Council Elections: so they say

APE moneyI feel as if I am being conned. Our politicians seem to be interested in squirrelling away as much money as they can, for themselves, and telling the country they have no money.

It’s not difficult to see how a back-bencher can get through £150,000 a year on expenses. They claim for everything; housing, staff, transport, junkets and clothing – even duck huts, if they have enough cheek.

As citizens we get austerity. For many folk their wages are frozen. Yet inflation keeps rising. As a retired old git I now pay over 20% of my pension in Council Tax. With my grumpy hat firmly placed on my diminishing head of hair I ask, ‘what do I get for that?’ Not a lot is the answer. They empty the rubbish bins once a fortnight and are planning to charge me an extra £42 a year to remove garden waste.

The biggest increase in expenditure in the past year has been imposed by the pig farmer who (allegedly) manages the police service. As a result our police station has been closed and stands empty (we could do with a leisure centre for meetings etc, and the old cells could be useful if any Councillors called in for a cup of tea). We never see a police officer in the town. Our ToyTown cops have all been sacked. What are they spending the money on? Think about that: they never walk alone these days; they drive big cars, at least two at a time. Add together their unit costs: pay, uniform, office space, training, and supervising officers, and those two cops must cost us the better part of £200,000 a year.

Elections for some next week. Can’t be my lot, it must be a rollover. Whoever is in power, the only advice I can give, is to vote for someone else.

I enjoyed the early summer. April showers here today. Rejoice; Prince Philip is still with us. There’s a new baby to care for, and a marriage to enjoy. I’ve already received an invitation.


Quantity or Quality

choiceWe now have choice. Fantastic choice. Except we are too often controlled by those negative thoughts, which come at us four times more frequently than positive thoughts. I’m not sure how that is managed. Given that it’s all a physical, or chemical, world how can negativity have such power? Until we recall that all energy is shared. What we may find depressingly negative may be a positive joy to others.

Imagine the blackbird, the earliest of early risers, willing to tell the world it has survived another night. In contrast see the hung-over worker dragged out of bed to face another days toil.

Regent during the minority of Louis XV ‘he had all the talents except the talent to make use of them’. In some ways that’s mirrored today.

If you go to a bank to ask for money for your business they will demand a fully costed business plan. Too often these are no more than figments of imagination. created to satisfy the bank manager, who doesn’t really care except to ensure the appropriate box has been ticked on the application form. However properly prepared, and constantly monitored they can be very useful tools.

Our government has a business plan. It’s politically driven, and was once based on the pledges given to the electorate during the election campaign. That’s now changed as we move into PR governance. ‘What’s today’s problem,’ is the question asked. ‘What shall we do about it?’

We see announcements that are never going to be policy changes, but are ideas thrown to stir-up the Opposition, and increasingly Coalition Partners. There’s more that are just gut reactions to the problem of the day. The Prime Minister stands at Yalding, allegedly talking – with concern – to villagers. A rescue boat laps at his feet. Cameras click, bland statements are spouted, and the circus moves on – taking the boat with them! Frustrated villagers spend Christmas with cold turkey, shivering with anger (and cold).

That’s the way governments hope to win elections.

There has to be another way.