Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Our Heart Goes Out to the Camerons

I was deeply saddened to see from here in Slavonski Brod, Croatia that Ivan Cameron, the eldest son of the Conservative Leader David Cameron has passed away. On behalf of my family I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the Camerons in what must be a truly awful time for them. It is every parent's worst nightmare that their child dies.

May Ivan rest in peace.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

"Too Much Of An Old Fashioned Liberal"

I was rather amused a couple of weeks ago to be described by Damian Collins, the Tory PPC for Folkestone and Hythe as "too much of an old fashioned liberal" to join the Tories. There is a hint of a suspicion that Damian was looking to cast me as an old fashioned sandals and beard type of liberal which frankly is about as far from my image as it is humanly possible to get as I think he knows.

I think that my liberalism goes rather deeper than just the 1970s and 80s and, as the title of this blog suggests, my liberal inspirations can be traced back to the 17th Century English Civil War controversies and perhaps even earlier than that. As I got deeper into politics in the late 1980s and 1990s my interest in history has deepened and I find inspiration in John Milton (which some people would do well to read and reflect on since it would challenge their "Thought Police" neo-Stalinist mentality), John Lilburn, Thomas Paine, Gladstone, Lloyd George and more latterly Isiah Berlin, Friedrich Von Hayek and Maynard Keynes amongst others (the latter two not being as contradictory as some would claim).

Deep down I have always wanted to stand out from the crowd even in the face of personal ridicule. It would be easier sometimes to conform and join the herd but this is something I have never found easy to do. Authority should always be questioned and challenged, not merely for the sake of challenging it but to ensure that it does not break down into tyranny. Alternative centres of power are desirable, necessary and frankly essential in an era where I believe our hard won freedoms have never been under greater danger from Ministers who seem hellbent on using the cloak of terrorism to justify the greatest assault on civil liberties since Charles the First foolishly sought to subjugate the citizens of this country through his nonsensical claim to have a divine right to rule. Organisations can also readily become tyrannies should certain individuals believe that they have greater entitlements and rights than others. Cliques are very dangerous organisations within organisations and ultimately are quasi-tyrannical and self-destructing.

Both Labour and Conservative parties have shown themselves to be wedded to state power. In Labour's case this has traditionally been in the area of economic relations. In the Conservative Party's case state power has historically been used to exclude minorities and at times to moralise about how people should lead their lives (John Major's "Back to Basics" campaign springs immediately to mind. For much of the 20th Century it was also the party of protection and imperial preference. Their conversion to the ideals of Free Trade are welcome but how deep is their real commitment to free markets? Freedom of movement of labour? No, I don't think so.

Liberalism has always been about allowing people to choose how to live their own lives as long as their actions do not affect others. This has always appealed to me and I don't see this as truly reflected in the Conservative Party even today.

Am I too much of an "old fashioned liberal" then? Yes, sir. Guilty as charged.

Missing the Real Point

I've read today that a certain Town Councillor has been on walkabout identifying problems typically related to vandalism. It is all well and good to lash the County Council and District Council for failing to repair damaged street lights and vandalised bus shelters but the real issue is how they get damaged in the first place. The reality is that the Harvey Central Ward area needs a more visible police presence.

Despite persistent problems with late night revellers going around making a lot of noise and engaging in vandalism, particularly at weekends, it is rare for the Castle Hill Avenue part of Sandgate Road to see a police patrol. Prevention is better than cure.....

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Time For a Crackdown on Sandgate Road Speedheads

Last night I was sitting down with my wife enjoying watching a film together when we suddenly heard a screech of tires and a loud bang sometime after 11 p.m.

A young driver with three passengers somehow managed to finish up on the opposite side of the road and perpendicular to the wall outside Waldorf Apartments in Sandgate Road, Folkestone where yours truly lives. The photo below shows the devastation to the wall the morning after the incident.

Fortunately and miraculously no one was killed or injured but given the numbers of people who usually are walking around the area after chucking out time in the local bars and pubs it was a real stroke of good fortune. As is well known, there have been persisent problems with young motorists treating Sandgate Road as a bit of a racetrack and it is long overdue for both the police and the Town, District and County Councils to consider an enforceable action plan to combat this menace.

I think local residents who live in Sandgate Road would be happier with a more visible police presence around the top end of Sandgate Road where late night revellers often cause a noise nuisance and occasional acts of violence and vandalism. Although I recognise that money is very tight at the moment in council budgets, consideration should also be given in the short to medium term to traffic calming measures around Sandgate Road and better enforcement of the no drive zone at the town end of Sandgate Road.

I won't comment any futher on this issue as I wouldn't want to prejudice any future court case that might be related to this unfortunate incident.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Welcome to My New Blog

Thanks very much for visiting this blog.

Here you will find my comments on political issues domestic and international. Although I have now formally left the UK Liberal Democrats I have not lost all my interest in political and policy issues and will make comments here from time to time as the mood takes me. After all, there are far too many important issues out there for me not to comment upon such as the economic situation, freedom and human rights at home and abroad and other such issues.

I chose the name Kent Roundhead for this blog, not because my head is particularly round (or large) but due to where I believe my political sympathies would have lain during the English Civil War. I am a believer in both Parliamentary and popular sovereignty and am sure that had I been alive during those times I would have fought on the side of Parliament. I also try to keep my hair fairly short in the face of my wife's demands that I look like a latter day hippy.

I will try to live up to the epithet that my former Liberal Legend II blog gained from the Folkestone Herald of being "highly readable and entertaining". Don't be afraid dear reader to provide me with constructive criticism should I fail to live up to these standards.

By the way, I will not be permitting anonymous comments since I believe that if you have something to say you should have the courage to put your name to it. I've put up with enough anonymous "trolling" for one life time thank you very much. The usual suspects can stay away thank you very much.

I'll shortly be commenting upon some of the comments in the Martello section of the Folkestone Herald today which I found amusing.