The Grenfell scab is torn off…

The Grenfell disaster has been a long time in the making, and it is a direct result of the “strong leader” problem of local government. Tearing this scab off cost 80 people their lives, and we will never hear the end of it until the system is changed…

But why would I say this is such a clear indicator of the problem endemic to the system? Well a few “strong leader” types made all the decisions here, all whilst getting paid £67K a year to do nothing for their residents. They made the “simple” choice of saving the council a bit of money (not a lot) and cladding the tower in much cheaper fire stoking materials instead of actual fire-resistant materials. Oh didn’t they do good? Certainly justifies the big salaries… But the amazing thing is that the other “strong leaders” in Councils across the country made the same “simple” decisions, hundreds of them.  They made the same “simple” choices and not surprisingly all their apartment towers were equally flammable, and now thousands more have had to be evacuated.

So, when it goes down, where are the leaders? For 4 days they are no where to be seen, “simple”… When they do show up they take none of the blame for anything and essentially throw it all off to the London assembly and the central government.  The common response for all the “strong leaders” everywhere: don’t show up for 4 days, then blame everyone else and then quit… The only part they got right was the quit part…

If it were just this, that would be one thing, but we see the same problem in countlesss other areas. “Strong leaders” do what they think is best, but there is nothing they do that could be remotely considered “best” for the rest of us. They borrow £2,000 from every citizen and buy shopping malls and don’t tell anyone, spend £187M putting in street lights and then turn them off to save £21K, charge you for taking your trash to the tip that you already paid for, fail completely at building sufficient housing, and then give themselves raises for the great job they’ve done. As long as there is no local representative democracy, you will get what you get…

Strong Leader/Weak Leader

So, it is time to move on to the real issues that make British politics work the way it does, and what needs to happen to fix it…

Single biggest issue in local government is that it is run using what is called the “strong leader” system.  This is as opposed to the “weak leader” system at our federal government in Parliament. So, you say why it is called “weak leader”? Well, our current prime minister (as do all of them) serves at the pleasure of her party MPs. At any time, if 15% of those MPs give letters of non-support to the Backbench 1922 Committee, then she’s out. Or at least there is a leadership re-election, but no one fights that sort of thing, it would be too humiliating.  Truth is that there are already 15% of the MPs that want her out, so her life expectancy as Prime Minister will be short…

This, however is the most effective form of Parliamentary democracy. Why? Well, simply because the Prime Minister has to truly listen to the views of the other MPs, or she will be out. Arguably, the current Prime Minister didn’t listen real well when she decided to call an an unnecessary election, or else there wouldn’t have been one…  The result? Chaos, confusion, and the advance of the unthinkable: another party running things. In the history of politics, this will go down as the greatest screwup by any major country politician-ever…  But the system??? It protected us from any extension of her folly and foolishness, and it is now time to get on with it…

 

 

Not me mate…

So, our mayor Valerie White has been bitten by Twitter… Turns out she didn’t  intentionally post the story about the Asian Escorts moving into Camberley, especially in her role as Mayor of Surrey Heath. But the story very definitely did come from her account…

The lesson? No matter what your kids tell you about how much they think they know about Social Media, don’t believe them, find out for yourself or you will pay dearly.  Unless,of course, you actually don’t mind this sort of thing, then you get what you get.  Was Valerie misquoted? No. Did she intend to promote Asian Escorts in Camberley? No…  Does she regret that someone could do that to her? Absolutely yes. If you don’t know what you are doing on Social Media, Get some help…

On the bright side it gave me the chance for a very pleasant chat with Valerie today…

And exactly what do you do?

This really is the question of the day…And just exactly what is it that you do? Have meetings, listen to presentations? Talk to your advisors? Practice your dance moves for the Barwell shuffle?

Honey, whatever you are wasting your time at, it’s not working… Start with something simple, go and install smoke alarms in the other towers in spitting distance from Grenfell. There a virtual flood of documentaries tonight about the other 4,000 tower blocks with the same problems as Grenfell. And, 5 days later there is still almost no one “in charge”…

So, do the right thing, get some adults in who will do something…

It really is time to start over now…

There is no good way for bad leadership to come to an end, other than just to end.  We awake this morning to yet another disaster in London, this time someone deciding to take it out on Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park.  Some very bizarrely confused person thinks that you can take justice into your own hands  and somehow “fix” anything. But it is  actually quite a bit worse than that, citizens now feel that they cannot and will not get any justice from the government, so they’re saying quite clearly “we’ve had enough”.

Bizarrely, the Prime Minister used that very phrase just a week ago when she said “enough is enough”.  But the ongoing saga of incompetence has reached a whole set of incredible lows this morning  with so many stories that are all now beginning to blend together into one giant continuous nightmare.  And on top of that, this morning, is the front page interview with the Chancellor talking extensively about how incompetent the prime minister is. What?  One of them needs to go today, this very day…

The difficult thing of course is that it all spirals back to the concept of belief. If you don’t believe in anything then you can’t lead anyone.  If all you believe in is getting elected again, then  you don’t actually believe in anything and the whole thing falls apart.  We have a whole group of people in parliament whose only belief is in getting elected again, it’s not surprising that they are unable to lead anyone.