Are they up to the job anymore?

Is it possible for our current crop of politicians and police officers to actually put us back on the straight and narrow given their recent track record? The hypocrisy of their position should be clear all given recent past events.

Before taking all of their self-righteous rage about the moral degredation of these rioters and looters at face value, let’s not forget that many of our law makers, the MPs, have been guilty of the organised looting of the public purse, otherwise known as the expenses scandal. Anyone who thinks sending a few of them to prison solved the problem, is completely missing the fact that their wholesale acceptance of such a lax and corruptible system , brings in to question the integrity of all MPs and therefore their right to govern us. Their version of looting was arguably more civilised, but it was equally damaging to the moral fabric of this country. We should ensure that the survivors, which doesn’t mean they were without guilt, are reminded of this fact on a very regular basis.

Ironic that the Met Police should be the ones, initially, confronted by mass rioting and so clearly demonstrating their bravery and comittiment to public safety. This is the same force that gave News Of The World ( and no doubt other) reporters, access to confidential information. Had it been just the time honoured practice of journalists picking their brains of their police contacts, it might of been seen as no more than a bit dodgy and something to be stopped via a stern memo. However, what happened was far more insidious and clearly highly corrupt. Not only did singificant sums of money change hands, police databases were routinely accessed and the information passed on, apparently without any concern for the safety of those being targeted.

In the nineties the police were accused of institutionalised racism following the murder of black teenager and a flawed police investigation. This led to the our police forces beinf overwhealmed by a tsunami of political correctness that swept common sense policing off of our streets and replaced it with a avalanche of rules written by senior officers more interested in their next promotion than effective policing. The question is, has this poor leadership also made the police open to a form of institutionalised corruption? Does becoming a service instead being a force, mean that our police feel under-valued and somewhat irrelevant and therefore left feeling that, just like the MPs, a bit of routine rule bending is of no consequence?

Show me the money when it comes to planning

The cat’s finally out of the bag when it comes to the government’s attitude to planning and how to prevent landowners and developers running amuck – they don’t care!

I’ve just pulled this from a professional planning blog entry and I think it just about sums up where localism is in planning terms – in the toilet!
‘Money valid consideration for planning permissions’
A new clause is added so that ‘local finance considerations’ become a material consideration when deciding planning applications, i.e. government grants or payment of the Community Infrastructure Levy.
This provision is to allow things like the New Homes Bonus to make grants of planning permission more likely (otherwise it would have to be ignored and thus would be useless), but may prove to be controversial (NC15).’

Given that most council leaders and chief executives come to that, don’t really care about the planning process until it goes wrong and hits the local press, I can see the planners being placed under tremendous pressure to approve everything and anything, just so long as it comes with a bag of cash attached.  what price Localism then?