Brockley Cross Crisis Point: The Council Responds

A couple of weeks ago, Brockley Central was hit by a dose of what we like to think was swine flu, but was more likely simple man flu. For a couple of days, we were largely house bound, only occasionally leaving home to replenish our stocks of juice, DVDs and medicine. This incarceration brought about a touch of Rear Window-style paranoia, which led to us photgraphing horrific crimes against parking in Brockley Cross.

We published these photos over four days and pointed them out to the Council, asking whether they planned to do anything about the regular, flagrant and dangerous parking abuses that were afflicting the area. They kindly agreed to provide a response.

It's worth stressing before we get to the response that what we absolutely were not asking about was whether new parking controls could be introduced. Instead, what we wanted to know was whether the existing ones could be properly enforced. After all, you don't need special rules to stop cars parking on the pavement. Here's what we wrote on day one:

"It should not require new legislation, restrictions, studies, consultations, funding or any of the other usual reasons why things don't happen. Fixing the problem could even be revenue-generating.

"What we need is traffic wardens. Ruthless, efficient traffic wardens, incentivised to punish transgressors. Traffic wardens who circle Brockley Cross like jackals. A few weeks of this treatment should sort the problem out. It could be done tomorrow, if the will was there."

So with that in mind, the third paragraph in the response from the Council published below is really the only one that matters - and whilst it's encouraging that they have confirmed they will take action to enforce the rules in Brockley Cross, it would be nice to know what this means in practice. We've asked whether they can provide any more details. The first two paragraphs are interesting for those wondering whether a CPZ is on the cards for the area (answer: no). Here is their response:

"We have no current plans to look at parking controls in the Brockley Cross area. We have not received any complaints about parking pressures in the roads around Brockley Cross. Early in 2005 the Council carried out a widespread parking consultation. The purpose of this consultation was to identify areas of the borough where there were pressures on parking and where residents supported the development of parking controls. The consultation included the Brockley Cross area. There was no majority support for further consultation on controlled parking in your area at that time and therefore no consultation was planned.

"However I have passed your concerns to the Parking Implementation Manager who maintains a database of concerns expressed on parking issues and this is used to inform future work programmes. We would only consider introducing parking controls over an area around a parking attractor - a station / shops/ college and such a scheme would only be implemented following extensive public consultation. It is likely that any plans to consult on parking controls would require the approval of Mayor and Cabinet.

"In the meantime I have asked out parking team to enforce against any parking offences that are taking place in the areas you describe."

93 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

Classic PR trick - answer a question you haven't asked. As I'm sure you know, Nick!

Anyway, at least they're going to have a look at it. Are we now going to have Brockley Cross Watch-Watch, to spot when the enforcers pop up?

Brockley Nick said...

I don't indulge in that sort of thing Kate :)

Brockley Nick said...

But yes, it would be great if anyone could let us know if they see active traffic wardens in the area.

max said...

We have no current plans to look at parking controls in the Brockley Cross area

Looks like they agree with what I said before, that the only areas that are policed are the CPZ areas, all else is lawless.

Anonymous said...

"The council are probably arranging all the appropriate words in a order so as to say exactly nothing."


there you go...

Anonymous said...

I think thats the first time I've seen a Londoner express with any sincerity the phrase "What we need is traffic wardens." - just the other day I dropped a friend off at his house and helped take his bags in to find one of our Nigerian friends on my return...

Headhunter said...

I don't think it's quite true that all areas outside CPZ are lawless parking zones, one of the anons was complaining on another thread that cars parked on the traffic calming shoulders on Manor Avenue were ticketed a few weeks back.

It'll be interesting to see if anything actually happens following your mail. They point out that there have not been other complaints about parking in Brockley Cross which to me reads that they will be unlikely to commit resources where they don't perceive there to be a problem.

Legally binding said...

Anon why would you help take your friend's bags in when you were parked illegally?

Surely you park legally then walk back and help.

Hope you got a big fine.

ladywell birdspotter said...

I have seen traffic wardens in and around Ladywell, but not for a while.

Cuckoos have diminished in number as well.

Headhunter said...

Cuckoos?! Actually I once heard a Woodpecker on one of the massive trees in one of the gardens on Manor Ave near me

Tyrwhitt wildlife spotter said...

I get Jays in my Garden which although rather colourful can be also rather noisy......

Not as bad as fornicating foxes though........

ladywell birdspotter said...

I have two perfectly round woodpecker holes in an apple tree in my garden. I saw the second being excavated over the period of two or three days a number of years ago - although the woodpecker never took up residence. Forget whether it was black and white or green, but have seen both.

Next doors cat has decimated the Magpie population and various other birds have found their way through its catflap and onto the owners kitchen floor.

Plenty of wrens about though - too nippy for a cat...

Headhunter said...

Yeah I've seen Jays about. Never actually seen Woodpeckers, just heard them hammering the trees. Cats can be a problem for wildlife and bird populations in residential areas apparently, cats are increasingly popular as pets as they are relatively maintenance free, and concentrations are now much higher than they would be in nature and they kill a lot of small mammals and birds

Brockley Nick said...

Headhunter, to your earlier point, before you started talking about birds, they said that there had been no other complaints in relation to the need for new CPZs. Those passages were not addressing the specific point about parking enforcement.

Also, so what if no one else has complained? It's clearly a problem, it clearly bothers many people, judging by the comments made on here. How many complaints are necessary? In my view, it shouldn't be necessary for anyone to complain before action is taken. Police and traffic wardens are regularly in the area, it shouldn't need to be pointed out. But now it has been, so let's hope there's some action.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I get the impression this thread has gone so far off track that it's become Brockley Central's equivalent of Spring Watch....

Who plays the grumpy Bill Oddie character?

Yes........ I know he wasn't on the latest series.

Anonymous said...

To sidetrack this again, but to highlight the "How many complaints are necessary?" theme (in relation to the Council listening to public concern)

You can register your dislike of the Loampit Vale scheme at:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/loampitvale

if you wish.

Headhunter said...

Yes, you have a point Nick. I'd like to see Brockley X improved and parking enforcement would certainly help. Hopefully it wouldn'tjust shift the problem to nearby residential streets.

Tressillian James said...

Ok - I like both threads of conversation here. I think Max is right - the CPZ areas seem to be well controlled - seen a traffic warden on the side road at the Loampit Vale picture framers 3 weekends in a row.

As for the birds - have a lesser spotted woodpecker in my garden in Tressillian. I'm nearish the train cutting and you can oftne hear them drumming on the trees. As lesser spooted are quite rare it's another reason for railtrack to leave the trees alone and nnot cut back heavily as they have done further down the line (Oh a third thread...).

Anonymous said...

The only place around that I have seen traffic wardens is blackheath - everytime I visit I see at least two or three trying to catch people who are a couple of minutes over their time. Patrolling Brockley Cross would be a far more useful job, lets hope the council does do something.

Monkeyboy said...

Like Nick has said, enforce the current regulations. Don't park on the pavement, don't park on yellow lines, don't double park. Enforce it - easy and no consultation required.

It's not hard surely?

Anonymous said...

The ticketing of cars parked on the shoulders at Manor Avenue was ridiculous. The problem is when cars park 'lawfully' up to the shoulders - not on them, which is not part of the public pavement. The enforcers are on dodgy ground.

Monkeyboy said...

Take stroll around Brockley X, there is some blatant illegal and inconsiderate parking. Nothing to do with stretching the rules.

As they used to (kind of) say on Hawaii-Five-0 "Book him Danno, double parking"

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the dissenting Mungles drive or have ever driven a car... just a thought.

Monkeyboy said...

I drive a car. Just don't park on the pavement or double park. It's realy easy, honest.

Sue said...

there's a woodpecker nesting in a tree on Adelaide Ave, by Prendergast. (sorry, off-topic, I know).

Re the traffic enforcement, you could try asking a public question to the cabinet member for regen in the Autumn, along the lines of 'how many fixed penalty notices have been issued around Brockley Cross in the past six months'. Highways have a few months warning now to ensure that the answer that comes back is more than 'none'.

PfkaG said...

"I wonder how many of the dissenting Mungles drive or have ever driven a car... just a thought."

From your one and only brain cell. Jeez.

Hugh said...

Anyone remember when we cared about the Talbot?

hugh watch said...

Parking is the new Talbot Hugh, try and stay in touch

Anonymous said...

Sue, do you really thing that a question regarding the parking around Brockley Cross to the cabinet member for regen would get a different answer from the one that Nick has already been provided with?

If so, why?

Hugh said...

Brockley Cross is apparently the new Clapham Junction.

fred vest said...

"If so, why?"

because it's a different question?

Headhunter said...

I think it's perfectly acceptable to ticket cars parked up on the traffic calming shoulders on Manor Avenue and welcome it. How is it different to cars parking up on the pavement at Brockley X or on double yellows? The shoulders were put there to discourage dangerous driving along a quiet residential street, to slow traffic down or even discourage it altogether, not to provide another spot for people to dump their cars. Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

It might be a different question but they'll answer it in the same way. You should know that Fred.

fred vest said...

i think if you're careful/clever in the wording of the question you have a chance of getting a different answer

TM said...

I detect a mixed metaphor.

Surely Brockley Cross is the new Piccadilly Circus not the new Clapham Junction?

What is the Talbot by the way? Is it to be the new Jam Circus or the new Brockley Barge?

I hope for the new Dog and Bell.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever asked a written question of mayor and Cabinet Fred?

If you have you know you've got to nail it down like a ferret on a plank and even then you get an answer that's of little use - other than getting it in writing, which I suppose is something (well, something to be denied later anyway)

fred vest said...

i havn't no as I largely agree with the futility of it all (and the resultant frustration that stems from it), but the discussion we were having was whether a different answer would be given to the one already achieved, not whether a useful one would be given

Brockley Kate said...

As many a hack will tell you, there's no point being able to ask a question if the reply you get back is obfuscatory, mendacious, or just plain irrelevant. As is so often the case in my experience (not of Lewisham Council in particular I hasten to add).

I sometimes hear a woodpecker in my garden too btw.

Anonymous said...

well, the only way to resolve such a discussion would be to construct a suitable question

life's too short...

ladywell birdspotter said...

birds are more reliable

fred vest said...

and they twitter less

Headhunter said...

Hey on the subject of the Talbot, Nick, you said that you knew who was taking it over/had bought the freehold and that you would be letting us all know. We still haven't heard from you. Any news?

Also talking about the Dog and Bell, I went there a couple of weeks ago. Have to say I was a bit disappointed, I keep hearing it hailed as one of Deptford's best pubs and expected something pretty amazing but what I found was a quiet back street pub round the corner from a council estate with pretty bland, modern interior styling and a shabby courtyard. They did have some nice bitters/ales on though.

It's nice to see that it's still a pub and has a regular clientele and is not boarded up and vacant like the Navy Arms or whatever it's called just down the road, but I'm afraid to say I won't be rushing back. No improvement on the Wickham Arms.

I also discovered the Cutty Sark pub, a bit further along the river from The Trafalgar in Greenwich. Had a lovely couple of drinks sat by the river in the sun there a week or 2 ago. Will definitely go back there.

Blue Sky said...

I had a very frustrating to-and-fro with Lewisham council a few months ago about the speed of traffic hurtling down Brookbank Road and about how those pathetic cushion speedbumps do nothing to slow down anyone who doesn't want to be slowed down. Now I know it's not strictly Brockley, but bear with me.

It was a very frustrating correspondence. I kept getting a slightly amended version of the same 'jobsworth' letter - basically, 'we're following the rules on traffic calming measures and that's good enough for us.' They can't have full-width speed bumps on roads on bus routes because they have to consider the comfort of passengers on the bus. Never mind the discomfort of someone who gets hit by said bus.

I also asked why they haven't done something about the fact that there is an entrance to Hilly Fields park on a blind bend (the one by the bowling green). People are always crossing over to get into the park from Tyrwhitt Rd and nearly getting hit by cars that come whizzing round that corner. Cars turning left out of Tyrwhitt also often nearly get hit by people driving too fast along Hilly Fields Crescent. Surely a pedestrian crossing there, or at the very least one of those big traffic mirrors, would help.

The impression I got regarding both points was ultimately that they won't do anything about it unless and until someone gets knocked over/killed.
I pointed out that this was a dangerously reactive policy but my concerns were ignored. (I've since found out that at least one person HAS been knocked over at this very spot, yet no action has been taken).

I guess I'm just agreeing with others here - they won't do anything about anything unless they want to, no matter how much sense it makes to act.

Hugh said...

When did a public service provider really deliver for you?

Anonymous said...

ah Frederick, you came within touching distance of a joke there!

Tressilliana said...

'When did a public service provider really deliver for you?'

Gosh, how long have you got?

The NHS - over and over again. Saved my daughter's lift on two occasions (probably) when she had pneumonia and a perforated appendix. Countless minor matters also successfully treated.

Lewisham Council - very good rubbish collection service, week in, week out.

Lewisham Education Authority (part of the council) - excellent nursery and primary education for both my children, excellent secondary education for one of them (the other one went elsewhere - I don't really blame Lewisham for the necessity of doing that).

Trains and buses - mostly OK. Could be better but at least we have a functioning public transport system.

Yrs, Pollyanna of Tressillian Road.

Headhunter said...

It seems LBC would prefer to spend money on pointless road furniture and markings on Wickham Rd, which no one wanted than enforcing parking on Brockley X

Hugh said...

Good rubbish collection? You mean they return your bins rather than leave them on the street?

Blue Sky said...

I have to agree with Tressilliana, we can moan about the finer details (that, after all, is largely the point of this blog) but we do take a lot for granted. Things could always be better, of course, but we don't do too badly.

They do collect your rubbish, Hugh, and therefore rubbish collection is good. They do what it says on the tin. Yes, putting our bins back in our front gardens having collected the rubbish would be making the service go that extra mile but it's hardly a hardship to bring your own bin back in. And to be fair, I often forget to put mine OUT the evening before and they still come and get them from my front garden.

Hugh said...

Our bin went missing recently. Doubt that would have happened had it been returned.

But you're right. Silly me for expecting anything other than a bare minimum of service for the exhorbitant Council Tax we pay.

Reminds me, I must check into a rehab programme and maybe get listed for some social services visits.

Headhunter said...

I'm pretty happy with the rubbish collection but on the subject of putting bins back in gardens, when I were a lad before the days of wheelie bins, binmen would collect the bin from down the side of the house and put it right back where they found it, none of this leaving it in the street after emptying, usually outside the wrong house!

In some places, you also have to wheel your bin to the curb edge for them before collection or they won't touch it, even if the bin is on the drive or just behind a gate. I suppose at least Lewisham binmen actually open our front gate and retrieve the bins from the front garden.

Just an observation.

rubbish at it said...

Bring back galvanised bins - binmen have turned into jessies now that bins have wheels and machinery on the back of the lorry to lift them (the bins, not the binmen)

Coal will be sold at garages next rather than being brought round by dirty coalmen.

Headhunter said...

Quite. An honest days toil is what we need. Binmen these days don't know they're born.

Tressillian James said...

"It seems LBC would prefer to spend money on pointless road furniture and markings on Wickham Rd, which no one wanted than enforcing parking on Brockley"

So agree with this - consultation appears to be a facesaver - did anyone want all the junk that has been piled along Wickham road? - and does it make the road any safer? The answer to both is a resounding 'no'.

Southwark however seem to have it right. Went up St Asaph'sRoad and at the top, as I left Lewisham and enterd Southwark noticed all the residential streets with Victorian housing have had victorian-style lamposts to provide the street lighting.

Will provide some photos later - Southwark are enhancing their streets - not detracting from them

Tressilliana said...

We get both ordinary rubbish and recycling collected every week. From what I can make out, this is very unusual nowadays in the UK. Thank god too, in this hot weather. Most unpleasant just walking past a slightly open bin at the moment.

I note that I said the NHS saved my daughter's lift earlier. Not quite what I meant!

Anonymous said...

facelift?

patrick1971 said...

Re perceived stricter enforcement of parking rules in CPZ areas. When Lewisham Council was thinking of introducing a CPZ in the street in Deptford where I used to live, it was going to be contracted out to a private company and would be self-financing, i.e. the private company would be allowed to keep all the money from the infringement notices issued. If other CPZs in Lewisham are operated on the same principle, it's clearly in the interests of the private contractor to be out there ticketing as much as possible, which could lead to the perception that there is more enforcement in CPZ areas.

I tell you what, though, if Lewisham parking wardens are on commission, I don't know why they don't just stand outside Lewisham station (double red lines) or Ladywell station (double yellow lines) in the evening; the amount of illegal parking in those places would get them 12 months' commission in about an hour.

Anonymous said...

I think the Brockley "i won't touch anything unless its organic, freedom farmed and fairtrade" crowd could do with learning about a bit of honest toil before any binmen do.

The Cat Man said...

Yeah, they should grow their own mung beans

Sue said...

The reason I suggested asking the question to full council (and others who've commented are right to say that it needs to be a short, simple question that can't be misinterpreted) is so that you then have evidence as to whether NCP are doing any enforcement around Brockley Cross area or not. If the answer comes back that no tickets have been issued, then there is ample scope for a supplementary question (which you can ask at full council) asking the cabinet member responsible to ensure that regular enforcement action is taken in the area.

This approach eventually worked with a problem we had on Braxfield/Howson Road. I was pushing for months and months for some kind of meaningful enforcement action to be taken against illegally parked skip hire lorries there, and it was only when I had the details on how few tickets had been issued that we started to make progress - we got an action plan drawn up and NCP realised it was an easy hit and went back again and again until the company involved got the message and stopped parking their lorries there. (I'm hoping someone from Braxfield/Howson isn't now going to tell me that the lorries are back again).

BTW - is there scope for any strategically-placed cycle racks at the edge of the pavement anyway in Brockley Cross? As well as providing somewhere to lock bikes to, it can reduce on pavement parking. We might be getting a few of these further down Brockley Road, but tbc. What do you think?

M said...

'I think the Brockley "i won't touch anything unless its organic, freedom farmed and fairtrade" crowd could do with learning about a bit of honest toil before any binmen do.'
What makes you think binmen don't eat organic or fair trade? Manual workers just eat crap do they?
Patronising and outdated claptrap.

Hugh said...

Best kind.

Headhunter said...

Anon - And what makes you think that people who eat organic and fair trade don't know hard toil? In fact people who buy organic and/or fair trade are probably likely to do so because they understand the effort involved in growing produce and the importance of being paid properly for that effort. They look beyond a dinner of fried battery chicken in a box.

Sue, I think someone touched on those bike racks on another thread. To be honest they don't look substantial enough for Brockley X, I think they'd be pushed over or vandalised in no time, and the band of metal to which you're supposed to attach you're bike does not even look as strong as my bike D lock.

I would have thought they would have been more useful in a communal residential spot, somewhere for residents of a block of flats to lock bikes in a communal garden or something. However the planter idea to prevent illegal parking is a good one IMO.

Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hugh said...

Most people who can afford to eat organic can do so because they worked harder at and after school. We're in danger of going soft to suppose otherwise.

The rich deserve their riches. Let them be.

Headhunter said...

I doubt that most people who buy organic do so simply because they can! I bought organic largely for health and environmental reasons not because I had "loadsa money" and wanted to show off to my visitors!

Hugh said...

We're not disagreeing, HH. I'm just sticking up for honest middle-class professionals. They get a bum rap, blud.

Anonymous said...

Most people who can afford to eat organic can do so because they can tell their friends or otherwise feel a sense of smug superiority whilst ingoring the tangible evils of this world.

Sue said...

@Headhunter: I've got one in my front garden and they're sturdier than you may think. Not suitable for locking bikes to for a long time or overnight, but more than secure enough for use while popping into the local shop to stock up on mung beans and other essentials. A few strategically placed bike racks have reduced, but not entirely stopped, a problem with on pavement parking in part of Ladywell Road.

feral cabbage said...

I bought organic largely for health and environmental reasons not because I had "loadsa money" and wanted to show off to my visitors!

What do you buy now HH?

Headhunter said...

Sue - Yeah I suppose they'd be good enough for a few mins, I usually think in terms of locking my bike for an hour or more when I'm at the gym or at work.

Feral Cabbage - Sadly revenues in headhunting of investment bankers is down currently so my income isn't what it used to be, I had to make some cuts and one of those was organic food. I know, I know I'm a traitor to my cause etc etc but I had to cut some corners. The market is looking stronger now though so I hope to be back on organic again soon...

Hugh said...

HH, do you place lawyers too? Always nice to know there's someone in the trade who's local like.

Anonymous said...

I hear such a lot from friends with farms about the scams re organic food that I think it is generally not worth the difference.

OTOH the chicken and meat in tesco Lewisham, for example are totally inedible.

re public services providers, there is no question that state controlled monopolies are a disaster - look at the NHS or the pathetic education system both of which seem strangely unresponsive to the overfunding they receive.

I truly hope Cameron does NOT ringfence the NHS budget - it needs a good shake up before we get anything resembling a service to a paying customer out of it.

because...you know what? we ARE paying customers!

Tressilliana said...

Anon, we all have different experiences, clearly. All I can say is that in our household of four - two adults, two teenagers - we've all had brilliant service from the NHS over many, many years. The small number of unsatisfactory consultations is hugely outweighed by the good treatment, and not just in emergencies, either.

As for education, why do you write the whole state education sector off in such a sweeping fashion? Do you have children of school age? I do, and I used to be a school governor in Lewisham. From my experience it is simply not true to say that the state education system is 'pathetic'. Very far from it, in fact. Statements like that, repeated over and over again, do huge damage to parental confidence in schools. I'm not saying everything is perfect, but things are nowhere near as bad across the board as the media and naysayers like you are apt to make out.

Headhunter said...

Hugh - I don't personally do lawyers but we have a couple of people here who do. You thinking of looking around?

Anon - I think the Soil Association is pretty rigorous in maintaining organic standards and many organic famers are organic because they believe in what they are doing not because they want to make a quick buck. However I have heard that to get a basic organic certificate standards are quite low, for example famers can use non organic pesticides once fruit and veg has been picked. Supermarket organic is only barely organic apparently.

Anonymous said...

The most hilarious thing is the mung bean eaters who think "free range" means "free to roam" - infact it's a bit more like a slightly deluxe version of a battery.

As for Tescos meat being "inedible" - if 1 in every 6 pounds spent on the high street goes to Tesco you must be very much in the minority there. I'd imagine a fair bit of it is meat.

Hugh said...

HH, still in gainful employment and contentedly so, thank you, but will bear you in mind if the day arrives. Of course, we'd need to discuss the fee split.

fred vest said...

tesco meat is shite to be fair

Headhunter said...

Hugh - OK well let me know when you're ready to make that jump. I get the fee, you get the pay rise!

Anon - Actually, "free range" is a term regulated by both the EU and the government here in the UK. There are very stringent guidelines as to what can be termed free range. You're probably thinking about barn eggs which are little better than battery raised. In the EU there are 4 categories - organic, free range, barn, and caged raised with regulation governing each.

Of course free range doesn't mean that chickens and other farm animals are coompletely free to come and go as they please in a non-fenced environment but equally it does mean that they have access to outdoors and have more space to move than intensively reared animals.

Hugh said...

HH, what percentage of the candidate's first year pay do you take as your fee, out of interest?

Headhunter said...

Ooh, not sure I'm allowed to divulge terms of business levels on a public site like this, if I ever meet you in person I'll tell you then. You never know who's listening here. It varies from client to client though....

fred vest said...

20%

Anonymous said...

I'll sell a kidney to pay for you to place Hugh anywhere without an internet connection.

Sue said...

Pity these poor mung bean sellers in Afghanistan! (Sorry, hopelessly off topic again, but couldn't resist.)

Tressillian James said...

"Most people who can afford to eat organic can do so because they can tell their friends or otherwise feel a sense of smug superiority whilst ingoring the tangible evils of this world."

What rubbish - I eat it in the hope that the fruit and veg tastes better and tha the meat isn't full of chemicals adn additives. Do you treally think people really chat to friends about their vegetable choice. What a very uninteresting life you must lead.

Hugh said...

Most people who eat organic do so without caring or realising that organic food is basically a rip off.

I might buy organic granary bread now and then from Sainsbury's but that's about it. And as for farmers' markets, you must be having a laugh.

Tressillian James said...

Sue - like the article - if they'd only had a Brockley boy along for the ride - he would have been able to recognise both mung beans and opiates.

Headhunter said...

I immediately noticed the taste difference when I switched from organic to conventional food. Especially veg such as beetroot, broccoli, carrots and red cabbage taste noticeably weaker and more watery than their organic counterparts. Conventional red cabbage and broccoli are much larger but have much less taste. I've got used to it now but it was a bit of a disappointment to start with

feral cabbage said...

We often have this debate down at the allotment – organic vs chemically drenched shit (I am not impartial as you might tell). Do excuse the language, I do get a little hot under leaf in this weather.

Think of it like pumping iron with the heavy use of steroids, you might get a fantastic looking body but the package as a whole is somewhat volatile and dangerous. It was only the other day that a group of chemically imbalanced onions raided our patch and pulled the tops off the carrots. It didn’t stop there either, oh no, they then went around punching the tomatoes in the face and mocking the size of the courgettes! This sort of behaviour is not normal for vegetables and it is becoming bloody dangerous out here with this mob running amok.

Anyway, I think its time for watering. About time too!

Anonymous said...

Any discussion around non-organic food involving the word "chemicals" is immediately void by its own ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Tress'a - the appalling UK education system concerns me deeply. I too have been a school governor for many years. I'm shocked and actually quite disgusted at the waste of public funds I have seen time after time, the poor decision-making by otherwise unsuccessful power crazy people, the trendy drivers behind basic education when it is patently clear what's needed and the lack of ability of teachers to enforce discipline with difficulr children.

The net result - 30% of children are illiterate at age 11. That's a disaster in my book and it is little wonder that parents send their children out of the system or try to find grammar somewhere where the child will learn.

Having said this, I am often shocked at the poor English of graduates who apply for jobs; they are often unable to construct a sentence, have little idea about real rules of punctuation and less about parsing.

That's before you even start to think about the lack of science teaching and children being admitted to "university" without basic numberacy skills.

Cf Westminster for example where ca. 70% of the boys get into Oxbridge - little wonder when their peer competition has been failed and almost completely eradicated by the current system. This is against a backdrop of Oxbridge colleges making strenuous efforts to find talent in unusual places, quite rightly.


It is a real worry if you look forward 20 years and wonder where the skilled labour force required to maintain Britain's position vs hungry, able, competing nations is going to come from.

Sorry to depress everyone.

Let's hope Murray wins his semi.

Anonymous said...

haha, on rereading my post, I see various typos, please consider them fixed. thanks

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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