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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Saturday, 11 January 2014

ABOUT LOCALISM....THE DANGERS


The Dame has selected these two comments on the Royal Brompton plans because they make much sense.


This is an example of what can happen when decentralising decisions from Central to Local level. Locals can go wild with their new power without understanding the wider picture which they were never required to think about. Brompton sits on a community asset of land with huge value. Some "clever" person has decided it would be a good idea to sell it. Compare this with the Royal Liverpool Hospital, sitting on land with no value. Their medical need for funds to modernise could be much greater than Brompton hospital. But they do not have the option of selling land because theirs is worthless.

"I'm all right, Jack" is what comes to mind concerning our friends at the Royal Brompton.
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  1. 17.41 makes a profound point. And it brings to mind the refurbishment of Holland Park School. The Government had a programme for renewing old schools called "Building Schools For The Future". But K&C would have to make its case and decisions to release funds naturally went to the most needy schools first. Since HPS was judged to be in the top quartile of schools in Britain it would have taken time for the funding to come through. But Cockell was in a rush to make a splash as part of his campaign to get a "gong". He could not afford to wait. So he sold the playground and spent £100 million on a school that did not need to be rebuilt and should only have cost £30 million even if it was rebuilt.

    Localism is a great thing. But we need safeguards against stupidity and abuse

32 comments:

  1. This is an interesting point of view. Would be great to see a response from some of our Councillors -even if they want to hide their identitiies

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    1. ANother Councillor12 January 2014 at 08:26

      Tripe

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    2. Why not stretch your brain and try to make a constructive comment.

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    3. The brain in question may not be up to stretching.

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  2. There must be a few Russian billionaires in London whose lives have been saved by the Royal Brompton Hospital. How wonderful it would be if one of them donated £100 million to build a new hospital wing. "The Abromovitch Building" or "the Lebedev Building" sounds rather fine.

    Mr Abromovitch has three yachts, each of which cost more than £100 million. Last year he paid $5 million to park one of the boats in New York so that his girlfriend could live on it and have their baby in the US and get an American Passport

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    1. This kind of giving is very common in America. At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester there is a 17 story high tech medical building (The Gonda Building) that was donated by Mr Gonda after the hospital saved his only son from dying of cancer. Obviously Mr Gonda is very rich

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    2. Abromovitch has spent hundreds of £ millions on buying Chelsea football players. The new rules mean that he cannot continue to do this. Maybe he could give the money instead to the Brompton. Much more worthwhile cause

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    3. Who was the American Passport for?

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    4. Should essential public services really be funded by altruistic gestures by foreign billionaires? Is it the late 19th century again?

      The truth is that many of these foreign billionaires spend a large amount of time in this country but avoid paying tax thanks to loopholes dreamt up and maintained by politicians at Westminster. The obvious and rational solution is to vote out the traitorous politicians concerned and elect some who are willing to at least try to eliminate as many of the tax loopholes as possible. Our public services might then be properly funded and wouldn't have to sell of the family silver (or go cap in hand to foreign oligarchs) every other day as seems to be happening more and more often.

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    5. ANother Councillor12 January 2014 at 16:23

      The American Passport was for the boat. The Hornet has sunk to a new level of trivia

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    6. Cllr Palmer
      Go away....and what were you doing using the Association phone lines to call Australia? Come on....down be shy...

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  3. Mr Tanaka from Japan gave £60 million to Imperial College to build their new Business School. It is called the Tanaka Building

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    1. It is (sadly?) quite common for our universities to go cap in hand to foreigners or corporations for funding. Imperial has done so many times - from memory the top floor extension of the Electrical Engineering building was at least partially funded by Hewlett Packard for example. The question is whether that funding model is even remotely appropriate for an essential public service like a hospital. I would suggest that it really isn't.

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    2. Dear Lemon
      If a hospital saves the life of a person and results in gratitude that is so great that the person is moved to donate, say, £100m so that the good work can be carried on for the benefit of others, is there any flaw that you can think of and share with us on the Hornet?

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    3. Does Lemon know if Mr Tanaka gained any personal advantage from his donation to Imperial? It would be nice to know

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    4. Can you imagine the uproar from the readers of this blog if the Council took $60 Million-or any amount-from someone who was convicted of fraud at a later date.

      Tanaka's an American-born in the US-in one of the internment camps for Japanese. Studied at Imperial and in 2008 convicted of fraud and given a 5 year jail term in the US. Currently out on bail with an appeal pending I think.

      I think Imperial may have renamed the Business School and instead the Student Accommodation block is named for Tanaka..

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    5. 16:28: No idea.

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    6. 16:17: A good question. I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with accepting donations from grateful patients. It's not unheard of for people to do so in their wills for example. I do however think it unwise for any institution, let alone a hospital or health service, to come to rely on donations to fund core services. And, as 16:30 points out, there is always the possibility that the generous benefactor may turn out to be a crook and the donation less than "clean". Due diligence is most definitely called for.

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    7. Kensington Resident12 January 2014 at 21:57

      16.30, I would be delighted if ANYONE took Holland Park Opera off the tax payer's hands and put in £1 million every year to keep it going. Cllr Cockell approached many potential donors without success.

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    8. Wouldn't we all love Holland Park Opera to be taken off the tax payer's hands? Sadly It appears that Holland Park Opera isn't the kind of thing any sane or respectable "generous benefactor" wants to be associated with. Perhaps they've grasped something the Council has clearly failed to do?

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    9. Forget sane and respectable. Even the mad and dodgy want nothing to do with Holland Park Opera. It's little more than a wholly unnecessary bottomless pit for tax payer's money. Sadly some of our esteemed Councillors will insist on arguing otherwise (as we will no doubt see shortly by next year's budget).

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    10. There is a culture of "no strings" philanthropy in America which is admirable. And if spontaneous gestures of generosity are triggered by gratitude and a desire to "give back" that's great. Maybe Britain is too selfish or too poor to behave in a similar way. But something to aspire to.

      Lemon might care to ponder the choice of no tax available to build a better hospital or build a hospital with money donated by a crook. Which option would our airhead choose?

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    11. The "airhead" might conclude that it is rather unlikely that the only option available would be to take money off a crook. And if they really are a crook there's always the (slim) possibility that they might be prosecuted and some of their assets seized (although the UK has a very poor track record in doing so).

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    12. Thank goodness that Lemon does not work in Government. He would be unable to take decisions. The classic ditherer.

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    13. Knowingly and happily accepting dodgy money is now a pre-requisite for working in government? That certainly explains a lot.

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    14. Just answer the question you twat. You would not take the money for a new hospital, on principal, but you would be prepared to let people die because of no hospital treatment. Of course you would beat your pathetic little breast, with pathetic little fists, in a fit of moral indignation every time one of your poor constituents died.

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    15. 10:33: Such delightful flattery isn't going to get you very far.

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  4. ANother Councillor12 January 2014 at 08:47

    More tripe

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    1. I see the spelling is consistent for a change ...

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    2. Someone got a dictionary for Christmas (or at least we all live in hope they did).

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    3. Wrong, 10.33 - the correct spelling is "principle", not "principal". Proves it's still Palmer, despite his recent study of the dictionary..

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