Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricks of the light(s)

Those travelling through Longdendale along the A628 and A57 may well have experienced horrendous traffic jams so far this week. The roads have been packed at peak times, and two facts make us suspicious.

Firstly, it's half term for many schools in the area. Longdendale is noticeably much more pleasant and relatively free of traffic whenever the schools are shut.

Secondly, the jams are taking place as early as 6.30 a.m., which is usually much quieter than peak time.

Could it be anything to do with the fact that the Public Inquiry recommences next week? After all, it wouldn't be the first time that the traffic light sequences in Longdendale have been altered, most notoriously around the time of the ends of previous Bypass consultation periods. And in the past, roadworks also seem to have popped up at similarly coincidental moments.

Is it us that are the cynical ones? Or is it those who think they can manipulate the patience of local people and through-commutersin to back their road proposal which will only bring more of this misery to the area?

*UPDATE: things had returned to normal by Thursday 1st November. Someone must have thrown the switch...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Organ Grinder - or (Road)Munkey?

James Purnell MP is in the news again. It seems there were more fake photo ops, and a BBC Freedom of Information request has nailed his spin that he had no idea about the plans to fake the photos.

But let's read between the lines here. Here' s a quote to savour:

"A spokesman from Mr Purnell's office said it was sent to a general e-mail address used by the constituency office"

His office says he doesn't deal with those emails. So in that case, who does?

Who answers the phone and deals with all James' emails? Stalybridge & Hyde Constituents will know that it's none other than our friend the Parliamentary Political Operative to James Purnell MP - Councillor Sean Parker-Perry (aka Roadmunkey). Oh dear. So did he not tell his boss about the Hospital's plans?

Once again, Parker-Perry is proving himself to be a huge political liability for his MP, the Labour Party and the people of Longdendale. We welcome his further efforts to secure a bypass for Longdendale, because at this rate his 'Midas Touch in reverse' can only scupper any plans for it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Do We Need More Housing ?

At the moment Glossop is a construction site. Wherever the humble pedestrian ventures in this erstwhile quiet market town is impeded by building site fencing, dust clouds, and infill building sites which block their way. Not to mention the random removal of mature trees, followed by the obligatory desultory apology, and swift pinning of blame on other parties. Hitherto pleasant open areas to shop such as Smithy Fold and the Bulldog Shopping Precinct (coincidentally prey to an overnight robbery) are all probably being conducted in the name of Glossop Vision.

No doubt the similar vision which brought Glossop the visionary burnt out Wrens Nest apartment block, the pinnacle planning masterpiece that has brought High Peak Borough Council its flagship planning award.

No question what the vision for Glossop is: eradicate its heritage.

More worryingly this is part of a greater "vision", the strategy of that well known "visionary" and "conviction" politician Gordon Brown, to get rid of the country's rural heritage by abolition of the green belt.

There is an enormous threat to the greenbelt and rural beauty of Great Britain which will be detailed in future blogs.

In the meantime let us ruminate in what is happening in Glossop at present and draw this conclusion. The Council and its Planning Department want building and construction action. They are hooked on it more than any junkie on his daily fix. They do not care about pedestrians or the public, as long as they are able to set records for the most number of yellow clad safety jacket operatives in a single market town, and enhance their reputation for so called "regeneration". Currently frustrated by the Bypass impasse and the Green Built ring fence they are concentrating on making the town a pedestrian no go area with obstructive and burnt out flagship planning projects that do not take human factors into account and are therefore doomed from outset. Even their only other toy, Rossington Park is running into trouble, so they are really going for Glossop as the best place to play Meccano, though Rossington Park watchers need to be very alert as well.

But be warned. In our view like irritable children they will get tired with that game of Glossop as building site, and want further action outside the town before long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Look who's looking...

Good old Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft clearly like to keep an eye on what's being said about them (click on image for full details).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Road Closure

Reason to celebrate? Well, not in this case, no. Yesterday saw the culmination of a case brought by the Ramblers Association against BMW and Oxfordshire County Council to prevent the closure of a bridleway. The 2,000 year old path (an old Roman Road) lies in the way of land BMW want to 'develop' (it's that word again).

You can guess the rest. BMW won. After all, nothing stands in the way of the car industry, at least as far as the legal system is concerned. BMW's defence was that the 400 people who used the path daily were mainly people who worked at the plant itself. I suppose in future, they'll all have to drive to work.

(Urban Guerrilla Notice: the BMW was the Red Army Faction's getaway car of choice - not because the RAF were flash gits, but because they used to be easy to hot wire. No doubt they'd have a rather more no-nonsense solution to this matter)

Blog action day

...was yesterday. And we missed it. Oh well.

But over on his blog, sharp-as-a-knife Gamesley Councillor Anthony McKeown reminded us what it's all about:

across the world bloggers are uniting to highlight environmental issues, and hopefully as the organisers say get the world talking towards a better future

And without a hint of irony (or punctuation if the above is anything to go by), Anthony urges us to join the Friends of the Earth's campaign "The Big Ask":

The way the campaign works is by asking you to contact your MP to make sure the Government does the right thing

So it's curtains for humanity then! (And we thought that FoE were only mooting what to do after being courted by Rupert Murdoch. Perhaps they've already made their mind up...)

Getting back to 'blogging about environmental issues', you may remember that Anthony only allows you to comment on his blog if you leave a name (rather than an obviously false name or 'anonymous' - me? I'm Mr Lewin's little boy!). And he's blocked comments critical of High Peak's stance on the bypass in the past. So given the environmental devastation and increase in pollution the bypass will entail, allied with the fact that Ant is for the bypass, what is his blog doing to highlight environmental issues exactly?

His right of reply is guaranteed here. Come on Ant, we'd like a debate!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Meet the new Boss? ...same as the old boss

With all this talk of elections, we thought we'd muse for a minute on that bloke Dave Cameron's speech the other day (let's not forget these are the new Green Tories, and good old Dave has got a wind turbine on his roof - as did one local pipsqueak/councillor at one time). Take this sample...

So, his mother dealt with "the likes of Swampy" did she? It's easy to mock people who are (seemingly) not as strong, but it's also better to choose those who were the least effective - Direct Action stopped the Tories road building programme dead in it's tracks in the 1990s, and it will do the same with Labour's - or even the Tories if they have their jackboot on our necks again in a few weeks time. We too "fight for what we believe in and the changes we want to make" despite "the likes of you". Bring it on Dave...

And as an antidote to all that guff, here's a rejoinder to this Toff's mocking tones from good old Dan Hooper himself...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Spot the fake...

After noticing that a weblog has popped up documenting James Purnell's fake photo album, here's a little gallery of clearly fake photos that can be added:

Purnell lurking around the rear entrance to the Stalybridge Civic Hall...

...lurking around the front....

...and joined by a few friends.

All of these people - James Purnell MP, Cllr Roy Oldham, Mike Flynn, Tom Levitt MP, Cllr Sean Parker-Perry & Cllr Jonathan Reynolds - have not and will not be appearing at the Public Inquiry (held at the Civic Hall) to defend their cause, the Longdendale Bypass...

What a bunch of fakes