Meet the 'Flintstones'

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

“IF scrapping local democracy gives us a Tory Council it's what needs to be done.”

“Carl Les in charge of everything. Tories, you've got what you wished for.”

“It helps that NYCC has a much-respected leader and chief executive in Carl Les and Richard Flinton respectively to spearhead this process over the next 18 months.

But it will also require humility and a concerted effort to involve the very capable officials – and expertise – that exist within existing authorities, and also further afield, if this shake-up is to become the success that is intended. After all, this is a time when many will be concerned for their own jobs and futures.

“THE decision to create a new unitary authority for the whole of North Yorkshire has been welcomed as a chance to 'pull its weight' and make things simpler for everyone.

The Government has decided to replace eight district councils with a new single North Yorkshire council which will deliver all public services to every household in the county from April 2023.

County council leader Cllr Carl Les said the decision allowed it to strengthen services and ensure they are fit for the future.

“A single council will also make things simpler for everyone – just one number to call, one website, one customer service team and one accountable body delivering all local government services here," he said.

Chief Executive Richard Flinton said that the announcement was 'very positive' news for North Yorkshire.

"Never have we needed a unified approach and strong voice more than we do now as we strive to deliver better life chances for everyone here," he said.

“This decision is a huge step towards ensuring the county can punch its weight regionally and nationally to create better opportunities for people and communities at a critical time."

"But it is now our job to make sure this works in every area across North Yorkshire."

“The agency also had shortened from eight weeks to two weeks the time that DIA-affiliated people must wait.”

Havana syndrome, with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, migraines and memory lapses, is so named because it first was reported by US officials based in the US embassy in Cuba in 2016.   Burns noted that a US National Academy of Sciences panel in December found that a plausible theory that “directed energy” beams caused the syndrome.

There was a “very strong possibility” that the syndrome was intentionally caused.”

“As a result you're going to have to deal with tens of thousands of unhappy constituents that have lost their local voice.  And then you'll wonder if getting your snout in the trough was worth the trouble.”



Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Planet Preservation

"On the corner of King Street and Lowther Street, in the west Cumbrian town of Whitehaven, is the carcass of a High Street giant.

Etched into the cream coloured stone work above the first floor windows are the words: Montague Burton, the Tailor of Taste."

"Being interested, but also curious. Sometimes that means looking for what’s not said, what’s left out."

"The railways have been at the heart of the North-East’s industrial heritage and, of course, play a big part in our operations, transporting our products from Boulby to our terminal at Teesport and then to farmers and growers across the world."

"Repairs to a section of the Cleveland Way which collapsed during a winter landslip have been completed."

"It’s not like real life. You don’t have to concentrate as much; you can switch off and return to things when you want: it’s an intermittent transmit."

The Art of Listening.

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

A Powerful Presence

"The UK is eroding its global reputation for conserving its “unparalleled” historic assets, culture bodies have warned, with Stonehenge expected to be next in line to lose its coveted World Heritage status..

"Chris Blandford, the president of World Heritage UK, complained that there was a “low awareness at the government level” of the importance of the country’s Unesco sites, which rank alongside international gems such as the Taj Mahal and the pyramids of Giza. He said many were critically underfunded and that ministers had shown a “great reluctance to want to make the most of our World Heritage offer”."

“Dialling-up and dialling-in. That’s an absolute happy place for me. Turns out, it’s also quite labour-intensive, y’know? I can sit still. I can enjoy sitting still. I just have a drive that, though I can’t explain exactly where it comes from, is always there.”

"Unesco’s World Heritage Convention, to which the UK is a signatory, encourages governments to establish national foundations to provide ringfenced funding for their cultural assets, but the UK has no such body."

"“The higher you climb in the public eye, the more people see you, and the more, perceptually, you can fall. There’s a fear of exposure. Maybe fear’s the wrong word. But there’s a responsibility not to let people down. And the higher you climb, the more apparent that responsibility becomes.”"

"Instead, most world heritage sites are run by cash-strapped local authorities and have seen their funding slashed since 2010 due to the abolition of bodies such as regional development agencies. Given the financial strain, many councils are under increasing pressure to approve contentious developments that adversely affect the historic value of their cultural assets."

""You’ve got your home shoes, which you don’t wear anywhere but the house. And you’ve got these other shoes, your outdoor shoes.”"

"The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, gave the green light for the scheme in November despite warnings from Unesco that it would have on “adverse impact” on the area’s historic value. The high court is expected to decide within weeks whether the project can proceed following a judicial review by campaigners."


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Waist High Water

"We’ve always known that if some coppers, politicians or border guards take bribes their colleagues follow suit. If everyone’s at it, people don’t want to be left out. While some benefit, this corruption has very high economic costs for society as a whole."

"Rockhopper Exploration, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, bought a licence to drill for oil off Italy’s Adriatic coast in 2014. There had already been a wave of opposition to the project, with protests that drew tens of thousands of people. Within two years, the campaign won over the Italian parliament, which imposed a ban on oil and gas projects within 12 nautical miles of the Italian coast."

"The increase in dishonesty seems to be driven by angry taxpayers"

"Rockhopper fought back using a relatively obscure legal mechanism known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which allows companies to sue governments for introducing policies that could affect their future earnings."

"Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates said the storms were being caused by a convergence of air currents as warmth in the Earth’s surface from the recent heatwave rose to meet cooler air in the atmosphere."

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Goose Bumps

"Boris Johnson said the “beating crime plan” was part of the commitment to “levelling up” parts of the country plagued by crime and antisocial behaviour, but Labour criticised the strategy as lacking vision and said police were demoralised."

"I remember walking down the promenade there used to be Victorian railings, it felt like being in Brighton."

"Offenders doing community service will wear hi-vis as they clear canals or clean graffiti. “The intention is to make the price of crime visible,” one Home Office source said.

"However later that evening she was forced to sleep on top of her duvet cover as her legs were incredibly tight and painful and days later blisters erupted on her left leg, including one the size of a satsuma."

"Coupled with an insulting pay freeze, it is no wonder frontline police have declared no confidence in the home secretary.”

"In the face of the rising tide, times have changed."

"She has now been left "living like a vampire" as her skin has been left so sensitive she has to run inside "to hide" when the sun comes out."

"Withernsea now juts out defiantly ahead of the retreating cliffs that surround it, its elegant balustrades since replaced with sturdy concrete walls. This is what the frontline battle against coastal erosion looks like."

"Such places continue to knit the social fabric together in vital ways. But despite all the local goodwill and the revival of trade, for some much-loved ports of call it may be a case of too little, too late."

"Seek shade between 11am-3pm when the UV index is highest."


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

The Heights of 'IF'

"The criticism of Johnson’s crime plan is the latest in a series of setbacks for the prime minister’s domestic relaunch, after his landmark “levelling up” speech was mocked for being light on detail... even some in business rebuked it"

"There has to be something treasonous about a foreign corporation servicing and maintaining a spy network that is monitoring a country’s private citizens on behalf of that country’s government."

"The shadow justice secretary, said the plan was “tinkering” and would do nothing to rebuild a broken system."

"Pegasus, we are told, can be installed in a targeted phone with just a missed call. Imagine that. A payload of invisible spyware delivered on the missile of a missed call. An ICBM like no other. One that is capable of dismantling democracies and atomising societies without the bother of red tape – no warrants, no weapons agreements, no oversight committees, nor any kind of regulation whatsoever. Technology is value-neutral of course. It isn’t anybody’s fault."

“So forces can answer the phone, say ‘hello’, and put it down again. It needs to be about the quality of what you do.”

"To cynically dismiss it as a new technological iteration of an age-old game in which rulers have always spied on the ruled would be a serious mistake. This is no ordinary spying. Our mobile phones are our most intimate selves"

“It is just weird … and a bit gimmicky."

"So, where does that leave us? Back in the world of good, old-fashioned politics, I’d say. Only political action can halt or mitigate this threat. Because that technology, when it is used, if not legally then illegally, will always exist within the complicated matrix that describes our times: nationalism, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, racism, casteism, sexism. This will remain our battlefield – regardless of how technology develops."

"I ain't no student of ancient culture..."

"Although I haven't yet read a book about it and really should before I talk."


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

'No Parallels'

"There is no definitive association between the constellation and a myth, but several have been suggested."

"But above all, it will be the around 10,000 council staff across North Yorkshire who will be the most affected by the changes... and there are also the questions of whether staff will be relocated"

"North Yorkshire County Council - which is behind the single council plans and will act as the ‘continuing authority’ when reorganisation happens - has said those at risk of redundancy will be mostly senior staff and that the transferring of workers will be a “simple” process."

"But the advice generally is don't be on the top of a mountain when thunder and lightning is about."

Capt. 'Bob''s picture


"Nine long-haul flights a year? Knock yourself out. Don’t want to rinse plates before you put them in the dishwasher? You’ve earned that privilege. Greta Thunberg probably has a poster of you on her wall."

"The newly arrived lab accidentally fired its thrusters, resulting in the ISS losing control of its orientation for 47 minutes, NASA said.

Russian cosmonauts had been checking for leaks between the 22-tonne lab - named Nauka - and the service module, when automatic sensors on the ground detected the problem."

"China has been closely monitoring the progress eastward of the Carrier Strike Group, which is currently sailing over the South China Sea en route to Japan, while accusing Britain of "still living in its colonial days"."

"Your new diet of beans and more beans will leave you bent double with trapped gas. Before long you’ll be letting rip constantly and creating a horrendous stink, which will take the shine off your high and mighty attitude somewhat. Much to the relief of everyone you know."

"The 13m-long lab launched from Kazakhstan last week, taking eight days to reach the ISS, where it will provide more space for scientific experiments.  It had been due for launch in 2007 but was delayed due to numerous technical problems, including contamination in its fuel system in 2013.   It will now need various manoeuvres, including up to 11 spacewalks, before it is ready to be used."

"You could even try frying some in a pan to test your endurance, and maybe take a little nibble just to check that you definitely don’t miss it. How else are you supposed to know?"

"US and Russian officials stressed that the seven crew members aboard the space station were never in any danger...

Nasa officials said Nauka's jets started firing uncommanded at 12:34 EDT (16:45 GMT) "moving the station 45 degrees out of attitude"."

"Those guys were rock stars again and got us back in attitude control. That also shows you what a robust vehicle we have, and our ability to take these contingencies, recover from them and move on," he told reporters.

Communications with the ISS crew were lost for two periods, of four minutes and seven minutes, during the incident. However, the US agency said that the astronauts were safe. They "really didn't feel any movement", it added."

"Because subtlety is for subtitled films."


"Altitude, like elevation, is the distance above sea level"


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Complex Plural

""The Conservative party confirmed the existence of the board, and the fact that its members meet with senior party figures for “political updates”...

“Three-quarters of Yorkshire people support more powerful devolution, and a clear majority would vote for a Yorkshire Parliament in a referendum. Let’s give the people of Yorkshire what they want – real local powers and fair local funding.”

"The “discovery” your friends are so concerned about sounds to me like a perfectly lovely way to play."

“No one ever chose mayors. They have very little power, very little funding and how is it right that one person should represent millions? Let’s have powerful devolution instead. People are proud of their Yorkshire identity, including people who were not born here but chose to make Yorkshire their home. But we need transport to be proud of, fair funding for education and the opportunity to lead the way in new green technologies and green jobs."

"No one likes to feel exposed. It is horrifying to find people wandering around parts of our mind we didn’t mean to let them into."

"It is possible to endorse a choice... , and to still hate the feeling of other people picking it up with tweezers, turning it over and examining it."

"“The current debate about Yorkshire’s future seemed to have been limited to discussions between council leaders and Government ministers.

“The great majority of Yorkshire people are getting no say in their own future and The Yorkshire Society wanted to do something about that. So, the idea of the Big Yorkshire Conversation was born, to encourage the people of Yorkshire to have their say on how Yorkshire is defined, what Yorkshire is now and where its future direction lies."

"The findings of the study, conducted by the University of Hull, have been published to coincide with Yorkshire Day"

"They’re the weird ones if they think your fun is their business."