Integrity, principle and trust in politics

"You cannot hope to requisition,
Thank God, the British politician,
But seeing what the man will do,
Unasked, there's no occasion to."

Tomorrow, please don't vote for Davidson, Merson or Owen.


May 2012

I have announced that I will not be standing in the May 2012 elections.  After 13 years as a councillor (and with the last 4.5 years being "interesting", I have decided to focus on my new career as a planning consultant. 

A full statement can be found at

Living within our means

It's a problem for households and councils and today many councils wrestled more or less successfully with putting themselves onto a more sustainable footing. Sadly Aberdeenshire rejected the Democratic Independent proposals to raise £2m each year by exploiting renewable energy opportunities.

But even more than money (and we are reminded by Osbourne's latest round of quantitative easing that money is a social construct) we are overspent on resources - energy, water, food. I am indebted to Alan Owen of RGU for a thought provoking presentation to the RTPI this evening that highlighted the extent of the problem and to Bob Reid for pointing me to This recent Limits to Growth article.

On a global scale, there simply isn't enough to go round. There is no 'silver bullet' to fix this. To get down to sustainable levels, we need to consume at the level of Ghana and Palastine - and we are many time that. Here in the UK we need to reduce energy consumption by a whopping 87%.

So do we hide our heads on the sand and hope the problem goes away? Tempting.

But let's be positive.

Here in the north east of Scotland, we have great resources.
Could we grow enough food to feed everyone in the NE? Yes.
Could we produce enough energy to provide for our total energy needs? Yes.
Could we reduce our water consumption to sustainable levels. Of course, Yes.

The bigger question is will we?

So - over to you.

What do we need to do?
What changes have to be made?
How can we, together make it happen?