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Poujadisme, in Desborough, Kettering, England

10 ‘Conservative’ Councillors (of the 12 complement) on the Town Council in the little town of Desborough in Northamptonshire have resigned after an apparent hostile response to a 400% tax rise imposed by the local council, and there is an alleged undercurrent of unpleasantness in the local reaction, perhaps the spirit of Poujard lives on.

The BBC tells us:

Desborough Tory councillors’ mass ‘bullying’ resignation

Well, who is the bully?

Is it the Council for ramping up tax by 400% from £19.10 to £96.98 per year on those who have to pay, with the sort like the Chairman, Councillor Pearce, of whom it is reported:

Ms Pearce… …said “with hindsight we perhaps should have sent out some kind of warning it was coming”.

and then went on to say:

“But I absolutely whole-heartedly believe it was the right thing to do and I would do it again tomorrow in a heartbeat,”

That’s a ‘Feck you!‘ if ever I heard one, and which I assume is a reference to the true costs coming through after some financial juggling used to disguise the costs of the Council ended (more like that later). And the article goes on, Ms Pearce said that:

she was “shocked by the ferocity” of the reaction.
“My husband’s taken abuse on Facebook. I’ve had comments made to my eldest child who’s only 15. I’ve had people try to stop children playing with my nine-year-old daughter.

So a frank expression of views and voluntarily withdrawing social interactions is shocking when you start robbing people under colour of law?

Her observation?

“They didn’t ask for that and they don’t deserve that.”

I think that is exactly what the residents are telling you, Madam! Action and re-action, this is not bullying, it is intra-election consultation.

For our more international readers, this council is about the smallest unit of local government that can levy taxes, and this council probably doesn’t need to exist, it can add a local ‘precept’ onto the taxes levied by the other local authorities, (4 layers are possible, 3 with taxing powers), all of which is loaded onto the ‘Council Tax’ bill that households pay, overall bills can be in the region of £1,200 to £2,000+ p.a.

To the resigning Councillors, I say ‘Oh dear, how sad, never mind‘, and count yourselves lucky that you live in such temperate times.

Meanwhile, at a County level, the County Council for Northamptonshire have spent £53,000,000 on a new headquarters, and in true Parkinson’s Law fashion, with the new HQ, matters have started to disintegrate, with spare money running out, so they have had to go to the government and tell them that they have cocked things up and run out of discretionary money to spend.

So having moved into a new HQ in October 2017, they are now looking to sell it to keep themselves going (by which they mean ‘sell it to a company who will lease it back to them, so that they can squander the capital and saddle locals with rent charges’ rather than ‘downsize and cut costs’). It’s just as well that the entire County is not rising up to berate the County Councillors, but perhaps the whole thing is too complicated and remote for people to care.

But at least the spirit of Poujade stirs from time to time, the BBC might think like Durin’s Bane, but actually more like Beorn. There is hope yet in England. And the Sage might wish to maintain a discretion on this one.

Edit: an erroneous ‘r’ removed, my apologies to the Gods of Accuracy, Spelling and M Poujade, and my thanks to Appianglorius, the price of accuracy is eternal vigilance, its true.

31 comments to Poujadisme, in Desborough, Kettering, England

  • John Bull

    I note the ‘antics & parties’ catagory 😆

  • Appianglorius

    That would be “Poujadisme”, not “Poujardisme”, btw

  • Mr Ed

    Appianglorius,

    Thank you, edited.

    JB,

    Well, it’s a sort of Tea Party 🙂

  • Paul Marks

    I spend the first five years of my life just outside Desborough – and I still live only a few miles away.

    In 1974 Desborough (like Rothwell and Burton Latimer) was included in Kettering Borough Council – but the local council was NOT abolished. Desborough Town Council still exists (although its members are unpaid) and the local people still demand (yes demand) that it do X,Y,Z.

    A real hard hearted bastard (for example – me) might turn round to people and say “you are not prepared to pay for what you are asking for – so we are not going to do it”, but that would not go down well. What certain locals (certain individuals) want is X,Y,Z for Desborough, but for them NOT to pay for it. Desborough does not have the right to levy a Council Tax – so it has to levy a Precept (essentially a special charge on top of what the Borough charges) such a Precept is going to vary wildly, so saying “it has gone up 400%” does not really explain the matter – sometimes the Precept just pays for the town clerk, sometimes there is something major that the locals (yes the locals) have demanded.

    There have been threats of violence against these councillors and their families – some of whom I have known for many years. And at least one person has had a brick put through their window. They have had enough (as the police are totally useless) and have resigned (remember Town Councillors are not paid – death threats are something I am paid to get, they are not) – someone else can give the locals X,Y,Z which people demand, whilst paying for it with magic spells.

    As for County – at Borough level the first thing I ever did was vote against (and work against) a new H.Q. (we are still in the old High School building put up just before the First World War) – but it is not the new County building that is the cause of the crises at County – it is “Adult Social Care”.

    Before Britain became a Progressive country families and churches (and mutual aid fraternities – Friendly Societies) looked after the old, now the people demand that the government does, but the people do not want to pay for this.

    One can not square this circle – in Northamptonshire or anywhere else (for Northants is the tip of the Welfare State iceberg) people demand (I repeat – demand) Adult Social Care for the old and sick, but they are not prepared to pay for it. Indeed as personal budgets are very tight – many people could not possibly pay the increase in Council Tax to pay for it.

    We live in atomised Progressive country – where some (some) families do not look after their parents and grandparents (indeed some people do not know who are their fathers or grandfathers are – not in the modern world) and the churches and Friendly Societies have declined to a dramatic degree. But people are not willing (or perhaps able) to pay the tax burden that such Progressivism (such a collapse of traditional society) naturally leads to. I do not know what solution there is to this – as it is much easier to destroy traditional society (married husband and wife – with the man working and the woman looking after the children and the elderly) than it is to create it. Indeed it took centuries to create traditional society – and has only taken since the 1960s to destroy it.

    As for myself – I have only been involved in local politics (other than at school) since 1979 (I was not around in the 1950s when society was still strong – but it does seem to have strong then, in spite of various government schemes already having been around for decades), but I have had one motto since I first started knocking on doors in 1979.

    “Never ask the people what they want – ask them what they are prepared to pay for”.

    Ask some people what they want and they will ask for the Moon and Stars (and the solid gold toilets that “Lenin” promised), ask them what they are prepared to PAY FOR, and it turns out that there is not much they are prepared to pay for.

    But someone has to look after the old and sick – unless they are going to be allowed to die in the streets. Many people no longer have real families (not in this Progressive country – where the family has been in decline for so many decades) and churches and Friendly Societies have essentially collapsed.

    If anyone knows how to square this circle – then send your solution to Northamptonshire County Council. As for Kettering Borough Council – we have our own problems, which require attention thank-you-very-much to anyone who wants to help.

    People who still have a functioning society, such as Mormons (at least in Utah) and Orthodox Jews, are perhaps the way back – but I doubt that traditional principles are going to come back for most people any time soon. I fear things will have to get worse, a lot worse, before they get better.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course death threats are part of modern life – I do not just get them as a councillor, I get them in the park (an independent charitable trust) as well. If I had a Pound for every time someone has screamed “I am going to fucking kill you!” in the days when I used to charge them to park, I would be a wealthy man. And some of them used to spit at me as well – which is why I have pock marks (many people have diseases – so I have them as well).

    Such is modern Britain – but Town (as opposed to Borough or County) Councillors, are not paid. So there is no reason for them to put with this.

    In a certain election campaign (not the ward I live in – or the ward I currently represent) I came close to bowing out of politics as well. Largely because of the people who kept telling me they wished I had been gassed (that I was part Jewish had got around) – it was boring, and actually rather irritating. I lost that election campaign – and almost (almost) just walked away from local community politics.

  • Dalben

    I don’t live in England, so my question is if people are so extremely upset why can’t they vote out the current crop of councillors and vote in new ones who will lower the taxes. I know it’s often hard to get rid of local politicians, but if the outcry is so bad you’d think they could.

  • I don’t live in England, so my question is if people are so extremely upset why can’t they vote out the current crop of councillors and vote in new ones who will lower the taxes. I know it’s often hard to get rid of local politicians, but if the outcry is so bad you’d think they could.

    Unfortunately there is no concept of a recall election in the UK, so to get rid of a bunch of councillors would require waiting until the next council elections (which might be years away) and fielding your own candidates (since “the other lot” are either as bad or worse) with an uncertain outcome.

    Threats (and indeed acts) of mob violence are far from the model of democracy that we would want, but it is undeniable that it is often effective as demonstrated by this event and the numerous protest movements since the 1960’s.

  • Lee Moore

    Dalben : my question is if people are so extremely upset why can’t they vote out the current crop of councillors and vote in new ones who will lower the taxes

    I suspect that Paul Marks is right and the voters’ real beef is not so much with the current crop of councillors. The fellow they really want to vote out, and through whose window they want to heave a brick, is Mr Arithmetic. Who, it must be conceded, is something of a tyrant.

  • Mr Ed

    The violence and criminality puts those objectors in the same category as the violent Leftists that plague the West. There might also be disgruntled grudge-holders involved. What is not clear is why a Council imposing a 400% tax hike did not should about it and explain why, or resign in protest at the tax increase, or vote for the abolition of the Council as an expensive and pointless farce, rather than say ‘I’d do it again in a heartbeat‘.

    As the Sage points out, ask them what they will pay for, and you get a different response. In the UK, over 12,000,000 voted Labour at the last GE, that’s a huge cohort who would turn the UK into a cold Venezuela and even if their own socialism left them hunting badgers for food, they would not care to be told that they have got what they asked for. However, whilst the idea that taxes are bad holds sway, even if it is only ‘bad, because I have to pay‘, there is still the idea, mixed up with whatever vile and loutish thoughts, that lower taxes are better.

    Remember that now with decades of State-sabotaged education, many adults are profoundly ignorant of the world, of history and are hostile to reason. I know professional adults unaware of the distinction between Catholic and Protestant faiths, nor the origins, unaware of the barest of facts about the World, who nonetheless hold good jobs and are good at what they do, but for the Left it is enough that they know nothing.

    As for Social Care, in a neighbouring County to Northamptonshire I know of a Social Care department which spent a year discussing how to re-organise services, before settling on reducing administrators but keeping the same number of managers for those services, whilst the old and ill pile up.

    Why are families collapsing? Illegitimacy, the exorbitant cost of housing, the pull of work to London (fuelled in part by fractional reserve banking and government largesse), meaning many adults live hundreds of miles from their parents, and general decay.

    Is there a cure?

    Yes, when the money runs out.

  • bobby b

    Mr Ed
    February 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

    “What is not clear is why a Council imposing a 400% tax hike did not should about it and explain why, or resign in protest at the tax increase . . .”

    Does it make any difference if you stop talking about a 400% tax increase and instead speak of an L80/year (sorry, no pound symbol here) increase?

    Obviously there’s much context missing in my knowledge of the situation, but a $112/year tax increase strikes me as trivial, especially when you point out that they could have merely tacked that amount on to the larger body’s tax bill and then (I assume) collect it through that.

    (I guess what I’m saying is, this story makes little sense to me. You have people hounding local pols out of office over a tax increase of slightly more than $100/yr. There HAS to be more going on here.)

  • Mr Ed

    Sorry that should have been ‘shout about it‘.

    Well bobby b, it might be Parkinson’s Law at work, people react to things that they comprehend, especially money, more readily, and a sudden hike in a bill from the town they live in may be more comprehensible and generate more reaction, than something imposed from the County, where the details get lost in the larger amount (and at a County level tax rises are somewhat managed by specific rules). Here they can ‘see’ that they are being ‘ripped-off’ as for what appears to be the same ‘services’, the cost has shot up, and the reaction is ‘That’s got to be wrong’. Being simple folk, they can’t be bothered to understand the swamp of local government finance. And then you have the County spending £53,000,000 on a new HQ that they cannot afford, again, Parkinson’s Law, the Councillors cannot comprehend such figures and assume that if the officials say it is a good idea, it must be.

    Remember that in life and in politics, there was never a man so hated, as he who told the truth. (And he was raised in that town).

  • CaptDMO

    Of COURSE the exit of Town Counselors makes them the bullies.
    They refuse to do the heavy lifting, support, propping-up, agree, accept, carry out, extortion, embezzlement, and enforcement, of “The Final Solution”.
    Are we to understand they DON’T concur that The Emperor’s New Clothes are the finest in the land?
    Have they declined to participate with the “Big Picture” of “WE” must Bell the Cat?

  • Laird

    $100 does seem a trivial amount, as bobby b says, but it might have been simply a tipping point, the proverbial straw which broke the camel’s back. Still, death threats and bricks through windows are an irrational overreaction (especially for an increase which was imposed over a year ago [in 2016]).

    But in one respect it’s refreshing to see the people pushing back; it happens far too little. One recalls Kipling:

    We are the Little Folk – we!
    Too little to love or to hate.
    Leave us alone and you’ll see
    How we can drag down the Great!
    We are the worm in the wood!
    We are the rot in the root!
    We are the germ in the blood!
    We are the thorn in the foot!

    It’s good for our betters to be reminded of that occasionally.

  • Richard Thomas

    Perhaps I have passed the peak of the proverbial hill and inflation has also taken its toll but I can still remember times when 100GBP was most definitely not “trivial”. Be careful not to judge by your own standards.

    Also bear in mind that this is not an isolated thing. Wages stagnating, prices rising, taxes and fees coming out of the woodwork everywhere. All small, all trivial but it all adds up and takes from quality of life and adds stress. It’s not really that surprising that if people are able to find someone close by to latch on to and take their frustrations out on, they do. (Meanwhile, higher levels of government tend to remain comfortably isolated from the hoi polloi).

  • Agammamon

    For those not understanding the ‘overreaction’ – its likely not to the 100 Pound increase on its own. Very likely its to the ‘We’ll do what we want and you will comply’ thinking in the council that this increase laid bare for all to see.

    The increase might have been absolutely necessary – and so the council should have made its case. They didn’t feel the need to keep the people they serve informed. Hang ’em.

  • bobby b

    “$100 does seem a trivial amount, as bobby b says, but it might have been simply a tipping point . . . “

    True. I’m just frustrated that the story seems to me to leave so much unsaid. Having been involved in enough news stories that were never reported accurately to have no faith whatsoever in our media cousins, this unexplored citizen reaction strikes me as strange, and thus I end up questioning the entire story and wondering what biases crafted it.

    But then, I’m cynical that way.

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    A local newspaper has another side to the claims of bullying

    Sharon Ellaway said members of the public have been told to shut up when they’ve asked questions. She said: “There have been numerous questions raised by Desborough residents around the precept, budget and trying to get honest answers in relation to where and how our money is being spent. “Members of the public have been told to shut up and the body language of the councillors has been absolutely disgraceful. “I have not been involved with anything historically so I have attended the meeting with an open mind and what I have witnessed is absolutely beyond belief.” And Ben Murphy-Ryan said that the councillors’ behaviour at meetins would not have been tolerated in a workplace. He said: “Many concerned citizens have tried to engage in conversation using different channels, ask questions around how the precept money was being spent and have been closed down. “The lack of transparency and openness by the Tory councillors has been astonishing and their behaviour would not be tolerated in a business environment.

    The budgets are on the Council website and have curiously round numbers:

    2016/2017

    2017/2018

    Please bear in mind that, particularly in local government/the voluntary sector in the UK, not rarely the term ‘bullying’ is used in retaliation when someone is asked what they are doing, or why can’t they do their job.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b and others.

    I have explained the matter at some length in my comment – I am often told that my comments are “ungrammatical” so people can not understand them. However, I write in the same way that I talk, and people have no problem understanding what I say to them. Anyway I can not write in any other way – so if I am at fault I apologise.

    Yes the “Precept” is about hundred Pounds – and yes the very people who demanded that Desborough Town Council do X,Y,Z are the same people who are throwing bricks through windows and threatening murder (which the police are doing nothing about – as the people concerned are violent, so certain, NOT all, police officers are wary of them), when asked to pay for what they demanded. “Something more is going on here” – yes of course, it is called cultural decline leading to cultural collapse. I have been banging on about this for many years.

    Still to bring people up to date with local affairs….. and it is astonishing that people from all round the world seem to be interested in them……

    Last night I was informed that a County Council person had not turned up to talk to us in Kettering Borough Council about parking matters in certain areas of the town – because he could not afford the petrol money. I assumed this was a joke – but it appears to be the case, County Councillors are unsure they will get their fuel paid as “expenses” (I have never put in an “expense claim” in all my years as a councillor – but other people appear to depend on them) and the gentleman could not afford the fuel to drive to Kettering (about a dozen miles I believe) himself.

    At the same meeting a councillor, who shall remain nameless, asked about a women who had been “escorted” to a cash point by a “homeless person” (what was called in reactionary times a vagrant – or “sturdy beggar”) and been forced to give him money. The councillor wished to know what the correct form-and-procedure was for dealing with this – I tried to mention that it was actually a CRIME and the police should ARREST the “homeless person”, but I do not think I got anywhere. I remember at a previous meeting at another place (some months ago) the police saying that it was very distressing for their officers to see “homeless people” injecting themselves with heroin in the streets. I did try to suggest that they arrest the “homeless people” who inject themselves with heroin on the street and attack passers by for money to feed their habit – but time has moved on and there are modern procedures and so on to be followed.

    On the positive side…. there are still some “reactionary” police officers around here (who will remain nameless – as the powers-that-be would force them out of the Police Force if they knew who they were), who still believe in enforcing the law and arresting criminals. The idea that the British police are entirely about “diversity” and hunting down “thought criminals” (people who make reactionary comments on the internet – such as errr ME), and so on – whilst letting rapists and murderers do as they please, is actually WRONG. They are NOT all like that.

    We must NOT exaggerate the situation – it is NOT a “Mad Max” (if people remember that film) situation yet. For example there are actually only a few murders in Kettering – and I have never been attacked for money (of course I have been attacked – but not robbed) in all my years living in this town. So we must have a sense of proportion.

  • Paul Marks

    “vote in politicians who will lower the taxes”.

    Actually the Council Tax of Kettering Borough Council has been fixed for years – which means that inflation has “lowered the tax”. If people had voted for the opposition their Council Tax would be much higher than it is.

    County has increased their tax demand (which we have to collect for them) – but that is not our decision. Kettering Borough Council spending has been dramatically cut – and that has not been popular (I remember various people being told they could not have what they wanted because the Jew Councillor, I am actually Anglican but I am partly Jewish in terms of family origin, had stolen the money – they appeared to be quite upset about the evil things I had supposedly done). By the way it is County (not Borough) that has de facto gone bust. They put up their tax (we did not) and they (not us) have de facto gong bust – is that clear to people now.

    As for Desborough Town Council – I keep typing out the following, and people keep not understanding it.

    The local people in Desborough asked for (demanded) X,Y,Z – and now they are objecting to paying for it, voting in different councillors would not change this.

    As I so often say (especially when dealing with new councillors) “NEVER ask the people what they want – ask them only what they are prepared to PAY for”.

    “But Paul – you would not give the people anything nice” – of course not, because they are not prepared to pay for it.

    If I was a wealthy man it would be different – but a Councillor can only “give” people what they are prepared to pay for. NEVER ask the people what they want – only ask them what they are prepared to pay for, and tell them how much money this will be.

  • Paul Marks

    My personal view (and I stress this is a personal view) is that the local government structure set up in 1974 is too complicated. For example even the library left to Kettering by Andrew Carnegie was taken by Country in 1974 – and that is an outrage.

    In my personal (personal) view, Kettering should take over the functions of County (in this area) and the Town Councils (considering that Desborough Council does not appear to be popular with the local population – and they object to its Precept). Either as Kettering Borough Council or as the heart of a North Northants Unitary Council, we should take over.

    “Paul, that is a naked power grab” – of course it is, I am a politician. However, both County and the Town Councils (at least Desborough) appear to have come to the end of the road – so, I would argue, it is time for us to take over.

  • bobby b

    Thanks, Paul. I actually did understand what you were saying. My confusion stemmed from attempting to reconcile what you said with what Mr. Ed said in his OP.

    It occurred to me only too slowly that the two things couldn’t be reconciled. Once I realized that, all became clear. Or, at least, clearer.

  • Paul Marks

    Sorry for implying that you did not understand bobby b.

    I think what Mr Ed and I said were different aspects of the truth – looking at different things.

    Local councillors (and not just Town Councillors) do seem unable to say “you can not have at – because we can afford it”, even at Borough level I have been, unofficially, given this task (in the past) because I am not shy about saying it.

    This lack of frankness can indeed make councillors seem distant or even misleading. And the accounts that Mr Ed has kindly provided do not really help – as they are presented in such a way (by law) as to be utterly confusing and misleading.

    As for Adult Social Care (the County mess) – of course it is not well provided, but expecting government (at any level) not to be bureaucratic is really expecting too much. The decline and fall of modern society is a complex story (Mr Ed tried to sum it up in a few words – but I think he would agree it is more complex than that, although what he said was certainly important and basically true).

    Could we here in Kettering look after Adult Social Care better than County does? If you said “less badly” – I think the answer is YES.

    Lastly on Desborough – the Town Councillors (ex town councillors now) would point out that they are unpaid volunteers.

    I think that having the Borough take over both County and Town Council functions is the way forward – but, as Mandy Rice Davis might have said, “he would say that, wouldn’t he”. I am a Borough Councillor – “all power for us” might be one way of describing my position.

  • My personal view (and I stress this is a personal view) is that the local government structure set up in 1974 is too complicated. (Paul Marks February 6, 2018 at 11:00 am)

    My personal view, based, be it admitted, on a (thankfully!) less intimate experience of it than Paul, is that the 1974 reorganisation of the councils (presided over by the unlikeable Ted Heath so alas we cannot formally blame it on Labour, though I suspect Sir Humphrey had something to do with it) was a right-old mess. We may be agreeing, and ‘too complicated’ is diplomatic councillor-speak for the same thing, or it may be that if I knew more about the state before and the alternatives proposed I’d be a little less critical.

    On the more general topic, Mr Ed’s original article quotes Ms Pearse describing the ‘ferocity’ of clearly-expressed criticism and unfriending behaviour – i.e. free-speech. Paul, by contrast, has referred to a brick being thrown through a window – an act which would justify talk of ‘ferocity’ (and is not something I care for, quite apart from the fact that bricks through windows to protest a £100 tax increase easily translate to bricks through windows for a similar-sized benefit cut.) Are the bricks being cast by those who disliked the tax rise or those who hoped to benefit from it? (I’ll happily read detail/follow links if offered; whether ‘ferocity’ is a snowflake absurdity or a just description makes quite a difference to the case. I see that Mr Ed seems to confirm Paul at February 5, 2018 at 9:00 am.)

    (On a lighter note, I live in Scotland – so think the tax-paying inhabitants of Desborough hardly know they’re born. 🙂 )

  • James Hargrave

    Ah, 1974. My history teacher took me to meet his friend, the former clerk (they had modest titles) to a Rural District Council that had just been abolished – the clerk received a very handsome pay off. We then move on to overpaid ‘chief executives’, i.e. clerks, and other monstrosities, and rationalised committee structures, leading to the cabinets in local govt invented by that pernicious idiot Blair, and more and more payments of councillors. Hmm. The big is beautiful lie of the 1960s – bigger councils, though with fewer members would attract a better calibre of councillor. Hmm/ Generally, unemployable political apparatchiks. And thus, local govt ceases to be local… Now, proper councils for proper local areas, with unremunerated volunteers – those would attract local people interested in putting something into the local area, as they always have. Very unfashionable. A council for Kettering – fine. Something called ‘Three Rivers District Council’ not fine. Unitary authorities for, for example, Northumberland – barking mad.

  • Mr Ed

    “Is not the word for ‘Council‘ in Russian ‘Soviet‘? No further questions, M’Lud.”

  • Paul Marks

    James Hargrave – you have presented the matter correctly.

    Mr Ed (and others) there was another development this evening – at the Monitoring and Audit Committee the Labour Chairman proposed an increase of the Council Tax, and it took some prompting for the Conservative members of the Committee to oppose him.

    So if anyone wants to know what has been learned from the events in Desborough the answer is – NOTHING AT ALL.

  • Mr Ed

    It is the spirit of John Major ‘We have spent more than Labour promised to spend‘, he boasted in 1997, referring back to the 1992 General Election. I also see reports that Labour are now sniffing around Desborough Council for a chance to win it back, having held it from 1978 to 2003.

    The problem is that ‘Conservatives’ believe in nothing, so they will believe anything.

  • harleycowboy

    The problem with government agencies is that they have to spend all of their money in order to get more because “we ran out”. If the requirement was changed to “staying under budget by 10% you get more money” because your fiscally responsible.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Meanwhile, at a County level, the County Council for Northamptonshire have spent £53,000,000 on a new headquarters, and in true Parkinson’s Law fashion, with the new HQ, matters have started to disintegrate, with spare money running out, so they have had to go to the government and tell them that they have cocked things up and run out of discretionary money to spend.

    Here in “greedy banker land”, the glorious regulators have instructed us to “ring-fence” retail accounts so that a future market crash affecting risky deals wont allow the bank to raid the money from customers to compensate, after all that’s the job of the government

    About time we started “ring-fencing” the government finances ?

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