit is looming as an albatross around her neck. Maybe though she’ll be excellent and win an election next year and do amazing things.
Time for Change
* July Updates:
* Working on a misc issues: Magellan Anniversary - Spain and LatAm, Almeria Universities links and Kent-Thai orchids
* Also Solomon Islands cruise ships
* Benelux strategy: Panasonic and Phillips - DNA bathroom mirror