Wednesday, 4 March 2015

In the Jam Ole.

For a decade or more the cut has been deliberately underfunded with the promise of jam tomorrow. Its something of a quaint expression penned by Lewis Carroll. We all have come to realise it represents just another false promise and other false dawn. In more recent times, the phrase has been used to in politics to describe intentionally unfulfilled promises fed to the electorate in the run up to an election.

CaRT before the Camel!
There is an old saying that the Camel was put together by a committee. I think this analogy has some bearing on the CaRT Waterways Partnerships. Three years into their tenure and the Partnerships (which are a regular drain on resources) are reported as still not understanding their raison d'être. Well the Partnerships are not on their own - because as a lay person who takes just a bit more than a passing interest, I don't understand their raison d'être  either.

Waterways Parsnips!
In theory the Partnerships should by now have been started covering their own running costs. Not only that but from the beginning of 2015. The Partnerships should start to generate a regular income stream estimated to plateau at circa £800,000 a year. This for me is a clear case of porcine avionics. Millions of pounds of much needed money for maintenance has been diverted into the superfluous ideology of Partnerships.  The return on that investment in financial terms has been nada, zilch, nothing.  Can they cover their own cost of operation yet, nada, zilch, no! Well to be more factually correct there has been a single huge return on the investment in the form of a mountain of bad publicity. For me the waterways partnerships are a living breathing megalomaniacs charter.  Causing discord and ill feeling on a local and national level.

Time Gentlemen please!
Its time to call time on the partnerships in their current configuration. Its time to sit back and take stock and actually do something proactive. Most hard nosed businesses would have pulled the shutters down on the partnerships long ago. Instead the Trust who always 'know best' have sleep walked themselves into another hole.  Caught like a rabbit in the headlights. The problem is - they will not stop digging and back fill the hole, because they can't stop now. Its become a point of principal - because they know best. So more money will be thrown into the black hole and they will come up with some weird and wonderful excuse, involving newts and voles by way of justification. And the waterways will fall even deeper into the continuing slow spiral ever downwards.

A stitch in time!
I see that the level of queen bees in the Ivory Towers hive continues to grow. Many of the worker bees have been replaced by volunteers. Is this the trusts own topsy turvy version of a zero hours workforce. One where you can work all the hours you like but you are guaranteed zero pay. Like the NHS before it the trust has done away with many of the front line troops. Now the trust has a management structure - with a raison d'être - for managing non maintenance. With an ever growing back catalogue of repairs the trust is busy looking for the ones it feels it can ignore.  Your granny told you as a kid all about - a stitch in time.

Jam Tomorrow

How many times have I heard it, words that hide the truth;
of a future to be filled with wonder, but its just another ruse;
putting off the inevitable, the truth will come with sorrow;
there never was an intention, of their promised jam tomorrow.

Cutting maintenance corners, penny pinching is now their way;
 but exactly why are they saving, the pennies for a rainy day;
putting off the inevitable, the truth will come with sorrow;
there never was any likelihood, of their promised jam tomorrow.

The canals are in the mire, the broken infrastructure shows;
the moorings megalomania, have dealt us all a heavy blow;
putting off the inevitable, the truth will come with sorrow;
there never was a possibility, of their promised jam tomorrow.

Yet another miss placed vanity, that only they knew the way;
its us that will have to pay the price, as they slowly retire away;
putting off the inevitable, the truth will come with sorrow;
there was only a pretence, of their promised jam tomorrow.

A plethora of waterways partnerships, is their chosen path;
 raising masses of donations, it makes you want to laugh;
putting off the inevitable, the truth will come with sorrow;
there never was any chance, of their promised jam tomorrow.

 So now the cut is managed, as a public charitable trust;
with ever dwindling coffers, how soon will CaRT go bust;
putting off the inevitable, the truth will come with sorrow;
there never was any reality, of their promised jam tomorrow.

The Alternative Canal Laureate

Evan Keel.

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