понеделник, януари 14


Health Special: Lobster Struck Down by "Annoyer's Block"

Lobster Blogster has been struck down by the very rare, and probably fatal condition, known as "Annoyer's Block". The symptoms are:
The Lobster is sitting here, surrounded by cards and flowers sent by well-wishers, but still there is not an annoying thought in sight. An over-whelming sense of calm, and even good feeling has befallen the Lobster, and he finds himself simply unable to get the necessary attack juices flowing. Apologies to my hundreds of regular readers who are missing their daily dose of aquatic fun.

It's even more amazing that the Lobster has been so afflicted, when you consider the number of easy targets which are out there at the moment, just waiting to have the mickey taken out of them. No not sitting ducks like Peter Hain, mortally wounded and just hoping that the final blow is a clean one, nor even George Osbourne, whose undeclared donations are so large he could retire on the interest.

Consider perhaps Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg who has vowed to "break the two-party system" in UK politics for good. What happens is his policy is more successful than he dreams of, and we end up with not three party politics, but four or even five? That way, the Lib Dems could be heading down the list, not up. Careful what you wish for, Mr Clegg, it might come true. Then there's the ever charming Mr Dale, who recently held a Masterclass in Debating for Ignorant People. Top tips: Hold strong opinions, but don't say why; Quote your opposition's position, but don't include a link (then no one will know if they really said it, or you just made it up); Get your facts wrong, be grumpy about being corrected, then misquote the correction to overstate your own case (sorry Daley, Worstall says there's a carbon cost to running a nuclear power station, not just building one).

But perhaps the easiest target out there just at moment is the lovely Watford Borough Council Planning and Development Department. Despite the Audit Commission heaping on praise the " Council is successfully investing in infrastructure - for example a cycle map, ...", the Planning Department have managed to create a cycle map of the town with a series of concentric rings centred on the Town Hall, marked as miles, but in fact covering distances of kilometres. The planners have hit on the idea that best way to respond to such a cock-up is to pretend it didn't happen. The map is still freely available on the web, and the matter will be tackled at the next "map review" meeting, although there is no review scheduled, and no actual format for such a review in any case.

If only the Lobster had not been completely debilitated by this infernal Annoyer's Block, he would be able to bring these stories as usual. Hopefully the Lobster will be back to full fitness in the near future, and back knocking the silly people who need to come down a peg or two. We will bring you further news as soon as we have it.

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вторник, декември 18


Internet's Biggest Liar: UPDATE

Lobster Blogster's recent claim that Paul Staines is the Internet's biggest liar was well received by the recently formed Liberal Conspiracy. Probably Staines himself, who can never resist boosting his own self-image, was secretly pleased by the superlative too.

However Staines now seems to be fashioning himself as an Irish Supremacist, with this curious post centred around a book title. Conveniently over-looking the fact that St Patrick was an English missionary, Staines alludes to the notion that only the Irish can save Europe from "the bureaucrats". Staines was first tarred by the racist brush back in May 1996, when he tried to form a link between his branch of the Federation of Conservative Students and the British National Party.

You can read the original Guardian article in full here. Contrary to any assertion by Staines or his bogus publishing company, the article was never withdrawn by the paper, and is freely available at the British Library Newspapers Collection in Collingdale.

Festive Greetings!
Blogging is likely to be a bit light here at Lobster Blogster what with various Winterval events coming up, and even a wedding in Bath. Do tune back in the New Year, or maybe the Spring Equinox if you want to read about more wacky goings on at Watford Borough Council, or even further afield. If you want to get in touch before then, you can always try "mipela lawyerman", but do allow for local tides. Adios amigos!

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Master Forger at Work

The UK government is not having a good time of it at the moment, with respect to IT cock-ups galore. What with losing 25 million child benefit records, three year's worth of driving test records and a lamentable health service records scheme which is years behind schedule.

Now, years ahead of the proposed ID cards scheme, Lobster Blogster can exclusively reveal that home-made ID cards as being forged at kitchen tables up and down the land. Incredibly, even biometric photo-ID cards are being created, using "scissors and glue" technology.

Pictured are two examples. On the left, clearly displaying the biometric (bloodgroup) information "O Rh Positive" and a special code, W06645870, which is known to exist in a secure and confidential national database, a photo of Britain's most wanted man has been affixed using a strong glue. The resulting home-made biometric photo ID is actually entirely legal, and will pass muster at even the strictest of health service scrutineers.

A second fake home-made ID card, again using the image of the UK's top master forger, is shown on the right. Although this card simply would not work in a cash point machine, it can be used to guarantee a cheque for up to £100! Once again this is completely legal.

Each of the cards has been made from re-used materials, and has been manufactured at a fraction of the cost of the national ID card scheme. It the government would like to send the Lobster a small token of their appreciation, say £1 million pounds in used £5 notes, then they are free to use this idea and save the country billions. For security, each photo has a secret message hidden behind it, thus making these IDs virtually unforgeable. The original manufacturer and only the original manufacturer will be able to determine the validity of these documents.

WARNING: do not approach the man pictured. He has been known to scare leading Lib Dems, and even make one or two cry. Apparently he is even banned from the Customer Service Centre at Watford Town Hall.


вторник, декември 11


Watford's New Pantomime Dame

Here's a lovely new character from the Watford cast list. He works in "security", which he interprets as meaning that he's entitled to go around threatening people. He's a bit camera shy, which is surprising for someone in the film industry, but when he gets over this he will have a great future on the stage as a female impersonator.



Rare Sighting: Merlin of England

Lobster Blogster was very fortunate to meet the splendid Merlin of England during a visit to Avebury for the (delayed) spring equinox.

With friends like these, who needs enemies? Merlin takes a keen interest in matters such as the threatened destruction of 106 mature trees at the Willow Grange site in Church Road, Watford. Merlin is available at the drop of a hat to assist in eco-demonstrations, especially if you have got his business card. Both Mr Lobster and Mrs Justice Lobster were thrilled to meet such a reverred character from English folklore, and a charming conversationalist to boot.

Beware Lib Dims, Merlin has a mighty big sword and he is prepared to use it!

Picture is copyright Lobster Blogster and may only be used by marine creatures on underwater missions.

Coming soon!

Lobster Blogster is working on a solution to the Identity Card crisis. The answer is home-made biometric photo-id cards! More of this when I manage to get my home broadband up and running again. Laters!

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петък, декември 7


Hi-De-Hi! Mornin' Campers!!!

We've had a report of a baby crying, in block 4QQ. Please try to keep the noise down when going past this chalet. There has been such a rackett that someone has already had to make a sharpe warning to the GPL. The chalet is on the Junction of the busy A440 and A426, so we do understand if the odd HGV may need to toot his horn as they bomb past.
{note to editor: check splelling of undrelinned wrods - aslo chek meenin of internals GPL}

Other news:
It now takes a meeting of the NW Bananacrat Executive Committee, 7.15pm Thurs 17/12/07 (bring your own biscuits) to decide what notices can be put in the window! Whatever next? A referendum before they can decide whether to flush the toilet!?!!

Football latest:
No news on who should be the chosen one just yet - watch this space
~ ♠ ♠
~ ♣ ♣ ♣
~ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ USA ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ >>>>>+=>
~ ♥ ♥ ♥
~ ♦ ♦
for all the news as it happens.
Update 1: are we ready for takeoff, or is it just space monkeys buggering around?

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сряда, декември 5


Enjoy the Panto!



Missing: Diamond Pastry Cutter

As you can see from the photo on the right, one of the Lobster's pastry cutter's has gone missing. It's the diamond one, which cuts the sharpest, and makes the tastiest biscuits. Today being 5th December (bonfire night in Watford, we're exactly one month behind every one else in the UK), the Lobster has one or two tasks to do around the house, before getting ready to go out to see the panto at the Palace Theatre. In a moment, Lobster Blogster will head off to fetch his DIY overalls from the garage (in fetching BT colours, of course), so that he can get on with the big task of decorating the bathroom. Oh, and maybe he might pop in to his local Lib Dem offices, just to pass the time away a bit, and see how they feel about him raking up some leaves at the local park. What could possibly go wrong (today)?

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Crisis Council: Pied Piper was Right!

Come to Watford, and enjoy watching the rats fleeing a sinking ship!



Dodgy Dealings and Other Ways to Get Your Xmas List Done

Psst! Wanna hear some gossip?

(Shh..., keep this right under your hat.) PragueTory knows the gen on Cameron's visit to Prague March 2006. Either that or someone else in Hlavni Mesto Praha knows what went on, and is blackmailling PT.

That, Mr Dale, is top quality goss, the type that changes hands for a lot of money in the Lobster's home turf of Callowland. While we're on the subject of Watford Oligopoly, here's a quick run down of some of the other districts in Watford, and their dominant species:
The Lobster's real name is mud just at moment. Some yobbo has been mouthing it off down at the Customer Service Centre at the Town Hall. If you've spent three seconds googling and figured it out, like some very over-priced poncy lawyers, then feel free to stroll right into Watford and impersonate the Lobster. Watch out though, almost everyone on my "manor" knows me by name or by face, and the Old Bill certainly do, what "wiv me gettin' sacked from two jobs last Friday."

Lobster "white van man" Blogster and his darling wife, Mrs Justice Lobster, are off to the panto tomorrow evening at Watford Palace Theatre. Due to some "last minute" cancellations, we "just happened" to get two of the best seats in the stalls. Do come along too if you can make it!

Running a bit late, I know, but here is the Lobster's Xmas list:
  1. egg coddler
  2. drinking glass chess game - TJ Hughes
  3. badminton rackett - ASDAs
  4. scorpion darts (i.e. fake lobster darts) - ASDAs
  5. book - Sir Michael Dannett - biog
  6. Châteaux Le Vieux Cèdre - 1998
  7. Minervois - 1999
  8. book - anything by Thich Nhat Hanh
  9. you choose
  10. health, wealth and happiness
Have a good one if I don't see you before Christmas Eve!

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вторник, декември 4


Winterval No 1.

Lobster Blogster's tickets are already reserved. See you at Conway Hall.



Not Everyone That F'ing Lies ...

... May Be Eaten!*

Planet Earth is expecting a visit from a giant flying monkey god from outer-space, by the name of Big King Umbongo, in the very near future. Lobster Blogster respectfully advises BKU that although he is perfectly entitled to take away and eat as many young virgins, and Lying Liberal Bananacrats, as he can lay his six hands on, not everything with wings is entirely palatable. Take a lion for instance. Because it is carnivorous, the flesh is not good to eat. Even if there were a lion which evolved wings, it still would leave a bad taste in the mouth.

*The quotation above is a slight adaptation of the Bulgarian translation for "All the glisters is not gold" in Българско-Ангийски Речник, T. Atanassova and others Sofia 1975.

Other news
Telling lies can:
Take a look at the two anonymised models below and see if you can spot who tells the most lies?

Couldn't resist a couple of small clues! One pretends to be an anti-cover-up campaigner, the other is Ms Whip lash. Enjoy!

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понеделник, декември 3


Operations: cross border operations have now been authorised

Some parts re-posted from MacDonalds Community Noticeboard, St Albans Road, Watford

A great eco-crime is about to be committed. On Tuesday, Barratts Homes intend to cut down over one hundred trees at the British Waterways Board site in Church Road, Watford. Mrs Sally Rose Ivins, also of Church Road, wanted to take the case to the High Court to get a proper environmental assessment made, but could not cover the £1.8M indemnity that was required. No local backers were found. It was therefore with the greatest reluctance that Mr Lobster Blogster felt it was necessary to take direct action in the form of criminal damage. An incident has been recorded by the local police. The Lobster now faces many years in a watery prison, because of his personal belief that to kill a mature tree is an eco-crime. To chop down 106 PROTECTED TREES is surely evidence of serious malpractice within Watford Borough Council's Planning Office (Councillor details are out of date here, but Sally aka Harkin Larkin' won't mind a call. She came to Mr & Mrs Lobster's nuptials at the town hall, and seemed to want to argue with everyone there. Just tell her I've still got the "after Lichtenstein" photo, and will publish it if pushed!)

When the Lobster made an enquiry as to whether the final Planning Application had been completed, the Lobster was told "it could not be found". Swampy, Merlin and Arthur Pendragon will not be pleased! Even the boy scouts will be upset about this one, as Lobster Blogster has learnt that the site is part of a Smoke Control Area.

Other news:

Live blog from WC Library (PC24), trialing the new Cirque Cruise Cat GDU500 available from www.keytools.com

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сряда, ноември 28


SENSATIONAL: Green Party Link to Labour Funding Scandals

Lobster Blogster has been approached by a senior member of Watford, Hertsmere and Three Rivers Green Party, so that the following personal statement can be made:
"I am a senior member of Watford, Hertsmere and Three Rivers Green Party and I have been secretly funding the Labour Party for over fifteen years, through a third party. When I first started doing this, I was not in the Green Party, and so there was no conflict of interest. To be Candid, I didn't really think about cancelling these payments when I first joined what was then Watford Green Party. I had hoped to buy influence in the Labour Party, but I don't really think I ever got value for money. I shall write to the third party to see if the existing arrangement can be cancelled, or failing that, if the entire amount can be properly refunded and donated to the rightful owners at my local Green Party."
Mrs Justice Lobster immediately issued a 'D' Notice, preventing the name of either the senior party member, or the third party, or it's General Secretary, from being used in any news media worldwide (except Solomon Islands). As ever we will keep you fully up to date with events before and after they happen here at Lobster Blogster.

Other news:
This blog is always delighted to hear of banana related gossip. So the Lobster is very pleased to hear that Pratt's Bananas in Luton may at last be going for Fairtrade accreditation. Well done to all the people on the ground there. Don't forget you can help to end workplace exploitation by supporting the work of bananalink.



Lobster Blogster: An Apology

Lobster Blogster would like to apologise to the long suffering Watford commuter, as he has had to ask officers from the elite "Shady Lane" fast reaction squad to close off Watford Junction. Whilst visiting the station yesterday evening the Lobster fell into a long conversation with a member of the front-line staff. The Lobster has not been paying Watford Junction the attention recently it so richly deserves. If you are familiar with Milan, Gard du Nord or even the recently reopened St Pancras, you are missing an architectural treat by not visiting Watford Junction.

Brutal by design and brutal by nature, the ticket hall is famed around the world as the venue for some of the toughest football related violence ever. Who can forget the day when Luther Blissett had to be escorted by nearly a thousand armed officers to catch the 8.14 to Kings Langley? Not letting myself be too perturbed by all this, I tried to purchase an Oyster card, and in the ensuing scuffle, an original document appears to have fallen out of my pocket.

As a bit of background I have in the past corresponded with one of Mr Blair's Ministerial team. Claire and I disagree about one or two matters, but we both respect each other's privacy and so have never chosen to divulge to a wider audience everything we have corresponded about. Now the Lobster can't really remember whether it was some notes which Claire had put together on the Lebanon crisis last year, and issues surrounding our newly installed Middle Eastern Envoy, or whether it was that other silly thing which I sometimes wish I had just let drop, but the truth is I have lost a letter. In the circumstances I think it would be wise to withdraw Mr Blair at his earliest convenience immediately from the Middle East. On security issues one simply cannot compromise.

I have every hope that the full search of Watford Junction, security audit, staff training and management re-alignment programme which I had alluded to elsewhere will soon turn up the missing document. In the meantime I expect passengers joining at Bushey will enjoy the fact that they are getting a seat for a change.

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Lobster Finds Pearl in Oyster

Watford Junction has just joined the London Overground Network. Here's the official checklist for who needs to do what to get the Oyster Card system up and running for the long suffering Watford commuter.
  1. Get Oyster barriers installed - engineer - done!
  2. Get a stock of Oyster cards - admin clerk - done!
  3. Get a machine to issue Oyster cards - technician - done!
  4. Get the ticket office staff trained up so they can issue Oyster cards - station manager
So Lobster Blogster would like to add just one more thing, to help the whole process on its way

5. Charlie Johnson, Station manager, Watford Junction - Get off your fat arse and get your effing staff trained up, you idle twat!

While you're at it, you total waste of space, where is the signage to the disabled access/bicycle route to the Abbey Flyer Line, dick head?

Lobster Blogster - serving Watford's public with a smile!



Deleted E-mails: Can They Be Retrieved?

Regular readers of Lobster Blogster will know that we have strict copy deadline of 5pm. So it's a shame that Watford Borough Council were unable contribute to this post. They work until 5.15pm, so the Lobster expects that a last minute cup of tea has just nudged them past the copy deadline. No doubt we will be able to give you a full report back in tomorrow's edition.

Security sources have suggested a fake Press Release is being circulated. These sorts of issues are usually investigated by MI5. For the time being all e-mail users of the following systems are advised not to open attachments from Watford Borough Council: Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Lotus Notes below version 6.5a. The main identifying mark is Word.Document.8. Lobster Blogster can supply the precise adhoc cycle review code if you think you have caught a live one!

What the Lobster can tell you, from "an informant" is that the computers on the Customer Service desk haven't been working since Thursday. And someone in the Press Office has been deleting a lot of e-mails.

Surely, someone from a nearby giant retailling company with an HQ in Clarendon Road has got someone to spare who can help WBC out with their PC problems?


вторник, ноември 27


Claire Ward MP: Are the Helicopter Flight Stories True?

Have any other bloggers heard the rumour that Claire Ward has been linked to the Michael Ashcroft/Flying Lion story? The way the Lobster heard it, she was seen flying out of Leavesden Aerodrome, just after Daniel Radcliffe and other film stars flew in. If anyone could track down a Flying Lion flight to the aerodrome, it would be sensational news.

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FOUND: Safe at Last! Two Inland Revenue CDs

Safe at Last
Lobster Blogster is really pleased to say that two Inland Revenue CDs have been found on the corner of Garfield Street and Leavesden Road. Accordingly, he is issuing the following press release:
"I went back to the abandoned Lib Dem offices I showed last night, again this morning, because the photo I showed may have been doing them a disservice. I had already described the huge pile of beer cans, and the vacuum cleaner. I don't want to cause the Liberal Democrats, or any other Watford politician, any more distress than is necessary.

I have been working for a major retailler recently, and so I know just how important computer security is. People should use anti-virus and encryption technologies to protect sensitive commercial and personal data. Yesterday, for instance, I had discussions with a "guru", over from the States. He made a minor change to a PGP encryption server, and then I asked someone to test that the company PCI policy could be fulled applied. I'm glad to say it worked. It's important that people with the most sensitive data, such as loss investigators and auditors are protected from prying eyes.

I am glad to be able to report, that in this case, at least one of the Government CDs is still in it's original packaging. The tamper proof seal is intact. The other one has been snapped safely into a waterproof plastic carry case. I felt it was important not to disturb the evidence until forensics could investigate."
No one yet knows if the police have been called.

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INCREDIBLE: Lying Lib Dems Flee Watford

This cannot possibly be true!
In an almost unbelievable turn of events, the Lib Dem offices on the Leavesden Road, North Watford, were coned off, as if to "prevent evidence from being destroyed". The shutters were down, there was not a single orange Lib Dem sign on display and an estate agent's "To Let" sign was firmly affixed to the front of the building.

Liberal Democrat Portfolio Holders, have been refusing all calls and e-mails, and even Cllr Iain Sharpe's blog has been left abandoned for several days. Lobster Blogster had hoped to bring you news of who the "third man" is, the political leader with responsibility for Housing during the period 2005 to 2006, but now it seems we may never know.

It looks as though the building was cleared out several days ago. Rubbish has already started to accumulate. An elderly man with white hair was seen leaving the building with bundles of paperwork on Saturday. Is this when the Lib Dems upped sticks and went? There are signs that a lot of alcohol had been consumed, and a vacuum cleaner has been left by the front door. Up the street an old settee is left right across the pavement. Could this be the same sofa where leading Lib Dems sat down in comfort, whilst collecting huge allowances from the Watford tax payer?

UPDATE: Oh no, it looks like we've found out who the new tenants are!

Other news
The Watford Observer reported today that the Gold Plated Traffic Cones saga is almost over. Drivers in the area face only a few more months of driving misery, before a team of specialised "traffic cone removal operatives" are assigned to the dangerous task of re-opening the full width of the road. Claire Ward MP, said this was a "victory for common sense" after being told that the M25 was likely to be further widened in approximately two years time. Full story here.

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понеделник, ноември 26


Anti Bullying Week

The Lobster has taken on three bullies during anti-bullying week. They are:
One failed Tory, one aspirant Tory and one Lib Dem local party leader and Council cabinet member. All in all a busy week. What have you been up to?



Lobster Blogster: Tagged For Life

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Lobster Blogster has joined an exclusive list of up to one thousand households in North Watford which are taking part in the UK's national pilot of enigmaTag. A free bottle of enigmaTag is available to North Watford resident's who visit North Watford Police Station, or contact their local community officers. But hurry, there are only one thousand bottles available for the entire pilot scheme. The tagging liquid is not available for sale in the UK at the present time, but it is expected to retail for around £80 when the trial is complete.

Were the Lobster to be stolen, or perhaps even eaten by missionaries from the Liberal Bananacrats, then police would be able to confirm the identity of the rightful owner using an ultra-violet scanning device.

How amusing that the powers that be have chosen North Watford as the only pilot scheme in the UK. Could it possibly be because this is one part of the country where we most definately don't trust the lying Lib Dems?

As a corollary to the Watford Observer getting a written apology from Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Sal Brinton, it may be worth mentioning that Andy Wylie, already in trouble on other pages of Lobster Blogster, is the Lib Dems election agent. It is his name that should appear at the foot of all local Lib Dem political material, and he is the one who is legally responsible for any claim made within the literature. Lobster Blogster's copy of the offending leaflet was delivered some four or five days after Brinton's apology appeared in the Watford Observer. In their usual lazy way the Lib Dems had not bothered to cover the offending item, or make clear by way of a sticker that they had had to apologise to the paper for the lie. Like any good citizen, the Lobster's copy went straight into the recycling bin unread. But if anyone still has the lying leaflet, the Lobster would be very grateful if it could be identified whether Wylie's name is on it or not.

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COVER UP: Estimated Exposure of WBC is £1.8m

How strange! The Lobster has highlighted in bold praise from the Audit Commission for Watford Borough Council recorded in two sections of the council's Comprehensive Performance Assessment.
47 Partnerships are used effectively to increase the Council's capacity to deliver its ambitions and priorities. Partnership with the County Council has enabled the Council to improve the town centre environment. It is achieving housing priorities by effective partnership work with residents, tenants, voluntary organisations and Registered Social Landlords; and the planned transfer of its housing stock will improve capacity to achieve the decent homes standard. The transfer of management of community centres to community associations and agreement on a three-year funding programme for voluntary and community groups helps those bodies better support the Council's priorities. The Council is working with two neighbouring authorities to develop shared services on HR, finance, ICT and revenues and benefits. It has taken a lead role in the development of the county-wide pathfinder bid, which is planned to make savings of 3.5 per cent. Partnership working with a consortium including Watford Hospital and Watford Football Club is central to the health campus plan. The Council's good use of partnerships is successfully increasing its capacity to deliver its priorities.

68. Service users are actively involved in performance management. Scrutiny actively seeks to involve the public and stakeholders in the policy review process, leading to improved participation rates in a number of reviews including those on the future of the Colosseum and on transport (buses). In a stakeholder survey over 60 per cent of respondents agreed that the Council was involving service users, residents and partners in monitoring services. In particular, housing was cited as a service that was good at engaging with and involving tenants and residents. Over half of respondents thought that the Council reported in an open and transparent way about levels of performance. Service standards are not universally in place but are currently being developed in a number of services. The Council clearly engages well with its stakeholders.
From the Audit Commission's Comprehensive Performance Assessment for WBC, July 2007

Strange because the Local Government Ombudsman, Tony Redmond, has just said (Lobster's emphasis):
33. Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Borough Council should also consider their arrangements for partnerships with other bodies and may wish to consider the advice contained in the Ombudsman’s recently published Special Report on Partnerships.
This forms part of his official ruling on 24th October 2007 that Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council were guilty of Maladministration causing injustice.

Why does it matter?
A finding of maladministration will affect the reputation of both councils. Watford has ambitious plans for partnership working with neighbouring authorities and a local health campus/road scheme. Should these still go ahead while there are questions about Watford's competence? Or should a proper investigation take place as to why the Audit Commission was told one version of events, but the Ombudsman found another? But Mr Redmond's report also contained this bombshell:
26. The Borough’s housing manager says that [the complainant] had received the same poor standard of service as other Borough tenants. A note in his tenancy file said that external decorations were done in 1987 and were not due again until 1992. She says that the Borough’s properties have not been externally decorated for years unless the tenants complained or officers identified particular problems.
(Again the Lobster's emphasis.) This means that the complainant, who has just successfully won an offer of compensation, might not be alone. There may be other equally dissatisfied former tenants who are eligible for compensation. It's time to do a quick sum. There were 4,468 dwellings under WBC's control at the time they were transferred to Watford Community Housing Trust on 10th September 2007. The complainant's home in this case was actually part of a small number of additional dwellings that were owned by Herts CC and managed by WBC. So let's assume a total of 4,500 dwellings were previously managed by WBC. Section 2.7 of this report prepared for Marion Harris, Head of Housing at WBC on 5 September 2006 indicates that 20.1% of tenants were not "very satisfied" with the service offered by the council’s Housing Department. This means there could be up to 900 former tenants who may be eligible for compensation payouts.

Cllr Andy Wylie, portfolio holder for Housing, recently tried to imply that the tenants in the Ombudsman's case had accepted £2,000 from the council. It wasn't true. The tenants appear to be reserving their legal rights, and may well receive a larger payout. In their case there had been deficiencies over a very long period of time. These fell outside the Ombudsman's time limits, so he exercised his discretion to limit his investigation to just the final two years of their tenancy. But even if we just take the £2,000 figure, then the council's potential exposure to compensation claims is of the order of £1.8 million.

Cllr Iain Sharpe, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group at WBC, was clearly very rattled when he made this comment on Lobster Blogster:
If we were trying to cover this up we have certainly gone a rather odd way about it.

The Ombudsman's report was reported to full council and the subject of a full debate, with the public present, as evidenced by the fact that you were there and able to report on it.

Cllr Wylie made it absolutely clear that compensation had been offered but not accepted.

The Ombudsman states that he had exercised his discretion to limit his formal investigation to events between 2005 and 2007, it is pretty clear from the tenor of his report that the failures go back much longer. Which makes Andy Wylie's comment pretty accurate.

In the circumstances, therefore, it seems to me that in using the term 'cover up' you are using emotive language to make a bogus point, in contrast to your leader Cllr Rackett last night.
Lobster Blogster now demands that Cllr Sharpe withdraws his comments above, and offers the Lobster a personal written apology.

There's quite a bit to follow up from this post. There's the matter of informing the Audit Commission and the Ombudsman of serious discrepancies between the reports they have independently produced, and there is the procedural issue of getting the matters raised here properly investigated at the council. The Lobster already has one outstanding urgent enquiry* to which the council has not even bothered to reply to, and so will continue to pursue these matters as and when time permits. As ever, watch this space for further developments.

* refers to a handcrafted LobsterGram, delivered to the front letter box of Watford Town Hall on Saturday morning

Marion Harris was Head of Housing between 27th October 2003 and 9th September 2007 when she transferred to the Watford Community Housing Trust.

Update 21/12/07
WBC's Head of Legal and Democratic Services has written to Lobster Blogster to establish that it was Cllr Andy Wylie who was the portfolio holder for housing during the period of maladministration. Mrs Chen confirms that no compensation has been paid.

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неделя, ноември 25


Exposed: Naked Toilet Man is Green Party Member

Andy McBean, Watford resident, unafraid to use the toilet in public

The naked truth about Andy McBean's toileting habits can be found in A Year on the Bog. It's available in all good bookshops and is published by Southbank Publishing. As you might expect there are frequent uses of the words "piss" and "shit". Over-sensitive Liberal Democrats are WARNED that the book also contains emotive language.

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Welcome to Watford

"... and of course our new pop up toilets. ... I hope that these small changes make a big difference on the High Street"
Mayor's report 21st November 2007

Yes they have Mayor Thornhill. They have turned Watford High Street into one long urinal. Pissing in public is now an accepted part of Watford nightlife. Liberal Democrats are shamefully turning our town into an open sewer.

Mrs Justice Lobster issued the following legal ruling at 7.00am GMT:
"The foolishness of Watford's Lib Dem administration now means that indecent exposure is legal within the central Watford drinking zone."
Clarification of the legal position means that Lobster Blogster will be sending out a National Media Alert shortly. Please stay tuned to Lobster Blogster for further developments as they happen.


Due to the Lobster happening across a very handy list of tourism contacts, and the dire need to make a pun here, the Lobster has revised his plans accordingly. A Members Survey and Worldwide Tourism Invitation has now been despatched. Let's make Watford High Street the venue for the world's biggest piss-up!

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събота, ноември 24


Lying Staines has Libelled Honest Lying Staines

The big debate over a wikipedia at the moment is whether Paul Staines, the internet's biggest liar, has libelled himself. Apparently all those nutjob pamphlets he wrote, were written by someone else. Presumably this was another Paul Staines when he was off his nuts on acid.

Amazingly Lobster Blogster has found one sound reference for Staines' seminal work:
Staines, Paul. 1989. In the Grip of the Sandinistas: Human Rights in Nicaragua 1979-1989 Washington, D.C.: International Society for Human Rights.
Here at Louisiana State University.

Needless to say, the Lobster BSc Bristol 1984, has got in touch with the Louisiana State University to ask them to check the shelves of their library. The Lobster however believes it is very unlikely that Staines' later became the "UK secretary-general of the International Society for Human Rights and editor of Human Rights Briefing". In fact I nearly wet myself laughing when I read it. Staines himself has one well thumbed copy, but sadly Amazon says it is out of stock. An interesting feature of Amazon is that anyone can log in and edit the details of books. Perhaps the former Secretary General can find time in his busy schedule to log in and put in some valid ISBN numbers? My local library can find almost any book, but Staines' work defeated them.

Just time for a couple of quick notes:
The Lobster has led some silly lawyers a merry dance the last couple of days. When you've finished billing your clients, do remember to pop along to the IT department, and ask the what an ISP footprint might look like. I think you'll find that the chambers of Leolin Price CBE QC has got quite a big one. Do feel free to take a peek at Lobster Blogster from time to time, but I'm not sure you should be spending quite so much time blogging during working hours. Unless of course you just happen to be working for a silly man who dreams of power without responsibility, or his idiot mate.

Having mentioned the alma mater, I couldn't resist a quick: "Vidal says hi". If the apostles are still worshipping, it would be nice to catch up with you again. Happy blogging!

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FAILED COUNCIL: Lib Dems forced to admit no compensation paid yet

In a sensational new development at Watford Borough Council, Liberal Democrat Leader and Portfolio Holder for Financial Services, Revenues and Benefits and Planning and Development on the council cabinet, Councillor Iain Sharpe has been forced to admit, exclusively to this blog, that no compensation has been paid in the ongoing housing maladministration scandal.
He said:
"Cllr Wylie made it absolutely clear that compensation had been offered but not accepted."
Councillor Wylie, who is the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Human Resources, did indeed make it clear, but not until the council meeting on 21st November 2007. Lobster Blogster was the first to report the truth the following day. However the councillor did not make it clear to the readers of the Watford Observer on 5th November, when he commented on an inaccurate article published by the paper titled "Councils pay out £2,250 compensation". Despite the very first paragraph stating that an elderly couple
"...have received a £2,000 payout from Watford Borough Council."
Cllr Wylie failed to make the truth known. The Liberal Democrat cabinet member failed again on the 6th November to indicate that the newspaper article itself was untruthful. Cllr Wylie, who boasts:
"I am not one of those - if it goes wrong on my watch I front it and take the flack."
has made no effort to explain these glaring inaccuracies to either Lobster Blogster or the Watford Observer. Despite an unwarranted personal attack by Cllr Sharpe, Lobster Blogster will not be silenced, and says:
"Stop hiding behind the mayor's husband, come out in the open Councillor Wylie and explain yourself."
Oh, and to Councillor Sharpe I will say just this. It's not Lobster Blogster who has caused two years of misery to an elderly couple and cost the tax payers of Watford tens of thousands of pounds in failed a High Court action and Maladministration ruling. It is you and your incompetent Lib Dem administration. If you believe there's no cover up, why won't you let Wylie speak for himself?

The maladministration occurred between 2005 and 2007. Cllr Wylie has confirmed that he took on the Building Service portfolio only in 2006. This means that there is yet another member of the Liberal Democrat administration has failed to come clean about their role in this scandal. Lobster Blogster will of course bring you the name of the incompetent politician as soon as Watford Borough Council confirm the identity.

Update 21/12/07
Oh dear, it's not looking good for Iain Sharpe. Carol Chen, the Head of Legal & Democratic Services has now written to Lobster Blogster to establish that Andy Wylie was the portfolio holder for housing for both 2005 and 2006. So why didn't Sharpe correct this post from Lobster Blogster? It seems that cry-baby Sharpe is both a bully and a liar. The Borough Solicitor has also established that a the High Court Taxi fiasco cost the council £101,993 - you pay a high price for having a lying Liberal Democrat adminstration.

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петък, ноември 23


Recent Scandals

There's been lots of comings and goings recently with bits and bobs on the internet being banned, data going missing and files being injuncted. Lobster Blogster is having a bit of trouble keeping up with it all.

Does anyone know if the following file is still injuncted?
If so then can the relevant agents please get in touch via my legal representative.

Please be aware that the Lobster's lawyer's first language is not English. Because he is based off the coast of New Ireland there may be delays in reaching him due to timezone differences and local tides. Lobster Blogster tries deal with all enquiries of a legal nature in a period of three to four weeks.


четвъртък, ноември 22


Lib Dems Try to Cover Up Maladministration Decision in Watford

Watford Borough Council's Liberal Democrat administration, who lost a Judicial Review case in the High Court in June 2006, are desperately trying to cover up a recent ruling of Maladministration by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Responding to an (inaccurate) article "Councils pay out £2,250 compensation" published by the Watford Observer on 4th November 2007, Cllr Andy Wylie said:
The article is a bit misleading so here is the full story. Back in the 60's Watford acquired some homes for knocking down to build roads. ...
What Wylie fails to make clear is that:
a) Compensation has not been paid, as the article mistakenly asserts
b) The Ombudsman's report refers to "Between 2005 and 2007..." and only those years.
The finding is that both Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council were guilty of "Maladministration causing injustice", and the Ombudsman's report has now been agreed by the full council. Cllr Wylie, who proposed the report to the council, now has some difficult questions to answer:
1. Why did he not take the opportunity to correct the inaccuracies in the Watford Observer article when he commented on it on 5th November 2007?

2. Why did he try to mislead readers of the Watford Observer, and the full council on 21st November 2007, by stating that the problems had occurred over 25 years, when he knew that the Ombudsman's report covered just the period 2005 to 2007?

Cllr Andy Wylie took over responsibility for the Building Services department in 2006
Local Government Ombudsman Housing Complaint Summaries
Full Report into complaints no 06/A/17783 and 07/A/00758 as adopted by Watford Borough Council
Watford Area Green Party on Council Fail to Acknowledge problems in Taxi de-limitation process

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A Fool and His Money...

The blogosphere is full of talk of lawyers at the moment. Nadine Dorries has blown a gasket, and is consulting Simon Smith at Schillings. Over at Mr Dale's, Iain is working on a massive job creation scheme for lawyers. He won't let on who he consults though. Even if the Lobster knew, he couldn't possibly tell you, because of client confidentiality.

It's made Lobster Blogster wonder if he should hire a top London lawyer too. The Lobster would go for somewhere that was handy for the tube, and with a nice bit of greenery where you can eat your sandwiches.
10 Old Square
Lincoln's Inn

Tel: (020) 7405 0758
Fax: (020) 7831 8237
Seems to fit the bill. They advertise on the net, so perhaps they are a bit short of work. Not too bad though, they were all booked up from about 9.30 am today, so maybe I'll try again another day.

By the way, does anyone know just about how much a top London lawyer would charge? I need to budget for my day out and the Travelcard will set me back £12.00 straight away.

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