Sunday 4 January 2009

"Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold..."

As 2009 begins, the government is becoming increasingly authoritarian, and (in equal measures) increasingly inept.

They are ramping up plans to hand over power to unelected quangos:
The small print of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, gives sweeping power to new organisations to control transport policy, including the power to levy taxes, the Conservatives said last night.

They have accused the Government of trying to impose road pricing "via the back door".

Under the terms of the Bill, new 'combined authorities', made up or two or more local authority areas will be created. They will control economic development, regeneration and transport policy. They will not be directly elected, and the rules on appointments to the quangos will be made up by the Government.
And planning the creeping criminalisation of perfectly legitimate businesses under the ‘community concern’ banner:
The businesses, known as "head shops", operate entirely within the law but the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is devising new rules on how police and local councils can work together to combat "community concerns" about the stores.

The guidelines are expected to see police and trading standards officers demanding changes to the way stores operate, and could even lead to the authorities demanding that items are taken off display.
Not to mention further eroding the education system:
But now such literary greats as Coleridge, Shelley and Browning have disappeared from school exams to be replaced by more modern writers like Hornby (Nick) and Palin (Michael).

Dead poets and authors who are central figures in the canon of English literature are no longer being featured in GCSE papers, according to new research by Cambridge Assessment, the school examinations arm of Cambridge University.
And, in a move that will surely please regular troll ‘Tory Boys..’, ensuring they stick two fingers up to as many middle and working class people as they can:
The programme to build permanent caravan pitches is being opposed in a series of local campaigns by those living near the proposed sites.

Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, has announced the first 43 locations where £21.6 million will be spent building new sites or expanding existing ones.

Ministers say the programme will reduce the disturbance caused by illegal traveller camps. Critics claim that councils are being railroaded by Whitehall into approving the schemes.
Yet even as they do this, other ‘initiatives’ are shown to be crumbling under their own poor planning, or lack of support, such as the ‘ecotown’ madness:
The Pennbury plan for a 12,000 home development near Leicester is one of 12 shortlisted by ministers as part of their plans to build a string of environmentally sustainable new towns across the country.

But a leading consultancy on urban design and planning has damned the Pennbury scheme, submitted by the Co-operative supermarket and property group, as economically "unsustainable", "ambiguous" and "fundamentally weak".
And the ‘we’ll fix the problem we caused’ idiocy of Alcohol Disorder Zones:
Ministers pledged to create new "alcohol disorder zones" (ADZs) in areas with high levels of alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour. Inside the zones, police and councils would be able to impose a levy on bars and clubs, to raise additional money for law enforcement.

Yet the Home Office has confirmed that since the powers came into force at the beginning of June, not a single one of the zones has been set up.
There can be no doubt that NuLab’s reach surely exceeds its grasp. I predict a bumpy few months ahead...


Longrider said...

And every day I become more that I left...

Despite this being another EU country, the French don't sit idly by when their politicians pass laws they don't like.

Longrider said...

Damn! That should be glad that I left.

Anonymous said...

God help us all in the UK. So depressing, something pungent and controlling announced everyday.

James Higham said...

They will control economic development, regeneration and transport policy.

Precisely. It is what many of us have been railing against for the last couple of years and the control and command policies will only increase.

North Northwester said...

Welcome to the United Kingdom.

Visitors - both solvent and penniless - are welcome and asked to be aware the Her Majesty's Government has been declared a Clue Free Zone for the duration of 2009: International Year Of The Stuffed Bulldog.

Enjoy your stay and buy or take whatever you like.

Thank you.

John M Ward said...

Yup: all part of the plan, and so predictable...

By the way, "Tory Boys" claims not to be a troll, and (from exchanges on my own 'blog)I am half-inclined to believe that; but it can be difficult sometimes!

Anonymous said...

'Combined authorities'? Can anyone hear the trumpeting of the invisible elephant? Sounds like the implementation of EU regional policy to me.