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News and Comment October 2020

Index: 2020

31 October - Is it worth it?

I am not someone who worships the National Health Service. It has let me down several times, it let my ancient aunt down many times and it is currently letting a close friend down. A vital consultation and treatment deferred for six months so far.

“Envy of the World” is a very sick joke although I accept that my own complaints have more often related to the appalling state of its management. When I complained about it several years ago I next saw my consultant with a degree of trepidation. I need not have worried, he was very pleased that I had put the management failings on the record and wished more people would do it.

Maladministration seems to extend to every level. Last week I received a telephone invitation for a flu jab. I had planned to refuse but the receptionist sweet talked me into it. “It won’t be at your normal surgery” I was warned. “Where?” says I. “We’ll send you a letter with all the details.”

The letter came and it named the surgery but not its address. In 30 seconds Google gave me the answer but the target audience for flu jabs will often be septuagenarians like me and I am led to believe that many of us are not into Google and Smart phones.

The next day an identical letter was delivered.

This morning I drove to the surgery to see what the parking was like because it is four miles away and two bus journeys and a walk. As it turned out unrestricted on street parking was freely available.

I still suspect the flu jab will be a waste of time. A search of this blog for the word flu provides 42 hits and despite having a jab for the majority of the past 14 years I have had five to eight weeks of flu or something very like.

 

August 2012
April 2015
April 2016
January 2018
December 2019
January 2020

 

That’s five bouts of flu following the last eight vaccinations. Not a cold, serious indispositions lasting for nearly two months.

If you are tempted to follow the links please note that they are from the section of the website withdrawn from view pending link checking. It might be best not to follow the links from within those pages.


Note: The list within this blog should appear in two or three columns dependent on screen width but not all browsers support multi-column mode.

 

29 October - “Probably better you don’t start tweeting so much”

The title is the advice given to me by a Labour activist who hides behind the name of Sidcup4Remain.

It’s a month since I ventured back on to Twitter and I am already thinking her advice may be good. Good for her that is.

For drawing attention to a blog that was critical of a Trafalgar Square anti-lockdown demonstration and the ensuing police violence I was told, not by Sidcup4Remain, that I was disrespectful to the police and advised to seek professional help for reminding readers that the Met were prepared to involve themselves in the murder of someone about to expose their wrong doings. Not speculation but an established fact. Twitter ignoramuses are a fact of life.

S4R went further and likened my lack of respect for the police and condemnation of their brutality to the views of Oswald Mosley. “Mosley couldn’t have done a better Tweet”.

Of more concern - but maybe not a lot - is that same person - a leading light in the local Labour Party - now accuses me of libel.
Libel Libel
For what? She says that I accused her of “inciting murder”. A rather large stretch of imagination based on me highlighting the fact that in mid-August she associated herself with throwing Nigel Farage over a cliff. (See below left.)

Lefties you will remember are absolutely against hate crimes but in reality they are hypocrites.

They are not only hypocrites they are too often willing to distort the truth. Sidcup4Remain’s comment following her official complaint about Councillor Philip Read changed the word ‘Iranian’ to ‘Iranian citizens’ to make his Retweet look a little racist, which it obviously wasn’t.

She excused her Nigel Farage Retweet by saying it did not endorse throwing him off a cliff, but indisputably she was all in favour of spreading the evil thought to her 640 followers. At the same time she complained to Bexley Council that Philip Read’s use of the Retweet button endorsed racism. One rule for the Left and another for the Right.

The difference is that the sentiment expressed in one Tweet was clearly murderous while the Philip Read Retweet only endorsed the statement that the Iranian regime is a terrorist one; which few would dispute. It’s hard to keep up with S4R’s torturous logic twists.
Code of Conduct

Extract from Code Of Conduct Committee Agenda. Labour activist wastes Bexley taxpayers’ money.

I couldn’t find the mid-August Tweet about Nigel Farage on my Mobile yesterday but you may see it in all its glory below. (†) Not a one-off endorsement of bad taste either as the one about the Prime Minister confirms.

It is a great pity that such views are associated with the local Labour Party.
Causing death Just plain nasty
In all my years of keeping an eye on Bexley Council I have seen the Conservatives lie countless times but never have I caught out the Labour opposition getting up to the same tricks. At least not the present lot, my memory may not be totally reliable pre-2014.

You would think they would tackle their weakest link.
Blocked

The sign of defeat by someone who doesn’t know how easy it is to circumvent a Twitter block.

† I found it this morning using Chrome on my PC. Very odd.

 

28 October - The saddest Tweet of the Day

Suicide Tweet Johnson HancockI found this Tweet by the London Ambulance Service to be deeply disturbing. Not so much that Covid appears to have doubled the suicide rate in London - anyone could have guessed that - but that it was around 20 cases a day even in normal years.

After seven months of Covid the Government’s reaction to the bug has wrecked the country and so many lives, yet I still know no one who has died of Covid19. indeed I only know of one person who has had it - 76 years old and survived.

Soon after it all started a close friend lost her young niece who couldn’t take the thought that her mother may have had Covid. She didn’t. Four lives wrecked as a result of that single episode.

I truly don’t believe this pair of numties care. Why else would they make the NHS a near Covid only service?

A friend who was diagnosed with heart failure in July has had his consultation with a cardioligist put off until next January.

 

27 October (Part 3) - An insult a Day keeps the sympathisers at bay

Nasty PartyThere has been a certain amount of dithering on my part over the question of free meals for children during half term. One can argue it both ways but I managed to provide myself with an answer by posing this question…

If a mother with young children was in front of me in Sainsbury’s and didn’t have enough money to pay for obvious essentials, would I whip my bank card out?

So that was that settled.

I dithered again when I saw the worst of the Labour activists apparently more interested in abusing Conservatives. I labelled them the Nasty Party but not long afterwards noticed (see Tweet) I might not be in very good company.

I must have said so before but the Mayor of Bexley is one of the good guys and many a time he has joked about his weight when chairing Scrutiny meetings.

I once cheekily joked about his girth while exiting the Council Chamber and he took it all in good part.

On another occasion I walked with him for around a mile and he set a cracking pace.

If I have to take issue with the Tory Tweet it would be that the duo behind that account has a long history of lying and until the new Code of Conduct (†) put an end to it, of abusing me personally.

Most people in politics are disreputable but not James Hunt - unless he accidentally steps on your toe.

† The Code of Conduct says that Councillors should not block people on Twitter. Maybe someone should tell Philip Read and the Council Leader.

 

27 October (Part 2) - Maybe I have seen the light

PlatesI surprised myself on Sunday by coming out in favour of free children’s meals for the needy because I couldn’t see any logical reason for stopping them just because it is half term. Free school meals have been around for more than 100 years under one set of rules or another so it seems rather pointless to argue against them this late in the day. But perhaps it is unwise to extend the system. What next? Allow children to become the property of the state?

If my mother knew she might have been able to get free meals for me maybe I would not so often have been fed sugar sandwiches.

In Bexley, Councillor Mabel Ogundayo (Labour, Thamesmead East) has taken a leading role in raising of £6,000 to provide the half term meals that Bexley Council won’t. In my view it is unfortunate that the usual suspects have seen it more as an oppportunity to bash the wicked Tories than to feed the possibly hungry.

Click the plate image to see what they have written on them.

Ovens Surgery
When I first saw the Tweet by The Three Musketeers (above) my only thought was that they were counting chickens in booking a room for Councillors’ surgeries until the end of 2024 but I am politically naive.

I missed the fact that it’s an opportunity for members of the local Nasty Party - sorry, that should read Nasty Members of the local Labour Party - to castigate them for not handing out free grub. Few Councillors care for children more than the Mayor (centre) but they wouldn’t want to know that.

And another member of that same party sees it as an opportunity to regurgitate his MP’s two double ovens. Together they manage to undo some of their Party’s achievement in raising £6,000.

There are 45 references to obesity on this website. Bexley is the second fattest borough in London according to a 2016 Press Release, 25% of children starting school for the first time were over-weight, 30% by last year.

 

27 October (Part 1) - An Anonymous cock-up

It had crossed my mind a couple of times that the anonymous messages appeared to have dried up. I last received one on 16th October but I didn’t think to see if the form worked because I had not been anywhere near the code for months. Fortunately long term reader Nicola let me know it was kaput. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the code so I merely reinstalled it on the server. Works now, tested with five files uploaded.

Let the scandal roll in!

Contact form.

 

25 October - No logic. No heart

I’m not absolutely sure of the logic behind providing free school meals for the children of poor families but I suppose it prevents feckless parents spending increased benefits on the proverbial fags and large tellies. However given the widespread acceptance of providing free meals I struggle to see any logic in not doing so at half-term - especially so while the poor will have been made even poorer by the panic over a bug that has risen to be our 20th biggest killer.

Logic however seems to be a quality totally lacking from all political thought at the present time.

I have no idea how free half-term meals can be provided. I suspect things have changed since a green Comma van used to deliver luke-warm mashed potato in stainless steel tins to my school in 1950.

Caring Bexley Not caring Bexley

Bexley… meanest (and close to being the highest taxing) borough in London. It was the same skin flint response to the lockdown parking problems too.

 

24 October - Lie after Lie after Lie

While working my way through old blogs, fixing various problems, I find myself astounded by the constant lying by Bexley Council. Some are too complex to be easily explained now. Refusing FOI requests, lying when challenged, Information Commissioner telling Bexley they must give an honest answer and then telling the ICO the same lie resulting in the Commissioner issuing ‘a Decision Notice’.

They lied about parking charges too.

Bexley lieHowever here’s one much easier to understand. In 2012 Bexley froze its Council Tax rate and proudly proclaimed that it had the second lowest Council Tax rate. Alongside is how the News Shopper reported the Council’s Press Release.


At the same time Newham and Bromley Councils put out their own publicity material. They claimed first and second positions on the Council Tax league table.
Newham and Bromley
What was the truth of the matter?

Well Newham was indeed the lowest taxing borough in Outer London and still is. Bromley was second, exactly as claimed but has now sunk to fourth place.

Lying Bexley was in 12th position and since sunk to 13th on the list.

Bexley is a lying high taxing Council.

With apologies for the 2012 era images not being to current standards,

 

23 October (Part 2) - #doitforbexley

The people who live in and around Heron Hill have been pretty good at tipping me off about anything amiss at the site of Ye Olde Leather Bottle and I received such a message at the end of last week. What with other commitments and too much rain I didn’t get to walk up there until yesterday.

Gate Locked openI didn’t have much of a clue as to what I was supposed to look out for apart from the fact that the lock on the anti-fly tipping gate was broken and that if there was ever a fire in the woods a fire appliance might have difficulty passing through the opening and immediately turning sharp right.

Bexley Council (or someone) had secured the gate open so it was a waste of money from every point of view.

After noting that a fire engine might have difficulty getting under some of the low hanging branches I retraced my steps but diverted up the steep slope that is Footpath No. 11. To my surprise it was fairly easily ascended and at the top found the usual desolation wreaked by the land owner. After taking a couple of pictures I returned home and called my informer.


Footpath No. 11 Tyre dump“What was that all about because I saw nothing particularly untoward?" or words to that effect.

“Did you notice the ascent at the eastern end of the short footpath?” “Yes, and it was in reasonably good shape”.

“That’s because a couple of local residents went out and cleared it at the weekend.”

I should have taken a picture of that too! It seems like someone has been recruited to #doitforbexley now that the borough is broke.

 

23 October (Part 1) - If you put a Social Worker in charge of a country…

Firebreak Essential items only I dug out this picture of a firebreak when the Welsh Covidiot first used the term because he didn’t want to use the word lockdown. I suspect the Welsh windbag hasn’t a clue what a firebreak is. Having lived half my life in North East Hampshire which was covered in pine forests at the time - maybe it isn’t any more - I know exactly what a firebreak is, It is an area of total devastation not unlike a linear moonscape.

What sort of idiot I thought uses such a desolate word to describe his country but it looks like Drakeford knew exactly what he has doing. He has banned the purchase of non-essential goods. What are they? I went out for milk this afternoon but it wasn’t absolutely essential because I would not have actually run out until some time tomorrow.


Essential items only Essential items onlyWhat if I lived in a bed-sit and my light bulb blew or my toilet seat broke? What about a mother with a baby whose teething ring broke or whose cuddly toy got lost?

Drakeford and his ilk are on a power trip. Why else would he station police on all the cross border roads? If he gets away with it you can be sure that a tyrant nearer to home will add shopping bans to his armoury. Oh, I think Boris already did back in March.

How much are shares in Amazon?

 

22 October (Part 3) - “Have to wonder if people can count”

Where does one start with a report on the Audit Committee meeting? Two and a half hours and then they decided to talk about the really bad things, so they closed down the webcast so that residents are left in ignorance.

Councillor Cheryl Bacon (Conservative, Sidcup) was worried about the way the reserves were “moving significantly in the wrong direction” and the external auditor answered by referring to “unplanned changes to service provision” being required and there being “a material uncertainty over the Council’s ability to close the financial gap in 2021/22”.

The risk is … that you will have to make unplanned changes to your service provision.

Additionally the auditor said…

So that’s Bexley Council’s self-styled reputation for Value for Money blown away.

Well Run!Labour Leader Daniel Francis said the auditor’s report implied that Bexley might be in breach of The Local Government Accounts and Audit Registrations Act. The auditor said there was a technical breach but there are no associated penalties.

In February this year the Committee was informed that the housing budget was balanced. By the end of the financial year there was an overspend of £1·6 million. “There were significant control failings” was the offered excuse.

Councillor Munur (Conservative, East Wickham) thought accounting questions were now “pointless” and Councillor Bacon said the housing report was “very damning”. Questions asked by Scrutiny Committees at the end of the 2018/19 financial year were not answered and “we find ourselves in the same position”.

Councillor Francis when told that it was “an isolated incident” said It was reminiscent of the SEN Transport fiasco when the responsible Cabinet Member for Education was deliberately shielded from the truth. “Or doesn’t the Cabinet Member ask questions?” He went on to say that the evidence pointed to the Cabinet Member for Communities knowing but didn’t come clean at any meeting and thought it possible that Bexley had set an illegal budget as a result of the misinformation.

The Finance Director, no less, admitted he did not know about “the scale of the overspend”.

The blog title is an exact quote from a Councillor’s comment on the people in charge.

 

22 October (Part 2) - Bexley scores higher than all neighbouring boroughs

ParkingBexley Conservatives are renowned for lying and alongside is what they were saying in 2012, a time when their lying had been ramped up to Level 11.

Councillor Peter Craske had put up the parking charges and was telling all and sundry that Bexley was still cheapest for miles around, it wasn’t true of course but the Press Releases were dutifully published in the local newspapers and the gullible fell for it.

The truth was rather different. Apart from the Bowling Centre car park (90 pence for each hour) Bexleyheath’s car parks were £1 an hour and I produced a table of local charges to prove that Bexley was lying.

So how has Bexley done over the past eight years? Not easy to say because some Councils no longer have the charges listed in their websites, unhelpfully referring enquiries to the street notices, they are necessarily omitted from the list below.

The remainder can be relatively easily compared with Bexley’s eight year old two hour tariff claim.


• Gravesham, £2. Up 33% in eight years.
• Sevenoaks, £2. Up 25% in eight years.
• Maidstone, There is no 2 hour tariff but twice one hour is £2. Up 11% in eight years.
• Dartford, £1 and several free.
• Bromley, £2·60. Up 30% in eight years.
• Croydon, £1·40 and many free.
• Lewisham, £4. Up 42% in eight years.
• Newham, £4·60. Up 15% in eight years.
• Greenwich, £2·40. Up 50% in eight years.


These are borough centre car parks, e.g. Stratford and not East Ham, except for Greenwich where the price is for Eltham, the centre of Greenwich being a tourist centre with very few shops. Bromley has free car parks and some flat rate (£1·30). Greenwich is free on Sundays but Bexley is unique with its excessive 24/7 charges.

And what is its percentage price increase in eight years according to its own leaflet? A record breaking 100%.

Not only liars but bad financial management too. Bexley is gearing up to another 30% increase.

 

22 October (Part 1) - Bexley in trouble. Big trouble

Bexley Council’s Audit Committee meeting last night was neatly summed up by Deputy Council Leader Louie French who said to the newly appointed Barnet reject, “the best of luck, I think we are going to need it”. Much the same comment as the anonymous message senders were saying earlier in the year. (Read some of their forecasts.)

The meeting was one of unremitting gloom which several Councillors being only too aware of it., I particularly noticed Cheryl Bacon’s concerns about Bexley finding itself in a hole she partly forecast. Never an enthusiast for joining oneSource fiasco she now fears the enormous contract breaking penalty which is due.

So before a more formal report something to laugh at - or cry as the mood takes you.

khan khan khan

Click image for the source document from 2016.

 

21 October (Part 2) - A Magic Carpet ride to Starmerdom

AbenaOver the years I have spoken to Abena Oppong-Asare several times but only as a Bexley Councillor, not as MP for Erith & Thamesmead as she is now. I always found her to be very pleasant lady although probably in the shadow of Councillor Mabel Ogundayo and Deputy Leader of the local party. I once mistook Abena for Mabel and was roundly told off for it.

After that I took careful note of what each of them looked like from both front and rear and never made that mistake again.

Why Mabel did not get past Round 1 of the December 2019 selection process I have no idea but Sir Kneel Starmer must think Abena is among the most talented of his MPs because she has just been appointed Shadow Minister for some Department or other that I have forgotten already and cannot be bothered to look up.

Teresa Pearce was always going to be a hard act to follow, always helpful to everyone, even a privileged white life-long Conservative who she knew was never likely to vote for her.

As far as I can see Abena is totally consumed by the pushing of black issues. Colour dominated her opening speech and of her first 24 Tweets as an MP 20 were aimed at her black audience.

I confess to being very disappointed by her performance and genuinely hoped to find something to praise in her first speech as a Shadow Minister.

Sure enough there was an extensive catalogue of black names who were her heroes. Things were not going too badly for me until she got to the name Bernie Grant who as Council Leader in Haringey in 1985 after PC Keith Blakelock was murdered on Grant’s patch said “What the police got was a bloody good hiding”. Out of context or not that was an appalling thing to say but it surprised me not one jot.

I had been working alongside Bernie Grant and his brother four or five years earlier. One of the pair was nothing but a trouble maker and after exploiting his position as union leader once too often he was sacked. A brand new roll of best Axminster just delivered to a telephone exchange was spirited away by one of Abena’s heroes. Maybe it has become a magic carpet for Abena.

 

21 October (Part 1) - Bexley broke?

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the likely consequences of the many Covid Cock-ups you may already be depressed by what the future holds. One set of politicians trying to shift the blame to the other helps no one. It’s no wonder the suicide rates are up and in my case thoughts turn to moving out of London. A Congestion Zone on our doorstep will finish off London as a thriving City if the bus Lanes and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods haven’t succeeded in doing so first. Some people seem to think that is what it is all about.

TweetThere is a Council Audit meeting in Bexley this evening and no one is better at spinning bad news than @bexleynews on Twitter. It will be interesting to see how they spin the situation the Council has landed us in.

Two years ago when there was another independent report on Bexley, the spin was that financial management was strong while the spinners hoped that no one read to the end of the document where it said that “tens of thousands of hours of officers’ time is taken up annually achieving nothing in the way of positive outcomes”.

Since then the Finance Department has been taken over by immigrants from Barnet and Newham, some would say rejects, and we now “have no detailed plans” and it is “evidence of weakness in proper arrangements for planning finances effectively”.

And that is all pre-Covid!

Looks like proof that all the anonymous messages that came from Bexley’s Finance Department earlier in the year were true.
Audit

 

20 October - NHS. Down the tubes

There were plans for today, grabbing some photos that might have made a blog, but it wasn’t to be. A phone call said the internet was down so off to Islington I went, there was a programme to edit for broadcast on Thursday. I took a bag of techno-bits that I didn’t really expect to be a lot of use. It was my first train trip to central London since God knows when, January maybe?

On the way to the station I bumped into an old mate. Not seen him since 6th June.

“How are you John?”
“I am OK but friends are dropping like flies.”
“Covid?”
“No from neglect”. And from there the conversation took the same course as the Metro newspaper (below) which I picked up just a few minutes later. (†)

Mengele Hancock has a lot to answer for.
Insanity quote

Click image for Metro front page.

I put on my mask to descend the Abbey Wood station stairs and my glasses instantly steamed up. I had to remove them for fear of breaking a leg and finding out for myself the true state of the NHS. Something I would prefer to avoid.

I wasn’t worried about making the journey, the chances of picking up the bug is close to zero and in any case the trains were quiet and the Northern line was nowhere near anyone having to sit in adjacent seats.

On the entire journey I spotted eleven people not wearing masks. Three men and eight women, probably around the proportion that one might expect to be exempt.

As half expected, the router was kaput due to a failed power supply and it being a Cisco modem and router it was not a standard unit that can be ordered from Amazon.

A call to the ISP saw one couriered from SE26 to EC1 is just under an hour. The Radio 4 programme is safe. The ISP was brilliant.

† This story is absolutely true. Only the name has been changed.

 

19 October - Don’t visit a friend, it’s illegal

I was alerted by a letter in this morning’s Daily Telegraph to the fact that I cannot after all meet a friend who lives in Kent. I checked the regulations and it is indeed true, if of course you are prepared to to follow every last dictatorial edict from the Bozo.

I know, no, knew; he was one of the 13 friends I lost in 16 months, a man who was always sore about not having a Freedom Pass while his next door neighbour did. He lived just over the GLA boundary in Wilmington. Thanks to the Bozo. his widow can no longer have her next door neighbour in for a cuppa, except that she could if the neighbour was her support bubble. But she can’t because that is with her son.

How is it that we have allowed one man aided by his yes men to gather unto himself such dictatorial powers? Britain has a way to go before it becomes Nazi Germany but the NHS passing medical information to the police is a small step in that direction. It shows what the present shower are capable of doing without a care in the world.

I was pleased to hear the TalkRadio political correspondent report a few minutes ago that a sizable number of Conservative MPs are saying that Boris Johnson should not be allowed to lead the party into the next General Election. Personally I feel he should not be allowed to lead the country into next week.
Covid regs

Click image for source document. It goes on to say there are exceptions, such as the support bubble.

 

18 October - Insanity

Before the Chinese unleashed their virus upon the world I would at this time on a Sunday be on my way to East Ham and by early evening to Chingford where I would pick up three passengers and take them to a pub in Walthamstow where a quiz was scheduled for 8 p.m.

I’ve not been to it since 8th March and I suspect I never will again. It is small and the seating area is not unlike a corridor running  parallel with the bar. There is no room to serve food. I suspect Tier 2 will be its kiss of death.

More recently the four quiz team members have been meeting in Chingford, sitting well apart and watching a film. Now we can’t do that either due to the panic over you know what. Two of us are retired and live alone, another is a veterinary surgeon who does investigations for a pet insurance company and works from home with her nine cats for company and the fourth works in a back office at a private boarding school which has escaped the dreaded bug. So three of us see no one all week and the fourth very few and Sunday evening is the highlight of our lives. Bloody Boris has killed that too.

Maybe that is a trifle harsh; Dopey Danny Thorpe has done his best to ruin the experience by creating gridlock between Woolwich and Charlton too. So instead I am stuck on this computer modifying old blog pages and digging out old photos and breaking the monotony with looking up pandemic stats. It is near impossible to find any which convince me that Boris Johnson is not a total nutter long since deprived of his marbles or if I feel charitable, fed bad information by holders of half a million quid’s worth of pharmaceutical shares.

The lockdown had no long term effect in three months so let’s do something similar but less severe to see if that works second time around. Crazy!

Restrictions on off on off more often than Bozo’s trousers and once again the rules are full of loopholes. Every couple of weeks or so I meet up with some mates in Bexley. Now we can’t do that except than one of us lives in Kent. Real Kent not a Kent postal district like nearly all of us in Bexley. So we can meet after all. What sense does that make? None, although being good upright citizens we have called our next meeting off.
Insanity quote
I don’t believe Albert Einstein actually said this and I don’t think it is even true. I have made three big apple tarts from a surfeit of apples in the last couple of weeks and they have not turned out anything like the same. Fortunately number three is better than number two.

While spending too much time on the computer one of the browsers, I forget which, brought up a warning that Bonkers is full of Cookies. Six of them it said. There are no Cookies in Bonkers at all, not even for Google analytics to tell me how many visitors it gets. I don’t care about that, the blog continues only because it gives me something to do when Bloody Bozo has banned me from doing something slightly more exciting.

Note: For those who are tempted to look at the code I accept that there is a hook in the appropriate place which could be made to refer to Google’s analytics system, just in case I feel the need to use it one day, but there is nothing on the hook at present, so there are no blooming Cookies; or apple tarts for that matter.

 

17 October (Part 3) - Rip off merchants

CPZ chargesAs mentioned a couple of times I have been working on a technical update of ancient blogs, starting in 2009 and now almost through 2011.

A lot of old photos and documents have had to be extracted from dusty files for rescanning. A big Windows update this morning wiped my scanning software, bloody Microsoft, but it is reinstalled now.

A document that predates Bonkers by ten years that has never been posted here came to light. It is the consultation document for a Controlled Parking Zone around Abbey Wood station.

The map shows my road included in the CPZ but a majority didn’t want it so it stops just short of my address. In retrospect a shame. Everyone in my road has at least one off-road parking space.

However the interesting thing is the cost of the permit. £20 a year in Bexley at the Millennium which inflation would have pushed to £33.92 according to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator. In Greenwich their £11 would be  £18.65.

By 2011 Bexley’s price had been set at £100.

 

17 October (Part 2) - No Sex Please, We’re British. Err, English!

Today's Daily Telegraph Bozo and BirdFor a man who is rather fond of the ladies, Bozo appears to have a very poor understanding of human frailties. The clown has reimposed his sex ban.

I have a few married friends who sleep in separate beds within the same house but only two couples who live in separate houses. In one case that suits them just fine but perhaps I should phone the other one to see if he has any choice words to describe de Pfeffel’s piffle.

There are an awful lot of Fs in that name. There must be a joke in there somewhere.

 

17 October (Part 1) - Don’t blame me, I’m only the Mayor

TweetMaybe my memory is failing but I could have sworn that earlier this week our useless Mayor was campaigning for London to be locked down again. Now it is an “imposition”.

Presumably it suits Khan’s agenda to put all the blame on Bozo Johnson and try to make him ever more unpopular.

Shut up Sadiq, stop bending the truth, there’s no need to. Bozo is doing a first rate job, over Covid at least, all by himself.

If readers are intent on depressing themselves even further take a look at Khan’s list of promises made in 2016.

He “loves this city” and he is going to “get tough on knife crime”.

Try not to laugh, his failures are tragic and London is condemned to a slow painful death.

The Congestion Charge story appears to be fast developing and likely a scare tactic. There was some politico on LBC a few minutes ago who said it is at present no more than an idea floated around at high level meetings.

It is totally impractical as Shaun Bailey may recognise. It would be close to total lockdown with a £15 fee to break the rules. Actually that may not be such a bad idea.

 

16 October (Part 3) - Is it a trap?

I have never been impressed by Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for the sometime never London Mayoral election, except for the obvious; he is not Sadiq Khan.

All I have to go on is that a friend in North London says she is friends with his wife, or maybe it was her mother who is friends with his wife; I didn’t take much notice, but I do remember that she said that Shaun was a good bloke.

I still didn’t think he was up to much but this morning at 8:15 he was on fire during his TalkRadio interview. I was impressed but will want to hear assurances that it was not a flash in the pan.

An hour later he poked his leaflet through my letterbox and below is a small extract which may link with what was said here earlier today.
Tweet
Could it be true that Sadiq Khan is being set up for a fall? He is forced by Government to extend the Congestion Charge and Shaun gets in on a promise to do away with it? A bit of a risk. London will be well and truly stuffed by an extended Congestion Charge. The proposed Blackwall Tunnel tolls will take a bit of a knock.

Such a plan would require voters to be suckers but the last few months have proved the general public to be hugely gullible.

 

16 October (Part 2) - The lies never cease

TweetThis is today’s product of Bexley Conservatives’ notoriously untruthful Twitter account. They claim that Labour Councillors said that Lesnes Abbey park was second rate.

What is the truth of the matter?

In 2010 Labour complained in an election address that Bexley’s Conservative Council had allowed the once “proud landmark” of Lesnes Abbey to to be blighted by rubbish and dog mess. The Tories said nothing about it in their own leaflets that year.

Labour followed up in 2014 by saying they would fight to improve the amenities at Lesnes Abbey. The Conservatives made no further comment in any leaflet delivered to me.

Labour leaflet Labour leaflet Labour leaflet

Bexley Conservatives must have decided for themselves that Lesnes Abbey park had been neglected because they persuaded The Heritage Lottery Fund to stump up £3·2 million I think it was, to restore it.

Please tell me, who is being economical with the truth again?

You always know when a Bexley Conservative Tweet is a not really true, they put a block on anyone replying. Just as well I was persuaded to keep this blog going!

 

16 October (Part 1) - Clickbait?

The News Shopper is reporting that the London congestion charge - £15 a go seven days a week - is likely to be extended to the North and South Circular roads. Just think for a moment what that would mean to boroughs deprived of a river crossing by Bozo Johnson and Leader of Bexley Council Teresa O'Neill. All but the well heeled would be effectively cut off from three quarters of the capital. A survey said that the local population wanted a crossing but Bexley Council was still in ostrich mode back in 2013. It has paid the price ever since as its expansion plans are hampered by poor transport links.

My own Sunday afternoon trip to East Ham and on to Chingford, return after midnight, would cost £30. The care duties I have referred to occasionally would, now that we are advised to avoid public transport, cost £60 a week. I will not be alone in that.

Even Sadiq Khan under a malign Tory Government cannot be that mad can he? Idiotic Khan may be but surely he would never escape the repercussions.

Maybe that is the plan. An unscrupulous Tory Government might link his TfL bale out to wrecking London. Then there would be a good chance of kicking him out at the next election. The Tory candidate is promising to reverse the latest Congestion Charge impositions. Do politicians really think the public will not notice their dirty tricks?

The short paragraph below is provided as evidence on another local website. It is part of a seven page letter from the Secretary of State for Transport to the Mad Mayor Khan and dated 14th March. It is what caused Khan to punish London with his Congestion Charge increase five months ago. Not really anything to do with an extension to teh South Circular.

There is nothing in that letter that mentions the South Circular Road. Stop panicking, there will be a revolution before the Congestion Charge is extended out as far as the Woolwich Ferry but perhaps we should be prepared for one.
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15 October (Part 3) - Lockdown loons

Dail MailLet me get this straight; two champagne socialist millionaires, never done a proper day’s work in their lives - defending terrorists and turning a blind eye to paedophilia doesn’t count - mounted a cynical campaign for a second lockdown and a lily livered lump of lard let them walk all over him for their alleged political advantage, not to mention the bigger government financial bale out from the lardy lump and his clueless side-kick.

Then while they continue to draw a full salary and pampered in a way that few but senior politicians enjoy, the working plebs try to carry on earning a crust and perhaps finding an occasional beer.

How is it that privileged public servants and similarly secure fat cats can sit at home locked down expecting the worker ants to run around satisfying their every need?

The posties, refuse collectors, shop workers, bus and cab drivers, train drivers, gardeners, plumbers and countless delivery drivers are all expected to wait on them hand and foot.

Sado Khan and Sir Kneel Starmer want for nothing. They won’t go hungry, they won’t default on their rent. They haven’t a clue of what real life is all about but happily condemn the masses to untold misery, and for what?

To protect the plebs against a sometimes very nasty form of influenza which in seven months has killed not many more people than the flu did in only a month less than three years ago.

What short memories we have. I remember January 2018 all too well. I had the flu really bad and only surpassed by what came back at the beginning of this year. A jab both years but maybe this year it wasn’t flu, I will never know.

Bexley currently has the lowest proportion of possible Covid infections in London with Bromley just a little bit behind but Matt Hancock who has no medical training whatsoever arrogantly says he knows better than hundreds of internationally respected health professionals and prefers to rely on the output from Excel 2007.

I have just returned from a local supermarket. I was inside for fully 30 seconds before I saw anyone wearing a mask and overall I doubt the proportion wearing one reached 50%. It doesn’t seem to have significantly affected the local hospitalisation rate. Just what is the point of it all?

 

15 October (Part 2) - Millions spent, no worthwhile improvements anywhere

Absolutely no one could point to a single improvement to the driving experience on Bexley’s roads over the past ten years after asking the question 48 hours ago, which will surprise no one, however I am not alone in no longer using The Green in a westerly direction. Too may alloy wheels being damaged apparently and to the extent that it is suggested someone in the Council has an interest in a wheel repair shop or steering alignment facility.

It must be something to do with its dangerous alignment and awkward approach. I drive through a similar restrictor every time I drive to East Ham and that is six inches narrower than the one in Sidcup. But the approach is straight.

Fortunately the tyres on my car are chunky enough to raise the alloys above granite kerb level so there has been no temptation to bring a claim against our driver hating Council.  

 

15 October (Part 1) - History repeating itself?

TweetMy first trip to the coast this year was cancelled due to illness - not mine - and so I have the time to continue tarting up, where possible, the old blogs which had fallen behind modern web standards. In doing so I was reminded what a peak year 2011 was for Bexley Council lies. (Example old blog.)

In particular Cabinet Member Craske - not yet stood down from his job for personal reasons, ahem! - was telling all and sundry that despite his jacking up of car parking charges, including a near tripling of the price of CPZ permits, Bexley still had the cheapest parking in South East London.

Like so much of what he said back then it was totally without foundation and I was moved to produce a table of charges in Bexley and neighbouring boroughs. (†) It showed that there was only one car park more expensive than Bexley, the one nearest to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich.

Bexley was charging £1 an hour in the middle of Bexleyheath and 80 pence outside. Bromley’s charges ranged from 20 pence to 40 pence an hour except in the town centre where it was 80 pence. A fair number of the smaller shopping centres were free as were Dartford’s except in the town centre where the charge was 50 pence an hour.

Yesterday Councillor John Davey dipped his toe into Craske’s murky waters but he is not silly enough to lie, he merely gives gives his opinion that the charges here are cheap. I did a quick check…

Bromley’s charges outside the centre of town have risen from a maximum of 40 pence to 60 pence. Eltham is a pound and Dartford is still 50 pence - a pound for two hours.

John Davey may think £1·30 - soon to be £1·70 - is cheap as did successful businessman Councillor Dourmoush at the Budget Meeting last week but they are enough to keep me out of Bexleyheath. It’s not just the charges but the constant risk of a PCN should one make a mistake - like not being an expert on my smart phone.

Should I update the 2011 charges table?

† Not yet mobile phone friendly. Sorry.

 

13 October - Green to have believed a Bexley Council promise

The GreenA combination of rain and masks put me off the trip to Sainsbury’s for both shopping and grabbing a few photos of developments in Harrow Manorway; instead I pressed on with upgrading the format of the old blogs. New improved images where possible and any broken links fixed.

I am getting immune to the lies and very obvious dishonesty reported ten years ago and instead I was struck by a minor item from the end of a Council meeting in June 2011.

The NotoMob had turned out in force because of Bexley Council’s unlawful mobile CCTV operation but the eye-catching bit was the promise extracted by former Councillor John Waters to do something about the silly width restrictor at The Green in Sidcup.

When I had a small car I used to enjoy swinging to the left to get a good straight run at it but since moving to one which is stupidly wide I have stopped going that way as, approaching at an oblique angle, the tyres too often got scuffed. I now add to the the traffic in the High Street.

It would be interesting to know why it was ever installed. The Green is not especially narrow. Needless to say Bexley Council reneged on the promise to improve the situation.

In all the time I have looked closely at Bexley Council’s activities I do not recall any road alteration that has improved the driving experience. If you know of one I will gladly take a look.

www.notomob.co.uk.

 

12 October (Part 2) - Piss off v Rip off

The brainless neo-Communist bastards who run Greenwich Council have just added ten minutes to my journey to East Ham. Within the past week they have installed a bus lane that extends from Woolwich to Greenwich thereby halving the road capacity. This is in addition to the few minutes added by the imposition of an unwarranted 20 m.p.h. limit along part of that route a month ago.

Just after midnight today after being held on a red light I used the instant torque of my electric vehicle to ensure I was first in the queue as we entered the unnecessarily narrow road and set the speed limit to 23 m.p.h. which the GPS says in reality is only 20. The queue behind was not happy and the more impatient drivers demonstrated their rage by zooming past on the inside. I don’t really blame them, after all the avowed intention of Greenwich Council road planners is “to piss off as many motorists as possible”. I know that because some years ago I met one of their road planners at a social function, friend of a friend, and that is what he said.

Pissed off motorists are not the safest of drivers but it would require a fully functioning brain to recognise that fact.

Bexley residents should not gloat, Bexley’s ambition is not ‘Piss off’ but ‘Rip off’. They are going to install nine more automated camera monitors across the borough in the hope of punishing motorists with 7,200 extra PCNs a year and adding around half a million pounds a year to Bexley’s ill-gotten gains.

Bexley Councillors will not be happy until Bexley becomes as big a s**t hole as the more obviously red boroughs.

As well as the nine new sites to be equipped with the spy-cams so beloved of Bexley’s money grabbing bastards will be a series of cameras along Harrow Manorway to enforce the halving of that road’s capacity. The Council papers on the subject say that the intention is to reduce bus journey times on Harrow Manorway. As everyone who uses that route will know there is no scope for speeding up buses on Harrow Manorway because nothing impedes their progress apart from their on-board speed limiters. It is a lie worthy of Councillor Craske in his heyday.

Bexley Council is on the lookout for more sites where it can install unnecessary bus lanes. Like all Councillors red and pink alike, none have the slightest clue of the impact on the economy of traffic gridlock.

Councillors had almost nothing to say about the latest of many attacks on motorists in Bexley. Councillor Richard Diment (Conservative, Sidcup) thought the public will need some convincing that it is not just another cynical money raising exercise.

Neo-communist. Noun. “A proponent or adherent of a new or revived form of communism, especially a form adapted to address local or contemporary conditions and issues; a member of an organization supporting such an ideology”.

 

12 October (Part 1) - The Torygraph and the Whitless

You know when the buffoon in Downing Street has lost the plot blindly following the worst of advice when a traditionally Conservative supporting newspaper publishes the most devastating cartoons that attack him without mercy.

The Telegraph Letters page has moved from printing criticism enlightened by one contrary view, to 100% savage criticism.

It is easy to seek out a wide variety of scientific views on how to deal with a virus that is killing about 50 people a day but the Bozo will only follow the discredited advice and falsified statistics from people whose motive can only be covering up their past failures. Who in their right mind repeats policies of six months ago? Lockdown, ease off, deaths rise to about one twentieth of what they were six months ago. Repeat Ad Infinitum.

Eventually we will all get the bug just as we have all been getting influenza from time to time, vaccine taken or not.

And then there is the terrifying prospect of the creeping Police State. Life changing fines without any right of appeal on the whim of a Council jobsworth.

I appreciate that birds of a feather will hang out together but I cannot find anyone who supports the presumably rogue opinion polls which suggest around 70% of the population wants a renewed total lockdown. Maybe they think it will only affect other people.

Checking around 25 people in my circle I can find two who take a stronger line on masks than the others and are willing to be busybodies who accost other shoppers in supermarkets. The others ‘polled’ recoil in horror but admit to wearing a mask only to comply with the rules and for no other reason.
Telegraph cartoon Telegraph cartoon Telegraph cartoon
Telegraph cartoon

Daily Telegraph digital subscription £3 a week.

 

9 October - They are after pay packets too

Bexley Council is not only intent on raising car parking charges by 30% or more but they are planning on doing away with parking concessions for staff too. I doubt there will be much sympathy except that it is the lowest paid staff who are to be hit hardest and nothing to £684 a year in one go is one hell of an imposition. The Council is looking to raise £125,000 through a raid on pay packets.

Councillors were mainly sympathetic, here’s a few of their comments.

Councillor Joe Ferreria (Labour, Erith) asked if the revenue increases projected allowed for the likely reduced take-up by those who presently travel to work by car, not to mention working from home. The HR manager accepted that the world had changed since the proposals were put forward and the public’s reduced use of car parking spaces would mean that those that might become free will not so easily be sold on to new flat owners etc. (Eastside Quarter.) However he still thought staff should be encouraged to find other ways to get to work and staff should not be subsidised.

He did not know how many of the passes were in use or the demand for them in future. “There are uncertainties and we are reviewing arrangements but the principle of reducing the subsidy is still valid.”

Councillor Ferreira (Labour, Erith) asked if the subsidy could be removed on a salary related sliding scale. But a number of excuses from the HR Manager said there was some union support for reducing car use. “The principle is sound.”

Councillor Steven Hall (Conservative, East Wickham) was called in but suffered internet gremlins. Councillor Caroline Newton took his place on line. It burbled unintelligibly. (The line not Ms. Newton!)

Councillor Sue Gower (Conservative, Bexleyheath) had a working internet connection and called for the proposals to be reviewed.

Councillor Newton (Conservative, East Wickham) switched her camera off and salvaged the last bit of bandwidth for audio use. She thought staff should be allowed to share permits now that some staff are only working in the office for a couple of days each week. The HR Manager said the main motivation was to free up spaces so that members of the public could be ripped off at “a lot higher” rate. Sharing might provide a problem with the parking contractor.

Councillor Hall’s line came back to life. He was concerned about the sudden imposition of the new charges but was reminded that the new rate was still “very much less” than what the general public were being charged.

The Chairman brought up the subject of Councillors’ free parking too, he saw no need for them to park free outside the Civic Offices’ car park especially as “it is a bit unfair for the lowest grades to pay… from nothing to £684”. He thought £200 might be more reasonable and for the sliding scale to extend to £800 for Directors. “From nothing to £684 is a bit onerous.”

There was no enthusiasm for changing Councillor’s parking arrangements, free EV charging too!

The HR Manager said some free parking options still remained; Hall Place for example. Allowing staff to continue to park at an advantageous rate would not free up spaces for the public who pay a great deal more. He accepted “that the landscape has changed due to Covid” but the subsidy principle remains.

Cabinet Member Leaf chipped in with the opinion that a flexible charging system would introduce complexity. He pointed out that children are expected to walk up to three miles to school without making it clear if he thought Council staff should be treated the same way. He was “in general agreement with removing the subsidy”.

Councillor Melvin Seymour (Conservative, Crayford) said he was very concerned to hear the Hall Place car park may be “filled with people who are not spending money there”.

The proposal was approved subject to “further modelling”.

So Council meeting reports are back two days on the trot but maybe only while I cannot leave the house by car as I had hoped. KR68 ONK is back with his usual lack of consideration for anyone other than himself.
Blocked in again
Blocked in again

 

8 October - Hold on to your wallets

Bexley Council held a budget meeting on Tuesday evening and the object of the exercise was as usual how to extract more money from your pocket. The meeting was ably chaired by Councillor Dourmoush who struggled with occasionally lousy broadband connections and a long Agenda. The meeting ran for three and a quarter hours. Being a Councillor is not always the easiest of jobs, nor is robbing residents without them really noticing.

Today Bonkers will cover car parking charges. Free out of office hours before June 2011 and typically £1·40 an hour now all day long and heading towards £2 sometime soon. The 30 minute tariffs will mainly go.

What did Councillors have to say about a proposed 30% increase?

Gayton Road Car ParkErr, well nothing at first… Chairman Dourmoush couldn’t get a peep out of any of them. Maybe it was because half the Councillors are too mean to pay for anything better than a lousy TalkTalk connection.

Eventually Councillor Stefano Borella (Labour, Slade Green & Northend ) broke the silence.

He pointed out that since the price modelling was done Covid19 had hit parking revenue rather hard. Pictured is the Gayton Road car park yesterday afternoon. 19 spaces occupied, four of them disabled.

Stefano spoke up for small businesses which he said are already suffering quite enough without Bexley Council driving more custom away. He was well aware that car parks near stations were close to being deserted and he thought the decision to raise prices should be deferred.

Cabinet Member Peter Craske was asked to reply but he was yet another Councillor on TalkTalk. Ms. Ainge (Deputy Director of Communities) came to his rescue while Councillor Betts (Conservative, Falconwood & Welling) sent a text message in support of Councillor Borella’s reservations.

Ms. Ainge said she was acutely aware that the modelling was inaccurate but Bexley was one of 18 boroughs she knew of which were going to rack up parking fees without any evidence of the likely effect so that made it OK or as she put it “not out of kilter”.

At that point Councillor Craske came in on the phone to remind us that parking revenue paid for “highways maintenance, school road safety training and…" at which point he ran out of ideas. Parking revenue is halved from about £4 million a year and PCN income will be down to about £700,000 this year. “We have to have it [the prices] at a higher rate for when it [business] comes back.”

Blocked in again Blocked in againHe went on to say that he had “spent a huge amount of money” on installing bus lanes along Harrow Manorway and he has plans for extending residents’ parking zones around the Crossrail station [yes please and double yellows if possible] “so we need to enforce the bus lane; it is set up to get people to the station without driving”.

“It all needs to be kept under review” which is a little ‘out of kilter’ with “we have to have the prices at a higher rate for when business comes back”. Councillor Craske at his devious best.

Councillor Caroline Newton (Conservative, East Wickham) finally got the better of TalkTalk and asked an interesting question. Is the Council trying to discourage parking or trying to maximise the revenue from it? No answer obviously.

Councillor Seymour (Conservative, Crayford) thought that raising car parking fees was “a narrow view” and a 30% increase was “not sustainable and business owners will never forgive us. People will lose their jobs”. And there speaks a successful local businessman.

And that was it. The Chairman did not agree with Councillor Seymour, he didn’t think it was much of an increase, a few pence on a half hour stay is not much. (Except that most places will no longer have a half hour tariff.) “It is a modest increase”. Councillor Sue Gower (Conservative, Bexleyheath) said she agreed with him. (†)

The increases were proposed and seconded by Councillors Munur (Conservative, Blackfen & Lamorbey) and Gower respectively and the proposals were recommended to be put forward.

Councillor Borella called for a vote but his call to defer the recommendation on increases was defeated by the votes of Councillors Diment, Dourmoush, Downing, Hall, Jackson, Munur, Newton, Pallen and Gower. All Conservative. Only Councillor Seymour was brave enough to side with Labour and be against yet another attack on residents’ wallets without any accurate modelling data being available.

† Councillor Gower also said that Bluewater’s free parking didn’t really compete with Bexleyheath because of the cost of petrol. Go electric Sue, Bluewater not only provides free parking but free car charging too. As opposed to Bexley which has 13 over-priced charging points spread across the borough.

KR68 ONK. He’s back.

 

7 October (Part 2) - Death by Bozo and Hancock?

There are shocking stories easily found on the web about how people are being condemned to die because much of the National Health Service is closed. I have had two Q.E.H. appointments cancelled so far.

Cancer patients are being neglected in some places (I should know!) and denied treatment. Heart rending stuff which no government should be overlooking but unfortunately Hancock and Johnson are interested only in the impossible task of eradicating a virus. A virus that kills a tiny fraction of those who die from other causes. Both give the impression of having lost their minds under the pressure of high office.

While statistically speaking few of us will have lost someone to Covid19 almost everyone has a tale to tell about the unavailability of GP and hospital services. The near impossibility of getting a blood test in Bexley has been widely reported and without a blood test few specialist treatments can go ahead.

My anecdote is far from being the worst but may illustrate the chaotic state of NHS services locally. A friend has chronic breathing problems and was being pushed from pillar to post for a diagnosis well before the Corona panic set in seven months ago. No one could decide if it was a heart or lung problem and the past half year has not brought forth anything more definite.

About six weeks ago his GP demanded another chest X-ray but the hospital refused to see him. The GP sent him to a private facility which he attended but he heard no more.

Yesterday the GP’s receptionist phoned to ask if he had been given the result, not from the private facility but the hospital. He explained that he had not been to the hospital but he was told he had - apparently he had been there twice.

Eventually he got it through the receptionist’s thick head that he had been sent to a private clinic but the GP had no record of doing that. "Would he [my friend] contact the clinic and ask why he had not been given the result of the X-ray.”

He didn’t know the phone number because the GP had given him only the address but he managed to track it down. When rung the phone line gave an announcement that the telephone was not being answered due to Covid19 restrictions.

So it was back to the GP who is now going to try to contact the clinic about the authorised treatment of which he has no record.

Meanwhile my friend, a heart attack victim, can barely climb the stairs and has been suffering from shortness of breath for at least a year.

It’s a story repeated countrywide but in many cases much worse and while Bozo and Hancock remain in office there is no realistic prospect of any improvement.

 

7 October (Part 1) - Building Back Better

In odd moments the archive of old blogs is being restored, oldest ones first which is the only away of checking on the veracity of backward looking links. They are not only being restored but made fully Mobile complaint with new higher resolution images. It is necessarily a slow job and has so far reached only mid-2011. They are accessible only from the main menu.

Rereading them illustrates all too well just how dishonest Bexley Council was back then, a time when they believed no one was watching them and any attempt to do so was referred to the police - and I don’t mean just me. John Kerlen and Martin Peaple were given the Stasi treatment too and the police were almost routinely stationed outside the Civic Offices when the Council was due to attack worried mothers or ethnic minorities or anyone else that might try to deflect the Council from its chosen path.

Among the lies was a Press Release claiming that despite yet another increase in parking fees Bexley still had the cheapest parking charges in South East London. The truth was that apart from the tourist’s car park next to the Cutty Sark Bexley parking was the most expensive car parking in South East London.

Councillor Craske tried to win an argument related to the near tripling of the price of resident parking permits and claimed there had been a survey about retaining a Controlled Parking Zone in Bexley and that it supported his view. A Freedom of Information response confirmed there had been no survey.

How did Bexley Council think it could ever get away with such things? Presumably because they had for years until Social Media became a thing.

 

6 October - Build Back Better

What’s with this Build Back Better business? It’s a fair enough slogan in the circumstances but it is suddenly in worldwide use. Why? It is enough feed the conspiracy theorists that our Government is in hock to some shadowy underworld organisation like Spectre.
Sir David Evennett and the Covid tyrant Build Back Better

Jumped up traffic wardensBoris Johnson is more YoYo than BoJo, maybe he is on Blofeld’s string after all.

Away from Covid he may be doing a reasonable job but he has lost all sense of proportion over Covid19. Fines in the region of £100 for straying into a bus lane or staying too long on a parking meter but up to £4,000 if a Corona victim runs out of milk and pops down to the supermarket.

What is more there, is no appeal system and the fines can be imposed by a low grade traffic warden appointed by your caring local Council.

Whatever his plans for wind power there can be no excuse for the Prime Minister’s tyrannical and unwarranted attack on the citizens of this country.

How many Londooners died of the Chinese Flu yesterday? One; and you can bet your own life that it was someone on his or hers last legs anyway.

How many cancer and heart attack sufferers has that man’s policies killed already?

It’s total Tory nonsense.

Click Image 3 or here for more info.

 

5 October - Crossrail hits more buffers

The transport magazine TransportXtra is forecasting that Crossrail will never reach Ebbsfleet. It claims Kent County Council as its source. No one would be surprised if that proves to be correct. Getting services to run as far as Abbey Wood looks a little far fetched at present.
Crossrail to Ebbsfleet

Click image for source website.

 

4 October - Sunday round up

No telly
Several people have said that if you fill in the questionnaire at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/noTV you will get an email confirmation and two months later the plague of rude and demanding letters will begin.

Philips TVThe must watch TV gene somehow passed me by, maybe because I had my fill of it when very young. My father bought a Philips set in 1950, 110 guineas including aerial installation. A mahogany cased thing with a screen that hid behind the cabinet doors when not in use. BBC1 only which may explain why I have yet to watch a single episode of Coronation Street.

I didn't have access to TV from 1965 to 1972. Was without again from 1984 until 1991 and again from 2001 to 2006 which probably explains why I am useless if the pub quiz questions turn to old TV programmes. Pub Quiz? I suspect I will never go to one again.

I do not recall being chased to buy a licence until the early 2000s when I perhaps foolishly let an inspector come in to see for himself that there was no TV in the house despite the two TV aerials on the roof. That’s because when I moved to the present address there was no Channel 4 reception at all. Locals said that was the norm so I put up a big aerial which could just about see Crystal Palace. It later transpired that the Woolwich transmitter was broken and no one had bothered to report it. It was me who eventually did so and I still have the thank you letter sent to me after the transmitter was fixed.

Following the inspection I had two years untroubled by the Licence Gestapo and then the stream of letters started all over again.

There is no need to let any TV licence snooper into your house and I wouldn’t do so again. Best is to tell them to bugger off and leave you alone.


Victoria Way, Charlton
Burmese cooking potSo how do I know that Victoria Road was renamed Victoria Way at some time between December 1919 and the beginning of 1931? Because my grandmother went to visit an old neighbour after spending 12 years in Burma and left a note about it.

No scrap of paper was ever thrown away, not only old ration books survive but postcards that are even older. Remarkable when you think about it.

Why did Gladys Knight pack her ration cards in a trunk when emigrating to Burma where she moved around several towns. Bassein and Rangoon are on record. Then she packed them again when her husband’s ill health forced the family back to London. She lived across the river in both Victoria Dock Road and nearby Ripley Road and was bombed twice during the war after which she was temporarily in Ealing and then East Ham. Two scraps of paper survived the lot.

That is not all. The battered handleless-by-design saucepan pictured shows signs of being used over an open fire. It is engraved with the words E.P.M & Co.Rangoon.

Who in their right mind would pack it up for shipping to the UK and not think of purchasing a much better one back in Blighty - and then her daughter keeps it in a kitchen cupboard for another ninety years?


The boycott list
Sainsburys SainsburysThe boycott list is getting rather long. Marks & Spencer, McCain’s potato products, Warburton’s bread, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Yorkshire tea, Gregg’s, Uncle Ben’s (†), Cooperative retail, Argos and now Sainsbury’s.

In most cases I have forgotten why I am not supposed to patronise them. A bit academic anyway as all but one are places I don’t use or products I don’t buy, but Sainsbury’s? That’s a bit difficult being the only supermarket within easy walking distance.

Whatever possessed them to add that second paragraph to a perfectly OK opening statement?

A Ratneresque request to take your custom elsewhere, surely a bit of thought could have avoided any controversy? Despite once being assaulted by a black member of staff while shopping in Sainsbury’s I spent another £19 there yesterday afternoon. I really must do something with the £126 accumulated on the Nectar Card too

Sainsburys
So it looks like Sainsbury’s don’t treat their staff equally and accuses some customers of being racist. How much are these PR idiots paid?

I have some Uncle Ben’s in my cupboard but its says Best by 2nd July 2013. Do you think it will be OK?

 

3 October (Part 2) - Winning hearts and minds

Police TweetThe Metropolitan Police is undeniably corrupt - don’t argue otherwise, that has been accepted up to Deputy Commissioner level and some of them are violent thugs. As if that isn’t bad enough, far too often they fall over themselves to demonstrate that plod is thick beyond belief.

Just a few miles away in Ilford the uniformed cretins see fit to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to a takeaway shop for taking the money for a kebab at precisely ten o’clock but not handing it over for another four minutes.

That stopped the virus in its tracks didn’t it? No one else in the shop to pass the bug on to.

But not only do we have police patrols in Redbridge with the collective IQ of a fruit fly someone in their HQ thinks it is good PR to send out a Tweet crowing about their stupidity and total lack of common sense - as if we didn’t know already.

Meanwhile the stabbing and burglary rate in Redbridge is class leading.

Boris Bloody Johnson will be rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of another struggling business taking another step towards oblivion.

 

3 October (Part 1) - It’s time for him to go

I have never been a fan of Boris Johnson; he was first mentioned here when the blog was only five months old and described as ‘blasted’ Johnson and crass. Later I came to the conclusion that he was a bit of a crook, not that I always disliked him especially when the Loony Left decided to have a go at him. I think I may have been the only person who read his ‘letterbox’ article in the Daily Telegraph and it was more accommodating of Moslem culture than I was at the time.

Then last December I voted for him but given the alternative I still believe that was the right decision. How does that explain the fact that I now have a soft spot for the Corbyn brothers and loath Boris Johnson? He has no idea of the pressures he is putting on the population while he does his Mussolini act from within a cosy pampered bubble.

A good friend was told a month ago that his tiredness was due to heart failure. A blood test and some other symptoms showed all the warning signs but he cannot have an appointment with a cardiologist, they are not doing any because some medics are scared witless by a variant of flu - or maybe bone idle.

After a GP brought pressure to bear the cardiologist has offered a telephone appointment at the end of this month. Johnson and Hancock are knowingly killing people and rejoicing in the power they have over us.

Dinner for nineAnother indication of Johnson’s power obsession is his £200 fine, rising to £6,400, for having a dinner party for nine - by decree of someone who clearly has no understanding of the medical statistics and relies on people who lie about them. That makes Johnson a dictator doesn’t it? And almost every MP backs him.

When he has totally wrecked the economy maybe he will have to take a leaf out of the book of one of his predecessors, David Lloyd George, while the population struggles with food shortages. One hundred years ago my grandmother went to the Home & Colonial Stores in Woolwich Road, Charlton armed with a Ration Book and under threat of a £100 fine for buying more butter than she should. Allowing for inflation that is £5,700, not so very far from Johnson’s £6,400. Lloyd George called himself a Liberal and was thrown out of office at the following election.

Will history repeat itself?

Shopping card

Click to see reverse.

Shopping card

Click to see reverse.

Some may question my grandmother’s address of 82 Victoria Road, Charlton. It was renamed Victoria Way before 1931.

There are no purchases after 15th December 1919 because on the 20th she was on the S.S. Burma sailing from Liverpool.

 

2 October (Part 3) - When in a hole…

I suppose it was expecting far too much to get a thank you note from Councillor Philip Read for coming to his defence yesterday. He had been accused of racism by a Labour activist who had carefully twisted the word “Iranians” (their Government) into “Iranian citizens” in order to tar every one of them with the brush of terrorism and make Philip’s Tweet look bad when it would likely be seen as a statement of the obvious by all but the intellectually challenged.

The Twitterer responsible outed herself yesterday. It was the same individual who criticised my objection to police violence last Saturday.

I might not have had any comment from Conservative quarters (apart from a Like by the fearless Councillor Davey) but perhaps even better was that Labour people did not remain silent. I now know the lady’s name and what she does within the local Labour party and how popular she is. There is no need to go into details, the fact that Labour was prepared to get in touch says it all.
Newspaper Retaliation Her new objection is that I didn’t tag her in to yesterday’s Tweet, never thought of it to be honest, I frequently don’t Tweet at all.

Much more creative is the protestation that she had not endorsed ending the life of Nigel Farage.


UnpleasantCouncillor Read received an unjustified official complaint for Retweeting the views of English Patriot. Sidcup4Remain imagines that it endorses racism. More likely she saw an opportunity to get Philip into trouble, just as she did when she reported me to the police four times for holding more pacifist views than she does.

In mid-August Sidcup4Remain Retweeted throwing Nigel Farage “firmly over the White Cliffs of Dover’ but contrary to when she complained about Councillor Read, claims she was not endorsing killing him.

Whether she is illogical or totally hypocritical I am not quite sure but it is typical of the “have it both” ways attitude of the obsessive Left. Some think we are all as daft as they are.

Fortunately the local Labour Party seem to have the measure of this one. It can’t be happy about attracting the most unpleasant of people. The Tweet alongside, liked by Sidcup4Remain, does not quite wish the Prime Minister dead but I saw a Tweet early this morning from a Labour man I follow who hopes that Donald Trump does not recover from his Corona infection.

Undecided whether to Tweet this or not.

 

2 October (Part 2) - Terminal decline at the hands of Khan

Piccadilly deserted Idiot Mayor
Fortunately I had just finished my coffee when I read this Tweet from London Mayor Khan or I would be washing my tablecloth right now. Splutter went to laughter and then sadness as I thought about what Khan has done to a once great city.

Sadiq is technically correct with his ‘powerhouse’ comment but he pays only lip-service towards putting the city back where it belongs. He is up against the move towards home working but he encourages people to not leave home.

Reduced bus and train capacity coupled with face nappies and 24 hour bus lanes even when and where there are no buses do nothing to help his cause.

TfL near bankrupt, vehicles financially penalised for making essential journeys and brought to a standstill by madcap traffic schemes.

Election leaflet Failed on treesKhan has failed on his housing pledges and failed on tree planting too.

He denies being elected in part because of his promise to plant two million trees, but its a fib of course. The promise may not have been in his election manifesto but the web is peppered with what he was saying about trees. From the Guardian to The Evening Standard and the arboriculture trade press. Why do politicians always feel the need to manipulate the truth? City AM

 

2 October (Part 1) - The iniquitous TV tax

I received a demand to buy a TV Licence today, 22 pages of guff on various ways of paying for a licence and 60 words on how to ask the BBC to kindly go away. A chargeable phone call too. (See below.)

The last programme I watched was Endeavour which I think was on ITV in February last year or maybe it was the year before, I’ve forgotten. Never used i-Player or anything similar.

My daughter gave me a horrified look when I said two weeks ago that I had totally abandoned her employer’s output, “What not even Radio 4?” Nope. All gone, on top of which it is iniquitous that you have to pay the TV tax even if you only watch Moslem News beamed up from Mecca, as my aunt’s neighbour does in East Ham.

Which brings me to the point; the letter that went to my aunt’s house in E6 is different to mine and allows you to tell the BBC to do one via the web. www.tvlicensing.co.uk/noTV.

Maybe that is useful to someone.
TV Licensing

 

1 October - Woke snowflake identified. Councillor Read is definitely innocent

I’m not sure what has happened but a month ago I said that the Bonkers blog was going to shut up shop and here we are still pointing out political idiocies.

TweetBexley’s Code of Conduct Committee reported that an unnamed Councillor had been on the receiving end of complaints about his Social Media activities. A Twitter post from a Labour activist now claims that she/he did it and that Councillor Philip Read was reported for having racist views.

If he does his Retweet (below) provides no evidence of it.

Like me, 2,419 fellow Twitter users and probably you as well, Councillor Read thinks that a regime that ‘disappears’ young men, hangs gays from crane jibs, stones rape victims to death while buried up to their neck, imprisons British citizens on trumped up charges and sentences women to 20 years for not covering their faces is a terrorist organisation undeserving of support of any kind.

Ali Khamenei’s punishment for mask dissenters is even more severe than Boris Johnson’s.


Retweet Knees bend!For the second time in the space of a few days @Sidcup4Remain fails to acknowledge that violence is wrong and goes a long way towards proving the point made by English Rebel; whoever he is.

It seems to be an entrenched view; you only have to go back six weeks before finding @Sidcup4Remain endorsing the murder of Nigel Farage in a Retweet. Is there no end to the hypocrisy?

Political Correctness must always take precedence over common sense for the Woke Left especially those who hide themselves in a cloak of anonymity.

The previous Labour leader certainly lent support to all of those terrorist organisations and his successor makes no secret of the fact he supports an organisation which aims to bring down Western civilisation. Defund the police, abolish Capitalism etc.

All the evidence is on the side of Councillor Philip Read. Labour sympathies too often lie with terrorists. Note how @Sidcup4Remain once again distorts the truth by claiming Councillor Read was racist against “Iranian citizens”. He Retweeted no such thing, only a blinkered obsessive would take that view. The complaint was both malicious and frivolous. Why did the Code of Conduct Committee issue any form of admonition for endorsing the truth?

Perhaps I should place on record that in the experience of this voter Bexley’s Labour Councillors and especially my former MP are among the most well intentioned and frequently helpful people one could hope to meet - despite having to mingle with the likes of @Sidcup4Remain.
Apology
Clearly the issue was not resolved. @Sidcup4Remain is determined to rake it all up again.

 

News and Comment October 2020

Index: 2020

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