Saturday, 18 December 2010

Thanks For Nothing!

For the second time this month Dorset County Council has refused to grit our 1 in 5 hill and the residents are stranded. All we can hear is the spinning of car wheels . .all we can see is cars giving up & sliding backwards down the hill. We're stranded on a 'ski-slope' , the schools are shut and the buses can't run.

Still . . at least we'll get a refund of our Council Tax for the services we have PAID for but are not receiving (as if !) -.- Just remind me . .is the U.K. a FIRST or a THIRD world country ? It's a total disgrace! Isn't the Coalition Government doing a great job! =p

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Prince & The Paupers

Yesterday (9th Dec 2010) was a remarkable day. Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, was attacked in his car whilst travelling to a charity event with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

This was in a busy Regent Street, which was filled with Christmas shoppers at the time. The attackers were not terrorists but youngsters from a group of 100 or so protesters who had been prevented ( by the police) from joining the demonstration against increased tuition fees which was taking-place in Parliament Square. Police had sealed-off the square, for some hours, and no one was permitted to enter or to leave.

Under no circumstances can such an attack on innocent motorists be condoned, whoever the occupants of the car might be. The Prince & his wife were clearly badly shaken by it, and so would we all be if we found ourselves in that position.

However, with that strange fortuitousness that sometimes occurs, this unplanned meeting between a Prince and some relative 'paupers' perfectly illustrates why people are so angry about the attitude of this Conservative ( in all but name) Government.

Here is a man, born into great wealth and privilege, who received his own university education free-of-charge, as did his siblings and his two sons, William & Harry. On a day when youngsters who have none of his advantages were taking to the streets in protest at the restriction of the access to University education to only the rich and privileged ( or to the poor, with the accompanying monstrous debt to re-pay over 30 years) - here was the epitome of privilege and power (personified in Prince Charles) making a stately progress to the theatre in an absurdly grand 1970's Rolls-Royce !

A political cartoonist could not have done better if they had been asked to come up with a single image to illustrate the yawning chasm of understanding and life-experiences between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in this once great country.

My own daughter has just had a potential four and a half thousand pounds stolen from her - at a stroke - by this odious coalition of the 'privileged' which makes up our current government. She was looking forward to getting her 30 pounds a week Educational Maintenance Award to continue in education for the next few years. It has summarily been removed - no discussion, no explanation.

The 'gulf' of understanding arises from the fact that although 30 pounds per week was vitally needed and appreciated by poor students and their families, to David Cameron and his ilk it represents no more than the cost of a couple of sandwiches from Selfridges or a glass of Bollinger at the Club.

It is not, perhaps, that these policy makers are wilfully 'evil' ( although that could be the case) but, rather, that they have no understanding nor interest in how ordinary people live. They have always been enclosed in a bubble of privilege and , I suspect, they always will be.

David Cameron is, I believe , a self-confessed fan of ex-Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, so we must prepare ourselves for ' Nightmare On Downing Street : Part Two ! '

I, for one, have never been a fan of sequels - they often have all of the faults of the first incarnation and none of the freshness. Regrettably, we face 5 years of living with a Government of re-warmed left-overs and I, for one, am already feeling a little sick :(

Friday, 3 December 2010

Are Prisoners More Important than Pupils?

Dear Sir,

I write to you with a matter of the greatest urgency. I hope that you may be able to give this matter your earnest and immediate attention before innocent lives are lost.

I have lived on K.H., Portland, Dorset for ten years. It is a vertiginous hill with an angle of 20 degrees and is quite daunting even in dry conditions. Directly at the bottom of this hill can be found a Junior School. There is also an Infants School and a nursery school nearby, together with a play-area and hard-surfaced soccer/basketball enclosure. The established 'school run' in the mornings is up the extremely steep S.M. road, along P.M. and down the equally steep K.H. to the school.

In all of the ten years that I have lived here the borough council have assiduously gritted these roads when the risk of ice/ snow was present. So far as I know, there has been no gritting this year. After yesterday's snowfall, nobody was able to use their cars due to the risk. The roads are now a sheet of ice. Even in a 4x4 I found it hard to stop at the bottom and my wheels were spinning on the ascent. It is incredibly dangerous and frightening. It can only be a matter of time before there is an accident.

I have spoken to Dorset County Council twice today, together with a call to my Borough Councillor, who fired off an e-mail. I have seen the gritter gritting the approach to Verne Prison earlier today . .but still nothing here.

Both my neighbour and I have been told that these roads have been taken off the gritting plan. Indeed, he was told that they will " never be gritted again " !

My concern is that a car will be unable to stop upon reaching the bottom and will either:

(a) plough through the low wall and end-up in the school hall


(b) strike and kill a child or children approaching the school or heading towards the adjacent play area.

(c) hit and kill one of the many elderly dog-walkers who use this route to Chesil Cove

Clearly, in these circumstances, financial considerations must take second place to the preservation of human life. Given that the approach to the Verne Prison WAS gritted earlier today it would appear ( once again) that guilty criminals are valued more highly than innocent children!

By the time you may have had the opportunity to take some action on this matter it may already be too late, but I thought it only right & proper that you should be aware of the potential danger to children of your constituents.

I have already spoken to the Dorset Echo about this truly outrageous and unacceptable state of affairs and I will contact the local T.V. channels in due course.

When an innocent Portlander has been grievously . .perhaps even fatally . .injured by a runaway car it will be far too late to shed crocodile tears or bleat about 'budgets' and someone will have 'blood' on their hands.

I can assure you that I am not an hysterical 'whinger'. A few years ago I was one car behind a van which hit a child on Reforne, Portland, who had run out from between parked cars. Reforne has only a slight slope, conditions were perfect . . .and, still, the driver was unable to avoid a collision and the child to avoid broken bones.

I would very much appreciate your help in this matter. As I stated at the beginning :

This is a matter of EXTREME urgency

Sincerely yours,