February 2011


With the AGM of the Barton & Tredworth Community Trust coming up, I’ve been in the habit of checking their [our?] web site’s News & Events page to see if it would be advertised. Technically, this isn’t absolutely necessary, because anyone who has registered as a member (everyone who lives or works or has a business located in the ward is entitled to be a member but still needs to sign up) gets a letter to let them know about it, which was delivered about two weeks ago. However, about two hundred people are registered, against more than 3,000 residents, and every AGM struggles to be quorate, which takes twenty people. A public advertisement a couple of weeks back would have seen people registering with the intention of attending the AGM, though some might argue that the kind of person who made a point of doing that might skew the results of any vote, and be accused of hijacking the AGM. It’s hard to imagine what could be worse than the present apathy, though.

Having just tried to check the site, though, I find that it apparently doesn’t ‘exist’. Is it too much to expect that Softdata have finally admitted to themselves that the people in charge of the trust were never seriously interested in having a website? That would mean that I was right all along, after all, which can’t be the case.

So maybe it’ll return, and maybe there’ll be something about the AGM, and maybe the page dedicated, if that’s the right word, to the Barton & Tredworth Neighbourhood Partnership will have more than a link to one newsletter, when two more have been published since. It’s strange, and slightly irksome, that a Google of the partnership’s name turns up that badly written page in first place, another BTCT page in second, and only then does the bartred.webs.com home page come up. Softdata surely know more about getting a good placing for a site on Google, but whether that site deserves the placing is another matter…

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Posting this up here because ‘It has been sent to the moderation queue’ on TiG’s poll/article about giving the vote to prisoners. Presumably because of the word ‘buggers’. Conversely, did you know that you can say ‘shit’ on the BBC’s message boards, as long as you’re not using it abusively?

My comment will probably be allowed on inspection, but again, if not, here it is in all its glory…

Well, it’s 10% for and 90% against, now. Does that mean that one person (me) voted for giving prisoners the vote, or have two voted for and eighteen or so against?

Why did I vote the way I did? Because unless murderers and rapists are being allowd to vote for murderers and rapists, what difference does it make? Prisoners still make up a small percentage of the population, anyway, so how likely are they to swing a vote? Even if they did, at least one of the candidates would be happy about it. And John Hirst might be a tool, but some prisoners have probably had the time and the opportunity to reach a more informed decision about how to cast their vote. Again, not likely that any candidate is going to appeal to the prison vote, as he/she would lose more votes than would be gained.

I know MPs like to please the crowd on occasion, and this is an open goal, but it’s really a trivial issue to play silly buggers with the ECHR on.

…well arguably. At about the worst time for me, the computer with all my files on it ceased to boot up properly two weeks back, and news came back from the repair shop that the hard drive was completely fried. It still hasn’t come back yet, preventing me from typing up the partnership’s minutes, or engaging in any extended email conversations before I can load up AOL again and start a new PFC. What irks also is that the breakdown happened just before I received the news by post that my appeal against the judgement of the IPCC, via Charlie Laporte of the Gloucestershire Constabulary, that an inspector, Carole Ajinkya, had acted properly in regard to my complaint about a police driver, had been upheld. It’s really not much of a victory, because all it means is that she’ll be advised to follow procedure on complaints in the future. The fact that she, and the constabulary, ignored two whole years of me asking for news of progress, and that Charlie Laporte’s own Professional Standards Department failed to follow up two promises to investigate even after the IPCC were involved, won’t figure at all.

But, barring a possible ‘post mortem’ when I can type out the report on my own keyboard, I should move on. There’s other stuff afoot, like the Barton & Tredworth Community Trust’s AGM, which Carol Francis advised a month or so back that she planned to hold in February. No invitation or agenda has come through the post yet (though it may just be that the meeting takes place at the very end of January, despite all meetings usually being on the second Tuesday of the month), and of course it won’t be advertised by Shaun Moore on the website (which is a bad joke now), so I’m going to have to keep pressing them for information. It may be this AGM, if it even happens, that sees the BTCT disbanding, because its mismanagement has become too self-evident now.