Question: Why does Surrey Heath require another community and political blog? After all there are so many other worthwhile blogs here. Um, OK, there are a couple.
Answer: There are so many pressing issues that will affect people in Surrey, it is vital that they are all covered and nothing is missed out because of the huge volume of changes and threats facing us.
Welcome to Red Sky at Night, the new blog for discussion of local, national and international issues covering government at all levels, society, ideology and parish notices.
Over the next few weeks, here are a few of the items on the agenda:
- The proposed developments on Chobham Common at the ex-DERA site at Longcross
- Surrey County Council’s threat to Bagshot and Lightwater Libraries
- Lightwater Surgery’s use of a revenue-sharing phone number, contrary to their contact
- Sustainable transport, or the lack thereof, in Surrey
- How “Zero Tolerance” policing could benefit from a bit more, um, tolerance
- The privatisation of the NHS and how we can combat this in Surrey Heath
- Benefits and how Tories locally and nationally are castigating the poorest people
- Foodbanks and the free meals that our councils provide for their richest supporters
- Planning applications like Tesco and the Lightwater dance studio
- Council Tax levels for the next year
- Housing shortage and preserving the environment
- Use and misuse of social media
- Misconduct by local councillors
- Surrey County Council elections on 2 May
- Vacancy on Chobham Parish Council to be filled
We are governed nationally by the most ideologically-driven government ever, more so even than Thatcher’s. They are privatising the NHS and other public services, transferring wealth from the poor to the rich, entrenching privilege and pandering to xenophobes. Also, when central government says, “Jump!” our local councils ask, “How high?”. They share the extreme right-wing ideology but combine it with their own brand of mismanagement and incompetence. By scraping the bottom of the barrel for many of their councillors, the local Conservative Party has taken incompetency, confusion, waste, illiteracy and self-interest to new levels.
However, the tide is turning. People are organising locally and online. Labour are 15 percentage points ahead in the latest polls and preparing for the next general election in 2015 already.
Last week saw the darkest hour, the Tory-Lib Dem government voted to cap benefits below inflation and make the poor poorer. In Surrey Heath, the borough council executive voted for the change in Council Tax benefits which hits the poorest hardest too.
The darkest hour comes just before the dawn.