The legacy of May’s Brexit in name only will destroy the credibility of the Conservatives who do nothing to stop her, just as surely as she has obliterated her own

November 8, 2018 Leave a comment

img_1739-1There are a growing number of accounts in circulation today that outline different ideas and conclusions covering the descent of politics into the deepening depths of the abyss in which it currently resides.

These articles, essays and books speculate on the whys and the wherefores of what the political classes have or have not done to aid, instigate and fuel this downward journey that they have taken us all on. Yet these writings overlook the influence of the human condition, and try instead to convince us that the problems are all systematic.

The problem with these views is that they have been based upon reading the effects of action, non-action or misdirection as the cause itself. They have overlooked or perhaps neglected to observe or detect that which still seems either too simple, or perhaps too unpalatable to accept as being the true origins of the problem.

From this point of view, it is actually important to say none of the writers are wrong, as from a certain perspective based on only some of the facts, what they say is certainly true.

By overlooking the genesis of the problems, they unquestionably fail to recognise that almost every political problem we see manifested is the result of a series of falling ‘decision-dominoes’. Whether it be just one or two, or many more, there is certainly no recognition of the infinite possibilities of where events could have headed either accidently or deliberately, simply because of a directional tumble, located in the chain somewhere in between.

Whilst this often unseen and unrecognisable mechanistic reality gives cause to suggestions of conspiracies and malevolent forces being at work, the chaos Politicians are now causing is rarely attributable to any such truth. The real impact of human motivation and error is as such somewhat foolishly overlooked.

Hanlon’s Razor speaks a rare and quantifiable truth about the reality of the political mess which we have above us. Yet it is difficult to imagine that the behaviour of people who have been gifted such power and responsibility on trust, could in fact be explained by simple stupidity rather than some form of malice. And in terms of the whole myth which surrounds politics, it is this regrettable dynamic upon which many of the issues of disenfranchisement lie.

In what may not actually feel like the rare circumstances due to the none stop bombardment of news which has accompanies it, the Brexit Process provides a magnifying glass of public-wide proportions where the true motivation of otherwise influential politicians can not only be observed, but has been amplified under a very bright spotlight.

Many of our Politicians and in particular our Parliamentarians, have become so ambitious for themselves and their own ideas, that they have simply forgotten why they were elected in the first place and what a Representative of the People is actually in office to do.

Whatever the level in Politics reached, it is sadly true that in all too many cases, as soon as somebody is elected, their beliefs transform and the buy in to the fallacy that now in possession of a Seat, they know better about everything than the electorate, even when through a Referendum, an instruction and conclusion has been handed to them in plain sight. They are certainly unaware that their role is to be no more than a channel, a hub, an interpreter and a voice, and that their true value is in making the best decisions and fighting for change based on information which by its nature must be sourced continually and from a great many different things.

Yet power at all levels in politics is intoxicating. It is too easy for good people, when exposed to the realities of the political bubble, to believe it is their own ideas and decision making which makes them special in the roles that they now have, and that what they think themselves is therefore representative of what everyone else who is sensible and to be taken seriously really thinks too.

So when it comes to reaching the highest levels in politics and that possibility of becoming Prime Minister is now apparently in clear sight, it is then, as we have now for many months been witnessing, that Cabinet Ministers, who might be very capable in other circumstances, have become so blinded by the opportunity that they perceive as being before them. The real chance that they could at any time have the door opened to run for the Conservative Party Leadership and ergo, get an immediate ticket to see the Queen and move into No.10.

They simply have no idea how serious the consequences of their deliberate decision not to be seen as the one who actually stops Theresa May from delivering a Brexit in name only are likely to become.

Whilst the realities of the Westminster bubble are blinding MP’s who at other times we might have good reason to respect, there is now a complete lack of understanding and connection with the outside reality for the people outside of politics.

Real people, with real lives and real common sense who are looking on at the melee that is unfolding, know and understand that what many MP’s and particularly those at the top of the Conservative Party are doing is not what their Representatives were instructed democratically to do.

People know intrinsically that what Theresa May and those placed intimately around her are trying to achieve through manipulation and outright deceit whilst hiding the evidence through mealy mouthed words and lip service to the concrete ambiguity of interpretation is simply wrong. The history of blinding people to the truth of the EU and its disciples is over and the British People will not be conned by self-serving and career-minded Politicians anymore.

The misjudgment of what the Electorate actually thinks, based on a complete misunderstanding of what people are genuinely experiencing and how they really feel about things is what led to the Brexit Vote itself.

These same and unchanging deep-down and experiential views are now – involuntarily I might add – slowly but surely being redirected against the Conservative Party.

Under May’s continuing Leadership and decision to deceive us all by coercing us into Brexit in name only, The Conservative Party is currently destined to cling on to power only through the use of ridiculous deals or compromised coalitions. We should be under no illusion that Conservatives across the Country will be doomed to electoral oblivion, the minute that Jeremy Corbyn is removed by the Labour Party and they elect a Leader who is both credible and genuinely involved.

That Politicians have contempt for the understanding of the Electorate over what being a part of the EU really now is, when they do not themselves understand the insidiousness of the whole Project is in itself damning enough.

That many Politicians are now not only prepared to ignore the Public Instruction to remove us fully from EU Membership, but to tie us up to ensure that the UK will not technically be able to remove itself thereafter borders on politically suicidal and resembles nothing that can even remotely be labelled sane.

The selfishness and naked ambition which is ruling over Westminster is now very clear. Intellectually or viscerally, the People see all that is going on for what its and the most senior of our Politicians who have the ability to head off this catastrophe before it happens, must now put the Country first, remove May and accept that Brexit DOES NOT mean Remain.

Conservatives are going to pay a very high price for this insular and insidious self interest, as will the whole Country itself, if the return to democracy which is now required by the leadership of those who would be king is not facilitated very soon.

Time is running out.

Image thanks to clipartxtras.com

Whilst there is no justification for Parliamentary bullying, a career politics culture at Westminster may hold the real key

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

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Right now, we are all feeling the fallout from an indefinite bout of issue fatigue. The cause being the endless blame game which has taken over news channels at every turn, making us question and in many cases overlook so much of what we now hear.

In amongst the continual barrage of Brexit-esque mischief making currently absorbing everything and highlighted with the ever-present shout-out for Remain, there lies a developing story about another abuse of political power, which yet again should be deeply concerning for us all.

Right at the heart of British Politics, stories of bullying, poor people management and abuse of responsibility are growing, as is yet another tale of the Parliamentary Establishment failing us all by failing to act.

Horrible as it is, bullying can exist within any workplace.

But whether bullying is deliberate and enacted through malevolent intent, is unconscious and reflective more of poor management and social skills on the part of the bully themselves, or more a reflection of how direct management instruction can now be misinterpreted by people who want to brush the realities and requirements of a job description to one side, its presence or the perception of it being so should never go unquestioned. And particularly so when it is our legislators themselves who are intimately involved.

Events that have taken place already are one thing, and there is no doubt that The Speaker should facilitate proper scrutiny of all that has taken place immediately and ensure appropriate responses and transparency throughout.

But work must also be carried out to address the potential for bullying in the future, and to do this it really is important that the impact of the career politics gravy train is made clear openly and the dark realities which influence behaviour in Parliament spelled out.

Regrettably, the evolution of the Political Party System to what it is today has not only made, but actively encourages politics to be an aggressively ambitious place.

However, before running away with the immediate impression that I am focusing just on the behaviour of MP’s and Politicians themselves, it is also important to recognise the roles that they will have played before their own election. Roles which are often subordinate to MP’s, which form the basis and lifeblood of Parliamentary Staff, Jobs that are filled with a plethora of political aspirants who are just as focused on the end game and what is in it for them, albeit at a much earlier developmental stage.

Politics has become all about the job and not about the responsibility. In such an environment, it is inevitable that the aggressiveness which accompanies people on this pathway will win-out, no matter what the stage.

What is not inevitable however, and what is just a sign of the times, is the reliance which has fallen into place, on there being some kind of quasi-dependence on there being a career pathway to a job being an MP at all.

And whilst for the various reasons and for the interpretations of bullying outlined above which make it likely that it will always in some form in the workplace always continue to exist, the return of politicians to the Parliamentary Estate who see their role as a gifted responsibility from and on behalf of the Electorate, rather than a job, a career and therefore a right, will go a considerable way to heading off even the chance of behaviour which has little to do with the impact of decisions and of actions in sight.

 

 

 

 

Brexit is more popular than ever. The majority of people just have better things to do than spend their lives in echo chambers or answering the phone to pollsters

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

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One of the greatest difficulties in politics, is understanding how and why voters’ minds appear to change.

Whether you are looking to get elected to a local council or are running the Country as a Member of Parliament, this fundamental rule simply doesn’t change.

It is a wise politician who can look beyond the noise of media and vociferous campaigns to both see, analyse, interpret, AND trust the basis of the information that they find.

It is an even greater politician who can place this knowledge in the perspective of the political terrain in which they operate, whilst recognising where and how their own flaws may contribute to a possible fall.

In times when politics seems to have become the land of the self-righteous, rather than the place where trust and responsibility to the Electorate are respected in every way that they should, such skill seems not only to be absent, but also well out of anyone’s mind.

Just as the Brexit Vote was misread by people on both sides in the weeks and days leading up to the Referendum, the understanding of what and how people think at any one snapshot moment about Brexit and the manufactured debate about Leave or Remain is as elusive as it always has been.

Data abounds from every direction suggesting that people have changed their minds. Yet there is an odd absence of any suggestion of what they have changed their minds about.

A continual flow of stories tell us that everyone now wants a second Vote about Brexit. Yet there is no detail about why people might actually think that Politicians and the Establishment need to be told all over again.

Above all, there is this overarching and almost tangible feeling that the same people who have always overlooked the feelings, views and realities of others when it comes to the impact of the European Union, are building up to deliberately fail us all on the basis of believing their own propaganda all over again.

Just as lead Remainer Theresa May misjudged the reasons for calling of the 2017 General Election, there are so very many factors which continue to underpin the legitimacy of the Vote to Leave, themselves repeatedly overlooked whilst the realities of changing perspectives over time is being used as a peculiar way to argue that people now want to Remain.

Outside of the Westminster Bubble and the land of the Twitterati, real people have better things to do than be obsessive about the realities of political policy and decision making each and every day. On 23rd June 2016, the Electorate Voted to Leave the EU and that is exactly how they expected it would actually be.

Whilst it may be hard to believe, many people, not understanding how politics in the UK works actually thought that the UK had left the EU as soon as the Result of the EU Referendum was announced. This reality has itself not been without problems and one wonders if even this has been considered when people are now asked if they would like to remain?

 Yes, the mess which has been caused by poor leadership, deliberate intent, deceit and the repeating of a series of untruths over and over again, has created and exacerbated a zeitgeist of complete and utter distrust.

But this uncertainty and lack of faith exists not because people have changed belief or what they feel. Their feelings have always been based on real life experience and to them are very real.

No. The uncertainty and confusion exists because of the behaviour of the people who were elected to represent them. People who upon reaching the highest Publicly Elected Offices that the people of the UK can entrust to them, have simply overlooked and squandered that trust on every front. Politicians who are blinded to the will of the people and are obsessed with the ideal that is Remain.

Rather than keep trying to manipulate peoples views by asking loaded and leading questions, taking sample data which depending which way you read it could be beneficial to either Leave or to Remain, or deliberately overlooking how hard life in this Country is made by policy making formed with biased and misinformed data, why don’t you just get out there and talk to a few people outside of your Parties or back-slapping groups, ditch the labels and stereotypes which you use for excuses, and focus on what will really work for the British People and is in the best interests of this, our United Kingdom, rather than your idealistic and self-serving political indulgences instead?

Those Politicians and Opinionators obsessed with overturning the People’s Decision to Leave the EU at any cost would do well to remember that the power that they now cherish yet so willingly abuse, will no longer exist if they should ever succeed in erasing this Nation, as it becomes little more than a notional province in the EU’s supranational land of Righteous Remain.

The travesty of Tuition Fees was the commercialisation of education, the myth of qualification-related Social Mobility and the creation of lifetime debt for those who can least afford it

November 5, 2018 Leave a comment

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Somewhere, there was a cheer last week. Quieter that the Government was expecting. Bringing noises that didn’t sound quite as expected.

Yes, the dropping of Tuition Fees does sound good. But the question we should all be asking – just as we should have when they were first brought into being is ‘at what cost?’.

Living in the age of political idealism made manifest as we all currently do, it is too easy to get distracted by the noise from the media as new policies are launched.

We fail to look beyond and see the true consequences of what the Government of the day is doing with our money, and what the legacy – and yes, what the fallout will actually be from everything they do.

The creation of Tuition Fees was one of the biggest travesties of them all, simply because it all sounded so good, whilst the negative impact and knock on effects across so many different areas of policy were simply too-far reaching to justify anything about it which was tangibly good.

The UK’s Education System has been failing us all for a long while anyway. But the impact from Tuition Fees was never going to deliver much that really helped anyone in the way that the genuine concept of equality in education for all really should.

That so many former, existing and future students are now destined to have a lifetime of debt must surely now be a given.

Yet it is through the accompanying shift of emphasis from quality of teaching to fee-generation and profit alone within the Further and Higher Education Sectors which has secured the Blair era one of its darkest, yet most unrecognisable legacies as the true cost of ‘degrees for everyone’ becomes manifest and begins to become widely known.

It should come as little surprise that the leaders of the Institutions in these Sectors are now worried that a restriction on Fees may begin a process where ‘struggling’ universities are set to close.

That is the true price of making education a business, when money should never have been the target of a reprioritisation of direction Certainly not where the benefit of both the student, our industries and the National interest itself are so very closely entwined.

Beware the siren calls and suggestion of this being an attack on Social Mobilty too. Academic qualifications have only ever been a very small part of what it takes to get any one person through the perceptual barriers which hold so many people back. Whether they be school-age students, young people, graduates, career changers, returners or retirees, we all have a part to play in everyone else’s future too.

The reality is that the State should pay for everyone’s education. But in doing so, we must be practical and realistic about how access to education is applied and how much benefit is derived to us all from the provision of each and every course.

We must recognise that there is just as much value to be gained by opening up truly vocational opportunities for the less-academically-inclined at the age of 14.

And that as a result of doing so, not only would we release many young people from the painful and unnecessary realities of being in debt, we can also exploit the opportunity to create a parallel track of time-served and experienced trainees to support all of our businesses in a way that the obsession with degree level education has all but denied.

It would be far more sensible to begin this process of change now, accepting that neither the student nor the Nation itself can afford the process of awarding superfluous and non-beneficial degrees. And help the Sector to change through reform, rather than through a process brought on by necessity, which is what is currently sure to happen, if Politicians continue to think that money is the only benchmark by which the future of education can and should be defined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Welching of Brexit finally comes into view, yet there is still no sign that the Cabinet will stop May’s intent to sell us out and set it all in stone as she does

November 5, 2018 1 comment

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Understanding, exploiting and manipulating the flaws of basic human behaviour and voter psychology has been one of the key strengths of the EU from the very start.

Strategically, EU Leaders have long known what has been required to make a United States of Europe an irreversible dream.

Until Brexit, the EU had achieved a near perfect record of doing so.

Yet, in the bizarrest of circumstances, it is our elected leaders and the civil servants around them who have and are doing all the work to ensure that Europe’s supranational club of control is delivered across the UK.

Even now, the Prime Minister, armed with the knowledge of how all of her so-called negotiations and the Chequers debacle have been received, is still working towards the outcome of a Brexit in name only.

Theresa May is banking on the prospect of what she now tells us is Brexit being accepted as so, simply on the basis that time and the war of attrition which has been waged by the Establishment against all those who voted to Leave will have finally worn us all down.

Reading the articles in yesterdays and today’s media, it has become only too evident that the Prime Minister believes that she has achieved her own plan for us to accept whatever truth she herself defines as Brexit as being the very best that we can now expect to get.

With so many different examples of May being outed as committed to a manipulated form of Remain, then let off the hook, just to come back with the very same set of proposals just in a differently worded form, we should have been able to hope that by now, the more genuine of the Politicians around her would have already stepped in and pushed this very contemporary form of treachery to one side.

Whether Trident Tongued Theresa’s triplicity is based on ignorance, stupidity or something far more maligned, there is no way that anyone should be the Political Leader of this Country in circumstances like we find ourselves now.

The Prime Minister is clearly in no way prepared to stand up for our interests, and is committed to selling out not only her own, but the futures of all of us, whether we are young or we are old, to a supranational state which is systematically succeeding in its aims by ‘legally’ removing all processes and apparatus which can be used to identify and facilitate our independence and by which our legal sovereignty can be maintained, if not defined.

That wording is even being considered for a so-called ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ which could be legally interpreted as leaving the UK permanently tied to a Foreign power, their influence and yes – leadership, is at its best the underhand act of someone with only their own future at heart.

It is certainly not the act of any Leader who has a true understanding of the EU strategy AND has accepted that their first loyalty and commitment is to the people who put them in power, rather than to the idealism of a broken ideology whose mast they have selfishly tied themselves to and continue to be inclined.

Within the frenzy of ideas seeking to delegitimise the result of the 2016 EU Referendum and our Democratic decision to Leave Membership of the EU, few of the speakers scrambling over each other in the race to get their voices heard even hint at recognising the true magnitude of the events which they are helping to fuel as they develop around them.

And as we enter the week which sees the 100th Anniversary of the end of the War which we are taught as being the end of legitimised European Empires and the trouble that the leaders of such monoliths bring, our own Prime Minister is looking to sell us out irreversibly into yet another.

The consequences and reality for future generations of seeking the exit from the influence of Foreign power that they inevitably will, may well include the experience of such similar horrors that in the modern day could become even far more profound.

It is not too late to honour the contract and instruction placed upon Government by the EU Referendum Vote and Brexit.

Yet we must hope that someone, somewhere in a position of influence and power will now finally step in and stop May and the self-serving who dwell around her, before this mess and the trouble that is destined to come for us all as a result is fixed and firmly set in stone.

Belief that cannot stand up to scrutiny or ridicule is a problem for the believer, not those who question it

November 3, 2018 Leave a comment

BeliefLike many people, most of whom remain very quiet and even tight lipped about it, I have a growing difficulty getting my head around the growing fashion for attacks on anyone who questions or ridicules any of a certain set of ideas and beliefs of others, whilst people exercising those same beliefs appear free to inflict them on everyone else, even though they are doing exactly the same thing.

Ask anyone how they would feel about having to keep their own views quiet for fear of being intimidated, ostracised, attacked, having their career destroyed or perhaps a lot worse, and very few will argue the benefits of being in such a perilous situation.

Yet turn that position on its head. Question people with a fixed set of beliefs about how those who don’t share their views should be treated and few of the responses will come out through a mirror which should unquestionably leave the outcome looking exactly the same, albeit in a projected form.

Belief, or what we as individuals voluntarily perceive as the world around us, how it works and the systems we have been conditioned to view as the bedrock that underpins it, is to all intents and purposes, the lifeblood of how the human world operates and functions.

Whether it be the extreme of a religious calling, the fashion trends that we follow, the eating plan that we have adopted or even what forms the basis of our basic road sense as we look to cross in traffic. Our whole experience is underpinned by a series of different beliefs.

Many of these beliefs, such as what happens if we place our hand in a fire are shared.

Others, such as Leaving or Remaining in Europe, what constitutes cruelty in terms of animal welfare, or who is the best film star to have ever lived are very much our own, even though we may appear to share them with others.

The former group, that’s the ‘what happens if we run in front of a car’ type of belief, is a practical, accepted or universally accepted basic truth. One which we will rarely question, and when it is, we would not feel a sense of being put on the spot ourselves or that our own experience is being called into question, because we know it to be true.

We simply have no reason to feel that our views or our integrity are being questioned when it comes to universally accepted basic truths, because we know that to question them is itself based either on ignorance, stupidity, or a reason which once investigated would make sense and never be deserving of a disproportional response.

To be in the latter group however, is to be in possession of beliefs based on our own truths, the sum of our own experiences, and could only ever be arrived at by someone who had walked exactly the same path, had the same conversations, seen the same events, been in the same places at the same times, and interpreted the words, teachings and views of others in precisely the same way as we have ourselves.

Oddly, the reality of the latter set of beliefs in others and what the differences present actually mean are increasingly being overlooked, and considered by a growing number to be of the same value as a universally accepted truth.

They see their own views as being above scrutiny, and of such legitimacy that they must not be questioned by others or ‘non-believers’ on any account.

Reading that back, it sounds more likely that I am writing about the Spanish Inquisition or the logic of the Albigensian Crusade, than I am about the behaviour of the Social Justice brigade or a frightened 21st Century Western Establishment bowing to their every demand, because the prospect of doing otherwise makes them too afraid.

But the transfer of unqualified personal, private belief into the realms of legitimised, common accepted truth is now our dangerous reality. One that we must put in check, before the lack of understanding that underpins it begins to dictate everything in the world around us, how we all behave and everything that we do.

This week we have seen a British Magazine Editor step down for making thoughtless comments in an email about Vegans. Yet another incident which overlooks questions about the role of the accused, the accuser and the ‘court of public opinion’ which has subsequently become involved.

You can be sure there has, is and will be a whole lot more incidents of this kind.

Underlying such events is a commonality of errors. A vein of social misdemeanours and blunders which I am afraid to say have, are and will be at some point committed by us all – often without even a hint of deliberate intent. And none of which we would ourselves be likely to find warranting of any form of punishment or unnecessary trial-by-media of it were just a universally accepted basic truth which was involved.

That some can react so very badly to the direct or indirect questioning of their own beliefs is not itself wrong. But such a level of response to that question, whether it was posed in the form of ridicule, analysis or any other form of scrutiny, does itself ask fundamental questions about how strong or indeed comfortable that individual’s own belief in the subject under question might actually be.

Anything perfect, which cannot be disputed, doesn’t need the protection of any form of belief for it to exist or for it to be maintained.

Belief is what you make it.

Cheltenham & Boots Corner: When things don’t add up, questions need to be asked

November 2, 2018 Leave a comment

BCWith the Boots corner closure remaining firmly in local minds, the Council attempts to write the concern off as nothing more than the views of a ‘vociferous minority’.

Regrettably, this is how Local Government glosses over disquiet in the UK today and hitting the spot when it comes to overturning undemocratic decisions is a very hard thing to do, as the whole culture has evolved to protect itself.

In reality, even elected Councillors that do have their local communities and constituents at the heart of what they do, can find it an almost impossible task to get the right questions answered, as the system is geared to allow the close-down of unwelcome debate.

That said, persistence is the greatest ally in achieving worthy aims in Government, and if you keep asking questions, and then the questions which then follow any answers that you might get, the right result is far from being impossible – even if it doesn’t arrive within a timescale that you might find comfortable or like.

If I were representing people in Cheltenham right now, there are a number of questions that I would immediately ask. I would anticipate having many more, depending upon the answers I received or found. They would be as follows:-

Why has Boots Corner been closed?

Whilst it sounds like the answer should be obvious, it isn’t. BUT it is in the interests of the Council and/or whoever benefits from the closure for members of the Public to think that it is. Be sure not to fall into the trap of reading or listening to opinion, such as the article in last Sunday’s Observer, which framed the whole issue as being about pollution. That is just a useful excuse that takes the debate in a very different direction and is designed to make the real issues subservient to those that are in vogue.

Who or what is the driving force behind the change?

Is it the whole Council? Is it one of the Political Groups? Is it Officers? Were there Consultants involved? If there were Consultants involved, who paid the bill and what was the Brief?

What is their reasoning and motivation for the change?

Why now? What do the changes to Boots Corner really achieve? Is the reasoning given the full story, or is there more that we should know?

Who are the real beneficiaries?

Who stands to benefit from the changes at Boots Corner? What will those benefits be? What evidence was used to suggest that these results would be achieved? What modeling was used? What real-life examples were used and how do they relate to the very idiosyncratic nature of Cheltenham’s Road Plan?

What else is happening which is related?

There’s no such thing as coincidence. What else is happening on the same timeline as the changes to Boots Corner? What bigger Strategy is at work?

How did the Council reach the conclusion that the change was necessary?

What was the process within the Council that led to the decision to make the changes at Boots Corner? What is the chronology and timeline of the events that led to it? Who was involved in the process? What influence did each of the Parties involved have?

What evidence or tests being met will confirm the change as permanent?

The changes have been portrayed as being temporary or as a trial. What evidence will be used to decide if the changes at Boots Corner should become permanent? How have those levels been defined? Who has defined them? Who will write up the final Report, Conclusions and table the Proposal for the Council to decide?

What has been used as the basis of those tests?

Where did the ideas or methods come from which have been used to define these tests?

What has changed?

What has changed since the last time the Council and/or other Local Authorities considered closing Boots Corner and decided not to?

What is the long term Strategy?

 Is the closure of Boots Corner part of a much bigger plan? Does the Council intend to pedestrianise the whole of the High Street and Centre of Cheltenham? Is there something on the horizon that isn’t Publicly known?

What consultation with the Public has taken place?

Did a Public Consultation take place? If so, how was it carried out? What questions were asked? Who took part? How many people took part? What were their responses? What questions were raised? How were those questions answered?

What consultation with local businesses has taken place?

Did a Consultation with businesses take part? If so, how was it carried out? What questions were asked? Who took part? How many businesses took part? What were their responses? What questions were raised? How were these questions answered?

What consultation with Developers and Landlords has taken place?

Were Developers and Landlords consulted? What role did they play? What influence did hey have?

What influence has the arrival of the John Lewis store had on Boots Corner and other changes to the Town Centre Traffic system?

Has the arrival of the John Lewis store and its opening this Autumn had any influence on the Council’s decision making? If so, how?

Who designed the current plan?

Who designed the revised traffic and/or road plan to facilitate the Boots Corner closure? What modeling did they use? Why was that modeling considered appropriate as the basis for the changes?

What work was undertaken on traffic displacement modeling?

What work was undertaken on traffic displacement modeling? (Literally, what were the recognisable alternatives for drivers?) Where are the plans and figures showing where the traffic would go when Boots Corner was closed? How do the Council know what alternatives people who used to drive through Boots Corner to access the North of the Town Centre and beyond would use?

What steps were taken in response to the traffic displacement modeling before Boots Corner was closed on 28th June 2018?

What steps were taken to address the impact of the traffic re-routing which was going to take place after the Boots Corner closure BEFORE it actually took place in late June?

All of this information should be available in the Public Realm, but it is far from an exhaustive list of questions, and I am sure that many more would arise as you go along.

The primary sources of information should be the Minutes of the Meetings of the Full Council and also any of the Council’s Committees which have been working on or ‘overseeing’ the Boots Corner changes.

This is where all of the decision making, the reasoning and the evidence that supported it should be open to Public view.

If not, Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) should enable access to anything else that isn’t disclosed because it has taken place outside of Public Meetings.

Please Remember: The Boots Corner Closure is a matter of everyday Public concern. As such, legitimate questions should always be answered when asked or presented appropriately. If the Council and any party involved has been fair, balanced and done everything properly to ensure that the best interests of local people, businesses and anyone it has a duty of care to are served, they will have nothing to hide and everyone working on their behalf will be as open and helpful as they can be. They certainly wouldn’t need to rely on or have reason to resort to ridicule or any other form of personal attack as part of their response – whatever the medium.

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