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Latest update: January 6 2013.

If anyone thinks that parking (free/charged/overcharged/available etc) has nothing to do with the health of a retail area, they should go to London Road in Brighton Whereas Churchill Sq has survived the "urban terrorism" of road "improvements" and "off highway robbery" ie parking charges, London Road has been almost literally decimated over the years with the effective loss of the open market, the co op, et al The independent traders are up in arms about the charges (£3.50/hour?) and can only see the continued decline of the area

On that note, it would be a good idea for the Co op to survey their customers and find out how many of them go there by car I would suggest that most (like me) walk there - cos we live close ie we are LOCAL Who bothers to go to the Co op (assuming you can find the car park entrance) when there are two (soon to be three?) other supermarkets in plain sight?

If there is another supermarket put into the competition mix and (heaven forfend) the Co op closes, where do the LOCALS go? Across the river? More car travel (most live on the west side of the river, yes?) less exercise and further decay.

Finally, consider this if you are in a shopping expedition mood which are you going to do? Pay £2.00 for the car park in Newhaven or £4.40 for a return ticket on the bus into Brighton? Bit of a no brainer isn't it?

Andy Wallis


Point taken about the car park when compared to Sainsbury's etc. however, I still maintain that 75p isn't a big enough of a deterrent to have caused such a lack of footfall in the town centre.

I do hope that LDC grant a parking charge amnesty, every little helps, but this really would only be a tiny improvement.

I heard on the radio this morning that for the first time internet purchases in the run - up to Christmas were greater than those on the High Street - how can retailers fight back against 'virtual' shops with much lower overheads from not having to maintain a High Street presence?

Seems that what we need to do then, is to attract niche shops into the town, where the customer has to try the item before buying it, alternatively, fill the place up with restaurants, swanky wine bars etc. where it will eventually become the 'old town' district of Newhaven with the principal shopping area on the East Side.

Anyone got any good ideas how we do this then?

Paul Boswell 


Well said Paul, but free parking, (and being able to advertise the fact all year round, rather than just at Christmas), would be a great help.

Let's hope the District's administration see the advantage of at least trialing a scheme this year and confirming in some small way their commitment to Newhaven. After all with the installation of parking meters that have replaced the staff members, there are no job losses to worry about now.

Steve Saunders



Well, I disagree with Mr Boswell about parking charges in Newhaven.

We use the Coop as long as we get the parking fee refunded (75pence for 1 hour - not long enough to get a weekly shop and look around other facilities). We use the High Street, i.e. Poundstretcher, vegetable van, meat van, newsagent, library and just to walk around, but only if we use our bus pass to get the shuttle bus there and back.

It's free to park at Lidl, B&Q, KFC, Sainsburys, Paradise Park etc - if those establishments charged people to park, it would have an effect, wouldn't it?

We are lucky to be able to use bus passes - younger people and visitors are not so lucky!

V Drake



I agree with Steve. Well, not on which site should be used for a supermarket, obviously, but in that respect Steve and I seem to be representing the views of the majority of people in the town, albeit that those views from different parts of the community also differ on exactly what and where. That's what we were elected to do. We weren't elected, as Steve rightly points out, just to follow a "party line".

Equally, we aren't just going to accept the Waterpark proposition just because its been said there's a lot of money to be invested in the town. Until there is a plan on the table, there is very little to discuss. We are not about to buy a pig in a poke and rush in where angels fear to tread.

Best wishes to all for a prosperous and healthy New Year

Cllr. Rod Main 



How many times do I have to say it?

Free parking isn't the fix for the High Street. I've said before, I could stand by the car park entrance and give everyone £1 who went in, it wouldn't make any difference.

The High Street is in a poor state because there aren't many shops, there aren't many shops because there aren't many shoppers, there aren't many shoppers because there aren't many shops etc. etc.

What's killed our town centre, along with everywhere else, is not ring roads, or car park charges, it's the internet and the supermarket.

I went into Brighton a few days ago, just to exchange an item of clothing. I was only there half an hour - £3.00! Didn't stop me going though did it?!

Business rates in the High Street are excellent value right now, with a high number of shops/businesses not paying anything at all.

What we need is for YOU, dear customer, to use the town centre more. Shopkeepers, (as has been rightly pointed out), won't think about opening a store here because of the low footfall. Poundstretcher took a gamble, which seems to have paid off, so others might too if they thought there was a demand.

As I've said so many times, it's YOUR High Street, use it, or lose it - the choice is yours - YOU be the Judge.

Paul Boswell
Owner, Meeching Estate Agents 



Just a quick response to recent comments below.

For information, the Lib Dems (of which I was not a member at the time), did manage to provide the town with the complete West Quay redevelopment, (wholly project led by LDC), Denton Island Business Centre/South Downs College , SureStart nursery/childrens' centre, the Enterprise Hub, (also a project led by LDC), the last three all on LDC land, gave the Hillcrest Centre its building and land for the town. Those were only the big things, realistic ideas were never turned away. Newhaven Fort was also successfully taken over and run by the Council, although I grant you, I would agree with anyone who says that more investment and better advertising, would have improved visitor numbers immeasurably. I am totally against the latest ideas put forward by the present administration for leasing it off to the highest bidder and think we should be looking to improve the opportunities for renewable energy on the site, to reduce the crippling supply charges.

I agree with comments over the town centre parking charges, but did get the charges removed for Christmas 2010, which was repeated for Christmas 2011 and 2012. I will continue to press for reviews over the charges and I know I have the backing of many Councillors.
I agree too that the town cente itself is almost bereft of life. I still see that there is a future for it however. Maybe not as a retail hub, but when we eventually get our new library I think that what there is there can hold on and a new focus as a community hub can develop.

Back to the Eastside applications:

Rod and I do not see eye to eye over this issue and it is clear that the Planning Committee was split too. I asked for a recorded vote, in order to hold individual members to account for their individual decisions, but somewhat surprisingly, that vote was lost too.

As Lib Dems we are happy to disagree on some things and not be afraid to admit to such, rather than blindly conform to others' views from our own party. The planning Committee itself however is not bound by party politics and indeed two of the majority Tory members did vote in favour of the Arrowcroft scheme. It was the Tory Chair however, who with her casting vote, finally decided that the ASDA site should get the go ahead.

I disagree with the idea that I am biting the hands that potentially feed us. My views on the Waterpark are that we should reserve judgement until the definitive plans can be properly assessed. On the Eastside developments, I managed to get the Avalon developers to capitulate on their original pitiful offer of £20K for recreational facilities and open space provision, to over £850K - More than ten times the value of Lewes Road Recreation Ground and 850,000 times more than the land adjacent to it.

I want to make sure that the right hand is accepted and that they bring the best opportunities for the town. Some things are promising, with the University Technical College being one.

I still maintain that we shouldn't accept the first and all schemes that come forward. I always thank companies that look to invest in our future. Only a fool would do anything else, but I look carefully at the detail before committing my colours to their mast. Removing splinters from my behind, from sitting on the fence, is something I prefer to put up with, rather than egg on my face later on.

I wish everyone a happy and hopefully prosperous New Year and I look forward to reading all the views and comments on Haven News in 2013.

Steve Saunders


I know this seems a bit obvious, but wouldn't it encourage more people go to Newhaven High Street if there was year-round free parking? If people could park for free, enjoy the harbour and seafront and visit the town - more shops might prosper.
It seems very short-sighted of LDC to make people pay to go to the High Street when there are so few shops to visit.

Veronica Drake


To read the letters going backwards and forwards between two Liberal Democrat councillors must be a frustrating reminder for many of us who have to do exactly that by car or bus through Newhaven nearly every day.
Treading gingerly and rather confusingly ("eluding"?) around the views of his fellow councillor, Steve Saunders forgets to mention how much of a role his party's imposition of car parking charges has played in the destruction of the High Street. Not that he outdid the crude turn of phrase used by Cllr. Main to conclude a letter in which he managed to avoid any mention of the increase in traffic from the ASDA plan. No reference there then to the name of Barratt, just in case readers forget that 190 new homes may generate many times that amount of vehicle movements alongside those to and from the new supermarket.

Eastside's neglect and failure to attract investment is an indictment of local LibDem politicians who during the boom years had control of both district and town councils, so it would have been better for some of them to have paid attention to the wishes of their constituents. Not that the Conservatives come out of this much better ( its cruel gift of an"energy recovery facility" has been immoral and, frankly, unsupportable ): leaving aside their determination to try and kick-start the town by any means, most Tory councillors on the planning committee appear to have overlooked the overwhelming merits of the renovation of Newhaven's hub which is the port. Arrowcroft's plans would have transformed the port and railway quay, giving it a state-of-the-art ferry terminal and restoring the riverside boardwalk and listed buildings whilst creating an attractive environment for both inhabitants and visitors alike. The Co-op would actually have been better off with a high-grade pedestrian and cycle link to the town centre which could also have been easily accessed by travellers - including those disembarking from an upgraded ferry service who might want to explore the much improved surroundings.
In addition, from what I have been reading, most of the safety problems around the port entrance had already been redressed in Arrowcroft's engineers' new submissions to the District planning committee.

Perhaps County Highways officers, and those on the District planning committee who voted for the Asda-Barratt plan, could think of making themselves available once more to the majority of people in and around Newhaven who supported the alternative.

Given there are a few problems outstanding which could be resolved locally, they could then be helped to understand that by permanently diverting shoppers away from the town centre a Newhaven East Side may be all that's effectively left of the place. 

Jeremy Harwood



Ive been reading many letters and emails regarding developments in the Newhaven town area. Talk of the East Side getting re-developed, East Quay, a massive water park. From my point of view this can only be good for the town, More money coming in, more jobs created, and finally getting us back on the map. Yet so many people are being negative about it, there are comments like "It wont do anything for our town center", "the road infrastructure cant cope" etc etc etc.

Well to be honest, our town center is dead, there is only a fraction of the shops that were there 10-15 years ago, even most of the banks and estate agents have gone, all the rest have either been converted to flats or boarded up. You cant regenerate something that is dead. Who in their right mind would even try starting a new business in the Newhaven high street? There just isnt any point in doing so.

So with that in mind what have we got to lose by having new "out-of-town" investments into this area? It can only be a good thing for all of us. Our town is dying, The town center died many years ago. (I blame the ring road and charged parking for that). So if something like these plans get close to being considered then grab hold of them with both hands and dont let go. Dont let some other town have them. As the saying goes "dont bite the hand that feeds" and these companies are certainly feeding us. Be positive and thank them, Dont push them away.

Rob Robbins 


Mr Grumpy agrees with all that Cllr. Steve Saunders has written.

I do not believe that there can be any right thinking person who can argue that an 'out of town' development can benefit or regenerate Newhaven Town Centre. Surely experience in many other towns shows us that 'out of town' shopping opportunities kill off the High Street shops.

The benefits to the town of regenerating the Railway Quay and the 'linked' shopping trips that would have been generated for the High Street have been lost, possibly for ever, and with it has gone the future of Newhaven Town Centre.

So yes, Newhaven has been 'sold down the river' yet again by ESCC and LDC. Shame on you. And I wonder just who might have the money for selling out Newhaven yet again. It certainly isn't Newhaven, so just who's pocket has the money gone into?

Also, I was told a long time ago now by the Head at LDC Planning that there was a definite policy not to develop Newhaven eastwards and that the open space that currently exists to the east of Newhaven was to be kept as open space. Well there's betrayal for you, sold out again, they are now going to build on it. Just shows that you cant trust any of them.

Still, looking to the future, perhaps these councillors who very obviously back outside developers interests over the interests of local people who elected them may now think long and hard about the next time they are up for re election.

Festive or Festering Good Wishes

Mr Grumpy 



I have been urged by some Councillors to 'let this go', but although there seems little that can now be done to change the decision that was made, (by the Conservative Chair's casting vote), I can't help still feeling extremely disappointed and let down.


Councillor Jones tells us that he and his fellow Tory Councillors are committed to regenerating the Quayside and working with Arrowcroft to find a workable solution. The best way they could have done this and shown full support, would have been to have ignored the questionable objections of the County Highways Team and worked with them to solve the traffic problems that already exist and won't go away, just because they turned down this application.

The traffic WILL get worse with the ASDA scheme too. The Port Access Road, so prized by the Tory led County Council, is not needed by the Port and without the improved Port facilities is an access road to a run-down area. The County Council wanted it to save themselves millions of pounds they have set aside for the out of date scheme. Will this money be spent elsewhere in Newhaven? I doubt it. More likely it will be spent over in the favoured East of the County, to benefit Hastings I suspect.


Rod seems to be eluding to the fact that the Arrowcroft scheme WAS a better option, but suggests that it may  have attracted graffiti artists and faced the wrong way. Well I suppose the developers had suggested Art galleries and an attractive boardwalk, so some artists were going to be encouraged. He suggests too, that the supermarket would take trade away from the town centre and force the Coop to close. The developers brought representatives of the Coop along to the first planning meeting in May, to protest about Arrowcroft's plans, but were banned from complaining about the ASDA supermarket, as it is they that hold the lease on their property in the Town Centre, along with that of many other stores there too. They have no interest in the commercial success of the area. If they did, they would not be demanding such extortionate rents for the premises there, although of course, the Coop were offered a coincidental reduction in their rent, if their scheme on Eastside got the go-ahead. The suggestion over increase in value for a site with planning permission can be attributed to either of these applications and I would suggest even more so, to a large brownfield site with unspoiled views across a nature reserve, for potential developers and investors.


The loss of the Eastside land for possible future commercial expansion is I believe, a travesty. Coupled as it is, with an out-of-town store and a new village of Barratt homes, with their own corner shop, so they don't need to integrate at all with the rest of the town. 

It has been said that the commercial land that will now be lost, has been set aside for 30 years and nothing has happened with it. This is true, but the town of Newhaven has been in decline for even longer, so is it surprising?

The Rampion Wind Farm and the University Technical College are two good examples of the town's possibilities being recognised and I believe the Arrowcroft scheme would have far better complimented these and led to an inevitable rise in fortunes for the Port and the town as a whole. Whatever I, or anyone else thinks of the Waterpark proposals, the kudos and increase in profile for the area is to be welcomed. The future for the town has been looking better for some time and it is important that we are not forced into quick-fixes, just because we may lose an opportunity. Not all opportunities are good ones. Not all are good for the long term. Many of us who have lived here long enough to remember, know just what I mean. The ring road is the shining example of what can go wrong, when a quick fix is adopted. The bustling, busy town centre, was choked with slow moving traffic. What was the solution? Divert everything around it, that'll sort it out! 

I know it will be argued that the Eastside proposals have been properly debated and thoroughly analysed, but in my humble opinion, we've been short-changed again and County have got their way. I just think they should give the £4 million they've saved, to the town and the Arrowcroft scheme and work with them to bring their more positive plans forward, with maybe a landmark community building in place of the supermarket.
Cllr. Steve Saunders


Clearly the worlds biggest 'HOT TUB' and 'ASDA/BARRATT' mean far more to ESCC and LDC than does the views and wishes of the local people who elected them.

Very clearly, profit-making commercial enterprise means far more to them than does local people. Makes you wonder just who might be getting the money out of all this, doesn't it?

Perhaps, over their Brandy and Mince Pies, they may want to think on that and ponder what might happen at the next election.

Seasons Greetings one and all.

Mr Grumpy 


Ho ho ho. Just found Cllr. Page's gift list for Sludgemouth, (sorry, Newhaven), and others :

A Waterpark

A Supermarket where no-one wants it

A road no-one needs

A derelict Quayside

A housing estate

For his friends:
A large lump of land (Just give us a quid)

A Greenfield site

Carte Blanche on any project, (as long as you mention Regeneration)

Merry Christmas Newhaven and a Happy and Prosperous New Year (if you are an out of town developer)

Gary Middleton


Well well. After all I tried to say, most of which was never published by any of the media it was sent to, and that includes Haven News, we now see many people coming forward with the same views that an out of town development cannot in any way benefit or regenerate Newhaven.

As has been so eloquently pointed out, the opportunity for the Railway Quay is now lost for years to come, and with it the opportunities for Newhaven.

Still ESCC and LDC will have a wonderful Christmas I am sure. After all, they have 'screwed' Newhaven yet again. First there was the Ring Road, then the Incinerator and now we are to be landed with the world's biggest 'HOT TUB' and 'ASDA/BARRATT'.

Happy Christmas ESCC and LDC. Thank you so much for the crumbs from your table.

And for the rest of us, well, try and enjoy this festive season.

Seasons Greetings

Mr Grumpy 


Some interesting views from Man Overboard and Eye in the Sky.

The level of support for a new supermarket seemed to me to be equally divided between those who'd like an ASDA and those who'd like a TESCO.
In April this year, TESCO declared it would not be opening any more large supermarkets, preferring to concentrate on improving its current stores. So even in May it was questionable whether TESCO would actually be the store operator for the quayside site. When Arrowcroft resubmitted its plans in August, it was without TESCO. By the time it reached the planning committee, no other operator had been named.

There is fairly unanimous agreement that something needs to be done to the quayside, marine workshops, port entrance et al. On the face of it, the Arrowcroft plan seemed to address most of those concerns. It could, however, be argued that 100 metres of blank brick wall facing the river was just swapping one eyesore for another. Particularly if it ever got used as a place to display adverts, or or as blank canvas for the local graffitti artists. To my mind, the river frontage needs something facing the river to enhance the vista.

If the supermarket got built and Waitrose or Marks & Spencer had decided it would be worthwhile to take a punt on operating it, the argument goes that, as it was nearer the town centre, people would do linked trips to the shops in the town centre, as well as do their shopping in the supermarket. At the very least, people would be able to park for free, walk over the bridge and up Bridge Street to visit the cafe's and pubs in the town. Certainly, people do that sort of thing in Lewes when they park at Tesco, but then Newhaven town centre is not Cliffe. The counter argument is that the quayside supermarket would take people away from the town centre, almost certainly forcing the Co-op to close, and kill off what remains of the town centre. Indeed, even the ASDA site will cause some loss of business from the Co-op, so there are no guarantees either way.

The biggest problem facing the Arrowcroft plan was undoubtedly how the increase in traffic would be dealt with. It should be safe to assume that Arrowcroft had looked at this before submitting its plans last December, but six months later it was clear that finding a workable solution that Highways would be satisfied with was not happening. Three months further on and with traffic lights on every road around the site, obstacle detection on the level crossing and various remodelling, even Arrowcroft's own traffic consultants were not happy that the solution would work in every scenario. Highways employed their own consultants and their reports were even more damning.

It is true to say that the committee could have passed the Arrowcroft plan, even with the weight of highways objections against it. But, as with the ASDA plan, it would have been submitted to the government as a "departure", as this is not what the site is designated for. The question is then would Mr Pickles' Department for Communities, seeing the highways objections, have called in the plan for their own determination? LDC could have found its decision overturned anyway.

So we could have been left with nothing. Even if Mr Pickles' department had passed it, there was still the question of whether an operator could be found. No operator equals no development equals no regeneration of the quayside and no update of the port facilities. Moreover, since we would have turned down the ASDA plan as a consequence of approving Arrowcroft, no development at all in Newhaven. If the site at the quayside had planning permission for a supermarket, it would have been even more valuable than it is now, and probably couldn't be sold on for any other development. So not only no development now, but no development for the foreseeable future either.

To quote Man Overboard - "Didn't think it through, didja"

Cllr. Rod Main
Newhaven, Denton and Meeching. 


I entirely agree with "Eye in the Sky" views regarding the so called redevelopment of Newhaven.
Many months ago I wrote to Lewes my support to the Arrowcroft scheme. The other day I received from LDC
an e-mail - guess what? To oppose the the new scheme from Arrowcroft! This Asda developement was cut and dried long before Arrowcroft put forward their new scheme.
Lewes has never wanted Newhaven to progress. It would have been different if Lewes had had a port with similar conditions.

Newhaven will have to remain a ghost town. Who wants to visit a run down port? 

Ernest Bennington

Hey kids, it's Chriiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassss!!

And LDC has decided we've all been nice this year and are going to fill up our stocking with yet another desperately-needed supermarket in the town. Yay!

Personally, I think it's sour grapes that Sainsburys, LIDL, Co-op, Morrisons et al in and around the town are so overlooked, but hey guys, you're not really playing the game are you? No. We need another mutha'freaking supermarket. The clues in the name kids, "SUPER". not "half-hearted". Jeez, get with the programme will ya?

The general rule of thumb is you gotta be able to land a jet aircraft in your car park, or you ain't trying hard enough. There's a hint for ya Boris - make Newhaven the mega-port of the south east. We got a single-file rail link, a single-boat commercial harbor and a single-file road link over the river. What more could you ask for?

Oh yes, an Accident and Emergency hospital facility maybe?

Am I the only one thinking if you have a stroke, heart attack or trauma in Newhaven or Seaford , you're right royally fried?

I got a plan. How about Arrowcroft/Barratt Sherlock Homes throw a few crumbs into building a shiny new facility and the NHS fill it with, Ooooh, I dunno, doctors and nurses and stuff. You know, them folk what stop you dying when you keel over at all them mega-bargains TESCOASDA throw at you?

We could even fill it with trainee medical staff. Hell, I'd prefer to take my chances with someone who knows what *not* to do than risk a 90-minute round trip in rush hour.

And then there's the giant waterslide magic fairy dust unicorn factory planned. Don't go having a heart attack at the weekends will you? I can't imagine an ambulance coming all the way from Eastbourne or Brighton getting through the mega-traffic. You ain't gonna make "the golden hour", that's for sure. What we need is another air ambulance and a runway perhaps.

Now where we gonna put one of them? We'd need a huge supermarket mega car-park sized lump o'tarmac. Hmmmm....

Ermahgerd, Nooooooo...

LDC di* .think it. though. didntja?

Maybe that's the plan? Air ambulance runway. Sorted. Trainee doctors sticking around at weekends to have fun at the unicorn factory waterslide and thus on-site in the event of emergency. Sorted.

Or is it?...

Can't wait to see the detailed, integrated plans and analysis LDC - maybe that's an Xmas gift you can deliver to us all eh? Something that shows some joined-up thinking for an integrated TOWN PLAN, not just these separate streams-of-consciousness. You need infrastructure. You need waste management, You need access. You need Utilities. YOU NEED AN INTEGRATED PLAN.

Who's gonna buy these new houses you're thinking of? Cash buyers are they? Affordable housing in there? Where are these new people going to work? Local? Jobs? London (via train perhaps? Nyaaaa haa haaa haa haaa haaa!). Good luck getting a mortgage on a flood plain. Sorry, I meant "Land adjacent to 'Ouse estuary wetland' " mortgage companies. Oops!

There's a reason it's not been built on. Still, I might be wrong, just look at those stunning examples of brick built properties at Tide Mills.

So that's what I want for Xmas. a nice thought-through integrated plan analysed by experts who know their stuff. Simples.

Merry Xmas kids and don't forget, a dog is not just for Xmas, With careful preparation, there's enough left over for Boxing day too.

Man Overbored stops writing to drink cooking sherry...


Bravo, Well done, Just what Newhaven needed.

So Newhaven will get a housing estate and out of town supermarket instead of a much needed redevelopment of a key town centre site, riverside and new transport interchange. Brilliant vision from the Planning Committee. How many of them live in Newhaven?

Also nice to see that Cllr. Tom Jones says:

"It could be that a mixed use regeneration scheme of a smaller scale and innovative ideas for use of the former warehouse and existing buildings may provide a scheme that local residents find attractive and the community can support".

The scheme put forward by Arrowcroft had overwhelming support of the local residents and the majority of the Newhaven Town councillors. As I understand it from the various public and council meetings, all other alternative uses for the site were explored but are not - in the present climate - commercially viable. We should not forget that the last attempt at a mixed use and residential scheme led to the developer going bankrupt.

No - this visionary decision by the Planning Committee has probably condemned this site to dereliction for years to come. It also means that Newhaven Port will not get the much needed capital injection that the Railway Quay scheme would have provided - so it will not have the money to invest in regeneration of other areas of the Port. It may also have seriously p...ed them off - so not much hope of active co-operation going forwards then. To make ends meet - residents can expect more cargoes, more scrap - but possibly no ferry.

In the coming years the contract to run the ferry service will also have to be renewed. Who is going to bid given the derelict facilities at Railway Quay? Will the French state continue to subsidise it, given the blatant lack of support from ESCC and LDC Planning Committees?

It does not appear that ESCC Highways Authority made any realistic attempt at finding a solution to the traffic the Railway Quay scheme would have generated, preferring instead to push hard for the Asda scheme - which will anyway generate the same amount of traffic passing through the same junctions. Since those junctions will now be 'loaded' it will be much harder to get approval for any new proposals. ESCC motivation was to get the new 'port access road' which the port said they neither needed nor wanted, and which will not actually go to the port at all.

Astonishing, and astonishingly stupid.

Eye in the Sky