'Widespread Voter Fraud'

Captain Qahn's picture

The sanitisation of North Yorkshire, where only the democratic elite have a voice..:

""Everywhere else in the borough has parish councils to look after the most local matters, but Scarborough does not. 

I do not agree with the system of elected mayors, which puts too much power in the hands of one person, and I’m not happy about the prospect of local government becoming less local with the change to large unitary authorities... "

Staff of Hermes

"... “As part of Yorkshire Coast Radio’s transition into Greatest Hits Radio, I (Paddy) will be leaving the breakfast show in a month’s time, my final show on Friday, August 28."


"That would make ordinary voters feel that their vote counts and perhaps stop the drift away from involvement in public affairs."



"Landing on Mars is notoriously difficult because of its thin and dynamic atmosphere – a feat that has been described as “seven minutes of terror”"

"the tunnelling operation has reached 7.5km so far"


"Mr Bezos was not asked any questions for the first hour of the hearing, and was seen on the video call eating a snack.

He did get in one zinger near the end of the hearing, which may have been aimed at Mr Zuckerberg.

"It appears to me that social media is a nuance-destruction machine, and I don't think that's helpful for democracy," the Amazon founder said.""



"Protestors gathered outside a meeting at County Hall in Beverley on Wednesday which saw a motion by Yorkshire Party councillor Andy Walker defeated by 44 votes to 16..."


""Some local authorities have already declared a climate emergency but did so without a plan. Too many are still sucking their thumbs and wondering what to do next."

He added: "Some accuse this authority of being complacent, even embarrassed. Let me assure them this is not the case - there is no complacency here.""


""We need to do more, but we are putting big numbers out there to fight crime ruthlessly,”"


""Never in the history of the federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election,""



Captain Qahn's picture

'Hands, Face, Space'?

You couldn't make this sh*t up ...

"As a mission sets off to hunt for life on Mars, the Upside considers what to do about the teeming abundance of life on Earth...

It’s one of the great ironies of 2020 that in a year spent trying to save so many people, we’ve come to the conclusion we have too many on the planet."

Oh No tis not...


There is Room for everyone...

"The council's Tory leader Carl Les said his proposal, which is opposed by district leaders, would also allow interested town and parish councils to take on additional powers and budget.

Leaders in North Yorkshire have until September to submit their proposals to the Government for consideration before a public consultation takes place. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick would then choose the option with the most support."

"Under the county council's plans, which Coun Les says are the "only sustainable credible option", a single unitary authority would serve all of North Yorkshire and its 600,000 population while City of York Council would remain in place.

Leaders of the county's seven district councils are exploring the creation of two unitary authorities of roughly equal size, each with 400,000 residents, by involving York in proposals.

Minister Simon Clarke has warned that a devolution deal and the powers and funding for the county that comes with it will only be granted if local government is "streamlined"."

"Coun Les said: “The timing is critical as we drive post-pandemic recovery and York and North Yorkshire need to act now to ensure we are not left behind.

"We have therefore today instructed officers to put together a business case for a single strong, sustainable council for everyone in North Yorkshire, based on the current map and population.

“Not only will a single council based on the county’s current identity, simplify things for people and businesses - renewing our economic fortunes following the shock delivered by the pandemic - it will protect and strengthen high-quality frontline services.

"It will also unleash the county’s potential and deliver very significant financial savings by ending duplication, improving efficiency and driving innovation."

""We estimate savings in excess of £25m every year, offering the best value for money for everyone. No other bid would be able to match these benefits. Equally importantly it will protect a global and recognised brand which is crucial for our visitor economy.”"

Won't it Just...


Spose the Unitary Authority HQ will be based in Skardiborgibados...

"More than £17m will be invested in schemes to improve the A1(M) junction with the A59 York to Harrogate road and doubling the number of trains that run between the city and North Yorkshire’s largest town."

Ah, So ...

".. only Boris Johnson could go to Yorkshire for the day without bothering to say he was planning on locking down large areas of it within hours.."

"Upholding the freedom of speech can be challenging especially if it means defending the right for people to express their views, with which you disagree.

When people choose words to deliberately (or unconsciously) hurt and offend, we may wish to curtail that freedom. Racist comments can create fear and incite violence. Sexist comments may humiliate and perpetuate inequalities. Personal comments may inflict deep and lasting wounds. Words are not without consequence and are always to some extents acts as well as utterances. They create the world in which we live for better or for worse and therefore we need to take responsibility for what we say and how we say it.

However, if we were to have legislation about what we can and can’t say then we would no longer live in an open society in which ideas can be expressed and challenged"

Shall We Begin?



Captain Qahn's picture

The Great Tribble Hunt

"Packages marked as ‘earrings’ spark biosecurity concerns and global investigations into origins.

"In a letter sent to The Times this week, the council leaders called for “good old-fashioned Yorkshire common-sense” to prevail on local government reorganisation, which they say should be centred on workable geographies and an understanding of local communities and economies.   Councillor Siddons said:

“Reorganising local government will affect the lives of 800,000 people, so we’ve got to get it right. Over the next few weeks we will be reaching out to communities, businesses, councillors, parish councils and other local organisations, to find out how we can build on what we already do well, and where things could improve.  We’ll be doing a lot of listening. We want any bid that goes before government to have local support, and we hope that government will respect that grass-roots approach.” "

"In a Facebook group for UK gardeners, he was contacted by a member who said she had received “exactly the same seeds, the same package, at the same time. And she was in Portugal. ” Howard had been intending to burn the seeds, lest they germinate in landfill."

"A more nefarious theory is that the seeds are of an invasive species, such as Japanese knotweed, or an attempt to introduce pathogens or disease, or to otherwise threaten national security.

Gerard Clover, head of plant health at the Royal Horticultural Society, says it is difficult to comment without identifying the seeds’ species or origins. “Anything that has the ability to grow has the potential to be a threat.”


"“It’s a little worrying, actually. There’s a lot of people receiving these seeds – not just in England, all over the world.” She says, half-joking: “That big Triffid thing – it could be one of those, couldn’t it?”"



"After signing devolution deals in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, Mr Jenrick's department is now in talks with North Yorkshire and York and Hull and the East Riding over the creation of mayoral combined authorities.

But he told The Yorkshire Post: "Unlike 25 years ago, in 1975, we're not interested in imposing solutions on local communities. The devolution that we're offering to Yorkshire is entirely voluntary.

"And those parts of the county that want to take it forward will be able to and we will do everything we can, we'll move mountains to get that devolution settlement agreed quickly."


“I wouldn’t ever plant something that I didn’t know the origins of.”



Captain Qahn's picture

Firing on all Cylinders

"“There’s nothing wrong with caution, so long as that doesn’t slip into fear or timidity,” he said."

".... as Boris Johnson’s government ‘toys’ with relocating the Houses of Sleeze to York while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished. It’s as likely as Tory HQ moving to the North, another ‘wheeze’ that has not come to pass after being floated last year.

"This is simply not possible when there is nothing in the tank and no driver behind the wheel..."


"The PM needs to up his game, give us the tools, resources and powers we need to do the job effectively and make sure any new body is created by the North, for the North and with the North.""




Its gonna be a long day ... ;-0



Captain Black's picture

The Leftist Echo Chamber

"What else can we all do?”


"At the start of 2020, following Labour’s general election defeat and the relative letdown of its most recent rebellion, XR found itself at a crossroads. “There was concern about the direction of travel, about how well we have managed to decentralise,” Bradbrook told me. “People [were] getting cross with each other and finger-pointing.”



The Three Dragons...

Captain Qahn's picture

A Silent Majority

"Malton County Cllr Lindsay Bur, who is leader of the Independent Group on RDC, said: “RDC has been put in a shocking position by the government. We must get the best for residents, stand our ground and drive the process. RDC has served residents well locally and a unitary will not. I want to have local representatives who are in touch with local people. I also want to spend all Ryedale’s hard earned cash on our residents and meaningful projects that will enhance our area and lives and not have our money compulsory stolen from us.”


"Will Full 7th August 1:47 pm

"It's hardly democracy is it?  North Yorkshire County Council appear to want to remain in overall control come what may, arguing for the country's largest unitary authority covering an area from Selby to Stokesley, Filey to Hawes.

It seems we are not being given any choice in the matter. Have our locally elected councillors had any meaningful discussion on this? Certainly none of the constituents of this proposed super-power have been asked.  Democracy?"


In essence they have known about this 'devolution' bid since mid February and no public consultation exists.


Apparently a referendum is out of the question ...
"“I don’t disagree with devolution deals,” the 54-year-old said. “I just don’t think they’re the magic wand that everybody feels are going to solve the structural problems (which are) why we have such an unequal country in terms of economically and socially.

“And are they going to be the magic way in which real economic power and social regeneration takes place? They’re going to help, the real issue is partnership between national and local government. In reality it is more or less the same.

“So it’s a scraping of the surface really of how devolution is happening and I actually don’t call it devolution, devolution I think is radical.

“What we have in these devolution deals is decentralisation, just the handing out of a very small part of Whitehall power, with strings attached, out to local areas so they can probably administer them slightly better and make small changes.”

He added: “Real devolution would be talking about possibly local areas being able to develop certain taxes or certain levies or change the amount that they charge compared to other areas in the country, which is complex.

“But actually it isn’t reinventing the wheel if you take a look across many countries in Europe very close to home, where they have those types of powers.

“Real devolution (is) where levers create incentives for people to come or levers create tax revenue, if that’s what you wish to do, and are available to local areas. Local people can decide whether they’re good things or bad things through the ballot box.

“At the moment all that’s been handed out is you administer what’s already been decided from Whitehall slightly differently, and you can make slight changes.

“So I think it’s those kind of real serious and radical ideas that we’re going to have to get into if we are going to unleash the powers of local people through their local institutions.”

"Lord Scriven said that with both the coronavirus response and its recovery, and also with the debate over devolution, the answer would be to reassess the approach and change the whole framing of the discussion going forwards.

“I think we’ve got to start talking about what it is that we want to do and achieve at each level before we decide which body is best,” he said.

“It is all about structure. It’s all about lines on maps. It’s all about what is going to be delivered.”"



1.  What makes NYCC assume the HQ would be in Northallerton?

2.  Why, are there still no public consultation/comment boards hinged on the local district councils websites? 

3.  Why not hold the NYCC elections 2021 prior to any devolution bid decision?

4.  Has an expected increase in population been modelled into the mix?

Spose you want a tune...







"Robert Goodwill said:  "Many of us living in villages or small towns already have Town and Parish Councils.  But Scarborough itself doesn't have a Town Council so I've made it very clear to the County Council and Government ministers that we do need to back-fill and have a Town Council.

There are a number of decisions and local tasks that can be done better at that lower level; but I think given that 75% of what's being delivered is being delivered by the County [Council], I think there's a good argument for a larger unitary authority."



Apparently they have only considered a binary two way split and not considered a three way split. 

ie Ryedale & SBC,  York & Selby and the other 'lots'...

Do the Math.


Captain Qahn's picture

'Collisional Cascading'

"We believe maximum gain and minimum disruption will come from the creation of a single strong, sustainable council for everyone in North Yorkshire, based on the current map and population. This would work in dynamic partnership with the City of York, respecting its integrity as a single-tier council but strengthening shared service opportunities.

Not only will a single North Yorkshire council simplify things for people and businesses, but it will protect and strengthen high-quality frontline services...

In a “double devolution” proposal, our plan would see greater powers and funding passed to parish and town councils than currently exist.

Only two areas of the county – Harrogate and Scarborough – do not have town councils so we would offer to create them. They could then benefit from “double devo” and draw down substantial powers if their residents want it."


"In the last five years alone, almost a quarter of all objects ever sent into space were launched.

But unlike at the dawn of the space era, when the superpower nations of the Soviet Union and the United States raced to the Moon, this time it’s billionaires fighting for profits in orbit.

In a matter of hours, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is scheduled to launch another 57 of its satellites into space. The launch is part of a decade-long Starlink mission to build a 12,000-strong mega-constellation to provide low-latency, high-speed internet to remote regions on Earth.

But SpaceX is just one company in the game. There are forecasts that by 2030, as many as 57,000 new satellites could be jostling for an orbital position.

With so many new operators in space and even more satellites, there are fears that entire orbits could be rendered unusable as the risk of satellite collisions increases.

"Almost 10 per cent of all space junk tracked by the SSN came from one single event. In 2007, China launched what is known as a kinetic kill vehicle at its old weather satellite Fengyun-1C, as part of a test of its anti-satellite missile system. The destruction of the satellite created more than 2,000 pieces of trackable debris, which remain in orbit more than a decade later.

Two years later, a Russian satellite that had been decommissioned but left in orbit smashed into an active US communications satellite. It was the first time two satellites in orbit had accidentally collided. More than a decade later, over 1,000 pieces of debris are still being tracked.

“All it needs is a couple of catastrophic collisions or more destructive anti-satellite tests and suddenly we’re in the territory predicted by Donald Kessler and Burton Cour-Palais in the 1970s, where it will no longer be possible to use certain regions of space,” Dr Gorman said."


The scramble for space at Earth’s outer limits...

"Each August brings nights lit up by up to 100 shooting stars and fireballs per hour. .. In 2020, the Perseids are expected to peak on Aug. 11 and 12, when the moon should be a little less than half full."



Captain Qahn's picture

An Aarhus Convention

"Coun Les wrote: "Only two areas of the county – Harrogate and Scarborough – do not have town councils so we would offer to create them.

"They could then benefit from 'double devo' and draw down substantial powers if their residents want it..."


Twenty Five £million equates to about 1000 well paid jobs...


"Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the devolution White Paper to be published this Autumn will mean representatives at the lowest levels of local government will get more powers.

The 10,000 existing parish, towns, neighbourhood and community councils in England already have some discretionary powers to provide and maintain local amenities like bus shelters, footpaths, public toilets and car parks."

"But Mr Jenrick, whose department oversees all levels of local government, said the White Paper was "an opportunity to give more power to communities at the lowest level, many of whom played a crucial role in the pandemic".

The document will also outline how all parts of the country can get the powers already available to Greater Manchester's Andy Burnham, the most powerful metro mayor outside London, as part of the devolution process.

He said: "One of the lessons from the pandemic is the need for both really active community involvement with town and parish councils playing a crucial role in the decisions that matter to local people from parks and leisure and markets and running high streets.

"All of those things should be done at the lowest possible level, so they can be most responsive to local people's needs..."

"Eligible parishes can now use the Power of General Goble de Gook which opens up much scope for parish sector councils to get involved in services and projects that once may have been prohibitive to them."


Yawwwn ...



Captain Qahn's picture


"Public participation is similar to but more inclusive than stakeholder engagement. Generally public participation seeks and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision....Public participation implies that the public's contribution will influence the decision"

Big Ears.


Erm, so given that the public have yet to be consulted or involved and that the local media is Twonk fodder ... for avoidence of doubt any Twonk devolution deal would fail under an Aarhus Convention claim should any interested parties fail to participate.



"Keep it quiet, but did you know that North Yorkshire is full of spies?! One of our best kept secrets is the GCHQ base located just outside Scarborough, which has lots of classified people working on lots of classified projects that nobody, quite rightly, will tell me anything about! I mention it because a couple of weeks ago, I held one of my senior managers meetings at GCHQ. It was quite a revelation for many people to see this type of facility not too far away from our major seaside tourist resort. It was an interesting place to visit, not least going through security, where two of our colleagues didn’t make it (not because they were carted off to a dark prison for interrogation, but because one hadn’t brought the right level of ID and the other wasn’t on the list!). The place is very top security, with no electrical devices allowed in with anybody and we were escorted at all times. However, we did get a sense of the place and a trip into their interesting museum, which gives the history of GCHQ and how it came to be located by Scarborough – it started life as a wireless station picking up wireless messages and came into its own during the two World Wars. We even got to see the Enigma machine!"

"To have such a significant facility in North Yorkshire is very important and it can be an enormous asset to the County. Firstly, it brings in a large number of well paid jobs to an area that is characterised by relatively low pay. It also represents an opportunity that we are trying to see if we can build upon. The opportunity is to use GCHQ as a partner and magnet for other cyber technology related businesses to come and locate in the Scarborough area. We are working with a number of partners, including GCHQ, Scarborough Borough Council and local business leaders to try and make Scarborough a business tech destination.
Scarborough has been a bit of a draw over the last few weeks. One of the reasons I was there was to attend a dinner with business leaders, organised by the Bank of England. They were keen to understand from businesses how they are feeling at the moment, levels of confidence, were they investing and how did they see opportunities for growth. The Bank of England representative also gave an interesting take on the national economy, which as you might expect, was pretty much dominated by Brexit. Quite a lot of the businesses in Scarborough were not only worried about political uncertainty in general, but also some of the issues that could follow from Brexit - most notably difficulties in recruiting people with the right skills for the jobs.
Brexit has now led to a leadership race for the Conservative Party, to determine, off course, who will also be the new Prime Minister. All of this adds even more uncertainty, not only to business, but also for councils under public sector. There are many really important issues waiting to be dealt with, including a complete revision of funding for local government, issues around special educational needs and a future basis for how we provide adult social care in this country. Many of you may have seen the Panorama programme earlier this week, which should have driven home to politicians the fact that we simply cannot carry on just trying to get by with councils struggling with not enough money to provide social care services into the future. What we need are politicians who are also watching these programmes and not just jockeying for leadership positions...
During the course of the last few weeks we also announced a new Chairman of the County Council. This is Cllr Jim Clark. Jim represents a division in the middle of Harrogate and has been a County Councillor for many years. He is passionate about culture and theatre and would like to bring a flavour of that to his year as Chairman. He will also be looking out for opportunities to meet staff and get to events the Council is working on.
Finally, it is worth taking note of the fact that next week is National Volunteers Week and we should celebrate the more than 6000 volunteers that work with the County Council. It is worth saying that figure again – 6000 people who give up their time to be school governors, work in libraries, help our public rights of way and give their time in many other areas of our work and community. It is also worth mentioning and celebrating the very large numbers of our own staff who volunteer and give their own time to work in organisations supporting North Yorkshire’s communities.
Finally, finally, it is hard to finish without commenting on a highlight of the summer – not the UEFA cup final! – but the cricket World Cup. Cricket is a particular passion of mine and I will be following the matches closely. I have even rather foolishly been drawn out of five years of retirement to play for my local team, Staxton just outside Scarborough. My wife, frankly, thinks I’m mad and having a mid-life crisis, but it has reminded me of the fun team environment and I am quite enjoying playing in the same team as my son. It does mean, though, that you may well see a rather pitiful figure around the council, clutching his knee and back, hobbling from one meeting to another!"


The life-size memorial sculpture looks out over York Cricket Club's first-team pitch

Keep it Quiet...



Baldrick !!!! I have a cunning plan.




Captain Qahn's picture

A Hubble Bumble

"... the great disrupters digging No 10 into ever deeper holes are still at it with pickaxe and shovel. What a time to launch a colossal centralising reorganisation of local government, but that’s what next month's white paper will do, under the misleading rubric of “devolution”. The intent is to force unitary councils everywhere, sweeping away the district councils beneath them: it looks neat – but it’s devoid of evidence that another great upheaval does anything but disrupt, cost money and distract council officials who are already overstretched.."

Why does No 10 want to ‘devolve’ local councils just as they are needed most?

"The government is starting with North Yorkshire – but don’t expect yellow York or red Scarborough to kowtow.."

"Subtly done, the white paper will force councils themselves to come up with their own plans to turn unitary, or receive no growth funds.

There is no optimum size, but the ministry has proclaimed a randon 300-400,000 population minimum (with optional decorations of tiny parish councils with no power or money). Since the abolition of the Audit Commission, there’s no evidence on efficacy."

"This is all a deliberate distraction from the one great problem: councils are crippled by cuts and an inability to raise finance, rendering them powerless. But expect no plan for financial renewal – no local sales or income tax, no Amazon tax on deliveries, no hotel and tourism tax nor any reform of council tax and business rates."

"“But do people care?” Let’s see how much noise the beleaguered red and yellow districts make and how angry Tory MPs will be about their own disappearing districts..."


"“We could see the effect of a dense, hot region in the southeast part of the star moving outward.”"


SBC's planning department team earn their own keep plus some, thanks to all those fantastical dreamers ... erm developments.


Subjext to Review.

"Okay, it’s not until May 2021. And he’s only reprising his role as the Ninth Doctor in a collection of audio stories.

And he only actually played the Time Lord for one series. But, as Dr Evil once pleaded to his acolytes in an Austin Powers movie: “Throw me a frickin’ bone here, people.”


"In the first episode Billy Piper’s Rose asked him: “If you are an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the north?” To which Eccleston replied: “Lots of planets have a north.”"

Captain Qahn's picture

'Kettle and Pot'

"The seven district and borough council leaders from across North Yorkshire said the county council should “play fair” as differing factions set out their stalls over the make up of local government in the region in the future.

But Carl Les, leader of the Conservative-run NYCC turned the accusation back on the district councils, saying: “Their social media campaign may be seen as kettle and pot.”

“But it is becoming clear that North Yorkshire County Council is instead resorting to propaganda to overstate support for its mega-council model.”

He said the smaller councils were conducting an independent study, in which “early analysis shows there are practical and democratic benefits to creating two unitary authorities with roughly even populations”.

But he added: “We promise to play fair, to be frank, and to be open and responsive to feedback, as we work with our residents, businesses and partners to build the very best proposal for new local government. We call upon North Yorkshire County Council to do the same.”

Mr Les said: “I agree with Coun Crane, a long-standing colleague, that we should all play fair."

“We have tried to be factual and play with a straight bat. We have not criticised the preparation of their proposal, other than we have a fundamental concern about splitting North Yorkshire in two, and bringing an unwilling York into the mix. They think that our proposal is too big. So let’s agree to disagree.

“Let’s get on and prepare our respective proposals and on the assumption we all get a letter inviting us to do so, let’s submit them to the Secretary of State and the Local Government Minister, the two most senior politicians in the land charged with making local government deliver, and let them test the bids against the criteria for success that they have drawn up.

“Then they can consult to gauge support."

“So no more thinking of whipped votes, no more trying to stop an opposing team get on the pitch, please. Let’s proceed with mutual respect."




"If Sir Keir is to stand any chance of earning that support, he must prove that he is committed to the countryside and that his party understands the complexities of running it. The importance of this formidable ‘green wall’ of rural voters should not be underestimated."

"It never ceases to amaze me the way that the media, both reflecting and influencing public opinion, build public figures up – and then knock them down."


Shall We Begin?


"Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party and has had the whip removed.

A party spokesman said: "In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party."

Mr Corbyn had reacted to a damning report into antisemitism by saying the number of complaints made during his tenure were "dramatically overstated".

He then gave a press conference in which he repeated this and insisted "I'm not part of the problem"."



Sssh ..