News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gurkha days numbered by Nepalese Maoist election victory?

The result of last week's elections in Nepal are still being finalised, but one thing is now clear. The Maoists won the plurality of seats. Nepalese elections don't generally have much of an impact on our lives in England, but that is changing. Firstly, places like Folkestone have a growing Nepalese minority, whose families may be affected by the Nepalese government. Of greater significance for the UK as a whole is one of the Nepalese Communist Party's policies - to abrogate Gurkha recruitment. That is, their manifesto pledged to prevent Nepalese citizens serving in the British Army's famous Gurkha regiments.

It isn't yet set in stone. The Maoists have a plurality of the seats, but not a majority, so the fate of Britain's Gurkha Brigade rests in the hands of the political classes' inter-party horse trading. It seems amazing that such a significant decision can be taken without the Nepalese people having a say, but that's one of the vaguaries of "democracy" under Proportional Representation, as I have previously noted.

Dan Hannan, Conservative MEP for SouthEast England and Telegraph columnist/blogger, is of the opinion that it is one of the pledges that will be dropped in the negotiations to form a coalition to run the country. I don't have any inside track on that one, but suspect he is right.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Shearway Business Park - clearing up

I have often blogged about the problems at Shearway Business Park, which lorry drivers were using as an overnight lorry park. The result was bottles of urine, bags of excrement and prostitutes on the street corner. I frequently contacted the land owners, the South East Economic Development Agency (SEEDA, a government-owned QUANGO), asking them to sort out the problem, and was frustrated by their response. Not one of the many letters and emails as answered, and my calls were not returned. On the one occasion I did finally manage to speak to the employee responsible for the site, he told me that there was nothing they could do about the problem. That didn't stop me - I started contacting people in more senior positions, who also chose to ignore me.

So, when I recently visited the site to find no lorries parked and no mess I was surprised and relieved. Finally, my hard work had paid off and someone had listened to me. Or so it seemed.

In today's Herald, there is an article which explains the clean up. The businesses based at the park have paid a clamping company to come in and they now fine parked lorry drivers £200 a piece before they are allowed to carry on. It's common sense. It's what I asked SEEDA to do. SEEDA said that it couldn't be done. If SEEDA couldn't do it why is it that private businesses can? It's yet more proof that government interference in business does not work. If only our authoritarian government would realise that the are part of the problem... enterprise is the solution.