Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Much of last evening was taken up for me, by what I consider the rather patronising email and letter, which apparently sought to explain laws concerning defamation etc., and potentially consequences if I didn't moderate my commentary. Like my bloggs, the letter in question seem to ramble on, and about things which I've never said, and people I'm reasonably sure I haven't insulted either deliberately or indirectly.
Now individuals as well as corporate entities, have the right to protect their reputation, but when you get a letter, from a very large company, suggesting you seek legal advice, your natural reaction, particularly if you don't feel, they have a complaint, is to feel threatened.
I just wonder whether, laws concerning defamation, ought to be amended, so that before accusations are made, they have to withstand some independent scrutiny, since being a cynic I suspect that some entities use the threat of legal action to silence free speech. Since obviously large corporations, can afford to employee lawyers on such tasks.
Assuming I was as the writer, appeared to be suggesting, defamatory, I reckon, if I were truly mischievous, I would be responding in rather a different way.
As I frequently have mentioned on this site, which my correspondent of yesterday is probably unaware, I am not a fan of anonymous bloggs however I can now clearly see their advantage, and rather than spending several hours, responding to these accusations I would of course just said bollix to them, and continued looking at holidays which was my intention.
Finally this post is just my personal, view, assessment, take whatever it is not intended as a factual reference work in fact just bollix OK.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Firstly to my regular readers, I intend to be a vague, but the person who sent the e-mail and attached letter, will of course be aware to whom I am addressing my comments.
First off, you will note that I have not mentioned your organisation\company for a week or two or maybe much longer so I wonder why you choose, this moment in time to make the suggestion that I have somehow defamed you or any of your colleagues.
Now if I went into any more detail, I would probably have to identify the nature of your company\organisation but would say I have, to the best of my knowledge not made any comments that could be construed as remarks that defame you or your colleagues or even the entity you obviously work for.
The paragraph that starts "You suggest" takes several quotes from one of my past postings, which refers to an organisation\business which is quite separate from your own establishment, which you make quite clear in your own letter as I have.
I put my own name, to this blog, it's not anonymous, you have clearly written to me, in confidence although obviously you're email is unsolicited, however if you wish to ask me to withdraw a comment which you consider unfair and specifically refers to yourself, your colleagues organisation company I will of course comply within reason.
Regular readers will of course be aware that I, frequently delete defamatory offensive comments from this blog when they occur.
As someone who themself has been defamed, by various Internet websites, and had threats of violence made against me, particularly worrying are those " I know where you live" type threats, I certainly empathise with anyone I may have been inadvertently offended , however to date I consider to the best of my abilities, my postings on this website have been fair comment.
I could of course just publish your letter, I could of course draw conclusions, I could contact the media, certainly if I were to comment on the motives of your letter, that might well be defamatory which is not my intention.
Postscript the house number, on the letter you intend to send me, is inaccurate I suggest you add 6 to the house number you have for me.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Having checked the Kent TV website , today I still can find no advertisement for membership to the governing board of this one of Kent's latest public funded Quangos.
For many Kent TV steps over the boundaries of what is expected of local authorities, as one who feels uncomfortable with suggestions of overt political bias and promotion of Freemasonry, I would like an opportunity to become a governor of the out of public control broadcast company.
Lets just remind ourselves that Kent council squanders 8 million pounds a year on questionable advertising which if you were to divide between the three major publishers (Kent Messenger, Kent on Sunday, and Kent Regional Newspapers) comes out at 2.6 million quid a year.
Of course this is a rather simplistic suggestion, because Kent often spends a few quid on other newspapers when advertising bloated management positions, plus a few bones as it were, at local Broadcast types.
Any way as one of Kent's dissidents of whom there must be a growing number, I would like the opportunity to delve into Kent's most contentious waste of money Kent TV.
I just hope that one day Kent will open its quangos to public scrutiny, considering Kent is such a blooming marvelous local authority, as Paul Carter is always telling us, why is it taking so long to advertise positions for governors of Kent TV.
Well I'm sure that the output of Kent TV is no way biased just check out these classics "Cameron Comes to Kent" , "Helen Grant's Candidacy", " Towards 2010 " and just prove how honest this all is " Cllr Mike Eddy : Interview " (Labour group leader whose charisma is almost equal to Paul Carters).
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Local newspapers seem reluctant, to comment on the issues that affect local people, take a glance through the Isle Of Thanet Gazette, which typifies what I mean, a couple of issues which are key to Margate and Thanet's town centre viability are pretty much ignored or buried.
Our town centres are struggling to survive which is clearly evident by the increasing number of vacant shops and businesses found in our towns, a situation which is being made worse by extortionate charges for parking, and if that was not bad enough the leader of the Thanet council Sandy Ezekiel has once again been exhibiting remarkable behaviour.
I just wonder what prevents, local newspapers campaigning on behalf of readers who I'm sure, must be sickened by the complacent attitude of Sandy Ezekiel's Tory Administration particularly with their negative attitude to our high streets. Equally irritating the Gazette's burying details of an apparent confrontation with Iris Johnson and Thanet's two top Tories over a petition, which for some reason was referred to in their Smudger column rather than the frontpage.
I just wonder if advertising revenue, has any influence on what our media report on. Although Thanet is just a minnow in the public authority spending league they do spend 200,000 a year which is not a completely insignificant amount of money. No doubt TDC, advertise on a competitive basis, but human nature is such, that you may go a little easy on an organization that has such spending power.
Fortunately Bignews Margate, does not rely on largesse from anyone, so will continue to give an independent, sometimes painful examination of local events.
Anyway as a bonus I leave you with this thought, if Sandy Ezekiel is the best of Thanet Tories, what the hell are the rest like. Incidentally Eastcliff Richard, has a poll on His website asking the question "Is our Sandy fit to be the leader of the Thanet council?" This sort of thing our local newspapers should be doing.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Now I personally have a theory that in the same way, we read in the winter that network rail encounter the wrong sort of leaves, I reckon we have the wrong sort of Tories, having read that the borough of Westminster, controlled I believe by Tories, have introduced reduced parking charges as low as 20 pence an hour, a fraction of the £1.80 per hour extortion demanded by Sandy Ezekiel's administration.
Still it's not all bad news, costs will not have arisen for Sandys advisers or any other council "officers" as they will continue to hog most of the parking spaces in the Mill Lane car park for free, leaving us the paying public no choice but to park in Cecil Square.
Stupidly I thought I would ring, the council and ask whether the new extortionate prices introduced in April, had resulted in improved revenue, not surprisingly I was informed, that they wouldn't have any figures until the end of the year. Assuming this was just as someone junior, I was speaking to, it's still very worrying, that the culture of a revenue collecting department is so removed from normal business practice.
I am sure that local retail businesses, would have figures which indicate their turnover on a weekly basis it's a pity the council is not more businesslike.
see bbc story
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
A few things have prompted me to bring up the question of freedom to blog, one was an article in Metro newspaper (free daily paper in London), which reports on the numbers of writers arrested by Chinese authorities, and secondly of course BBC News coverage of the continuing disgraceful progress of the Olympic torch tonight's highlighting how Chinese citizens are carefully vetted before being allowed to witness its progress to Beijing.
Obviously most bloggers are not professional writers, but do offer something journalists cannot and that is the ability to write what they want without considering financial matters (or grammer or who they upset). It seems clear to me that journalists on newspapers particularly local ones must be aware of upsetting advertisers, particularly local government which countywide spends around eight million pounds a year, with Thanet council around 200,000 pounds a year.
In life we have to be pragmatic, but I just wonder whether local councilors and public employees should be accepting hospitality from the Chinese government, admittedly China isn't the most repressive regime but it's certainly the case that its citizens do not live in a free and fair society. So whilst our local planning authorities consider implications of the China gateway development and its potential to destroy the local environment and poison our water, maybe they should also consider the corrosive nature of dealing corrupt regimes.
Perhaps Thanet council could insist that the Chinese authorities release political prisoners including bloggers before they give permission for the Manston Gateway development to go ahead. One thing is for sure I will not be getting an all expenses paid holiday or even a business trip courtesy of the Chinese government anytime soon also the China gateway as far as the Internet is concerned is clkosed and likely to remain so for a long time.
The People's Republic of China
Human Rights in China
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Whatever the justification, Thanet council may have, I for one have severe reservations about local authority " officers", secretly snooping on us in Thanet with hidden cameras.
In order to curb, graffiti attacks around Thanet Mark Richardson from the of Thanet Community Safety Partnership, has announced the intention to conceal spy cameras in such mundane items as plant pots and street lights in an attempt to catch offenders.
What bugs me about this, is the ever increasing amount of surveillance which is understandable if controlled by the police authorities or the country's intelligence services but I for one have no confidence in the use of surveillance equipment by local bureaucrats etc..
Virtually every town centre street now has its obligatory spy cameras, viewing us, the public, without any apparent accountability. As far as I can tell no one audits the behaviour of local council departments other than themselves.
Does anyone know who actually have monitors the snoopers, is it Sandy Ezekiel or maybe chief executive Richard Samuel. Maybe it's time that the operation room which contains the monitor's for these cameras was open to the public, so that we could see for ourselves everything was above board.
In the novel 1984, proles like me, would have at least been scrutinised by big brother, not someone middle ranking council officer.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Kent councils dismal education department, excels at failure, which is no surprise to thousands of parents, who have over the years seen their children's future blighted by a Tory administration whose prime purpose seems, to be to serve petty middle class aspirations.
Over the years thousands of parents, have seen their children's lives blighted, by Kent Tories dogged determination to continue, what is a segregation of children based ostensibly on ability but which for some reason flavours middle class parents and their offspring.
If assuming that you might be pro grammar education, ask yourself why parents spend money on additional tuition for their children and or sending to the petty private schools, whose sole purpose often, is to coach young children to pass the Kent test.
Just to gauge how out of touch some Tory councilors are I recall a Tory councilor, attempting to suggest how grammar schools broadly representative society by revealing that parents of some children at grammar schools, obtained family credit, had this person been more knowledgeable, he would have been aware that probably 80% of parents are actually eligible for such benefit.
We frequently read how Kent Council, is judged to be an absolutely bloody marvelous council, but surely one of the key services they provide is education, which would clearly indicate that they are in actual fact, second rate and worse than that eleven plus failures.
One of personal note, I have an IQ of 126, so how did I end up at a third rate secondary modern school. I think the real distinction between the grammar schools and Kent's other third rate schools, is the school's attitude to education, it sent a chill down my spine when returning to my former school years later, when the deputy head suggested with apparent pride, that most children ended up in semi skilled trades or business but none ever succeeded in the professions (which I don't think was actually true).
Education should be a continuously competitive process, however Kent's continued support of a bankrupt 19th century educational system, results in a skewed system which attempts to predict a child's abilities several years before all important public exams. There really is no honest argument for Kent's education apartheid.
Statistically Kent's education system and consequently schools are are the worst in the country, and no amount of bluster and nonsense from Tory supporters will change it.
As one of those most critical of thanet council's activities policies and general conduct, I would personally like to thank, those responsible for providing a first class event this weekend.
Clearly this is a crowd pleasing event, I assume that is driven by Rodger Latchford and Sandy Ezekiel, although I didn't see Sandy Ezekiel at the event this year. Well done!
Now if Sandy and his deputy Roger Latchford, could similarly attempt to please us every day, their future would be assured, and it would not have to cost as much as the big event, little things like allowing free and cheaper car parking in our town centres, and firm support to our local museums.
I would imagine, particularly concerning parking, that despite the increased pricing for local parking, since many spaces now remain vacant for much of the day, that revenue will not have increased in any significant way with to the net effect of damaging local business and jobs.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
As the Labour party have moved further from their grassroots than ever, news that the GMB union is no longer to support Stephen Ladyman MP, should come as little surprise, to anyone who has observed Labours gentle metamorphosis from the Labour party recently new Labour and presumably now soft Tories.
No doubt Stephen Ladyman must be under pressure as a vice chairman of the Labour party, whose support is in freefall, as well as being exceedingly unlikely to be reelected for Labour in Thanet South. Stephen ladyman suggests that the GMB union is trying to buy MP's and drag it the Labour party to the left.
Now just for Stephen Ladyman, as someone whose mildly interested in politics, I suggest that it's not only traditional Labour grassroots supporters, who feel betrayed by Labour but those of us with a social conscience or who happen to be British or English have similar feelings. This might be of interest to local Labour councilors, such as David Green who accuses David Davies of political stunts and Clive Hart whom I bumped into at the big event in Margate, who strangely thinks he'll be able to buck the trend, and get himself reelected to Kent Council next year.
Anyway since a clear vision of political realities seems to elude both Stephen Ladyman and others in the Labour party, here are a few things that I and others are no longer comfortable with.
• arrest without trial
• university tuition fees (except in Scotland)
• prescription charges (except in Scotland)
• surrendering constitutional powers to Europe
• subjugation of the English by Scottish Labour MP's
• Scottish people given greater democratic power
• British workers taking pay cuts due to Labour exploiting foreign workforce
• uncontrolled migration resulting in poorer education and health facilities
• free speech curbed in the local government due to standards board of England
• Unrestricted gambling despite social cost
• green taxes curbing travel for working people whilst MP's can just charge expenses
• giving away billions to Europe when Blair handed back our rebate
• going to war based on bogus information
I could go on, but is just so depressing, even on something as simple as the working time directive, Labour have backtracked and stabbed their traditional supporters in the back. I'll be surprised, if any of our local, Labour politicians have the front, to comment, to me Labour party are every bit as sleazy as the Tories were at the end of their last reign, and one just wonders what deal Tony Blair did with the Murdoch Press, just prior to his election as surprisingly these papers are still supporting Labour.
It's easy for Labour just dismiss David Davies principled stand for democracy and freedom as a stunt, but since labour have thrown away principles and decency who gives a toss what they may have to say.
Friday, June 13, 2008
As a result of media speculation Mr Puss (Gazette Page 28), who last week was rushed into a local veterinary hospital (Mrs Me was running late), is able to confirm that his recent absence from the pages of Bignews Margate has been the result of health concerns, for the last few months he has been taking things easy.
Mr Puss who refused to give a urine sample, at the vets has since performed, analysis has given him a clean bill of health, meaning that he no longer needs to rely on a prescription diet, however its feared that he has ruled out his chances in the 2012 London Olympics (tm) by refusing to give a sample at the earliest opportunity.
During his break he has remained the driving force as far as editorial direction.
Fact Mr Puss has been winner of the most likely to be rescued from Flaig Mansions in the event of a fire for the last Ten Years.
Some will clearly see this as a pitiful crowd pleasing attempt by an rather lack lustre local council, which is my view entirely but since the ruling Tory group has sacrificed everything for the benefit of profiteering developers and are more than happy to bend over for incoming speculators even to the extent of taking hospitality from the corrupt Chinese government (corrupt is as much as they offer their people no human rights and no democracy), and allowing a Chinese development which may well destroy our local drinking water supplies.
Anyway Sandy's administration which this year has produced a master plan, which will probably finish off Dreamland for every, ignoring local consultations, ruined the library with "Gateway" and placed the last nail in coffin for Margate retailers with a massive hike in parking charges, needs to have something to distract us voters and the Big event is just the thing.
How the Tories have got away with turning their back on the electorate and their wishes remains a mystery still like many I shall be easily distracted at the event.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Still in a pitiful attempt to salvage some of my dignity, I decided to ring Mr. Morris who refuted my claims that he was a mere whippersnapper, anyhow he did offer to correct, the description of me as a trucker, I pointed out that I was in fact a track worker (someone who works on railway tracks)see profile.
Anyway if you would like to read my comments on Margate library click here, that I like to think of as unbiased analysis, but which in the harsh light of Mr. Morris's comments, I realise are nothing more than middle aged moaning. Damn journalists their just so blooming opinionated!
PS just a quick, update on my earlier elephants bottom posting, the journalist who sought to use my photo montage, informs me that it wasn't big enough, for publication, that's the JPEG file size (photo) not the bum.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
So much attention, has been focused in recent times on Margate's cultural regeneration, in relation to the Turner contemporary and the concomitant growing artistic community, that our more down to earth popular entertainment culture, is overlooked.
Since the kerfuffle over the Theatre Royal last year, performing arts, that punters like me would like to see, appear to have fallen off the public agenda. Now I was reminded by an advert placed by Thanet Leisure Force, which advertises the "remarkable psychic medium" Colin Fry as well as Paul James and Billy Nutt In " The Boys Search for a STAR" , typifies just what Margate's Winter Gardens has to offer and frankly it's rubbish (in my opinion).
It's incredible that Thanet Leisure Force are so bereft of ideas that, one of their most heavily promoted shows happens to be a psychic medium, one also wonders why they don't go the whole damn hog and just exhume an audience.
Incidentally isn't it the case, that in advertising Psychic Mediums, that the law now requires some sort of disclaimer, maybe something to effect, that this performance maybe a load of old balls?
I realise that the traditional seaside summer season show built round, the semi decent performer is long gone but really surely they can do better than this.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
A thought prompted by Stephen Ladyman's apparent conversion to the fact the British motorist will not easily be shoehorned away from the car despite what politicians would like to see, it occurred to me as I perused the increasing cost of car parking, just who owns our local parking spaces Thanet council or us the public.
To the casual observer, one would imagine that Tory councilors, guided by narrow minded council officers believe themselves to be the sole custodians of our parking spaces, which effectively they are.
However it seems incredibly shortsighted and stupid, that our Tory councilors have allowed themselves to be led into a situation, which is anti competitive, towards small business local businesses, that have supported the local community, long before anyone thought to plough up Westwood and plant a rather mediocre cheap shopping centre.
Looking at most of our Tory councilors, I for one conclude, that few are capable of original thought, which I believe explains why, on a Sunday morning, I have to pay 80 pence to park in an near empty car park, despite the fact I am in a small way helping to keep town centre shopping alive.
Unlike many I chose to shop in Ramsgate, mainly because I prefer to walk around a real town, but why the hell should I have to pay. One of the main reasons I frequently criticise the Tories and this is a prime example, is because of their laziness in policy making, the ease with which they accept advice from local government employees.
For some reason in Kent conservatives have been genetically modified, and no longer support individuality or enterprise but have become assimilated into the bureaucratic culture of local authorities, so rather than direct policy they now fall into line with the council departments they're meant to manage.
Just to highlight what I mean, two supposedly significant projects in Kent, are Kent TV, and the even more abysmal mutant libraries project " Gateway" as in Margate, surprisingly no Tory politician appears to have claimed either of these as their own idea, and yet like Sea Lions who have just been thrown a kipper they have no hesitation in applauding them. How depressing!
Monday, June 02, 2008
As I write just for my own pleasure, one thing I don't do as a rule, is attempt to get anything published other than on my own weblog or you tube site, since readers can click away, and find themselves something more entertaining. However occasionally, I get the odd comment or email from readers telling me how blimin wonderful I am (more please), I assume they can't all be totally irrational fruitcakes, and sometimes I get encouraging words from proper writers.
Not attempting to cosy up to local media, allows me to be critical of one of the key elements in local life the local media, particularly since local newspapers are to some extent reliant on local councils and businesses advertising in their titles, and occasionally publish stories which reflect their advertising sources.
Anyway one journalist recently asked if they could include part of my website in the following weeks newspaper, you're probably wondering what could possibly interest a journalist working for one of the Thanet's better papers, was it my insightful view on local politics, my interest in Kent TV, opinions held on Labour's downfall, none of these, what they wanted was permission to reproduce my photo montage of an elephant's bottom over Margate's Harbour arm.
Now it's a couple of weeks since I emailed them a copy of the photo I doubt this picture will ever see the light of day, in the local print media, it would appear that good taste prevailed,and the picture got spiked presumably the journalist in question either came to his senses or was overruled by a higher authority.
Anyway I won't name the publication, since exercising good taste is not a crime, and it serves as a reminder that a blog is just a blog, anyway thanks again for reading. And I do appreciate the occasional thanks that I get from readers my current favourite being from gremlinfeatures on my youtube site "I love this man he constantly gives his opinion on everything like a cheeky weasel "
PS do find time to visit the IOTA Gallery on the Harbour Arm. The elephants behind was my comment on the Turner contemporary MK1 not any current development in that area.