Saturday, September 30, 2006

Margate Slur or journalistic cliche?

Last night's BBC news report, by Razia Iqbal on artangel's 'exodus' production, set me thinking on two levels, firstly was nostalgia as the cliched organ music was played in the background, and secondly bewilderment as the reporter seemed to wander from my perception of Margate, reference to "the famous abandoned scenic railway" would seemed to be at odds with the fact that this was being operated all summer, but as to the abandonment, a quick visit to the Save the Dreamland campaign would show that it has yet to be forsaken at least by locals.

scene from report

Perhaps the suggestion or comment that no one in this town should let pass, was this comment, "empty hotels and B&Bs have for years now been filled with refugees, the cause of racial tension here", whilst it may be true that Hotels etc have and are being used, to house refugees, I for one am unaware of any atmosphere of racial tension. Admittedly every town has its witless BNP supporters and Margate is probably no different in that respect, but the fact that Margate has absorbed very large numbers of migrants and refugees with minimal trouble does this town great credit. I personally have yet to hear anyone express the mindless hatred suggested by this report.

In my opinion, had this reporter relied less on obvious cliches, then she may well have reported on Margates exemplary tolerance in spite of Home Office incompetence, and government negligence in handling the sensitive issue of migration, only now in the last month for two have we seen government ministers accept the reality of uncontrolled migration.

Just coming back to the nostalgia, along with a thriving seaside towns, there may well have been a time, when journalists delved a little deeper and presented a balanced view.

Despite BBC reporting, and any impression given by 'the exodus production', MARGATE can be proud of its tolerance.

P S I don't feel forlorn or shabby either!

See bbc report here

Dreamland campaign Website

Exodus Home

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Public accountability is it tough enough !

You may wonder why I do this, blogging stuff, well I am full of it, ideas opinions etc. I am also motivated, in this world of globalisation, where you have no control over where your, insurance or banking details are administered, or which country manufacturers your Smarties or even HP sauce, this seems the only medium where you might reach out to those who influence our lives.

Even in matters of local government, it seems that we are almost powerless in confronting bad practice, poor decisions and bad ideas. What checks and balances are there, well some time ago, I highlighted the fact that you and I (Kent readers only I'm afraid), through the good management of Kent County Council, stake holders (one those phrases that means nothing really) in a little known a hotel in Maidstone Oakwood House.

Now so what, you're saying, Kent County Council own a hotel, the point is that for several reasons this is a wasted asset, firstly when I spoke back in May to the council I was informed that their rate of occupancy, was 35 per cent, which is well short of the average hotel occupancy which is 70 per cent plus, what this means is that they are losing something in the region of £350,000 in turnover every year.

Although I am informed they actually make a profit, I am pretty sure they would make a lot more profit were this hotel functioning closer to full capacity. I would also imagine that the running costs are higher, because if they employee KCC staff, they presumably are entitled to a very generous local authority pension unlike anyone employed in the private sector.

Now I pointed this out, to Price Waterhouse Coopers, KCC's auditors and they have noted in their draft report*, electors concerns, briefly, now as I'm a simple-minded labourer, there did not as I could see, appear to be any rebuke regarding the running of this property.

In very simple terms running a business at half capacity, as Oakwood House appears to me, to be, the equivalent of investing your savings at 0.5% interest per year instead I'll say 5% per cent per year.

I won't even get on to the £8 million near enough, flushed out to sea, in the Turner offshore debacle, however I would suggest, it is about time, that government introduce tough ruthless monitoring of the way councils conduct business, perhaps they could ask E-wit(as always mispelt) manual workers to do what bureaucrats clearly can't.

* I will furnish a link when they've posted this report on there website

Previous Post on Oakwood House

out now !

Well it is finally here, the DVD they said could not be made, and shouldn't, the anticipation and the waiting is now over. I would not spoil your enjoyment by giving a critique just yet or hinting at the plot. Form your own opinion, is it 20 grand well spent, is it right and proper to use public money in this manner.

Kaddy stands in front of some spheres to present a load of old er??

Kaddy stands in front of a helicopter to experience a lot of hot-air.

Kaddy grills Paul Carter in hard hitting, uncompromising interview

Where can you find this entertaining and informative KCC Productions Blockbuster click here enjoy!
John Reid expresses honest concerns over Islamic bullies

John Reid has today, articulated some of the concerns of the British people, although some commentator's suggest his speech given at Labour Party conference was some prelude to a leadership bid, me I think Labour politicians are responding to very real fears in the wider community.

A few days ago, just to give some perspective, John Reid spoke to a Muslim group, he had some heckling from Islam convert Abu Izzadean, now this guy, seems to be in favour of segregation, because he had the cheek, to say to the Home Secretary 'How dare you come to a Muslim area' fortunately we do live in a democracy so we can go anywhere we please, despite the apparent hatred, this guy has a sense of humour, in fact he says as much, in his entry on an Islamic website, where apparently he is seeking a second, third or 4th wife, despite many of us, thinking this is immoral, and illegal (as reported in yesterday's Sun).

Obviously part of the subject matter, of the speech, could be seen as highly emotive, but these things have to be articulated and hopefully he struck the right balance of inclusion the Muslim community, and perhaps highlighting some of the boundaries of acceptable behaviour.

Most significantly, the Home Secretary has revisited the subject of forced marriage, which only a few months ago the Home Office had rather cowardly in my opinion, deserted the of victims of this appalling crime just because and again this is my opinion the victims were first generation British citizens of Asian descent and rather than protect victims they preferred to appease a vocal minority of religious bigots.

Certainly the 300 estimated victims of this crime deserved better treatment and assistance than they so far had.

Just to show how competent the Home Office is despite attempting to contact Baroness Scotland whom I believe announced the abandonment of forced marriage legislation, several phone calls and e-mails could not get me an address to enable me to write to her, what I did get some weeks later was a company contact me, to ask what I thought about my response to the inquiries to the Home Office( are you ????*** mad?).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dangerous Dogs and TV presenters

The popular press has been obsessed, this last week or so, over first the near tragic accident with Richard Hammond top gear TV presenter, and then by the real tragedy of a baby girl killed by two rottweilers.

Now in both cases there are calls from responsible people for either banning or legislating. I just wonder, how far the law or even where Top Gear's concerned good taste, can get us.

In the case of Top Gear, calls to have this programme banned will serve what purpose, the fact is the presenters or journalists of this programme cater for the non-serious, thrill-seeking, easily pleased, morons with an attention deficit disorder, still I have watched a few times. Viewers would find their fix of cheap thrills someone else. Although I must add I only watch it, for the easy-going ageing lad-about-town Jeremy Clarkson whose sometimes cynical style, has yet to look tired and jaded.

Dangerous Dogs are something that ought to be legislated against, because unlike TV programmes they do kill and maim, generally young children, whose parents or relatives unwittingly, place their faith in their pets, above the safety of their children. To most normal well-balanced people the idea of having a rottweiler as a companion is literally barking bonkers mad. You would think that the thought of a rottweiler or similar dog, attacking innocent children would be deterrent enough but clearly it isn't.

Free choice, and no choice is the answer I think, keep Top Gear I can choose not to watch and I do frequently, and rottweilers I would destroy them today human life is worth more than a few thousand dangerous animals however deluded their owners.
NHS is it a business or a charity?

Staff of the NHS logistics service, in Maidstone, have once again taken industrial action, in pursuit of their dispute over DHL, taking over as distributor of medical suppliers, and whilst I have some sympathy I would imagine DHL are more competent distributor's than the NHS and as it's our money being spent, it should be used wisely.

The NHS is seen by many, not surprisingly as something more than a business, let's face it when you've got chest pains, blood leaking or maybe a bone bent in the wrong direction, we are pretty thankful of the front line professionals who alleviate our suffering.

So not surprisingly, we tend to get a little more emotional about the health service, than say our shops although I get a little uneasy on Sundays when I know Tesco's has just closed.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the health service and the retail sector, is choice, if I require medical treatment, my first port of call would be the local surgery, over which I have no real choice being an NHS patient (sometimes I get lucky and they talk to me as a tax paying contributor to the NHS), anyway I won't dwell on the excellent service and customer skills of my own doctors because I don't want to have to find a new one.

Choice in other spheres such as shopping is easy, although complex, price matters, quality matters, location and often in my case competence and attitude of staff, for instance I find Marks and Spencer, have good quality stuff if overpriced and bland, but seemingly aloof staff despite that highly excitable voice-over woman on telly, so I choose Matalan or Tesco's.

As a consumer I find the NHS has improved vastly, in the way many departments treat their patients, generally staff are courteous and respectful , which is a contrast to the distant and offhand approach of the past and that's how it should be.

Front line service, to the largest extent has fallen in line with our aspirations and the NHS presents an efficient user friendly service to most, but behind the clinics is the gray mind of the bureaucrat and in some cases of the voluntary worker. About three years ago, I had the temerity, to inquire why had to wait three months, for a very simple procedure, my telephone call was eventually answered by a volunteer, and I assume that Margate Hospital may well still use volunteers instead of staff to answer patients' questions.

Now where is this leading us, well we now have businesslike clinics, but I think the volunteers still help run the health service and this helps give the perception of the NHS as a charity institution and not the industry it actually is. Of course our hospitals are managed ultimately by local boards presumably in a democratic fashion although maybe it's one of those things, where people with the right contacts, get asked to do their bit in that patronising way, so loved by government.

My personal vision for the health service, would be to sack anyone who wore a suit or tie without also having a stethoscope about their person, insist on contractors paying ancillary staff a living wage, and maybe contract out non-medical administrative services to private business.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blair's last stand

Tony Blair today, in his final speech to the Labour Party conference as leader, showed why he has so far seen off, four or five Tory leaders (I can't remember the exact figure there have been so many I think at least two were bald), he painted the picture of how Britain was 10 years ago, his principles, thanked contributors particularly Gordon Brown, mapped out the future, changing energy requirements, globalisation and terrorism with perhaps genuine sincerity.

I realise that not everyone has the 50 plus minutes to devote to listening or watching Tony Blair give his final speech to the party faithful, but if you do click this Link.

It's understandable if you don't take up the offer as we live in a trivial world, where celebrity is more important than substance, where even the so-called serious journalistic enterprises such as BBC's Panorama, consider bungs in the Football Industry as hard news, the Sunday Times devotes a whole page to that heavy weight journalist Jeremy Clarkson waffling on about the sanctity of BBC's Top Gear but this speech was interesting and informative so if you've nothing better to do, I must admit I only sat through it as I had the afternoon free.
Breathtaking sunset over Margate

Margates most significant asset, must be its sunsets, tonight as I drove towards Pete's fish factory, opposite Margate harbour (I have temporary suspended my diet), I was compelled to pullover, and risk being wheel clamped in the Britannia's car-park as I took this photograph.

I actually noticed, several other people, using their camera phones, around the harbour to capture this sight. And this is one thing that neither Thanet District Council or KCC can cock-up, except of course, part of the view, might well be obstructed once, architect's David Chipperfield, complete their designs and KCC plant it.

But worry not, I am sure the architects, or the powers that be, will of course consult us as was suggested many months ago.
Westwood leisure complex decision delayed
whilst councillors wallow in self-importance?

Development of Westwood Cross leisure complex, is waiting a decision by Thanet council planning, apparently Thanet councillors did not have enough information to reach a decision, as to whether they can prolong the time needed to build by Land Securities the development company.

To me this would seem quite simple, as far as I understand, the development company were already given permission to build this much needed leisure complex, and as far as I know the development has been held up by what appears to be petty wrangling, from the Nobel organisation (click here for previous story) owners of the prestigious, glamorous Crown cash bingo on Margates seafront.

Now I am as aware as anyone in Thanet, of the calibre of our politicians, we have a leader of council so committed to democracy that he found it unnecessary to comment on the gagging debate, a leading Tory councillor who is strangely offended by politics, I could go on, anyway back to business Thanet needs a decent leisure centre, some of the rather tawdry venues, particularly local cinemas, belong in a museum.

I hope I am not alone, wishing for something slightly more entertaining than the tragic and sometimes comic performances from our local politicians and administrators, if the council have previously seen fit to give the green light to Westwood Cross leisure complex, instead of making themselves look more important than they are, why don't they just deliver what the public want and need.

We have heard enough bull, from councillors how they are powerless to intervene in the scrappy Westwood Cross Cabbage Patch Housing Estate debate, how is it they can interfere with something they apparently already agreed to, if as a result of legal challenges the developers have had delays to the project and now need extra time to complete building, in whose interest is it, not to help Land Securities.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thanet life to close?

Shock announcement, from Dr Simon Moore's that he's considering, closure of his website, Thanet life, once it reaches the 200,000 hits mark, this seems a little drastic, but if people realised, how time-consuming this blogging business was, it is, easily understood.

I feel almost guilty, about my less than complimentary earlier posting tonight, but by some weird coincidence I came across Simons name in relation to an entertainment agency, and the urge to have a bit of fun got the better of me, which is the reason I write this stuff.

And once again, Simon Moore's, Thanet life is the reason I have my Web blog today, for which I would once again like to thank him.

KCC present
Towards 2010 the movie

Further investigation, with a quick call to KCC and under the interrogation from Bignews Margate (me), my mole, well actually a helpful council officer in their press department, informed me that the cost of KCC's, big-budget Blockbuster Towards 2010, starring Paul Carter as leader of KCC council, and Kaddy Lee-Preston as herself, due for its premiere on Thursday cost £20,000 to produce.

In a rather disappointing, further revelation I understand that the leading man, Paul Carter only appears for roughly 2 minutes of this production. Hopefully we get more input from the hired help Kaddy, and the helicopter.

One final disclosure, is that this, big-budget extravaganza is to be, released on Thursday via the Internet, in a move to thwart profiteering by video piracy, presumably this will be simultaneous with the much awaited world premiere in Maidstone.

It is probably too early to speculate, on whether there will be a sequel, perhaps Towards 2010 a policy to far. Get your popcorn in now.

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking

I apologise for this little known fact about leading local blogger, Dr Simon Moore's, but apparently I never realised, just how lucky we were, to have the thoughts and opinions of the doctor.

Now let's just be thankful, that Thanet life one of my favourite blogs, is free, gratis or whatever. Because stumble as I did, I came across this information, on exactly how lucky we are, someone has realised, just how valuable Dr Simon Moore is, Gordon Poole the UK's premier entertainment agency, purveyors of talent and guest speakers.

So when you're, floundering over this year's works Christmas dinner, perhaps before anyone says what they really think about their colleagues, you could calm the mood with Dr Moores speaking perhaps on e - government, prices start at around £1,000 (I think you may have to negotiate), still if this is not quite to your taste other speakers include Jonathan Aitken former guest of her Majesty, and noted parliamentarian, Howard Marks purveyor of illegal substances,Sir Jimmy Young (I didn't know he was still alive) and finally Sid Dennis scrap metal raconteur.

If you would like to know more, and there are quite a few ready to speak for that sort of money Please click here.

And just to redress, the balance you may think that I am being negative here, and just knocking a fellow member of Thanet Blogarati, where it not for Simon Moores, I for one, would probably not be blogging now, having not been for his modest and self-effacing, comments in the Winter Gardens regarding Thanet life, at the Turner contemporary centre debacle meeting back in April.

Also just on blogging I see that, Arts and Elbows is active and very productive.

Incidentally, I shall be available for weddings, funerals, product launches, sales conferences etc, I'm just working out the angle, celebrity blogger, van man, labourer, campaigner for free speech or e-wit.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

KCC continue to wisely invest

Further information emerges, in today's Kent on Sunday, concerning Paul Carters (leader of Kent County Council) mission, to inform Kent tax payers, of what a jolly good future he and his colleagues have planned.

Not content with sending every household in Kent a copy of the highly enjoyable and riveting read, Towards 2010 document (if only I had a copy to take on holiday, earlier this year), or indeed signing a local celebrity weather girl Kaddy Lee-Preston to present a DVD on the subject, the bill for this highly entertaining nonsense has apparently been added to with the necessity to hire a helicopter so that Paul Carter and Kaddy Lee-Preston, could tour the county of Kent in some style.

Lets just hope that they did not find it necessary, to leap from this helicopter, wearing jumpsuits and running up to unsuspecting members of the public, and explaining Towards 2010, like Annika Rice in Treasure Hunt.

And if that is not enough, there will apparently be a premiere taking place at Maidstone's Lockmeadow Cinema on Thursday, unfortunately report does not give a list of celebrities, minor royals, out to work actors, local dignitaries and other hangers-on who will be attending this glittering event.

Now cynics, would presumably think, that this is an incredible waste of money, but I am hoping this sort of investment will pave the way, for Kents taxpayers to realise that the Tory controlling group on Kent County Council are not fit for the job of governing Kent

Friday, September 22, 2006

Richard Branson
to spend 3 billion dollars
on renewable energy why?

Richard Branson has announced that he is committed to spending all the profits from his airline and rail business on renewable energy initiatives.

BBC go as far, as to state that this is the latest and most significant act of philanthropy from one of the world's best known business men in their profile of Richard Branson. It's probably impertinent, of me, but I understand an act of philanthropy is a gift or a voluntary offer of help, news stories elsewhere refer to his investment in renewable energy.

I think over the years Richard Branson, has been one of the Masters of self publicity, one can only guess at the money he has saved, in promotion of his Virgin business empire. Just look at all those, hours we have spent watching various record-breaking attempts by Mr Branson, covered in the news and then some special hour-long documentary. I don't think I have ever seen Virgin Atlantic, perhaps his largest business, ever pay for television advertising, no wonder he is so successful.

I think in many reports he has been able to link, his new green strategy with the gas guzzling airline business, quite remarkable really, and all this from a guy, who looks a too relaxed to be serious.

People often look at successful entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, and assume that money is their motivation, but I personally think it is more about power and influence, because if Branson has $3 billion to invest, on what some might consider a risky business of alternative fuels, why doesn't he just put his feet up and retire.

BBC Profile

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thanet council censorship row update!

This matter, over standards and ethics within local government, continues to rankle with anyone who values free speech.

For those of you who are unaware, the Standards Board of England, deals with the ethical standards in local government of elected councillors. Now one aspect that I was unaware, was that the standards Board of England confines its chilling influence only on democratically elected members of council, and frankly I am shocked, that were a local officer to apply undue influence, take bribes or just be generally corrupt, then this arbiter of local government ethics and standards would actually have no role to play whatsoever.

I will contact the council, and inquire as to whether they have a mechanism, for handling unethical behaviour of council officers (these are the people whose wages we pay) and will let you know in due course.

The reason I ask whether there is a similar apparatus for council officials, is that it would seem grossly unfair were it just council members (those people we are stupid enough to elect) who were subject to such draconian intervention in what, when and how they can speak!

As with many long-term residents of Thanet, my expectations are low, but to be honest even if there has been no wrongdoing, it is utterly outrageous that this issue has not been taken up by the news media in general, so far as I'm aware it is only the Isle of Thanet Gazette who have had the balls to report the story.

There is absolutely no doubt, in my mind, that David Green felt impeded in publishing his own thoughts and opinion, and this sentiment I believe, was also shared on the other side of the political spectrum, we live in a society, right or wrong, where apologists for Islamic terrorists and other extreme ideologies, daily spout their hatred for our society, and we let them because we live in a democracy, and that being the case David Green, and other councillors ought to have the freedom to discuss Margate library, Turner offshore debacle, or even the dog that has just taken a leak on a council owned lamp-post.

Finally I can just feel, senior officers of councils the length and breadth of this land cringe, that me Tony Flaig E-wit(mispelt) a nobody, might just have the temerity to criticise, well tough titties, the national newspapers and broadcast media, don't understand the implications of this Standards Board nonsense, I do, and think that most Thanet bloggers and councillors are also now aware.

My advice to any councillor, who receives unsolicited advice from a council officer, as to what they may or may not say, where or when they can say it would be to tell them to !**! off, as Tony Flaig believes such action brings local government into disrepute and is deeply saddened!

PS I understand that David Green and presumably other parties would wish to draw a line under this episode and get on with things. I suggest you watch this space David Green's Web blog Eastcliff Matters

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lost and found
I would just like to thank the driver of a vehicle, carrying building waste who must have driven down Manston Road, some time around 9 o'clock last night, for making, my journey to work, more interesting than usual.

I would also like to inform them, that I have located the large piece of concrete, which must have fallen from their vehicle, along the Manston Road just past Woodchurch, and wish to apologise for smashing this in half, with my front nearside wheel. If you are the driver please do not worry about the damage, to the wheel, the brakes that then failed, or the Lady who then hit what remained of the concrete 30 seconds later, because whoever you are, responsible you are not.

I would like to thank the police who attended, who were very efficient and helpful even offering to remain whilst I waited for a tow.
Thank God for KCC
investing our money wisely for the future

As you know I'm not a religious person, but sometimes you just have to give thanks to someone. Any how I was going to write about, the Turner Contemporary project, and although my writing is rarely based on factual information I do attempt to acquaint myself, with some vague factual basis.

Anyway as I visited the KCC website, and more specifically the news section, just to check on progress with the Turner project, knowing what a value for money project, this has been so far and how careful KCC have been with public funds.

On arriving at the news page I am immediately distracted, local celebrity and a weather presenter Kaddy Lee-Preston, who in a rather contrived way is, would you believe it, forecasting a bright future for Kent.

Well no doubt you're asking yourself, what all this nonsense is about, thing is, Paul Carter leader of KCC, has been devoting some time to promoting his councils towards 2010 document, by meetings, by glossy proposals, reprinted post consultation and sent to every home in Kent, but clearly that is not enough.

And what's Kaddy's role in this, well clearly this young lady is very excited, by Kents towards 2010 document and surprisingly not the weather, so inspired is Kaddy she is prompted to say "Presenting Towards 2010 has given me a real insight into the excellent services the county council provides. The document makes for exciting reading and shows how KCC will make a big difference to people's lives in the next four years."

And what else, well it looks like, she is so keen, she has agreed to front a DVD, about Kent County Council's towards 2010 targets, which until this revelation I viewed in the same light as the old grey Soviet five-year economic plans.

KCC welcome invitations to bring their DVD round to local organisations etc (staff of Bignews Margate are free at the end of the month, if Kaddy would like to bring her DVD round, I'll just have to check with Mrs Me).

As for the Turner contemporary, I'll get back to you by at a later date.

KCC News

Kaddy Lee-Preston Web Site

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thanet Council's censorship row still with us

Tedious as it is, the question of who's right and who's wrong continues to simmer. For anyone, as an observer of this debate, there is one annoyingly worrisome point, at the heart is the principle of free and unfettered speech and no one, has as yet fully explained themselves.

David Green has made the suggestion, that he is being censored, so perhaps he could place all his evidence, particularly the letters to which he refers in to the full public domain.

The Council's role, needs a fuller explanation precisely what so saddened, Mr Moore the Council's monitoring officer, that he felt inclined to write to members or why there was concern over the style of tone and accuracy of comments made in a public arena.

This may all seem like hot-air, and the chances are it is, on the one hand you might well have a councillor who is miffed, when reminded frequently about conduct, on the other hand you might well have a conscientious official being helpful. On a more serious note, there may be a restriction of free speech or bit of politicking.

Thanet council, possibly need to adjust to a new world, of openness and public accountability. I always find as sinister, the fact that when I ring the council my conversation maybe recorded, also that they have your phone number flashed up on their screen. This again I put down to caution, but in maybe indicative of the local-authority mentality.

Today I sent an e-mail to one of the Council's senior officers, for which I then received a reply and at the bottom of it was the following statement "This email (and any attachment(s)) is private and intended solely for the recipient. Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return email." Now I had and still have, no intention of publishing an e-mail even though it comes from a public servant (someone that you and I fund through taxes), without first asking for their consent, if only as a matter of courtesy, however if it is in the public interest I would publish anyway, and risk the the arrival of the midnight community warden, who might well beat me over the head with perhaps a rolled up Thanet is beautiful poster.

Finally I think that he is quite astounding, that councillor Ezekiel has yet to pass any comment on this matter, for surely as leader of the council he is the most senior democratically elected politician


EU job threat, might just save your life

Believe it or not sometimes I am at a loss, for something to write but generally inspiration comes with a quick gander of the newspapers, and one idea that popped into my head this morning, was to have a regular feature entitled Politicians Talking Rollocks, although on reflection I'd probably misspell and write Bollix.

Anyway quickly dispensing with that idea, I took a fresh look at the papers and stumbled on this pronouncement*, from Richard Ashworth Tory MEP for Kent, when talking about EU legislation entitling workers to not less than 11 consecutive hours rest in any 24 hour period, '' While many people have a healthy work life - balance, others may choose to put in extra hours to achieve their ambitions. Sending them home against their will is nonsensical.

He then goes on to add ''It could cost them their jobs'' , unfortunately the article didn't then explained in what circumstances an employee would lose their job for complying with the law.

I just wonder whether Mr Ashworth, has ever taken the time to consider, why employees need the protection of the law in relation to working hours, according to his biography his life has, heavily revolved around cows, presumably in his capacity as a dairy farmer, well people are different, and whilst many of us enjoy hard work and sometimes choose long-hours, there are as many, if not more, who feel obliged to work along hours.

It is amazing, how many employers, would back Mr Ashworth and surprising how few employees and their representatives who would agree. I believe that there is some evidence, that those who work long-hours are susceptible to accidents, illness and enhanced mortality. Working long hours on a speech or letter is an entirely different kettle of fish, to being a labourer, factory worker, truck-driver etc

The working time directive, whilst it may be restrictive, is there to protect employees' health, I personally believe that people's lives are worth more than a businesses bottom line. In the past, I have experienced, the long hours culture and to be honest the main beneficiary is the employer and not the employee.

Perhaps given Mr Ashworth's resources as an MEP, he could research how many families believe they have experienced the premature loss, from long-hours of a loved one, there is unequivocal evidence that long-hours leads to increased accidents, and I believe growing evidence concerning heart disease perhaps Mr Ashworth might care to read up before he next talks.. .

Apologies for the serious tone, of this post, maybe I should kept to the first idea of talking...

*Kent on Sunday

Links for Mr Ashworth MEP

Norwich Union ''Long hours ,'increase workers' health risks''

BBC from 2002 Long hours linked to heart attacks

Who is Richard Ashworth MEP

Monday, September 18, 2006

Check your windows and doors tonight

Over 100 wild boars have been spotted in Kent and East Sussex, according to Beastwatch UK, and reported by the BBC, however you need not worry about Wallabies as these tend to congregate in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

It should be pointed out, that you should not approach wild boars unless you're competent to do so, particularly if they claim to have a blog.

Perhaps the most disturbing information from Beastwatch UK, is that they have recorded 5931 sightings of big cats, you may take this information lightly, but a recent experience has taught me to be cautious, even with Mr Puss, the upshot of his visit to the vets last week, was the need to take antibiotics, fortunately he seems to be fighting fit, which would explain the deep and savage wounds, inflicted on me as I helped administer his pills, should any of these injuries turn septic, he may find well himself visiting the vet sooner rather than later and for the last time!
Approach with Caution

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Margate Media Centre ready for business

Something I have not seen for a while, is the council's Margate media centre, without the building site look. It's not often that I pass by but I see the scaffolding has either been stolen or the work is completed.

Now the big dilemma, should I consider moving my media empire that is BIGNEWS MARGATE, from Anglophile House, before the big media companies role in, such as News Corporation, Reuters, Trinity Mirror or even the K M group.

Incidentally this is only part of the regeneration of Margate and to be fair, it looks like a very pleasant building to operate from, in fact if you take a walk around, the old town you will note, that a lot of work has taken place to improve the area.

These regeneration people, within our council and other publicly funded bodies have done a reasonable job with the bricks and mortar in the area, now they need to populate this part of town with people.

Links to Margate media centre
Yet a another blogsite for Thanet

Competition is about to heat up, in Thanet with more joining the ranks of the Blogarati every day.

Possibly the most significant, is one called Thanetonian, which mysteriously, states in its post of yesterday, that the first few articles will concern Dr Simon Moores. Now this troubles me on a couple of levels, not unusually the author of this particular blog is yes you have guessed it ANONYMOUS unless 'One Voice In Thanet' is their real name in which case my apologies.

Now I have myself been critical, of Dr Moores as I trust he has of me, but I don't believe that either he or I have any malice towards each other.

To me this new mystery author, appears to be going down a well trodden route, of attacking someone behind the shield of anonymity which to be honest his distasteful. I just wonder whether some of the attacks on Dr Moore's are motivated through envy or jealousy.

There is a distinction between honest criticism of someone on a philosophical/theological or political stance for which I make no apology, and just plain bitchiness.

Incidentally commenting on this new site is rather hypocritically restricted and anonymous contributors are not allowed (which for technical reasons means I cannot leave a comment on this site although I am always willing to use my own name *).

Finally Dr Moore's confesses to working for David Owen in the Eighties, which for me is one of the more damaging things you could say about anyone, I will always think of David Owen as ''the when I was'' man, as he seemed to frequently prefaced his remarks with that phrase and mentioning that he had once been foreign secretary.

* Because I am using Google blog beta, to produce my Web blog, it will not allow me to use my own log in, to comment on non beta sites.
Paul Carter ''very disappointed''
as Imperial College scraps plans
for Wye science park

In their front-page article in this Sunday's, Kent on Sunday, Kent County Council leader Paul Carter is quoted as being ''very disappointed'' by the news of imperial colleges abandonment of their plans to build a science park around Wye which is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Now to be fair to Paul Carter, perhaps his disappointment is that it has taken so long for Imperial College to see sense, and terminate the outrageous plans, they had to build what in effect would have been a new town, on the rather thin excuse of being part of the science park.

Further on in the article by James McGinnes, Paul Carter again is quoted ''the opportunity to create really significant employment growth and prosperity has now disappeared it is very disappointing news'' , now I maybe unfair to Paul Carter, in none of the statements quoted from him, in this article is there any reference, to the harm that would have been done to a beautiful part of Kent.

Even Imperial College seemed to acknowledge the gravity of the situation, with some honesty when Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Imperial's deputy Rector said ''Having carefully considered all the issues involved, the project team has concluded none of the scenarios for the vision would represent a wise, viable or desirable investment of public funds for Imperial College and Wye.''

Those of us who live, in Thanet may just feel that this has nothing to do with us, but as Paul Carter is the leader of Kent County Council, right or wrong his opinions and attitude matter to us. Thanet I believe has suffered because quite literally we are at the end of the road from Maidstone, and has for many years had a complacent traditional Tory administration which I feel has ignored us for too long.

The fact that Mr Carter, in regard to Wye, seems concerned more about the economic impact of Imperial Colleges decision rather than the utter devastation to any area of outstanding beauty, is to me astounding, Wye is located between Canterbury and Ashford which traditionally are both prosperous towns with good employment figures.

If Paul Carter were so concerned about Kents economy, perhaps he could concentrate his mind on the plight of Thanet and other less prosperous areas, here is one suggestion maybe they could close all the Kent administrative apparatus they have in Maidstone and move it to Manston.

Click here for links to my previous thoughts on Wye.

If you don't have a copy of Kent on Sunday click here for the online edition

Paul Carter who he ?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Baroness Uddin who?

Me too I had never heard of her either, till I read that she wishes the Pope to apologise for so called offensive remarks.

First off I am not a Muslim or Christian or devil worshipper for that matter (although I confess to believing in, Father Christmas, well I suppose we all have to cling on to something in our darkest hours) anyhow. This Lady has apparently called for the Pope to apologise for some, not entirely complementary remark and the fact he has, probably says more about him, god bless, than all those highly strung zealots* we’ve seen baying for blood the last few days.

Now if I go out of my way to offend the Prophet Mohammed pbuh, I too would expect, effigies of myself to be burnt, whether this is reasonable or not but clearly the Pope was involved in a theological argument, so where’s the beef????

I am having difficulty in finding similar calls by the baroness, for that other great holy man Abu Hamza Guilty of six charges of soliciting to murder under the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, also Guilty of three charges related to "using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up racial hatred" under the Public Order Act 1986, to apologise.

One thing I do know is that the Pope was elected to his post, not to sure how Lords and Ladies get theirs.

I do know that for saying what I do, I would in many countries not be free or breathing, something else I understand, that in christian belief forgiveness and the concept of turning the other cheek are prevalent.

I am sure having read Baroness Uddins biography that her position, is well deserved and like her I also believe myself to be a “strident advocate for social justice, human rights and equality”.

*The word Zealot is used in the non religious meaning A fervent and even militant proponent of something

Baroness Uddin has a Web page for more click here

BBC Story Apology call over Pope's comments

Raymond Baxter

The death of Raymond Baxter, broadcaster, is one of those sad items of news which is particularly significant, to my generation, it was he, who helped explain and introduce many of the technologies which we have now taken for granted.

Tomorrow's World, the television programme with which, he is most remembered, used to be the highlight of my week (in TV viewing terms), as a viewer I remember his style as relaxed, informative and unpatronising whilst still maintaining authority.

Raymond Baxter, made a great contribution, towards understanding a changing world technologically, and maybe it's fitting, that I first read this sad news in my own publication Bignews Margate (RSS feed from BBC).

The suggestion, that an ordinary bloke, could sit at home, dictate to a machine, thought and opinion, publish instantly and be read locally, nationally and around the globe, would have been beyond belief, in the 1960s, especially to me then a schoolboy, frequently described as a fat lazy lump by teaching staff, unless of course it had come from Mr Baxter.

Obviously the world has moved on, since the Sixties and Seventies, I personally regret the passing of television presentation as was, when presenters could speak with authority and at the same time, in a relaxed manner, whereas today our presenters are not only relaxed but have replaced authority with arrogance and either a Yob or Chav personality (just look at any motoring programmes for instance).

The days when substance, was more important than personality are part of yesterday's World.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Standards Board of England
not involved in
Thanet Council controversy

A quick telephone call, to the Standards Board of England, was more informative than any made to Thanet District Council.

Their telephone was answered in a quick and efficient manner, the question asked, had David Green been referred to their organisation? The offer of a call back, was made to check facts, and five minutes later I was informed that no complaint had been made.

What a difference from, Thanet District Council, I think Paul Moore should explain why he is saddened about matters that have come to his attention, and clear the air. For democracy to thrive, politicians and officials have to be accountable and really we deserve a thorough explanation.
Imperial College back down over plans to plough up Kents garden of England

As you know I have written, on several occasions concerning Imperial Colleges plans to develop a science park in the picturesque village of Wye.

It would appear, that Imperial College underestimated the controversy over their plans to convert agricultural land, into virtually a new town with some scientific facilities.

Much of the resistance of to the plans, has come from the website in a highly articulate and well-thought-out blogsite.

If anything this just goes to show, the influence, and potential for the Blogarati, myself I am not in the same league as you will note from my copious mistakes and poor grammar but there you have it.

Maybe the opponents of Westwood Cross, could take note.

As Thanet councils censorship row continues
Council officers unavailable?

A report in today's Isle of Thanet Gazette, brings fresh light on the controversy surrounding councillor David Green's suggestion that council officers tried to shut him up!

Only yesterday, I tried myself, to get further information on the story from Thanet District Councils oddly named communications office, from my experience yesterday and today communications would seen to be the least of their abilities.

With the information supplied by Nick Dorman's article, I have tried to speak with Paul Moore today, and was surprised that he was unavailable, just like his colleagues yesterday, not put off, I thought I would talk to the top man, Richard Samuel chief executive and ask if he endorsed his colleague Paul Moore's actions. It was with some surprise that I learnt that he also was unavailable and in a meeting.

Just so that you can keep up to speed, here are links to my previous stories

Thanet Council have they finally lost it

New Thanet Blog

PS I will let you know, whether either Mr Moore or Mr Samuel ever get free of endless meetings appointments etc and make themselves available for comment.

Have once again, this afternoon attempted to speak with either Paul Moore (unfortunately he has already left the building at 2: 23 PM) and Richards Samuel is still unavailable according to a very pleasant corporate project officer.

Just as a sideline, Richards Samuel's role within the council is quite clear as Chief Executive, but I am now a little confused to say the least, because in my last conversation with the Corporate Project Officer, I understood her to say that Paul Moore is actually Corporate Director not Strategic Director so if anyone could actually clarify his role within the council I would be most grateful.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Norwich Union nobody's happy

Norwich Union today announce 4000 redundancies, this as a direct result of many of the posts, being exported once again abroad.

This is the insurance company, that lost me as a potential customer, when they informed me that my house was prone to flooding, despite reassurances from myself that I lived on top of a hill and the offer to send them a photograph, their reply was for me to take it up with the environment Agency, who confirmed to me that it would be unnecessary to continue with the Ark.

If that wasn't irritating enough, along came their 'quote me happy' advertising campaign, I am sure that this went down well in Chav Land, but it failed to hit the spot with me. I am convinced that the only reason, for outsourcing staff overseas is purely motivated by greed.
And as far as I am concerned the Data protection Act, does not extend halfway around the universe, so who wants their details available to someone in a foreign backstreet operation just because they're cheap.

Manston airport's American connection

Over the weekend, there seemed to be a flurry of stories, about Infratil Manston's airport's owners, deal with the tour company Cosmos, to fly once a week to Norfolk Virginia but as the story first emerged early in July, I won't drone on too long, other than to say, if successful will the vast amounts of public money being invested in this, be returned to the taxpayer.

I hope they succeed, but I personally think, if we have to, as taxpayers subsidise Air Travel why not make it available to somewhere more popular.

I think that the many thousands of pounds, being spent on this service, could be used to better effect. If Manston has a future, and I'm sure that Infratil are more than capable of delivering, I don't think it will be relying on services to obscure American towns, I think freight and short haul flights to European destinations will make this airport viable. They need airlines such as EasyJet, seen buzzing around Manston today, in addition to charter airlines such as Cosmos.

See my previous post

HSBC closes Margate Branch
who cares?

The news that HSBC, will be closing its Margate branch in November, and moving to Westwood Cross seems inevitable to me. In a world of globalisation this news is almost reassuring, but then when we delve deeper, features of the new branch, such as new paying-in machines, terminals for Internet banking, free phones for telephone banking, tell me everything I need to know about HSBC's philosophy on customer care and the traditional larger banks.

For roughly, 30 years, I was a regular customer of My Bank (I have no wish to embarrass them), which was acquired after they made some serious mistakes in overseas investments (which put those self-righteous 'you're overdrawn' letters into some perspective) by Another Bank * and over the years I got used to occasional irritations from this Bank. When I opened my bank account, with the Old Bank * now acquired by Another Bank *, at the age of 17, banking was different it had a professional and authoritarian attitude towards its customers, but in the 30 years since the public have seen banks and building societies, become indistinguishable from each other, and we as customers expect friendly as well as professional.

Now you may ask, why I no longer regularly bank with this business, was it the new colour scheme in the branches, the Internet banking, the queues in the branch, well it was none of these things not even the dreaded call centre, in fact I was beginning to enjoy my impromptu role of teaching English as a foreign language but the final blow for me was going into my local branch and on asking for my pin number to be sent to me, was directed to a red telephone, in the corner of the branch, rather than the cashier making a note of my request, as they would have done in the past and sorting it out.

Even this indignity would not have been too bad but for the fact that on picking this phone up, being told how important my call was, but we are still going to keep you waiting, in a queue. I am surprised knowing how good their customer services are that the cashier didn't just point me to the far queue.

HSBC seem to have an aggressive strategy towards acquiring mortgage business, and until they adopt a more customer friendly approach, this is probably their best strategy since they only have to speak to the customers every few years (at least their location will be handy for new residents of Westwood Cross Estate).

Moving banks is for many a big wrench, and I did not switch my current account lightly, I actually tried to talk to someone in their organisation on many occasions at managerial level, this proved too difficult.

I would recommend anyone who is disenchanted with their bank, to try the Nationwide Building Society, apart from probably being cheaper to bank with they are more importantly genuinely friendly and helpful as well as having a branch in Margate.

Finally I could go on in general, with banking horror stories, at some length and not necessarily from any specific bank, such as the elderly who have incredible difficulty because they cannot progress through their banks telephone system, it seems that many of our larger banks have all the technology and no customer skills.

My bank probably saved pennies, by incorporating me as a customer into their mechanical customer service system and have lost pounds I never minded paying extra when they offered a personal service.

Try the Nationwide I dithered for 10 years or more before moving click here

* I refuse to give my old bank any publicity, plus they probably have a large legal department

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nigel Farage new leader of the UK Independence Party

Former Parliamentary candidate for Thanet South, Nigel Farage, is promising to make the UK independence Party 'truly representative' citing what he considers to be 'an enormous vacuum in British politics' , in a television interview he refers to UKIP, opposing the enlargement of the European Community and goes on to explain that the party will be broadening its base of domestic policies, such as lower and simpler taxes, selective education etc.

All pretty good really, but let's be honest, this will be all talk, and really not much difference, from all the claptrap those right wing, idiots in John Major's Tory party, used to come out with. Just out of interest, what happened, to those anti-European MPs who dragged the Conservative Party into near oblivion.

Now the sentiments that Michael Farage, is offering us, lowering taxes, selective education and Britain having its independent trade, are quite seductive but they have failed in the past, Mrs Thatcher attempted lower taxes, it didn't work, selective education fails more kids that it helps, Britain no longer has the Commonwealth and outside of the EC exactly whom are we going to trade with.

Along with many residents of Thanet, I had the opportunity to talk with Mr Farage outside Woolies in Broadstairs and he struck me as an honest and sincere politician, but frankly his appeal and support comes from those who are more rooted in nostalgia, than those of us connected to a 21st century reality.

If nothing else, I hold Mr Farage and his fellow supporters in UKIP, and right-wing Tories responsible for that rather irritating process, we go through when we go abroad, rather than adopt the Euro we plucky Brits, prefer to donate up to 10 per cent of our holiday spending money, to the banks to buy Euros just so that when we return we still have that image of Betty Windsor on our currency.

Anyway good luck to Nigel Farage, I am sure that he is more than capable of stealing a few votes from David Cameron and hopefully he will prevent the Conservatives from gaining office for another five years. Who knows, maybe at the next general election, he could stand again in Thanet South, against Mr Ladyman because who knows what pigs breakfast, Labour's loony left will have made of New Labour by then.

Cat in health scare

This is just an experiment, in blogging. A Couple of of days ago i had a telephone call offering me the chance to upgrade my mobile phone, this proved to be a bit of a no-brainer since my previous Nokia fell down the toilet, and i had been using a crap old one, so today i have devoted much of my time to the new gismo.

The cat has been for his annual check-up, slight infection according to the vet, OH the health scare, as he was reluctant to give a urine sample, so an overnight stay was required which has jacked-up the bill to 80 quid plus.

Mr Puss only a came in for a tin of tuna and has now stayed ten years, mobile blogging I have tried once and I think never again.

Test message from mobile

Waiting in the vets i thought I would give mobile texting a go


this is a test

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

TUC return to the dark side

If you have watched or read reports of Tony Blair's last speech to the TUC, you would be forgiven for checking the calendar just to make sure that it was still 2006 and not some nightmare year from the 1970s. The hostility, shown to Tony Blair, could not have been more extreme, if he had confessed to some Pact with the devil, or even Thatcherite Conservatives.

This display, says all you need to know about the TUC, how many of us, would invite someone to a party just to be abusive, apart from the theatrics, what is the point.

And precisely what, did Bob Crow achieve, with his apparently stage-managed protest and exit from the conference hall. I believe that Bob Crow ought to concentrate on representing his RMT members' interests rather than making theatrical exits.

One thing Tony Blair has got right over the years, is that the public do not like to see their political parties fighting each other. The trade union movement, first and foremost is about looking after members' interests i e pay and conditions not politics. If Bob Crow wants to be a politician, I suggest he gives up his post with the RMT and finds a political party that will have him.

Microlight flies over Margate!

Whilst I was out this evening, on my bicycle, I noticed a microlight flying over the beach. I wonder whether this could be Dr Moores trying out a new economical and environmentally friendly mode of aerial transport.
Kent and Science Parks

BBC Kent, report on their website, growing dissent from residents of Bapchild, near Sittingbourne to proposals to add up to 6000 new homes, by the Kent science park.

What is it with Kent, that whenever a science park is mentioned for whatever reason, this also requires the building of thousands of homes.

A theory I have developed, given the fact that we have two competing science park proposals, Bapchild and Wye, which have a combined requirement of almost 10,000 new houses, is that somewhere in Kent either a mad scientist, or developer has discovered the secret of life and is cloning hundreds of scientists and has run out of space in the laboratory to house them.

Alternatively and possibly more likely my other theory is that a greedy developer or scientist, has invented a plausible if barely believable reason for converting cheap agricultural land into prime residential land which a gullible or malleable Tory local authority will agree to.

Monday, September 11, 2006

New York September 9th

Anyway you, look at the events of five years ago, one thing is common to all of us, we all remember the circumstances in which we heard the news and realised the enormity of savagery inflicted upon innocents.

One thing we have all learnt, from this episode is that freedom is not something to take for granted. Even here in the UK, a tolerant, charitable and benign society, we have witnessed how a minoritie have abused the hospitality and fairness of our society, which certainly in my case, has made me question things I previously just accepted. On a personal level I realise, that life is transient, so make the most of it, even if it's just a daily blog!

Who knows what drives these insane cowards with their Stone Age beliefs to inflict terror, one thing I am sure of is that long after Al-Qaeda are a footnote in history, New York will still be a thriving diverse and free city as it is today.

Finally people think I may have a candy floss, view of America, I know it has its plus and minus points, and when America is attacked I know that freedom and independence are the object.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Thanet blog

Sometime in the last few days, another Thanet centric blog, has been created observingthanet, as is often the case, the author is anonymous but they appear to be well-connected. Any how this seems to have a left bias.

One particularly interesting strand, takes up the outrageous gagging of local councillor David Green, however as is the way with the comment columns the particular posting to which I refer comes down to a slanging match, with a sideways attacked on Dr Moore's Thanet life blog (clearly not everyone enjoys his self-assured style), and Chris Wells (saviour of revolutions skate park).

Councillor David Green's, predicament is outrageous, and it is easy to point the finger, at the ruling Tory group for using The Standards Board. But since this tool of repression was created by Labour, you can hardly blame the Tories if they make use of it, reprehensible as it is.

If blame should attach anywhere, maybe it would be at the door of John Prescott, being a politician or bungling comic figure is one thing, introducing harsh sledgehammer legislation which tramples on freedom of speech is another.

The Standards Board of England, as I understand was set-up to monitor conduct, in local government, however part of the draconian powers, stop councillors speaking on subjects where they have firm opinions, put simply if you were to elect a councillor because they had strong opinions against development at Westwood Cross, that would prevent them from speaking in any debate on that subject.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Labour arrogance comes home to roost!
(in Thanet South)

Local MP Stephen Ladyman, clearly has an eye to the future, in his column in the Isle of Thanet Gazette. In the week when the knives were out for Tony Blair, Mr Ladyman has taken the trouble to opine, on what a marvellous period economic of stability, we are having and this is true to an extent.

I believe this could all be derailed, in the next few months as fuel prices inexorably rise, along with unemployment due in part, to the Government's negligent policy regarding mass migration, which as we all know, is driving down wage packets in the building and construction industry and other sectors.

With the economic outlook, starting to become tarnished, this may well be the driving force, for friends of the charismatic and personable Gordon Brown to oust Blair, before it gets all a little messy.

Finally on this subject, if I were Blair, and had my triumphal retirement celebrations screwed-up, I would not look too favourably on Transport Ministers who write toadying articles on the economy rather than express loyalty to the man, who first made them electable, and secondly gave them a job, it's pretty obvious to me that Gordon Brown might just scrape one election victory, I think Ladyman is backing a loser.

Margate Vegetation Crisis!

My investment in a herd of cows, seems sadly to have been wasted as you can see in the above photo, looks as if I will be spending most of my weekend, with the lawn mower, as my sullen mutinous stock, eschew the opportunity to gorge themselves, on the lush grass of the Flaig estates.

They did a damn good job in july, didn't get the lawn mower out once.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thanet council have they finally lost it?

As you will appreciate, for some of us, this blogging business is quite addictive, and naturally I and other bloggers like to checkout what's going on within Thanet Blogarati and the biggest story has to be on Eastcliff Matters, councillor David Green's website. The author makes this remarkable statement
'This blog is closed for the time being.

The author is under threat by the administration at Thanet District Council of referal to the Standards Board for England* over certain remarks made that were critical of the Council and its actions.
These were:

Remarks on this blogsite(Eastcliff Matters) that criticized the proposals for Ramsgate and Margate Libraries.

The "tone" of an email that criticized the actions of the Chair of Council in refusing to allow questions to Cabinet members at Council meetings.

Remarks on another blogsite cricizing failure to publish the detailed reasons behind the collapse of Turner Offshore.

The author belives that these were nothing more than acceptable political comment, but is obtaining advice.'

If the above statement is true, one can only assume that Thanet District Council are trying to emulate some of the worst practices of a Banana Republic, in trampling on free speech. I just wonder about the calibre of our local politicians, last week one Tory had the cheek to suggest that a fellow councillor was being political?

Does anyone have more detail on this, I find it hard to believe that Thanet District Council would be threatening to refer councillor David Green to the standards Board for England. Surely Thanet District Council, is hardly likely to get excited about criticism and contained on this blog(eastcliff matters) or any others, this is a democracy isn't it.

What next, community wardens, arriving at midnight to arrest us!

* what is the Standards Board of England, well this is a piece of nonsense ironically by that highly respected Labour figure, John Prescott, which to be honest I had never heard of, and is meant to police ethical standards in local government, outlawing as an example car owning councillors from discussing parking schemes. If you would like to know more this article from the Telegraph may enlighten.

Eastcliff Matters website click here