Saturday, 10 December 2016

Kent councils' BrettGate - a pig as an air freshener? And High Court?

The 2nd public meeting on BrettGate expressed delight and satisfaction at the cancellation of the secret Phase 2 megadevelopment of a Brett cement works. Yet concern remains that the smaller Phase 1 development was passed last year - without any public notice or consultation and now it seems not any environment review.

And - along with the lack of TDC support for the P22 US Navy boat and Ramsgate Sprint projects - there is concern at the silence of Leader Wells for the Phase 2 mega-development and secrecy of SELEP funds sought way back in June.

Why the silence for such a megadevelopment for over 6 months?

When will we hear from Wells to explain why he and TDC councillors voted for this mega-blight including 1M freight lorries - only to have it overwhelmingly rejected within days of the public hearing about it?

And who is the TDC harbour official who signed off on environment studies for monitoring the cement dust - yet didn't do them?

Answers on the back of a child's burnt lung.

The asthmatics amongst us would be concerned at that, as no doubt would TDC's Amanda Berry still in charge of monitoring the Manston pollution that was 4x EU safe levels.

And so would Infratil's directors of Fitzgerald, Baker, Bogoievski and Clarke hiding in far-away Wellington Airport in New Zealand, perhaps Asia's most dangerous airport, given their activity in faking the pollution data and fines at Manston.

The sands are shifting and the cancer corpses caused by the council and Infratil are starting to rise to the surface.

East Kent with some of the highest disparities of mortality rates in Kent and South East.

Leader Wells could even explain the mega-plans at Manston for either Brett warehouses or Stone Hill New Town. And while he's at it some details of the Dreamland tax haven court cases and Manston airport missing fines and cancer victim pollution?

Wells and UKIP are merely continuing the secrecy and incompetence that so often characterises the stale and elderly TDC regardless of which party is in power.
To be fair as with the lame Kent Police investigation into electoral fraud of some 18 months and counting, or TDC lawyer the repulsive Tim Howes covering up the corruption scandals such as the GIAA £500k port fraud or Thor mercury cleanup, they can get away with it for longer than they should.

Quite astonishing that East Kent has Ian Driver as the only UK councilor ever prosecuted by a council for releasing council documents.

And the deafening silence from the rest of the sheep-councilors.

And of more concern why would any member of the public stand as a councilor under such threats?

Certainly chancing their arm in court for a coin-toss decision is viable as detailed in my Manifesto #2 of my Stop the Corruption. Stop the Pollution. Stop the Construction, with say corrupt barristers such as part-time magician(!) Guy Hollingworth of One Essex Court. I'd recommend them as an ideal chambers for criminals with Lord Grabiner of BHS rubberstamping judgements - along corrupt lawyers such as Steve Palmer of PBi Law.

It's all the more surprising that their corruption is quietly approved not just by scoundrels such as Grabiner - described as Lord Grabafee by the FT and a boiled old sausage by Private Eye for his role in the LIBOR fraud investigation as well as being BHS CEO - but by senior QC's such as Ian Glick and Peter Leavor keeping shtum rather than alerting the police or BSB etc.

And as with Grabiner hardly ideal for advising parliament on tax law as in previous years(!).

Only the Crying Judge expressed any remorse.

Astonishing too that Grabiner could trouser a £400k fee plus a further £3M(!) in public funds for the lawyers in the Bank of England Libor inquiry.
Hardly a great advertisement for the UK legal profession.

Surely it's long overdue for a review of lawyers court fees - bizarrely the public are the only ones with supposedly a price cap on their fees - there seems to be the sudden sleight of hand reveal of ludicrous costs at the end of a case that are quickly rubberstamped by the judge in seconds.

Effectively the publicly funded courts being used as an ATM for lawyers.

It's a policy as odd as barristers claiming to be self-employed yet clearly employed in a chambers and working as a group on cases. Looks like being employed in a company to me. What do you think? Maybe one for HMRC to review. Because the tax breaks on top of fees from public courts could be very high.

Separately I'm currently dealing with the astonishing case of the slippery Andrew Conway of Lawrence Stephens Law trying to brazen out impersonating an HMRC official as part of his legal case and covering up the matter rather than reporting it to the police.

Quite astonishing or anyone to pretend to be an HMRC official and especially for a lawyer to do so. On a par with the worthless bumf that appears all too regularly from lawyers, such as unsigned letters, or circular statements by himself signed by himself.

Only in a publicly funded court could you get such idiocy and quibbling on the rates - Parliament is far too lax in reviewing Judges and Courts and sentences etc.

There must be some sort of penalty for wasting public and court time in such a way - certainly a member of the public would be cautioned or arrested by the police if not jailed? Unfortunately the Supreme Court case on the Brexit process shows the inane depths the legal profession can stoop to in quibbling at best and liars-for-hire at worse.

Presumably Parliament as sovereign in all policies - including legal matters - could overturn any absurd decision anyway with a new law, or just sack a few judges?

Grabiner could no doubt be hired to rubberstamp it.

Clearly the Law Society and Bar Standards Board - and police - are toothless and not striking off and jailing enough of such lawyers.

But surely we need a vote of no confidence in Wells and TDC council tax strike - certainly to withold Ramsgate's £17M tax costs for Ramsgate and a Corruption Rebate -to spur on reform before the KCC elections in May?

It's hard to see how Latchford of the Gang of Four with Wells, NF Heale and Silent Shonk can be re-elected, they're hardly the future and their past record is abysmal, or even Ken "AIDS" Gregory trying his chances at KCC after failing at TDC, except for an unpleasant bit of gay-bashing other councillors.

Old East Kent at its unreconstructed worst.

And now Farage railing against the low-grade people in UKIP. And the Eddie Hitler lookylikey Nuttall as new UKIP leader trying his chances with stirring up some Northern racism.

Just what we want, elderly pig farmer Ken in charge of larger budgets and projects than the mega-corruption of Pleasurama and the KCC Parkway train-station-to-nowhere-in-the middle of -nowhere or Wells' £1M Broadstairs Scout Hut etc.

You just couldn't make these up could you?

But it's your tax money being burned.

Shut up. Work harder. Pay your tax. Pay more tax.

Rather, Ken would be better off using one of his pigs as an air freshener in the council chamber.

Certainly it would be of more use than pumping his porkers full of AMR antibiotics.

He could hire it out to the High Court too.

And as in last week’s Tonbridge and Richmond elections, we surely need an Alliance system where just one candidate stands against the Tory and UKIP candidates for change in Kent.

Not every Kent citizen supports Tories or UKIP. To be fair, KCC hold their nose and sideline the antics of Thanet's UKippers in the absence of Ken's pig.
But even the most die-hard Kent Shire Tory would fund it hard to justify almost 100 years of KCC being Tory, and less support for UKIP Trumpian policies on privatising the NHS - with or without Polish nurses - or reducing tourism and CCU and Kent University students from nearby Europe.

UKIP do have a point - as with the Greens - in gaining so many votes yet only having one MP. And a new interesting policy on raising the age of MP's to 30 to prevent career politicians: politics at university, then a central office job or MP's assistant then a safe seat and as with Roger Gale 40 years of merely seat warming and handraising.

His retirement and removal some 30 years overdue given the stagnation of East Kent.

Rather with the ongoing failure at TDC and collapse of Farage and other farcical UKIP leaders we've seen the best of UKIP such as it was. And Brexit will undoubtedly veer back to Remain after only further damaging the UK economy on top of the Great Recession of 2008.

And Farage's African HIV comments might appeal to few beyond our Ken and his pig.

Time for Change


# The African Union election for a new president is underway - and good as with the UN election that there are public debates now - but absolutely astonishing that the Foreign Minister of Equatorial Guinea is one of the candidates. An analogy of Africa's Rudolf Hess seems relevant for his role in propping up Equatorial Guinea. Far better candidates from more democratic nations such as Botswana and Kenya are in the running. This in the same week President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea's son is confirmed as going to trial in January at the ICC International Criminal Court. Obiang pere is one of the last dirty dozen African dictators still clinging with some 35 years of changing the constitution etc along with murdering his opponents and reports of cannibalism. A monster up there with Idi Amin and Bokassa, Gambia now ending the 22 year reign of Jammeh. And you may recall the Mark Thatcher coup attempt with Simon Mann in Equatorial Guinea a few years ago.

# concerned at report is of the Solomon Islands 7.7 earthquake and possible tsunami given its huge potential for cruise ship tourism etc in future, with the likes of the good folks at Thomas Cook and Thomsons, and the Aceh earthquake and tsunami. Both events are around the anniversary now of the Philippines Haiyan and Phuket Boxing Day disasters.

# Surely UK and Commonwealth should be stepping forward with ASEAN on massively improved resilience procedures: aircraft carrier/ships forward-placed and cargo helicopters and aid dumps etc? Plus rescue teams with search dogs etc? Over 60% of such disasters and casualties occur in East Asia and with modern weather mapping systems there's plenty of advance and detailed warning. Thailand has put in place an impressive tsunami warning system and Vietnam has superb evacuation systems with the police and army etc. With the tsunami details in UK as in last week's Sunday Times:

# It would be relevant for the Red Cross and RNLI etc here in Kent and the 1953 and 1978 disasters and hundreds of deaths. Last year's Kent Earthquake of just 3.3 was a very minor bump in the night - but exactly the sort of incident that causes tsunamis if a little bit stronger and undersea. And all the more reason to shut Dungeness nuclear power station - and the Channel sites in France and Belgium - down faster. While my view is Ramsgate should be the first official Red Cross Town with school lessons in CPR, first aid etc, defibrillators in pubs and phone boxes, OAP Winter alerts etc and close liaison with the good folks of RNLI.

# interesting that the Japan Space Agency has launched their first space junk satellite to collect space debris that can damage satellites and space-walking astronauts. Particularly interesting for Meiji Kent as the design to catch the space junk and send it into low orbit to burn up is based on a thousand year old fishing net design. Surely Space Junk is an ideal niche for the UK Space Programme, based just a stone’s throw away from the Kent border at Surrey University, along with thousands of smartphone satellites in orbit around every planet and moons?

# interesting article on earthbound junk and landfill: Sweden having to import landfill to keep its recylcing plants going after having reduced its landfill to just 1% of previous years. Why can’t Kent do that along with 90% recycling as in Germany rather than the feeble 40% in Kent? With household recycling only being introduced in UK in the last 3 years or so it's a pretty feeble effort - still no coffeeshop cup recycling or landfill mining or domestic medical waste collection such as tampons, condoms etc. Hats off to the supermarkets for switching cotton buds to paper stems rather than plastic for easier disposal. And the good folks at Ramsgate Asda and Wilkinson for their orchids displays - an ideal Xmas present now and Summer present next year with the Battle of the Flowers event etc. And a boost for East Kent's orchid farmers.

# good to see Kent University forging new Meiji international links with Japan last week: Hiroshima and Tokyo universities - and hopefully Fukuoka too the HQ of UN Habitat.

# good Oxfam report on dodgy tax havens and UK having 4 of the worst as the last fragments of Empire: BVI, Caymans, Gibraltar etc`. And an interesting yet foolish article in Private Eye by Rishi Sunak MP on developing tax haven ports in UK - surely that would be a magnet for corruption and drugs and gunrunning? Not ideal for New East Kent and UK scraping the bottom of the barrel if that's the best economic policy that can be developed. As with Medway's MP Chishti supporting the Saudi regime, and Theresa May even popping up at the Gulf dictatorships for the new Royal Navy Bahrain base - surely there's better?

# and with Xmas present buying - don't forget to stock up on Panasonic batteries for electronic toys etc and there's an excellent display by the good folks at Ramsgate Waitrose near the £5 specs, perfect as a spare pair or for leaving in the car for emergencies. Surely the food folks at Specsavers and Boots will be stepping forward on the work they already do for the 39M blind people in the world?

# awful that the BBC have issued the first pandemic warning this week for bird flu after it has blazed through Romania and Poland for weeks and Holland more recently.

# UK is so weak at pandemic alerts and far more coordination with Police and NHS on vaccines and body bags etc - and LEFT IS LIFE - is required and with hospitals abroad, and the Stanford swab test of train and bus stations etc. ASEAN is highlighted by the UN WHO as the most likely region for the next Spanish Flu - type major pandemic as in 1919 that killed more people than WW1. Although Ebola and Yellow fever caught WHO by surprise. You may remember xc.2 years ago UK failing completely on the flu vaccine due to a factory fire in Holland a one of its only suppliers. The TB and Flu viruses in particular are always in permutation - and not enough spent on research and manufacturing a tidal wave of pills - and so far only Smallpox and (almost) Polio and Guineaworm have been eradicated.

# like me I'm sure you're a Hello Kitty fan - who isn't? Chief Constable Pughsley for example is also a keen Doraemon collector. And there's an excellent Niponica article by Japan MOFA on tourism and manga and Hello Kitty and Doraemon as part of Kawaii Culture. The Margate Geekxpo and Comicon was the first stirrings of that mashup of manga, cosplay, comics, fashion, computer games, art etc etc. Ideal for East Kent with the heritage of Small Films and Bagpuss and Clangers, as well as Dickens and Billy Bunter etc, and just across the water the good folks of Belgium with their numerous Lucky Luke and TinTin museums etc.

#The Turner Museum on opening providing an interesting display of comics and magazines etc. And certainly ripe too for Ramsgate's Van Gogh museum with the Rijkmuseum and his letters and doodles from Ramsgate etc. It would be ideal annual precursor to Little Ships Dunkirk Day too with a fleet of art arriving in Ramsgate Harbour.

# absurd that the superb P22 US navy gunboat and Ramsgate Sprint projects aren't up and running and funded by TDC/KCC. And a very powerful speech by the dynamic Charlton Athletic lady (I didn't catch her name) at the Ramsgate public meeting on their youth team and events and training programmes etc etc. Along with Ebbsfleet United, perfect with the kickoff to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics underway, Margate's beach volleyball, polo and soccer events and general sports diplomacy.

# Much improved Ramsgate pedestrian zone on the High St and Seafront begun: no parking/driving through after 10am or parking on pavements or yellow lines. No G4S cashvans or GPO vans either, and certainly a police crackdown on issuing parking tickets and clamp and crush is needed in future. Please let me have any reg nos and photos of such cars. No seaside town is lax on parking and it's incredibly dangerous in a pedestrian zone and for kids and pensioners and people in wheelchairs or with pushchairs.

# No news on EKFOS East Kent Film Office and Studio or dodgy Wetherspoons Pavilion asbestos etc as yet.

# No news on Spanish Armada or Liberation Route Europe/Fortitude/Masterdom CWG etc events yet. Bridge on the River Kwai JEATH event in Thailand underway again and sparkling work by CWG as always in looking after the war graves. Britain's best government dept.

# Charity Commission being questioned this week in Parliament on its plans and costs. Huge bloat and bureaucracy with almost no UK charity worth more than c.£20k a year: one of Britain's worst government depts. Having dealt with it with Surin Charity I can confirm every quid spent on the Charity Commission is a quid wasted and food out of the mouths of charities and the aid budget. Disappointing as William Shawcross the Chairman wrote Sideshow one of the best books on Cambodia. Superbly written and worth reading even if you're not that interested in Cambodia. I usually buy a different edition when I'm out there. Interesting that Broadstairs' Bruce Robinson wrote the Killing Fields that covers some of the same ground of B52 strikes on civilians etc.

# A police crackdown on junkies and dealers in East Kent is needed - far too many and far too prevalent. A Philippines-style cull is less than ideal: 5,000 dead in just a few months but certainly a rapid closing of drug dens apart from left open for surveillance, harbour boats and Gefco cars and NHS no blame-no shame treatment for junkies, and tougher jail sentences for dealers in East Kent is due. The largest-ever UK capture of Skorpion and AK47 machine guns and tower block Uzi-style machine pistols in recent years are just part of the problem in East Kent and the gunrunn9ng form Ostend/Lydd airports now Manston has closed.

# Surprised at c.4k benefit sanctions by DSS in East Kent: almost double any other Kent region. I don't understand except for blatant fraud eg out playing football when you've supposedly a broken leg etc, there'd be any benefit sanctions? It's a welfare right not a secret target to reduce costs by messing people about. I don't even see why there should be a particular restriction on working to 16 hours for benefits. Our MP's must surely be calling for a list and explanation of all these sanctions? Disabled sanctions and tests are even more repulsive. The sooner there's a Free Economy the better, and the various global trials of a Basic National Income (Canada the latest) are a step on the way - Labour now calling for BNI, and a £10ph Living Wage.

# I've not yet seen the plain cigarette packaging, and it's incredible how few smokers you see these days. The first US Surgeon-General warnings on vaping dangers this week. As with HFSS (High Fat Salt and Sugar Foods) the USA is far, far ahead of UK in public health. Surely the supermarkets should be moving more rapidly to ending their cigarette sales or at least donating the profits to charity? I don't understand cafes effectively reserving outdoor tables for smokers - maybe one corner table away from passive smokers?

# Excellent Kent Police work with TDC Housing and the churches on homeless shelters, really excellent - no excuse for sleeping rough or begging in East Kent. And only c.20 or so anyway. To help, a tweak would be tighter coordination with the DSS and Prison releases and education at Sheppey etc. UK has abysmal 50% reoffending rates and released from prison to homelessness and no job and problems reading and writing is a big part of that. The London policy of Zero Nights Homeless is ideal for East Kent. Concerning to hear TDC turning away veteran soldiers given the Military Covenant, PTSD etc etc. Especially with the first homeless person freezing to death last week in Birmingham city centre UK's second largest city. A monstrous failure of a G7 nation and the world's 5th largest economy (6th after the Brexit blip) - and Kent budgets of £2BN at KCC, £20M at TDC (and more at the other 12 district councils), £400k at RTC and £200M at Kent Police - and none of those figures include the Kent NHS and Kent Education budgets - anyone know the latter?

#Kent Fire is rather good value apart from the silliness of the Ramsgate £8M fire garage and FOI Finchy at £80M. Probably a bit too cheap with fire engines at £100k each and the excellent Road Safety Museum. The UK NHS budget is £150BN hence the feebleness of UKIP stirring up African HIV and foreigners-coming-here-taking-our-nose-jobs hatred. Any East Kent doctor or nurse should invariably be putting the Hippocratic Oath first - especially with the ludicrous plans to shortchange the East Kent public with hospital closures again or messing up on travel arrangements for the valid plans to use Benelux hospitals.

#And any Kent citizen holidaying in the EU should be flagging up where they've been refused medicare or stranded/hospitalised after a car crash or whatever, or like Margate's Joshua French left to rot on Death Row in the Congo. Kent Police should be pushing on coordination with GMP on international arrests as well as first port of call for stranded citizens etc. A minor tweak to the 101 backoffice service, along with boosting CCU and Kent Uni and the Languages Economy with NHS and Courts translation etc.

#No news as yet on British Council Myanmar/London and unfortunate that the appalling Joanna Galvan now transferred to Taiwan, one of the invariably excellent British Council outposts in Asia. The danger is such buffoons drag down the sterling work being done there by messing up conferences etc. Again a lack of Board control of costs and competence.

Time for Change

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