Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wye is Kent no longer the Garden of England

According to BBC News, Kent has lost its garden of England crown to Yorkshire as England's most beautiful county. This comes as no surprise, a while back I passed comment on how Kent Travel alliance, seemed to place more emphasis, than was reasonable on escaping to France* by any means possible, with the exception of swimming, than it did on staying in the eastern half of the county (if you don't believe me click here). As I said before, Kent has the best of the English countryside and some of the best towns and villages, so when 4000 people are asked to name their favourite counties why is Kent 5th, because promotion of our area has been ineffective.

Kent County Council, aware of the reduction in popularity of the Garden of England, have taken a bold and innovative step, and decided to plough it up. Plan A, is to take perhaps the most picturesque parts of Kent and build a bloody great big new science park around the village of Wye. It is inconceivable that the village of Wye and the magnificent scenery will not be completely destroyed by this appalling development, Imperial College plan a 1 billion pound university town with up to 4000 new homes (as with all these developments it will probably create more jobs then you can shake a stick at).

It's at this point you might well ask yourself, who does KCC support, this development is not in the interests of the villagers of Wye, or the thousands who living Kent who might like to visit this area of outstanding natural beauty. Clearly KCC support Imperial College, to the detriment of local community charge payers.

It is worth remembering that Kent County Council, receives 72 pence in every pound that we pay in council tax and what do we get in return, well in the case of Wye, we get a council leader, Paul Carter who is quoted as saying " we must make this a reality " when referring to this seemingly hideous act of vandalism.

I am sure that if Imperial College, needed to build a science park then there are probably plenty of brown field sites, that would accommodate in and around Kent. There is on the KCC website an interesting quote from a leader of Ashford Borough Council Paul Clokie " we are delighted to be associated with such an inspiring vision for the future of Wye " (I suppose coming from Ashford anything looks good). I personally think that Ashford, less than five miles away could not be spoilt by any development, so why not plonk this science park there?

* I checked with people at Kent Travel alliance last week, who assured me there was some sort of reciprocal arrangement with the pas de Calais tourist website in that it should suggest visiting the United Kingdom I spent several minutes checking this and feel that their faith in the French has been sadly misplaced.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Are we meant to feel sympathetic mum?
Today the main story in the Thanet Times is a sad tale of how a promising footballer has had his career cut short, before you get too bothered by this I would suggest you read the story in the Thanet Times.
As you will read, a participant in a vicious attack on two brothers in Broadstairs that led to one being put in a coma for 10 days and the other sustaining head injuries, now has mummy campaigning for his liberty.
In this country we send 74 year-old men to prison for a not paying a there community charge, how refreshing it is to see a Judge sending a convicted criminal to prison despite the offender's wish to continue playing football.

Sick Computers

I was reminded today of the recent computer problems that occurred at Margate Hospital (Q E Q M), with their computer system, as apparently the health service is facing a multi-billion pound computer cock-up (a frequent occurrence with government departments).

It was suggested to me, that the fault at Margate Hospital (Q E Q M), which has been blamed on staff downloading music files and jamming up the system is a little difficult to understand as employees, are thought to be prevented from downloading media files on much of East Kent hospitals computer systems, perhaps our computer systems are getting just a bit too clever.

Just on Governmental competence to employ computer systems, it would be easier for various government departments just to find a spotty but enthusiastic computer geek, and send him or her, down the road to PC World with a million or two in his pocket. Things would run smoother that way rather than employ the large usually American corporations that regularly fail to come up with the goods but always need a billion or two complete the job (bit like a plumber really).

Why do we blog
In my case I clearly like the sound of my own voice, and I have more opinions, than you can shake a stick at. I like to think, due to technology it is possible for anyone, to present their opinion.
As you know I frequently suggests that we do not live in a democracy, which I think is true many policies and decisions in our life on not made by elected representatives but are made by appointees running our institutions Health Education etc most of these functionaries, work in a rarefied atmosphere and have little contact with the likes of me.
I frequently comment on statements, or policies of our politicians' , as clearly many live and breathe politics they may well have lost touch with reality (just look at the Blairs). I hope I'm constructive, I know I'm opinionated, and should anyone feel aggrieved they will know how easy it is to criticise, but harder to do.
The good thing though, anyone can have their own blog and hopefully these people who run our lives might get a wider perspective.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Look both ways
According to BBC Kent, as part of a county-wide programme, there are to be improvements to Northdown Road for pedestrians, if it is anything like the improvements they made to St. Peter's Road, I would take extra care, particularly as it involved removing the cycle lane.
Winner takes nothing
An interesting point of view from Michael Winner famous film director and restaurant goer, he has had, his nose put out of joint by the offer of an OBE, which he considers to be the sort of honour given to a toilet cleaner. I personally think that it is time that we dispensed with such honours.
Could we in Thanet live without our own system for instance how much do Thanet council, have to fork out every year for our local Mayors, in Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs why can't we send either the chief executive or the leader of the local council to local events. It's almost as if we have three mini Royal, figureheads do we really need it.
This sort of patronage, at a national level is clearly used by governments, to influence national policy and possibly in some cases stuff political parties with fresh money, it will be interesting to see how, our current Labour government wriggle out of their current problems in this regard.
I won't get on to the Royal family, as I realise if I went any further space would be made available at the Tower, I dream that one day we shall live in a democracy, until then I shall have to watch what I say.
Final word because of our system of royal patronage, if I wish it to go to hospital due possibly to toadying or forelock tugging, I have to ask for the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital I just hope no one has ever died halfway through that request, Margate Hospital now.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Politics does anyone care? Benny Hill, Britishness, Sven's Partner

Last Monday I passed comment on a story that had appeared in the Sunday Times the day before concerning Adam Rickitt, again you might ask who he (click here to see previous story), I thought it strange enough that such a heavyweight political thinker would appear in the Conservative A-list of candidates for the next election, but now I find it even more spooky that the much-respected Kent on Sunday newspaper, brings news that the former soap star is being considered as a replacement for Michael Howard in his safe seat of Folkestone and Hythe. Apart from the depth and breadth offered by Adam Ricketts political philosophy, I just wonder how he will adapt if chosen, to the realities of being an MP or even God willing, a leader of his party, reason I mention this was I remember seeing, Michael Howard in Folkestone on the last Saturday before last years general election and the thing that surprised me, potentially he was about to become the new Prime Minister and yet there was no crowd and no journalists asking questions, just him and two or three people accompanying him, as he wandered around the centre of Folkestone and I thought how indicative it was of the public interest in politics.

I had hoped last week also, that David Cameron, might just contact me if a position came up locally, but since I have learnt that his great comedic hero is Benny Hill, I think I would have to decline.
Interesting extract from a forthcoming book by Rageh Omaar, on being British, from the perspective of being a Muslim, clearly he is frustrated by ignorance of the non Muslim community, concerned at commentator's exercising their legitimate right to discuss Islam fearing for the consequences from many less rational elements in our society. I think it might be of use to this journalist, to know how someone who just considers himself British feels, obviously it I am not representative of anyone other than myself, although bought up as a Christian, I have no knowledge or interest in the Church, similarly I have no desire to know what goes on in a mosque or a synagogue, because frankly I do not care, and I am sure that in the not too distant future, Muslims will become fully integrated into the British establishment and will no longer feel it necessary to call themselves British - Muslims just British. Many British people have fear of Islam, but we now live in the climate where even if we wished to discuss the pros and cons of different religions, we no longer feel free to for fear that we might be accused of some hate crime (whatever that is). Clearly this journalist has a voice that we should listen to, unfortunately he now works for Al-Jazeera television (not available in these parts) since leaving the BBC.
The news of the world, made a big fuss about Sven's, girlfriend selling information to the newspapers about her partner, it seemed rather hypocritical to me, and anyway as football is more entertainment than sport does it matter. Personally I have already had enough of the World Cup be it metatarsal or girlfriends who cares.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ezekiels View

Interesting article by Thanet council leader Sandy Ezekiel in this week's Isle Thanet Gazette, what makes it interesting well frankly, things that are missed out. In this article Mr Ezekiel refers to some of the successes that we have had in Thanet this last year, Cliftonville West, improvements in recycling domestic waste etc. Nothing too contentious so far, but I find it is what he doesn't say which is more interesting, for instance he refers to the success of Westwood Cross and vaguely the developments taking shape at Thanet reach but no mention is made of the appalling traffic conditions in the Westwood area.

I honestly would like to know whether Mr Ezekiel has a view regarding our traffic congestion, we currently have a road system which is barely coping with the traffic that already exists, in a matter of weeks we shall see the opening of a massive PC World along with Homebase and Argos, I just wonder whether he has any solution to the traffic problem, that will ensue, another perhaps even more serious detriment to traffic flow within the centre of Thanet is the prospect of the new cabbage patch housing estate, Westwood Bland (for the want of a better name) which is set to contain at least 1000 homes, in my experience that would probably lead to 1000 additional cars needing to travel through Westwood, morning and afternoon. Perhaps Sandy would have a view on the local traffic situation next time he writes.

One of my pet interests is the purchase of the old Marks and Spencer's building, finally we get a little glimpse of the cost involved, according to Mr Ezekiel £8.5 million has been secured from Seeda to invest in the Margate high-street, of this I believe something in the region of £6 million has been exclusively spent on the M & S building. Now who would have a problem with this, well I do, it has been nearly two months since I believe it was first announced that purchase have been made of this site, normally one might expect that the council would have formulated some sort of idea as to the future of this site. Assuming I haven't missed an announcement, I would imagine that no firm plans have been arrived at, as yet, I can only speculate that any day now if they haven't already done it the council will be appointing some sort of consultant to come up with a plan if they haven't already done so.

One view I take of the Marks and Spencer site, is that it has been vacant for less than a year, therefore what was the rush, if this site is viable as a commercial premises them I think, particularly as we have a Conservative administration in Thanet, this is one area where we could have allowed, a little more time for the private sector to step in.

Well it is quite a while, before the next local elections, and we have time to consider our position, and one place we might consider our vote, is that extended drive we now have either to work, shop etc and currently I thank our Conservative local council, our Conservative county council for giving me that extra 30 minutes per day to ponder the effectiveness of their planning.

Well I'm off to the shops now, see you in the queue.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Manston back in business

It is good to see that passenger flights have started again, and at least this time round it looks as though business will be at a sustainable level. The operators of Manston, Infratil clearly look more competent than their predecessors with their experience in running Glasgow Prestwick airport and others. It would also appear that they plan on being at Manston for the long-term and have realistic targets in mind.

The Eujet operation was clearly flawed from the start, operating at one time up to 27 different destinations, which for a start-up operation was clearly nonsense but great for those of us who used the airline. If Eujet had started with fewer services, it would have been able to market itself far more effectively and would probably still be in business now.

It is inevitable that Manston will be a success, because it is easy to get to from South London and the rest of the south-east because it avoids a lot of the congested motorway system that serve Gatwick, Stansted, Heathrow.

Kent International airport press release click here
Kent Escapes click here

Come in number 71435

Briefly on St Peter's Road, I see that this will be closed again on Thursday the 1st June. The above reference number given to me by someone at KCC Highways Department, after taking copious notes about my concerns regarding the missing cycle lane, I was informed and that someone would get back to me, that was Wednesday this is Friday.

Previous story

New Labour arrogance

It seems that new Labour, have a new policy when dealing with bad news. We witnessed this with the John Prescott watched as he ignored and then blustered his way through the scandal of his affair with a junior member of his staff. As far as I can see Mrs Blair, is taking pretty much the same line of defence, ignore the problem until it goes away.
Now the problem that I have is that, Cherie Blair has her own career outside politics and so we're told is a very accomplished lawyer, this being the case, she would be more than eloquent in dismissing the criticism around the autographing of the Hutton report, so presumably it would be quite simple for Cherie Blair and to explain why she needn't apologise and put our minds at rest.
An alternative theory might well be, that Cherie Blair will wait for the dust to settle on this issue, if you like me, think that this is an example of outrageous arrogance on cherry Blair's part, you can sign a petition requesting that she apologise. This I discovered on Ian Dale's blog, which whilst not really my cup of tea (way to far to the right for my taste) does seem to expose quite a lot of hypocrisy and dual standards.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Why can't we determine our own future!

Democracy this is a fundamental part of our way of life, we are told on a daily basis, but I'm just considering the fact that any day now we will have, whether we like it or not a decision made regarding the Turner contemporary centre.

As we are all well aware the previous incarnation of the Turner Gallery resulted in an nothing less than at a complete debacle as roughly £8 million was wasted on an improbable and unlikely design.

I can only assume that those authorities that make these sort of decisions, assume that Joe public does not have the sophistication, good taste to make decisions of a such a major importance to the future of this town, you can just imagine the smug and superior intelligentsia that make these sort of decisions being unwilling to accept that Joe public has a right in such matters. To be quite honest they have a point, who in their right mind would choose a design for a gallery that looks similar to the backside of a white elephant and then have the cheek to choose the only design, from many to be built out to sea, no wonder we get no choice.

Hopefully this time round perhaps the great and good who get to choose these things, could come up with a short list of maybe five designs and then submit them to public scrutiny and allow interested members of the general public to make the final choice. This would have two important benefits, one would be that we might have a more practical gallery design and secondly if it all goes tits up again we have only ourselves to blame.

Just as an afterthought, why don't we convert the Winter Gardens into a gallery this would have the dual benefit of saving vast amounts of money, and it secondly we would no longer be subjected to endless streams of tribute bands where once we used to have entertainment.

Black Wednesday
Well yesterday proved to be quite an event full-day in Thanet blogging circles. For it was at 5:51am a message was posted on Eastcliff Richard's blog, that he would be heading for the Cayman Islands, I believe messages were sent that he should reconsider and turn his Lear jet back to Manston International all to no avail.

I am not sure what effect this will have on Ramsgate property prices, but it surely cannot be the good thing when our leading albeit reclusive millionaire leaves town.

I can only imagine that Eastcliff is now supping on cocktails, and contemplating his future.
Other news there is now a Thanet blog for blogging and hopefully will prove a definitive list and reference point for all Thanet related Bloggs, for Thanetonians whether they maybe in the world.

Just as an update to my story about Cherie Blair, I feel she still has to apologise for the apparently flippant manner in which she's treated a very serious government report. I believe that she may have got Mr Tony Blair her husband to mumble something of an excuse during Prime Minister's question time but this is hardly satisfactory.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Oy! Mrs Blair any danger of an apology!
The more I think about it, the more I realise we have to thank Roger Gale for, and certainly one of his major achievements must be defeating Cherie Blair in the 1983 general election.

I realise that politics is a pressured environment, assuming reports are correct that Cherie Blair signed a copy of the Hutton report which dealt with the death of David Kelly who sadly committed suicide under the pressure of investigations into the Government's flawed weapons of mass destruction dossier, but I wonder just how low are our ruling elite these days.

We have witnessed the rather distasteful sight of a our deputy Prime Minister bluffing and blustering his way past a rather seedy affair, behaviour which in many organisations would have resulted in instant dismissal, Tony Blair shuffling his pack of increasingly mediocre ministers, and now we have Cherie Blair seemingly making what appears to be a crass error of taste and decency by signing a very serious report into the death a hard-working conscientious civil servant.

What was this woman thinking of, I understand Cherie Blair is meant to be a highly regarded lawyer if so what does she think she is doing signing this report in a manner which would most likely embarrass a contestant on big brother.I like to think well of most people and I'm sure that Cherie Blair will issue an unconditional apology to the friends and family of David Kelly and also those friends and family of British service personnel who are being killed and maimed in Iraq as a result of the rather shabby W M D report.

Assuming she doesn't apologise perhaps, Tony Blair might consider reshuffling his household personnel, before they drag him further into the mire.

The good news out of all this is that I don't think Cherie Blair will ever represent Margate. The bad news is that Gordon Brown will never get elected if they keep up their current form.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Is this a new Kent Highways experimental traffic scheme?

Following on from my blog on Monday concerning St. Peter's Road, lines were applied that same day, whether they're in the right place is presumably a matter of artistic difference.

I have a theory if you notice from my picture there are now two lines going down the centre of the road, there are two possibilities why the markings are as they are, theory one because of the large numbers of schizophrenic drivers in Thanet, in order to accommodate them it has been thought necessary to give them two lines, one for each personality, obviously it won't work in severe cases, theory two, the highway authorities have a bold experiment in place to see if they can slow down traffic by making a central cycle lane this would have two effects one it would make cyclists move a little quicker secondly motorists would in turn slowdown to avoid having to scrape cyclists off the bonnet of their car (personally I do not like experiments on living creatures, especially cyclists as I am one, unless it is absolutely necessary).

Another thought has occurred to me if you look at the photograph where there used to be a wide cycle lane there is now a single thick white line this maybe to encourage cyclists to keep right on the edge of the kerb thus giving cars the extra room they obviously need.

I am sure the highway authorities know what they're doing and it will be explained to us before someone is hurt.

Obscure KCC Hotel profitable
Reply received from KCC concerning, one of the county's more exclusive Hotels, (see earlier story KCC Hotelier's) according to a facilities manager for the Oakwood House Hotel this does actually make a profit although occupancy of its 41 rooms is at a meagre 35 per cent. A greater effort is being made to market the hotel to non local authority customers.

Despite the fact that this establishments makes a profit I would assume that most of its custom is from KCC. Although this is making an operating profit I just wonder whether a given the capital involved we are getting a fair return for our money.

Is it me or our council staff or rather our officers (as many like to be called particularly in Thanet) getting more polite. I would like to thank all those council employees who are so helpful these days.
Worst drought in history
Drought, increases its clammy grip on the Flaig estate. Again today I have done my best to alleviate the severest effects of this terrible drought all to no avail, at around 2:30pm this afternoon we were once again subjected to another a half inch of drought rain.

I think it is about time that we examined the human cost, my other half has been brainwashed into thinking that we are in the worst drought since time began if one is to believe the environment Agency. I am sure that no amount of explaining, will mitigate my situation when my partner arrives tired and hungry tonight expecting a basket full of dry laundry how can I compete against the barrage of propaganda emanating from the water companies and the environment Agency.
Get me a standpipe someone!
KCC Hotelier's
I am sure there are some things about KCC that are surprising. For instance did you know that KCC owned and operated Oakwood House which is described on the establishments webpage as a Hotel and Conference Venue in the heart of Kent.

Well I didn't, I just wonder why KCC needs to own and operate its own hotel and conference venue. Now from the brief information that I have been able to obtain at this point which may not be a wholly reliable is that this is used partly for staff training for KCC employees and other meetings. The hotel apparently offers 41 rooms with en-suite facilities, television, direct dial telephones and English or continental breakfast. The hotel also has a bar which offers a full range of drinks.

I thought I would see how easy it was to book a room, so I thought I would use Expedia, Travelocity, (all major booking sites) to see what availability was like, as this is how I and many others book accommodation these days none of these generally reliable websites could help.

I rang the hotel and spoke to someone, who pointed out that they currently had around 35 per cent occupancy, now I am no expert but as this appears to be a reasonably priced establishment I wonder why the occupancy level is not around 80 per cent, can you imagine what would happen to the boss of Travelodge if they were as busy.

No doubt bosses of KCC will argue that overnight accommodation is necessary when staff are on training courses etc, I would say Margate is one of the furthest outposts in Kent with some of the worst roads but I can generally get to Maidstone within an hour.

I have spoken to someone at KCC, and they have assured me that someone will get back to me with an indication as to the cost of running this hotel, I personally would imagine this operates at a loss but I will let you know. In the meantime have a look at the venue in question click away!

Final thing the establishment operates theme nights unfortunately you have missed Fawlty Towers one which was back in February.

A message to The Palace of Maidstone

Considering that vast amounts of our taxes go to KCC I think we get very little in return, OK we get average schooling, police, fire, ambulance service,etc. But what else, we did see the leader of the council Paul Carter a few weeks ago offering us a present of the new improved Turner centre, a lot of the money for this project not actually coming from KCC but other organisations.

It seems to me that all the good stuff, the icing on the cake, goes fairly exclusively to those that live in Maidstone. Now I realise that Maidstone is rather an a ugly town, with little to distinguish it from other ugly towns. What the residents of the Maidstone area seen to get in return though, is the vast bureaucracy which is KCC. Be it bods beavering away in County Hall, Springfield, West Malling and Oakwood house.

Now I personally want my money back, I feel certain that were our local county government to be based in Thanet that our roads would be better, our schools would be better, and almost certainly at incomes would be higher.

I think it is time that we thanatonians stormed the Palace of Maidstone and took control!

Monday, May 22, 2006

New Airbus super jumbo is Manston ready?
Whilst the width and length Manston runway, will support Airbus Industries latest product Airbus A 380, I am a little concerned about the terminal capacity should any one wish to operate from the airport on a commercial basis.

Anoraks must be a worn. Please click here for Airbus A 380 video info and what not!
Thanet Blogerati
There seems to be a little controversy in the Thanet blogland, whether this is driven by ambition or something else. I intend to keep my blog, like my mind small. If you know anything keep it to yourself!

As I think I mentioned before, I frequently work at the weekends thus I'm deprived of being shocked and horrified over a mug of Earl Grey tea and lashings of toast on Sunday morning. Good thing to, judging by this week's Sunday Times, page 2 carries this story "Tory A-lister, urges well-off to avoid burdening NHS".

Adam Rickitt, is quoted as encouraging people to use private health care if they can afford it. All well and good but you might just ask who this political heavy weight is (check it out for yourself click here), apparently he's a former star of Coronation Street.

So what you might ask yourself, but apparently this chap is one of 104 high-flyers selected by Conservatives for safe or winnable seats, David Cameron Tory party leader wishes to broaden the Conservatives appeal. I just hope this isn't indicative of the depth of political thinking that we can expect from David Cameron in the nightmare scenario that he ever gets elected as Prime Minister.

Coming back to local issues, North Thanet has been represented in Parliament, by Roger Gale for many a year and he has been a good representative for his party and constituency, but surely he must be a considering retirement at the next election and I just wonder whether the Tory party have anyone as competent as he to take his place.

Maybe it is a generational thing, perhaps Adam Rickitt, coming from a TV background might make an ideal replacement as I believe Roger Gale was in that industry as a producer himself, personally I am not convinced.

Still I haven't got anything planned for the latter half of the decade, perhaps Mr Cameron might wish to contact me (by nature I'm a liberal but I'm easily led).

St. Peter's Road room for improvement!
A few weeks ago, some of Peter's Road which runs from the Margate Hospital, through to St. Peter's roundabout was resurfaced.

Improvements having been made included new speed restrictions lowering the speed to a 50 mph, I assume this was done to allow the mainly ignorant Thanetonians, to have a speed to aim for when using this road, as in the past people's speed has been mainly been governed by their ignorance of the national speed limit, those driving Nissan Micras and wearing either a flat cap, trilby or blue rinse, assume the speed limit was a racy 30 miles an hour, the rest of us of working age, aimed at the then legal 60 mph, and preferably an early morning 70 mph (I speak for myself here).

Being a cynic, I feel the main reason for the lowering of the speed limit on this road is to enable use of speed cameras. There is one improvement which I personally think should be a priority over placing new speed restriction signs, that is reinstatement of road markings unless things have changed overnight this road as no markings.

Personally I think this is rather negligent, in the same way that a Thanetonians have little clue as to speed limits, they are also not very clever where positioning on the road is concerned, as a regular cyclist this can be quite alarming. It would be nice if someone could make replacing white lines a priority before someone else is harmed on this road. I recently cycled down this road and was forced off the pavement (which doubles as a cycle path and pavement ) twice, once by road works, and secondly by a mini digger travelling at high speed which refused to give way to this cyclist.
Drought water companies to act
I think I may have a tendency to hallucinate first thing on Monday morning when I turn on the Radio 4 programme today, this morning I am sure I heard one of the presenters tell me that the water companies were about to increase their charges in order to plug the many leaks in the system.

Surely there must be some mistake don't we hear every time that the water companies apply for drought orders that they are already doing as much as is humanly possible to plug the leaks in their system, so how is it that they could now be suggesting a price hike to do what they are already doing with the utmost efficiency.

One thing I would say, is that drought rain seems to be heavier than the normal variety, I would normally illustrate this blog with my now familiar herd of cows but due to the severe drought conditions on the Flaig estate my herd are no longer visible due to the height of the grass.

You must congratulate the water companies, for their cheek they make vast profits out of a monopoly, tell us that they are doing all they can to resolve the 'drought', and now want more money assuming Radio Four's today programme is to be trusted.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Green Light for Westwood Housing Estate
We have been told that the new housing development Westwood is part of some master plan, if this is the case it is refreshing to see that our council leader Sandy Ezekiel has admitted that 100 million of pounds is required to improved Thanets road system. The developers of the Westwood housing estate have made it quite clear that they believe they have taken sufficient steps so as to not add to our at traffic congestion.

Perhaps in the light of Mr Ezekiels statement he could make some of public statement as to whether he is in favour of what the new Gleeson homes development. I think it is something we should know.

Gale's NHS

It seems that Roger Gale is getting rather worried about abuse of the health-service. In this week's "in my view "(available in the Thanet extra and Thanet life), he has apparently met with a registrar from A&E at one of the counties hospitals and expresses their concerns.

80 per cent of patients should not be in A&E, this may be a fair point but has Roger Gale or the registrar ever tried to make an appointment with their doctor. The surgery that I attend infrequently, the criteria and availability of a doctor's appointment is never the same. So is it any wonder that people stagger up to the A&E

What I'm trying say is that access, to medical services is very inconsistent, subject to fashion and administrative competence . I think belatedly that people in the health professions have started to realise they are in a business which deals with people, and the vast majority no longer see why when we pay such a high price for these services we should be treated in a cavalier and offhand manner.

Mr Gale mentions, setting aside the after-school " morning after pill ", here I really take issue with Mr Gale and his acquaintance the registrar, for the five minutes inconvenience of assisting a teenager with contraception and preventing two lives being ruined I say tough, get on with it.

Then we come to the four hour breach, under government targets patients' are required to be seen within four hours if not this has to be reported. Mr Gale is not the only person to have contact with health service professionals, I once met a receptionist who told me that if a patient was particularly obnoxious and overbearing (sounds like me really) then they would do what they could to delay that person. I realise the A&E units are not some manufacturing unit but surely it is no hardship to deal with patients' within four hours, I would imagine that the main problem in dealing with patients is often health care professionals reluctance to deal with someone they feel should be at the GPs surgery.

In conclusion patients or even customers of the health service are not experts in provision of healthcare, they are just the ones who see substantial sums coming out of their wages in taxation, much of which is swallowed up in the health service.

In the same way that many patients should not turn up to the A&E, perhaps Mr Gale could address the most likely 80 per cent of managers, clerical find staff, directors etc who are pretty much superfluous to the running of the health service.

Some error? Wiggins mislaid £40 million ?

Thank God I'm not a accountant or for that matter a policeman but there is a very interesting story in the Isle Thanet Gazette today concerning an error in the accounts of Wiggins the former owners of Manston airport.

Apparently some error crept into Wiggins accounts which unfortunately was not picked up, this inadvertently resulted in a rosier picture of their accounts than was the actual case. It would appear unaware of the true picture Wiggins then managed to raise £42,500,000 from their shareholders.
The accountants joint disciplinary tribunal ruled ''the Wiggins accounts'' ''were materially defective in each and every way''.

The article makes no mention of whether this was subject to a police inquiry. I believe that there were many local investors maybe someone would like to comment.
Relax! Merger of schools not true
There have I believe been several rumours circulating in the Thanet area of major changes to our secondary school system, worry not for the status quo is to be maintained if the report in the Thanet extra concerning Clarendon House and Chatham House is any indication.

I think that Conservatives have no need to fear any radical changes within the local schooling system. We can return to our complacent and tolerant attitude which allowed the Ramsgate School to exist for so long, I can only imagine the pride that KCC must have felt in having one of the country's poorest performing schools for so long.

I believe one story suggested the amalgamation of all our local secondary schools into two merged colleges or whatever (you can read this on Dr Moore's usually superior, infallible and reliable blog Thanet life click here) presumably this would have led to a more equitable comprehensive styled education.

I believe that our education system has let many children down over the years, I think it has been the case over the years of far as our children are concerned, if at first you don't succeed, then don't bother!

If proof were needed that our current grammar-school system was tainted, then ask yourself this why do so many apologists for the grammar system spend hard earned money on additional tuition for their children to coach them to pass the wretched Kent Test (11 plus).

Fortunately considerations of education, no longer have any personal influence on my life, but as I said the status quo will be maintained and I'm fairly certain that in my own location within that Thanet the choice of school is still very limited and children are still subjected to travelling past the closest school to them. I cannot help thinking that were KCC resources based in Thanet our schools would be a damned site better than they are.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

This would rattle a few cages in Thanet

It seems to me, that our local Nimbys are not what they used to be, I rarely see a letter in the paper complaining about Manston. I just wonder what they would make of the new Airbus A 380 (at Heathrow for the first time today) should it ever darken the horizon over Ramsgate.
What always amazes me about our Manston Nimbys is how so many of them are native to Thanet and yet only realised that we had an airport in the vicinity when the RAF moved out. Obviously the base had some hitherto unknown Stealth technology.
What an amazing European collaboration I think we make the ash trays and the wings, BAE have decided to flog their share of this magnificent project.

Do not turn on your television tonight
Are you an addictive person, because if you are you could get caught up in watching a whole new series of big brother, personally I have never found this in the least interesting except when privileged to see the great political thinker and clown George Galloway in the last series.

I will naturally hide in the study (spare bedroom but with not as much junk as the other one), for the next eight weeks oblivious to all the fuss hopefully!
We can track down 74 year olds

The government are clearly in one hell of a mess, concerning immigration I think I have just found what John Reid, and Tony Blair need. Clearly employees of the Home Office have no stomach for dealing with illegal immigrants into this country whether they are here just purely for the money or in the worst case scenario to lead a life of crime.

Although Tony Blair is clearly no longer in touch with reality (at least the reality you and I know) even he is starting to feel the exasperation of the British people who are tired of the Home Office ineptitude and have had enough. I would suggest that they need tenacious but sympathetic people to deal with illegal migrants may I suggest that they look no further than at Dover District Council.

A 74 year-old man has been jailed for 23 days for unpaid council tax, retired seaman George Frost, for failing to pay £991.41, I find it ironic that there have been hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants pass through Dover without let or hindrance adding billions to social costs of education, health etc.

Magistrates apparently ruled on Monday that he had willfully refused to pay, I would just say that I have never met a magistrate who is on the breadline, assuming that their judgment is correct I say so what couldn't they have given this man a community sentence perhaps the made him watch our rather smug deputy Prime Minister being humiliated in the House of Commons today.

However sympathetic the council in Dover think they have been in dealing with this gentleman it still seems rather draconian given that our Prime Minister and Home Secretary have pretty much given up all pretence of sovereignty or border control of this country. The thing that really bites my bottom is the thought that legions of lack lustre, mediocre civil servants have negligently degraded our borders and rendered them non-existent will any of these people lose their jobs let alone their liberty I don't think so.

For the story click this link (Kent Messenger)

To See John Prescott wriggle (ITN)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Drought what drought?

As you can see from the photograph things are looking pretty good, my stock have never been in better shape and neither has the grass. So what is all this nonsense about Southern Water applying for drought orders. It's a pity the directors of Southern Water never get to go to the Mediterranean, were they to do so they would notice even in the driest conditions swimming pools are full and lawns are being watered.

Our water companies are unable to construct a National Grid for water despite the fact that we have an abundance of water in this country and they have made billions in profit.

I find it somewhat appalling that in a country that is only slightly drier than Atlantis, we will shortly have standpipes in our street due to water industry incompetence, and to top it all, although we won't be able to run a tap in our homes soon, such is our industrial competence Tony Blair feels we ought to consider massive new investment in nuclear power I'd rather have a drink first.

I just hope that if Southern Water are going to make me queue at a standpipe there will be an adjustment in the Bill.
Free speech the price is going up

We've all heard a lot in the media recently about defining British attributes. Now I have always thought that honesty and integrity have been one of the core British values, but the more I think about the less I feel that this is the case today.

You may look to this medium that I'm currently using the blog, and think that this is available freely and without regulation and up to a point it is, however in writing what I think, I now have a little voice in my head (no I don't think I'm a schizophrenic), which is telling me that anything I say that doesn't conform to middle-class sensibilities could be construed as a part of the some ''hate crime'' now I may occasionally wish to discuss social issues such as migration, or religion but feel that this is no longer easily done as anything critical may be construed as an incitement to hate.

One thing it I will comment on, is the near miss we recently had when our Labour government wanted to make discussions of religion illegal, and assuming they ever get their way I would hope that I would have enough money to get the first flight out of here. Presumably had this law come into being I would not be able to criticise the Archbishop of Canterbury for depriving people of a dignified death should they so wish this week, pass comment on the Catholic Church in Ireland running their Magdalene homes, Israelis helping themselves to Palestinian farms or other excesses such as the wish of some introduce public execution into the British high-street.

Today we see that yet another Home Secretary has already lost the plot, John Reid does not know how many illegal immigrants there are in the UK and clearly neither does anyone else within the Home Office. On Tuesday David Roberts, head of removals for the Immigration and nationality directorate admitted that he didn't have the faintest idea of the number of illegal immigrants in this country. In any other organisation David Roberts, would by now be brushing up his CV and considering a name change.

Clearly all control has been lost of our national boundaries, so talk of core British values in the media seems a bit pointless to me, no longer do we have integrity and honesty from our politicians or civil servants these have been replaced by incompetence and bull.

Quite rightly there is no place for racism and intolerance, but it is about time that we restored the honesty and integrity of Britain by allowing and encouraging the people of this country including migrants legal or otherwise to debate the consequences of uncontrolled migration. It is all too easy for the likes of Tony Blair to look at the problem from a distance as they do, because they will never have to compete for jobs, housing, education, health, with newly arrived people. The ruling classes for the want of better expression are by and large immune from the social changes which are occurring as a result of Home Office negligence unfortunately it's those of us who live in places like Margate that have to adapt.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Beware of Morons in the Northdown Road area

Several residents have had their tyres slashed by mindless idiots near Northdown Road last night.
Lazy Britain

I think one of the most astounding stories that I have ever read in a newspaper, is the news that 350,000 Polish people have arrived in this country in the last two years. At the risk of being controversial I find it staggering that a settlement of people of this order warrants only secondary positioning in the newspapers, as I work most weekends it takes me a day or two to catch-up with the Sunday papers. I just happen to find it incredible, this news given its social and economic impact only rates page 13 of the Sunday Times. If you look at this anyway it has significant effect in all areas of life be it provision for hospitals or housing.

Obviously things must be fairly desperate in Poland when unemployment is in the region of 20 per cent, so if I was Polish I would find it hard to resist settling in the UK.

I read in the Guardian, how London would grind to a halt were it not possible to exploit people from Africa, and East Europe with poverty pay so that the affluent can have their cleaners, au pairs , plumber's etc . Just what sort of people are we, that the affluent expect people to do menial tasks for minimal money. Yesterday as I recovered from a working Weekend, I listened to the today programme on Radio 4 and and listened as the presenter said that British people are no longer willing to work for low pay and wondered why this idiot was not himself on £5.05.

It never ceases to amaze me how people on very good incomes, are so reluctant to see people doing menial tasks for a living wage.

The middle-class or rather middle income class are quite happy to accept that they can pay a Polish National less than they would their British counterpart and do not consider this any form of discrimination, however should working class complain about being displaced by cheaper Polish workers then they get accused of being lazy or racist.

In the Sunday-Times editorial "Calling all Poles" the author refers to Poles speaking English better than the natives (so you can see the mindset of the author) he then goes on it to say how Poles have filled jobs that local workers are unable or unwilling to do. Would this journalist work for the minimum wage I don't think so.

The thing is whilst British Industry is wallowing in a sea of cheap labour enjoying a short term benefit, it's a pity these businesses cannot see the other side of the coin which will be increased pressure on public services health, policing, welfare education etc.

The Home Office predicted that roughly 5000 to 13,000 migrants would arrive from the enlarged EU not 350,000 , unfortunately it is those at the bottom rungs of society who will pay the cost for this error in lower wages whilst middle income/middle-class people smugly pontificate about the Polish work ethic forgetting that they are themselves exploiting these people.

Can anyone recommend a plumber ?
Westwood is anybody convinced?

Yesterday I spoke with one of the consultants for the Partnership developing Westwood and frankly I still have the feeling that talk about transport links etc is just so much waffle. A big emphasis was placed on public transport as a part of the solution to the appalling traffic around the already choked Haine and Nash Road and mention is made of new junctions on to already congested Roads. I think these developers seriously believe that a large section of new Westwood Bland housing estate, are going to travel by bus or if suicidal jump on there bicycle.

I have many times cycled to work along parts of this road but for someone of a sensitive nature who is afraid of dying I would not want to navigate around Margate or Haine Road, you see the problem is that although the road might be wide enough to accommodate both, motorists cannot see cyclist in most conditions, to prove the point I use to wear a bright yellow raincoat on top of which would be a yellow Hi vis jacket to anyone other than a motorist I looked like a big fat luminous banana but strangely remained invisible to drivers. Walking, where are you going to walk to, from Westwood Bland would you want to cross Haine Road or Margate Road thought not. So what do the planners know that we don’t, perhaps Petrol and Diesel is about to reach ten quid a litre, and traffic will just disappear?

The fact is the only safe cycling anywhere around Westwood will be on the actual estate on the “central linear path” going nowhere. Just going back to their leaflet evidently links will connect cycle paths, pavements etc. is this imaginary infrastructure what paths Nash Road, there is a pavement on Haine Road but somehow you would have to cross the road without getting killed to get anywhere.

I would challenge anyone involved in this proposed development to cycle anywhere near this area I honestly feel that no one has done any homework on this. I think there is more than a whiff of arrogance. Is it me, am I Barking Bonkers mad, or is this plan ill conceived and going to result in chaos. Woof woof!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Busy Weekend

I have been away this Weekend, so I have not really had the opportunity to scan the newspapers. I have made time to read through the excellent Kent on Sunday for me there are several stories worthy of any newspaper.

Ruth Kelly, is criticised in connection with increased housebuilding in Kent. Councillor Paul Carter leader of Kent County Council is quoted as saying that ''we've had an enormous number of houses thrust upon us'', perhaps he should consider his endorsement of Imperial Colleges plans ''we must make this a reality'' to enhance the village of Wye, by adding 12,500 jobs a house or two and maybe some concrete, I'm sure with sympathetic planning that a village atmosphere will be retained, unfortunately I think it will be the village of the damned.

On page 13 of KOS reference is made to Westwood our new 1000 home neighbourhood Westwood Bland as I prefer, property director James Ager apparently said ''there is a shortage of housing in Thanet - people are living longer''etc I think have scene something very similar elsewhere. Gleeson homes website

Kent's fire chief, Charlie Hendry is understandably upset at the prospect of closure of the brigades control room and resulting redundancies. He also expresses concern at the lack of local knowledge that a new regional centre covering nine counties would have, I honestly think that whilst it is regrettable that our own local centre will close I believe a similar regional system is operated in Scotland without problem. During the last firemen's strike I believe that part of the deal in giving generous pay increases was that efficiencies would be made this is obviously one of those consequences of that deal. I believe that unlike the other two main emergency services the fire service refuses to employ civilian call centre staff. I would query what local knowledge is actually available in the current call-centre set-up.

Most distressing was the story concerning human trafficking, I think that society has always held a very low opinion of pimps and men involved in the sex industry and rightly so, I just wonder whether the penalties are sufficient given the crime. If there were a scale of crime then I think this is up there with murder, consider this young women are kidnapped abused held prisoner, bought and sold in alien surroundings. I just hope that any one convicted of these crimes gets a life sentence .

Finally good news, Kent's greatest living artist Keith Richards (not Tracey Emin) is despite reports to the contrary recovering from his recent head injury, long may he remained indestructible.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Quiet evening turns to terror!

This evening a quiet barbecue turned nasty. It is all too easy now that summer is with us to be complacent. What better than on a Friday afternoon, after work to round off the week, with a bottle of beer in one hand and a Burger in the other, and clouds of paraffin perfumed smoke filtering through next doors washing. The fading sun an idyllic scene you would imagine.

There is nothing like this simple pleasure, but unfortunately tonight that relaxed, self-satisfied attitude was shattered. All too easily we allow our guard to drop with windows left open, doors ajar frankly it's a recipe for disaster.

I am not one for Rough Justice, but tonight I am left bitter and twisted after my hospitality has been abused and my home violated. I am taking the extraordinary step of publishing a photograph of the Prime suspect and warn others to be on the lookout.

Be warned do not approach the suspect as it has a taste for meat judging by the Burger it pinched from the Flaig household. Sausage anyone!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Westwood Bland your new neighbourhood at Westwood

You have to look at the proposals for Westwood, it's their leaflet (the text is available at that really disappoints this is meant to be a consultation process however firstly you read the background it states the obvious the location, the number of homes also the fact that they may very in size. Apparently it is ideally located in the centre of Thanet enabling people to walk and cycle to the breadth of attractions nearby as well as being highly accessible to the coastal towns, well I consider myself fairly stupid and will cycle and a walk anywhere but even I would think twice about walking or cycling anywhere near Westwood Cross these days due to the traffic which if you are a developer is of no consequence.

The next section is the proposal, this is a similarly bland as was the background which went before it mentions an environmental statement being under way, in addition to homes provision will be made for a school unfortunately due to falling demand land given over for schooling could be used for more housing, what bad luck!

The master plan section continues in a similar style existing mature trees and hedgerows along the site's boundaries will be retained where possible, this shows the depth of their planning what mature trees? what hedgerow? Obviously they have spent a long time studying the area. And perhaps the boldest statement of all is that the local road network will also be improved, as I understood from their plans all they intend to do is make minor improvements where their estate will join Nash Lane and the Haine Road. If I'm wrong in this then perhaps someone from the developers can tell me where they intend to make any significant improvement to the roads.

I have heard a rumour that there are cabbages of such a special bouquet, that the area might be considered to be of special scientific interest thus the thwarting the developers .

Will traffic pressure force rethink on Westwood Thousand housing development.

The consultation process that took place earlier this week at Westwood Cross, what sort of impact will this have with the developers. I may have misunderstood but the developers seem to me to be oblivious to the traffic problems we have encountered ever since Westwood Cross opened. I went to this consultation process with an open mind (I lie) and the hope that the developers would be suggesting and assisting with improved road infrastructure. But on close inspection of the plans they appear to be suggesting widening Nash Road only at the point where residents of the 1000 homes development will spill on to the Haine Road.

As this housing development is apparently part of some master plan for the area it is a pity that at the time I visited there was no one on hand from KCC to give the some input as to how the Haine Road will cope with a likely extra 1000 vehicles trying to get on to the Haine Road or even worse negotiating the very dangerous Nash Road.

I'm sure that as this was a consultation by the developers, that they will put their plans on ice until such time as KCC and Thanet District Council apply their minds as to how people are meant to travel within Thanet. As the accompanying photographs show large parts of Thanet are already choked with traffic. I think the accompanying photographs illustrate (for developers benefit), I can remember when queues for the Westwood roundabout started within maybe a hundred metres or yards (it was only last year ) soon you won't be able to get onto the back of the queue in the centre of Margate.

If you did not have a chance to go please look at the Gleeson Site one of the partners in this development see what you think, me I think they will build what they can get away with and you can add another 10 minutes to your journey time when going to work or shopping. A major route on to this site is Nash Lane which I know is almost motorway standard(M25) but really if this is part of a masterplan god help us.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Microsoft sales trick?

I suggest you please look away now and yawn if you are like me and not particularly that interested in the mechanics of their pc. I have no reason to besmirch Microsoft or it's founder as for the greater part they have improved and enriched our lives, just as a for instance this very blog (obviously not the best example)!

What I am complaining about is the constant stream of security upgrades which it thrusts upon my computer (surely this is a good thing) the problem is my computer came bundled with Microsoft Office which I choose not to use and have yet to register although it would only cost around £300 maybe I'm being petty, the thing is it sends an upgrade for this programme although I have never attempted to use it or installed it but at the same time it makes Outlook (part of Office) my default e-mail program.

I can only assume that this is part of an unintentional attempt to make me register as when I later go to read my Email it always asks me to register Microsoft Office before I read my mail (for me of this is a simple process of ignoring the registration and setting Outlook Express as my default e-mail program again).

Just as a side issue, whenever you go into an office you're likely to find people using Microsoft Office (which for many is just an overblown word-processor with incomprehensible functions) generally those sat in front of this masterpiece of software have little idea of its capabilities and I just wonder how many billions are wasted in British Industry by using this albeit comprehensive tool when there are cheaper products available.

It's amazing how life has changed in the last 15 years or so, I think that Microsoft has spawned an entirely pointless part to the work routine, just think of how much time managers are devoted to producing their wretched little Powerpoint presentations. I am at the bottom of the food chain but in my last job even as factory fodder, I was regularly subjected to Powerpoint presentations when a command of the English language and maybe a White Board would have sufficed. Just think how many of our public sector workers are involved every day producing tedious Powerpoint presentations it's virtually an industry on its own.

I think I went off on one there but here is a thought how much money could the public sector save if it were to not renew its Microsoft Office licences, and instead got an excellent programme like OpenOffice. Well that's my rant for the day which quite honestly would not be possible without Microsoft operating system God bless em!

PS you've got this far you must be sadder than me!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ramsgate Farm Crop Fails

Farm in Whitehall road! have they got planning permission? I always find it interesting the obsession that we have with cannabis, yet how much is our local press devoted to tales fights and injuries as a result alcohol abuse.

Is it not about time that we grew up, why not allow the recreational use of cannabis. I am nearly 50 and because I do not break the law I have never taken cannabis or any other opiate and or hallucinogenic drug.

This country is full of hypocrisy on the one hand a whole industry is devoted to producing alcohol with little or no control which allows us as taxpayers to pay large sums of money to the police to deal with the ensuing violence and then waste valuable resources in our hospitals.

In in the same way that many users of alcohol are able to use this drug sensibly I believe it that cannabis users are similarly sensible.

Just to balance things up assuming that alcohol will always be freely available perhaps the pub trade could be billed on a weekly basis for a) policing their customers and b) the cost to the NHS. Maybe if that were the case publicans would be more responsible.

I think any way you look it drug abuse alcohol is by far the most damaging to our communities.

If proof were needed this web brogue was winning under the influence of half a bottle of California wine about three quid a bottle.

Thanet to save the world!

Sometimes you stumble across some real gems of information on the Internet and sometimes in the most surprising places, occasionally for the want of something better to do I checkout the KCC news archive just to see if the county council are about to consult me on something they are going to do anyway.

But this particular story ''Thanet must take action to slow climate change''quite frankly has astounding implications for the rest of the world. Climate change will have a serious impact on Thanet Peter Moore, KCC's environment strategy manager explained ''we can rise to the challenge'' Marianne Hall from charity Global Action Plan (KCC supported) suggested, composting, re using carrier bags and turning off electrical items would be helpful.

Assuming I have interpreted this correctly then the world is relying on me and my fellow Thanetonians (is there such a thing) to drive to my local bottle bank, buy myself one of those plastic composting contraptions get more energy-saving bulbs that I leave on 24 hours a day I feel salvation is at hand. Goodbye to global-warming it makes me feel humble that I can contribute so much and to think I had been worried about America reneging on the Kyoto agreement.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Westwood Thousand
a new housing development

Today until tomorrow Tuesday 9th May there is at Westwood Cross an exhibition and consultation process concerning what is described as a new neighbourhood at Westwood. The developers Richardson Carillion and Gleeson are intending apparently to build a thousand homes on a plot of land bordered by Haine Road and Nash Road.

The plans are still at an early stage for the purposes of the consultation, however it it is intended that there will be some road improvements although these will probably be very minor and strictly only at the access points for this new estate. They actually have a transport consultant available to discuss the plan. He seemed to be quite confident that there wouldn't be any significant impact in having a thousand new homes opposite the Westwood Cross site.

Apparently this land was designated in the local plan for development so presumably our local authorities have a clear idea of what they're doing. Presumably someone is going to come a long and wave a magic wand thus removing some of that troublesome congestion that we have experienced since Westwood Cross opened.

The people representing this development seemed to be a bit woolly on the detail but as I say it is apparently part of the consultation process. I suggest anyone who wants to see how an additional thousand homes will improve the local road infrastructure should nip along pronto.

Homosexuality is a biological fact isn't it?

I only ask the question because I see that plans are being made to stage a Gay Pride event in Thanet and also that Canterbury council are thinking of employing a policy adviser on equalities and access issues for gays and lesbians bisexuals transsexuals etc now clearly homosexuality is as natural for some as heterosexuality.

What I don't understand, is given that sexuality is a biologically determined behaviour which does not impose any disability on a person why is it it necessary to make such an issue of something which is usually a matter of personal preference, and as for Canterbury council how could they justify employing a policy adviser for what are normal people, maybe one day a local authority will employ an adviser for people who would rather not discuss their sex lives.

The organiser of this Gay pride event believes that homophobia is still at large in Thanet, maybe this wouldn't be such an issue (assuming it is) if organiser accepted that there was no longer any stigma, they are normal, which most of the community do.

I hope anyone reading this will take care and not assume that I am homophobic just world weary.
How stupid are the Labour Party

Is history about to repeat itself, for the last few weeks the Labour Party has looked increasingly incompetent. Whether it has been our health minister saying there's nothing wrong, the Home Secretary's losing dangerous criminals, alternatively Deputy Dog two jags/ shags apparenly being unable to control himself with the opposite sex or Tony Blair having admitted at the start of this current government that he would retire, the Labour Party appear to be unable to stop kicking themselves when they are down.

First off it seems incredible that Tony Blair would wish to to keep John Prescott in his government considering his apparent appalling behaviour where women are concerned. I suppose in a way it is refreshing to have a politician who is so politically incorrect but from being the straight talking no nonsense Deputy Prime Minister he has descended into being a complete laughing stock if our newspapers are to be believed. I think in many organisations having sex in your office with one of your junior colleagues would either be a resigning offence or alternatively gross misconduct unless it was just after the Christmas party.

Charles Clarke just got unlucky, I would imagine that any Home Secretary in the past 20 years would have been heading a government department which frequently ignored common sense where foreigners were concerned. I'm fairly sure that the Home Office with the connivance of fair-minded civil servants have regularly welcomed with open arms terrorists, fascists, revolutionaries, religious bigots and criminals. So it is unfortunate for Charles Clarke that his critics happen to have zeroed in on this particular scandal, quite clearly Charles Clarke being sacked should be accompanied by those dozens of civil servants who have a clearly been responsible allowing criminals are to stay in this country for many years.

As to the apparent orchestrated campaign to remove Tony Blair by his colleagues, I think these mainly under-achievers ought to look at the despicable way that John Major was bought down by what I think he referred to as Pigmies. I wonder just how many unemployed MPs later went on to regret their Euro phobia and obsession with the pound, clearly they achieved nothing except losing their jobs and making me give away 5 to 10 percent of my money to the banks every time I travel in Europe. Anyway that was a bit of a digression quite frankly whoever leads the Labour Party is irrelevant to the greater extent but why play into the hands of your enemies by making such an issue of the leadership. The Labour Party might well like to remember the vision John Major being challenged for the leadership by John Redwood that was when I knew that the Tories were finished.