Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Very Sad Today

I was very sad today to read that a 12 year old boy had been killed while crossing the road at Cemetery Junction yesterday. As my wife and I were coming home from our various works we were both caught up in the aftermath. My heart goes out to the family and as a father of teenagers I can only imagine how I would feel  in the same situation.

One of my neighbours has commented that we should stand against drivers who drive on the pavement, bump up curves and drive the wrong way up one way streets. These drivers are a menace and will cost more lives and injury if we do nothing.

The video above shows Crescent Road, where I acted as a lollipop man for 2 years. For 2 years I suffered drivers and cyclists pointing their vehicles at me, shouting at me and trying to run me and the children I was crossing. Some days it could be very frightening...

The junction can be difficult to manage in the dark. Below is a video of what it is like driving along the Kings Road from the Junction to Eldon Road. I took it when I was on a no. 17 bus. Its a bit too long and dull but it illustrates the point.

So if you are driving a car around the junction, and in Park Ward. SLOW DOWN and make sure that my children don't end up as a statistic.

Can You Spot the Deliberate Mistake?

So can you? I suspect not....the problem with this scene is that the lamp post show, which is outside my house hasn't worked for ages.

We have a Councillor in our road, Hamilton Road, who promised to work for the neighbourhood. But strangely we have received no communication from her about this faulty lamp post, when it will  be fixed and when the street safety will be back to normal.

Because of the thundering silence I rang the Council and was told that the post was being replaced with a new one, because the current one is defective. I hope that the fact that I walked in to it face first last year didn't do it any damage.

So look forward to a shiny new lampost - I promise I won't walk in to this one. It will be great to feel safe in the road again.

But from our local champion....nothing.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Spitzel is a horrible word

Spitzel is a horrible word. To say it say Spit and then cell and you will get 2/3rds of the way to saying it.

It sounds horrible and distasteful as if the speaker is trying to spir the sound of it off their tongue. But what does this horrible word actually mean?

It means informer in German. It is the word that describes the people in East Germany who would give information to the Stasi of their own accord. They would inform on what people did, say their Granny if she was hoarding food or watching Western TV.

So why use this horrible word in my blog? I use it because last year I had a vision of what a Spitzel could do and how people who I thought were upstanding and upright could act like a Spitzel. Let me explain....

Until mid last year I ran Hamilton Road's Neighbourhood Watch group, I managed a news group that allowed my neighbours to keep themselves safe and things like burglaries in the road. So far so good.

Early in the year a little old lady was robbed and I sent an email asking everyone to watch out for distraction robbery and to keep an eye on their neighbours to make sure they were all right.

So far so good.....

Strangely enough I was then interviewed by the local area Sargent. He had been passed my email by Park Ward's Green Party Councillor who had been sent it by one of his Party members in Hamilton Road. The Sargent had been told by the Councillor that he thought I was being political in sending this email. Despite me having been Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for nearly2 1/2 years at that point.

Basically one of his Party members wanted to be a Spitzel, to be an informer.....I have lived in a Communist country and know a little of what a totalitarian state is like. I had never expected that someone in "nice" Hamilton Road would try to create problems via their Party leader with the Police for me.

So I realised that even people living in a prosperous road can become Spitzel. It seems that it was a Green Party member or supporter who sent the email to their Stasi like Party leader, so the perpetrator could have been anyone who put up a Green Party poster during the election.I raised the issue with the Neighbourhood Watch group but the Spitzel was not brave enough to apologise or explain.

I am not sure if all Green supporters are like this or it is just the ones who live in Hamilton Road. But what I do know is its easy to become a Spitzel. Perhaps those that do it think that they are doing the right thing but the results can be devastating. Not just on the person you inform on, but on yourself.

As I said Spitzel is a horrible word.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Welcome Back-Its Tough Out There

Welcome back.....I imagine that my happier readers are all even happier to see me back and blogging.

Its been a long time and a painful journey over the last few months. I have been experiencing the Tories economy  from the sharp end and it ain't nice.

Since May I have been made redundant twice, am working on a strange non contract, been relocated and wondered most days whether we will be able to pay the mortgage. I am sure my experience isn't different from that of so many other people, but fun it ain't.

After a break I want to start blogging again. There is so much that we should rail against, fight against and make sure that the Tories don't forget what their austerity is doing to us.