Planning committee – March 2019

From a Nottingham Post article on proposal for 422 student flats accommodation between Mansfield Street and York Road.
The accommodation is needed, but the rear views are a tad monolithic.
Councillor Mike Edwards, who represents the Bridge ward for Labour, added: “The tops of the buildings are just blocks with straight lines, and it’s just not good enough.
“We need some approach that makes the tops of the building more interesting.
“I don’t want to send a signal to say we don’t support this, but I do want to send a signal that says the top of these buildings needs to be better.”


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They gave “likes” to egg a murderer on

from The Guardian

49 killed.

Came home, just, to hear the tail-end of a pundit on BBC News tv saying Muslims can do more to tackle the aspects of their beliefs that lead to terrorism.
Well maybe, maybe not.

But imagine my surprise when the news explains the culprit was a white Australian right-winger.  

So some focus please.
– 
And arrests for those sharing the videos and those publishing comments supporting the killing.  
– 
and I’ve just been told by a journalist “we’ve got to change our behaviour”.
No, we’ve got to prosecute those who’ve done it and encouraged it.

Now, no doubt there are things for social media suppliers to tackle.
But they should not be the focus.
It’s those that did and those that encouraged it who should be prioritised.

The BBC are not helping by dumbing down their output. This morning’s explanation of Parliament not being able to reach a resolution is an example of that.
– 
And yesterday morning’s chat show finished with a man repeatedly shouting down the line that those who were supporting Remain were guilty of treachery.  
The media wind people up and then let the hatred spread.  
– 
So enough of the we care line from them.
Please, a focus showing people at our best, and being at their best even when they disagree.

But that’s for after those who encouraged the massacre are found.

The graphic exaggerates to make the point, but the point needs making. BBC tv, who I don’t take to be biased between left and right, but did have this hand-wringing stuff suggesting we were all at fault for this one; and we are not.
So yeah, if the culprit is charged, and his helpers, then prosecute all those who liked the transmissions and egged the murderer on as well.

Meanwhile, some of the 50 killed.

For a kinder politics

Three claims in particular distress me about the claims being made by MPs leaving the Labour Party to create an Independent Group.
1. that Labour are putting their policy views ahead of the needs of the country;  
2. that politics is broken;  
3. that politics needs to address the needs of our times, (of the 21st Century), and it doesn’t.
–  
To which –
1. that Labour are putting their policy views ahead of the needs of the country;  dressing up differences in vision for the country as betrayal is often cited but is anti-political;  and charges like this were made against New Labour when we were in power too; 
2. that politics is broken; party politics deciding affairs is the fundamental test by which you assess whether we have a free society;  party political allegiances are under strain at the moment, but that’s cos the referendum took away simple party loyalties away from MPs and cos the decision to Leave was ambiguous about how to leave; 
3. that politics needs to address the needs of our times, (of the 21st Century), and it doesn’t;  except this is another anti-politics charge that has been made for decades, indeed probably from the time of Cock Robin.  And my main response to them is that Labour’s policy responses are much stronger responses to the challenges of today.

Polls are reporting lower scores for the Conservatives and for Labour with 10 points or so for the Independent group, to which I’m either surprised  or underwhelmed and I’m not sure which.  Cos on the one hand, 10 points is a lot and on the other, the SDP had much higher scores when its was launched in 1981.  
It is perhaps inevitable that social media responses – where people can make statements without being held to account – might be more trill than is warranted, but the trillness Is not not good for us in the Labour Party, as has been shown by –
– the Parliamentary Labour Party giving those leaving a round of applause, clearly believing they have been treated badly and that many of them are receiving poor treatment too; 
Tom Watson’s statement, with a particular emphasis on Luciana Berger being a victim;
– most tellingly, John MacDonnell dropping plan A (Monday – they all need to resign as MPs and stand for fresh elections) and adopting Plan B (Tuesday – the national party needs to listen to the concerns raised)
– Barry Gardiner expressing regret at the treatment of Luciana Berger MP by anti-Semites from the front bench.

Because there has been conduct in the party and from outside the party against MPs that has been too brutal.  Some of it has been anti-Semitic.  A lot of it has been macho.  Some of it – e.g. votes of no confidence in their MP by branches using emergency motions and thus not informing all branch members – has been wrong in principle and according to the rules of the Labour Party.  
So we should acknowledge that we can improve.

If we’d adopted a listening approach – 
– we could have refrained from saying MPs who have changed parties should resign their seats – 1) only 4 out of the most recent 64 have; 2) we need people in Parliament to be voting on Brexit; 3) people get elected as individuals; and everyone who stands know that they stand on that basis; elected representatives are just that and are not delegates to be withdrawn;  and there are no mechanisms yet designed that can make a delegate approach work; 
– we could have refrained from saying people have made decisions to leave lightly – cos people who have been elected have invested significantly in the Labour Party and for years, and cos they have deep convictions too;  indeed the testimonies of roots and life stories was the strongest part of the launch on Monday;
– we could have refrained from suggest they are careerist – especially when I think they’ve done something that will end their careers as MPs at the next election; and because people say this of all representatives;  it’s actually a dig at the way a free society decides who decides and a way of stopping people think about the issues;
– we could have refrained from saying MPs are mandated by the party national manifesto, cos before the Summer of 2015, loads of MPs were congratulated by not standing by the manifestos of Blair and Brown;
– we could have refrained from saying a vote for a Labour candidate was a vote for the Labour manifesto; cos whilst a win gives the party the opportunity to implement the manifesto, we certainly don’t say vote for the manifesto or don’t vote for us at all; and in 2017, we actually said, don’t vote for Theresa May, she’s not a good PM, has had a terrible campaign and she des not offer string and stable government.  
And we could do without those rolling out defences of those who have been anti-Semitic (e.g people haven’t been, or the favourite – “I’ll say what I want when being critical of Israel and no code is going to stop me”); cos the Labour Party has a problem (and it’s annoying cos we are supposed to be the best at being anti-racist).

These analyses look cruel, shrill, out of touch and condoning of very poor bullying and racist behaviour. Having a tin ear rather than listening.

Smarter to celebrate the ambition we have – including re-implementing levies on banks that have cost public services £5,000 million and created the space to campaign against further proposals to cut Corporation tax by 2% at a cost public services £8,000 million.

Chainey Place

150 new homes on the final part of the Hicking Buildings site and re-using the front wall of a Victorian warehouse.
Known previously as Hicking Buildings phase 3, Chainey Place draws its name from how the area, once very boggy, was bridged by walkways held together by chains.
The building had few complaints at the Planning committee cos of the care taken to re-use existing attractive wall, use of bricks for decoration, a strong main entrance and a curved corner where the building will be most prominent – on the corner of the Crocus Street and London Road junction.
Although quoted as having no complaints, I did ask for section 106 money to be made available to place a half multi-use games area and a separate goal on the green off Arkwright Walk.

Universal Moral codes

Help your family and your “group”, return favours, be brave, divide resources fairly and respect other’s properties – can get along with these.
But being deferential? to superiors? Nah. Unless they’re trying to get at understanding others’ knowledge and experience and drawing from it. Ditto, address and etiquette.
The whole is qualifiable too.
Bit of sexism at the top – the mother loves, the father protects.
Adopting local conventions can’t be at the expense of universal human rights.

As published via the Daily Telegraph (8th Feb. 2019)