Monday, October 29, 2007

Kent TV " propaganda on the rates"*

Leader of the house of commons Harriet Harman*, thanked local Kent MP Stephen Ladyman, for raising the subject of the apparent abuse of taxpayers' money, by spend thrift councils like KCC, who recently decided to spend 1.4 million pounds of your money and mine on what most see as a vanity publishing exercise in self promotion.

Now this project Kent TV, bares all the hallmarks of a hastily ill judged project, perhaps the most, outrageous lapse, has been the lack of any properly thought out independent regulation of this enterprise.

Last month I spoke with someone at Kent Council, who informed me that a governing Board would be formed (cobbled together?) sometime this next month (November). The makeup of which will, not surprisingly I understand contain Peter Gilroy, various council employees including police and fire services, but no members of the public as yet.

I understand that they will be meeting shortly, so maybe they'll to consider this, much of the content so far seems to be local council propaganda, anyway to redress this balance, I have bodged together a quick video commentary, mainly as an experiment just to see how democratic this TV station is.

I will of course update you, if it passes the Kent censor, whilst we're waiting you can form your own opinion and by clicking the link let the world know what you think.

Please remember Tony flaig TV costs you nothing, as does this blog Kent TV however is coming out of your wallet.

Link to Kentnews story

Link to Kent TV

Monday, October 22, 2007

What harm have badgers ever done

As someone who has only ever seen one living badger and dozens of dead ones, I just wonder whether the latest advice from the government to slaughter badgers on mass is more about prejudice, rather than solid science, since its not long ago another report suggested they were cuddly creatures harming no one.

Anyway here is one I spotted in Margate

Friday, October 19, 2007


This Seagull is as perplexed as me, strolling along the cliff, I noticed a fresh giant sandcastle(similar to the one in Margate) was in the process of being created.

However further along the cliffs, a note from of thanet district council sheds some light on the matter. I thought for a minute this might be a crop circle type phenomenon


It has been a while since I have ventured into Broadstairs, primarily the thought of a town where it's necessary to bring in special powers of arrest, have heightened my fear Broadstairs.

More recently news that, the licensing authorities have felt it necessary to revoke the licence for Harpers Wine Bar, which whenever I have passed by seems to be a fairly friendly hostelry, just add to my suspicion of just what goes on in Broadstairs.

Having read the reports about this on the Thanet Life website, it seems that many of the complaints made about this establishment, may actually have little to do with the bar in question. In fact this reminds me of the a similar case involving bar 26 in Margate.

Town centres will always have noise and nuisance if a town has any life in it at all, walking around the Harbour street, and the joining area there are numerous bars and pubs, it seems remarkable that this rather small establishment, could be responsible for the nuisance claimed.

I'm middle aged, so don't get out often, but from my distant memory, it's generally the larger pubs which create most anti social behaviour. How the licensing authorities have managed to zero in on this bar, is a mystery to me, but as is much in life, it is generally the small business and individuals that get clobbered with overzealous regulation.

Anyway good luck to Harper's wine bar, they certainly need it, I hope it's still there next time I'm in Broadstairs. I doubt any establishment in Broadstairs deserves this heavy handed treatment.

Southern Water clean up at last!

I'm frequently accused of talking it, many of us have had bathed in it, and Southern water who actually pump it, are due to complete their new eighty million pound plant this week. Which is just in the nick of time if the reports that the European Commission have started taking legal proceedings against British government for allowing the residents of margate's and broadstairs exposed to sewage for so many years.

It just makes you wonder what all those awards for clean beaches, in these parts are actually worth.

Richard Ashworth conservative Euro MP, is going to write to the European commissioner for the environment, to update him on these improvements, and invite him to visit the new facilities according to the report on Kentnews website. No mention is made as to whether it will be necessary for the commissioner to bring his swimming costume.

But not for the first time has Thanet been the last in the queue, whether it's roads hospitals or clean water.

Hooray for Southern water, it's taken these blighters sixteen years to comply with European law, I just wonder how long Southern water would wait, if you or I were to delay payment on our water bills probably not 16 days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007



Nothing illustrates how far the labour party have moved in the last 20 years, than the way in which the home office report into the effect of immigration was handled by Liam Byrne the immigration minister.

Politicians will always stress the positive side of any issue, so long as it puts them in a good light and the comments from Liam Byrne, just about sum up the cynical uncaring attitude of Britain's new labour party.

It appears from Mr. Byrne's comments as quoted in the independent newspaper "The UK economy and the Exchequer over the long run clearly profit from migration," he said. "But we need to strike a new balance in migration policy where we set benefits alongside what we know about the wider impact of migration."

Notice how the economy and profits appear to be uppermost in Mr. Byrne's thoughts, and concerns about social impact are apparently way down the list of priorities.

Clearly I inhabit a different world to Mr. Byrne, since my knowledge, further down the food chain is considerably different, I often meet migrant workers and sometimes work alongside so I think my experience is possibly more valid than any home office report writer.

Particularly concerning is the myth about the superior work ethic of migrants, which it seems Liam Byrne is happy to perpetuate, my experience of migrants, is that they are in no way different, to what the home office condescendingly refer to as " native worker".

It's unlikely that Liam Byrne or his home office staff, will be replaced any day soon by a migrant worker, who has no choice but to accept the minimum wage £5.50 or thereabouts, which is a pity, since they might just show a bit more consideration not only to us "natives" but also migrants.

What Liam Byrne and his colleagues are really doing, is sidestepping the fact that government controls on migration are non existent. Resulting in tremendous social upheaval the government has been negligent, in planning for the social costs of mass migration, to our Health Service, education system, judicial system, housing and social services.

It's fairly clear that when new labour, are confronted with caring for people or caring for their own backsides, the people will always lose every time.

Finally Liam Byrne opined, something to the effect that in the long run our country and exchequer are better off with immigration, than without it, and that would be true if the government both planned for and controlled immigration, which it doesn't. What is true is that thousands if not millions of "native" people (the derogatory home office term) are having their wages cut and social infrastructure pressured by negligent labour government.

Postscript I would much appreciate any comments, from labour party supporters, who might have evidence to the contrary that anyone in the labour party actually gives a toss for ordinary working class people, particularly welcome would be Stephen Ladyman MP for Thanet South.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Just about to head off to work, have just come back from the thearte royal, so have not got time to refine this piece. PLEASE Winge agbout resulting errors.

Anyhow David Chipperfield has given another top performance and produced a quite a pleasing design. see press for details

Surprised that their were none of the usual anti types, every one was well behaved including me, my question being only slightly offensive.

Will add to this after a wake up sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Must say I like the flock wallpaper in the theatre before it was painted over.

One thing that troubles me is the number council officials/functionaries on the top table.

For my previous observations on Turner click the Turner Contemporary Label at the bottom of this post

Monday, October 15, 2007


Just a quick reminder more info on the Turner Gallery with David Chipperfield, tommorow night, for details click here.

And if thats not interesting enough, you can always take a butchers at how Thanet council has restored the Theatre Royal.

For interest you might also care to see if the great and the good are segregated from the less than great like me, as they were at the last presentation.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


This week's Isle Of Thanet Gazette has the frontpage question MARGATE - WHAT NEXT? The gazette addresses issues over the controversial plans for The Dreamland amusement site.

I must say for a variety of reasons, I'm more than confused, I shall elaborate. Over the last few years some things have never been explained adequately, the owners of the Dreamland amusement park have dismantled an established business with a worldwide reputation, surely not as some long cynical process, to turn the site into prime housing land.

The council have as I understand already changed the local plan once to accomodate Dreamlands owners and are in the process of doing so again, despite the advice of a government inspector that dreamland was an assest worth saveing. Till now the owners could only get a change of use for the land, if they were able to prove the site could not be made viable as a leisure facility, now it seems the council are ready to back down all the way and consider other developments such as housing.

In August this year the cabinet meeting of Thanet District Council considered a plan for Dreamland amusement park and Arlington Square, which I thought they would put out for proper local consultation, so far the consultations look as thought it has gone underground.

Then we come to this week, the council hold a consultation meeting, advertised with full page notices, and since the councils spent so much in promoting this event, I thought it would only be polite to go along.

This meeting was offered as a consultation about renewal, so naturally I thought someone would be on hand to hear comments about the renewal of the dreamland amusement park site, this being perhaps the biggest development likely to take place in Margate for some considerable time.

I doubt you'll be surprised to hear, that when I went there no one was available from the council familiar with this project, although I did speak with Derek Harding part of SEEDA Margate regeneration quango thingy.

Assuming by this point you haven't given up the will to live, I'm convinced that a public consultation on this plan to redevelop dreamland and also incidentally create traffic mayhem by restricting traffic along Marine Terrace is probably irrelevant as I believe minds have already been made up by the planning authorities.

Part of the proposals by both the council and the landowners of Dreamland, are I understand for a new access road, which will come out into Eaton Road. Interestingly there seems to be a clump of properties currently being demolished to make way for new flats, which are at the planning stage I wonder whether they get built, since it would be the ideal place for the suggested new road.

Anyway what really worries me is what the local council are playing at, in August they produced a planning brief for the site, which to my mind seems a tad too proactive for a planning authority, whose principal role presumably is to regulate and interpret planning regulations for the benefit of local populace.

The bottom line is if the Thanet Council are under any obligation to consult with the local people then it should be done in a clear and well publicized way, yes there has been a drop session(whatever that might be) and a further one on 17 October 5.00pm - 7.00pm, if your passing the very accessable commitee rooms (I think somewhere up on the third floor of the council offices) and if you get lost who knows what you might find.

Just as a conclusion the Dreamland planning brief, finishes off with a list of those who will be consulted they are Natural England -English heritage - Kent Highway Services - Environment Agency - The Countryside Agency -CABE - The 20th Century Society - Statutory Undertakers - The Emergency Services -Network Rail - The Theatres Trust - Kent police "Secure By Design"

I'm sure the author of the brief intended to mention the public as a significant group to be consulted.

If you would like more information Thanet Council have produced a simplified planning brief (two pages) off if and consultation form on this page CLICK HERE

If you would like full the Dreamland brief (18 pages) including the nasty bits like maps showing areas of flood risk CLICK HERE

Also the notes from the Cabinet agenda CLICK HERE

Forget anything else the "DREAMLAND BRIEF" is likely to be the most significant issue to effect Margate for years to come (and that includes the Turner Gallery) surprising that Sandy Ezekiel and his deputy and Roger Latchford are keeping quiet on the matter, still given the latters expertise on Ramsgate Harbour beach maybe its a good thing.

Friday, October 12, 2007


This week Sainsbury's supermarket announced to the world, that it felt that immigrant workers have a superior work ethic. Just what prompted this statement, I'm not sure. The company apparently finds immigrant labour to be more flexible happier with terms and conditions of employment etc.

Well I don't know about you, but I find the fact that three million people have arrived in this country in the last five, to fill unskilled jobs a frightening prospect, mainly because I believe migrant workers are exploited because they come here to escape extreme poverty in East Europe so are naturally more flexible than indigenous people.

Businesses are not charities and naturally they prefer people who are flexible and those in desperate financial straits in a foreign country must be extremely compliant.

It's fairly obvious to anyone who works in the construction industry or service industries that wage rates are under pressure as a result of the lunacy of uncontrolled of migration.

As one of those fairly low down the food chain, who worries about having my hourly rate undercut by desperate migrants, I'm consoled by the thought that at least I can still choose where I do my shopping, and Sainsbury's is about as attractive as Gerald Ratner's jewelry once was.

Incidentally fortunately I've always shopped at the superior Tesco's, which not only has better products, but doesn't insult my intelligence.

Finally if Sainsbury's wish to praise migrant workers over their British staff, then they won't be surprised when British workers shop elsewhere. If you feel your standard of living to be under threat. Go on and try something new today, a supermarket that doesn't insult the British work ethic!

PS This country should offer equal opportunities to all, so just why are Sainsburys management making comparisons between different nationalities?

read the telegraph story here

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I'm not sure what they were doing but it looked expensive, for whatever reason the council are apparently paying to have several thousand tons of sand to be heaped up into some sort of sculpture.

Maybe this is some innovative marketing attempt by Thanet Council to promote the name Margate, possibly they are constructing the world's biggest sandcastle, I'm not sure maybe someone who does know, could leave a comment.

Anyway it appears to be the current fad with many local bloggers to use video, I shall leave you with some extremely poor quality video, my intention had been to astound you with the quality of video from my new telephone gizmo, unfortunately I don't have a clue how it works yet.

I did make inquiries with a couple locals who were standing around, but their explanation that this massive construction was to stop sand being washed up on Marine Terrace seemed too mundane.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Medical Mystery

Is it any wonder that those who can emigrate from this country are doing so in record numbers, particularly if you happen to read, tales such as the frontpage story in yesterday's Sunday Times concerning medical students who for religious reason, wish to be selective as to which subjects they learn, and even what gender they will treat.

It's not unheard of for doctors to refuse medical treatment on the basis of ethical and religious dogma, such as the catholic church's, insistence on perpetuating poverty by rejection of contraception, although most Catholics clearly ignore such teachings.

Still doctors are entitled to their opinions and beliefs, although there must come a point where religious teachings, impinge on patients' rights to fair and proper medical treatment. Obviously few would argue with a doctor's refusal to be involved with abortion, since this clearly results in loss of life and transcends simplistic religious teaching.

According to the times's story, some trainee doctors are now insisting on being allowed, to avoid whole chunks of medicine, such as areas that relate to alcohol and sex. Apparently some male trainee doctors are either so delicate or brainwashed by religious teaching, they are prepared to fail their exams rather than examine a female patient.

This seems a great waste of supposedly intelligent people, may be medical colleges should vet students for extreme and incompatible religious views before wasting valuable teaching resources on those who are are clearly unsuited.

Frankly I do not give a toss, what If any religion a doctor happens to subscribe to, so long as they don't try and impinge their beliefs on me.

Just imagine what reaction you would have as a patient, were you to insist, on having a doctor who didn't mind a drink had no sexual hangups or fundamentalist religious views rather than some pious doctor who relies more on religious dogma than medical teaching.

It seems a mystery that someone would choose medicine as a profession, which most consider a "caring profession" and then as a result of their interpretation of the teachings of Islam discover that they cannot treat patients humanely and in a non discriminatory way, what an indictment of extreme religious views.

Click here to read the Sunday Times story.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Post office closure

This week has seen, the announcement of post office closures in Thanet, which has given Laura Sandys much to get her teeth into.

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and this week has seen, the Tories make plenty of capital out of the post office's announcement of local closures. It appears to me that Laura Sandys has almost been omnipresent in our local newspapers.

I am frequently mean to her opponent, Stephen Ladyman so for balance, I examine this week's PR performance. It certainly looks like local Tory functionaries, have got their act together as far as making good use of the local press (if only David Cameron were as competent in the coming up with some solid policies, it would be game over for Labour).

Now if you care to visit, Laura Sandys website, you get the impression that the main motivation for her condemnation of the post office proposals is a good sense of community and public service, which as far as I suspect may well be a genuinely held sentiment although the cynic in me, believes this to be purely a politically motivated stunt.

Still if this is part of a new softer caring, Tory party, I just wonder what or how the old guard of Mrs. T's generation feel, I imagine they're spinning in their retirement homes, let's just consider why these post offices, are being closed, unless the Tories know different, we're told that it's to do with making the post office more competitive (something which conservatives when in government have never had a problem with).

Like it or not, Tory or Labour, in the real world, tough decisions are made by people & businesses every day, and since the conservatives have always claimed to represent the interests of a free market, then regrettable as these changes are, wholesale condemnation seems out of place coming from a Tory candidate.

I doubt when push comes to shove, that David Cameron will have the stature or substance to produce a convincing win for the conservative party in the next general election, but on current form labour candidates in marginal constituencies, ought to be updating their C V's.

PS Local Labour party activists ought to take, a close look post-haste, at how the conservatives are running their campaign in Thanet South and contrast that with their apparently non existent efforts to unsettle Rodger Gale let alone unseat him at the next election.