Skip to main content
The City Cabinet on Monday had a few interesting decisions.

The demolition and redevelopment of North Newtown is a typically absurd decision by the Housing Department and Cabinet. This estate has a problem with crime. The Housing Department have plucked a figure out of the air that it would cost about £33,000 to improve each of the properties. By underestimating the cost of repurchasing the 35 private properties (which would not cost 33K to improve) they come out with specious figures indicating that it is cheaper to knock the properties down rather than improve them. This, of course, ignores the cost of rebuilding any properties.

Meanwhile in the real world the drug dealing will continue. The people living on the estate will live on an estate that deteriorates dramatically whilst they wait to be cleared and fewer houses will exist for people to live in and as a consequence more people will live in crowded conditions.

Meanwhile the Birmingham Trades Union Council have written the following letter:

We are writing, on behalf of Birmingham Trades Union Council, to advise you of an important resolution adopted by the Trades Union Council at its November meeting.

The Trades Union Council is deeply concerned at the deal done between Labour and Conservative Councillors on Birmingham City Council, as a result of this concern the Council passed the following resolution:

    "Birmingham Trades Union Council condemns the shabby deal entered into between the Birmingham Labour Party Councillors and the Conservative Party to share out leading positions in the City Council.

    This dirty deal is not in the interests of the Birmingham Working Class and represents collaboration of the worst kind, which this Trades Council has always opposed.

    We therefore call upon the Birmingham TUC to lead a trade union campaign to oppose this deal with the object of ensuring that the Labour Councillors withdraw from it and never conclude a similar deal in the future."

As part of the campaign we are launching about the deal we would encourage you to raise this matter with your members and ask them to lobby their Labour Councillors and ensure that no such deals are done in the future. We will also be writing to all Branch and Constituency Labour Parties in Birmingham, and we would ask you to join us in lobbying them to change Labour Party policy to rule out such deals.

The Birmingham Trades Union Council will shortly be organising a series of meetings to develop policies for our public services that advance the interests of working people, as opposed to deals with Conservative Councillors.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Rice/Douglas Jewell - Joint Secretaries Birmingham Trades Union Council

Given that the Mick Rice who has signed this letter is also the Councillor Mick Rice who is a member of the Labour Cabinet (with the support of the Conservatives) this raises some questions in peoples' minds. Luckily although this letter was sent out on 28th November he has already dealt with the issue by trying to disown the letter on 4th December in a confidential email sent to Labour councillors plus 2 Lib Dem Councillors which reads as follows:

Dear Comrades

I am in the process of sending you a letter in my capacity as joint secretary of Birmingham TUC.


The fact that I have signed the letter as an OFFICER of Birmingham TUC does not constitute personal support or agreement with its contents.

Best Wishes

Mick Rice

So that's clear then.


Popular posts from this blog

Standards Board and Ken Livingstone

The link is to the case where Ken Livingstone appealed the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England.

The Standards Board and associated Adjudication Panel have done a lot of damage to democracy in the UK. The courts are, however, bringing them into more sanity.

The point about Ken Livingstone's case is that it was high profile and he also could afford to appeal. The Standard Board has a problem in that those subject to its enquiries face substantial costs that they cannot claim back.

This is an issue that needs further work.

In essence the Judge found that what he said brought him into disrepute, but not the office of Mayor. We do need the machinery of the SBE and APE to concentrate on things that matter rather than people being rude to each other.

Problems with Outlook Express - emails lost dbx corruption

In the light of the enthusiasm shown for my post relating to the OCX control that must not be named (and probably Microsoft's most embarrassing error of recent years) I thought I would write someting about Outlook Express.

Outlook Express is the email client that comes as part of windows. I use it myself, although I have my emails filtered through a spam filter of my own devising written in java. It takes email off a number of servers using POP3 (Post Office Protocol TCP Port 110) and sends it using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol port 25).

I have recently spent a few hours dealing with the problem that arises when .dbx files get corrupted during compacting.

Outlook Express (OE) stores the emails (and other things) in files with the suffix .dbx. Each folder has its own .dbx file. They are stored in hidden directories. This makes it harder to deal with things when OE goes wrong.

It is very important to back up your stored *.dbx files as otherwise if you have a disk crash/stol…

Statement re False Allegations Campaign

Many people will know that my family and I have been subject to a campaign of false allegations by Esther Baker for the past 4 1/2 years. Yesterday there was a court judgment Baker v Hemming [2019] EWHC 2950 (QB) which formally confirmed that the allegations were false. Esther Baker, who had brought a libel claim against me, dropped her defence of Truth to my counter-claim and was taken by the judge as no longer trying to prove her allegations. Due to Baker's various breaches of court rules and orders, she has been barred from further repeating her allegations even in the court proceedings. Further claim of mine in libel against Baker are ongoing. There is a good summary in the Daily Mail here.

This demonstrates the challenge in fighting false allegations in today's Britain. A substantial campaign was built up to promote allegations which had no substance to them. Various Labour MPs and in pa…