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We, Say, NO! - Saturday 16/07/11

There is immense joy to be found in discovering theory works in practice.
A few weeks ago, I heard the foster boy staying with Emma's mum was due to go to court. I had a chat with him, and advised him to tell the judge he did not accept his sentence. I left it upto him, take it or leave it. I was going only on a story in Mary Croft's book where the tactic had apparently been successful.
When I heard later that Levi had been given 2 months of something or other as 'punishment' I assumed he'd not done as I'd suggested. Turns out, I was wrong.
Through causal talk I learned he had told the judge he did not accept the sentence. The judge reportedly looked at him "funny" and Levi's solicitor is said to have laughed. The judge had initially sentenced Levi to 4 months, but after Levi had said what I had told him to, the judge halved the sentence to 2! When I pressed Levi as to why he hadn't again refused to accept the decision, he told me he kept quiet as he didn't think it would work again. A wise move in many respects, but potentially he could've gotten off scot free from what I've been led to believe.
Very interesting...

Was chuffed to see a copy of my "Save Slad" letter in the Stroud News And Journal.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing regarding the proposed development of Land At Wades Farm, Vatch View, by Barratt Homes Bristol.

It is quite clear to me that the people and residents of Stroud have spoken. To my knowledge over 200 objections have been received to date by Stroud District Council (SDC) in relation to planning application reference S.11/0812/FUL.

To a layman like myself, that number seems rather high relative to most applications. It is my belief that if I were a home owner whose application received the same volume of objections, my planning application would be refused rather swiftly.

It is therefore most disconcerting to read that SDC appears to be entertaining the idea still, with their proposed “Helium balloon” exercise. This does not surprise the cynic inside me when I take into account the application fee of £16080.00 charged to and I believe paid by, Barratt Homes Bristol thus far.

It is my belief and understanding that SDC is a body charged with acting in the interest of the people and residents of Stroud. It would therefore be understandable to assume that if the people object to a proposal such as this, the result is SDC refuses said proposal and application. To my knowledge this has not yet happened.

The Handling Officer is listed on the website as being Laura Humphries.

Ms Humphries, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of your duties as laid out in your councils constitution. Available to view here
1. Members should serve only the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.....” – page 18

          1.3 “The overriding principle is that Councillors...should not favour any individuals or groups and must represent their constituents as a body and vote in the interests of the District as a whole...”
Ms Humphries. The people that the conditions of your employment require you to serve are trusting you. We have made our voices heard and have faith that you will act accordingly. I have every faith that each of your paying employers that inhabit Stroud will be most grateful when you act in accordance to their wishes. We could spend our time sifting through pdf's and documents building a 'case', but I will not engage in such activities. I realise the responsibility and power on your shoulders in this matter. I know you will not allow this development to happen. I trust your integrity and honour. You are a human being like us, you are not blind to the natural beauty amongst which we, and I assume you, reside. Corporations are blind to this, governments are blind to this, machines are blind to this. It is the human that controls them, that makes them who they are, that can see, hear and feel the damage they wreak upon this Earth. It is the human that either clicks the mouse, approves a bill, shys away from truth, or not, that decides. Listen to the people of your/our community. Your fellow human beings. They have decided, will you enact their will?
I believe yes.
People of Stroud. Do not stand idly by whilst corporations ravage and destroy your homeland and environment under the false pretences of providing a service. What they provide, they tell us, is “affordable housing”, but how many of you who need one, will be able to afford one?
We can often be misled into thinking just the animals and wildlife who inhabit a field such as the one in question suffer. The terrible truth is that we all do. We inhabit the fields we have already allowed to be destroyed. The environment that pays is yours. People talk of “saving the planet from destruction”. Let us start with a valley.
There was once a man like you who loved Stroud. He popularised it in his works and labours of love. It pains me greatly he is no longer with us, for when he was alive, I knew my valley was safe. He does, however, keep a watchful eye over the Slad Valley from his resting place at Slad Church. Before his death, he was often the torch bearer of opposition to such proposals and if needs be, I will hold that torch in his place and honour.
The spirit of Laurie Lee lives on in his valley, but with each field that is allowed to fall to the wanton destruction that is wreaked by such corporation and profit seeking machines such as Barrett Homes and their ilk, a piece of that spirit dies.
I, who grew up in Slad, next door to that fine gentleman we knew and loved, will not stand by. I call upon the businesses and individuals of Stroud and Slad to unite. To stand resolute and strong. Send them this message through our representative Laura Humphries;
“Quod Bonum Est Tenate” - Hold Fast That Which Is Good.

M Jones

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