There is a lot of roundup information about the i360 that needs to go into a post here; and no time to organise it at the moment.
People do not believe the i360 will be built. They are incredulous. But only one thing stands in the way of it happening: the Brighton & Hove City Council loan from the Public Works Loan Board which they would lend on to Brighton i360 Ltd at a higher rate of interest in order to make money on the difference. An application has no doubt already gone in. If it is granted then that is it. Game, set and match and a horror on the seafront. If it fails to earn what BHCC expect, then the City is lumbered with ownership of the 1360 and will have to repay the loan from council tax.
A brief summary of issues that concern most people – those horrified to see Brighton & Hove City Council wanting to bail out Marks Barfield’s failed i360 project and to inflict it on the Brighton seafront in order to try to earn money from it – is given within the petition. See this on the Change.org petition page by Clicking this:
Petition? Yes. Targetting the Public Works Loan Board, and asking them NOT to lend the requested £36.2m when they consider Brighton & Hove City Council’s application along with the business case from Brighton i360 Ltd. Will it concern them, as it does the public, that the i360 NEVER had full funding from day one of planning consent and lost what it had by 2013?
Will they pay heed to a petition asking them not to give the money? They must if there are sufficient signatories. Please sign the petition. Please give reason for doing so. If you are reading this and do not live in the area, GOOD! Say whether this glass lift cage up a huge pole is your idea of an attraction that would motivate you to visit Brighton in order to go up it. And please email, tweet, the petition link to everyone you know who shares your wish to see this stopped. The jungle drum must beat loudly so those who would sign it actually know it exists.
There are major City regeneration issues which need that money more – the Brighton Centre with Churchill Square and the King Alfred – not to mention Black Rock and unfinished business at the Marina. Developers will be queuing to get their projects backed by a Council loan and it is important to choose projects with care and without great risk.
Developments that attract investors would be the ones to choose. Steal a march on them and borrow to lend at a higher rate of interest to gain the income BHCC so badly needs. But for God’s sake, don’t misuse the opportunity by bailing out losers or the i360. As well as the local press, both the Guardian and the Daily Mail carried articles about the Policy & Resources decision to borrow to lend to get the West Pier Trust off the hook and to bail out Marks Barfield. The comment trails give the thumbs down pretty emphatically. Read them when you have time:
Sorry to have slacked off somewhat on the Planning front. Too many irons in the fires of burning concern and too little to give to anything in the end.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I am pleased to bring you reason to feel happy on the officially most depressing day of the year (6th January apparently). The latest application to redevelop the Medina House site is REFUSED.
Christmas takes so many eyes off the ball so there were fewer than five letters of support for it. There were loads of objections, but as it was not recommended for approval, this was not a factor for officers taking the decision under delegated powers. The earlier version of this article misled you! Had there been more than five letters of support, given the recommendation to refuse, then it could have gone to Committee.
I think we all knew this industrial design for a domestic purpose on our hallowed Esplanade was a fairly obvious no-no. Ruth Rose has been diligent where I have been slacking off. And she has informed some of us today of the BHCC Decision Notice she has a copy of. You can view it HERE.
Taghan indicates he is to appeal. Watch this space.
“Political correctness is an instrument of oppression and it will only get worse unless we start to oppose it in numbers”
- from ’Ricayboy‘ s comment behind Argus report of Standards Panel verdict concerning Cllr Dawn Barnett’s comments on golliwogs.
On the morning of 28th of November, 2013 Cllr Dawn Barnett and a few supporters assembled at Hove Town Hall for ‘the Inquisition’ aimed at condemning Cllr Barnett’s defence of golliwogs as having brought Brighton & Hove City Council into disrepute. Very sadly, Cllr Barnett fell down the stairs just minutes before the meeting was to begin, got carted off to hospital in an ambulance, and the meeting had to be postponed.
The meeting has been rescheduled for 10:30am, Thursday, 19th December, Hove Town Hall
Sadly I cannot provide a link to the agenda here. And sadder still, the decision has been taken to treat the entire agenda and meeting as Part 2 business which means no press or public is allowed to attend and bear witness…….unless of course, on the day, the panel decide they will open it to press and public. That is a decision available to them…on the day. To re-schedule the meeting to be held in secret is a bit too Guantanamo Bay for comfort, suggesting that council officers are now in a flap about this debacle and certain people feel they have to defensively hide something. Two articles in the Argus, and the big one on here giving historic context about the origin of golliwogs that is NEVER properly referenced by people seeking to use golliwogs as a weapon of hate, attracted a lot of attention. The fact is the emails and letters of complaint were made public and remain in the public domain, in spite of the original agenda having been removed from the council website and no replacement agenda being provided for public referencing.
Who has demanded the hearing be held in secret? What have they got to hide? What about Cllr Barnett’s rights in all this? And the rights of the public who are paying for it?
Many believe it is the two BHCC council officers, one council tenant and their Black & Minority Ethnic Workers’ Forum, squandering council resources and time, who bring the council into disrepute. And there has been online talk of putting in a standards complaint about them, which may or may not have been followed up with action. Are the Black & Minority Ethnic Workers Forum, along with other Brighton & Hove City Council officials, guilty of abuse of power? Some people think so.
Is a golliwog or the appreciation of golliwogs racist? If so, why are they still legal?
Is the flag of St. George a fascist, far right, National Front or BNP flag? Or is the English national flag abused when used for far right purposes or wielded in support of the England football team? Has its identity as the English flag become forfeit? Should the practitioners of the Hindu religion or Buddhist religion be required to give up their svastika – an ancient life appreciating symbol - because Hitler and his Nazis took a fancy to it, adopted it for their logo, and called it a swastika? Surely not.
Surely it is the negative/positive use of symbols that matters and not the symbols themselves that constitute offensive behaviour. Golliwogs have been wielded and hijacked for racist purposes, but they are not, in themselves racist. A read of the book that invented old Golly makes that clear. The gorgeous Robertson’s jam golliwog rag doll brooches showed Golly in various guises – golfer, doctor, policeman..,how is that racist?
Even Golly’s costume is considered racist by the sociology professor referenced in the original golliwog article on this site. Why? Designers and illustrators take influences from lots of places if it looks a fun thing to do. And it is very likely true that the Golliwog’s costume came from wandering minstrels of the 19th century. The designer was born and lived in the USA until age 14, but was from an English family who brought her back to England for the duration. 40 years ago my black laquered Japanese wooden clogs were ‘shoes’ to jam sloppy woolly sock-covered feet into; and an antique Japanese man’s kimono was used for an overcoat to wear over fashionable long patchwork skirts. I loved them so, so, SO much. Was that racist? Or was it nostalgia? And admiration. Why is it racist for a rag doll to have a black cloth face and Afro hair but not racist for a Barbie doll to be pinky and etiolated, with stiff yellow plastic hair?
It is suggested by complainants against Cllr Barnett that she undergo Equalities and Diversity Training. Does that training include sensitivity training for black and minority ethnic people towards white European diversity and cultural issues and values that must also have respect and equality within the overall life of this country? How valid is the set of complaints by council officers and a council tenant against Cllr Barnett? Does it constitute a hate crime or bullying of her? This isn’t just about golliwogs, is it.
The Blatchington Road pop-up shop of maps, books, newspaper & other local ephemera has relocated to Western Road. You will find it near City Books, St. Patrick’s Church part of Brunswick Town area in Hove. Framed reproduction old adverts, maps, prints, etc. can be ordered. It is a goldmine of local history references. A great place to seek Christmas gift inspiration. Recommend it! See earlier post on here for photos when it was in Blatchington Road.
Hove’s Hangleton Councillor, Dawn Barnett, is combative. No doubt about it. And not always for a good reason; but she is, equally, no mealy-mouthed politician insulting the public with safe and expedient stock phrases purloined from The Politicians Handbook (if there is one by that name). And it is her open, unguarded mouth that once again sees her hauled up in front of a Standards Panel (10am, Thursday, 28.11.13, Hove Town Hall).
Cllr Barnett defended Bert’s Homewares store selling replica, pre-war era, placemats with golliwog/story book characters on them; and the question of just how a golliwog is perceived and how it should be judged is a vexing one. Four complainants to the council say her defence of golliwogs is racist and she finds herself now charged with bringing the council into disrepute by defending them as much loved nostalgic toys.
One complaint is from the council’s own Black & Minority Ethnic Workers Forum. A second comes from Narinder Madhar, an Indian Sikh, a council tenant and member of the council tenant representatives’ own Scrutiny Panel, we learn from his complaint. His complaint runs to 15 pages (as published in the Agenda document for the meeting). These two complainants make very severe, hard line, objections to Cllr Barnett saying to The Argus that golliwogs are “nostalgic, not racist”. Indeed Narinder Madhar went to the police accusing her of committing a criminal offence over it and he demands her resignation. Throughout his often repetitive (for emphasis?) 15 pages of complaint he casually refers to Cllr Barnett in a de facto, descriptive way as “racist”. As though it is a given. It is a dangerous assertion which he will need to be able to evidence as he risks having invited trouble to his own door. There is a case to answer here should Cllr Barnett choose to pursue it.
Two others complained, providing half page position statements, demanding she be made to undergo Equalities and Diversity training. Dan Hermitage, in his complaint, says “She showed a complete lack of understanding of black history and their continuing fight for equality across the globe”. Tim Read in his says “This is not the first time Cllr Barnett has made racist comments about ethnic groups”. One hopes he can defend this statement or he is open to a charge of defamation.
How much is it costing BHCC to big up these complaints to the level of a Standards Panel? It matters when so much front-line council spending is being cut. To some observers, the reaction seems out of proportion and inflated, even abuse of position and power within the council. BHCC will have to give a cost figure for diversion of staff time and other expenses to this exercise at a time of staff redundancies and service cuts.
The agenda is 74 pages long. And you once could read it here through an established link until BHCC broke it. It can be emailed to anyone wanting it.
And so. To Golly himself now.
The internet has made it possible for us to learn a lot in a very short space of time, to reference where we may. Narinder Madhar referenced a Guardian article in his letter of complaint. IMHO the article fell far short of the standard the subject demands. Did he look any further? The Black & Minority Ethnic Workers Forum re-used the same few words that are routinely quoted from a verse in the book that introduced Golly to the world. Have any of them read it?