The Simple Principles Of Beans And Greens

Very Simple! Politicians, as we can observe, are often very simple, rather small-minded, self-interested creatures. They often fail to see or comprehend the bigger picture and, although they would perhaps say the same about us, they fail to understand, deliberately or otherwise, what is necessary and important to those they are supposed to be serving in this life. There are many areas where the politicians have drastically failed the people, however, in this article, I'd just like to mention two key areas that kind of go hand in hand, relating to the simple principles of beans and greens. The principle of beans says that you can only fit so many into a tin before they all become mush, and the principle of greens, is that we all need them in order to be healthy!

Green Space: I'm sure the majority of politicians have nice houses in rural areas, where green space is prevalent. They are not expected to live in tower blocks or on housing estates, where the scenery and surroundings are rather drab and grey. I expect they all have off road parking and probably do not have to go far to be able to stretch their legs and enjoy green open space. Not many people would perhaps begrudge them that, however, why do the same politicians fail to see the value of such green and open space to the rest of us, as they sell off our playing fields, lock people out from walking their dogs and gradually bury our green space under the concrete of new development.

Many Things: When I was a kid I grew up in and around the Dartford area. On the edge of London, we were lucky in as much as we had much more green and open space than many. We spent hours playing in such locations. The air was fresh, we learnt about nature and times were good. Much of that green and pleasant land has now been buried and built upon and yet kids love wild open space and the adventure that comes with it. Somewhere to stretch your legs, take the dog for a walk, observe the wild life, walk with your girlfriend, etc. Green space is many things to many people, but it is one thing to all people - important. What happens when kids are deprived of their greens and fed on concrete instead? Well, we can all see for ourselves in the inner cities.

Slayed Green! Politicians often argue that new development brings jobs into an area, and in the short term of course it does, but in the long term, it can really make a mess of things with the people living in the vicinity inheriting all the problems associated with greatly over populating an area. Services become stretched and congestion compounded. The place where I live now is called Slade Green, although maybe it should have been called Slayed Green. Once largely orchards and fields, it now provides homes for thousands of people. However, remarkably, what little green space we have left is still under threat, some has recently been developed into more housing, and next to go it seems, is the Howbury Centre and playing fields - once our secondary school.

There Used To Be! When my daughter started secondary school, kids from Slade Green were being offered places at Falconwood and Sidcup (a double bus journey of over an hour), because there were none available any closer. That's funny, there used to be! However, what was once a secondary school then became an adult education and activity centre as well as the local library, so at least the public, and the kids, still got something out of it, plus people could still walk their dogs and play sport, etc., on the fields. That is until recently, when Bexley Council decided it needed to deal with a few mischievous kids, who were, as mischievous kids usually are, a bit of a nuisance. However, rather than getting the police to deal with them, which to most of us, would have made perfect sense, they decided to lock the place up behind a flipping great fence.

The Fence: Oh yes, and that's the other thing, the Howbury Centre also serves as a local police drop in centre, however, despite the venue being populated by police persons much of the time, it seems there is still never one about when you need one to deal with the mischievous kids, and so despite protests from me and no doubt many others, Bexley Council spent considerable public money on erecting 'the fence'. Did it keep the mischievous kids out? No! Of course not! They just climb over the gates. That's what kids do. Didn't anyone tell that to Bexley Council? Well yes, but they weren't interested. What did the fence achieve? It locked out the ordinary decent people (that paid for the fence) from walking their dogs and playing their sport! Yes, the real motive behind Bexley Council's devious ploy. Blaming the kids was just an excuse and another deceitful cover story from our corrupt local authority to get the ordinary people used to the idea of losing our activity centre and playing fields. Down goes another useful (and important to the people) public facility.

Kids Used To Play Sport: Not satisfied with that, for some time now, Bexley Council have been proposing to sell off a number of public buildings reportedly to help finance themselves a nice new civic centre. The one they've already got is a lot better and newer than many of the buildings the public have to make do with. Nevertheless, not satisfied with this, they want another one, so the Howbury Centre, despite more public protests, along with other useful and vital public facilities are going completely. On the Howbury Centre site, where kids used to play sport and people used to walk their dogs, they're going to build more flats and houses - you can't get on and off Slade Green half the time as it is and this will only make matters worse.

Idiotic Traffic Management: In August 2001 I wrote to Bexley Council asking for a roundabout on the dual carriageway on the main road into Slade Green to aid this situation (at the moment it is exactly one mile out of your way on to the next one and back). Despite putting a very strong argument on the table, highlighting a considerable list of advantages and benefits for thousands of people (and the environment), we had no reply. After writing again in May 2002, directly to the head of department and enclosing a copy of the first letter, we got some idiotic response (not from the head) that completely missed the point and read like it had been written by a tea boy, reflecting absolutely no understanding or comprehension of what was being proposed and why. You can read it for yourself amongst the various correspondence on this website.

Unappetising Pulp! Ten years on, we still have no roundabout! Inept and idiotic traffic management is just another contributory factor in the whole scheme which makes life more difficult for people than it should be. We do need more housing, but we don't need it all in the same place, and we don't need it at the expense of what valuable and minimal public facilities we have left. We need our facilities and we need our green space and there's a limit to how many beans you can get into a tin without squashing them into an unrecognisable and rather unappetising pulp!
Crosstalk by Taz: December 2012