Wednesday, October 20, 2004

John Prescott – a suitable case for treatment….

The rather grandly named ‘East of England Regional Assembly’ has ever so diligently, rubber stamped the latest bid to festoon England in breeze block, tarmac and concrete.

This unelected, self basting, non representative QANGO; led by the nose, told what, when and how to do it by chunky-boy John Prescott and his footpads are poised to play the role of willing turkeys voting for Christmas. They’ve gone from ‘NIMBYs’ – to ‘FALLGUYs’ – and sold the present incumbents of the area right down the swanee in the process. Following Prescott’s lead and powers of persuasion, ("ere matey boy, get those 'ouses built or I'll chin yer") they’ve voted for 500,000 houses to be shoved up in and around the M11 corridor from Cambridge southwards.
Huge swathes of East Anglia are at risk.
Huge salaries for public servants are guaranteed.
Huge pensions funds for said public servants are as good as matured.
The huge ego of chunky-boy Prescott is mindlessly massaged.

The QANGO’s gormless leader, complete with '70's comb over, (and with Prescott’s hand up his jacksy) when interviewed last Friday morning waffled on about the usual suspects, "Key workers, Nurses, Teachers, cost effective housing, good for development……."

Then came the buzzword ‘coup de grace’, "Sustainable development this, sustainable development that, sustainable development the other"… Obviously, the rest of the Country is wallowing in unsustainable development, because they are not intent on changing the landscape from green and pleasant to grey and repellent.

Hertfordshire and Essex County Councils are not happy - you can hardly blame them can you? Hertfordshire, is currently the most overcrowded County in England – and despite their protestations about being able to take any more people have been told that they must take another 72,000 houses. Essex has been told they must take another 131,000 houses.

Hertfordshire council said in a statement that a shadow had fallen over the county.

A County spokesman said: "Decisions about the future of Hertfordshire are being made by an unelected body that does not properly represent the people of Hertfordshire." He said powers for strategic planning had been taken away from the county councils and given to a regional body which was pushing them through at the behest of the government."

This seems to me the perfect illustration of how a 'Regional Government' fashioned from the nightmare imagination of John Prescott would work. Manipulated by Central Government to do their bidding - they'll give 'muppetry' a whole new meaning. They'll also ride roughshod over any local considerations - look at Hertfordshire! It is also worth noting that this mendacious Government has set up all over England, secret little Regional Assemblies in waiting. Full of busy bodies, full of expense accounts, full of Kermits with hands up their collective backsides.... North East of England take note - and vote 'No' in your forthcoming referendum.

We at Alfie HQ give the people of East Anglia our unstinting support in their fight against this latest short-sighted project. Surely, the planting of the chunky-boy Prescott’s Gulag extravaganza in one of the most scenic and productive areas of the Country is not right. All it will do is pour more petrol onto an already white-hot South Eastern economy – whilst housing stock in the rest of the Country crumbles to dust.

We at Alfie HQ believe this Government is the most centralist ever. Our hearts bleed as myopia becomes the mantra of chunky-boy and his footpads – and my Country gets trashed again, on the pyre of Prescott and the Ministry of the absurd.

Note to the Project Manager: You cannot just build 500,000 new houses without building new everything else. That’ll include schools, hospitals, prisons, factories, business parks, roads, railways, sewerage farms, reservoirs, etc. That’ll then mean in 20 years time, there’ll be another acute housing shortage in the area ….. Time to get the trowel out again then?

Depressed, we all surely should be.