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Thursday, 7 November 2019

BBC breaking news: Dalian Atkinson: Police officer charged with murdering footballer - victimm was tasered to death

I have just enough time before heading out today to Midweek Quaker Meeting and Ukulele lesson to flag this up from BBC News.

 BBC breaking news: Dalian Atkinson: Police officer charged with murdering footballer

Dalian Atkinson played for Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday
A police officer has been charged with the murder of footballer Dalian Atkinson who was killed in 2016.
The ex-Aston Villa striker, 48, died after being Tasered by officers at his father's house in Telford, Shropshire on 15 August.
A second police officer, also from the West Mercia Police force, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.
Both defendants will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court later.

More at

Burst water main affecting supplies of water in areas of Hereford — what to do if and when it happens to you

Logging on to the Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru website home page immediately presented me with confirmation that my lack of cold water was not just my individual problem and I did not need tocontact my landlord or a plumber to fix it, while I am a poor customer who could ill afford such an expense

After not getting any cold water out of my tap this morning, and worse still, not having toilet flush, I sought a neighbour to check whether they might be having the same problem. And yes, they said that there had been a major leak affecting our whole area and the supply should, hopefully, be back to normal by 9am. That conversation was just after 7am, and I still have no cold running water.

Thinking, "Where can I get an update on this matter?" the answer came to me: "A: Of course! Via the websit of Welsh Water aka Dwr Cymru, the company to whom I pay my water bills!"

So I got onto their website
via a Google search for "Welsh Water"

And, sure enough, there is the message at the home page shown above, saying,

We are dealing with a burst water main in areas of Hereford, which means that customers in South Hereford may currently be experiencing discoloured water, or have no water supply.

For more information and updates, please click here.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
 Clicking on the click here link eventually provided me the following info:

Burst water main affecting HR2 area of Hereford update info screenshot

Burst Water Main Affecting the HR2 area of Hereford


Burst water main affecting the HR2 area of Hereford


Our team on the site


We are dealing with a burst wateer main in the Putson area of Hereford, which means that customers in south Hereford may currently be experiencing discoloured water, or hav no water supply. The areas affected include Belmont, Newton Farm, Redhill and Whitecross, Kings Acre, Putson, Hinton and Hunderton areas.

We are on site dealing with the burst but this will impact on water supplies to customers throughout today and this evening. This emergency work is difficult as there is a high voltage cable nearby and so the repair needs to be done carefully.

We will be liaising with key sites in the area including schools and providing bottled water directly to those vulnerable customers in the area such as thos on dialysis, on our additional needs register.

We wish to apologise again for this and wish to assure you that we are doing everything we can to put things right and restore drinking water supplies as quickly as possible.

Last updated

07/11/2019 09:56

Keep in touch

If you want to received updates on our progress, click the follow button and add your email address to automatically


The HR2 post code area is quite vast, and not everyone is so lucky to have near neighbours to check out such problems with, and so that factor is an important consideration in my drafting the above WHAT TO DO IF AND WHEN ... information posting.

So consider what agency might be best equipped to know about the problem, and go to their website if that's possible.

In the meantime, I can relax in the relatively calming information that the problem does not only affect this individual poor person, and I do not have to attempt to get my landlord's intervention, which would be especially problematic as my landlord's agent is currently in Singapore -- but usually based in Hereford!

Proof that UK government used taxpayers money to lie about poor people

The ASA received 44 complaints, including from the charities Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and the Disability Benefits Consortium, regarding DWP/Associated Newspapers campaign 'Universal Credit Uncovered' . The complaints have been upheld.
Advertising Standards Authority upholds complaints against DWP/Associated Newspapers regarding'Universal Credit Uncovered' advertising campaign

Adam Chakroborty writes in The Guardian regarding this year's earlier attempt via advertorials by Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to mislead the public regarding the fitness for purpose of Universal Credit:

Mail Online/Metro photo for its DWP-sourced 'Universal Credit Uncovered' series

Throughout its campaign, the DWP would summarise what it called “Myths” about universal credit and then give readers the “Facts”. The ASA [Advertising Standards Authority] looked at three of the claims – and found they weren’t facts at all. They were lies, told by the government to its own taxpayers.....

We stand at the edge of an election campaign, a period traditionally marked by half-truths, plausible fibs and outright partisan lies. Yet even amid the discursive sewage that is about to deluge us, this deceit is far different and vastly more serious. First, that campaign was paid for by taxpayers like you and me. The DWP’s own filings show that £225,000 was paid to the Metro to run ads now declared “misleading”, “unsubstantiated” and “exaggerated”. Almost a quarter of million pounds was taken off us to lie to us....

Approached for comment, the DWP has not offered even an apology to the public, merely saying it is “disappointed with this decision”. It further claims that “we consulted at length with the ASA as we created the adverts”. I asked the obvious follow-up: how then do you explain the fact that you’ve breached so many of its guidelines? There was no response. Nor was there any response on whether the DWP is running any more ad campaigns on UC, as several sources both in and out of Westminster have claimed to me.....

More at

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

FTPT plus possession giving Tories unfair advantage as they enslave us to foreign capital

It is now clearer that there is much more to the coming 12 December 2019 General Election than a Brexit/Remain decision.

A family member has sent me

Nothing to see here folks, nothing dodgy going on, just significant sums changing hands for access to senior tories...

Business Insider:

Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has received a surge in cash from Russian donors

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has received a surge in donations from Russians in recent months.
  • Donors with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party.
  • They have previously paid for meetings with senior government figures including Johnson.
  • The figures come with Johnson blocking publication of a report examining whether Russia had influence over recent UK elections.
  • Johnson's senior strategist Dominic Cummings is also under the spotlight following reports about time he spent in Russia in the 1990s.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
A new investigation reveals that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has received a surge in cash from Russian donors over the past year, news that comes as his government continues to block publication of a report into Russian influence over recent elections.
 So much for 'The Transparency of Lobbying Act' by which Conservative/Liberal Democrat UK Government attacked trade unions' capacity to take political action!

First Past the Post as an electoral parasite, sucking the life blood out of free choice in the UK

The story from Business Insider helps outline consequences of previous 'access for cash' Tory Government policy. See also

Meanwhile, there has previously been this from Make Votes Matter sitting on my desktop PC:

Make Votes Matter logo

It's time to make votes matter


Dear Alan,

We think our democracy is worth saving, and we hope you agree. That's why we want to make sure the next general election is the last in British history to be held under a failed system: First Past the Post.

Since launching, we are just over half way towards our £50,000 target, thanks to over 900 incredibly generous donors. Amazing! And with your help we can do even more to maximise the chances of winning Proportional Representation in the next Parliament.
So please donate today! How much is winning real democracy worth to you? From £1 to £100, or as much as you can afford, every penny helps in the fight for fair votes.
 Please give whatever you can and share the crowdfunder page to keep us campaigning; building the movement during the election and in the critical period after. Thank you so much for your support - and a huge thank you if you've already donated.

General election actions

Visit our GE2019 action page throughout the election campaign to find the most urgent actions anyone can take to help win PR.
From submitting a killer question to the first televised Leaders' debate, to telling Labour's manifesto consultation your want fair votes, to signing our letters to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, drop in to view the quick actions you can take today.
Visit the Make Votes Matter General Election 2019 action page

With hope and dedication,

Aaron, Caroline, Emma, Joe, Klina, Sarah, Surrinder, Tim and the rest of the team
Make Votes Matter

Electoral Reform Society: "It's time to move to a voting system fit for the 21st century"
And on 26 October, Electoral Reform Society wrote me:

Why our next General Election will be an unfair lottery

Westminster’s voting system of First Past the Post fails time and again to represent the interest of British voters...
Read the article
Electoral Reform Society: "Loopholes in the current laws put free and fair elections under threat"

Dark ads and dodgy donors: How the Queen’s Speech missed a chance to protect our democracy

Britain’s election rules are nearly 20 years old. In many ways, they ignore the existence of the internet – which has completely changed the face of political campaigning...
Read the article
Over the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, there is another man who has had questionable pre-election dealings with Vladimir Putin. How was or how will that matter be resolved?

Voters beware! Ballots to Boris and his dodgy allies!

That's it for me for now.

Alan Wheatley

Talks, Discussions and Films at Hereford's Left Bank Village

I've received the following from Nat Waring and Alan Adams who run the Talks, Discussion & Film Evenings at Hereford's Left Bank Village that includes De Koffie Pot refreshments site.

De Koffie Pot in Hereford's Left Bank Village was recently
flooded but, the floods have receded since this photo was taken.

Talks, Discussions and Films at The Left Bank Village

Every Wednesday, 7.30pm - 9.30pm, The Left Bank Village, HR4 9DG

De Koffie Pot didn't look its best last week! But don't worry, we're all dry now and back up and running! We are so grateful for and heartened by all the community support we received! Please join us for our upcoming talks, discussions and films, though we hope these won't be dry!

TONIGHT! Wednesday 6th November - Voices of Latin America 

Voices of Latin America is the title of a new book about Social Movements and the New Activism. The book will be introduced by contributor Tom Gatehouse. The second half will be led by Cecibel Egan who is part of the Pachamama (Mother Earth Project) which gathered prayers & funding for women's projects in Bolivia. Cecibel will describe the project and lead us in a ritual. A Talk Shop event organised by Perry Walker.

Wednesday 13th November - Soylent Green

Another cinema night in the Speakeasy! This month's film is Soylent Green. An American Dystopian thriller set in a future where Earth's suffering from the effects of pollution, over-population and the Greenhouse Effect!

Wednesday 20th November - Human Rights Poetry Evening

Hereford Amnesty present an evening of poetry readings and discussion about the power of words in the struggle for human justice and liberty. Amnesty International was founded because one man believed that the pen is mightier than the sword in the struggle for human rights. We’ll consider if this is still true today.

Wednesday 27th November - The Core Strategy for Housing

The Herefordshire Council is re-writing its core strategy. What should it say about housing? A discussion evening organised in association with the Herefordshire Centre for Community Led Housing. More details to follow...

Wednesday 4th December - The Hereford Bypass Project

A follow on to the event in October, we'll again discuss what is happening with plans for this controversial new road now that we have a new greener council adminstration. Facilitated by Perry Walker, Talk Shop.

Wednesday 11th December - Film Night in The Speakeasy 

We'll still deciding which film to show. We're thinking about... Loveless 2017 (Russian) or Transit 2018 (German) or Happy as Lazarro 2018 (Italian). Let us know if you have a preference! 

Wednesday 18th December - Big Green Festive Drinks 

Everyone is invited to this end of year celebration in the Charles Bar at the top of The Left Bank. Let's cheers to a greener and more sustainable 2020! Complimentary mulled wine and mince pies and lots of merry-making!

If anyone would be interested in giving a talk, leading a discussion or suggesting a film, we'd love to hear from you! And please do forward this email on to anyone that you think would be interested. They can sign up to this mailing list here:

Hope to see you!

Nat Waring and Alan Adams :)
Coordinators of the Talks, Discussions and Films Calendar
The Left Bank Village 01432 357753

Heating costs of private rented properties as an issue in local authorities tackling Climate Emergency issues and socio-economic injustices

LB Brent-based 'Advice4Renters' leaflet on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard.
The law now requires landlords to issue an Energy Performance Certificate
of standard at least E, but this is for new lettings only.
Will councils have the funds to police this?

The letter below was e-mailed to Hereford Times around 6 October 2019, and published in Hereford Times, Thursday, October 31 issue with the heading 'Heating costs'

Dear Letters Editor

The term 'infrastructure' in relation to planning Herefordshire's sustainable future is generally confined to matters such as transport and telecoms communications with reference to housing and workforce amid Climate Emergency and employment opportunities.

What about issues of socio-economic justice and enforcement of rights and responsibilities, along with poorer people's access to information, advice, guidance and advocacy? As an example, my Freedom of Information request regarding . The Council seemed more keen on punishing poor folk than advising them of their rights.[1]

Now, property developers cream off  'Help to Buy' Government moneys to attract purchasers of new housing,[2] including purchases for 'buy to rent' market while [really unaffordable] 'affordable rent' is defined as 85% of market rent. And what about heating costs while the Met Office anticipates the coldest winter for 30 years?[3]

Potentially ameliorating news there is that "a new regulation [states] that landlords cannot lawfully let a home with an Energy Efficiency Rating of F or G… the law says that landlords and agents who advertise homes to let must show the energy rating in the ad, and landlords must also give new tenants an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The Certificate informs you about the Rating, and also provides information about the steps the landlord could take to make your home warmer and cheaper to heat….

"Government statistics for 2018 show that more than 18% of greenhouse gases in the UK are emitted from the homes we live in."[4]

How will the new Council help enforce this Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for tenants and planet?

Alan Wheatley

Notes to editor:


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

1966-69 as the age of 'Anglo-Whimsy' in music

My attention was drawn today to an article in The New European newspaper, October 31-November 6, 2019, that does not seem to have made its way to The New European newspaper's website yet but has flagged up several articles by author SOPHIA DEBOICK

Anyhow, for now I shall transcribe the print article's intro blurb and opening paragraphs:


SOPHIA DEBOICK looks back at a brief period in musical history when English eccentricity and experimentalism combined to spectacular effect

Between 1966 and 1969, English pop was populated by some peculiar figures: gnomes, spacement, Edwardian bandleaders and washing line thieves among them. The British invasion had shifted the centre of gravity and by 1966 London was the place to be and Englishness became both a theme and a fashion.

English singers suddenly sounded like where they came from and facets of the British life appeared in their lyrics. But in these years, there was a run of records by the most important acts of the era -- from the Beatles to the Kings -- that displayed a very specific set of characteristics: English-accented, strongly narrative pop songs, featuring music hall-style character sketches, quirky vignettes, nursery rhyme atmospheres, idiosyncratic instrumentation, Edwardiana, quotidian detail, suburbia, the surreal, the sinister, and a definite feyness.

This was a cultural moment that might by called 'Anglo-whimsy' (rock historian Clinton Heylin applied the term to Pink Floyd's seminal Arnold Layne single in particular). Occurring as the Beat breakthrough and Mod aesthetic segued into the era of acid, psychedelia and Eastern religion, this was a fleeting moment, but it produced some of the most experimental records of the modern pop era.

More of this in The New European, October 31-November 6, 2019 print edition, pp 31-34.