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Thursday, September 08, 2005


Well I thought I’d better post something just to let you know that I am still around and that lack of posts have been entirely due to a massive dose of apathy.
Bank holiday weekend came and went with unusually good weather and equally good golf. The boy survived Reading festival but swears he will never touch cider again, we traveled on Tuesday to Yorkshire to see my family and I swear I will never touch the M1 again, certainly not on a week day.
I spent an unusual way last Thursday of seeing how easy it can be to waste public money, by attending (along with the legendary Ron Tarry) the adjudication panel of SE England’s hearing of the alleged breach of code of conduct of the standards board by our local Mayor. This was the climax of eight months investigation which has cost the tax payer around £2 million and was all down to one member of the public falling out with him and so reported him to the standards board for supposingly favoring my planning application –and a couple of other equally insignificant parochial breaches of the councils code of conduct, like failing to disclose interests etc.
The panel listened carefully to all the facts, witnesses for the council (who were an absolute joke and at least added a humorous angle to the proceedings) and the rather attractive lady lawyer for the standards board (who added a certain eye candy angle to the proceedings, shame about the fat ankles though) and then decared that it was time for lunch. After lunch they listened a bit more to a load of twisted untruths and then declared another break whilst they make their decision. They then returned and declared that he was guilty of all charges and should be immediately taken henceforth to a place in the courtyard of the chequers hotel and hung by the neck until dead, have his head removed and impaled on a spike and displayed outside the town hall as a reminder to all town councilors to disclose their interest in whatever or whoever about anything no matter how insignificant or perhaps a warning to those well spirited members of the public not to volunteer to join the town council.
I jest of course, the Mayor’s punishment was merely a disqualification for 12 months from being a member of the planning and finance committees which just go to show how seriously the tribunal took it and highlights the waste of our money.

New Orleans
I wasn’t going to mention this as so many other blogs have commented one way or another on the Bush administrations lack or support, and as Grocer jack put it so succinctly on Friday 2nd, but having seen a documentary the other night, I was compelled to come to the conclusion that it was almost a purposeful lack of action, a way of ethnic cleansing by doing nothing to help dying people and being seated in the deep south I’ll bet the KKK were hanging out the flags. It has been alleged that the aids virus was brought out of the jungle in the early 70’s by American scientists, modified and then returned to Niger in an attempt to control the spiraling out of control birth rate. After watching this documentary I believe this to be entirely possible.


At 5:58 pm, Anonymous DHammett said...

Perhaps you'd have done well to avoid commenting on New Orleans as you suggested you might. Relying on the American mainstream media (you do not cite your sources) to give a fair accounting of what has transpired is dicey business at best.

The factors leading to the disaster, i.e. the failure of the pumps and levees, were the result of at least 40 years of political neglect, from both sides of the political spectrum.

The response to the disaster is dependent upon the "eyes on the ground" at the scene. These eyes are generally, and most effectively, local. Local officials are the ones who determine where there is need and call for deployment of resources, even those from the federal government. If you are trying to say there was a failure on the part of the federal government's response, it can be traced directly back to the city and state government's failure to respond quickly and appropriately. Oh, and the Federal Emergency Managment Agency (FEMA) had "boots on the ground" prior to the hurricane making landfall. Because they are not as familiar with the territory as locals would be, the coordination would have to be directed locally to be effective. That's where there could have been improvement.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Hit 'em straight.

At 12:20 pm, Blogger crox said...

hi dhammett
Thanks for your comment. I appreciatr and take on board your points, we in the UK can only get a view from what we are told by the media in this case a BBC documentary, however the factors leading to the disaster are undisputed and there is no doubt that help was deployed locally. What can be criticizesd is the fact that help and aid was and is only being given to the white affluent areas,we are shown large numbers of armed troops patrolling none flooded areas whilst in the black flooded areas the only boats carry marshalling personel whilst bodies float by and people stranded on roofs with no attempt of rescue, Your comments also fail to explain why it took so long for Federal aid to reach the worst affected areas.
Thanks for your views.

At 2:17 pm, Anonymous DHammett said...

Hello Crox -

Not to belabor the point, but local and state government are the "first responders" to any emergency situation. As such, any immediate failures should be laid at their feet, not at the feet of the feds. Efforts at relief were complicated by disagreements between local, state and federal authorities' inability to agree on the best way to react.

Regarding the patrols and the failure to rescue that you cite, this was at the direction of the governor of the state of Louisiana, who also gave orders to "shoot to kill" any looters. Their initial rescue mission was changed at her direction, not at the direction of the federal government.

The fact of the matter is that 84% of New Orleans'"poor" population is black. There is a relationship between where people live and their level of poverty. It is in the poor sections where the looting (and the shooting at rescuers, by the way) was taking place. This is why you'll have seen national guardsmen patrolling rather than rescuing in those neighborhoods, again, at the direction of the governor.

I hope this clears up your misconceptions.


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