What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Sun, February 10, 2013 19:11:41
Most of you are probably very familiar with the much published quotation by Pastor Martin Niemoller which reads as follows ( several versions exist depending on the political inclinations of the publishing country ):
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me
It was reading this again today, that made me think of the poem THE HANGMAN by Maurice Ogden, which is in the same vein; an animated version of the piece can be seen by cutting and pasting the link below;
Finally, may I direct you to either the book or the film SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL by Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the UN commander in Rwanda which deals with one man's inability to deal with the horror and brutality of a regime when the supposed peacekeepers are told to sit back and allow genocide..
All in all, whilst not the happiest viewing, they do serve to illustrate how one man can make a difference and that standing by and waiting for someone else to make the difference lets tyranny flourish and democracy fail...
Edmund Burke said ( and this quote is engraved in marble at the Imperial War Museum Holocaust Exhibition.... )
ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS THAT GOOD MEN DO NOTHING..
We can all do something, even if it is just casting a vote.
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Tue, February 05, 2013 15:19:15
Here is a picture of the Kilmington section of the Sustrans Cycle Path after the last heavy-ish rains... 1 foot deep silt and log-strewn pathways
There is also a shot here of the NEW section between Cloakham and Weycroft, again after moderate rainfall.
So, after spending nearly £0.75m ( yes 3/4 of a million pounds!! ) on the 3 sections of the path from Kilmington ( which incidentally, is blocked as someone roped off the gate and nailed battens over the cattle grid entrances ) to Weycroft... we have the following situation.
When it rains the path is unpassable at both ends, aside from the Trafalgar Way section which has just been re-surfaced after the tarmac washed away after last winters floods.
I have written to Stuart Hughes enclosing a copy of the Surveyors report which stated that it would flood given it's location, and asking him how much it will cost to remove the 30 tonnes or so of silt rather than just flinging it ( as before ) onto the banks where it promptly washes back at the next flood, which incredibly happened 16 times last year!
I will update the blog when I have a definitive answer... ANYONE HAVE A BIG SHOVEL?
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Tue, February 05, 2013 15:06:26
So, the cat is out of the bag. Websters Garage, after 30 years as an eyesore, a wart, a monstrous carbuncle on the face of our beloved town, is going to be developed ( short term ) as a car park for up to 5 years, although it will not be allowed to undercut EDDC's lucrative Car Park revenue stream.
So, we now have the pressing issue of what happens with the half finished mural which is already turning green from algae and traffic dirt?
What happens to the remaining un-muraled plywood panels that are peeling back and splitting?
When will the final reckoning of the costs be made public, and a refund of the £2000 of tax payers money that Cllr. Moulding generously donated to the project from his DCC locality budget.
When will we discover who the real " owners " of Websters are? Hallmark Estates is the name on the forms, but who are the directors, the shareholders, the people who will cash in when the development finally comes to fruition? Mr Barton is the agent in all press releases but ...... well, we can only wait to see... Perhaps that's a question for our esteemed District Councillors who know what is happening but seldom share such info. with the Town Council until the decision is almost made making a reasoned and open discussion virtually impossible....
So many secrets, and information on a " need to know " basis... What we need is openness and transparency and... well, you know what we need. CHANGE !
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Wed, January 30, 2013 08:48:03
After all the recent press slating of Amazon and Starbucks regarding tax evasi... er... avoidance practices, it was interesting to note that Apple, that beloved God of Technology, whose altar the luvvies worship at ( SHINY METAL THING MAKE IT ALL BETTER ) ha, in the last 3 months ALONE, swept $11bn into offshore tax havens as it did it's best to avoid giving more than a pittance to the US tax authorities.
Last year, according to financial sources, Apple paid 2% tax on it's overseas profits by salting away cash in such lovely places as the British Virgin Islands; it is believed to have stashed away some $94bn from the FEDS.
Is it just me or does tax just relate to the little person in today's world. Day after day, you read of this scheme, or that scheme, or celebrities having a K2 tax shelter, or civil servants being paid via PSC's and you ask yourself.... WTF!!!!!
Perhaps there is a simple answer - everyone pays a flat rate, and if you wriggle out of that, you are taxed another way, through VAT, or CGT, or however, until you pay the due amount. I'm sure that prohibiting sales throughout the UK, EU, USA might be against a zillion laws and regs. but wouldn't it focus the mind of these companies to pay their fair share and thus make the world a happier, less fraught place...
Oh, by the way, Day 45 of Rainwatch continues... Today's result is: RAIN.
Have a good one...
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Mon, January 28, 2013 08:05:09
Ahhhhh... those heady, halcyon days when, if you needed a telephone number, you called a freephone number and a charming person - usually female - helped you out, even though they were plagued with prank calls for Mr C Lion and Monsieur Hugh Janus ( sorry ! ) all the while keeping a jolly, happy tone to their voices...
Fast forward to 2013, and having just undertaken some telephpony analysis for one of my clients, I have seen the following on their bills;
5 minute call to 118118 £12.71
2 minute call to 118500 £6.85
2 minute call to 118500 £5.93
Jebus!!! Nearly £13 for a bereaved widow to get the numbers for a few local and national organisations to help her out.... Something needs to be done.
If you know someone who does not have access to the internet, or a friend with a WAP / 3G phone with internet access, then tell them this VERY QUICKLY... CALL ME, you'll say, CALL ME and I will get you the number for nothing. tell them to stop calling you from their landlines to your mobile...just ring, and you can call them back; after all, you'll have a bundle of minutes that you never use up so spread the love, and let's keep those phone bills loooooooooooow...
P.S. I can remember when Busby had an 'ology; or am I mixing my metaphors?
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Sun, January 27, 2013 13:18:28
Today, on the way to uffculme to visit eldest daughter, I popped into the Wolford Chapel just outside Dunkeswell. A beautiful spot ( if somewhat damp today ) and another example of where a foreign flag somehow seems NOT out of place. This building ( and land I guess ) was donated by Geoffrey Harmsworth to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1966 and a further easement of land by anor. gave access rights in perpetuity to anyone wanting to have a gander.
Interestingly, Geoffrey's uncle was Lord Northcliffe, founder of the Daily Mail, and his cousin was Lord Rothermere ( of the same paper ), so it seems as if publishing ran in the blood.
Anyhow, enough of a ramble... if you have never been to see it, then take a detour and see a little piece of Canada in the wonderful Devon countryside, although a sunny day will help.
As a final aside, seeing the maple leaf in devon reminded me of Yorktown in Virginia USA, where the British finally surrendered to the Yanks, courtesy of a large helping hand from the French ( who we love dearly now thanks to camembert ). On the preserved battlefield - a US heritage site - there is a whole row of Union Jacks that hove into view as you drive towards the visitors centre...makes you feel very patriotic. A rather well-fed American heard my accent when i stood there admiring the view ( hearing how the limeys got their asses whooped ) and commented that England is only free coz the yanks won the war... How could I not respond other than by saying America is only American coz the French lent them a few boats and cannons...Touche!
Happy Sunday everyone.... and viva la difference!!
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Thu, January 24, 2013 16:36:44
In the space of two weeks, I have had three separate arguments ( on behalf of others ) with Utility providers, who shall remain nameless...ok....EON and EDF ( twice ) ...
The first contretemps was to discuss a bill based almost entirely on estimated readings, and a meter that was eventually replaced as it was faulty... Will EON accept that the usage based on these readings was, shall we say, a little over-egged? Will they heck! Nope, they just keep toeing the same line....our data = GOOD, your data = BAD. So, we are off to the Energy Ombudsman for arbitration.. I'll keep you posted.
With EDF, the issue was anticipated usage and "debt" payback for both people I was advising... Let's get this straight EDF... It's winter now and so Gas usage is higher... so to base your entire years calculation and thus DD payments on winter usage is nigh well immoral... It simply means that you can keep their money in your accounts earning you interest when it should be the other way round...until they cotton on, complain and you put the DD down to a lower figure, rather than refunding... It's all about cashflow!
Remember people, you control the DD and can always refuse to accept increases proposed. Just say NO, but make sure that there are no trends and don't allow utility debt to build up... You can buy usage meters to assess consumption or rent them if need be... Contact me if you need help...
Keep warm but be energy-wise.... and, by the way EDF, your new "zingy" AD is very catchy...but that still no excuse to rip off the public OK!!
What's going on (said Marvin)Posted by Paul G Hayward Thu, January 24, 2013 11:29:07
Can we like Europe but not be part of the EU?... now that's the question. I love Europe as a place and I love Europeans as a people, but the whole issue of a mass of unelected officials spraying our cash around without being held to account gives me the screaming heebyjeebies.... With LINCOLN being released shortly in the flix, I am always reminded of the quote by another great US president, Thomas Jefferson;
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "
or, as summed up quite succinctly in V for Vendetta;
"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"