What it is – can be – like to live in Portsmouth

Years ago, someone at the local Salvation Army (where I volunteered briefly) told me that I saw Portsmouth in a much too positive light. I think I now know what she meant. For a long time, I thought that a lot of the nastiness of Portsmouth came from the poverty here. Nope. We were talking about the theft of wrapped Christmas gifts at the time.

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Lovely Portsmouth in the UK’s top spot again for discrimination and intolerance

This fully fits with my own experiences of Portsmouth where I’ve been living since early 2009. If you’re one of the victims of this discrimination in Portsmouth, feel free to contact me if you think I may be able to help you.

Dear Gerald Vernon-Jackson – dyslexic and gay – this appears to have happened UNDER YOUR WATCH. The LibDems pay very little attention to all kinds of diversity issues in Portsmouth. It’s the main reason if I recall correctly why I asked to be removed from the LibDem mailing list some years ago and stopped voting LibDem. The aggressive prejudiced bully of a volunteer you had during the last elections did not serve your cause either as far as I am concerned. She’s exactly the kind of person that causes these kinds of disparities. (Steve Pitt knows who I mean. She comes within an inch of being downright vicious.)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55221474

Portsmouth, a “strong sense of community”? My ass. It’s much too often a hotbed of intolerance, corruption and intimidation but there is a lot of, how shall I put it, cosmetics going on. The “guy in the dress” is welcome here because it is felt that he enhances Portsmouth’s image of contrariness.

But people with Parkinsons and autistic people or even normal professionals are seen as not “sexy” enough for Portsmouth.

Some of the staff at the Civic Offices is an utter disgrace – a Mr Thomas Young, for example, but he may no longer work there – and should be sued because of how they violate English law (and are completely unfit for the work that they do for other reasons as well). Some should probably even be charged. I mean that. It’s disgusting, some of the stuff that goes on there.

People with Parkinsons can also get a hard time because other people – including police officers – mistakenly believe that they’re drunk. Did you know that?

 

A letter that I expect to arrive today

Update Thursday 17 December 2020, 9:58
Still the same. Royal Mail has not attempted to deliver my letter, according to its website. I wonder if a guy I know as Nathan has anything to do with that. He once walked up to me at the local large Tesco (Craswell Street), made the mysterious statement that he and I had never seen eye to eye or something along those lines – huh? wtf was he going on about? – then said that Royal Mail had offered him early retirement because of his severe problems with his spine and that he had accepted the offer. It turned out to be complete bullshit. I have no idea what this dude wanted from me. I don’t know him. He is someone who works at Royal Mail, who (says he) has severe back problems and I’ve brought him and his colleagues refreshments once on a hot day. (I also brought a tea from Greggs to a woman at Wilko on a freezing cold day once and I’ve once given my postie in Southampton a refreshment on a hot summer’s day. I don’t do that kind of thing in other countries, can’t recall any instances.) Other than that, I don’t know him, but he seems to have had some kind of issue with me for a long time. No idea what it might be. I saw him walking toward me on Arundel Street a few weeks ago and I decided to cross the road so that I could avoid him. I have no idea what his problem is and what his problem with me is. He initially seemed really friendly, just a regular guy, friendlier than his colleagues. The guy meanwhile has started to give me the creeps. He was also the one who handed me that package with wet and muddied fairly random letters from about 6 months and he was the one who told me about the package with the SSE modem that apparently had been sitting at the post office for a while after I tried to switch broadband providers for so long, in vain, when he saw me in Lake Road one day.

Portsmouth seems to abound with these types of folks. (Like this “Nathan”, I mean. But he used to have a genuinely pleasant and sane colleague whose son is a scientist. That guy left, though. Overall, Portsmouth is toxic. A lot of that has to do with the widespread deep poverty here as a result of the staggering inequality in England.)

 

Update Wednesday 16 December 2020, 11:45
The item was posted First Class Signed For on Saturday 12 December 2020 at 2:34pm at the Portsmouth Post Office [PO1 1AB] and still Royal Mail has not attempted to deliver this letter, according to the Royal Mail website.


This one (PDF): Letter Dated 11 December 2020

That older letter that I mention in the above letter had been sent “1st Class Signed For” and it was signed for. So was another letter I sent at about the same time. There was no response to either letter.

There was no response either to the e-mail I sent to Grant Murphy on 30 August 2019, in which I wrote that it was high time for a genuine and serious talk. I suggested meeting at his office on 3 September 2019 at 11am or 2pm.

I usually get ignored when I contact him or his staff for whatever reason, but when they want me to stop by and I contact them and say that I will do so two workdays later because I am hard at work for a client who I can’t let down, I often get a lot of angry words back.

When I wrote to them on 31 October 2016 about “problems at 6 Kingston Road”, I got no response back.

Mon, Oct 31, 2016, 11:23 AM

This was right after I spoke with Grant Murphy on the phone when I called him while I was at Fratton Train station, waiting for my train. He picked up the phone with something like “Student accommodation” but when I said that I thought I had called a different number and was looking for a Mr Murphy, he said that it was him. He told me that people picking the locks all the time was no big deal, but if I wanted, I could install different locks. (I have done that, but it has not helped.) He also said, I think, to go talk to my MP because he seemed to agree more or less that Portsmouth Police is useless (after he suggested I contact police after which I told him that I had already done that many times).

Grant Murphy and I made an appointment to meet on the Saturday after I arrived back because he said he was often at our buildings on Saturday anyway, which surprised me (but I had never met him, so it’s possible). That Saturday, I waited and waited. He never showed.

The e-mail I sent after I spoke with Murphy on the phone I wrote on the train, I am sure, as it was far from my most eloquent e-mail message, but I was upset and I felt that the problems at 6 Kingston Road were seriously getting out of hand to the point of the situation now becoming completely unworkable. (Someone had just emptied dumped one or two liters of ice cream on the doormat of the ground-floor neighbours in some kind of bizarre prank. It is one of the many results consequences of the building not being secure.)

Some weeks ago, I contacted Hants Fire about the rubbish again, which I had wanted to do many times before. (But it all feels soooooooooooo futile. Nobody in England or Portsmouth gives a damn about anything, it often feels like, to me. Nobody here cares. Is that too the result of Britain’s staggering inequality? If not, where does it come from?)

This is part of what I received back.

This below is what I got in the end.

 

What has also happened is that someone closed my water account one or two years ago – I think it was Portsmouth Water – and a year ago, someone took control of my electricity account and apparently transferred it so many times in a row that the account completely got lost along the way. I have electricity but I don’t know who supplies it (though I probably have made some calls about that by the time this post goes live). The account was transferred by someone who had the meter’s number and all my personal data, such as DOB and address and postcode; such data are in the possession of many people, of course, hence offer no security at all.

This is what happened the previous time, which must have been about a year after I spoke about this at the offices of Grant Murphy and had given up on the rubbish as I couldn’t afford to remove it myself:

I have also previously advised Ruth Mbvundula not to accept Grant Murphy’s refusal to refund her deposit as, in my opinion, his reason for refusing to return the deposit was likely also his fault and I felt that a compromise might be in order. I referred her to the tenancy matters department at Portsmouth City Council.


For the record this is more or less what I recently wrote to Hants Fire, part of which I also let them know in 2018:

Good afternoon Mark,

Thank you for your message.

1. It concerns two buildings, an older one and a newer one, each housing three flats, at 6 Kingston Road, Portsmouth PO1 5RZ. These buildings are owned by Mr Grant Murphy and/or one of his companies. He and his companies can be reached via the Royal Beach Hotel, St Helens Parade, Southsea PO4 0RN; the hotel is currently closed, however. (Guinness owns the newer buildings next to Murphy’s. It was Guinness that removed the rubbish previously, indeed.)

2. The lock to the back door of the older front building is often jammed from the outside. I do not know whether that means that the lock is also jammed for anyone wanting to exit through that door as we in the building at the back do not have keys to the front door of that building. Last time I tried that back door to see if I had any postal mail, a few days ago, the lock was jammed again.

3. Before the start of the present lockdown, some of the landlord’s staff removed a lot of branches among other things. These branches have been on our patio since then, though someone moved them slightly because the heap of branches (dead wood) was blocking access to the back door of the front building. They were in front of the door there.

4. The rubbish is mostly in an open shed and includes a mattress that sticks out a bit. When this area was filled with junk before, it was deemed a fire hazard by your colleague. I had already gotten rid of as much as I could (called scrap metal people and had some people from a charity shop take a look), thinking that it all had been dumped there by others, not by our landlord. When I went to talk with the landlord about getting the remainder removed, I was admonished when I said that I had already gotten rid of some of the junk. I have also offered to help the foreman clean out the area, but my offer was ignored. Last year, I took photos of what the situation was like back then and included printouts of the photos in my letter to the landlord.

5. It may also be helpful to know that my landlord’s legal adviser is a Mr David Lancaster.

I hope this gives you enough information.

Best regards,

Angelina Souren


 

It may be generally interesting to know that I also once caught a landlord/lady dumping stuff in my forecourt when I was living in Southsea. I talked with her about it. I’d previously taken stuff to the tip that had left behind by another landlord/lady as I happened to have rented a van anyway at the time.

I have also heard this rubbish dumping being blamed on foreign tenants, at the Portsmouth Environmental Forum. In my experience, it’s usually landlords who do this.

I know that a lot of English people are not going to understand anything of the above. Why do I bother? One thing I’ve learned in my 16 years in England is that, here, it makes absolutely no difference what you do. True. So you might as well do the right thing. In my view, it means that you stay true to your values even if there is nothing else you can do. And that feels a heck of lot better than just rolling over and closing your eyes.

Here we go again

I had signed up for an online network event by DowSocial, via LinkedIn, organised from London.

It does look genuine – and I had to register for it via Eventbrite – but my hacker appears to have kept the joining information from me just like he stops lots of my own e-mails from reaching people and lots of other e-mails from reaching me (partly thanks to a break-in on 19 July 2020, he now also has full control over my new computer).

Just in case I am wrong about this, I have also reported it to LinkedIn as a fake event, but it fits the pattern of a lot of what has been going on the entire year. I also got invitations to a women’s network, other networking events and so on. The ones that sound meaningful are spoofs or prevented and the ones that are useless for me are genuine or accessible.

The day before yesterday, I had both 3 views and 36 views on a video that I had posted. That changed to 38. Then it dropped to 10 (now 12 or so) after I wrote about this in the video’s description. (I think that this has to do with whether I am actually accessing the internet when I look at the screen or not getting beyond my hacker’s computer network.) 

 

The break-ins continue

The anonymous break-ins that have plagued my life since I moved into my current flat at the beginning of 2011 continue.

There was one on 19 July, which included vandalism, business sabotage and theft.

There was another one today. (I suspect that it happened when I went to the post office. It appears to have been aimed at making me feel unsafe in my own bed as I found out about it late at night.)

I expect there to be another one on 13 September.

If you want to know more about how something like this comes about (otherisation), read my latest book, “Is cruelty cool?”:

 

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The first local suspected case…

About 500 meters from where I am (and that is all I am saying). 🙂

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/people/coronavirus-health-secretary-has-been-informed-suspected-outbreak-says-portsmouth-north-mp-penny-mordaunt-1741763

It would be REALLY USEFUL if they would say a little more than this. Does it concern a pharmacy worker? A customer? This raises more questions than it answers. Was someone taken into quarantine or not at all? What?

Oh, here is more (I searched the web):
https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/health/coronavirus-suspected-portsmouth-case-came-woman-who-had-been-gatwick-airport-1741740

“The practice manager has urged anyone else who has symptoms to call 111, as per NHS guidelines.”

So, either the news is not getting through or the number is not working the way it should. Been very tempted to test the latter, in the past couple of days, but I reckon they’re busy enough without me calling in to see whether it’s working. 😉

We’ll need a massive local flyering action, then. We can go door to door and put a leaflet with instructions in the letterbox. Heck why not? If we all team up on that, it can be done quickly, and locals know where all the front doors around them are, which helps a lot. (We have some really weird addresses here.)

How Covid-19 is affecting the local economy

There is a highly popular Chinese eatery here that is always so crowded that I’ve actually never been there.

Yesterday, I walked by twice to see the place almost empty.

It normally seems to get frequented a lot by local foreign students as well as locals.

I don’t know if they do deliveries or are part of Deliveroo etc and can’t tell whether might be an increase in deliveries.

I also walked by a Chinese buffet restaurant. It was closed. That could have been a coincidence.

Who is taking some action with regard to how some businesses will be affected? Does their insurance cover this kind of thing? I doubt it (force majeure, acts of nature), but I hope I am wrong.

“Led by donkeys” has finally come to Portsmouth!

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-seeks-to-heal-wounds-after-calling-portsmouth-a-city-full-of-drugs-and-obesity-in-infamous-insult-1-8978726

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/new-prime-minister-boris-johnson-faces-fresh-call-to-say-sorry-to-portsmouth-after-calling-the-city-full-of-drugs-and-obesity-1-9010776

MP slammed over ‘fat city’ slur
Outspoken Conservative MP Boris Johnson has been criticised for labelling Portsmouth as a city full of drugs and obesity.
The comments were made in Mr Johnson’s motor column in men’s magazine, GQ.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/6521603.stm

I had already been adding my own version.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1200355500363321345

Boris Johnson:

“Shut this down! Shut this down!”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gestures

https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/boris-johnson-cut-off-gesture-to-nick-ferrari-1-6400780

I refer you to my previous post. Britain has a massive amount of deep poverty. A shocking level of poverty for a western country. Many of those people are chronically ill or disabled. Was it their fault that they weren’t born with a diamond-crusted golden spoon in their mouth?

Boris Johnson (my translation):

“Fuck those many millions of people, and fuck their kids too. It is simply too easy to make money off them for ourselves if we keep them poor, so for god’s sake, let’s keep them poor and powerless.”

And stupid and blinkered, Mr Johnson?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_care_in_England

I repeat, social care is for:

children or adults in need or at risk, or adults with needs arising from illness, disability, old age or poverty

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Lost black dog spotted in Portsmouth

This morning, between 10:45 and 11:00, a lost BLACK male dog with a bright RED collar was spotted near Manor Infant School in Portsmouth, England Little George Road/Inverness Road/Kingston Road). It looks like possibly a staffie/lab mix.

One woman who had business at the infant school noticed him too and she had seen him almost getting hit by a car when he crossed Kingston Road before. The driver of the County Supplies lorry saw him as well.

I spotted the dog from my window. He seemed hungry as he was sniffing rubbish bags, then walked back to one, decided to dig into it and ate whatever he had found in that bag.

I went outside with some dog treats, intending to grab him and track down the owners, but when I came downstairs he was gone. I walked around for 15 minutes or so, but did not see him anywhere.

(Unfortunately, I did not have internet access at the time because of this https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46464730 and I am posting this from elsewhere. I cannot send texts either.)

I will keep on the lookout for him and if I see him, attempt to grab and keep him at my place.

(He was energetic, in good shape, and while a little bit confused, did not appear to be a problematic dog in any way, and dogs usually get along well with me.)

I’d appreciate hearing it if the dog has meanhile been reunited with his owner. Thank you.

Why Portsmouth should diminish traffic

I wrote an article about it on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, you can find it, and you don’t need me to post the link here. Southampton can’t do anything as drastic as this. Bournemouth can’t. Chichester can’t. London can’t. But Portsmouth can.

And Portsmouth can turn this into a giant plus and use it to boost the economy, but it won’t. Because it is drowning in crap such as bullying and corruption, also at city council level, and likes seeing itself as the powerless whining underdog a little bit too much. There is very little true vision left in this town, where too much of the focus is on traditional capitalism and on the past. The industries of the past are GONE, folks. Quit waffling about that and move forward.

Here are a few links to supporting studies:

All I hear is stupid excuses.

  • The impact of cars on our space

    No space for trams. Sure there is!

  • The people with more than 2 cars will protest and shout very loudly. Wear ear plugs! (What about the 80 or 90% or 95% of the rest of your population? 70% have no car or only 1 car. Many of Portsmouth’s inhabitants hardly ever get out of Portsmouth.)
  • Shop owners will complain. Show them that most of their customers are actually coming from within a small radius and give them decent business support! Most are probably delusional in thinking that their customers come from miles away and may blame traffic measures for their own failures (a certain pet supplies shop owner comes to mind).
  • A certain lawyer will whine. Tell her to shut up. She doesn’t know what she is talking about. (If she makes you feel stupid and ignorant, that’s because she is talking complete rubbish!)

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