Monday, 3 April 2017
Broken Kent elections and civil disobedience: I refuse to stand for KCC.
You can’t make this stuff up. You really can’t.
I refuse to stand in KCC’s broken election.
And you as a voter or candidate should consider the same.
The mix of KCC election incompetence and Manston-Infratil and Thor mercury cancer victims and Pleasurama corruption is simply too toxic.
I refuse to stand and lend it a veneer of authority.
For now hard on the heels of the blatant 2015 Thanet election fraud with over £15k the whole expenses spent in just one hotel for the largest ever UK election fraud and fine, we now have the KCC election beginning 7 days ago...yet the poll cards haven't been sent out. And candidate nominations close tomorrow.
Apparently extra cost is being deployed to scurry around hand-delivering the poll cards.
Ask for yourself - everyone I've spoken to is horrified at the failure and reduction in democracy and candidates being massed about:
It’s a shambles. An utter, utter shambles.
I refuse to stand.
Kent electoral reform is long overdue though:
* votes at 16 - a minor but necessary tweak with an ageing population.
* proportional representation - it matters not which particular version but ending safe seats which was the root of the Thanet South election fraud where the parties concentrate only on marginal seats. It's absurd that KCC has only ever been Tory in the 100 years of its existence. Few would expect out-and-out Communism in Kent but even so, 100 years of the same party? It's so ridiculous that even Tories question the wisdom of such a one-party state given not every Kent citizen is a Tory. Chinese democracy then results as the KCC Tories then split into factions or become just nodding donkeys having an afternoon nap in the County Resthome.
* end doublehatters: one person occupying two or three seats is a pointless extra cost and reduction of democracy as Trevor Shonk at KCC approves what Trevor Shonk at TDC and Trevor Shonk at RTC voted on. You couldn't make it up #YCMIUP
* Publish manifestos 6 months before elections. If there is no manifesto - or it's published just days before an election then how can you form an informed view of how to vote? And why is there no formal process of meetings/hustings? The candidates are invisible, mere form-filling adjuncts of the civil servants, there to sign off the salaries and wade through random bumf and glory projects for the cement industry in monthly council meetings.
For what it’s worth here are the wafer-thin, vague Labour and Tory KCC manifestos (the latter usually written by the civil servants given the foregone conclusion and 1,000 year Reich of a Tory win):
* Tory: http://www.kentconservatives2017.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Kent-Conservatives-manifesto.pdf
* Green (not sure if this is for 2017): http://kentgreenparty.org/policies.php
* LibDem/UKIP: ??
* KCC elections have a quirk in that the seat has a County responsibility yet the process is as per a District or Town election. That, with the Cabinet system, rather than Directly-Elected Leader and Council means Paul Carter is elected by councillors rather than the public. And the Maidstone-centric nature of the County Barn means East Kent is a place far, far away simply to be taxed until the pips squeak. Shut up and pay your tax while politics is done to you from Maidstone or Westminster.
* See below the peculiar email from firstname.lastname@example.org (manifesto content is not really his responsibility as Kent Returning Officer anyway) and my replies on Directly Elected Leaders as he seemed concerned at the process being questioned as per my manifesto. Sounds like a bit of civil servant back-seat driving. And a translation: signposting is KCC-speak for a wild goose chase to some other public sector department or person. Possibly a facet of the Highways dept culture at KCC: "I signposted him to the signpost department who signposted him to the pothole dept who..." etc etc.
Yet strangely no mention of the process of extraditing Infratil's directors for the Manston crimes or burying the extra Thor mercury corpses. Perhaps that will all be fluffed over in the minutiae of the council process? Certainly air pollution monitoring is a KCC responsibility even without the farce of the KCC funding of the Virginia flights.
* One other bizarre quirk - and an outrage – last week was a citizen's paper petition being refused because it wasn't on the council's petition system. As with TDC's random filming of council meetings and secret documents, it’s a handy way to reduce scrutiny etc. The shut up and pay your tax syndrome again.
* 3 weeks for candidates to register - the best way to rig an election (and make it look like an election) is to reduce the opportunity to stand. The current absolute minimum of 7 days reduces candiates to pensioners with nothing else to do. TDC once refused one of my election papers as the five words you are allowed were my campaign slogan: "Stop the Corruption etc". But that's four words they wanted to cover up. No wonder "None of the Above" is also banned although spoiling your vote has the same purpose. Australia for example has compulsory votes at election and spoilt ballots are more prevalent there.
* The other best way is simply to stuff the ballot boxes. How silly for KCC elections to have the ballot boxes stored overnight(!) in the counci offices(!) before being counted the next day. Something of a tampering and certainly a fire risk - but mainly the problem of Kent's electoral pensioners and elderly clerks wanting to knock off early for their cocoa. And there's not even many votes to count...
* Returning Officer £120k fees and overtime. Not salary or expenses - an extra fee for organising the election. Why would any member of the public or political party want to pay extra for the normal process of elections every few years? Looks like the other Kent problem of councillors being led by the nose by the clerks. Clerks won't organise elections without being paid extra? Sack them and get some new ones. The elections are hardly well-run now are they?
In Chad they're so desperate for viable elections they even have the laughable situation of Thanet's Roger Gale MP lecturing them on how to do it. Hopefully on how not to do it. Frankly, the Girl Guides could run Kent's elections better. A spot of more rigorous OESCE scrutiny wouldn't be a bad thing either. And it's an outrage for the members of the public who volunteer to help at elections and effectively being kicked in the pants and the wallet by the tax-salary clerks for doing so.
But do we need an organised programme of Civil Disobedience over the next 6 months or so? I don't think so yet but the key points are easy:
* refuse to vote - low turnout reduces the mandate of those elected (it's already less than 30% for regional elections, and even as low as 15% in PCC elections and 12% in one Canterbury election)
* refuse to stand - few candidates reduces the mandate of the elected party drones, and increases co-opted seats where there is no election just an appointment
* refuse to take your seat if elected - you'll be sacked after 6 non-attendance sessions but so what. It means another election
* attend council sessions but then walk out - keep your council fee or refuse it or give it to charity or burn the notes on the steps of County Hall. Even Kent's tame journalists could report that. How appalling that Kent’s journalists failed to report the Thanet South election fraud, the UK’s largest-ever, right on their doorstep. Nor the Infratil and Thor etc cancer victim crimes. Maybe a pencil and notebook means you can’t get cancer?
* attend council sessions but refuse to vote – elected councillors can stand at the back of the County Cesspit (next to the tethered pig as an air freshener) in protest
* cancel your electoral register entitlement to vote - falling electoral registers is a massive vote of no confidence in the electoral process. Why have electoral registers anyway? A utility bill etc should be sufficient proof at election stations. And the increase in the postal vote is anyway the massive flaw in the system
* cancel your council tax direct debit - make it difficult for tax-collection not easy. Short-pay. Wrong-pay. Only trusted and effective councils have the right to have regular direct debit payments from the public
* wrong-pay/short-pay your council tax and business rates - Westminster will question falling tax receipts, and surely you should question why you are paying extra for council corruption? And why your politicians and clerks are keeping quiet about it? And where is the corruption refund? Shut up and pay your tax for corruption twice? Once for the tax and once for the corruption. Extra for the GIAA £500k investigation to cover it up. Who were those corrupt civil servants?
At the very least Britain's best corrupt barristers at One Essex Court, Guy Hollingworth and doddery-old Ian Glick the doddery-old QC of old London town's failing High Court of Cockroach, could help them? Passing fake invoices in High Court is a rare talent. Perhaps they'll both make judge. Perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court and have a jolly afternoon or two discussing Newfoundland lobsters on the rates.
* refuse to serve councillors and civil servants in shops and pubs and restaurants, and then street protests and so on. When Roger Gale MP goes into hospital for his usual haemmorhoids treatment, many have unkindly suggested to just flip him over and cut off his goolies. In the cram of trolleys in the corridor, and stack of legs wrongly cut off in the horror of 12,000 NHS wrong surgery deaths, few would notice an old Kentish man moaning about his missing plums. Maybe just another Dementia statistic as Britain lumbers towards putting vaccine research (with Flu/Pandemics and Cancer) in place in every university rather than the rash of Beckham Studies.
Given Thanet's weak elections and rampant council corruption it's hardly unreasonable to have Direct Rule from Westminster for a while. Although with Theresa May's assistant Nick Timothy writing LocalCraig's election plans for him, we seem to have that by default.
Certainly as part of Whitehall-out-of-Whitehall programmes, with Channel Four moving out to the regions and DFID regional offices in Scotland it might even be the push needed for extra direct investment into East Kent along with TB research etc at Discovery Park with its missing 5k jobs.
Certainly the East Kent council should be a way to focus KCC support to the coast along with a deprivation weighting etc etc. Even a levy on the Freight Transport Association when they start urging a billion-dollar-car-park on the rates to stop lorry drivers parking in laybys and dumping their load under a bush. Or recycling plastic bottles into cheap urinals.
Although certainly with the KCC £2BN budget - and remember that doesn't include schools and hospital budgets or police or fire etc - there's no reason why Kent shouldn't be self-funding.
The new 1.99% limit/referendum required for tax increases above that figure, and FOI long-delayed by the civil servants to prevent scrutiny of salaries, pensions, expenses etc, should be the basis of limiting waste. Although it doesn't mean automatic 1.99% increases...As a rule of thumb I assume at least 30% of any public sector organisation's budget could be cut - and actually improve performance.
I don't understand how TDC has 750 council staff out of a total of 1,800 in East Kent? Sounds badly-run bloat on the rates. Or council-dole at best. They can hardly claim they've improved the area or cut tax. Without either of those two factors what are they for? Pay themselves to raise tax? Or as with the perennial 3 NHS EK hospital mergers make improvements to pay themselves by cutting services?
It's astonishing that not one KCC councillors in the last 5 years nor any of the main political parties has called for tax cuts. KCC's only statement seems to be an occasional panic over a random budget shortfall of 5% every now and then as the chocolate fountains burst. KCC with the most £100k salaries in local government hardly suggests an organisation that has to pinch pennies.
Any organisation could cut 5% without even trying. And without running up the huge reserves (30% at Styles' RTC) that are padding for failure and a gross abuse of tax being provided by the public to be spent on services not merely stored.
Haven't enough pensioners died from lack of heating as a G7 nation becomes nearer G30? And where are this winter's death statistics for Kent?
It will be interesting to see which KCC councillors raise the Infratil crimes and Thor mercury and Pleasurama etc?
The silence so far is deafening.
And our £200M Kent Police are working 9to5 and keeping their heads down to concentrate on their pensions rather than these scandals aren’t they? The Belgian Police would have investigated them by now instead of sitting in the police station polishing their truncheons.
No wonder 20% of existing KCC councillors(!) have resigned rather than face questions on their role. And with Alex King’s resignation the Toxic Three at KCC become the Toxic Two of Carter and Wild.
Kent’s elections are broken. I refuse to stand for KCC2017. Your vote is yours to use – or not - as you wish.
My recommendation is not to vote in KCC2017. It's a broken election.
Time for Garbutt TDC Leader 2019 and MP 2020 (or sooner given the Brexit mess and the May caretaker unelected government).
Time for Change
* In case you forgot, my manifesto is on this blog simply scroll down or email email@example.com for a PDF of my leaflets
Here are 2 key points:
1. Dig up the Manston runway. No Airport. No New Town. A field with the aquifer under it. And a Typhoid review of the sewers #YCMIUP
2. Remain East Kent. The future is UK in EU. Kent's semi-racist pensioners are of the past. The 1970's are over. Kent's worst generation has failed us and led us into the swamp of UKIP looking for scapegoats for the failure of East Kent. The generation gap has already begun: 70% of those under 40 want to RemainEU.
* One of the bizarre quirks in the KCC Tory manifesto is continuing to support the Thanet Parkway rail station for Manston airrpot – yet no mention of Manston airport itself now cancelled despite the Tory MP promise. that speaks volumes of KCC Planning doesn’t it? Expensive nonsense with your tax.
* Superb work by former Cllr Ian Driver, suffering from being sued by TDC for revealing the secret documents onhte plaeauram corruption - a warning to all our sheep-councilors there and even being followed by Kent Police as a Domestic Extremist(!). No wonder Parliament is under attack and cops and civilians killed if Special Branch are trialing elected councilors to and from the council chamber. Again a warning to our sheep-councilors of failing in effective scrutiny: http://iandriverthanet.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/who-owns-ramsgates-pleasurama-site.html
* (Guncops now patrolling Ashford(!) a similar sort of bloat and boys toys and of almost no use)
* And weedkiller scandal which has been raised before as excessive use of such chemicals causes cancer and birth defects: http://iandriverthanet.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/weed-killer-scandal-irresponsible.html
* Interesting that the Pleasurama info above shows Steve Keegan and Colin Hill connected. And Keegan the former the handyman for Terence Painter estate agent. Surely Bob Bayford as one of the senior councillors would speak up on these points and strange transfers of ownership?
* And interesting and laughable that the new version of Riveroak UK has backing of Roger Gale...and Zurich banks and a mysterious Belize company and tax haven structure