Bristling Brock speaks out...


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What a turmoil there is gripping the British government.   The added tragedy is that it isn't in the least bit clear whether the members of that government have any inkling of the situations they have blithely led themselves into.   Most speak in the platitudes of old Westminster vocabulary - meaningless, politically biased and ignorant of public opinion.  They think this is the correct response to the uproar of distaste that the British public are ever more loudly voicing about a wide host of issues - to which not a solitary member of the government are addressing in a positive and directional way.

Ranging from policing and crime to education to immigration to social care to foreign policy (is there one ?) to dare we even mention the hallowed NHS to the NI Protocol to HGV driver shortages, etc, etc - the list could go on ad infinitum - the government display a complacency of attitude that sends a really bad message to both Tory and Socialist alike - for all of these areas of governance are in disarray and crisis.  It's perhaps inevitable that politics plays a key part in this farrago if ineptitude and cocky posturing that seems to characterise this government - a government that should be thanking its lucky stars that its majority can carry most legislative acts through both Houses in the absence of any realistic Opposition.   What this cockiness overlooks is the public attitude; they see the lack of action, the Nelsonian eye upon the dangers ahead, the arrogance of government that believes a solid majority is the political licence and freedom to do what they like, behave as they wish.  But for how long ?  Woe betide the Prime Minister who doesn't see his electorates mindset and anger.  You may rule Westminster for the time being, Mr PM, but unless you give your government a massive kick up the backside and start reacting effectively to these countless challenges, you won't be ruling the country for much longer - and this from a blogger who voted for you !

On a more local level - yet one that is relevant to all regions of Britain - let us look scathingly at the planning laws in the country. BB is certainly no authority on this but has been witness to some of the inanities that comprise the planning procedures.   Let us start from the principle that the government want to build in excess of 300,000 new homes a year.  Some reasonable percentage of these should be affordable housing (isn't that what the housebuilding crisis is about ?) and their build locations - if empirical evidence has anything to do with it - is wherever there's a plot of land that some opportunistic land-owner/farmer has decided to cash-in upon.   This disregards so-called green belt land - did you know that 'green belt' has no legal status so its use can be trammelled by whichever developer sets eyes upon it ?  Brown field sites - of which there are plenty now that this country no longer has any volume manufacturing interest or capability - are poo-poo'ed by the developers because such land needs clearing and sanitising first - and that obviously minimises their gargantuan profits.  Shudder the thought !

The new builds - be they affordable (which most aren't) or middle-market - are based upon land where the developer has planning permission, a process made almost non-existent under the governments downscaling of planning laws.  On paper the developer has to take account of the local Council's Local Plan a building requirement projection that envisions a ridiculous span of about thirty years forward from now (BB's local authority don't seem to know what happened yesterday, never mind thirty years forward) and the Council have to take account of a local Neighbourhood Plan - usually a plan drawn up by concerned citizens on a voluntary basis to try and add some curbs and limitations upon what is built and where.  Inevitably, it all gets very complicated but in principle, after endless bureaucratic consultations and revisions the plan is given to an 'independent inspector' to adjudicate upon its legality and relevance.  But guess who the 'independent inspector' works for ?  None other that HM Government.  The result is that most recommendations that define building and area limitations are thrown out as being counter to government policy and planning regulations - and lo' and behold, building permissions are granted on an almost indiscriminate basis.   The spectre of bulky brown envelopes changing hands all over the place seems ever more likely to be the game in town to be involved in.  The losers in all this are you and I - the mugs who make up the electorate....

Add this indescribable break in public trust to the catalogue of failed policies, strategies and broken promises and we see a government that is failing through a mixture of arrogance and incompetence.   BB has no axe to grind in encouraging a socialist government - they would be an equal catastrophe for this country - but for Pity's Sake we need a government that has a firm hand on the tiller, using competent individuals with a brain between their ears rather than the gang of 'yes-men' that seem to inhabit Westminster these days.   Only we, the voters, can force the change but our collective nature is passive and BB fears that we are set on a course of inept governance for a while yet.   Prove me wrong !

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