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Ian Bertram
I can't pin my life down in one line!
Interests: photography, painting, collage, printmaking, digital art, mosaic, gardens and garden design, history, politics, philosophy, poetry and literature, film, science and technology, writing, music, genealogy, science fiction
Recent Activity
I haven’t posted here in a long time. I’m reluctant to close the blog though. There is a lot here that I am proud to have written and don’t want to see it simply vanish into the ether. My reasons... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at Without the state
Back in the late 1960s, while still a student, I came across a book by Charles Abrams, a UN advisor on housing matters. In that book, Man's Struggle for Shelter in An Urbanizing World, Abrams describes how people living in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2016 at Without the state
Hinkley decision is a disaster for UK The decision to go ahead with Hinkley C is I think pretty disastrous. It ties us, probably for the next 40 years, to a nasty, poisonous, highly centralised and potentially vulnerable system of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Without the state
It's over a year since the last post. Since then I've been so wrapped up with other things, the blog has been neglected yet again. I'm still writing, but mainly as an adjunct to my online Etsy shops to promote... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at Without the state
I didn't write anything about the Independence Referendum. This was in part because I was quite conflicted in my response. As an Englishmen (albeit with Scots ancestry) living in England, I didn't relish the prospect of a near permanent Tory... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Without the state
S215 says nothing about 'tone' 215 Power to require proper maintenance of land. (1)If it appears to the local planning authority that the amenity of a part of their area, or of an adjoining area, is adversely affected by the condition of land in their area, they may serve on the owner and occupier of the land a notice under this section. (2)The notice shall require such steps for remedying the condition of the land as may be specified in the notice to be taken within such period as may be so specified. (3)Subject to the following provisions of this Chapter, the notice shall take effect at the end of such period as may be specified in the notice. (4)That period shall not be less than 28 days after the service of the notice. 'Amenity' is an elastic term I know, but it has been used since the 1947 act so far as I know, so there is a lot of precedent for how it might be used. I'm a bit confused by the suggestion that planning permission was given and then refused. The planning system doesn't work like that. I would also be concerned about giving powers to local community associations to veto planning decisions. Evidence from books like Privatopia and many stories from this blog show why.
- soon anyway! I obviously haven’t posted here in quite a while. That’s partly because of health issues but mainly because of a lack of focus I think. I was trying to spread myself too thinly over four blogs and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Without the state
I think your rant rather proves my point.
1 reply
All the posts I make here are automatically shared on a number of social media sites. From one of those, LinkedIn, I was pointed to the Local Enterprise Partnership and more particularly to the Strategic Economic Plan recently submitted to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Without the state
On another blog I recently published quite a quite long post triggered by two recent TV programmes about the dominance of London. In that poste I looked at how investment in transport infrastructure across the North of England could create... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Without the state
Wiltshire Council are proposing to do away entirely with the Demand Responsive bus services running under the banner of Connect 2 (as an aside I really really hate the faux ‘hip’ renaming from WigglyBus). You can find the consultation paper... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Without the state
To be honest I'm not surprised - it seems almost to be a requirement of office for politicians, other public figures and indeed journalists, to be unable to put two thoughts together in any coherent form. In some cases this is of course because they are so arrogant they think no one else can see the 3 card trick they are trying to pull. That I can understand since it is the standard M.O. for politics in this country. What is worrying me though are those who don't appear to know that they are doing it and see nothing wrong with what they are saying.
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2014 on Social exclusion denial at Neighbourhoods
A recent TV program (Ep 1; Ep 2)by the BBC’s Evan Davis asked this question. The answer seems to be that it is successful because it is successful. As it grows, the economic benefits of ‘agglomeration’ accelerate. This term describes... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at Without the state
I've also printed onto a silk screen print, on watercolour paper which had a wash applied first (I used acrylics in watercolour fashion rather than true watercolours) and onto pages from a book. So long as the edges are clean I didn't need to fasten it to another paper first. You can see teh silkscree/digital image on flickr here:
1 reply
There is a tendency to blame ‘the planners’ for everything that goes wrong, from dog mess to lack of public toilets to the failure to provide a full size Marks and Spencer’s store in town (I’ve come across all of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2014 at Without the state
WC have published details of their proposals for the Youth Service on its young people’s web site called Sparksite. This is the start of a so called consultation. The information provided is however misleading, manipulative and dishonest. It pretends that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at Without the state
The problem is not that government schools cannot succeed, for in nearly all developing countries some of the very best schools are government schools. The problem is, as the LEAPS study authors emphasize, "when government schools fail, they fail completely"...... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at Without the state
It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled? Abraham Maslow Back in the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at Without the state
A bit of light relief from the local Tesco… Filed under: Uncategorized from WordPress via IFTTT Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2013 at Without the state
In preparing this series of posts I’ve consulted lots of documents. I’ve given a partial bibliography below, which includes I think all those cited. Any additions can be found here: A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in Post-Celtic... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2013 at Without the state
The Fool on the Hill: Ultra-low impact housing and public policy. Filed under: Housing from WordPress via IFTTT Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2013 at Without the state
Isn't there some evidence that the majority of people active as volunteers in community groups of all sorts are older people? If I'm remembering correctly, the implication was that most voluntary groups would founder without the retired and semi-retired.
Large Lump development is based on the idea of replacement. Piecemeal growth is based on the idea of repair. Since replacement means consumption of resources it is easier to see that piecemeal growth is the sounder of the two from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2013 at Without the state
I'm still here, just been busy with lots of other things. Several posts are in various stages of preparation so watch this space. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2013 at Without the state
Refuse collectors 'overfilled' bin. Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2013 at Without the state