Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In Praise of Nimby`s

Sometimes the political tribes throw stones from neighbouring cliffs but avoid the valley and the fight to the finish . Prominent amongst the rocks are ‘PC’ from the right and ‘NIMBY’ from the left. A NIMBY they say , is a person who does not recognise the greater social good their small sacrifice will facilitate . It is Left code for selfish small minded and stupidly unaware.
I refute this . For a Conservative my back yard is quite naturally the first area of concern.Conservatives are suspicious of claims to be concerned for “ Africa “ a la Bono recalling Johnson’s aphorism “ No man was ever truly vexed by public affairs “. Why ...well because it is an unnatural distortion of human nature and we suspect ,usually rightly, that a hypocritical gulf lied between the words and the motive . Sceptical does not mean in denial though and Conservatives are happy to recognise larger concerns but always happier at a community level or familial level . This was the meaning of the hugely de-contextualised remark “There is no such thing as Society”...ie there is chiefly family and community .From this flows much good sense but I have a couple of recent examples of the goodness of the NIMBY

1Airports - Auntie Flo made a tremendously strong case against the expansion of Stansted and Heathrow which I have just browsed through. She certainly introduced a lot of material I was unaware of .Interestingly there are two factors here . Firstly it is what you might call NIMBY...ism. Many of the airport protesters are simply people who do not want the noise and destruction in their area, but they are allied with others who are part of a wider movement and soon realise they have to make the case on better grounds than their own inconvenience. Their inconvenience however is a perfectly valid point. Until the Contract was signed most would have been unaware of it and certainly unaware of the tax inducements and planning frame-work whereby such an outcome was likely . They were, in effect, only asked when it reached “Their back yard”

2 Housing – many people have until recently been unaware of the effect of anti family legislation and immigration, and if asked about either they might say . Well you can’t pick on single mums and “ Isn’t this a racist dog whistle “ . When their lovely village however is swamped with endless high density estates to house 1,000,000 immigrants not even here yet they get all NIMBY. Rightly so say I . People are quite entitled to get on with their life without thinking through the ramifications of every perturbation on the political pond . They are right to engage when it impinges on them and right to be outraged that their wishes were not considered before .
They will be told , yes you voted for the Government and page 56 of the manifesto.... or you signed the consultation and so on. They will , with justification reply , had you not hidden distorted and kept secret the truth I see in concrete before me I would not have acquiesced . I have a living to make and I foolishly trusted you. Now I will stand in your way.

3 Chindamo..There is a sort of NIMBY accusation here. We look at the unrepentant murderer and see he is out after twelve years and his” Right to a family life” is seriously being described as a human right preventing his deportation. Frances Lawrence has been portrayed as vengeful in a disgraceful smear campaign by the left, who are only concerned to shore up their weak flank on the EU. She is not vengeful, she has made efforts to discover if he really had truly repented and it is as clears as can be that he has not . She is in fact as a well meaning and apparently brilliant teacher, a fan of what the human rights act was supposed to be. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was not at least acquiescent on the EU . Now she is a NIMBY , told that even if we repealed UK legislation we would only be arguing the same case in Strasbourg being bound by the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights . She cannot say now she doesn’t like it , she is complicit she must think outside her own case .What nonsense ,like the rest of us the extent to which our justice and laws are not in our control and the extent to which Liberal abandonment of punishment as valid were not clear until it cut deeply into her life. She is a NIMBY and a woman who the laws have betrayed


I welcome all NIMBY`s . All those who believe what’s mine and what is right are the whole point of laws .If the laws fail we stand in front of the bulldozer and the badge NIMBY should be a badge of honour !

26 comments:

mutleythedog said...

I am a Banana - Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!

Re Chindano - isn't it the case that EU citizens can live anywhere - so even if we deported him he could just come back? Unless we had him on a blacklist - but that is supposed to be for enemies of the state like terrorists and Robert Mugabe.

When I lived in Germany I was threatened with deportation in a row over bureacracy, so I said "But could I come back?" Small Voice "Yesssss...." It would have just been a free trip ome.

mutleythedog said...

Yay! Im second!

Travis Bickle said...

There may have been a very small minority of NIMBYs at the airport protests, until people with other agendas took over(raid an Israeli company premises and raise the Palestine flag - an odd way to deal with climate change and airport expansion I'd suggest).

In fact, sadly as IMO it was the only valid point of protest in this whole saga, I don't remember much discussion at all about the third runway and homes being demolished.

Newmania said...

I wonder if thats right Mut... I think its the 12 years thatmore of a problem

Ed said...

I think being an airport NIMBY is all very well, but the airport has been growing for 60 years - do the people who bought cheaply because it was near an airport really expect the airport to stop expanding?

It's a bit like buying a house on a flood plain then complaining that it can't be insured - it's a case of caveat emptor as much as not-in-my-back-yard.

The govt should impinge on people's property as little as possible but the fact is that places do change over time. We can't always set nice villages in stone and stop them changing forever.

Newmania said...

Yes I thimk people have right to campaign against the developemnt proposed for the South in general though

Newmania said...

Oh nice to see you ED

Stan! said...

Regarding Chindamo...There is actually an EU directive which rules that committing a serious crime is no longer sufficient grounds for removal from one EU member state to another. There are currently about 1,700 EU citizens in British jails. In practice, EU nationals who are highly likely to re-offend and pose a "present, genuine and sufficiently serious threat" to society can be booted out on the grounds that their presence in the UK is "not conducive to the public good".
So Chindamo, I suspect, is fighting a losing battle...
For EU anoraks, the following site demonstrates how things can be very complicated:
http://www.ecas.org/product/91/default.aspx?id=185

Ed said...

Always the right to campaign, not always the moral high-ground against development though.

Remember that the nice Victorian townhouses in inner London replaced market gardens etc. If there was never any development where would we be?

Newmania said...

Stan what do you mean.. do you mean the government are fighting alosing battele ( its only show any way)... Cinny cin cin has won

Newmania said...

Remember that the nice Victorian townhouses in inner London replaced market gardens etc. If there was never any development where would we be?


Those Victorian houses were higher density than the houding replacuing them and were regarded as a hell on earth. the whole reaosn we have the " Town and Country" Planning act is to try to avoid the mistakes of that development .... and we are not getting it right.

I am not against commercial develeopment though.

Stan! said...

The governement is fighting a battle that it didn't need to fight. They should have kept Chindano in the dark, kept sient about their intentions and deported him immediately at the end of his sentence using the contrary to the "public good" argument. That's what used to happen when we were running the country, i.e, pre-Human Rights Act.
That's still the way it happens in most EU countries.

Newmania said...

Is that right ..now that wouldn`t have occurred to me

gp said...

its the true libertarian argument that is never put by the media and the bbc in particular

protesting for your own local area against perceived destructive or simply unwanted development is perfectly fine and understandable on any type of human level

protesting for some kind of collective world wide sky is falling down paranoia is deeply divisive and potentially fatal to ordinary peoples basic rights and freedoms

globle cooling is as valid a concept as globle warming

but dont take my word for it or the word of a politician after your hard made cash

look out the window

Newmania said...

GP -

I am pretty certain that there have been some wildly overblown claims on behalf of the global warming lobby . On the other hand the basic science is pretty simple and I would find it common sensically suprising if the changes of the 20th century had no effect.

I would be infavour of small scale greery but v much against spernational world government action of any sort

Anonymous said...

newmania said:

Those Victorian houses were higher density than the houding replacuing them and were regarded as a hell on earth. the whole reaosn we have the " Town and Country" Planning act is to try to avoid the mistakes of that development .... and we are not getting it right.


Those houses were death traps. They killed hundreds of thousands, probably millions, whole lines of my family among them, from the diseases of overcrowding such as TB.

One of my family who moved to the town for better paid employment and who lost two of his young children was told by his doctor to take his children back to the countryside where there was less overcrowding or he'd have none left. He moved back to Tiptree and the remainder of his children survived.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

ed said:

do the people who bought cheaply because it was near an airport really expect the airport to stop expanding?

I live near Stansted, ed, like most of my neighbours I moved here long before any planes except the odd miltary aircraft flew out of Stansted.

The Flightpath moved on top of us, we did not move under it.

Two Public Enquiries also examined whether or not Stansted should expand and both concluded that it would be an environmental disaster on a huge scale if Stansted expanded and that this should and would never happen.

We were given Government undertakings which were broken too. So those who moved here later than I did were completely mislead.

As for house prices, they are higher than comparable areas because of the airport and the development here so my daughter cannot afford to buy a flat here and prices in the private sector are so over-inflated that she can barely afford anything but her rent and monthly bills.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

In respect of Heathrow, the Independent said:

Flight paths to cater for the new runway would cut across a swath of London and the South-east that has previously avoided being directly over-flown by planes, including

Maidenhead, Slough, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Chelsea and Notting Hill - home to the Conservative Party leader, David Cameron.

At least 150,000 households will find themselves directly under flight paths for the first time.

And figures seen by The Independent suggest the number of people who are subjected to aircraft noise levels above the 57 decibels, considered by the Government to be the "beginning of community annoyance", will rise from 375,000 to 535,000 if the proposals go ahead.

Planes screeching at 57 decibels all day every day is hell - but it's far worse than 57 dbls because the government's noise measurement is an average figure. so real aircraft noise is comprised of, say, half at up to 90 dbls and the rest much lower.

That means being unable to hear your radio at full blast when you're in the bath, being unable to bear to go into your garden in summer even to cut the grass, being unable to work and families being so stressed that they constantly argue.

That means schools having to pause their lessons every time a plane flies overhead. It means such constant disruption to lessons that it puts children who live under flight paths academically behind those who don't. More children and adults suffer from asthma too.

A Japanese researcher has found that little children living near busy airports have raised blood pressure.

Unless you've experienced it you can't imagine what hell it is.

Can you imagine a "sky of sound"? That's what we have. And that's what we're fighting.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

ed said:

It's a bit like buying a house on a flood plain then complaining that it can't be insured - it's a case of caveat emptor as much as not-in-my-back-yard.



Most of the South East is flood plain, ed. Yet people have lived here for centuries, the majority without ever being flooded. Light development on a flood plain was no problem as long as there was a large, undeveloped, green buffer zone (undeveloped fields) which absorbed rainwater runoff and flood water around water courses and the water table was well managed. Those areas which did flood, largely coastal areas, might experience this every hundred years or so.

But all that changed because of this government's concentration of high density development with inadequate, experimental drainage 'systems' in and around flood plains.

Where I live never flooded until a massive development with a SuD (so called, sustainable urban drainage system) of reed beds, balancing ponds and swales was built on the hill above our community. Since then we've flooded repeatedly.

And little wonder. This development substantially eroded the green space buffer around our water courses. Instead of piping away waste water it pumps the runoff (floodwater because it's not piped away) from 10,000 people through a flood holding system of reed beds and streams into a large 'balancing reservoir'...on the hill... above my community...with a chanel which slopes down to us.

The reservoir is constantly full, yet every time it rains countless thousands of gallons of water are pumped into it - and out of it into the fields around it...on the hill...above our community.

Silt laden water now pumps out of those fields onto our roads, flooding them, then runs into drains and gullies and moves along to block drains and gullies lower down - the drains and gullies where our community is. So our drains and gullies now pump out water instead of absorbing it - flooding our streets and some of our houses.

The water also pumped out of our fields into our streams and undeground watercourses, turning, what were meandering country brooks into raging torrents and raising the level of our water table.

Needless to say, it's a s*dding disaster waiting to happen and it would be grossly unfair to say that we in any sense brought this on ourselves.

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

Blimey Flo I think we can fairly say you are on top of your subject . You will note that I said you made a good case,,,beam

Ed said...

I agree about Stansted, that has come from nothing over a short period. But when Heathrow was begun it was miles outside London, and the surrounding suburbs only really developed after the airport.

I grew up on a flight path, it's not pleasant but I don't see how we can avoid flightpaths unless we build a new airport literally in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps we should.

The Victorian housing I was talking about is the kind of which Mr N just got half a mill for - the nice ones. I'm not suggesting we should build tenements and back-to-backs!!

Anyway enough of that - what's the solution according to N/Flo? It's no good saying the country isn't working if you haven't got a better way. What's yours?

Anonymous said...

newmania said:
You will note that I said you made a good case,,,beam


Thanks, n! Much more of that I might let you call me

Aunt Flo' :)

Anonymous said...

ed said:

Anyway enough of that - what's the solution according to N/Flo? It's no good saying the country isn't working if you haven't got a better way. What's yours?


Blimey, ed, what a tall order to fill after midnight...hmmmm....hmmmm...

Ok, people power. Real democracy, that's my magic potion. I trust my fellow Englanders enough to have the canton style democracy they have in Switzerland. Then we could sack most of the politicians.

What's your solution?

Anonymous said...

And before someone pipes up, ah, but, democracy by referendum would mean...read the following comment from one of the left wingers on BBC's Have Your Say, posted in response to calls for an EU referendum:

While I believe in democracy, it has to be a somewhat informed democracy or you get an idiotocracy run by populism and mobs of morons trying to hound paediatricians (that is a doctor to you) out of their homes. I think you're a clear idiotocracist.


I'm with the bloke who replied:


A referendum would sort it out once and for all, democratically - I think you are a brainless Scottish Marxist.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

ed said:

I grew up on a flight path, it's not pleasant but I don't see how we can avoid flightpaths unless we build a new airport literally in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps we should.


Offshore, ed, the Japanese, another small group of islands, do it brilliantly.

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

Sorry Flo I missed these remarks at the time ... rest asurred I read everything you write with grteat interest

Blog Archive