Saturday, May 31, 2008

Making you an offer you can't refuse

With the Public Inquiry in abeyance, all kinds of things are going on in the background. Whilst planners are no doubt working overtime to make adjustments to future traffic flow predictions, both in Mottram and Glossopdale, it's also likely that individual objectors are being worked upon.

Late last year saw the withdrawal of the objection (opens PDF) from the Greater Manchester Directors of Public Health. Upon closer examination, it seems that in writing the objection, a Dr Watkins had used the wrong headed notepaper to write his letter, and some bright spark amongst the supporters team used it as an opportunity to seek support amongst the NHS secretariat to get the objection withdrawn.

Does this mean that the regional NHS - let alone the local Primary Care Trust - does not take a view as to the health impacts of the construction of the road?

Mottram Show Committee are, you would have thought, another natural objector given that their showground will be destroyed by the bypass. But they have not done so - the committee is said to be split, but we understand the clincher is that promises of land being found for relocation would be scotched by Tameside MBC were there to be any objection. This is also a reason why anti-bypass stalls at the Show itself are not allowed.

Meanwhile, it looks like another objector is being worked upon. The Trustee's of Mrs E Bissell's Marriage Settlement are major land owners in the area, and they have objected - although if one reads their submission to the PI (opens PDF) they have clearly left the door open for negotiation. But it appears that the supporters of the scheme are not even willing to accommodate them. Our attention has been drawn to a planning application they made in August 2006, to convert a Bungalow on Dewsnap Lane to a House. The application was refused in October last year, and the report makes interesting reading (opens PDF). Only two objections were received, plus a representation from the one and only Roy Oldham. The head of planning has commented that this application must be turned down due to the impact on the greenbelt. Yes, the impact on the greenbelt! - clearly, this is far more grievous than a dirty great proto-motorway that is planned for the area to the East of a sodding bungalow!

Is this really coincidental? Could it be that pressure is being put upon the Trustees to withdraw their objection to the bypass, so that Councillor Oldham and TMBC will allow their plan for a house extension? Let's hope they show some backbone and do not back down.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Footnote Re Ivan Bell Impeachment by Standards Committee

Regarding our previous story that we ran on Ivan Bell's imminent hearing before the Standards Committee regarding his conduct being allegedly at variance with the Council's Conduct Code we should have mentioned that Councillor Bell is a "prospective" - or as he tends to put it "perspective" -Independent Candidate for the High Peak at the next General Election.

It is also worth pointing out at this stage that we believe the Standards Committee to have been set up by none other than that paragon of official good conduct John Prescott during his time as the Minister for Environment, Transport and the Regions, or possibly as Deputy PM.

Although John Prescott was not averse using his offices and official time when in highly salaried position to dally with his Diary Secretary, Tracy Temple, he did not come before his own or any Standards Committee nor did he feel it necessary to resign from his post for using paid time in this way.

Is there a lesson there for Councillor Bell possibly? Choose your (alleged) misconduct more carefully perhaps or more probably make sure you get a top job at public expense, where you seem to be immune from having to comply with any kind of code of conduct at all when in office (barring possibly that of the Karma Sutra?)

Ivan Bell comes before the Standards Committee at 10am on Friday 6th June 2008. As far as we know the venue remains the Chinley Council Offices.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ground Farce: Sean Parker-Perry's right of reply

Last week, the Tameside Reporter published an (unacknowledged) rejoinder to the articles we had published in April about Longdendale Councillor Sean Parker-Perry and his Active Longdendale (AL) project. Needless to say, the article did not acknowledge us directly, nor provide a reference point for where to read any alternative view of Parker-Perry's project.

Cllr Parker-Perry was scathing about criticisms the Active Longendale project had drawn from certain quarters recently. He said: “It has been hard work to set up this project which is for the good of the whole community. For the project to draw criticism from one individual who tries to remain anonymous and whose wild allegations are totally unfounded, is unfair. It is a pity these armchair critics do not utilize their energy by doing community work themselves, rather making outrageous allegations.”

'Certain quarters' is clearly us, and the spoof Active Longdendale blog. Our joint 'wild allegations' are merely a critical analysis of all of the information in the public domain about AL - an anathema to a politician, who hate being put under the spotlight. As for 'community work' we think this blog is just that, and Sean has no idea about what we get up to in our spare time - unlike him, we do not make it everyone's business. But his comments about the 'hard work' of setting up AL are a joke - it's been running for 18 months and in that time has carried out 3 'clean ups', published no material, has not met publicly, and used the services of voluntary rangers and a private company to conduct it's work. A piece of piss by anyone else's standards.

Following the successful retention of his seat as Councillor following the May 1st elections, Sean is clearly now conscious that he has to do a lot to whiten his reputation. However, we believe the article has merely served to bring up more questions than it does provide answers. Let's look at it in detail.

With a budget of £12,000 he has secured premises and a vast array of power tools for the benefit of locals

The article talks about "£12,000" of funding having being obtained - £3,600 more than we knew about. However, note that there's still no mention of the Awards for All Grant. The other implication is that the funding makes AL self-sufficient - that the cost of leasing the Railway arches is included. Sean's talk of negotiating a deal with Spacia may mean that he has negotiated a vastly reduced rent for the first year or two.

If that's the case, then Sean will have to recruit a lot of members to make up a future shortfall. Let's say he does need £6,000 per annum for the arch - that's 600 members in Longdendale renewing annual subs. He's certainly ambitious.

And also note that 'power tools' have crept into things. We understood the original purpose of the grant from o2 was the pay for gardening implements, not power tools. Speaking of tools, there's no mention that the 02 grant was meant to pay for tools - the article says they were 'borrowed from Tameside Council' - so was the grant spent on tools or not?

Residents wishing to benefit from the scheme will pay a token membership fee of £10 and then a small charge to use the tools as they need them

The article is full of the details of membership, but there still no details on how to become a member. And Sean's website still hasn't been updated since January.

Currently, Active Longdendale is seeking charitable status so it can be run more efficiently financially. It has also appointed auditors, an accountant and a committee that is required to comply with charitable status.

Sean's going legit. He'd better get a move on - the income in the last year was £12,000, and under the Charities Act 2006, registration is compulsory for charities with an annual income of over £5,000. We look forward to the AGM, plus the published accounts.

The only other thing worth noting is that the article has been written by our old friend Nigel Pivaro. We already noted the involvement of this (ahem) journalist once before, and he has made himself busy since writing several fawning articles about James Purnell. It seems Sean now has his ear, so we promise to display the banner (modelled on his Tameside Reporter column masthead) at the top of the blog each time he publishes an article worthy of the attention of our readers. Think of it as our bullshit detector (we'd do the same for David Jones, but we're having trouble finding a picture of Lord Longford).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cllr Ivan Bell falls foul of Standards Committee

News about Ivan Bell the Controversial Councillor for Old Glossop

Ivan Bell, Councillor for Old Glossop is not everyone's cup of tea, though he has been elected successfully as Councillor for Old Glossop on two occasions, which is more than can be said about a lot of Labour councillors in their respective wards.

He does however walk a political tightrope that carries the threat of alienating both the mainstream and those dissenting voices that are traditionally aligned with the left and green issues. Speaking as a "man of the people" has not entirely endeared him to some of us at this particular hotspot of local political comment, as previous articles reveal, whilst now he has seriously fallen foul of the Council's Standards Officer and is apparently subject to some kind of "impeachment" process if that is the right word.

I would have been less than surprised if this "impeachment" had derived from Mr Bell's failure to wear the "bureau" suit look , without tie, as modelled by former Council Head Cllr Lomax in High Peak Connect. However it appears that Cllr Bell has not fallen foul of the authorities for such sartorial crimes, that might make him stand out from the council's uniform. We stress that wearing a somewhat battered cloth cap does not of itself incur any kind of penalty that is known of.

Nor apparently is Cllr Bell's offence related to the fact that he wished Councillors and Officers of the Council to sign up in its Code of Conduct to an enshrined commitment to "tell the truth to the public" in a new media section. The said Councillors and Officers apparently felt that a "tell the truth to the public" clause was not relevant to its code of conduct, though some might argue differently, and it was voted down.

Nor is there any overt indication that he has been "arraigned" for thinking or speaking for himself, and not being accountable to any particular party whip that might rein in his overactive tongue and man of the people stance. There is no overt indication that this is a crime in the UK today, obviously if that were the case serious questions might be asked about whether we truly live in a climate of free speech and democracy.

No apparently Mr Bell's alleged misdeamenour is of a more familiar type. We believe another Local Cllr, Les Wilcox - not to be confused with County Cllr David Wilcox OBE who has never been involved in similar controversy - a few years back, fell foul of similar allegations although that was before the Standards Committee existed, at least as I understand it.

On that occasion the perception of bullying and harassment (as I recall) raised so much concern that local MP Tom Levitt felt justified in using valuable parliamentary time to raise the matter in our national forum at Westminster, as being presumably of national concern. Judging from the newspaper reports a lot of political people were unhappy with Mr L Wilcox, who was coincidentally another Independent Councillor, unaccountable to a Party Whip. I believe Mr L Wilcox was removed from office.

On this occasion a Standards Committe is in place. The alleged misdemeanours are those of alleged "bullying and treating a female officer with disrespect". I should stress that this clearly very serious allegation was referred to an external Standards Board by the High Peak Standards Officer and it was re-referred for hearing, as it was felt externally that there was a case to answer. The Hearing is at this stage at the usual somewhat inaccessible central High Peak location of Chinley Offices, 10am Friday 6th June, though Cllr Ivan Bell wishes if possible to move the venue to Glossop so that his constituents can attend. We are not quite sure why this but could it be that Cllr Bell feels he wishes his defence to be heard by those he has striven to represent? We will see.

It does seem to us that it is reasonable to conclude that High Peak Borough Council's mainstream councillors and council struggle to work with unaffiliated politicians. Perhaps the other Independent Chris Webster might feel a little concerned, as potentially being in a somewhat isolated position.

In the meantime watch this space.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lidl - bribing the public

We had spies at last week's Lidl 'Open Day', and they brought back all kinds of goodies - though not products produced by Lidl.

We hear that Lidl put on a large spread, but more important than that, they were asking people to write to them to support a future planning application. Whilst we can't think why anyone in their right mind would want to do so, they obviously thought it might work and this flier was handed to all visitors (we've been careful to obscure the relevant address in case any morons who like supermarkets read this blog). Of course, this kind of tactic is nothing new in this area - JD Williams employed similar methods by 'asking' (more like threatening!) their employees on Rossington Park to write in support of a planning application last year (HPBC approved it, natch).

Lidl propose to provide 72 car parking spaces, but lord only knows what disruption will be caused to the area due to an inevitable traffic increases - there's no mention of this in their leaflet.

You can view the brochure they were handing out here and here. But we thought we'd publish the Q&A section, which are (unsurprisingly) overwhelmingly positive and seemingly poorly translated from a standard German text, with attendant poor grammar. Our comments are underneath in bold:

Q - Why have you chosen this location?

A - Lidl have chosen this location as it primarily serves as a catchment of Hadfield, Gamesley and Hollingworth and these areas currently have a limited offer for convenience goods.

There is a 7-11 store in Hollingworth, and a similar store in Gamesley. There are 2 minimarts in Hadfield. So it's not needed on that front.

Q - Will the store undermine Glossop Town Centre?

A - No, the small scale of the development will have little or no impact on Glossop Town Centre. A full Retail Impact Assessment is provided with our application. It should also be noted that Lidl do not operate in-store Bakeries, Delis, Butchers, Fish counters, Dry cleaning, Newsagents and therefore complement rather than compete with local small businesses.

One wonders what use the store is to anyone if it does not provide those facilities, and what need there is for it if it is a 'catchment of Hadfield, Gamesley and Hollingworth'? I suppose if you really want pumpernickel and really can't face going to Aldi, it might come in handy. Then again, Lidl and Aldi are currently a zeitgeist thing for the Bourgeoisie who like 'slumming it' as this recent article in the Guardian shows.

Q - How will the store look?

A - The site, as is currently stands, clearly is in need of redevelopment. Lidl design their buildings to complement their surroundings and as such the proposal is for a traditional building in keeping with the surrounding area.

Personally, I'd rather have an empty car garage that generates no traffic than this plan. The logic here seems to be 'if there's spare Brownfield land, it must follow that something new is created on it'. And it's not hard for it to be 'inkeeping with the surrounding area', when that means a small industrial estate, a car dealer and Europe's largest caravan showroom!

If you want to object - in advance - to this proposal, then you could always write to that paragon of virtue Adrian Fisher, the Director of Planning (Disasters) at Der Bunker, High Peak Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 8AF.

Glossopdale Supermarket sweep part 3: Tesco

In our final post about Supermarket expansion and the (thus far attempted) transformation of Glossopdale, we turn to the veritable Dark Lords, Tesco.

'What about Tesco' you may ask? Well, putting aside the traffic problems their current store in Glossop causes we can reveal that they too have plans for expansion. We say 'reveal', but it is actually a reminder of information that is already in the public domain, with a certain amount of educated guesswork and speculation tagged on. But as usual, we are prepared to fall, as well as stand, by our predictions.

On 7th November 2007, the Glossop Advertiser (and not the Glossop Chronic, which is rather strange) featured a front page headline 'Supermarket on Stilts'* about Tesco's plans for Glossop. In the article, they outline their plan to relocate the store 'nearer to the Town Centre', although it was hinted that this would be 'in a different part of the (Wren Nest) site'. An exhibition of the plan was held on one day - the same day that the article in the paper was published!

Despite this, a follow up article, with more detail, was published a month later. It revealed that Tesco now wanted to construct another entrance to their store from High Street West, increase the number of parking spaces, and also expand the warehousing facilities on the site. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the plan was that the store would be raised 'on stilts' to allow an increase of parking underneath it.

Again, this 'softening up' exercise was concluded prior to a formal planning application being made, one which has still yet to materialise, but the November 2007 article stated that the application would be made 'next year' and that work would not start until at least 2009.

The psychology of the way all 3 Supermarkets have conducted their affairs in the area is highly significant. By presenting exhibitions on their own premises, on near to the planned sites, they control the perception of the plans, as well as the access to them. You effectively have to be a customer to take part, and you also have to know about it. In the case of Tesco a notification of a one day exhibition was posted on the day it took place - and a lot of people in the area don't receive that paper through their letterbox until the very same evening!

Having said that, despite the way Tesco managed the process to actively exclude people, it's actually possible to argue that more people will know about it than were it left to High Peak Borough Council. One only has to look at the fact that thousands of people in Hadfield literally woke up to Rossington Park one morning that shows how hard this Local Authority works to marginalise the people in the area as to major planning decisions that greatly affect their lives.

After all, it was this time last year that saw HPBC allowed Tesco to keep signs they had erected that had breached advertising consent rules. It seems you can do anything you like if you are Tesco.

In relation to all this, what is very interesting is if we recall a war of words in the press earlier last year centred on Surrey Street itself, a potential access road for any new development by Tesco. Residents wrote in to the Glossop Chronic to complain about any attempts to make Surrey Street accessible to more traffic. Others wrote in to counter that and berate residents for their 'selfishness', as if wanting to preserve a degree of calm outside one's front door was an offence. Chief amongst the hecklers was a Tory Councillor, Anne Worrall, and her letter can be read here (albeit cloaked in the emotive issue of the Wren Nest Mill apartments fire). Of course, she is more likely than anyone else to be aware of Tesco's plans, since she is on both the Environment and Regeneration committees of HPBC.

So why have Tesco delayed matters? Who knows? Perhaps HPBC have told them to do so.

But perhaps their plans lie elsewhere? Remember the recent news that the despised Ferro Alloys factory was to be demolished? - the Glossop Chronic told us that HPBC refused to disclose who the owner is. And then the news that Glossop North End AFC are looking to leave their ground of the last 50 years at Surrey Street and move to a larger site elsewhere - how did they get the money and why move now? Is it a coincidence that the Football Ground and Ferro Alloys are adjacent, and that these sites are 'nearer to the centre of Glossop', as desired by Tesco? Or do we have an over-active imagination? Only time will tell.

* Tesco 'Stores on Stilts' are springing up all over - just type the term in Google

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Glossopdale Supermarket sweep part 2: Sainsbury's

At the beginning of April, local newspapers carried reports of a plan to bring another Supermarket to Glossop. This time, it was Sainsbury's. Tom Rowley's initial article in the Glossop Advertiser was more about the whole of the Howard Town Mill development, of which Sainsbury's would be a part. The article was followed a week later with a more detailed reports in both the Glossop Advertiser and our old friends the Glossop Chronic.

The companies involved are Glossop Land and Evans and Reid (E&R). Glossop Land share a director (Mike Ryan) with the company who are developing the mill site - B & R Developments. Evans and Reid are particularly interesting - take one look at their site and look at the geographical spread of their companies - Cardiff, Newcastle, Wolverhampton and ... Glossop! Don't get me wrong, I love Glossop, but the fact they are based in 3 large cities and one small town should lead to all Glossopians to wonder what's going on. But if you do some digging, it's not too hard to make some connections.

One of these companies, E&R Polymers, was the name of the company formed following the merger of St Albans Rubber and ... Volcrepe! Yes, that well known Glossop Company (who had contracts with the Ministry of Defence, just like Ferro Alloys), whose former works is now also up for sale to developers. So we've come full circle.

Whilst Tom Rowley in the Advertiser skirts around the issue, hinting that Sainsbury's is a possibility for Glossop, in the Chronic, David Jones says Sainsburys WILL move into the Mill (his capitals). And further, that "tree lined streets, dressed stone pavements and a new look station forecourt" are all part of this deal. So has this consortium paid for this work, and all the disruption that has cost small traders dearly? This must surely be the 'sweetener' for the deal, but one that leaves a bitter taste in Glossop.

In the more recent Advertiser article, Mike Ryan told us that his companies had "worked closely with High Peak Borough Council over 5 years to deliver Howard Town Mill" - does this mean that HPBC know all about Sainsbury's, and that it's pre-approved. Is this another 'softening up' exercise? If you think back again to how the 'regeneration' of Hattersley/Mottram is being paid for - the as yet un-named Tesco plugging a large financial hole - it looks as if something similar has been happening here. In the 2004-2005 financial year, the entire E&R group of companies had a turnover of £22 million and profit of merely £350,000 (read the PDF here). It all seems a bit too grand a project for such a seemingly minor company!

Like last week's news about Lidl was part of a trend to announce plans before a planning application has been lodged. This runs in complete contrast to the way that TMBC have handled the (still clandestine) intentions of Tesco for Mottram. In our final article about the Supermarket Sweep that is Glossop, we'll look at another 'softening up' exercise that has dipped under the radar somewhat.

But we'll finish with another quote from Mike Ryan:

"it cannot be underestimated how important the securing of Sainsbury's is to the potential successful redevelopment of these sites and to Glossop as a whole and the important and exciting benefits and opportunities this will bring to the town"

We're sure the traders along High Street West feel very excited about their future annihilation because that is what it will amount to. Not to mention transforming Glossop beyond recognition (for the worse) and ensuring the traffic situation is even worse than before.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Glossopdale supermarket sweep part 1: Lidl

Keen readers of the Glossop Advertiser will have noticed an astounding advert in this week's edition. The German supermarket giant Lidl have announced that they plan to apply for planning permission for a store on the site of the former Vauxhall Garage at Brookfield, Hadfield.

They're holding an Open Day opposite the site at Glossop Antiques Centre (who have clearly been bought!) next Thursday 15th May between 1 - 4 p.m.

What's astounding about this advert is that we usually hear about things like this in the press because a planning application has been lodged. But in the High Peak, and Glossopdale in particular, there are more and more examples of things like this taking place (as we will show in other articles to follow). As we write, there is no planning application from Lidl on HPBC's website.

Can you imagine that Lidl are taking a huge chance, being cocky, pre-emptive? We doubt it - the recent planning history of this area has shown how High Peak Borough Council's response to advances from developers is to bend over obligingly. And this looks like yet another example where permission has been 'pre-approved'.

There are may good reasons to oppose this idiotic plan. Firstly, the area does not need any more supermarkets. There are enough, and they are destroying the area. They do nothing for the area other than provide minimum wage jobs which have a high turnover rate - not needed in an area where there is full employment. Furthermore, every penny spent there goes out of the community, not into it.

Secondly, the traffic problems that will result will be hugely significant (there's no need to expand on that, surely?).

Thirdly, the way Lidl treats it's staff is appalling. Read here for details and reference points, and this excellent article from the Guardian in March of this year has extensive details. Other reasons can be found on this excellent German flier (opens PDF).

What's becoming more and more clear in this part of Glossopdale is that developers are keenly eyeing the area with the Glossop Spur in mind. First Rossington Park, then the Home farm hotel/Travelodge and now this plan (as well as activity in Glossop itself) all show that the objective that High Peak Borough Council are colluding in is to to turn the A57 in Glossopdale into a long retail strip easily accessed from the motorway network.

We'll be watching this one like a hawk, and doing our bit to oppose it. By any means necessary.

**Update 13/05/2008: Lidl themselves landed today on this blog post after searching Google for 'glossop & lidl' - everybody wave!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Deal, or no deal?

The ongoing issue of the costs of the Longdendale Bypass was raised in the House of Commons yesterday.

Answering questions on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, the Parliamentary Under Secretary Tom Harris revealed the following (emphasis added):

The A57/A628 Mottram Tintwistle bypass public inquiry started in June 2007. Since award of contract in August 2004 the scheme has incurred costs of £15,000,000. This includes design costs for the scheme, publication of draft orders, preparation and publication of the environmental statement, traffic modelling, legal costs, Highways Agency staff costs and the public inquiry. The specific costs for the public inquiry itself are not recorded separately.

Naturally, we're slightly suspicious about such a nice round figure like that. But if we accept that it's accurate, then it means that £1.2 million has been spent in the last 7 months. It's also way behind our counter which you'll find at the top of this blog, which was based upon the cost accruals in the latest period for which data was available. We may have to adjust it, as we promised we would, but in the meantime, we'll prefer to await the release of proper fully-documented information.

There's not really much else left to say that hasn't been said before, so perhaps we should await the obligatory press articles which will follow, much as Roy Oldham awaits the call from the banker...

No deal methinks.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Four more years...

...of Sean Parker-Perry. That's what Longdendale voted for last Thursday. Or did it?

To give Sean some credit, after our lambasting him for not campaigning on the bypass issue, he did talk about it in his statement which appeared in the local Reporter Group Newspapers publications. Whether or not he went door-to-door on the issue, we have no information. But we have been told that James Purnell was seen delivering leaflets in Longdendale 6 days before the election - when was the last time you heard of a Government Secretary of State out helping a local councillor to retain his seat?

This tells us 3 things - that the Government is in the shit. That Parker-Perry is in the shit. And that James Purnell is also in the shit. Indeed, on Thursday night's election programme, there was a report that projected that were the same voting patterns repeated at a General Election, Purnell would have lost his seat. Amen to that, the sooner he's back in Islington, the better.

So Sean will probably now claim that he has a mandate as a councillor, and that those electing him voted for the bypass. Apart from the fact that people vote for all kinds of reasons, and that his leaflet mentioned ASBOs, IKEA and cheap Council Tax and not the bypass, how do the stats stack up?

Firstly, his majority. Sean had 259 votes more than his nearest rival (Sue Barker, the Tory candidate with 1057 votes to Sean's 1316). Hardly a convincing margin of success. Indeed, if 130 of those people had voted for Sue, Sean would have been out.

Secondly, the turnout. A total of 2895 people turned out, with 7 spoiling their ballot papers. This is 37.6% of the (registered) Longdendale electorate. Hence, 6376 people didn't vote for Sean (or anyone else) - 83%. So if, as he alleges, all of Longdendale are screaming for a bypass and see Sean as the answer, he must be disappointed. Using these percentages, Sean's 'majority' is 3% of Longdendale's electorate.

Thirdly, following on from that, let's play devil's advocate. Let's pretend Sean's majority voted for him solely on the bypass issue. If it's the case that 83% didn't vote for Sean on any issue, then clearly only 17% may have voted for him on the bypass issue. How often are Longdendale Siege - of whom Sean is a member - quoting that 90-odd percent of people in Longdendale want a bypass? So often, we've lost count. The truth is that they're clearly neither motivated to vote for it, nor for a politician who has personally identified himself with the campaign for it.

So from now on, let's hear Siege quote their figures in the following way - 17% of people in Longdendale might be in favour of the bypass. Because that's the only thing they can say with any degree of certainty.

As for Sean, we're looking forward to the next 4 years. With his track record, he can only make things a lot worse, and you will read all about it here.