Who messed up the Software ???

Dubai Financial Mess May Scupper Peterborough 'Shed' Threat

So that's a deal, You annex the UK and I'll take the Camels,
.... unless you have Silk Cut?

You really have to hand it to Walmart (ASDA's US parent company),they seemingly managed to offload the UK 'warehouse shed' developer Gazeley (currently blighting Peterborough, Cambridgeshire,UK with a threatened new industrial rail freight terminal development) to an offshoot of the crumbling financial sandcastle Dubai World (ironically largely in hoc to the British taxpayer due to the massive exposure in terms of loans by taxpayer bailed out RBS - Royal Bank of Scotland)  but not before Gazeley have been hiring expensive London spin doctors, passing themselves off or posing as Gazeley directors and employees, wining and dining Peterbrough City Council [PCC] and other publicly funded planning and regional development officials and a sprinkle of local worthies; to get their plans for a massive rail and warehouse shed terminal, MAGNAPARK enshrined on the long term county development plan.

No doubt a freedom of information request will eventually unearth the receivers of such largesse, but the Mayors Town Hall booze budget currently remains under wraps (I've tried!).  

Three years of massive industrial development hell and a lifetime of light and noise pollution for the densly residential new build areas of Stanground, Park Farm, Heritage Park and environs. 

The PCC literally riding roughshod over the wishes of local residents and Dubai World owned Gazeley apologists blatently lying through their corporate teeth in the media and on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire over the number of jobs the development is likely to create (you can hear the BBC copyright audio clip pirated on the Gazeley website)  when they had already sent a letter to PCC Planning discreetly dropping the previously announced job numbers by a cool 1,000. 

In reality of course, wiser heads will understand that few true LOCAL jobs will be created as by the nature of a rail freight distribution automated warehouse terminal, essentially as a feeder for Felixstowe docks (also owned at the moment by Dubai World)  goods come in prepacked bulk loads and are taken out by massive robots, loaded into containers or rail freight with few humans involved. For good measure the EC has also increased the size and length of the road containers forming 'Road Trains' and that is due to be enacted in January 2010. 

By the time the PCC wakes up, the development will have taken root and Stanground residents will have a new vista, the side of warehouse sheds in effect a fifty foot high metal wall to look at (six times higher than the Berlin Wall!)  where once was a VITAL flood plain called DRYSIDES and crop rotated agricultural land.

The lessons of tragic Cockermouth still have to be understood in Peterborough! Not to mention the wildlife, Herons, Swans, Hares, you name it, all lost for ever and no one at Town Hall seems to care. 

The so called Middle Level waterway on the 'Green Wheel' will attempt to take the substantial additional water run off and no doubt raise the water table which for good measure the Environment Agency has already pre-development designated a flood risk on their own website. The site is called DRY SIDES - a massive clue as to its true purpose!

Nearby Whittlesey and mushrooming residental estates now being built could possibly be under several feet of sewerage and foul water in a few years... Have a look at the Hampton development near the new Police Station, a whole area remains undeveloped due to flood risk and other contiminate problems ...they simply just do not get it...

The area beyond the proposed Magnapark site is also good for brickmaking....ahhh so we are looking at a clay soil not ideal for absorbing water? Hmm, PCC seem to have overlooked that as well. 

The Magnapark development also relies on a major bypass being built for 2,000 traffic movements a day - built and funded not by them, oh no, but they claim Gazeley will subsequently retrofit and twin the soon to be completed single bypass, designed to serve another densly packed new build residental development, effectively adding to the local disruption for a further term of several years.

Some kiddies on the disrupted nose to tail, cone littered school run, will be able to watch it all, faces  pressed to car windows, throughout the whole period of their primary school education... a exciting prospect that not even Bob the Builder can replicate..  

So what is the background to it all?  The following clips may help to fill in the gaps. TV and Radio have yet to catch up with this particular twist as its buried within the sprawling corporate structure so we will rely on you to give your councillor a nudge before its too late....I'd add in MP, but the one for Peterborough is busy sorting out his expenses when not cleaning out his private swimming pool - on expenses, "in the rules" old boy!   


A subsidiary of Dubai World has bought shed developer Gazeley for more than £300m, as tipped by Property Week (06.06.08)

The investment arm of the Dubai government has bought the developer from Wal-Mart as it provides a ‘strategic fit’ with its expanding global business.

Gazeley chief executive Pat McGillycuddy will report directly to Economic Zones World, which is the branch of Dubai World buying Gazeley.

EZW was set up in January 2007 to expand Dubai World’s global reach and is an operator and developer of economic zones across the world, including the Jebel Ali Free Zone of logistics facilities next to Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said it was a milestone for the company.

Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb, chief executive officer of Economic Zones World, said: ‘Our capability as a developer and operator of economic zones fits naturally with Gazeley’s experience in developing distribution facilities and together we believe we can offer our customers a higher quality of service globally.’

The transaction is subject to the receipt of European regulatory approval and is expected to complete during July. EZW was advised by a team led by Deutsche Bank and including CB Richard Ellis, Linklaters, KPMG, Pinsent Masons and WSP. UBS was financial adviser to Wal-Mart.


Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai World, with $59 billion of liabilities, is seeking to delay debt payments, sending contracts to protect the emirate against default surging by the most since they began trading in January.


The state-controlled company will ask creditors for a “standstill” agreement as it negotiates to extend maturities, including $3.52 billion of Islamic bonds due Dec. 14 from its property unit Nakheel PJSC, Dubai’s Department of Finance said in an e-mailed statement. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s cut the ratings on several state companies, saying they may consider the plan a default.

“Extending the maturity of Nakheel debt is feeding the market’s uncertainty on which debt Dubai will honor in full,” said Rachel Ziemba, a senior analyst covering sovereign wealth funds at New York-based Roubini Global Economics. “They look desperate and the market is concerned that in the long term Dubai’s indebtedness is rising not falling.”

Dubai accumulated $80 billion of debt by expanding in banking, real estate and transportation before credit markets seized up last year. Contracts protecting against default rose 116 basis points to 434 basis points yesterday, the most since they began trading in January, ranking it the sixth highest-risk government borrower, according to credit-default swap prices from CMA Datavision in London. The contracts, which increase as perceptions of credit quality deteriorate, are higher than Iceland’s after climbing 131 basis points in November, the biggest monthly increase since January.

Cut to Junk

Emaar Properties PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest developer, Jebel Ali Free Zone, an operator of business parks  viz GAZELEY in the UK, DIFC Investments and Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC. were all cut to below investment-grade ratings by Moody’s. DP World Ltd., the Middle East’s biggest port operator, and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority were lowered to Baa2, two levels above junk.

S&P, which doesn’t rate Dubai Electricity & Water, lowered the ratings on the other five companies to BBB+ or BBB-, three levels and one level above junk, respectively. S&P and Moody’s said they may cut the ratings further.

The debt “restructuring may be considered a default under our default criteria,” S&P said in a statement.

‘No Clarity’

Investor concern is growing because the emirate hasn’t disclosed how it will pay more than $9 billion of debt coming due in the next four months. Dubai said yesterday it borrowed $5 billion from Abu Dhabi government-controlled banks, half the $10 billion Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said he planned to raise by yearend.

“There is no clarity about what exactly is happening,” said Emad Mostaque, a London-based Middle East equity-fund manager for Pictet Asset Management Ltd., which oversees more than $100 billion globally. “They have to clarify if there is going to be a voluntary rollover or if there is going to be a forced rollover. If there is a forced rollover it will mean technical default. If they don’t clear this up then the whole market will want to sell.”

Dubai, the second biggest of seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, and home to the world’s tallest tower and the biggest man-made islands, suffered the world’s steepest property slump in the global credit crisis as home prices fell 50 percent from their 2008 peak, according to Deutsche Bank. UBS AG predicted a further 30 percent drop in a report last week.

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They Just Don't Get It! Heavy Rain In The UK Shock!

Friday the 13th and I'm right in the middle of the ocean, underneath the eye of the storm (dark red) on the Independence of the Seas cruise ship,  the weather chart is showing hurricane force and its 400 miles wide. Meanwhile in the UK Cockermouth is being flooded...

They Just Don't Get It! Heavy Rain In The UK Shock!

Just how serially useless is the Environment Agency and the HarryPotteresque Minister for the Environment? Having just returned from an eventful round trip to the Canaries...The ship was really rocking "worst conditions in the Bay of Biscay for 100 years" and Captain Remo had the charts to prove it! However due respect to Royal Carribbean and the Independence of the Seas as it took 30 metre high waves in its stride and the side fin 6 metre stabilisers worked very well minimising the motion of the ocean but we still dropped Funchal Madiera to maintain the scheduled roundtrip to the Canary Islands... 

The point of all this being that the ship was bult to meet extreme weather conditions and the Captain had all the resources and training to meet such extreme conditions. But what on earth is happening at Cockermouth?

Aptly named as yet again the Environment Agency is once again exposed at the serially useless fraudulent talking shop with few active bodies on the ground to marshall resources or tough enough to demand from DEFRA and the Government of the day substantial practical and financial resources to protect our own populations. This wholly top heavy impractal and serially useless orgnisation needs a bottom to top investigation. It's no secret that the top EA management see theirt tenure as a passport to the top jobs in the water industry - a classic case of jobs for the boys (and girls) which you the taxpayer happily fund. (OK water companies sue me...)  

The reality is that unlike the USA where the National Guard can be mobilised in a moment we have to fall back on a mishmash of local, regional and voluntary sector resources. Cockermouth is now an insurance blackspot and few if any in the future will get full flood related insurance protection.

What financial and practical assistance is given by the insurance industry will have first been knocked back by the insurance company appointed so called independent loss adjusters. Few of those going through a living hell at the moment will think to appoint their own Loss Assessors to fight their corner and get a reasonable claim passed by the underwriters. Local Authorities will naturally hang back until the insurance payouts are completed or at least well advanced.

The Environment Agency has been working at full tilt, Press and PR people have been securing TV and Radio Interviews for bearded EA numpties in pristine new high viz jackets and just out of the box safety helmets. Weather bulletins promote the virtually useless Floodline Number which simply tells you the blinding obvious that your property is underwater or rather coated with raw sewage... forget about swine flu this is way more dangerous than any pandemic.    

It's no secret that I worked with the Environmanrt Agency and put in at the end of my contract a detailed multipage critique "whistle blowing" if you like and additionally sent a hard copy to EA Head Office before my files were locally wiped off the EA computer.

Money was in my time during the year 2000, being wasted on a massive scale, little on practical projects but on image building and paper-based studies that would never see the light of day, in addition to pet projects devised by staff to keep themselves busy, when their original functiion had long since gone.

 The man on the sluicegate,reed cutters, dredging and silt clearing all part of the old Nationasl Rivers Authority - all practical measures drastically cut back when the EA swallowed the NRA...

The solution: 

Cut all the silly non productive studies and pen pushers, massively pour practical resources and substantial money into flood defence, totally rethink cost saving plans whch curtailed NRA activities. 

Hire complete with crew and catering staff the largest cruise ships afloat to be used as an immediate accommodation and feeding resource and to lessen the trauma of stress which will this week start to kick in and cost the NHS an untold amount of money. Tell Gordon Brown where to stick his sticking plaster funding and put £30 million immediately ie in gthe next three days  (readily available from the CONTINGENCY FUND)  into the area together with military logistics, engineers, Hire marine designers and shipyards in Finland to turn out bailey type bridges which they will take a fraction of the time to build andf deliver.  Accommodation units - not caravans - to be sited locally.

But there again the EA knows all this and as senior political appointments only work in the short term, its more about posturing than practical life saving solutions. The rest of us should be weeping as Westminster just looks on slightly bemused...         



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So what is to be done about Afghanistan?

So what is to be done about Afghanistan? Fort Hood USA shooting -12 killed, dozens injured, graphically shows the threat is now from within our own borders not distant Afghanistan & Pakistan

The problem with the UK is since the Thatcher era we have been constantly punching above our weight and when Labour came into power some twelve years ago, it was with the promise of a new revitalised UK.

Northern Ireland (with an untold amount of money thrown at it) no longer was a nagging sore, deals were done and the Irish Taliban, senior IRA personnel, were given shoe-in positions of power, when at least one of them should have been facing a trial for 18 well documented murders and the UK authorities to this very day have all the evidence – firmly under lock and key.

The involvement of an Irish Priest at one point caused at least one of the major fugitives to be released having been captured after a long and bloody search by the military.

I know this as the senior military figure in Belfast at the time (now sadly passed on) recounted the story in detail to me. It was at the end of his distinguished military career when he, Major Napier was looking forward to retirement, but was unexpectedly posted to Belfast with the Kings Own Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Ironically, I later heard the London Met. Police (at the time, on virtual permanent secondment to Northern Ireland) view on the same series of incidents in Northern Ireland and all the strands matched up.

So given the Northern Ireland experience and the fact that Tony Blair was in the driving seat, you can see why Gordon Brown is keen to make Afghanistan work, even though the current rate of murders (you really can’t call them battlefield casualties) is exceeding the Falklands daily tally.

Ministers keep to the line that if we pull out, the Taliban will join with other terrorist groups, overrun Pakistan and use nuclear weapons against us in the UK. So the classic Westminster model thinking is (as used back in colonial times) support the functioning Government of the day, put in place basic elements of a rag tag police force and implant basic civic systems, use a combination of bribes dressed up as aid and threats (withdrawal of bribes ie aid) to exert a nominal hold over the incumbent Government.

Trouble is everyone knows that the UK is financially stretched and the populous does not have the jingoistic (politically incorrect) will to support the action in Afghanistan.

Children have grown up during the 12 years of Labour inspired multicultural rule and with information computer technology, know far more about world affairs than many politicians from a previous more sane world.

Take a walk around any major UK conurbation, find the Central Library computer room or in-town internet caf├ęs, the collective high tech teaching of discredited and deported Mullahs are to be found streaming hate and vilification 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Essentially it’s Gordon Brown looking at the Autumn of his political aspirations versus the Mullahs? No contest in some ethnic and religious groupings. The days of a stiff upper lip, swagger stick and a loud “Now look here…” no longer works. ‘Johnny Foreigner’ lives in the UK, has a growing family, a taxpayer and is now a second/third generation British Citizen.

Ministers say the threat comes from a variety of ‘dark’ fanatical well financed, trained, equipped forces combining together and then our own mainland is threatened.

For this reason if you follow the logic, we fight hand to hand skirmish actions with conventional weaponry and highly restrictive rules of engagement in Afghanistan? Rather than unleashing a concerted arms length missile based attack and blanket carpet bombing of poppy fields,Taliban strongholds and used of a whole range of weapons of mass destruction NATO forces have stashed away. The whole Dr Strangelove scenario if you like, and where are all those NATO troops and associated support?

Publicly when we were ‘winning’ it looked good, and gave MPs something to talk about. The UK looked good (in Gordons’ good eye anyway) at international symposia such as the G8 or G20 and soon wonderful Copenhagen. Such actions keep the arms industry in operation and many thousands employed in areas traditionally associated with high unemployment.

On the money side conventional warfare is also cheap, the Treasury likes that, having dipped into and virtually emptied the secret off balance sheet military ‘contingency fund’ or ‘war chest’ to pay off (or bail out) the bankers, prop up the massive underfunding of the Olympics, the private sector was supposed to have filled.

The truth is that few really understanding what goes on inside the many privately funded faith schools, parents and young impressionable people also have access to superior worldwide family and wider networking avenues only open and normal to people of Asian origin. All perfectly legal and supported to the hilt, by the Human Rights Act.

It also has to be said, the traditional British family unit crumbled a few generations back. As to the UK’s world financial standing, reading The Daily Telegraph as the Taliban certainly do, “UK is ‘skint’ says M&S’s Sir Stuart Rose”. If the Taliban didn’t know it earlier they certainly do now!

So no strong public backing for the war, no extra money to fight it and a Government on the way out probably by late March. MP’s collectively tarnished as corrupt with Duckhouses and moats to clean, all out of the public purse. Whilst mounting job losses are announced daily and not just in the hundreds but thousands. Nothing like a good recession to have a bottom upwards corporate clear out, it’s not looking good.

The USA Fort Worth killings allegedly by a lone shooter US Army Medic Major Nidal Hasan, who according to a neighbour wrote in arabic "Allah" on his apartment front door underlines the crass stupidity of the Gordon Brown position on Afghanistan, the terrorist threat is now clearly well organised and from within. Let me make it clear from within the UK, USA, France, Germany in fact every country.

A weak, corrupt Afghanistan Government and subsistence level poorly paid Afghan trainee police officers drawn from the general population, with minimal vetting. Extra income and wider families covertly maintained by the opium warlords and in a country where everyone is related. That is what our troops are facing, and Gordon Brown knows it.

So what should be done. Gordon needs to save face. He’s lost his saintly spin doctor, rudderless if you like, nervous about returning highly professional motivated battle hardened but disciplined British troops en-mass to the UK, but that is what has to be done, the real threat is from within and as we are now fully within Europe, the Lisbon treaty having been ratified, take full advantage of it.

Europe can now collectively take over the Police training role and supply on a rota basis, the NATO troops required, our insular role is effectively done and dusted. We should leave Afghanistan, within weeks and if there is any training to be done, it can be carried out at arms length in neutral territory in any one of a number of European countries.

We’ll continue to supply the hardware and remote drone assisted air support but our British troops on the ground in hostile conditions? This is the battle tactic of 64 years ago, the Battle of the Somme without the mud. Just as futile and pointless.

The heartbreaking thing is that all the Ministers know it, but have to keep it going until they can collectively pass the buck or baton to a new administration. “Not our problem old boy. Fancy a pink Gin?”


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McCanns in new TV plea for missing daughter

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