Pothole Buster ™
If I had to name one thing that annoys the people of the Roman Bank & Peckover Division more than any other I’m pretty sure I’d end up using the ”P” word. Potholes. Of course there are many other issues, plenty of them more serious than the rugged surface of some of our roads. But there they are every day, rattling your suspension as you bump and grind over them. If you talk to the council officers they assure you that they are doing loads of repairs – that they are out there all the time patching up the problems. If you talk to the people of the division they say they never see anybody and potholes stay untouched for months on end. Everybody understands that the last winter took its toll on the roads and that its not cheap to repair hundreds of miles of tarmac.
On reflection I really think there is truth on both sides of this. It is fair to say that the council agent’s are working hard to fix all the damage. It’s equally accurate that some places remain unrepaired for long periods. So here’s my
Pothole-Buster ™ idea. (I’m not serious about the trademark, it just makes me chuckle. Pay no attention to it.) I’d like to ask anybody who lives within my ward (Wisbech Peckover, Leverington, Newton, Gorefield, Tydd St. Giles) to report any significant pothole in their road by email or phone to me. I’ll then drive down, take a picture of it, and report it to the county agents for you. I’ll post the pothole report, the picture and the status on a webpage on this site so everybody can see what potholes have been notified to us, where they are, when the council were told about them … and hopefully when they are repaired.
Each week I’ll chase the council agents and ask about potholes which have not been fixed, pointing to the date I notified them and the evidence on the website as it accumulates. What I very much hope is that this will demonstrate just how quickly and how often repairs are done and vindicate the council a little. Of course, it may go the other way, in which case we’ll be able to keep track of the problem and make a judgement of how best to proceed.
In the end you may laugh: “What’s a website and a bunch of phone calls going to do?” And perhaps it will be a difficult task in the current climate, although I like to think otherwise. Whatever the case, it certainly can’t hurt can it?
My challenge to all readers is this: don’t just moan about a pothole and presume you can do nothing about it. Notify me and let’s get to work, together, encouraging and cooperating with the council to put our roads to rights. Pothole-Buster(tm) style!
Report Potholes to:- firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a text on 07831 616127
Remember to state your name and phone number, the road and area where the pothole is.
* Your right to contact the council directly is not affected by this request. This is purely my own individual idea to try and get something done in a slightly different way.
**PLEASE – Only residents of my division. I can’t do anything for people in other areas – but I’m sure your own local councillor will be pleased to help.
Recession – The Action Movie
Our country is in big trouble. Not because of the much-vaunted ‘Broken Society’. Not because of crime and antisocial behaviour. Not because of the bloated, cannibalistic public sector. Not even because of the cumbersome mass of the welfare state which successive parliaments have consistently failed to have the courage to address. It’s because of the wasted, starving economy. But wait! Before you yawn and tell me to change the channel because you’ve heard this script before – consider this:
Here’s the problem with talking about the recession right now – if you say: “There is no way we’ll see any serious recovery this year” people accuse you of talking down the economy. So all the commentators are harping on about “Green Shoots” here and “positive changes” there and even how we’re “past the worst.” The trouble is that the government has been borrowing (and printing) money like there’s no tomorrow and sooner or later that money was going to trickle into the system and result in what economists call “greater velocity of currency” and what you and I probably call “lots of shopping.” People are spending all this borrowed and freshly-minted cash and this creates the appearance of slight recovery. These green shoots are an illusion, like a bright red apple hanging from a branch but full of squirming maggots within.
In a movie of the current crisis we are somewhere near the middle of the story. We’ve done the character development and had a few car chases to keep the excitement up. But the plot is getting serious now. At some point down the line – and we’re not talking about very far down the line here – the government’s desperate attempt to borrow its way out of debt is going to come to an extremely messy end. Maybe the sale of bonds will fail when international lenders refuse to buy any more until they see some chance of a return on their investment? Maybe the dollar will crash when China decides to start divesting itself of the currency and causes a run on it – with the knock-on effect of crippling the pound? Maybe money will continue to gush into the many public sector black holes while unemployment keeps spiralling up until a critical mass is reached? There are so many weak points in this particular card castle that its hard to say precisely which way it’s going to come tumbling down – but tumble down it shall. At this point in a movie you’d really hope the ‘heroes’ of the piece would be taking action, right?
What everybody should realise is that inflation is coming. Perhaps we can keep putting it off for a bit longer if Mssrs. Darling and Brown are allowed to pursue their profilgate borrow and spend policies. But do not trust the government or the media’s talk of green shoots. They want to keep the masses calm in the face of economic armageddon for as long as possible. They are, in fact, the villains of this story. The twist at the end would be a diabolical prime minister chuckling: “Yes, yes! My plan is complete!” as he contemplated the ruin of the nation.
Even at this late point it is not too late to save the day. In our action movie, when the evil mastermind’s plans have resulted in the country teetering on the brink of destruction you might expect a dashing, square-jawed musclebound hero to arrive in the nick of time. Now I’ll agree that David Cameron’s Conservatives are probably not very dashing and certainly not musclebound. But the Conservatives are the only party with the will and the experience to fix this horrific Labour mess. After all – they’ve done it before. In fact I’d guess this movie is a sequel. Let’s hope it has a happy ending. And if we get though it intact, please let’s make sure it never becomes a trilogy.