Bedford Burrow & Other Curious Stuff

Strange little town, strange little site.

The Westminster Museum of Broken Politics

 

 

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30 Jul 2018 Posted by | Westminster | , , | Leave a comment

Ringstead Bay

There is a free National Trust car park on top of the hill overlooking Ringstead Bay. From the car park there are great views over the bay to Portland and Burning Cliff. Illustrated sign boards show paths and locations.

View the larger Google map below to see locations, paths and places of interest. Zoom out to see how to get to Ringstead Bay.

There are some steep climbs on the paths up and down from the bay.

Alternatively there is private pay car park by the café (kiosk) right down in the bay.

You can always take a comfy chair and a flask and just sit on the hill to enjoy the views.

Walking down past the farm you find the old RAF Radar Station.

The area features as part of the Channel 4, Walking Through History, Frontline Dorset, and is day 3 of a 5 day walking guide which can be downloaded free.

On the path down past the farm, heading towards the Second World War radar station.

The Radar Station. There is no access to the bunker, the entrance is gated and locked. The small illustrated board on the fence gives some information.

Radar Station information board

Looking east across Ringstead Bay

The bay was quite deserted apart from a few dinghies moored.

Climbing back up to the car park & calling in at St Catherine’s by The Sea. There is a memorial garden and the chapel was open to visitors

St Catherine’s by the Sea, memorial garden, overlooking Ringstead Bay

Isolated & lonely post-box.

 

15 Jun 2018 Posted by | Coast | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A vote for a Westminster Politician is a vote for more failure, cunningly disguised as progress.

I listen to Jeremy Hunt talking on the radio about the NHS. He is calm, softly spoken, subdued. It s Friday 12th February.

Jeremy does not make wild claims about how many £billions the Government is investing in hospitals. He seems to accept that there is very little he and his Government can do. Accepts that things are happening in hospitals that are unacceptable. Jeremy doesn’t know what to do.

There is so much wrong that Jeremy does not know where to start. He could start with money. But it would probably just disappear in the same way that the £billions already going into the NHS disappears, caring for sick, injured, aging people.

Money might help, but the NHS project has been messed around so much, it’s now a dysfunctional organisation. Just like so much of our so-called society.

After 40 years of policies propelling us in a particular direction, following an orthodoxy of how services should be provided, how the  country, the world, should run, there is very little chance of changing that direction.

enhanced-5828-1422376459-41Poor Jeremy Hunt. He is the beneficiary of 40 years of chopping, changing, cuts, re-investment and re-organisation. Now no one knows what the hell to do with the NHS. Likewise social care. Soon to be followed by education.

Parents will soon find their local school suffering in exactly the same way  their local hospital suffers. And just like nurses are not to blame, so the teachers are not to blame. Nor the care-workers.

In fact the workers in every industry, every sector, are not to blame for what is wrong with so many things in our country. It’s not the fault of the jobless. Or the immigrants. Or the disabled. Or the unions. Or the young. Or the old.

image-20170103-18644-18y94b1Remember when you were told it was the trade unions who were dragging us down. It was the trade unions and their militant members who were to blame for our economic woes. We needed to tame the unions and take away their power. We did that, and look what happened.

Bedford Station

Bedford Station

Remember when the nationalised industries were the problem. Wasting money. Inefficient. Poor service. The solution was privatisation.

Privatise rail, energy, water, everything, and all the problems would disappear. And today the railways are in the news doing their best to rip-off passengers. Energy companies with their confusing tariffs. And how the hell the water companies compete I have no idea.

Action for rail campaigners

Action for rail campaigners

Remember when we built millions of homes. Mostly council homes, with long tenancies and affordable rents. And then we sold them and did not build any replacements. And said the private sector would provide all the homes we’d need.

And then we sat back and waited …….. until the free market sorted it all out.

And now there are no homes to rent, and those that are for rent are unaffordable. And those who want to buy a home can’t afford a mortgage. And house prices are astronomical, and wages are low, and you never get a pay rise. And we found out the big builder’s five-star quality ratings are in decline, and house build quality is in decline.

So now the Government is going to sort this terrible problem faced by the people. By getting the private sector to build a million homes in double-quick time. But they’re going to need thousands of builders, mainly from the EU.

Remember when we you were told that the next car you buy should have a diesel engine because ………… And now you can’t breathe the air because of the nitrogen oxides. And you were conned by the big diesel car manufacturers. And you can’t sell your diesel car because suddenly no one wants a diesel engine vehicle. The price of diesel has risen and it’s the cause of God knows how many deaths by air pollution.

Fat cat pay rise funded by Public Sector pay cutAnd here we are, with all our public services sliding into chaos and collapse. A work force that is totally subjugated. Wages falling. Not enough homes. And even if we build more homes,  people cannot afford to rent or buy them. And air pollution kills thousands every year.workers

But we have a few very wealthy people. And they are getting richer. And the Government doesn’t seem to mind, they even try to make them richer, whilst making the poor worker who can’t afford their rent, a lot poorer.

Not to mention taking away the worker’s right to fight for a share of the wealth. So who is to blame?

The people who decide the policies? The people who make the decisions? The people who can’t see the problem? The people who ignore the problem? The people who have the power to change things but don’t, or wont? The electorate?

When I listened to Jeremy Hunt, he sounded like a man who had run out of ideas. He sounded like a man who realised that everything that had been tried for the last forty years, not only had not worked, it had made everything a lot worse. He sounded like a man who didn’t know what to do.11219680_10206840782682590_7514362104973947762_n

And Jeremy Hunt is not the only one who doesn’t know what to do. Westminster is full of people who don’t know what to do. Especially about the things that matter.

There is only one thing the politicians in Westminster know how to do , that’s bullshit, trick, con and persuade the electorate to vote for the same set of failed people, with their failed ideas and their failed policies.

The last forty years may have worked for a few. The last forty years have not worked for that majority of the electorate. Whatever happens next has to be really thought through, and the chance of Westminster doing that is pretty remote.

If we make judgements based on our emotional response to the last forty years we will elect more extreme versions of what has gone before. Our policies were not tough enough. We were soft on the groups who we blamed. Maybe it’s time we sorted these problems once and for all.

But if, instead, we think about the policies, we just might think those policies were wrong, and those who proposed the policies were wrong. It may well be time to look for an alternative that works for the majority.

The ground is prepared. The seeds have been sown. What will flourish in our pleasant land?

11 Feb 2017 Posted by | Economy, Labour, LibDem, Politics, privatisation, Tory, Westminster | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Government for the people or wealth and opulence for the few?

Theresa May has not been in the job long but she has quickly established a reputation. Unfortunately for her it’s a reputation for doing nothing.

The NHS has been falling apart for a while. There are daily stories of the service in crisis, of patients not being treated. Even patients dying on trolleys in corridors after hours of being ignored. Someone has to take responsibility, but it will not be May and her Ministers. That will fall to those on the front line.

After years of austerity, and real cuts by Government, May blames those who are struggling with the impact of Tory policies. And Theresa May is a Tory. She talks of increasing funding, but does nothing. She and her ministers even claim the NHS is in the best shape it has been in for years. She denies the NHS is crisis, which means that in May’s world, the NHS is not in crisis.

junior docs 3As NHS staff struggle to keep services functioning, it’s clear to them that there is a crisis. As services to patients collapse, it ‘s clear to patients there is a crisis. As hospital reviews show that services will close, it’s clear there is a crisis.

When The Red Cross says there is a Humanitarian Crisis the Government denies it. As NHS leaders say there is a crisis, Theresa May says that there have been a few unfortunate incidents.

No Prime Minister. The NHS is in crisis. Again. Exactly as it was during previous years of Tory Government. A Tory Government always brings with it an NHS crisis.

Not since the last Tory administration have we seen so many homeless on UK streets.

Not since the last Tory administration have we seen so many homeless on UK streets.

Linked with the NHS crisis is another crisis, the Social Care crisis. The collapse of social care leaves the NHS to deal with the fallout. Theresa May talks of increased funding for social care, but nothing changes because she does nothing. More words and no action from May.

Years of failure on housing policy has dealt May a poor hand. We can’t build enough homes, and young people cannot afford the homes we do build. May talks about affordable housing but nothing happens. Her talk is not translated into action.  And everyday the number of homeless citizens increases. Not since the height of the last Tory administration have we seen so many people sleeping on the streets of UK towns and cities.

Schools across England are having to face a looming funding crisis. Not content with driving thousands of teachers out of their chosen profession and creating a recruitment and retention crisis, the Tories are now creating a funding crisis that will see schools unable to function on a daily basis.

Some head teachers have already talked of only being able to open their schools for three or four days a week. Imagine that. School budgets are being cut in real terms, yet Theresa May and her Government continue to insist that budgets are increasing. The talk and the reality do not add up. And all the while Theresa May seems unable to understand that it’s action that is needed not empty rhetoric.

action-for-rail-1Parts of the rail system are in crisis. Staff and passengers have had enough of incompetent management and piss-poor service. Ministers can only offer one solution, legislation against trade unions and their members.

The idea that increases in rail fares and incompetent management can be remedied by banning strikes shows a paucity of thinking that is the hallmark of Theresa May and her Government. Maybe we will see a ban on passengers protesting about fare increases soon.

The Prime Minister is fond of rhetoric but she never quite delivers it in a convincing way. We’ve had an economy that works for everyone. We’ve had the party of the worker. We now have the shared society. But we still have the excessive pay, the creamed off profits, the million pound bonus, the tax havens and attacks on worker’s rights. Again, words and no action to change anything.

The top pay is protected, and any worker who has the guts to stand with their trade union colleagues against the inequity of pay and conditions faces legislation to remove their right to strike. The Tories are determined to create a workforce at the mercy of unscrupulous bosses. Subjugated workers, ready for exploitation, in their brave new Britain  as a tax haven. The Downing Street speech of June has faded from the memory, never to be mentioned again.

But Brexit remains. Brexit. The will of the people. The people will get what they voted for. The best deal for Britain. But whose Britain will it be?

Will it be the Britain of the worker? Will it be the Britain of the family? Will it be the green and pleasant Britain? Will it be a Britain for the people? The Britain that Brexit voters demand?

pigs_finalOr will it be the Britain of the Boardroom? Will it be the Britain of the Bankers Bonus? Will it be the Britain of the exploited worker? Will it be the Britain of the tax avoider? Will it be the Britain of the tax evader? Will it be the Britain of the off-shore account? Will it be the Britain of the subjugated workforce and poverty wages? Will it be the brave new Britain that is a Tax Haven?

revolutionTheresa May is fast being overwhelmed by crisis upon crisis. Each new crisis building on the chaos of the last crisis. And each crisis is blamed on the newest group of scapegoats. And with each new scapegoat the truth is dawning, that we have a Prime Minister who is incapable of thinking and acting in the interests of the citizens she governs.

Is it the role of Government to work for improvement so that all citizens can at least hope, and look forward to, improving living conditions?

Or is it the role of Government to increase the wealth and opulence of a small minority,  wealth that the majority cannot even  imagine?

I think we know the answer.

15 Jan 2017 Posted by | Austerity, Politics, Westminster | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Champion of the workers? Theresa May hopes you wont notice she’s taking the piss.

theresa-may-3-277x150Way, way back in time, just a few months ago, Theresa May was launching herself into the job of Prime Minster, as the champion of the workers. We were going to have workers on the boards of companies.  We were going to have consumers on the boards of companies. How things change, especially in Theresa’s world.

Now she says she has no plans to “change the system”, a system that has failed so many workers, and consumers. Instead, those very boards will be able to carry on with business as usual. The champion of the workers is once again the champion of the bosses.

No one is surprised. Tories are renowned for saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. Theresa is now going to work with business and produce another plan. If you expect that plan to have anything in it that might give workers and consumers a voice in the board room you will be very disappointed.

Later it was revealed that she had also backtracked on measures to give shareholders a greater say in pay awards to company bosses. Theresa says some very nice things, but behind the words is the same old Tory Nasty Party.

Expect a long period of silence on boardroom reform.

1Looking back even further than a couple of months reveals the real Tory manifesto. The total destruction of British Heavy Industry goes back to Thatcher. It’s reckoned that half the deficit is a result of Thatcher and her assault on workers and trade unions. Going to war against your own national workforce is a costly process.

As working people now face another 10 year attack on their living standards, the Tories still keep telling us the economy is strong. They expect us to believe it.

Thirty years of economic dogma, based on a twisted political ideology, which blames problems caused by managerial and political incompetence, on workers, and those who play no part in the decision-making process. And it will continue.

pigs_finalWhilst this goes on, the bosses will give themselves outrageous pay rises, the tax avoider will continue moving £millions off shore, and the wealth created by workers will be moved abroad to avoid paying tax and contributing to a society their profits depend on.

If you believe Brexshit will sort this country I think you are very much mistaken.

Theresa May: I won’t force companies to appoint workers to their boards | Business | The Guardian

UK Living standards squeeze will be worse than the crash

Autumn Statement

£1.9 Billion owed by super rich

 

27 Nov 2016 Posted by | Austerity, Economy, Politics, Westminster | , | Leave a comment

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