Sunday, September 21, 2014

Going Underground

We remain a United Kingdom but I'm not entirely convinced it feels that way anymore.

What I find somewhat bizarre is people of visibly non-Scottish antecedence, promoting independence, which rather begs the question of what Scotland or being Scottish actually is in a modern world? After all, I'm part Scots, English, Belgian and Norwegian and I'm sure that genetically, most of my readers also share an interesting mix, as well as in the case of a great many English people having a 10% Italian marker gene, inherited from the Roman legions. It all seems rather irrelevant in a global economy; to me at least. I enjoyed Braveheart like anyone else but that's where my imagination stopped.

St Regis Abu Dhabi
I thought I would share the picture opposite. It's the private tunnel leading from my hotel in Abu Dhabi, across and under the big main road.

This rather reminded me of the stories of Nero's Golden Palace in Rome. Here you have a subway decorated in the finest marble and polished like a mirror, with no expense spared. At a time when here we worry over the minimum wage and austerity, it's a reminder of what wealth and conspicuous consumption can look like elsewhere, where money is no object and street litter simply doesn't exist.

I had a call last week from the BBC. Apparently they have a political reporter moving down to Thanet to live in advance of next May's General Election and of course it's South Thanet which is the focus of their interest.

The 'Beeb' had been trawling this weblog and I pointed then at several local characters whom I 'm sure would also be happy to offer an opinion on the local political scene.

What is without doubt however, is that the lives, familiies and personal histories of all the political candidates; not just Nigel Farage, are going to be under intense scrutiny between now and next May. If there's even a hint of any skeleton in the cupboard or even a minor indiscretion at secondary school, the BBC or quite possibly The Sun and the Daily Mail are going to be looking for it with chequebooks poised. Quite why anyone would be prepared to put themselves through what is yet to come, for a poorly remunerated role on a Westminster back-bench, defies understanding.

Manston airport is firmly back on the agenda again with last week's visit from Cabinet Minister, Grant Shapps.  With Scotland and the powerful SNP influence of Mrs Gloag, now firmly behind us, I really do think there's a chance for the airport but if and only if the Council rallies behind a CPO and a suitable partner to achieve it. That said, I fear that Labour, with an eye to picking-up any and every possible vote in Ramsgate for Will Scobie, next May, may prevaricate as long as possible and Manston may yet become a political victim of Nigel Farage's ambition in the town.

I would like to be proved wrong.


Anonymous said...

The Scots have now awoken the slumbering giant that is England. The Goschen Formula of 1888 began the period of paying the Scots per capita more from public funds than England.

Reading an ex forces blog I see an Englishman telling a Scot that the union resulted from Scotland having been on the wrong end of a Spanish hiding. And needing to go cap in hand to get union with |England to get the support of the English central bank.

As for Wales they were beneficiaries of the 1936 Special Areas Reconstruction Act and later disproportionate beneficiaries of the postwar new town funding and then beneficiaries of the 1970s Barnett formula.

Ugly though it is to mention the amount of public funding England (at the bottom of the funding pile) gets has got to also support the lions share of immigrants, illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.

The constitution is now at the centre of politics. Cameron due to sign away more of our ancient rights to the EU in November (possibly signing up to a clause whereby EU could refuse UK quitting the EU !)

I have seen the post war European Movement being mentioned. Featuring Laura Sandys father Duncan. Adding an as yet unremarked aspect to the Thanet South constituency battle. The battle Laura has already disengaged from.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure if there's dirt to be dug and smeared, you're the BBC's man. No doubt that's why they approached you.

John Holyer said...

It's a long shot I know, but do you think that Cllr Ian Driver would be available for interview?

Anonymous said...

poorly paid at westminster? are you seriously having a laugh, 11% pay rise while the rest of us get less than 1%, generous expenses, free travel, can't think of many more attractive packages for sleeping the day away on the green benches.

Simon Moores said...

Given the thankless hours involved and having to deal with people like you 2.53 the role of an MP is unrewarded and tedious

Anonymous said...

Tesco, Chris, Dreamland, CPOs... Shame you're not blogging much now Simon as there's lots happening (or not happening in some cases!).

William Epps said...

Lots happening but where exactly? Seems to me that Thanet's happenings are just old hat periodically regurgitated around the council, local newspaper and blogs. Having lived here for 15 years it is a bit like sitting in a cinema whilst the same film is oft rerun.

Even Tim Garbutt MP is still a parliamentary and Green mayor candidate although he never actually throws his hat in the ring. Suppose it would all be funny if it wasn't so sad and such a waste of true potential.