Sunday, 26 November 2006

A Grand Plan or Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Sunday - A bit of time today with the family and to catch up on some paperwork. I wanted to have a really good look at the Thames Gateway Interim Plan released this week with a high profile speech by Prescott's successor Ruth Kelly. I agree that we want "homes not houses" but after reading the 164 page "prospectus" I agree more with Basildon's Conservative Council Leader Malcolm Buckley's description of parts of the strategy as "cloud cuckoo land".

Around 30,000 new homes are planned in the Districts of Basildon and Thurrock. All over the country Labour has built thousands of new homes without increasing schools, hospitals or putting in decent road or transport links. I wanted to see what the documents said about these things.

In the whole 164 pages education in the area gets 3 paragraphs. In Thurrock education is described as "weak", a university campus is promised but there is no mention of schools.

Healthcare gets two paragraphs. Thurrock patients are to go to Basildon - and much is made of the new Cardiac unit at Basildon. That is great if you have heart problems but healthcare is much more than that. This week I went to Basildon hospital to find out what patients thought. They were full of praise for the hard working staff but already think the hospital has out grown its site (especially the car park!).

If the government are to force new homes into the area then we must all stand up and fight for more schools, hospitals and other services too.


Anonymous said...

Dear Vicky you've got my vote because it looks like you have so much energy and common sense.

Becky Scott

News is Good said...

If it is 'common sense' then people who do not have it are uncommon - are not uncommon people just as likely to be uncommonly good as uncommonly bad? Does then it not mean that lacking common sense is not necessarily a bad thing?

Furthermore, common sense is common, which must devalue it. If it is so common, and there are so many problems, it must be that common sense is not enough. If it is common, and therefore widespread, yet there are still problems, it seems that we may need less common sense rather than more of it.

Finally, common sense, if common, will not provide us a choice between different governments or individual candidates. If we have candidates from all major parties (include the BNP, if you wish to chill my blood) and they all had equal common sense, everyone would still be able to choose between them (given enough education regarding their different traditions and policies, I admit) quite easily. So common sense is not even something that we can use to discriminate in this situation!

Therefore I propose a moratorium on common sense until it is a meaningful idea. One cannot vote for a candidate based on common sense if it is a meaningless idea.

alex said...

NIG I think you have just demonstrated what it means to have no common sense!