Author Archives: Aidan Jenkins

We need to ensure our ‘Green Spaces’ are protected at all costs

I’ve recently read the agenda items that my local council have put on their website and I’m dismayed that the term ‘Open Spaces’ is being adopted instead of ‘Green Spaces.’

This for me is far more than simple semantics. I don’t doubt that our Borough does indeed have many Open Spaces, but the desire to treat these as synonymous with Green Spaces is an hugely cynical move. This I feel would make it far easier and clearly more palatable for residents when our cynical council sells off our Green Spaces and makes way for the latest housing development. When challenged, selling Open Spaces sounds far less damaging or controversial.

Of course I understand the need to balance the planning and housing needs of my area, but I’m hugely concerned that far too often our planning for houses and developments is pushed through to appease big business and make money, at the expense of the health and well-being of local residents. Opposition to such plans, even when 2,000 residents oppose something, is seemingly paid lip service.

Greater emphasis should be placed on social housing. Is 10% for each new development really sufficient? Why not 50%? If there really is a ‘housing crisis’, is this really going to be solved by making developers and builders richer? Our current model of planning is clearly unsustainable?

As part of our ongoing strategy and policy for building a fairer Britain we need to be much more radical in our approach and stricter on our commitment to plans that we have a negative impact on our long term health and well-being. Should building for sustainable homes therefore always be carbon neutral and therefore enshrined in law? The risk to these Green Spaces and therefore an ongoing legacy for our children/grandchildren is at stake.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 24 Comments

Woke or Asleep?

I think we’ve reached a very interesting phase in our UK politics.

The ‘free’ British press can write whatever they like as long as you’re willing to pay for it.  Brexit Britain is a place where expats living abroad voted leave and then are very surprised when their host government asks them to do likewise; where our great fishing industry has now escaped the dreaded EU red tape, to have replaced it with more excellent British Red, White and Blue tape that is now crippling a once thriving industry.

Good job we ‘took back control’ when we did as I’m sure we would have needed Brexit for our successful vaccine roll-out, which is, incidentally probably the only real thing our incumbents have done a decent job at. Even then we only have to scratch the surface to see some have ‘jumped the queue’ and claimed to work in social care when they don’t and there has still been poor take-up in many ethnic minority communities. It’s like they don’t trust the government or something to treat minority groups fairly and with respect? I will welcome an independent enquiry to unpick these challenges in the future, but now is not the time.

My big gripe at the moment may well be down to semantics.

The idea and thought of Liberalism seems to have become a dirty word. ‘Liberal elite’ is used like a pejorative insult and the word ‘woke’ expelled with the vitriolic bile of a thousand angry ducts.

This idea of being woke is not something new. Liberal thinkers have often been labelled or abused for looking to do the ‘right thing’. This is like the latest and next in a long line of jargon created by our press gangs to cause disquiet, disillusionment and discredit those who would seek to make life more acceptable, helpful or comfortable for all. Equality if you like.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

We need to show that we are not a one-trick Brexit pony

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As a new member (I joined in June) Brexit, or rather stopping Brexit, was one of the reasons I joined. Yet this wasn’t the sole reason. Likewise my new colleagues have no doubt been pushed ‘over the line’ by our strong Anti-Brexit stance.

Yet, what happens post Brexit?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 88 Comments

Recent Comments

  • John Marriott
    @Nonconformistradical So, it’s “significant numbers” now, is it? Not “most” then? Following your ‘challenge’ I did a bit of Googling and came up...
  • expats
    O.M.G.... Healthy animals being culled, produce rotting in the fields, care homes and hospitals desperate for staff, trucks standing idle, etc. and the aged, o...
  • Joe Bourke
    Matt, the HGV driver shortage appear to be easing
  • Joe Bourke
    I agree that job guarantees for long-term unemployed are a useful supplement to the social safety net (as is a guaranteed minimum income), but do not think we ...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @John Marriott I don't have an agenda. Perhaps you have the agenda - of making out that a - let's call it significant - number of young men trying to cross the...