Site layout for SeeRed website.
Last updated on 8 January 2013
Use the search
page to search the whole website.
Quick links to the main sections if you are
already familiar with SeeRed:
NOTE: the whole website is being reorganised in 2010 with many pages moved to new
locations. Some months of disorder may be experienced!!
The right to privacy in the computer age - discussion of
government and library snooping.
Peoples Network Computers in UK libraries
The future of education and public
libraries in the UK - dumbed down and diminished?
Local government incompetence - traffic signals,
road humps, etc.
Sidmouth and the "Vision
for Sidmouth" - the town, hotels, B&Bs, vandalism, arguments and politics
Library dispute with Devon County Council - injustice
and incompetence exposed.
Gardening, sustainability and Britain in
Bloom - how the battle is being won.
Town planning and conservation areas: abuses of the
Sidmouth International Festival - the role of local
politics in its demise - comparisons with other folk festivals
Local consumer protection aided by the internet -
examples and suggestions.
Political campaigning using the Internet -
examples, and implications for the future. - including 2010 campaign
Other small protest sites on the Internet - how
it can be made to work.
Caravan repairs - AL-KO tow hitches, Carver heaters and
the behaviour of Truma
Radon in buildings - an internet version of the author's
Handbook of Radon.
BREEAM - a discussion of environmental expediency as
promoted by BRE.
Freedom of Information Act - examples of how local
councils refuse to comply
Devon folk dance clubs near Sidmouth
Despotic behaviour by local councils. - examples of
'over the top' policing and misuse of legislation.
Analysis of online dating websites - new 2013.
The SeeRed website is a campaign 'in the public interest'. It embraces privacy in
the computer age, Freedom of Information, 'smart' identity cards, consumer protection,
waste of public money, public access computers in libraries, misuse of electoral
registers, policing, abuse of the law by officials, incompetence and apathy in local
government, traffic management in towns and villages, sustainable development, town
planning and wild gardening. The demise of the Sidmouth International Festival of Folk
Arts is covered in some detail. The history and aims of the site are outlined on the summary page - or you can skip direct to one of the sections.
THERE ARE MANY SECTIONS, each with
its own index (top) page. The
unifying themes are waste of public money, the incompetence of local government,
hypocrisy, institutionalised dishonesty and lack of respect for taxpayers. Many pages are
not yet fully developed. The 'index page' of each section has a distinctive green
background. Many sections are being reorganised in 2009 - so some disruption and errors of
navigation may be experienced.
the right to
privacy in the computer age
Weaknesses of data protection in local and central government are discussed. Identity
cards are claimed to be a safeguard against terrorism and illegal immigrants, yet are
likely to erode privacy whilst failing to provide enhanced security. It is nowadays too
easy for people to obtain your personal details from computer systems. Examples are given.
Also, there is a trend towards deliberate government 'snooping' on the pretext of
preventing harm in society but in reality acting further to undermine privacy.
Computerisation of medical records may make matters worse, as may privatisation of data
processing. Links are given to many other campaign websites. There is a substantial
webpage covering rfid tags, surveillance systems and so-called 'smart cards'.
Network Computer systems
This contains some of the original pages of SeeRed. The cost and alleged mismanagement of
People's Network computer systems in libraries is discussed. These pages used to be
located within the 'government incompetence' section. In December 2004 the author of
SeeRed was invited to send a submission on the PN to a Select Committee of Parliament. A
separate section of SeeRed now deals with the likely future of public libraries in the UK
now that they are being so comprehensively 'dumbed down' in an effort to appeal to a wider
The future of education and public libraries in the UK This contains some discussion of the future role of
universities and public libraries in the UK - if indeed the latter have a long term future
as noisy internet cafes funded at public expense! Several worthwhile articles from
national newspapers are reproduced, centred upon the Blair government's obsession with
installing computer technology irrespective of proven merit.
Books could be written on this. Examples of road humps and traffic signals are given,
including a failed scheme reputed to have cost £500,000. This section encourages people
to take more interest in local government - because if you don't it will probably just
keep getting worse and costing you more each year.
the town and its politics
Hotels, other accommodation, vandalism, the truth behind the glossy tourist images,
ineffective policing and more. The "Vision for Sidmouth" group produced some
interesting ideas in 2006.
right to demand proper answers to letters sent to local government officials in the public
general, surveys of satisfaction with local government show an approval rating of around
40%, although there are wide variations across service sectors and depending on how
questions are phrased. Handling of complaints can be rated highly simply because so many
are trivial and easily answered. It is a different story when Councils are asked searching
questions. They all have 'escape clauses' in their complaints procedures, enabling them to
avoid the questions altogether! Read about library computer systems in the UK, lack of
respect for taxpayers, and misuse of the law.
freedom to grow wild plants and to have 'untidy' areas for wildlife in your own garden. This section is based on a widely publicised
argument with East Devon District Council - who backed down after too much adverse
publicity. It shows how to deal with 'bully boy' officials and councillors, and has a
serious environmental purpose - to encourage discussion about how gardens could benefit
wildlife and cost less to maintain! Recently updated and with some material moved to a new
section highlighting the despotic behaviour of local government staff.
planning and conservation areas. This is a new section, commencing March 2004, but includes the original
'townplanning' page. A new page charts the story of an attempt to build houses on a flood
plain in the village of Sidford. The story starts with a mature wild garden including a
large tree in a Conservation Area being bulldozed. In the outline planning application,
the area was then nonchalantly described as 'vacant land'.
This section was commenced in June 2004. It now contains over 110 webpages and is the most
complete record available of how Sidmouth lost its world famous International Festival. A
recent academic study of the festival drew heavily on material in this website.
consumer protection aided by the internet Each page deals with a specific area (for example, dental charges) as an
example of how the internet could help local people. Pages on subjects as diverse as
radon, double glazing, and solar heating will be added. Amongst the aims will be to show
how 'official' advice can be skewed by the desire of officials to engage in empire
building at public expense, whilst deliberately withholding information of most help to
campaigning (local elections). This section comprises archival election material from 1998 and my 'election
leaflet' for May 2003. As an experiment for 2003, I tried an 'Internet' approach to
campaigning. Calculations are given for future election costs, together with an analysis
of the 2003 results. This section will also contain details of any subsequent election
campaigns - which will be waged primarily using the internet. Updated 2010.
small protest sites.This
is simply a list of other protest sites that have been set up by individuals or small
groups in the UK. It does not include large organisations where the website is merely a
part of a much larger operation. Largely obsolete and may be removed soon.
repairs. The caravan
industry seems dominated by incompetence and 'rip-offs' of consumers - from the poor basic
design of caravans (most of which leak to some extent) to servicing of mechanical and gas
appliances. Labour rates of £60 to £80 per hour are not unknown and advice for DIY
repairs can be hard to find. The section has proved enormously popular and is regularly
cited on caravanning and camping websites. Most of the pages are now only available upon
payment of a small fee., directly.
Radon. This section was
first published in January 2006. At present it is limited largely to an internet version
of the author's 1992 Handbook of Radon - which remains a lucid explanation of a topic
still probably much misunderstood by MPs and policymakers as well as the general public.
It may be extended to include discussion of how bodies such as ICRP and NRPB have avoided
setting radiation risks in a proper perspective. Irrational fear of radiation has already
cost the UK billions of pounds in wasted expenditure and seems likely to delay new nuclear
reactors - which some leading environmentalists see as essential for the UK's future
Methodology for Environmental Assessment This section was first published in January 2006. It comprises primarily an
internet version of a report first published in 1993. Further material relating to BREEAM
will be included later. The section should be of interest to all conservationists who are
interested in how government 'green-wash' can become an accepted environmental standard.
Information Act This
section was first published in March 2006. It is centred largely upon Devon County Council
and their refusal to comply with the letter and/or spirit of the Freedom of Information
Act and Data Protection Act. Examples will also be given from Sidmouth Town Council and
East Devon District Council - who in 2009/2010 took six months to answer a few simple
dancing clubs in Devon
This section comprises a few pages giving details of some local folk dance clubs. Also now
includes a very popular (top of Google!) webpage explaining basic folk dance moves.
control valves for central heating systems Faulty central heating controls can leave elderly people
vulnerable to the cold - yet if components fail intermittently, diagnosis can be
difficult. Here are my experiences together with a detailed explanation of the failure of
one type of Sunvic motorised valve. These pages should be useful to heating engineers and
technically minded householders - a repair service is also offered for these Sunvic
valves. As can be seen from copy emails, Sunvic are unhappy about publicity being given to
their product designs. This section has proved immensely popular - why I don't really
local government. This
section comprises parts of the original 'wild gardening' section centred upon misuse of
section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act. The first case concerns Chester City
Council. It will be extended to include policing and other issues later. Updated 2010.
Analysis of dating
websites. This new section
comprises at present a single study of two mid-market online dating websites, given as a
pdf format document of 22,000 words. Comments are invited!
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history and aims of the website