Flooding, engineering, planning and politics

Reposted from my local Forum, 16 Jan, 2014, with a more helpful title, and some editing.  It rambles a bit, but putting here now because it touches on various questions which arose yesterday (July 25, 2018) when I attended a consultation event on ‘De-risking’ growth in the Cambridge Milton Keynes Oxford arc. 

I’m thinking about it now as much as raising the general problem of why landowners and other interested parties fail to co-operate.

The trigger here is this BBC interview with a member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) as reported here:

Back-to-nature flood schemes need ‘government leadership’

Continue reading Flooding, engineering, planning and politics

South Anywhere County Development Corporation / Equity for land rights funding

Rather than purchase land for some monetary amount, compulsorily or otherwise, and load local authorities / development corporations with debt, a South Anywhere County Development Corporation (SACDC) would issue equity to landowners whose land was affected by the JSP, in exchange for rights SACDC acquired over the land.  Continue reading South Anywhere County Development Corporation / Equity for land rights funding

Why I did not vote Labour in 2017

No significance in the timing here, but just putting here a comment on a Facebook post of Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, 26th May, 2017, 

https://www.facebook.com/sir.steve.bullock/posts/10211160522747305

As of 29th December 2017, the Labour was still campaigning against charges which unfairly target the more affluent

Jeremy Corbyn joins thousands in backing the Mirror’s campaign to end hospital car parking charges

We can agree that the “strong and stable” is a myth, but the flip which showed it happened because Labour offered to insure the inheritances of those whose parents have benefited from the financialisaton of property. Continue reading Why I did not vote Labour in 2017

My tuppence worth on Brexit

Three days to go, with all the debate going on, I wonder what contribution I can make other than voting – to Remain – on Thursday.  I have helped with a few local leafleting sessions, and twice some some StrongerIn phone banking.  This evening and Wednesday I hope to be doing some door knocking locally, and tomorrow I’ll be joining the Remain battlebus.

On social media, I’ve been relatively restrained, mainly because I think it’s more productive to follow the guidance of experienced campaigners – so what I describe above.  Incidentally, recognising the value of experts is of course one of the strongest indicators of Remain voting intentions.  I’ve also been refrained on our local social media because I think calmly stated opinions are more effective, while I prefer to keep Facebook more for family and friends, and Twitter, and this site, for more developed arguments – e.g. about housing.  But I really do think this referendum matters, so I’m making an exception, and explaining here why I think we should remain, and also posting in on my Facebook and local Forums.

In a single carefully worded sentence, I’m for Remain because I believe in the value of trade, and other forms of international co-operation, and withdrawing from existing structure whereby this is arranged is not going to improve matters, least of all for a country which takes itself out these arrangements.

How can that not convince anyone to vote Remain also?

From experience of reading and hearing Brexit arguments, there are all sorts of reasons, such as not their appreciating the value of international trade, or thinking that the EU is a uniquely unreformable organisation for making the appropriate arrangements.  The obviously resonant Brexit argument is the wish to control immigration, which is not completely unreasonable, but being able to live and work in the countries where there are the best opportunities for them is part of international co-operation.  European countries outside the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland, have very high levels of immigration, because that is what successful economies need.  To relate this to the personal, the UK economy is fairly successful, with lower unemployment than most of the rest of the EU, and so the company which provides carers for my father is very largely staffed by Poles.  Post Brexit, we would still need Monikas.  Our challenge is to make the most useful contribution to resolving the global problem of migration, caused by the current problems in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.  I have no doubt that is best done as part of the EU.

OK – that’s quite enough for £0.83p, in new money!

Uncle Jack sings the Marseillaise

I only met Uncle Jack a few times, towards the end of his life, in his family home in Dagenham, but he’d featured in our oral history – how in 1914, to the dismay of his Kier Hardy admiring mother*, he’d joined up along with his brother.  He only just survived the war, having been left for dead, at Loos I think, and when I met him, the form of his head wound was plain under his thinning hair.  Jack’s family socialism also survived, but it would seem with different emphases from his mother’s. Continue reading Uncle Jack sings the Marseillaise