How about some good news and then some really bad news

videoWith the welcome news that Cobourg Council will begin ‘streaming’ its meetings comes the absolutely horrible news that they will only be available for three months. For those who have waited for the campaign promise and strategic plan entry the news that ‘streaming’ video will be coming at us over the interwebthingy is  a big “What kept yah”. But the idea that only three months worth of history will available on “civicweb” is a big letdown and heresy to all of who value history as it is being made.

Digging into the meaning of “minutes” Wikipedia says: Minutes are the official written record of the meetings of an organization or group. They are not transcripts of those proceedings. Using Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members.[1][2][3] The organization may have its own rules regarding the content of the minutes. So we see the limbo that video or audio recordings of meetings are in. Not legal but minutes none the less. As a ‘snapshot’ of history in Cobourg they are vital to our Heritage.

The comparison to this is the archiving of each edition of the Cobourg papers Cobourg World: The Sentinal Star, The Cobourg Star  and now Northumberland Today. Each edition of these papers has been micro-fiched and kept for archival purposes at the Public Library. We wonder if the same can/should be done for the videos. We think they should but for reasons not released, the Council at the moment, disagrees and states that only the latest three months of meetings should be kept. We wonder if the ‘techies’ at Town Hall perceive a problem. We tell you what Town Council; if that is the case we can organise a collection to pay for an electronic freestanding “MyCloud’ to be attached to the Town’s main web-server so that we can keep the videos in house and accessible.

Researching the Internet brings up some mighty fine discussion and examples of other Municipal sites. For Instance the Municipality of Bowen Island (click here to see page) has been recording since 2012 and every meeting has been archived and linked to a webpage on the Municipal site. It is interesting to note this Municipality records most of the committees and advisory committees in action. On the other hand we see in a report of the Cornwall Standard Freeholder that when debated at the South Stormont Council a remark was made, by a Councillor “If we record this and file it for whatever reason, can this become a document to be used in a court of law to be used against members of council sitting there, members of staff who are sitting there who may unintentionally say something that just didn’t come out right,” he said. “I have concerns about recording and storing that information.” Not having heard any of the discussion that took place on Monday night we wonder whether any of our Councillors raised this as an issue. But just because other Municipalities destroy videos after a certain amount of time why should Cobourg?

In a conversation with the Bylaw/Policy person, a very nice young guy called Brent, Lorraine Brace was on holiday and unavailable for comment, it was revealed that the retention policy for videos has not yet been written and may be developed as we speak, but he also said that under the records retention policy that the minimum retention time for any document is three months. As the videos are not minutes only documents there is no legal requirement to keep them longer than than the minimum. In an email received during the writing of this post Lorraine Brace wrote: “The Council videos are to be stored for three months as recommended There is no specific retention for this purpose and this is the general practice as indicated by the records specialist when contacted”

But a case can be made that these documents are not ordinary documents they are in fact history in the making and threfore fall into a special category. This argument must be made to Council and the retention policy be amended in this case.

Summer Time send us your pieces.

From Dan Christie:

Donald Trump: Man Of Peace
One of my favourite Dylan albums is 1983’s ‘Infidels’. For the affecianado, all of Bob Dylan’s work contains insights, real or imagined, that can be conveniently applied this way or that to whatever argument a person might be making -especially as those insights apply to politics.

“Look out your window, baby, there’s a scene you’d like to catch/Band is playing Dixie, man’s got his hand outstretched/Could be the further/could be the local priest/You know sometimes Satan/he comes as a man of peace.”

The memory of Richard Nixon and Watergate was still very fresh in 1983. So was Vietnam. And Dylan seemed to be moving toward a religious phase, exploring Christianity at the same time he stridently defended Israel in songs like ‘Neighbourhood Bully’. ‘Neighbourhood Bully’ took a backhanded stance in that defence. So did a lot of Dylan’s work.

“Well, he catch you when you’re hoping for a glimpse of the sun/Catch you when you’re troubles feel like they weigh a ton/He could be standing next to you/the person that you’d notice least/I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.”

What Dylan did best was explain the darker side of human nature, something he’s still doing. But in my experience listening to Dylan all these years, I can’t say he was ever in the business of predicting the future no matter how dark that future may have seemed. He never fell into any kind of Nostradamus schtick. He simply explained how the past affected the present, a kind of Those Who Ignore History thing. Or so I thought until I was listening last night to Man Of Peace.

“He’s the great humanitarian/the great philanthropist/He onows just where to touch you honey/and how you like to be kissed/He’ll put both his arms around you/you can feel the tender touch of the beast/You know Satan sometimes comes as a man of peace”

Somehow I doubt Donald Trump has ever immersed himself in the work of Bob Dylan. And I doubt Bob Dylan has much interest in Donald Trump. It might seem though that in 1983, whether either of them knew it or not, their paths crossed.

“Howlin’ wolf will howl tonight/king snake will crawl/Trees that stood for a thousand years/suddenly will fall/Wanna get married?/Better do it now/Tomorrow all activity will cease/You know sometimes Satan/ He comes as a man of peace.”

One of those “Oh No” moments

NonameAs a person who was born and raised in the UK,the events of the last few days have been puzzling to observe and even more puzzling to understand. What condition produced the surprising result of the Brexit debate – that to leave?

This episode appears to be one of a generational and regional divide, well that’s how we see it. The bigggest voting bloc was composed of the usual largest voting bloc – the older voters; over 50. These people have been wanting to lash out at the elites and politicians for years. Nobody listens to them – we’ll show them now! appeared to be the prevailing opinion. Add to that a desire to “regain control” and “get our country back” as well as a complete belief in “democracy” all the ingredients of a deluded powder keg were there to be exploited by self-centered, xenophobics, who spoke racial code words that were not overtly racist but definitely played up the fears of “little england” and pandered to those people who were not white and english.

13524295_574385609414548_6591760978814329600_nThe interesting part of all of this is the aftermath where, because of the closeness of the vote – 52% to 48%, we have the usual and predictable pleas from the losers and the cretins who voted one way to make a point, and now who realise the mess they are in and want a redo. In fact an electronic petition asking for a redo crashed the government servers yesterday. Sorry Chumps there is no redo but the amateur political scientists amongst the rabble have some interesting theories as to what could be done if one was creative.

Because the referendum was only a vote of national intentions the procedure now has to be invoked – clause 50 of the EU agreement. This is a request to leave and negotiations will take a maximum of two years to complete. The EU could refuse the request or Parliament could ignore the referendum and not invoke clause 50. The other wrinkle is the status of Scotland and N.Ireland, they voted to remain. They could demand separation referenda and thus split the Union of the United Kingdom. Or the Scottish Nationalists could combine with other parties in the Commons and halt the invocation of clause 50. All of these permutations could take place or none at all. The problem is that because this whole mess was really a Conservative Party factional dispute and with the Conservative Party leader – David Cameron, deciding to quit, the complete Country is without political leadership or even worse without a political will to make this situation whole.

12799083_10153423830498008_2657890165804490743_nFor guidance we should be looking at what the UK pundits are saying. My favourite – Polly Toynbee, blames the Leader of the Labour Party for a wishy-washy leadership effort (or lack of it) and she takes no prisoners in  her latest article here  here is a snippet from it:  “Soon those leave voters will find they were swindled. The foreigners will still be there. No new homes, hospital appointments or nursery places freed up by a migrant exodus. Hours after the count the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan admitted there was no £350m a week to spend on the NHS, not for years – and Farage regrets that pledge was ever made. When leavers find there’s no money and no exodus, that it was all lies, where does their wrath turn next?

But another good read is here. It is from a facebook site quoting the Daily Mail, a right wing tabloid that pushes, normally, a “little englander attitude”, but in this campaign pushed a “remain” opinion. But the pity was that the opinion was not pushed very hard.

But back to the political chaos in this day and age of change – as we write this post an internal war has broken out inside the Labour Party and the Conservatives, who will decide the timetable and players of the next stages have decided not to allow Nigel Farage, the UKIP MEP (doesn’t have a seat in the UK Parliament) and leader of the “Out” campaign any part in the next stage.

This chaos will persist for many months and the results will be many – pick your prediction: a drop in world wealth because of dodgy stock markets, a nasty fight fpr power within UK political parties, a demand from the Scots for another referendum, the Europeans not giving an inch and pushing hard to get rid of Britain and many more.

But if you as a reader want to know what we at the BR would have done, if we had been allowed a vote? We would have voted to remain, because as we all know most of the remainers wanted to get a Country back from those nasty bureaucrats in Brussels. Problem is the Country they wanted back never existed in the first place!! We would vote for progress not regress. For free movement and european employment for our young people not nostalgia for our old people.

Just our opinion at this point.

Assorted jottings and comments

Election Fraud:

It is unthinkable for the majority that such a headline might exist in the mighty Kingdoms of North America and those who propogate it could be considered to wear tin-foil hats. But the rumblings of such a thing gets louder and louder each day. This what one blogger wrote the other day,

A camel is a horse produced by a committee!

ymca1At the next CoW meeting Cobourg Council will read and discuss a report produced by a committee composed of Town Staff, Elected officials and YMCA members and Staff. This committee has been meeting since a resolution was passed by Council in April 2015 that discussions take place exploring the possibility of putting a shared facility at the CCC.

A shifting time

Cobourg_CoatofArmsThe busiest person in the Cobourg Town Hall this week was the poor sod who has to put names on plates and hang them in their respective doors or desks. One new Councillor, one leaving Director of Public Works and a new one taking his place.