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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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We reproduce this page by kind permission of the interesting Rotten Borough website. It contains some very useful tips for those of us who take on the responsibility for snapping at the ankles of those overweening jobsworths from the local council ...
 

 
The Government's controversial watchdog for local government in England, the Local Government Ombudsman, has ... published (19 January 2007) a Guidance Note to local authorities that effectively gives councils official licence to ignore or marginalise complainants whom council officers decide to categorise as too tenacious in their efforts to achieve a fair and just outcome.
 
Councils will now, at their discretion, have official Ombudsman sanction to brand taxpayers as 'unreasonably persistent complainants' and impose draconian restrictions in terms of how the authority treats further communications, even following 'one or two isolated incidents' on the part of the complainant. The Ombudsman lists examples of the kind of complainant behaviour that could merit such a sanction, which include ...
 
• continuing to disagree with a council's claim that your complaint falls outside the remit of its complaints procedure;
• continuing to assert a complaint against an officer that the council chooses to regard as groundless;
• continuing to ask that a different officer deal with your case;
• continuing to ask for a response to new material and evidence that the council has decided to categorise as trivial or irrelevant;
• electronically recording a conversation or meeting without telling the council officer in advance (presumably even if it is in order to obtain evidence of council wrongdoing that they would never record in writing);
• daring to pursue a complaint with the council at the same time as with a Member of Parliament/ a councillor/ the authority's independent auditor/ the Standards Board/ local police/ solicitors/ the Ombudsman;
• and refusing to accept the council's decision when you think it is wrong.
 
If a council decides it is convenient to brand a citizen who has dared to commit any of the above as an 'unreasonably persistent complainant,' then the Ombudsman gives the council licence simply to send an acknowledgement following any further correspondence from that individual, without heeding or acting on the content, or even to tell them that no further acknowledgement to communications will be sent.
 
It is, of course, in everyone's interest that genuinely obstructive and unreasonable complainants should not be able to waste council officers' time and energy. However, these latest Local Government Ombudsman guidelines are wholly unacceptable and represent a clear threat to our democratic way of life - in which the concerned citizen has always had a crucial role to play. Rejecting a complaint on the grounds that the complainant has involved his local MP or councillors is to fly in the face of traditions of civic life and civic duty that have evolved in this country over many centuries. They evolved in that way for a very good reason, namely, to discourage abuse of authority.
 
Power, unfortunately, has a tendency to corrupt. If these insidious guidelines are not challenged, local authorities will have a new means of silencing those who ask difficult and searching questions. If such citizens are silenced, who will then challenge incompetence, cynicism, and powerful vested interest? Can complacent and uncaring authority, brandishing its doctrine of restricted remit like some kind of badge of honour, be relied upon to do so? The only real beneficiaries of these new guidelines will be maladministration, misgovernance, and further civic alienation.
 
In 2005, Mr and Mrs Balchin were awarded 100,000 compensation by Norfolk Council (and 100,000 by the Department of Transport) following a twenty year battle, after a plan to build a bypass 12 feet from their property led to them losing their 435,000 home, their business and their savings. They also both suffered ill health as a result of the stress of the case. Under the new Local Government Ombudsman guidelines, they would, no doubt, have been silenced many years ago - not least because they enlisted, among others, the help of their MP, Sir Michael Lord: apparently an infringement according to the LGO's new Guidance Note.
 
This LGO document serves to reinforce the growing impression that the Local Government Ombudsman is hand-in-glove with the local authorities it claims to monitor impartially. The consumer rights organisation Local Government Ombudsman Watch (LGOWatch) has exposed to public scrutiny the fact that all three Ombudsmen for England are former local authority CEOs, and that they find maladministration in less than 2% of the complaints they receive that are within jurisdiction. This is a far lower figure than that of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Given its far too cosy relationship with local government, it is hardly any surprise that the LGO is becoming increasingly challenged by dissatisfied consumers.
 
In 2005, the three Local Government Ombudsmen were summoned to appear before the ODPM Parliamentary Select Committee and forced to respond to allegations of pro-council bias raised by LGOWatch and others. The Welsh Ombudsman was similarly hauled before a Parliamentary Committee in the mid 90's. LGOWatch revealed that in polls commissioned by the Ombudsman's office itself, 73% of complainants described themselves as 'dissatisfied' with the outcome of their complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, including even approximately half of the tiny percentage who had achieved a finding of maladministration.
 
The result of this bad publicity was that the MORI polls were immediately discontinued by the LGO, and replaced with a customer satisfaction survey carried out by a different market research company that omitted the embarrassing questions.
 

 
This is the link to the actual text of the Ombudsman's guidance.
 
See also LGOWatch and Ombudsman Watchers.

 

 
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