John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, June 09, 2005
  Where's the abstain button
Yesterday was the first day that I abstained on a vote in person. What I am asking is "where is the abstain button". In the City Council there are six ways someone can cast a vote, for, against, pressing the asbstain button, sitting in the council chamber too frightened to press any button, somewhere else in the building and actually unavailable.

I see it is actually possible to vote both ways on an issue if you run, but that does not seem the best mechanism. The problem is, however, that when you are present, but abstain it is difficult to record this.

In the mean time we have learnt that it is a lot harder finding a place within which to spend a penny. There is an interesting thing behind it. Public Toilets are an important public service (particularly for elderly gents), but across the country they are being flushed away. In all regions there are fewer from 6,087 in 2000 to 5,539 in 2004. We may be a wealthy country, but it seems beyond the country's ability to have public loos. It is not surprising to find more people urinating in the street (generally men) if there are fewer public toilets.

I always remember a particular urinal which was on the Oaklands Recreation ground which was an old victorian cast iron urinal and had no roof. It worked well as it was self cleaning. However, the council (at that time not controlled by us) then decided to board it up. Which was a bit stupid as then kids tried to climb in and out. It was then demolished. There was absolutely no real sense to this.

So if the police can record biometric data on the PNC why do we need a separate ID database?

Yesterday together with a number of MPs from the Birmingham area we reviewed the situation relating to MG Rover in conjuction with AWM.

Just before posting this entry I asked an oral question of the minister in respect of air flight. People in Sheldon are blighted by the proposed Second Runway for Birmingham Airport that I believe personally will never happen.

The government are claiming on one hand that they are taking CO2 emissions seriously and also planning for massive increases in Air Flight (which will increase CO2 emissions dramatically). The only way they could do both of these would be to use biofuels to fuel airflight - the concept of going to Ibiza on a few buckets of mustard oil or the like. The government response was a load of woffle, but I did expect that.
 
Comments:
Sir,

I believe I recall reading (in the "Evening Mail") that the closure of the public loos was due to them being used by gentlemen to seek the company of other gentlemen for activities held to not be in the interests of public order. Or, in the vernacular, 'Cottaging'.
 
I don't think cottaging was the real reason. (or even a reason)
 
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