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"In The Thick Of It"

Anyone who wonders what goes on behind the scenes, whether at Government or local government decision making level need only dial up the BBC's "In The Thick Of It" on Netflix

Especially Episode 2 and 3 - the ones related to focus group and cultural allocations from the Ministry of Social Development, and then the housing policy. One is immediately reminded with the latter of what we have seen recently with our own Government's housing policy that will no doubt be clearly explained at the Grahamstown Hall tomorrow morning at 10pm by Deputy PM Bill English.

That should be a hoot, and no doubt our own redoubtable Scott Simpson will be scudding around plugging a few gaps, and re-assuring the inevitable dairy farmer claque wanting to know how far the Government is prepared to go to bail them out of their present predicament. 

The bit about empty houses (including the Minister's own empty Belgravia flat is a hoot ("Flatgate!"). What a pity it didn't get onto the resuming of land-banked assets that no-one wishes to sell that our two prospective governing parties appear to have committed to.

The backing and filling of politicians when the chips come down, and incumbents find themselves bent over the whipping block of political expediency is re-assuring - they are human after all.  

Mind you, English is hardly responsible for the current imbroglio - but just about every other senior minister has had his or her finger in the pie, and Labour has had a field day - even if their own policy hardly stands up to close examination. 

As for the cultural allocations (Episode 2), I don't know why I was reminded of what has gone on at our own Council over since the advent of the Hammond and Day regime, and the famous Economic Development Committee (with its unelected Chair Brent Page) with their brilliant ideas on how to spend our money by spreading grants around the district like confetti.

Previous councils can feel justly proud of having held the line against the inroads of well-meaning bureaucrats wanting to spend rate-payer's money on pet projects designed to make our town more "attractive" to the milennials and baby-boomers that they and the real estate agents seem to crave.




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