Thursday, 14 September 2017

NZ trade sanctions in East Kent. Bring the Kiwi Killers of Infratil back.

Many people suggest East Kent should be the boot on Britain's windpipe. Choking off the flow of trade across the Channel. A Project Chokehold if you will.

Not just in protest at Brexit, but for NZ trade sanctions on lamb and wine until the Kiwi Killers of Infratil are returned to UK to stand trial for the Manston-Infratil airport monitor crimes.

East Kent certainly is best-placed for sanctions to bite: Dover as Europe’s largest port handling 300,000 tonnes of UK trade, as well as the UK's second busiest port for cruise ship tourism.

The Channel Tunnel as the main rail/road freight tunnel between UK and Continent.

Eurostar and Eurotunnel passenger and freight trains the main rail routes between London and Paris and Brussels via Ashford and Lille.

Even nearby Gatwick airport, one of Europe's busiest airports, with its 97,000 tonnes of cargo and 38M passengers.

And Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, just a few miles further on as the main hub for Terminal 2's Air New Zealand cargo and tourists.

And the Dover-Calais ferries the main sea-borne HGV route between UK and Europe – indeed ebnsuring trade from Manchester to Moscow, and China's OBOR.

And of course the other Channel ports whether Southampton to Harwich and Felixstowe on Southern England's coast. Or Le Havre and Cherbourg to Boulogne and Ostend and Antwerp and Rotterdam and Zeebrugge and Hamburg on Europe's coastline.

All the above trade hubs staffed and managed with East Kent citizens and friends of East Kent citizens.

The very same people, and their families, deliberately and needlessly contaminated by Infratil and TDC/KCC.

No ardent trade unionist would need to exert themselves much with the train drivers and conductors – the Southern rail strike long overdue in being resolved with both drivers and guards as a public safety and assistance measure. And now Anglian Trains.

Or ferry staff and dockworkers and airline staff and pilots – indeed the TUC Congress this week citing not us the Kamikaze Brexit but steeling themselves for another Winter of Discontent of strikes and stoppages.

Few would shed a tear for Infratil or NZ's trade deficit.

With £2BN in NZ imports to UK and just £1BN UK exports to NZ it’s clear Britain is a more important to NZ.

But clearly distortion to UK trade and travel would be an unfair distraction for a few legs of lamb and bottles of plonk and Kiwi barstaff.

Certainly though NZ lamb could easily be replaced with Kentish lamb – and with with less food miles. While NZ wine could easily be replaced from France or Italy, or further afield in California and South Africa, and even a few Argentine and Hungarian reds.

The good folks at Ramsgate Tesco have already marked down some NZ wine - along with laudable efforts on absorbing the tampon tax and moving to 10p plastic bags for life: No Time for Waste a good slogan.

While the good folks at Ramsgate Waitrose have already reduced their NZ whites to just half a shelf, and the NZ reds to just one shelf. Rather, Spanish and Chilean wine is to the fore - raising the question of how Kent and Spain and Chile can be more active in trade?

The good folks at Tesco Ramsgate already marking down Most Wanted(!) NZ Sauvignon Blanc from £9.00 to £7.50 – help them out by buying it up so they can restock with something else.

There’s plenty of choices instead of NZ plonk:

• Sunday Times wines of the moth last week by wine critic Will Lyons with Nyetimber Cuvee from Sussex as “we are living through the great English wine boom” – Waitrose with drop of Chapel Down Kent wine too. Spanish Muga Rosada £12 – not enough Spanish wines in UK. Oddity Dry Furmint Tokaji from Hungary – a food friendly wine. Argentinian chardonnay from Mendoza £8.50 a whistle-clean wine grown at 12,000 feet. I can’t say as I can’t drink red wine – an almost instant migraine worse than the hangover

• Sunday Times citing 2 more Spanish and Argentine wines into its top 25 (only two NZ anyway): Carmelo Rodeo from Burgos and Riccitelli merlot from Patagonia – Will visiting Argentna last year and being impressed by its topend wines why not more UK-Argentina trade?.

• Asda not to ne outdone wine buying manager Ed Betts cites Cocciola and Abruzzo white with loads of citrus and green apple flavours – just £5 and a “corker of a wine from Oz Barossa Chardonnay with peachy flavours and biscuity notes – also £5. Asda citing a taster menu of Cornish Brie or goats Cheese too.

• The Sunday Times Graae Britain articie also citing the Foreign Office wine cellars now stocking 50% UK wine and making a profit with sales of vintage wines.

• And the good folks of Ramsgate Asda with a Chilean Sauvignon the Winetek Cosmic Shepherd with a rather swish spaceage label and ”perfect for Asian cuisine and seafood”. I tried it and it’s delicious.

Certainly any trade sanctions shouldn't impact on Kent’s supermarkets for consumer support would gradually buy up - perhaps slighter cheaper NZ stock - for it to then be replaced with Californian wine etc.

The excellent Lloyds Bank report on the UK food and wine trade's 4x increase last year suggests the loss would be NZ's. With more sheep than people, Kiwis are unlikely to cope with the excess inventory and eat the mountains of lamb or drink the lakes of wine themselves.

Even Tonga and Samoa are balking at greasy offcuts of NZ lamb on health grounds - is killing other people's citizens a NZ way of working?

And nearby Australia's wine and lamb markets are unlikely to welcome Kiwi stock dumping - nor Infratil investments in Oz pensioner care homes. California's and Chile's wine markets and retailers also have their own bigger fish to fry than NZ wine. And beef rather than lamb is the cultural stew of choice from USA to Argentina.

And certainly changing NZ Air landing slots at Heathrow would be a longer-term issue for any Project Chokehold, although a tightening-up on NZ visas and residency would be less problematic given the Brexit nonsense on EU citizens.

Perhaps EU citizens in UK would be replaced by NZ refugees from the wine and lamb industries.

NZ might even want to try being China's Farm rather than Britain's Farm, with a taste of Chinese democracy and tariffs. The NZ milk powder scandal though leaving an unpleasant taste in many Chinese mouths. And lamb and wine playing second cultural fiddle to pork and beer in Asia.

Certainly dynamic and respected Kiwi leaders such as former PM's John Key and Helen Clark can't really justify keeping the Infratil directors away from justice or jeopardising long-standing UK-NZ relations even if they don't want the Queen as head of state?

Nobody's denying Infratil didn't carry out the Manston-Infratil crimes, and gunrunning and drugs flights, that even the FBI and ATF must be concerned about. There’s not even an attempt at coverup now.

And it’s worth remembering the Manston pollution and weather monitors were major sites in the whole London and South East network. UK citizens across Kent and London have been endangered.

The collpase of Kent governance continues apace.

With KCC councillors featured in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs for their only act before their lengthy Summer holidays of voting a 15% pay increase from a recommeneded 1.5% increase. This makes them the UK's highest paid councillors and with the most over £100k civil service salaries - none of this in any manifesto.

Now after a Summer of inaction matched only by Parliament, the councillors have cancelled the September KCC meeting as they have nothing to do.

The County Barn is now empty except for tumbleweed drifting down Kent's drug-ridden and potholed High Streets.

KCC Leader Carter and TDC leader Wells and RTC Mayor Shonk must go: mere drones to rubberstamp civil service salaries and pensions.

It's only mere silence now from NZ's Wellington airport and Kent's councils in Maidstone and Margate.

Nobody wants trade sanctions but perhaps that's for the best if the alternative is the Infratil directors remaining at large.

And certainly with Brexit and coastal deprivation adding to East Kent's woes - so near to Maidstone and so far from Flanders - perhaps a winter of discontent will help freshen up attitudes to East Kent in UK too?

A new UK Life Sciences strategy by Lord Bell, ignoring East Kent's Discovery Park formerly the largest USA inward investment in Europe with Pfizer, for a few hackneyed Oxbridge tweaks is thin gruel.

The Eastwest Oxbridge rail-link is perfectly valid but hardly a pharma strategy – the Sunday Times reporting on the overcrowded housing markets of Oxbridge. The sensible Whitehall Out of Whitehall strategy, to pump-prime deprived areas outside London with public sector funds and jobs, also stalling.

No wonder Maidstone is so congested – with constant calls for more public funds for tarmacking -given the same over-centralised approach. And vanity projects for half-empty business parks and retail parks hold sway over park parks in the Garden of England.

Council and business tax strikes might well be a useful adjunct to the NZ trade sanctions to freshen up ideas about East Kent from our stagnant councils and quangos.

But, removing the air pollution monitors with TDC and KCC to develop Manston airport is an outrage.

The latest Private Eye details Cheshire East council in the Rotten Boroughs article with that council manipulating its air pollution figures deliberately and systematically for at least 3 years.

TDC and Infratil did the same (and Gloag-Stagecoach too) for at least 10 years even removing monitors and pretending they were monitoring. And incurring almost nothing in fines.

Cheshire East has now suspended two senior environmental officers, Tracey Bettany and Phil Mason with a third, Nick Kelly, off work with stress, presumably at being found out rather than concern at polluting the public.

The water scandal in Flint Michigan has also resulted in vigorous prosecutions of council officials for corporate manslaughter.

While it’s reassuring to see the Klity Creek scandal in Thailand of lead poisoning somewhat resolved with multi-billion baht fines and compensation. And Japan leading on a global mercury poisoning ban:

TDC has done nothing except cover-up the crimes and remain silent. As have TDC and KCC councillors. Kent's Environment Agency officials, and Berry, Button and Sproates the TDC environment officers, continue on full salaries.

While Bogoievski, Baker and Fitzgerald and Clarke remain at large in Wellington airport NZ - with the closure of almost a dozen UK and EU and NZ airports. And even the Infratil CEO dying of cancer.

Clearly Kent Police and their pensions are scared to raise the extradition details and put councillors and officials under oath in a public inquiry. Leader Carter of KCC and leader Wells of TDC and Mayor Shonk were involved in the Manston project so now keeping silent on the cancer victim crimes.

NZ trade sanctions on wine and lamb may well spur on debate in NZ and UK on the Infratil directors. The NZ stock exchange may also query why Infratil as one of NZ's largest corporations was falsifying its report and accounts for years with the fake Manston fines.

Australians might also want to question their consumption of NZ lamb and wine as well as the Infratil pensioner care homes. Poisoning Kent's citizens and environment is hardly ideal and makes a mockery of the NZ Air 100% Pure slogan. Perhaps NZ have developed a cunning strategy in merely exporting their pollution onto Kent and European citizens.

Or, in not the first free passage Down Under, should the TDC officials be extradited to stand trial with the Infratil criminals in NZ?

The UK Bar set low with Lord Grabiner's set of fraudsters at One Essex Court weakening the UK High Court.

UK and NZ have always had good relationships and an increasing tourism economy so a Project Chokehold is less than ideal. Why should The Kiwi Killers of Infratil be allowed to jeopardise that with wider NZ trade sanctions?

Time for Change

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