Thursday, 14 September 2017

NZ trade sanctions in East Kent. Bring the Kiwi Killers of Infratil back.

Many people suggest East Kent should be the boot on Britain's windpipe. Choking off the flow of trade across the Channel. A Project Chokehold if you will.

Not just in protest at Brexit, but for NZ trade sanctions on lamb and wine until the Kiwi Killers of Infratil are returned to UK to stand trial for the Manston-Infratil airport monitor crimes.

East Kent certainly is best-placed for sanctions to bite: Dover as Europe’s largest port handling 300,000 tonnes of UK trade, as well as the UK's second busiest port for cruise ship tourism.

The Channel Tunnel as the main rail/road freight tunnel between UK and Continent.

Eurostar and Eurotunnel passenger and freight trains the main rail routes between London and Paris and Brussels via Ashford and Lille.

Even nearby Gatwick airport, one of Europe's busiest airports, with its 97,000 tonnes of cargo and 38M passengers.

And Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, just a few miles further on as the main hub for Terminal 2's Air New Zealand cargo and tourists.

And the Dover-Calais ferries the main sea-borne HGV route between UK and Europe – indeed ebnsuring trade from Manchester to Moscow, and China's OBOR.

And of course the other Channel ports whether Southampton to Harwich and Felixstowe on Southern England's coast. Or Le Havre and Cherbourg to Boulogne and Ostend and Antwerp and Rotterdam and Zeebrugge and Hamburg on Europe's coastline.

All the above trade hubs staffed and managed with East Kent citizens and friends of East Kent citizens.

The very same people, and their families, deliberately and needlessly contaminated by Infratil and TDC/KCC.

No ardent trade unionist would need to exert themselves much with the train drivers and conductors – the Southern rail strike long overdue in being resolved with both drivers and guards as a public safety and assistance measure. And now Anglian Trains.

Or ferry staff and dockworkers and airline staff and pilots – indeed the TUC Congress this week citing not us the Kamikaze Brexit but steeling themselves for another Winter of Discontent of strikes and stoppages.

Few would shed a tear for Infratil or NZ's trade deficit.

With £2BN in NZ imports to UK and just £1BN UK exports to NZ it’s clear Britain is a more important to NZ.

But clearly distortion to UK trade and travel would be an unfair distraction for a few legs of lamb and bottles of plonk and Kiwi barstaff.

Certainly though NZ lamb could easily be replaced with Kentish lamb – and with with less food miles. While NZ wine could easily be replaced from France or Italy, or further afield in California and South Africa, and even a few Argentine and Hungarian reds.

The good folks at Ramsgate Tesco have already marked down some NZ wine - along with laudable efforts on absorbing the tampon tax and moving to 10p plastic bags for life: No Time for Waste a good slogan.

While the good folks at Ramsgate Waitrose have already reduced their NZ whites to just half a shelf, and the NZ reds to just one shelf. Rather, Spanish and Chilean wine is to the fore - raising the question of how Kent and Spain and Chile can be more active in trade?

The good folks at Tesco Ramsgate already marking down Most Wanted(!) NZ Sauvignon Blanc from £9.00 to £7.50 – help them out by buying it up so they can restock with something else.

There’s plenty of choices instead of NZ plonk:

• Sunday Times wines of the moth last week by wine critic Will Lyons with Nyetimber Cuvee from Sussex as “we are living through the great English wine boom” – Waitrose with drop of Chapel Down Kent wine too. Spanish Muga Rosada £12 – not enough Spanish wines in UK. Oddity Dry Furmint Tokaji from Hungary – a food friendly wine. Argentinian chardonnay from Mendoza £8.50 a whistle-clean wine grown at 12,000 feet. I can’t say as I can’t drink red wine – an almost instant migraine worse than the hangover

• Sunday Times citing 2 more Spanish and Argentine wines into its top 25 (only two NZ anyway): Carmelo Rodeo from Burgos and Riccitelli merlot from Patagonia – Will visiting Argentna last year and being impressed by its topend wines why not more UK-Argentina trade?.

• Asda not to ne outdone wine buying manager Ed Betts cites Cocciola and Abruzzo white with loads of citrus and green apple flavours – just £5 and a “corker of a wine from Oz Barossa Chardonnay with peachy flavours and biscuity notes – also £5. Asda citing a taster menu of Cornish Brie or goats Cheese too.

• The Sunday Times Graae Britain articie also citing the Foreign Office wine cellars now stocking 50% UK wine and making a profit with sales of vintage wines.

• And the good folks of Ramsgate Asda with a Chilean Sauvignon the Winetek Cosmic Shepherd with a rather swish spaceage label and ”perfect for Asian cuisine and seafood”. I tried it and it’s delicious.

Certainly any trade sanctions shouldn't impact on Kent’s supermarkets for consumer support would gradually buy up - perhaps slighter cheaper NZ stock - for it to then be replaced with Californian wine etc.

The excellent Lloyds Bank report on the UK food and wine trade's 4x increase last year suggests the loss would be NZ's. With more sheep than people, Kiwis are unlikely to cope with the excess inventory and eat the mountains of lamb or drink the lakes of wine themselves.

Even Tonga and Samoa are balking at greasy offcuts of NZ lamb on health grounds - is killing other people's citizens a NZ way of working?

And nearby Australia's wine and lamb markets are unlikely to welcome Kiwi stock dumping - nor Infratil investments in Oz pensioner care homes. California's and Chile's wine markets and retailers also have their own bigger fish to fry than NZ wine. And beef rather than lamb is the cultural stew of choice from USA to Argentina.

And certainly changing NZ Air landing slots at Heathrow would be a longer-term issue for any Project Chokehold, although a tightening-up on NZ visas and residency would be less problematic given the Brexit nonsense on EU citizens.

Perhaps EU citizens in UK would be replaced by NZ refugees from the wine and lamb industries.

NZ might even want to try being China's Farm rather than Britain's Farm, with a taste of Chinese democracy and tariffs. The NZ milk powder scandal though leaving an unpleasant taste in many Chinese mouths. And lamb and wine playing second cultural fiddle to pork and beer in Asia.

Certainly dynamic and respected Kiwi leaders such as former PM's John Key and Helen Clark can't really justify keeping the Infratil directors away from justice or jeopardising long-standing UK-NZ relations even if they don't want the Queen as head of state?

Nobody's denying Infratil didn't carry out the Manston-Infratil crimes, and gunrunning and drugs flights, that even the FBI and ATF must be concerned about. There’s not even an attempt at coverup now.

And it’s worth remembering the Manston pollution and weather monitors were major sites in the whole London and South East network. UK citizens across Kent and London have been endangered.

The collpase of Kent governance continues apace.

With KCC councillors featured in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs for their only act before their lengthy Summer holidays of voting a 15% pay increase from a recommeneded 1.5% increase. This makes them the UK's highest paid councillors and with the most over £100k civil service salaries - none of this in any manifesto.

Now after a Summer of inaction matched only by Parliament, the councillors have cancelled the September KCC meeting as they have nothing to do.

The County Barn is now empty except for tumbleweed drifting down Kent's drug-ridden and potholed High Streets.

KCC Leader Carter and TDC leader Wells and RTC Mayor Shonk must go: mere drones to rubberstamp civil service salaries and pensions.

It's only mere silence now from NZ's Wellington airport and Kent's councils in Maidstone and Margate.

Nobody wants trade sanctions but perhaps that's for the best if the alternative is the Infratil directors remaining at large.

And certainly with Brexit and coastal deprivation adding to East Kent's woes - so near to Maidstone and so far from Flanders - perhaps a winter of discontent will help freshen up attitudes to East Kent in UK too?

A new UK Life Sciences strategy by Lord Bell, ignoring East Kent's Discovery Park formerly the largest USA inward investment in Europe with Pfizer, for a few hackneyed Oxbridge tweaks is thin gruel.

The Eastwest Oxbridge rail-link is perfectly valid but hardly a pharma strategy – the Sunday Times reporting on the overcrowded housing markets of Oxbridge. The sensible Whitehall Out of Whitehall strategy, to pump-prime deprived areas outside London with public sector funds and jobs, also stalling.

No wonder Maidstone is so congested – with constant calls for more public funds for tarmacking -given the same over-centralised approach. And vanity projects for half-empty business parks and retail parks hold sway over park parks in the Garden of England.

Council and business tax strikes might well be a useful adjunct to the NZ trade sanctions to freshen up ideas about East Kent from our stagnant councils and quangos.

But, removing the air pollution monitors with TDC and KCC to develop Manston airport is an outrage.

The latest Private Eye details Cheshire East council in the Rotten Boroughs article with that council manipulating its air pollution figures deliberately and systematically for at least 3 years.

TDC and Infratil did the same (and Gloag-Stagecoach too) for at least 10 years even removing monitors and pretending they were monitoring. And incurring almost nothing in fines.

Cheshire East has now suspended two senior environmental officers, Tracey Bettany and Phil Mason with a third, Nick Kelly, off work with stress, presumably at being found out rather than concern at polluting the public.

The water scandal in Flint Michigan has also resulted in vigorous prosecutions of council officials for corporate manslaughter.

While it’s reassuring to see the Klity Creek scandal in Thailand of lead poisoning somewhat resolved with multi-billion baht fines and compensation. And Japan leading on a global mercury poisoning ban:

TDC has done nothing except cover-up the crimes and remain silent. As have TDC and KCC councillors. Kent's Environment Agency officials, and Berry, Button and Sproates the TDC environment officers, continue on full salaries.

While Bogoievski, Baker and Fitzgerald and Clarke remain at large in Wellington airport NZ - with the closure of almost a dozen UK and EU and NZ airports. And even the Infratil CEO dying of cancer.

Clearly Kent Police and their pensions are scared to raise the extradition details and put councillors and officials under oath in a public inquiry. Leader Carter of KCC and leader Wells of TDC and Mayor Shonk were involved in the Manston project so now keeping silent on the cancer victim crimes.

NZ trade sanctions on wine and lamb may well spur on debate in NZ and UK on the Infratil directors. The NZ stock exchange may also query why Infratil as one of NZ's largest corporations was falsifying its report and accounts for years with the fake Manston fines.

Australians might also want to question their consumption of NZ lamb and wine as well as the Infratil pensioner care homes. Poisoning Kent's citizens and environment is hardly ideal and makes a mockery of the NZ Air 100% Pure slogan. Perhaps NZ have developed a cunning strategy in merely exporting their pollution onto Kent and European citizens.

Or, in not the first free passage Down Under, should the TDC officials be extradited to stand trial with the Infratil criminals in NZ?

The UK Bar set low with Lord Grabiner's set of fraudsters at One Essex Court weakening the UK High Court.

UK and NZ have always had good relationships and an increasing tourism economy so a Project Chokehold is less than ideal. Why should The Kiwi Killers of Infratil be allowed to jeopardise that with wider NZ trade sanctions?

Time for Change

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Caribbean and UK Resilience not very resilient at all?

Trouble arrives in battalions to misquote Shakespeare. And certainly the Caribbean at the moment is suffering a sea of Resilience troubles. I've written previously on Texas and UK and Storm Harvey:

And now with Storm Irma the most prolonged storm ever with winds over 185mph and Storm Jose only slightly less worse as a Category 4, storm the Caribbean is under siege from Climate Change.

While the Richter scale 8 earthquake on Mexico's Pacific side is the worst in over a century and will no doubt impact on Mexico's support for Texas in the recovery from Storm Harvey.

The UK response is unfortunately categorised as weak already. The Royal Navy caught napping with ships having to deploy from UK - and just 40 Royal Marines - as the French and Dutch navy, and troops, were already on the ground in their Caribbean colonies.

The shambles of beach landing kit not being able to land on the beach and some of it then airlifted in by helicopter speaks volumes for preparedness.

Clearly a review is required of UK resilience support in the Caribbean once the storms have subsided and the bodies are buried - the slow response along with confusion on which landing areas to use and even communication completely lost from the islands suggest much is to be done.

Not to have ships and aid forward-positioned during the storm season is astonishing.

And UNOCHA one of the humanitarian organisations with UK's former DFID heads now at the helm needs to consider its response too: deploying bureaucrats so late in the day is of little use unless they have their sleeves rolled up. They were needed months before in the planning phase. And the Caribbean islands don't have a government or telephones or internet to advise?

Why would aid take longer than 6 hours to arrive in any Caribbean disaster?

The Caribbean Commonwealth failing to organise a network of aid depots is a failure in itself. No point in the Caribbean or Central America is more than c.1,000 miles radius from any other point - about the length of Britain.

Imagine a Resilience disaster in UK that took days before ships were even dispatched – perhaps we should hope the Dutch navy turn up.

Barney Barges of aid might be a solution in themselves given the new debate on the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy, and most defence spend geared to maintaining jobs and increased military spend, rather than any real military threat.

The Plymouth shipmakers helping developing the HRonn robot-barge carrying shipping containers to be easily unloaded by helicopter might be more relevant for Resilience:

Certainly a flotilla of such Barney Barges would not be much of a loss if they sank in a storm - the UK's aircraft carriers unlikely to ever be deployed as too expensive to use or lose.

FMCG manufacturers could use up near-expiry date products reducing waste. And flying bottled water around the world in emergencies must be absurd compared to pre-prepared water bowsers and water purification plants.

And a review of helicopters available is needed: damaged ports and harbours as with the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 require airlift capability. The UK providing just 12 helicopters for a dozen Caribbean islands now is again feeble.

The issue of whether UK helicopters can fly in rain, as with the scandal of UK helicopters in Afghanistan not being provided and being incapable of a dust-off because it's dusty in the desert, is best left to when the storm clouds have subsided.

Providing aid on standby is also relevant for the Pacific coast of Central America and Latin America given the frequent storms and earthquakes: Santiago in Chile in 2015 with a tsunami too. It would be absurd given the UK and USA and Canadian navies along with Chile and Mexico and Argentina if aid had to be prioritised to either the Caribbean or Pacific.

While the Chilean navy focusing on blood and organ donations is a necessary precaution too. 35,000 deaths from natural disasters each year is a drop in the ocean compared to those injured. The Royal Navy turning up at the last minute with an Elastoplast and its rum ration is of little use.

The taxpayer funding a navy that cannot, or is not, to be used is a rather expensive farce.

Global emergency telephone numbers and websites would be a simple and far-reaching reform. You may know to telephone 999 or 911 but would tourists or children? And a hurricane is no time to be googling a list of disaster numbers or websites.

Barbuda and Anguilla, and no doubt Puerto Rico and Cuba, and Florida and Georgia as the storms progress, look as if a nuclear bomb has been detonated over them. Perhaps an eerie reminder of the dangers of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

While the Yucatan area formed from a huge meteor strike - similar to the Meteor Crater in Flagstaff Arizona, in USA - and aptly near both the NASA launch site in Florida and European launch site in French Guyana - require different Resilience in space preparation.

After over 50 years of space activity for there to be no global plan on space exploration or even Mars2030 is absurd - as is the lack of weather satellites, space junk clearance or satellites around every planet and moon in the solar system.

Without such measures space exploration will be hindered as well as preparation for storms such as Irma or earthquakes and volcanoes as per the eruption in 2010 of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull, disrupting more flights since WW2, and global Climate threat of Krakatoa before that with shorter Summers and harvests.

Resilience planning relevant in UK too - and here in East Kent one can imagine how feeble the preparations are given the severe storms of 1953 and 1978 across Kent and Benelux with hundreds dead, and increased use of the Thames Flood Barrier. Or indeed any part of the UK or coast given nowhere in Britain is more than 75 miles from the sea.

The carnage of the Xmas sales would be nothing to the emptying of supermarket shelves in a major disaster.

Questions are already rightly being raised of over 1,200 dead in floods in India, Nepal (with its prior major earthquake) and Bangladesh and preparedness in ASEAN, with more Thailand floods: 20 provinces declared emergency and of course Pacific islands through Indonesia (the Aceh Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 with over 100,000 dead) and Philippines and Solomons etc.

The Pacific Commonwealth with Malaysia and Singapore and Australia must surely be better prepared than the Caribbean?

In reviewing the UK aid response though questions must be raised over the Caribbean tax havens and cocaine routes detailed in the Panama papers. Clearly UK aid is not tied to response and support but equally clearly - storms or not - the UK's acceptance of and involvement in - Caribbean tax havens is long overdue for major reform.

The brass plaque money-launderers for arms dealers, or African dictators and drug barons won't be rushing aid to the Caribbean.

While the storms impact on the cocaine and marijuana harvests make a Doitung strategy of crop reform all the more viable. Many farmers would no doubt prefer to grow legitimate crops, or develop the tourism industry, as well as avoiding the pollution of drugs production chemicals.

The UK public already lending their support through Red Cross shouldn't be expected to sanction business as usual in the Caribbean tax havens.

I've long urged Ramsgate as a Red Cross Town focus - not one but two charity shops now -along with a DFID office, given the successful Whitehall Out of Whitehall strategy of freeing up expensive central London office space. And urging Discovery Park STEM labs focused on TB vaccines research and manufacture of malaria nets, and water purifying tablets for Resilience.

Haiti suffering as no doubt will the other Caribbean islands, with cholera outbreaks from broken sewers and sewage floods, as with 600,000 affected in Yemen, are a problem long after the initial storm damage.

In East Kent the council murk and reluctance to detail the secret directors over mega-projects such as Pleasurama (British Virgin Islands) and Dreamland (Cayman Islands) and Pavilion is symptomatic of East Kent failure and the spread of Caribbean tax havens.

And just this week,concerns raised at creditor meetings over Dreamland, one of the largest UK amusement parks in UK and certainly the largest in Kent even with the proposed Paramount theme park, and Arrowgrass a Margate yet Cayman Islands company.

Dreamland with millions of public funds and Lottery funds already deployed after rather haphazard development over c.15 years raises questions on council involvement and secret directors and shareholders as with the BHS - Lord Grabiner/Green scandal:

With moves to make the Pacific Plastic Patch officially a country, the UK Caribbean tax havens are merely a drain on UK tax.

And Storm Irma and Harvey and the Mexican earthquake (storms have alphabetical names but not earthquakes?) prove Resilience and Climate Change problems arrive in battalions - if only the military response did too.

Time for Change

* concerning the Nemo Link seems to be already dredging part of the Pegwell Bay RAMSAR UNESCO site - exactly the sort of thing UNESCO designation is meant to prevent
* silence from TDC Leader Wells on the Manston Infratil crimes and aquifer
* silence extended to over 3 months from KCC Leader Carter in cancelling the KCC public meetings - their only act so far by councillors is increasing their own salaries. The County Barn is Empty and with a Zombie Parliament and caretaker government on the Brexit monoissue
* Time for UK sanctions on NZ lamb and wine (certainly a boost for Kent lamb and wine and other New World wines) given the delays in extradition form Wellington airport of the Infratil directors involved in the Manston-Infratil corporate manslaughter with KCC and TDC removing the airport monitors and faking the pollution data and fines

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Cruise control Kent and Manston-Infratil drug/gun-running

The latest Tom Cruise blockbuster American Made has opened to rave reviews: Cruise on top form, best movie he's done in years, film of the week, Cruise flying high and so on.

Certainly questions must be being asked at Universal studios with such superlatives and the August Bank Holiday opening, why such weak to nonexistent publicity - and that with the film being in the can for over a year too.

While with director Doug Liman attached to the package - giving Christopher Nolan of megamovie Dunkirk a run for his money as one of the world’s greatest living directors - of the Bourne movie franchise, and also working with Cruise on Edge of Tomorrow, a box office hit was almost guaranteed.

The Paramount theme park in West Kent once again drifting sideways would be a huge asset for the UK entertainment industry and Bluewater retail park. Certainly Mission Impossible rides would be a novel experience.

And if the Paramount drift understandably continues then a James Bond World would be apt for Kent as 007 county - a Roger Moore Scaramanga Hall of Mirrors or Octopussy circus surely another apt shoo-in amongst the VR rides. While a Harry Potter theme park is another neglected UK asset given the global success of the books and films and computer games. Hogwarts has been a massive injection of vitality into the UK's acting talent such as East Kent's Timothy Spall and special effects industries.

Perhaps the opportunity for UK film to move beyond an ad-hoc cottage industry will be lost without political will.

JK Rowling perhaps with Bond and Cruise make a rather neglected triumvirate for UK's Creative Industries. It's almost impossible to imagine that say Disney -even before its Star Wars expansion -would have neglected the opportunities from such talent.

There's possibly an argument for both Cruise and Liman to be given UK citizenship for their consistent support of Britain's movie industry. George Osborne when Chancellor was one of the few politicians to grasp the potential of UK Creative Industries through the studio system, post-production, music, skills and training, special effects and computer games.

But why the Kent Cruise connection? The Dunkirk megamovie has obvious connections here in East Kent with the Ramsgate Little Ships rescuing UK and French soldiers off the beaches, and Operation Dynamo directed from Dover by Admiral Ramsay.

Well, American Made has a clue in its former - and rather better title - Mena.

Not the Middle East and North Africa acronym, but Mena in Arkansas, USA, the airport which Cruise's real-life character Barry Seal flew in and out of with cocaine and guns to supply both the Contras in Nicaragua and Medellin drugs cartel in Colombia.

Clearly a small out-of-the-way rural airport used for gunrunning and drugs resonates with both Manston airport here in East Kent under Infratil, and indeed Lydd and Ostend airports.

The Infratil directors are still on the run, Fitzgerald, Clarke, Bogoievski and Baker, but based in Wellington airport - yet all the other Infratil UK and EU airports and even Rotorua in NZ closed down.

Almost a dozen airports closed from the airport monitors scandal with TDC council of removing the monitors and faking the data and missing multi-million pound fines to develop Manston as another Gatwick - mere minutes flytime from the half-empty Gatwick and Stansted.

As the ludicrous scheme fell apart a wave of illegal and semi-legal activity ratcheted upwards eg KAM Air Afghan air transport somehow managing to fly undetected across Europe via Vienna to almost crashland at Manston. The bellyflop onto the houses at the runway would have incinerated its claimed cargo of Argentine polo ponies as well as the residents in a Kent Lockerbie. The airplane tail dragging off the runway into the grass leaving a knee-deep furrow.

Cruise’s Barry Seal character managed to only crashland a light plane into houses.

While UN-sanctioned airlines were clearly involved in gunrunning via Ostend into Africa. Then sanctions-busting was evident with Iran Air:

Guns via Iran for the Contras being a key facet of the Barry Seal Mena flights.

While new narco-states such as Guinea-Bissau are also a correlation to the closure of airports such as Mena as cocaine routes out of Peru and Colombia into Europe change. While Ostend gunrunning certainly fuelled the conflicts in Africa from Libya to Sudan that have resulted in four famines not from crop failure, but conflict. While the Liberia and DRC Congo conflicts would yield only blood diamonds via Ostend to Antwerp.

Ostend airport – again as blatantly as Manston or Mena - the base for Viktor Bout eventually arrested and extradited from Bangkok by Thai police and the DEA/FBI, and who also achieved movie fame as the basis of the Nicolas Cage and Ethan Hawke film Lord of War.

Hawke also filming in Ramsgate for Juliet Naked, Nick Hornby’s book rather than Shakespeare raises the issue again of the need for an East Kent Film office and studio as a counterweight to the usual Maidstone/West Kent/Chatham Dockyard focus. And promoting and regenerating the area beyond the usual handful tarmac apprenticeships. £2BN a year in tax and central government funds doesn't seem to have bought much regeneration via Kent's councils in any of the 3 Kent districts.
And certainly not in East Kent far away from London and further away from Maidstone, indeed nearer to France and Benelux.

The absence of a Kent 50M Olympic pool speaks volumes - especially with France having the nearest sports facility to East Kent. While ice rinks in Bangkok one of the world's hottest cities but none in Bolero Kent suggests idleness as well as corruption infecting Kent's body politic.

The lack of imagination if not downright corruption on the Kent Fire $1M fire station on sports land or the mega-boozer castigated in The Guardian also speaks volumes of municipal failure and clunking incompetence opening the day after one of the hottest and busiest Bank Holidays:

While the BBC Plane Drunk documentary highlighting Wetherspoons at Gatwick with a shocking 50% increase in out of hand airport drinking. Even Barry Seal flew sober surrounded by bags of cocaine.

Clearly on EKFO S though there's plenty of projects available to core fund the project whether digitising the History of Advertising Trust and British Film Institute archives before they literally crumble to dust - the flammable decay of old films being a key plot point in the Quentin Tarantino- Brad Pitt movie Inglourious Basterds. With Pitt filming World War Z in East Kent at the Discovery Park science labs clearly the opportunity is there to deliver big budget studio and location filming on cruise control.

Indeed the new UK DIT trade offices in California's Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have UK film and TV as the remit along with the movie belt from DIT offices on the eastern seaboard from Boston to Virginia - Kent's sister state helmed by dynamic Governor Terry McAuliffe with former Governor and Senator and VP candidate Tim Kaine, and former Senator Vietnam's Jim Webb a movie expert too having written Rules of Engagement starring Tommy Lee Jones - and South Carolina.

But Cruise as Barry Seal and Mena has a disturbing variance on the Manston and Ostend crimes. For the Mena gunrunning and drug running was created and financed by the American government as part of the Oliver North Contra scandal of selling arms to Iran, to yield funds for the Contras to overthrow the Nicaraguan regime.
That an unusual twist on standard Monroe interventionist foreign policy in the USA's Caribbean and Latin American backyard over the last 100 years or so. Take your pick of Chile or Guatemala or Panama or Grenada in recent decades. Or further back Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba.

But unlike say the Cuban exile armies in Florida and Guatemala with US military support plotting to overthrow Castro, Cruise's Barry Seal – and other pilots such as Gene Hasenfus who crashlanded and spilled the proverbial beans, as well as the Bolivian marching powder, to the John Kerry Congressional inquiry - would deliver arms and funds to the Contras from Mena, but on the return flight fill up the empty planes with cocaine to be sold for further funds in USA.

The US military, CIA and government directly funding and assisting drug trafficking into USA is beyond the norm and beyond the pale. While unmarked planes as at Manston or cargo planes into warzones raises issues of endangering aid workers compared to say guns only flown on marked air force flights with uniformed military.

Kerry who went on to be Presidential candidate against Barack Obama, then head of the Dept of State concluded: "there is no question in my mind that people connected with the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while in support of the Contras."

Perhaps though there's never been a better time for reversing the drugs trade - the FARC peace treaty in Colombia ends one key facet of the drugs trade, the Mexican drugs trade concentrates the problem in that nation with or without Trump's new wall.

And a new surge of US troops in Afghanistan will impact that heroin trade as does democracy in Myanmar under the Aung San regime. And the massive expansion of UK aid frees up funds for Doitung-style social projects. While UNODC regularly highlights the African nations and European ports descending into the narcotrade.
Perhaps the rather feeble UK support for Aung San's Mynamar is currently the weakest link in the chain.

The Manston crimes were slightly less blatant than Mena but clearly Charles Fitzgerald the Manston manger moving from Manston to Lydd airport suggests a lack of CAA rigeur to put it mildly. And Afghan flights wandering across all of EU airspace is also surprising as Egyptair flights taking off from Cairo to land at 3am at Manston. When the airport closed at 11pm - before the planes even set off.

DAS Air, Cargolux at Stansted and KLM off-route pollution ignored, falsified and buried by politicians and bureaucrats and police can yield only a crop of tumours. The cancer effect and explanation perhaps taking as long as Mena to come to light in Kent.

While the lack of extradition efforts by Kent Police for Infratil's directors` - and an inquiry into the Gloag-Stagecoach running of Manston - is turning a blind eye worthy of Nelson given developing Manston was a KCC and TDC and the now defunct SEEDA core aim.

The silence from the bureaucrats and politicians is simply deafening - and all the more horrifying with Gale MP and Mackinlay MP and Wells supposedly wanting to reopen Manston yet refusing to confront the Infratil and TDC crimes.

Barry Seal ended up being pursued by the FBI, DEA, ATF and State police, yet Manston seems to warrant only a coverup. And a cargo airplane can carry an awful lot of drugs.

The book The Candy Machine How Cocaine Took over the World by Tom Feiling though provides a rigorous review of both the Mena-Contra case, and cocaine in general, with Hangars 4 and 5 at Ilopango airport in San Salvador (El Salvador with one of the world's highest murder rates) used as a trampoline to Mena by Oliver North and CIA for cocaine from Colombia and Costa Rica.

So much cocaine between 1982 and 1985 flew the Mena-Contra routes, that the wholesale price of cocaine in Baltimore and Los Angeles and Miami fell by half.
Feiling posits the view that Mena also directly fuelled the explosion in crack cocaine from the 1980's with Baltimore as a post-industrial town (shades of East Kent again) with the closure of the Bethlehem steelworks causing a social implosion as depicted in the TV series The Wire.

The Mena drugs route shifted the drugs trade away from Miami to Central America and eventually Mexico contributing to that nation’s problems and Trumpian wall.

Feiling estimates 290 tons of cocaine a year constitute the US drugs trade - that could in theory be carried by just 13 trucks - with 90% of that coming through Mexico and the 6,000 trucks at just the Laredo border crossing. Worryingly often hidden inside pineapples. While an astonishing 30% of Mexican farmland is estimated to be sown with marijuana or opium seeds - certainly also ripe for Doitung projects on crops and markets.

5,600 drugs deaths in just one year, 2008, in Mexico are in stark contrast to 2,400 US troop deaths in Afghanistan since 2001.

While the CIA collusion in Laotian heroin in the American War – Air America being a similar Mena airline and an awful Mel Gibson movie - and Afghan heroin in the Russian War are part of a dangerous pattern. Indeed the expansion of both Shan heroin in Myanmar and Afghan heroin from the current USA war has resulted in the highest ever UK and USA drugs deaths, and 1.8M US citizens are estimated to work in the drugs trade.

Clearly East Kent's small-ish 30 or so market towns aren't comparable to the inner-city decay of USA - although that is partly why the blatancy of the Manston-Infratil crimes stands out. And the lack of any effort by the $3BN a year councils symbolised by the still-empty Chatham Dockyard after 30 years except as a barren film set, or Medway with the worst primary schools in UK, and at least 2 of the UK's worst councils, all by the government's own figures, is astonishing.

Yet Kent Police have Dover Europe's largest port on their patch as well as the small harbours such as Ramsgate with Operation Kraken, and Operation Pegasus for small airports such as Lydd that are part of the EU Golden Triangle of London, Paris and Amsterdam. And 90% of illegal drugs seizures in Belgium.

Clearly the Manston crimes, beyond local government involvement, are part of a wider illegality in Frontline Kent with the UK's largest gun haul at Rochester Marina by Kent Police and numerous drugs arrests.

One reassuring aspect is Thailand now active in South to South cooperation with the Colombia and FARC ceasefire to reduce cocaine through the afore-mentioned Doitung Royal projects that have been a superb success in Thailand. But the wave of drug deaths, from amphetamines rather than heroin, under the Shinawatra regime and now the Philippines Duterte regime show the increasing threat of drugs and terrorism funding in Asia-Pacific.

The new USA troop surge into Afghanistan is in response to the failing security situation with essentially the loss of Helmand fought and bled over by UK troops, and all points out of Kandahar. Just 600 troops in Kabul something of a failure of UK and NATO resolve as is the flow of heroin actually increasing.

This week's Sunday Times details the potential collapse of Afghanistan and certainly a Taliban takeover without NATO troops. And Pakistani safe havens for the Taliban is astonishing for a Commonwealth nation. Osama Bin Laden killed just yards away from the Pakistani Sandhurst hardly suggests a NATO and Commonwealth united front.

While, UK success in bus exports to one side for the moment, in Mexico the wave of drug crime has destabilised the whole nation and surely calls for greater UK support.

Indeed Lincolnshire Police have begun scoping out Operation California which should encompass both road safety expertise sharing - a sort of CHiPs with everything - all the more important with the dawn of autonomous vehicles on UK roads next year from Silicon Valley, and drug crime coordination in USA and Latin America and the Caribbean Commonwealth, with Kent Police and Cheshire Police.

Kent Police's Innovation Fund begun with Deputy Chief Brandon's Las Vegas Predictive Policing hasn't yet rolled out and is perhaps more fitted to some of the larger Commonwealth nations such as Jamaica that wouldn't necessarily know of it or fund it themselves. Nor has community activity been prioritised as yet by Charlton Athletic or Arsenal that provide future teen BMXers FA Cup and Olympics sports opportunities beyond drug running.

And those honest Mexican or British Virgin Islands or Colombian or Peruvian - or USA - police might well appreciate British police contacts.

Feiling's book details the growth of Jamaican Yardies: Operation Airbridge by UK-Jamaican police found 25% of passengers arriving from Jamaica were carrying cocaine, with over 400 Jamaican female drugs mules in UK prisons, and Feiling interviewing one in Cookham prison in Kent. Yet still Jamaica seizing a record 3.7 tons of cocaine in 2002.

While East Kent is familiar with the drugs supply chain of banks and accountants - along with dodgy lawyers and barristers and judges such as Grabiner's One Essex Court - that UK still hasn't prevented in the Commonwealth: British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands all fronting mysterious Kent property developments and secret directors to much shuffling of feet and umming and ahhing by the councils and police.

Add in Turks and Caicos or Bermuda or nearer to home Jersey and Gibraltar and Isle of Man and you have the UK pretty much facilitating the entire money laundering industry for the drugs trade in USA's backyard. Monroe would be turning in his grave.

Clearly as with Jamaica, UK police could close down much of that Commonwealth activity almost instantly - the UK Supreme Court being the Supreme Court of most of the Caribbean Commonwealth, although the existence of the death penalty in some of those nations but not UK rather makes a mockery of that legal process - and certainly even more rapidly with the support of Bolivian generals or Mexican and Peruvian police and politicians and civil society.

While Thailand's ACT anti-corruption activity is far more advanced than UK and another Doitung template available for export.

Thailand and Doitung has proved that the drugs war can be won in the long-term through a mix of policing and crop markets, and where UK could support too, in medicare. The medicalisation of say cocaine use would, without contributing to the drugs tourism that even Amsterdam is rowing back on, also reduce much of the cultural glamour.

Tom Cruise on location in London for Mission Impossible 6, despite nursing an injured knee from his stunt work can revel in some of the best reviews of his career and has moved Kent into cruise control in flagging up the drugs war.

If the Latin American drugs trade, and USA drugs trade, certainly at Mena and the Contras, was American Made, then the Manston-Infratil crimes are made in UK and NZ.

Time for Change

Thursday, 24 August 2017

UK On the Buses - Mexican and Thai Style?

With both Mexico and Thailand as top 5 UK growth economies for trade and tourism the news of 90 London buses to Mexico is a great result for UK.

Indeed London bendy buses also being donated to Sudan is another superb result with increased DFID UK aid and Kent's Royal Engineers and JCB support, to help that nation fend off famine and conflict. As well as making real the Cape to Cairo road and rail network - and cargo airstrips - from Nairobi in Kenya to Lake Nasser in Egypt.

A link that is also vital in opening up the Eastern seaboard of Africa to India and ASEAN along with OBOR investment in ports from Djibouti to Dhakar. And Sudan long hampered with the problem of being the nation with the fewest roads.

And surely the glut of Thai rice pledge cereals - and normal harvest surplus - should more quickly and profitably find its way to hungry mouths in Bangladesh and India and East Africa? Four famines in Central Africa is a monstrous failure of UNSDG30 and UNFAO and Commonwealth efforts for zero famine.

But back to Mexico, and 90 Arthur Dennis buses is a terrific effort by Liam Fox UK Trade Minister while battling the silliness of Brexit. As well as dealing with an over-reliance on bureaucratic mega-trade deals that hardly deliver a bean in real terms, and can't be delivered until - if at all - UK has left the EU, transition period and all.

Slovakia's PM has already spoken out for the EU27 - and 48% of UK citizens - against UK cherry-picking aspects of EU membership or even assuming part of Brexit is done until it is all agreed.

Having your cake and eating it just isn't on the EU's Brexit menu.

Prime Minister May herself, just back from holiday for the opening of Parliament, was rightly bussed in to the Dennis factory on BBCTV news to celebrate the contract - and no doubt encouraging wiser business heads such as Grant Shapps, former Tory Chair, and Andrew Mitchell, former DFID head, with crossparty support for such trades.

A specific bus contract - or any other bilateral trade contract such as food or services or tourism - is perfectly viable beyond pie-in-the-sky-someday-never mega-trade deals. The Brexit fault lines have revealed a UK over-reliance on mega all-inclusive all-encompassing trade deals. Indeed Minister Fox isn't resting on his laurels in Mexico, but already banging the drum for UK plc in USA with VP Pence, and in Panama.

Surely that other notable Scot, former Foreign Minister Alex Salmond should be coopted into UK and Scots trade activity for a more united kingdom, rather than treading the boards at the Edinburgh Fringe. The hotel and plane minibar might be drained of IrnBru, but it would certainly ramp up broader UK trade efforts.

EKFOS aside, the UK trade offices in San Diego and Los Angeles must also be best placed to capitalise on UK film and television success whether mega movies such as Dunkirk or mega series such as Downton Abbey or quirkier UK efforts. Not to mention the oft-neglected UK computer games and special effects industries that put the kapow into much of Hollywood. Many UK companies without support against the headwinds of Brexit and a softer economy, could jump the Brexit ship to Dublin or Berlin or Amsterdam.

While much of the USA pharma industry stretching from Boston to South Carolina must be ripe for further investment in UK whether focused on lesser known cancers such as liver and colon, or the modern plagues of dementia and diabetes. Or even the old-fashioned plagues of TB and HIV.

And the 90 buses represent only a part of the 5,000(!) London buses driving around Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand etc - the Mexican deal not just including aircon but training and parts and engineering support.

Inter-city buses in Latin America might well be best left to the repurposed USA school buses that I recall threading their way down through the PanAmericana from California to Mexico and Guatemala and Belize and Honduras and Peru.

But surely UK buses should be at the forefront of Latin America's megacity metropolitan bus services? The UK -German car industry could well give General Motors a run for its money in Latin America, with a strategic brand review of Landrover Jaguar and VW.

And UK activity with Bangkok rail is also feted in the Minister Fox contracts.

With the Bestlin 489 Bangkok buses parked at Customs for breaching ASEAN trade deals, and the saga of the Bangkok fire engines, surely UK and Thailand should move into a higher gear on transport? Even on sharing train and metro/tube expertise - particularly now HS3 the hispeed route across UK, from Liverpool - perhaps Britain's coolest city - to City of Culture Hull, is prioritised over HS2 the vertical Y-route from London to Manchester to Newcastle.

Why shouldn't Thailand also capitalise on the volume of new Bombardier carriages that will be required for those routes? Kent's HS1 route from the Channel Tunnel to London and the 2012 Olympics stadium has been a huge and proven success in speed and comfort in both the hispeed and regular trains.

While Lord Heseltine is helicoptered in to keep The City on track with the Thames Gateway Coastal Kent project around Docklands and Ebbsfleet Garden City with Paramount theme park.

That theme park currently seems Mission Impossible - but delays open the door to Disney and Warner's Harry Potter, both giant magnets for UK tourism nestled next to Bluewater, Europe's largest shopping centre. A part of such access will no doubt be tweaks including the regular train commuter route from Kent through to France and Benelux.

That rail service will be a boon too for connecting Kent and Benelux hospitals to share expertise and reduce waiting times - with Kent's rather beleaguered NHS this week gaining a shot in the arm as one of 11 UK areas to gain Whitehall support for increasing overseas medical staff, with 2,000 nurses and doctors required.

Surely that’s an opportunity for both Thailand and Philippines to gain special priority visas and English language training without UK plundering their health services or universities? Minister Fox as an NHS doctor would no doubt be keen to ensure those health contracts and even Operation Smile cleft palate surgeries or Moorfields eye hospital franchises, are a roaring success in ASEAN too.

With the new Bangkok bus route changes with English letters and colour-coded routes surely there's never been a better time for UK and Thailand to work together. Not just on the buses themselves - and aircon should certainly be welcomed by Bangkokian commuters - but also Thai and English language websites and mobile apps and bus shelter real-time information.

While the engineering and servicing training and parts packages that would grow Thailand's autoparts industry too?

One could argue that UK's Crossrail and Chunnel tunneling expertise - both projects, along with The Shard and Docklands and Thames Gateway the largest construction projects Europe has ever seen - would be ideally placed for Thailand's monsoon storm drains and sewers?

While an open top double decker would be a boon for Bangkok's tourist industry - just as the launch of East Kent's open top bus between the world's first seaside resorts of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, is a sure sign of Summer. And the London tourism open top buses from Madame Tussaud's to Big Ben are a great way to see London.

The Mexican bus export deal with London's limeys, surely means there's also room for one more up top - if not 489 - with Thailand's buses and trains?


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Mr Surin and ASEAN 50th

With the founding of ASEAN celebrated from the Bangkok Declaration last week of 8th August 1967 surely a more critical overview of ASEAN is needed - and reflections on the next 50 years?

Former Secretary-General and Bangkok governor candidate Khun Surin Pitsuwan detailed many of the celebratory points in his Manila speech.

Certainly the evolution of ASEAN from a Cold War anti-Communist alliance at the height of the American War in Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos in 1967, between only Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore - in effect replacing SEATO and ASA - to a South East Asia-wide grouping of 10 nations is a success in itself.

But is Mr Surin’s overview too positive - does the ASEAN giant have feet of clay? Celebratory bureaucratic beanfeasts, backslapping and bunfights and vague exhortations of unity are all well and good, and preferable to the blood-drenched paddy fields of the past. But is process leading content?

And is that unity down to ASEAN as an organisation?

ASEAN's first 17 years involved no wider sense of Asian unity - indeed Thai and Filipino military contingents served in Vietnam. While Vietnamese incursions into Laos and Cambodia were repeated for decades – the current Laos and Cambodia military dispute a disturbing reminder of when Asia was a less peaceful place.

And ASEAN had no united voice for decades on either the SLORC military regime in Myanmar, nor China's invasion of Vietnam in 1979, nor, of concern for the future, the Chinese seizure of the Paracels in 1974.

Indeed the present day South China Sea dispute of Paracels and Spratlys are the elephant in the room for ASEAN.

A Chinese empire may well replace the Western empires that fittingly and finally ended with the withdrawal of the first Western empire of Portugal from Macao in 1999.

While the earlier Chinese takeaway of Hong Kong in 1997 from UK still leaves an unpleasant taste, both with UK’s failure to establish democracy rather than a cod-council junta, and now the Chinese arrests of the Umbrella Movement dissidents for democracy.

And on trade ASEAN has a mixed record to say the least - the AEC only just scraped into being at the end of 2015 rather than the beginning, and is still more of a bureaucratic paper tiger than a resurgence of the tiger economies of pre-ASEAN days that most Asians must surely be banking on for future growth.

While ASEAN's weak social record is perhaps symbolised by the baying of the mob and the last chopper from Pattaya as ASEAN ministers fled their summit in 2009. The death penalty moratorium by Malaysia this week on mandatory death sentences for drugs is a positive move for ASEAN human rights. Yet not regionally coordinated by ASEAN.

While HIV and Malaria and TB still not overcome in ASEAN again not for lack of funds available not major pharma companies such as Pfizer or institutions such as Ford Foundation and even Cabbages and Condoms movements.

And the latter is surely a major gap in ASEAN policy in cultivating a Civil Society culture beyond the State or Military: groups such as Greenpeace or Red Cross and Ban Krut and Klity Creek.

If the intention is for ASEAN to be an Asian EU in reducing conflict, and coordinating and improving economic and social policy then much remains to be done. So far the roadmap looks to be full of blind alleys and U-turns rather than a superhighway of turbocharged tech and souped-up agricultural trade.

The EU had rather different beginnings to ASEAN in originating with the specific intention to end the tribal conflicts of Europe that post-1945 had reduced the place to rubble again. The important - then - sharing of resources such as coal and steel between Benelux, France and Germany was driven by Schuman's ESCS removing the need for conflict over those resources where possible.

Strasbourg and Flanders and the Saar Rhineland changed hands for years for their coalfields and steelworks as much as for imperial vanity as economics. The P22 US Navy 1950’s gunboat berthed in Ramsgate harbour is a reminder of USA Marshall Aid and peacekeeping after WW2.

Brexit may well have sounded the death-knell for the Little England approach, compared to greater unity, yet paradoxically has highlighted the need for substantial reform of the EU as an organisation beyond just a warm fuzzy feeling of European unity.

The EU office in Bangkok though is woefully underused by ASEAN for a trade impetus courtesy of the European taxpayer, everything from agricultural produce to automotive parts. And isn’t an ASEAN Space Agency overdue? Australia's Woomera rocket ranges would be a fitting site for UK and Commonwealth cooperation with even the Space Ladder project.

Although UNSDG30 and Philippines is something of an ASEAN success certainly compared to UK’s damning report by House of Commons on UK's limited efforts so far.

And, Brexit silliness aside, the EU has successfully created a Europe-wide series of reforms whether draining the wine lake or reducing the wasteful food mountains of agricultural and fisheries policies. And as of this Summer, now synergising mobile phone roaming charges.

I’ve urged a Sarajevo Shift of EU institutions East for greater peace and prosperity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Flanders for example is more than capable of driving Belgian prosperity without every EU institution such as the new NATO headquarters being clustered around the oyster bars and caviar cafes of Brussels-Midi.

Indeed the potential relocation of the European Medicines Agency from London to cities such as Paris or Frankfurt or Dublin highlights both the economic incoherence of Brexit and the potential and clamour Sarajevo Shift to the Balkans.

But certainly the ceremonial nonsense of shuttling the EU between Brussels and Strasbourg every few months is ripe for cancellation.

Surely ASEAN for the next 50 years should be looking at such a range of improvements?

Surely it’s monstrous that in the world's rice basket - Thailand alone being the second largest rice producer after India - there is no ASEAN Rice Plan for the region’s staple crop and 500M mouths? The ASEAN rice mountain must be unsustainable with 40% - yes a horrifying 40% - malnutrition in Cambodia and Laos and outrage of Philippines now being a net rice importer.

AS an aside, al the more concerning with this Summer's harvest glut in Latin America no doubt left to spoil and rot despite not one but four African famines.

Khun Surin’s tweaks to the financial system with an ASEAN Bank and Fund by and for ASEAN is simply adding to the plethora of funds that already exist with ADB, AIIB, UNFAO etc etc. An ASEAN fund could easily be raised through the existing ACMF stock exchanges. Shouldn't a Malnutrition Fund be first on the agenda?

ASEAN’s fine words don’t seem to be translating into action for Asia's still-hungry peoples. Process over content is the danger.

And isn’t even the task of a United South East Asia still undone without Timor-Leste formally recognised and road-mapped in its aim of accession by 2020?

Or even an ASEAN response and support for Papa New Guinea and Solomon Islands to cruise faster beyond their current political and social unrest and yet more grinding poverty and hunger? North Korean missiles raining down on Guam must be the least of their worries.

ASEAN is even silent on the appalling spectacle of street kids barefoot and unschooled in its main cities such as Phnom Penh or Manila. If Vietnam has lifted itself from the African-style poverty driven by war then the trade embargos of the 1980’s then still much of ASEAN has not.

While even basics such as mobile phone roaming across ASEAN must be an easy prosperity injection for tech giants such as True given the EU's example to follow?

Astonishingly there is no ASEAN Tourism Plan given the importance of that trade to almost every ASEAN nation - ASEAN silence on the absolute monarchy of bling-bling-oil-rich Brunei is matched only by tourist disinterest. But with Thailand’s 10% of GDP and 30M tourist visitors and forecasts of 5M from Cambodia ASEAN’s lobster-red tourism gold is slipping through its fingers with only an ad-hoc ASEAN Tourism Year every now and then.

It wouldn’t be more fun in the Philippines without tourism, or the extra 10% of GDP in expat remittances, and Manila’s dynamic infrastructure guru Karen Jimeno of the Dept of Public Works and Highways can’t build the sewers and monsoon drains and drinking water plants for tourists and residents all by herself.

ASEAN’s coordination and delivery of hispeed rail has been too long delayed: Cambodia's links to HCMC and BKK only now underway and this week’s announcement of the Malaysia east-west railway linking Thailand's eastern seaboard and border through to western straits of Malaysia.

Similarly the lack of a rail route between Vientiane and Vinh is a strategic weakness in connecting Laos' capital with the Vietnamese deep sea ports - and surely too it’s a key strategic aim for Vietnam for expanded trade with its main port Haiphong and capital link to Hanoi, so near to Hainan’s Chinese submarine base?

ASEAN Peacekeeping could be a useful initiative both in ASEAN aid and Resilience and wider UN peacekeeping- as with the end of UK troops in Germany a too-large military sat in barracks is merely a drain on both the economy and society. The EU Battlegroups are in effect a cost-effective alternative to a standing EU Army with national militaries coordinating on a 6 month rota - although even there they have never been actively deployed.

An ASEAN response on the North Korea nuclear and ICBM threat only now is weak in the extreme with Guam targeted - and with Russia Bear bomber threats as in UK and Netherlands. Seoul and Tokyo as well as Beijing and Taipei are all in range of targeted or accidental missile strikes and radiation. But further afield perhaps Bangkok or Singapore or ASEAN HQ in Jakarta may be next in line for Kim Jong-Un’s ICBM threats horrifically apt given the commemoration this month of the nuclear airbursts over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

New Zealand’s dynamic former PM John Key spoke in London at Asia House on New Zealand's past as Britain’s Farm and of course the threat of being merely China’s Farm in the future.

Indeed Australia and New Zealand should be at the forefront of a revived Commonwealth Asia group working with ASEAN. Over the next 50 years it’s not inconceivable that those nations may join the organisation rather than the alphabet soup sub-groupings of ASEAN plus 3 and plus 6 etc. Is the EU as ASEAN-27 a thing? Would it be of use?

While an extra 5M Chinese or Indonesian immigrants to Wagga-Wagga or Wellington would be a drop in the ocean but make the Antipodes fully Asian from Captain Cook’s European Imperial blip of the last 230 years.

On law and order ASEAN is far from arresting on the drugs surges in the Golden Triangle and from Dawei to Davao and the outrageous comedy of errors over the Red Bull cop killer case highlights a need for both an ASEAN arrest warrant and coordination with Europe and USA. Europol’s new EU Most Wanted campaign must surely be relevant for sunny hideouts across Asia-Pacific whether Phuket and Boracay or Brisbane’s Gold Coast.

Greater coordination on drugs and terrorism: Duterte and Shinawatra regimes responding aggressively to the surge in drug deaths. While Khun Bam of UNODC:


highlights the rapid terrorism surge with returnees from Syria and open sore on Europe’s flank in Libya - Australian universities are very active on counter-terrorism research and long ago highlighting the threat of low-tech vehicle attacks as in London and now Barcelona.

While the porous borders of Syria and Sulu Sea must be ripe for ASEAN and Commonwealth coordination on terrorism? The dynamic highlights of Khun Bam and Australia’s excellent university chairs will be only so much e- paper waste without action.

And as Khun Anchalee pointed out in her article: ASEAN must walk the Climate talk:

Climate is surely a massive failing in ASEAN to provide a coordinated and comprehensive Climate Change response - not just resilience with 50% of deaths from natural disasters of typhoons and earthquakes across Asia-Pacific.

The forest fires and farmland hazes that the EU has been woefully underprepared for in recent months - with fires in Portugal (4,000 troops and firefighters and 64 deaths) and France and Balkans again – shows up the lack of fire brigade coordination and helicopters and transport aircraft that is simply embarrassing for the EU as an economic superpower.

And blazing a trail for ASEAN not to follow – although Bangkok’s fire engine woes and bus and train overhauls could well do with UK and EU coordination. One bright spot for Sudan despite being the world’s fewest roads subject to JCB and Royal Engineer activity is an influx of London buses. The scandal over the $2M Ramsgate fire station hard to justify beyond vanity bloat and as with live animal exports and Pav and Pleasurama routinely mixing both corruption and an East Kent democratic deficit.

ASEAN is far too weak on reversing protection and reseeding of its forests and fisheries that make up the green lung of the planet through Jakarta and Java to Mindanao and Myanmar.

Tourism is even weak on developing a UNESCO World Heritage plan - do the ancient civilisations of Asia still only warrant just 37 sites compared to 31 in UK – including this year’s designation of the Lake District albeit with Kent’s Pegwell Bay under attack?

Alastair Campbell, formerly of 10 Downing St and still a Burnley supporter, writing in the New European cited the potential for newer EU nations such as Albania for political and economic support, even Sports Tourism with a Tour D'Albania cycle race of the sort that has evolved beyond France and Flanders to UK in recent years with the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de Canterbury here in East Kent.

One could ask where is the ASEAN Sports or Sports tourism Plan?

Certainly the huge potential is there with both SEA games and Asia Games and I attended the Phuket beach games recently which was superb and food for thought on the potential for East Kent with the success of the Margate UK volleyball championships. Beach polo on the Blue Flag beaches may be a bridge too far at the moment but surfing and skateboarding and sports climbing ahead of the Tokyo and Los Angeles Olympics is a distinct possibility.

Yet ASEAN dropping the ball with Hanoi failing to deliver the 2019 Asian Games confusingly rescheduled to both 2018 and Indonesia, and now Manila and the 2019 SEA Games cancellation only just being reversed, doesn’t inspire confidence nor does the lack of a co-ordinated response for an ASEAN Olympics at some time this century, now Paris and Los Angeles are (almost) confirmed for 2024 and 2028. Not Sydney again so soon?

Surely UK and ASEAN broadcasters could be active on the current SEA Games broadcasts as well as culture and language programming for the future? Bangkok bus overhauls with English language letters are fine in delivering English as the ASEAN lingua franca but concerning if they cannot be read by most people.

HALO trust and the 2025 landmine deadline is relevant for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Philippines is beyond ASEAN’s current efforts. UK’s Princess Diana’s work on landmines and fashion is a baton taken up by dynamic royals such as Cambodian and Californian Princess Soma.

ASEAN's 50th is certainly worth celebrating but won't the candles on the birthday cake for even its 60th be burning lower without more active efforts from the likes of Mr Surin?


Saturday, 29 July 2017

UK and Thailand weaving through air pollution? With EU and Surin silk?

The UK has stepped on the gas in the first week of dynamic Environment Minister Michael Gove's reign.

The former Justice Minister and Education Minister and arch-Brexiteer and would-be PM, and Times columnist has released the UK's first Air Pollution Bill consultation of the 21st century witheld due the June 8th election and a general lack of policy and direction.

If Norway will phase out pollution from the combustion engine by 2025 then France and now UK will do so by 2040. It’s perhaps not such a radical step given VW announced earlier this year - hastened no doubt by the DieselGate emissions scandal and fines - it will cease manufacturing combustion engine vehicles by 2030. And Volvo this month announced it would do so by 2019.

Every car now on the road, or bought in the next decade would be scrap metal by 2040 anyway but it is a clear start to clear the logjam.

Surely more could be done faster with public sector procurement on police cars etc - BMW's new Mini, unfortunately only screwdriver assembly from Bavaria, in the Midland's Engine at Oxford and Nissan's new Qashqai efforts in Sunderland's part of the Northern Powerhouse, and Ford's Port Talbot plant in Wales should surely be factored into the mix with British jobs?

Nevertheless it's a forward UK step and Minister Gove clothed himself in similar green garb such as tweaks to end live animals in the last two or three UK circuses. And ending live animal exports on cruelty grounds - that now only through Ramsgate's port, and occasionally Dover's, and a point I support in my politics campaign.

The noxious trade resulted in the slaughter of 40 sheep in 2012 through the badly-managed port, an incredulous High Court case noodling on the on the rates on the finer points of free trade.

## UK exports pear shaped? ##

And the accident waiting to happen of SS Joline, a Soviet tank transporter designed for the Baltic rivers now defended by a breakwater of UK and NATO troops, weaving its way through the Channel and busiest shipping lanes in the world, with crates of sheep on deck.

A stomach-churning sight matched with Minister Gove quickly urging restraint on Trade Minister Liam Fox's chlorine-washed chicken imports from USA potentially breaching EU's higher food safety standards. Supersize KFC buckets of fried chicken and pink goo McDonald's feeding into the wider need of fast food reform whether store or menu design.

Despite Minister Fox's sterling efforts UK exports are still far lower than they should be: the latest GDP figures just a soggy 0.2% about half of the previous year's.

Trade efforts aren't all going pear-shaped though: The Times details Argentina's Malbec grapes and wine are an astonishing 31.6% increase through Asda supermarkets and cleverly marketed through the Summer as UK's BBQ wine.

USDA ratings and trade integration opening the market for Patagonian pears too. While cheaper wine brands such as BBQ-central Australia's Lindeman's brands are facing a 30% fall by contrast plus 41% of Brits curbing their drinking whether financially or health driven.

A point surely not lost for Thailand given the GI – Geographical Indication - status this week by EU, perhaps via its Bangkok-ASEAN office along with UN-FAO, for Surin silk. Isaan's cloth and craftsmanship also recognised along with Hom Mali rice and Northern Thailand's Doi Chang coffee.

Khun Apiradee Treerutkuarkul's fascinating article "Spinning your Surin style" details Ban Sa village and Queen Sirikit's QSDS Dept of Sericulture efforts:
The GI status already protecting European brands such as Champagne and East Kent beer hops. Patents a key brand issue from the days and dyes of Chantilly lace and de Nimes cloth appropriated by California's Levis jeans.

UK and national treasures such as Welsh lace or Scottish tartan could learn much from Khun Kinnaree Rekcharoen of QSDS and Khun Arthorn Sangsomvong of Isaan Thai Silk Association along with wider cross-fertilisation of brands such as George at Walmart-Asda (now with B&M merger to turbocharge its clothing) or Marks and Spencer. Arcadia unfortunately still a stain on UK retail and legal from the Grabiner-Green scandal.

## Surin Silk economic corridor ##

Surin silk with its high gold thread count is patently a massive trade opportunity for Isaan and Thailand - whether developing a Southern Isaan economic corridor, or Royal Road to Cambodia or UK High St and City support. If silkworm cocoons and mulberry leaves provide a delicious Isaan cuisine then UK brands such as Mulberry must also be relevant.

Fashion expert Alexandra Haddow in the New European for example detailing the much smaller menswear market, compared to womenswear, showcase of LCM London Collections Men still worth c.$20BN in sales in 2015 for its two shows a year plus European markets such as Florence's Pitti Uomo trade show amongst many more. Jermyn St tailoring or Paul Smith must be a factor too for Surin silk from suit linings to socks.

While OTOP status is long overdue in UK and for UK brands in Thailand and UK whether Tesco Lotus or boutique brands.

Indeed a boon also for Cambodia with its GI accreditation for Cardamom pepper and now being cited by UK chefs with Asian fish and fruits. No doubt a spur to the food, and climate-controlled, mega-warehouses now being built on the Thai-Cambodian border feeding into those hispeed rail networks, certainly as an antidote to 40% malnutrition in Cambodia and Laos.

A mega-trade deal with USA or Commonwealth as a counterweight to losing EU access being another Brexit chimera. More closely at hand is the end of Brexit altogether given former PM Tony Blair and new LibDem leader Vince Cable speaking openly of its cancellation before it's even begun.

The only missed opportunity being the EU reforms rightly cited by former PM David Cameron prior to the Brexit referendum. Draining the wine lake and reducing the butter mountain have all been broadly succesful EU reforms over the years. EU fishing reforms are seeing the fished-out North Sea returning both cod and sea bass as well Kent's Marine reserves and a factor in Scotland's fishfarm growth – salmon GI status too.

As an aside, it does seem absurd that fishermen can't in effect be paid twice; once to reseed the oceans and then to fish them. While the accession of Eastern Europe in 2008 was balanced with work permits for say agricultural and medical workers in several European nations, except Britain. The longer the pretence of Brexit continues with the foreign perception of an unwelcoming Britain then the more the NHS and retail and agricultural sectors will suffer with EU workers voting with their feet and wallet and going elsewhere.

Fortunately this week East Kent with UK's first and last UKIP council and crop of incompetent, idle and unpleasant MEP's awaiting the chop in 2019, has suffered another wipeout to a minority administration restoring Kent to its welcoming tradition.

Far away Huddersfield's Felix the Cat in the welcoming tradition of Japanese railway station cats helping the trains to run on time. A moggie Mussolini of mice, and welcome addition to the UK rail network along with Japan Rail and Hitachi and Meiji Kent's train franchise. Hyper Japan festival in London going beyond the hype to detail another round of Japanese innovation from Hello kitty to Manga town to Tokyo 2020 preparations.

## Visegrad Kent ##

East Kent's elderly MP Roger Gale even chairing a Poland-UK parliamentary debate with the astonishing fact of UK being Poland's largest trade partner after Germany yet without a PM trade envoy or plan. An astonishing fumbling of the ball with Polish now the main UK language after English or Welsh – and East Kent a Videsgrad and East European heartland with the most Romanians in Canterbury CCU outside Bucharest.

Although endemic Labour and Tory and civil service corruption over Manston and Pleasurama and Thor mercury ensures the farce will cling at least through August's Margate by-election and another round of paydays for salaries and pensions before any clawback.

I've urged a Sarajevo Shift of reforms to move several EU institutions eastward. At first glance a foolish policy given East Kent's close links of tourism and transport and universities with Flanders and Belgium albeit invigorating those economies longer-term. Another vanity building for NATO in Brussels is tax waste given Putin's miscalculations in Ukraine and Crimea, indeed in Syria with Assad's poisonous regime too.

While Visegrad nations such as Czech republic MEP's highlighting food apartheid in Eastern Europe with different formulations and packaging sizes is a game changer for Europe’s food industries and EU. And in stark contrast to the great success of Budapest's' Fina swimming championships now showcasing the city and nation to its best and for future big-ticket events and infrastructure building peace and prosperity.

Britain's Adam Peaty confirming again Britain's status as a Sporting Superpower gaining all the top ten fastest swim times ever. Apt with Ramsgate's Little Ships highlighted in the Dunkirk megamovie in helping the British Army return home - with their French friends - without getting their feet wet.

But an astonishing failure of Kent tourism and Film marketing and I’ve highlighted EKFOS previously the East Kent film and Office. One bright spot in UK trade figures being the boom in the UK film industriy for studios and special effects companies from Disney invigoration of franchises such as Star Wars. And no doubt providing food for thought and urging on dynamic Tourism and Sports Minister Kent's Tracey Crouch with her aim of a n Olympic pool in every UK county. East Kent overdue on that score and long-delayed Bolero icerink.

And the farce of the Brussels-Strasbourg shuttle every few months is similar ceremonial tax-waste that could be redeployed further afield to the Visegrad nations if not eventual Moldova, Ukraine and Russian accession to the EU - along with the Maghreb and Levant nations beyond sandbanks and landmines.
Monstrous absurdities such as 900 landmine deaths in Lebanon are ripe for EU HALO trust and MAG work given efforts in Cambodia and Laos and Zero Mines by 2025 - as are the Iron Harvests of mines and UXO still reaped in Belgium and Kent, and WW2 battlefields of North Africa.

With peace efforts ongoing in Libya, such moves must be key for Britain and Germany and Italy, along with Desertec solar prosperity by BP and a Beyond Petroleum future for Arabia.

## Air pollution choking NZ and Wales too ##

But if air pollution is a toxic factor in UK with 40,000 deaths each year, that figure can only have been underestimated from Infratil's removal of Manston airport monitors one of the key nodes in the London and South East air monitoring network.

No doubt a similar toxic policy affecting staff, workers, tourists and citizens around Infratil director's last redoubt at Wellington Airport in New Zealand. No wonder Air New Zealand helps market New Zealand as 100% Pure Air if they're serial-polluting elsewhere. Minister Gove's Brext rival Boris Johnson popping up in NZ among the sheep to try and drum up a mega trade deal this week.

Such horrific air pollution must also be a factor for contenders such as Surin Pitsuwan and the Bangkok governorship - Bangkok being far more active with pollution and public transport measures in recent years. And if an initial failing in the UK air pollution plan is a lack of detail around Heathrow expansion and pollution, surely fellow-Bristolian, Surin would be reviewing Don Muang and Suvarnhabumi expansion with U-Tapao and Eastern Economic corridor as well as Thai Airways plans for 28 new jumbo jets and Bristol-Cardiff manufacturing hub.

As a former Rolls Royce teaboy, getting in the way of my father making engine parts for Rolls Royce and Concorde, the Thai airways and Rolls Royce corruption scandal is painful to witness and depressing the Midlands Growth Engine from Derby to the new electric Mini in Coventry - and Birmingham airport by far the best of the bunch during the airports reviews - indeed UK Space Agency growth.

The Gove announcement for UK version of DARPA undoubtedly unleashing both greater UK and USA cooperation and innovation of the military-industrial nexus, as with the success of the internet, and scandalous failure of F35 jets for UK and USA and NATO taxpayers and soldiers, on useful issues such as materials, batteries, vaccines as successfully implemented by StartUp Nation Israel.

And if the Operation Stack lorry park and garden megatown are now rated a red economic danger by the National Audit Agency then under-playing air pollution from shipping form the afore-mentioned Channel shipping lanes, is a factor in the Manston monitors fakery for over ten years now.

Mullet-haired Tim Wetherspoons sticky carpet pubchain with the new Wetherspoon's Pavilion mired in pro-Brexit twaddle, then concerns over EU workers rights for his boozers, and council corruption, asbestos and resignations.

While the Buriram motorsports race track, recently cited by tourism expert Richard Barrow must surely be a contender with Kent's Brands Hatch or Silverstone for both sports tourism and economic development and R&D say a UK-Thailand eco-Grand Prix whether for electric vehicles powered by flowers or biowaste. The fuss and furore around the Circuit of Wales racetrack has currently stalled the project but could be jumpstarted on eco-grounds with an infusion of leeks or daffodils.

Welsh national policy launching an innovative minimum pricing on alcohol in its health bill and vigorous opposition from Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood for a specific Cancer Fund Health Bill adjunct not just for the effects of air pollution but innovations in lesser-known cancers such as bowel and liver.

## Brexit silliness and autoparts ##

It seems astonishing UK public policy failure with NHS one of the world's largest employers after the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army and AsdaWalmart, and UK's c.130 world-leading univerisities not to be more closely woven with pharma giants such as Pfizer and Glaxo - whether in UK or ASEAN - and cancer courses in every university.

Brexit silliness continuing for much longer past Parliament's vacation would see the unravelling beginning with for example the European Medicines Agency moving from London Docklands.

Both Japanese and Eire policy makers rightly vocal on the silliness of Brexit - Japan even allying its words with practical support if needed of trade negotiators for UK from its experience of EU and USA (and UK with Eurocopter) trade dealings.

Already dynamic Eire policy makers are urging the brakes on Brexit but competing with Paris and Frankfurt for such rich pickings along with new Bank of America headquarters in Dublin - perhaps an echo of regionalism blind spot affecting most governments, compared to say Cork and new port-hispeed rail infrastructure tightening the links on southern and northern Ireland's economies if not Glasgow's.

While automotive expert John Neill Chairman of Unipart the main autoparts and rail producer writing last week in The New European newspaper detailed not just the dangers of Breixt on planes and trains and automobiles, and buses, but the vigorous and seamless growth potential from electric vehicles - that must surely shape and retool Thailand's automotive and satellite industries.

Surin silk is clearly just one steel thread that should bind UK and Thailand more closely with Europe and USA.

Time for Change

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Times letter: Lazy cops and Cheshire

Dear Editor

Chief Constable Simon Byrne of Cheshire Police is one of UK’s more capable police chiefs – albeit Cheshire facing no more serious crime than dodgy Botox - but his letter today in The Times from the front page article “Lazy Cops” (next to the excellent F35 expose) by the UK’s Chief Prosecutor no less, suggests cheerleading rather than rigorous scrutiny.

Given the police failures on major cases such as South Yorkshire and Hillsboro and Surrey Police cowed by the Military Police over Deepcut, or the Met and Plebgate, or even Thailand’s Red Bull Boss copkiller on the run and High Court corruption under Lord Grabiner’s One Essex Court, does seem to be cause for concern.

While – as a former PCC candidate in Kent - more peripheral issues such as The Times article “Blobbies on the beat” for overweight cops or Boobgate or excessive kit procurement from trousers to drones to guncops to gender-neutral baseball caps suggests a wider malaise and backoffice bloat given the rise in heroin and cocaine deaths, serious crime figures, road deaths and knife crime epidemics.

Surely Chief Byrne should take his fingers off the keyboard, adjust his baseball cap and get some junkies and rapists arrested? Or at the very least call in the Chief Prosecutor for more details on his concerns over modern policing?

Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate


* Good Ramsgate Festival today and opera on the beach - my favourite is Tutti Frutti
* Good UKIP wipeout: Cllr Bev defection yesterday means UKIP lose control of TDC council their first and last UK council. Oblivion but clinging on for 2 more years?
* Bizarre Gazette letters from Everitt and Johnsston scoundrel cllrs over Pleasurama and Port corruption
* Time for cancellation of Slipways and Nemo Link Pegwell Bay UNESCO site

Friday, 14 July 2017

Kent in a right old state - of failure and corruption

Tim Garbutt Ramsgate Mayor 2019 and MP 2022 (or sooner) candidate said:

"Clearly East Kent Council reform is long overdue with Dreamland tax havens etc and rampant civil service and councilor corruption for at least a decade.

Now the latest TDC salary increases - presumably with a secret vote and certainly not included in any manifesto - and KCC councilors hurriedly approving a 15% increase instead of the recommended 1.5% increase (unless The Duffers didn't have their specs on) makes yet another mockery of East Kent governance and KCC £2BN bloat.

Salaries and pensions higher than the Prime Minster for failed councils and lack of FOI and debate are simply too old-fashioned and leave Kent in a right old state.

Chris "watery" Wells the first and last UKIP council leader is being led by the nose by the civil servants presumably to cover up the Infratil crimes with the KCC Toxic Two. His resignation is overdue, and Leader Carter already sidelined from some of the South East council beanfeast quangos.

KCC with the highest £100k civil service salaries and now highest councilor salaries in UK aren't so much conservative but stagnant - and a toxic mix of elderly duffers and trade unionists using the elections to fill their boots.

Kent has failed and cuts are needed to salaries and pensions and jobs to reverse the bloat and failure.

While court revelations that Craig Mackinlay scapegoat for the Tory Battlebus fraud not only didn't include the Battlebus and hotel expenses, but also didn't include any advertising or agent costs and cites living in Ramsgate, makes a mockery of national electoral fraud.

With Chief Constable Pughsley back from his holidays, a Police investigation into Thor mercury and Manston-Infratil cancer crimes as well as Dreamland and Pleasurama tax haven fraud is overdue.

The Belgians could run things better - they speak English, are near East Kent and are still funded from UK tax.

Or Chad could have a go.

Time for Change


* awful tarmac splodges still on Ramsgate High St - is this the new RTC handyman's best work? And a mystery build on the Listed slipways attempt again...
* Pav and 100 SE Rd callin still overdue for dodgy decisions
* another Summer of Pleasurama mess or a public invasion and sit-in?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Gazette letter: 3 Duffers. Manston aquifer and Infratil crimes

Dear Editor

Three letters in the Gazette last week from Messrs Chris Wells, UKIP Leader of TDC (2 years - and c.15 years as Tory councillor),and Iris Johnson (23 years a Labour councilor and leader), and Roger Gale MP (1,000 years as MP) are the epitome of everything that is wrong with Thanet and TDC - and has been for decades.

Especially on the Manston airport and Riveroak debate.

When will they speak up on the East Kent aquifer under the runway and removal of Manston airport monitors and faking of pollution data by Infratil and Gloag/Stagecoach since 2004?

Perhaps they're hoping to be safely tucked up in their coffin before the scandal fully merges?

While Cllr Messenger, as a new duffer, states that the councillors tried unsuccessfully to persuade TDC(!) not to end the US Navy gunboat P22 mooring in TDC-owned Ramsgate harbour, suggests the clerks are running the council not elected councillors.

Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate

Time for Change



* very concerning the planned closure of CCU Broadstairs - which our councillors has raised this?

* another Summer with Pleasurama hoarding. Time for the public to remove it with a mass sit-in?

* Time for a vote of no confidence in Wells and TDC. A failed organisation and desperate clinging to power. Nothing done. Nothing will be done.

* concerning an oil tanker crash in the Channel: East Kent's BLue Flag beaches and Torrey Canyon?

* Silence on Kent tower blocks fire safety and asbestos and Thor mercury - Flint Michigan has already started jailing its clerks for failure and coverup

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Kent Chief Constable letter- and Mackinlay election fraud trial next week @timg33

Letter to Chief Constable Pughsley, Kent Police

Dear Chief

I wanted to write to you formally in the General Election campaign on the corruption and criminal points in my manifesto and highlight several of the criminal scoundrels:

1. Manston-Infratil crimes: the extradition of the Infratil directors from Wellington in New Zealand ie Fitzgerald and Clarke, and Bogoievski and Baker and TDC/KCC complicity in removing the monitors at Manston and faking the data from 2004 onwards

2. Charles Buchanan: similar points as 1 as but now in UK at Lydd airport (update: apparently no longer at Lydd nor Northpoint Aviation consultancy?)

3. Gloag-Stagecoach: similar issues to point 1 ie banned aircraft and illegal overflights and failure to reinstate missing monitors and fines 2013-14

4. TDC-KCC complicity in both the above points: Berry, Button and Sproates and KCC Toxic Three now Two: Carter and Wild

5. Sangcom/GPT MOD Saudi arms deals frauds continue: part of Al-Yamamah with former Thanet MP Jonathan Aitken jailed

6. Margate's Joshua French was released from Congo Death Row last week – so no longer a UK Police issue

7. Lord Grabiner: the disgraced "apogee" Chair of BHS/Taveta: secret shareholders - astonishingly still a High Court judge and bizarrely a barrister too - in effect sitting both sides of the bench and marking his own homework

8. Ian Glick QC and Guy Hollingworth complicit with clerks in - also of One Essex Court - false and fraudulent costs in High Court and false imprisonment

9. Judge Mann, Crying Judge and Teacups Judge - aiding and abetting as point 8

10. BSB and Law Society incompetence and coverup: Leavor QC, One Essex Court barristers and clerks etc - clearly a wider parliament and police review of the failing self-regulation of the courts is needed

11. PBI Law: Steve Palmer Hollingworth's accomplice as point 8

12. Messrs Conway and Kelly of Law Step: posing as - and/or aiding and abetting - HMRC officials:

13. Thor Mercury Margate and Cato Ridge: Environment Agency (and Manston role given the East Kent drinking water aquifer under the runway)

14. The blatant Tory 2015 election fraud - the largest in UK history - trial now underway with Craig Mackinlay as scapegoat for 30 MP's and Party HQ Battlebus bussing in supporters and obviously issues of wider electoral reform

The Manston crimes would only pollute the c.130,000 people in East Kent - with resulting increases in cancer - but it is worth noting that the Manston weather station and pollution monitors are one of the key facets of London and South East England's weather and pollution network. The faked data would skew the air pollution figures upwards already c.50k UK deaths.

It’s also worth noting the cost to the taxpayer in lost fines revenue, increased tax cost, and time and damage to HMRC and legal system.

And a wider issue remains around UK national security with flights by Cargolux now based at Stansted and KLM - perhaps piloted by the Dutch King given recent reports - but especially gunrunning and drugs flights - including UN sanctions for blood diamonds etc - as well as Afghan KAM Air and Egyptair via Ostend airport just a few minutes fly-time across the Channel.

Obviously Manston closed in 2014 after being sold for $1 and all the other UK and Europan airports as the directors fled to NZ, but in my MP role I've urged no a no-expense-spared to bring back Infratil's directors: orange jumpsuits, leg-irons and handcuffs.

Corrupt barristers and lawyers and judges are almost an axiom in the UK legal system, with libel tourism for Russian oligarchs etc, but obviously an issue if caught.

And as you know all the above aren’t now denied merely coverup and silence.

Please consider this a formal police statement and/or witness statement and please advise if you require any further information.

Copy on my blog for public view.

Tim Garbutt
Thanet South MP candidate

Time for Change


* good tarmac splodges being replanted in Ramsgate High St replanted with trees and drains/sewers cleanup.
* outrageous KCC and Kent Fire haven't released details of 155 tower blocks in danger in Kent - FOI so no excuse, and shunting blame around depts etc no excuse. Presumably all the fire inspections are upto date anyway?
* and asbestos in schools etc?
* bad that East Kent's Dover in bottom 10 in UK survey of broadband speed

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

East Kent fails. Time for Change @timg33

A few EK points:

* EK council next steps? Suggested budgets/responsibilities based on KCC budget etc

* No train stopping in Kent for Amsterdam Eurostar a concern

* also train commuter shuttle to Lille? and trams TG50? - that's the whole point of Ashford station

* Grenfell Tower review published: all EK tower blocks: fire/broken lifts/demolition etc and asbestos schools etc - also motorway bridges

* also demolition Arlington House Margate 60's eyesore tower block and open up Dreamland

* derelict/eyesore wind turbine demolition: c.200M form Richboro power station

* Dreamland and Paramount drift: timetable?

* Discovery Park and Sittingbourne inaction: outline plan? ie TB research /manufacture etc

* LCD panels in town centres

* public complaints over TV reception: Ofcom/BBC?

* EK tourism plan/festivals by month/year?

* halt Pav Wetherspoons - Ramsgate Lloyds?

* clear Pleasurama site - and clear it/$1 CPO/Review: another Summer lost and derelict eyesore.

* cancel Riveroak (and Parkway - KCC refund): aquifer review and protection

Writing on the wall in Ramsgate: "You voted Mackinlay??!!": @timg33

Lame Duck MP's/TDC: every senior councillor voted out in recent elections. Tiem fro vote of no confidence - are we really supposed to wait 2 years to be rid of these lame ducks?

Wells now announcing Riveroak's plans would - shock horror well I never - include night flights is laughable. He didn't realise that? Rather, we've had game=-playing on the damage caused by Manston and Infratil etc since UKIP won the 2015 election to reopen the site then quickly cancelled it.

How polluted is the aquifer and what cleanup has been done? Why has the extradition process for Infratil directors not begun?

* KCC Int links: Virginia /Hungary refreshed? ANd East Europe: Romania etc.

* Good a new campaign on press/radio as Kent vaccinations: below 83% safety level: Pandemics.

KP/Blue Light policy on vaccinations etc? And Left is Life? KP liaison with hospitals/new vaccines?

* I couldn't attend KP Blue Blowers concert at Broadstairs - is there a set list/video?

Garbutt for Mayor 2019 or sooner.

Time for Meiji Kent reforms.

Time for Change

* astonished to see cars parked in Pedzone and pavements/Seafront: G637 SKA still: Good current Mayor Shonk taking photos: tickets and clamp/crush needed

* update:

* High Court of Corruption:

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Garbutt for Ramsgate Mayor: May 2019 - or sooner @timg33

Just a few quick points:

* what an awful election - for Kent and UK. Just awful. Indeed: nothing has changed, nothing has changed - except more stagnation

* many thanks to those who voted for me on Thursday and obviously it's disappointing not to win but there we are. Please contact me if you want change in Thanet and Kent: email and Twitter: @timg33

* To vote Independent against Rosettes makes a big difference in national elections - and the vote would be significant for any TDC or KCC council

* My policies below - for Garbutt as Ramsgate Mayor 2019 - or sooner

* Clearly Robot Rosette votes can only explain the Blue-Red votes and no other parties - and words fail me as to Craig Mackinlay being re-elected given the election fraud trial

* Interesting that a Generation Gap is opening up in politics with more young voters amid concern over Brexit and the awful Dementia Tax etc. Clearly Thanet's over-70s councillors are of the past and have failed

* I refused to attend the election night count in protest - and one of the main Ramsgate hotel guests Nick Timothy, Theresa May's beard, no doubt sacked soon (within 2 hours of writing this they were)

* Indeed Thanet South may see 2 more MP elections in 2017: the July trial by-election and then October another national election

But Thanet has seen not just the wipeout of the UKIP vote - and Brexit - but also every senior TDC/KCC UKIPer now rejected: Wells, Heale, Shonk, Piper and Fairbrass.

TDC is a lame duck council with lame duck MP's and national government.

Nothing done since 2015. And before: I've never heard of most of the MP candidates just popping up a week or so before the election and now disappearing.

Garbutt for Ramsgate Mayor 2019 - or sooner.

Or same-old same-old stagnation.

Policies below and regular updates on Twitter: @timg33

Time for a council tax strike - slowpay, wrongpay, refusepay - to take back Ramsgate's £17M tax to spend in Ramsgate and create East Kent Council.

Let Mackinlay and Gale raise any shortfall from Parliament.

Plus extra investment.

More details later.

“Stop the Pollution. Stop the Construction. Stop the Corruption”.

Time for Change

Twitter: @timg33


Top 3 priorities for South Thanet?

1. Close Manston airport completely and dig up the runway – with a $1 CPO to end the SHP New Town and Parkway farce. And to clean and refill the East Kent aquifer that is under the runway.

2. Extradite and jail the Infratil directors and Police investigation into the removal of the Manston monitors and faking of pollution data with TDC and KCC.

3. End the corruption around Pleasurama, and shoddy governance around Pavilion etc, with tax havens such as Belize and Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands in main Kent projects

All of these could be put in place Minute #1 of Day #1 of Garbutt in Parliament.

These policies would end the sloth and dirt that the various parties and council administrations have allowed. TDC is one of the worst councils in UK according to the government itself(!) and Thanet has some of the highest deprivation in SE England.

And this with £2BN KCC budgets, £30M – not allowing for failures and corruption – at TDC and £400k at RTC.

KCC is overly-focused on Maidstone and TDC on Margate. And we have too many and too underpaid councillors. And too many and too overpaid civil servants.

The politicians and civil servants have repeatedly failed us and these policies will begin the change with an East Kent Council as a counterweight to West Kent and Medway.

Blatant travesties of justice as with the High Court of Corruption of Lord Grabiner of BHS and One Essex Court legal criminals and close and cleanup Thor mercury factory near the Hornby Factory could be more easily implemented.

While I will ensure Climate Change – the greatest threat facing humanity – is top of the agenda in Kent. At the moment there are no Climate Change policies at all. So, that would include:

• all public sector buildings switching to renewable electricity

• public buildings with solar panels

• end plastic bag sales: Ocean Plastic and Beach clean

Clearly Brexit after just a year is an utter shambles, and I am completely opposed to it and the destructive effects here in East Kent to the tourism industry, universities and schools and exports.

If you are in the 48% Remain Group then vote for me.

If you are a Tory dissatisfied with Mackinlay’s Battlebus fraud and inaction vote for me.

If you are Labour and dissatisfied with the cosy Thanet deals and corruption then vote for me.

If you are Green or Libdem and concerned at Thanet’s invisible candidates then vote for me.

If you are under 30 then vote for me.

If you are UKIP – if they actually exist now - don’t vote for me. And we need a vote of no confidence in Well’s TDC: promising to reopen Manston then reversing that policy within a month of being elected given the known monitors and aquifer crimes.

Garbutt as an Independent will have the ear and support of every Party leader and Cabinet member in Westminster and Whitehall.

You can already see my success in my East Kent politics work so far:

•Manston closed

•Infratil airports in EU closed – and Rotorua NZ

•Total petrol stations in East Kent closed for Myanmar war crimes

•Margate’s Joshua French released from Congo Death Row

•Gang of Four sacked and jailed

•Richboro power station demolished

•Ramsgate Gasworks demolished

•ChinaGate cancelled

•Toxic Three now Toxic Two: KCC’s Carter and Wild

•BrettGate cement works end: phase 2 but not phase 1

•0% TDC salary fraud ended

As MP I will continue this work for Kent and regions such as ASEAN.

Time for Change


* Please note that I will NOT be attending the election count tonight in protests at the blatant Mackinlay 2015 election fraud