AND SO INTO ANOTHER YEAR!

The Christmas tree & decorations were taken down with the same yearly uneasy level of anticipation; will the lights work & will anyone be around in 12 months time to enjoy them? The cards ready be finally checked to determine who failed the 12 months survival test. Of course, this is hit & miss calculation when postage charges continue to rise. Years ago, I screwed up the courage not to send one card and made a handsome contribution to a charity. I felt dreadfully guilty every time a card arrived but now, apart from the rare exception when I do reciprocate, charity benefits. This year it was the Salvation Army & the Leprosy Mission. Leprosy can now be cured for £24. How many 2nd class stamps is that?

The New Years Honours caused the usual embarrassment to most fair minded citizens and have been a sick joke for years. The awards are so embarrassingly bent! My star prize for the “Seriously Blatant Taxpayers Rip-Off Award”, goes to the Lords Speaker, £101,000 a year Lady D’Sousa. We all picked up the tab for £230 for making her chauffeur driven car wait four hours whilst her ladyship attended the opera a mile from Parliament. Next, she & Teeny John Bercow, the Commons Speaker took separate cars to the Arch Bishop’s enthronement. Same venue, same arch bishop! She beat his £525 trip in her E class Merc at the cost of £627.60.Lady D’S doesn’t confine her greed to theses shores, oh no!

An executive harbour view in Hong Kong cost an eye watering £293, as part of her Tokyo Hong Kong BA business class jolly last autumn. £3,281 of taxpayers money was shelled out on that trip but thankfully her next executive deluxe 5 star hotel room in Taipei was a bargain at £248 for 5th October.

My second not for blatant greed but “Serial -Cock -Up Award” goes to to Lyn Homer, otherwise known as Dame Disaster. Her chief executive £175K a year role was upended by a postal vote scam but so what, the shambolic Border agency was soon under her command, described in Parliament as not fit for purpose. Presiding over the wrong release of 1000 foreign prisoners did nothing to dent her ever upward career trajectory.

As the boss of HMRI in 2012, over 14 million miscalculated tax bills hit the fan. It got worse. In 2014, HMRI failed to answer 18 millions phone calls for assistance. So arise Dam Homer for services to public finances! (Or public foul-ups maybe?). She copped over a million in bonuses during as she steadily left a trail of disasters in her wake. And George Osbourne, suggested she was a fine public servant. Under this PM, the Honours system is now even more tainted.

I feel sorry for the Queen who has the unenviable task of dishing them out but even more sorry for the thousands of decent deserving people who must feel let down by such duplicity. Two worthy ladies were mentioned in local press last week, one being a recipient of an MBE who wept when she opened her letter.

If it was not so harmful to my fellow Tory Cllrs as political balance is important, although blatant cronyism pales into insignificance when compared with the Blair Iraq war debacle, I’d ditch my party. Walking away is honourable but stupid particularly as I move into my final months as an elected member.

There is still much to do as several issues beg attention such as why Flintshire still has no crematorium and what was the true cost to the taxpayer on how officers oversaw that seemingly woefully inadequate manner of how AD Waste services was brought in house.

My continued determination to seek the truth behind this expensive saga, has been wetted by an emailed instruction from ( guess who)? that forbids me from asking further questions. And for good measure, the officers who know where the bodies lie have also been given the same order!

Happy New Year, residents, officers & staff. The Court of Human Rights decision on the ex Cllr Heesom case must be handed down soon. If the council lose, this Authority could be for a stonking great legal bill. Welsh Gov has quietly coughed up his lawyers legal fees of £2 million, repeat, £2 million. All very hush hush of course.

I couldn’t calculate the stamps needed to cure a leper so I can’t work out the cost of the legal bill that we might have to settle either. But from March 2009 until 2014, at a suggested £250 an hour it’s going to be big; possibly enough to cure leprosy for good.

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