David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

  • About David Burbage

    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
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Archive for the ‘Labour failings’ Category

The joy of Twitter

Posted by davidburbage on September 13, 2015

There’s a lot of witty banter online…. one of my particular favourites is the “beyond parody” account General Boles that purports to look at things from the Member for Grantham and Stanford’s view . . . but it often just comes up with brilliant comedy.

Here is his assessment of the Labour result :



Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Dangerous, blogging

Posted by davidburbage on September 12, 2015

Walking on egg shells, is this blogging lark. Just like answering live public questions publicly….

As a colleague puts it, “livin’ the dream”!

Anyway, every silver something has a cloudy lining.

From ConHome :

  • Corbyn’s first sin could be saving the Lib Dems. What do you have to do to finally extinguish the Liberal Democrats? Just when they are finally driven to the brink of extinction, the Labour Party zooms off into the left field and offers them a chance to survive in the gap which opens as a result. If Corbyn wasn’t bad enough already, this offence is unforgivable.


Posted in Labour failings, Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

When elections go really bad – Tower Hamlets

Posted by davidburbage on April 30, 2015

One comment to this story caught my eye as a really good point. It was this one :

Big deal. It took four private individuals, including one Ukiper, to risk bankruptcy in order to obtain justice.
Where were the electoral commission, the police, and Eric ? Truly we live in a Banana Republic.

Where indeed were the agencies of the electoral commission and the police? I am not sure the Secretary of State (Eric) has any particular role to play in law enforcement of elections, but if he doesn’t, who does?

The judgement of the Tower Hamlets case is a really good read. The police were certainly there on the day, and saw some of the petitioners’ complaints first hand. The sequence of events at Labour’s NEC meeting as reported in the judgement were fascinating.

The conduct of the Mayor and his team of supporters was atrocious. The false addresses, false residents, the interception of postal votes and the common form of “X” and differing writing of the date of birth to the signature on election paperwork all pointed to fraud.

The large grants to supportive organisations, the intimidation to ordinary voters at the polling station, the rotten campaign against the Labour candidate – all undemocratic.

And the tales in court of various witnesses that proved to be wholly fictitious …

Getting 101 spiritual leaders to write is also not permitted (I wonder if 1 local vicar would be OK ?)

But back to the main point.

It will be very interesting to hear from my colleague Cllr Peter Golds, the local Conservative leader and a stalwart in this case, exactly what representations were made to various agencies prior to the actual petition from the four individuals.

And who should have acted? They do need to explain themselves and collectively we need to ensure how it will get better in future.

Posted in General, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Our local policy remains true and unchanged – Against the 3rd runway!

Posted by davidburbage on September 26, 2014

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Conservative Group


Date: 24 September 2014

Release: For Immediate Release

Conservatives call on MPs and residents to keep saying no to 3rd runway


Following a council motion earlier this year to support expansion at Gatwick, Leader of the Council Cllr David Burbage has written to the local MPs to gather their support.


Cllr George Bathurst said: “Heathrow already causes unacceptable disturbance for many residents of the Royal Borough, particularly at night; as Heathrow’s uncooperative nature has highlighted, it is clear that Heathrow’s expansion would make this situation dramatically worse, blighting the lives of thousands more residents yet with no room for the new housing to support the supposed economic growth.  We continue to campaign against this at every possible level.”


Cllr David Burbage (Con, Bray) added: “Our MPs have already been supportive of our position on Heathrow, it is just as important, though, that we actively support the alternative option at Gatwick.


“At every stage we will continue to campaign on behalf of our residents – but it is important that residents also continue to make their voices heard loud and clear. I urge those affected to continue to help us keep the pressure up on Heathrow.”



Posted in Conservative success, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Sound finances

Posted by davidburbage on July 20, 2012

“Cash reserves in the UK held by banks in 1968 represented 20 percent of its deposits. By 1998, the figure was 3.1 percent” – Ferdy Mount, The New Few

It didn’t take much bad news and the looming losses of complex derivatives for the banks to look like failing – and everyone ends up paying a bailout to keep the system working. The FSA didn’t exactly prevent it happening.

Whilst a working system is better than no system at all, one has to wonder why the banks were not forced to be rather better capitalised. Another suggestion is to give bank directors liability . . . .

addendum : another reviewer noted

“The hollowing-out of political parties and the rise of special advisers, the diminished powers of local authorities and the centralisation of public services, the decline of the cabinet and the rise of sofa government, together with the increasing scope of European legislation – these and other developments made democratic resistance to the emerging oligarchy all the more difficult.”

It is true – we fight almost daily trench warfare against centralism and euro-legislation…..  all on behalf of residents….

Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Economics Lessons

Posted by davidburbage on March 24, 2012

I blog this because it is doing the email rounds…… a nice tale of irresponsibility . . . . no idea if it is true or not but looks like it’s been Anglicised – refers to dollars alongside Gordon Brown . . .

An economics teacher at a local school made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Gordon Brown socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The teacher then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on the Gordon Brown plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the teacher told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, and gives to those who do nothing, no-one will try or want to succeed.
It could NOT be any simpler than that.
Remember,there IS a test coming up.The next election.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You can not legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Posted in Education, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Commendation from the Taxpayers Alliance

Posted by davidburbage on February 23, 2012

 The Taxpayers Alliance have given me the “Pinup of the Month” award for February 2012. Awesome!

I did wonder if those authorities that are increasing by just-under-the-referendum-limit were given the money to hold a referendum, whether they would do so? Unlikely, methinks.

Every local government person I’ve ever spoken to is very much against democratic accountability for big tax rises.

It’s a curious comparison to Greece, where the threat of a referendum on the earlier bailout was also greeted with abject horror from the Eurocratopoly.

I’m just pleased that the implementation of tax cutting is starting to spread across the UK – something begun by Hammersmith and Fulham, and then ourselves but only very occasionally elsewhere  . . . but now happening in Brentwood, Wirral, South Oxfordshire . . and hard pressed local people are the winners, those on fixed incomes or low salaries the ones who benefit directly from a reduction in one of the largest household bills.

Given the huge amount that Council Tax has increased over the last decade, there must be more to follow.

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Government Success, Labour failings, Libdem Failings, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Setting higher standards in Education

Posted by davidburbage on November 20, 2011

 One of the rising stars of the new Conservative intake is Elizabeth Truss, the Member for South West Norfolk. A particular hobby horse we share is the rigour that we should demand of our education system.

Writing in the Sunday Times today, she highlights how Labour showered money on buildings and equipment, but failed to improve education. It is because buildings and equipment don’t actually educate, it is passionate teachers and a challenging curriculum that delivers improvement.

The column (in the 21st Century Think Tank) talks not only about the prevalence of calculators, but also about the feeble IT curriculum.

The worry is that we are using our learning brainpower merely to understand how to use software, rather than understand how it works or how it is created and operates.

As a software engineer by training myself, I know how possible it is to get started in creating algorithms that sort numbers, solve mazes or draw ellipses on a screen. That knowledge can be further developed with the vast libraries of application building functionality that exist for all the portable devices we have today.

Where does one learn how to write an iPhone application? Or to store and use the information typed in on an input form? This is not so complex that it needs to be reserved to colleges and universities, we should be getting our bright schoolchildren to create brilliant and useful things for themselves and their communities at a far earlier age….

Posted in Education, Labour failings | 2 Comments »

On the new 52 pages of planning guidance

Posted by davidburbage on September 9, 2011

One of my favourite quips as a councillor is that all meetings end up becoming planning policy discussions. Whether it is on retaining business rates (“you’ll need to change our planning policy”), or adding car parking spaces (“you’ll need to change our planning policy”) or building a school extension on the edge of the flood plain – (“you’ll need to change planning policy”) it becomes a matter for planning policy.

That would be fine, except all too often local authorities don’t have the right of self-determination despite best efforts to the contrary.

Under Labour, a Local Development Framework could simply be “fixed” by an unaccountable Inspector despite having had oodles of meaningful local consultation and revision.

Under the Coalition, the new plans won’t allow inspectors to actually change plans – but then authorities won’t get a badge of approval. What then, when the developers appeal a local decision to – yes – the unaccountable planning inspector – are they likely to uphold the plan they don’t approve of, or the application that goes against that plan? I think it is the latter.

I don’t buy all of the negative rhetoric about a license to build all over the countryside, but my worries are (1) getting the approved local plan in place and then (2) unaccountable inspectors not respecting it when it isn’t a carbon copy of the government guidance.

Planning policy work is difficult and frequently impenetrable to an ordinary citizen, whatever the good intentions of government. To really achieve a localist outcome, planning decisions simply need to be made locally by democratically elected councillors – which means no appeal to an unaccountable “professional”.

I was told when I became a councillor “when you sit on the planning panel you are sitting in quasi-judicial capacity”.

But the loser in a jury trial cannot just appeal every decision that they don’t like to a higher court that then sits without a jury!

So why can applicants for planning permission appeal a elected panel decision to an unelected inspector, who isn’t local or accountable to the community that has to live with the outcome of the decision – that overrules the local decision?

As the Pope said to Michelangelo

Look! I’m the bloody pope, I am! May not know much about art, but I know what I like!

Ordinary folk can interpret and comment on planning applications far more readily than spend days constructing complex consistent compliant conformant sustainable planning policy.

Our focus should be on improving that aspect of local democracy, whilst absolutely deconstructing the terrible Labour legacy of horrendous complex top-down planning.

Posted in Big Society, Council, General, Labour failings | 2 Comments »

Why Ed Miliband isn’t very good

Posted by davidburbage on July 1, 2011

 You only have to read this account of an “interview” with Ed Miliband to understand why he won’t be doing well as leader of the Labour Party.

If he has no views beyond parroting a prepared statement, why is he pretending that he can inspire and run the country??

Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »