Monday December 18th 2017

Sorry this blog's a little late  being "published" this week - pre-Christmas rush and computer problems. But anyway, it's here now.

Where the money goes. (1) Today's Daily Mail recounts the incredible story of a Council that has allegedly spent - wait for it - £870,000 introducing thirteen 20 mph speed zones across their area. Can you believe that? Close on the thick end of a million pounds! And that's for a job that I'd suggest could have been done by a few old boys with some signs and pots of paint! Or, even better value for money could have been making use of  some fine citizens serving their community service sentences! Then, after all that, the Council said that results from the thirteen zones were mixed and, when asked, they allegedly said that they did not have the finances needed to reverse the zones.

Where the money goes. (2)  My local council proudly announced  that they have spent £2.5 million buying an hotel - way off in another part of the country. And this at a time when our street lights are being turned off to save money - allied to rises in council tax - mean we are now paying more for less. Then, in the unlikely event of seeing a policeman in our area, the first thing one must do is to ask him if he's lost!

Supermax. I was interested to read that Abu Hamza, deported from the UK a year or so back, is finding confinement in an American prison rather distasteful. In fact he claims that his treatment represents a breach of his human rights and is now trying to secure repatriation to a  "cushier" English prison. While wishing to stay clear of the politics involved, his action must indicate that US jails are a heck of lot tougher than the ones in the UK. Might there just be a lesson here?

SPOTY. That's the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year program, which was broadcast "live" last Sunday evening. And, as an athletics fan, I was delighted to see Sir Mo Farah win the award. Clearly, as a household name, he is quite rightly held in high regard by the public. At the same time I was delighted to see so much attention given to what I would probably - and incorrectly - call the minority sports, because participants will have trained equally hard to achieve their successes. Good on them.

The Apprentice: Having followed the Apprentice series I, like everybody else, was amazed to see Lord Sugar dip further into his back pocket for another £250,000 and declare joint winners. However, I felt both had equal merit, so can agree with the final decision. Oh, but what a disjointed journey the series has been! To me, many of the candidates appeared to be a bit short in the business management department - an essential for Lord Sugar I'd have thought!

So, until next week, goodbye.


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