Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wow what a Christmas and Noel Hell!

It was a rare event at Flaig Mansions, Christmas dinner was cooked to perfection (almost) a joint effort with me and Mrs Me which mainly involves me, in claiming all the credit and Mrs Me doing the veg, laying the table and tidying up. Unusually I had cooked the gammon and stuffed the turkey without the usual melodrama and was by nine Christmas evening in front of the telly with everything prepared including wrapping Mrs Me presents and writing a card.

As a non Christian I celebrate the event with as much good will as most (I lost my religion about the age of nine watching documentaries on the first war and the holocaust), its the one time of year I find the hypocrisy of the church tolerable, if not welcome as listening to Christmas carols brings back warm nostalgic feelings of past Christmases and those no longer here.santaoncoke

I’m not entirely without a belief, since I do believe in the spirit embodied in the Hollywood image of Santa Claus, the beneficent well meaning old git, who does what’s necessary to deliver the goods on Christmas Eve. Illogical I know and proof that I may not be entirely rational but here’s my reasoning in a nutshell unlike deities like god who lays down loads of rules and regulations, Father Christmas always delivers so long as you’ve been good and not naughty.

Anyway moving a long, Christmas is all about having a good time and so far I’ve had a pretty good break, Christmas dinner went well for the second year running we had smoked salmon and prawns as a starter, missed the Queens speech as per usual and no er intense moments.

I tend to spend as much time in doors as possible this time of year, a reaction to being out in all weathers most of the working day, I no longer seem to be able to concentrate on reading books, so television and mucking about on the computer are my main preoccupations currently I’m trying to find a simple way to transfer movies from disc to portable devices.

Television this Christmas seems to have reached an all-time low, items that failed to hit the spot, have been Catherine Tate, the Royle family, Gavin & Stacey, even Eastenders failed to lift my spirits despite the seasonal joy which centred on the murder of Archie Mitchell and will now drag out in to a long winded who done it, me I couldn’t give a toss.

Some highlights for me have been the result of watching DVD’s Slumdog Millionaire brilliant! Series 1 of the Wire best ever TV serial, one disappointment amongst the gems “Inglorious Bastards” I always watch Quentin Tarrentino films in the expectation that one day he’ll repeat the magic of Pulp Fiction, its not going to happen.

Some unexpected moments on the box were Harry Hill’s TV burp I rarely watch his regular take on TV but find myself enjoying the show its relatively undemanding unlike Charile Brooker’s rather bitter Screenwipe still maybe I’m in a weakened state but at one point I found myself watching Ant and Dec’s Christmas show and quite enjoying it till I had the thought, that the set they were using, was not dissimilar, to that which used to appear on Noel Edmond’s House Party.

It may be me but I’ve always found Noel Edmond’s persona irritating in the extreme, but none more so than in his role as presenter of Deal or no deal whether its the format of the show, mind numbing and for me about the worst thing on tele even with the Christmas make over Noel Hell! and happy new year.noelhell

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas to almost every one!

In common with most years, my distribution of Christmas cards will be fairly exclusive, anyhow I’d like to thank all those who’ve taken the trouble look in from time to time on these pages, my only regret this year is not having the time to contribute in recent months.

Hopefully I will remember to get a card for Mrs Me and with luck, will not make the same mistake as in a previous year when I bought and gave a Birthday card, instead of the more traditional Christmas card, confirming Mrs Me’s belief that I don’t read the words.

Also I’d like to spare a thought for those in my industry (Railway) who will be spending much of the Christmas period out on track, whatever the weather, working long hours, day and night, who like many other essential workers are unlikely to get any public recognition unless some lazy journalists repeats the seasonal “rail chaos story” which has been a favourite page filler in newspapers at Christmas in recent years.

We live in a world of clichés and it would nice if all those working over the break got some public recognition whether its health workers or someone working in a take away, anyway Happy Christmas, me I’ll mainly be working the remote this Christmas after I’ve cooked the gammon and the Turkey.

I’d also like to thank Thanet Council for their Christmas greetings which this year includes the news they will be wanting payment a month earlier (council tax), this will no-doubt help fund the generous pay increase awarded to senior bods at the council (I was told by one cabinet member it was necessary to keep hold of them, I pondered on who else would actually want to employ them?) also better news was that Thanet council will be making no effort to empty my bin during the first week of the New Year ( presumably starting the year as they intend to go on).

Seasons Greetings to all with the exception of senior TDC officers and councillors (who don’t need any good will since I’m sure they can look after themselves.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stuck in traffic

Its a while since I last posted and might well be some considerable time in the future when I summon up enough motivation and or time.

Still one of those subjects which I would have liked to give vent previously is the management of highways here in the south east, which I imagine is controlled by imbeciles who unlike me don’t actually have to use them.

Some examples of disruptions in recent months include the tunnel closed between Herne Bay and Whitstable on the Thanet Way, this is closed every three months so that light bulbs and the like, can be maintained, and since bureaucrats don’t get up too early, its no problem that its not reopened till well after five, the M2 closed at Rainham turn off for litter picking at 5:40am.

Still the worst delays are those caused by “police incidents”, these seem to occur on alternate days, a couple of weeks back there was a lorry fire on the A2 which resulted in not just the coast bound carriage way out of London closed but the London bound for good measure, during the additional hours it took to get home by turning back through the Blackwell tunnel and crawling along the A13 to Dartford crossing I heard on the radio that the London bound side might just open later in the evening.

The following day I was relieved and surprised to see no evidence of this incident at the Danson interchange, I had half expected a blooming great big crater, absolutely no evidence of the catastrophe which the previous evening had caused misery for hundreds of thousands of commuters across south east London, Kent and Essex.

Last weekend, on the journey home, I noted that the London bound Thanet way was closed, for what I’m not sure although I did see some activity around a puddle? and of course coming up to yesterdays road closures, what the hell was that all about, I’d like to thank Kent Highways for gritting the roads but despite well advertised snow fall, it didn’t appear that any attempt had been made to grit the M2.

As a result of Kent Highways failure to keep the roads open I along with my co workers lost a days pay, no doubt the person responsible for the keeping the roads open sits in a nice office, on a nice fat salary with no effect on his or her salary (probably due one of those performance bonuses).

Still my hours stuck in a preventable jam, resulted in me returning home early, I thought I’d take the chance to see BBC south east’s report which might ask some of the questions us residents would ask, well its rare that BBC’s south east regional news outpost, hits the spot and last night’s performance was no different, as is often the case outside broadcasts are a feature of the show and one intrepid reporter was in “Tunbridge Wells” which since they (BBC SE) have their studios there means filming a reporter from the doorway probably between fag breaks.

Anyway just flying off at a tangent, as I say its rare that I see BBC southeast output and last mentioned it probably back in October, having raised with various bods like David Holdswoth BBC’s Controller of English Regions, also I spoke with Quentin Smith Television Editor BBC South East whom I recall suggested I should take a fresh look well I did yesterday and one word comes to mind “simpering” why I don’t know.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thought for the day – MP Cleared of wrong doing

I caught this wonderful news, in this weeks Thanet Times “Ladyman is in the clear” apparently Sir Thomas Legg has concluded that there were “no issues” with Ladyman’s expenses including his mortgage etc.

Stephen Ladyman is quoted in the Thanet Times “It has been a worrying time because even when you are confident you did nothing wrong there is always the worry some unintentional fault could be found. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief”

Phew! isn’t that a relief, who ever thought anything different? lets not forget how tough life can be for MP’s struggling to get by, thankfully the taxpayer is only too willing to help these, low income professionals, with subsidised canteens and monthly food expenses etc.

I’m thankful that we still live in time when a Labour parliament is able to look after the vulnerable in society even MPs, trousering nearly 65 grand a year…. pity they can’t also look out for working people whose incomes and prospects are bleaker than they’ve been for many a year.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dane Valley – The result – lost in translation by the political establishment

Before I go any further, well done! Sandra Hart (the local girl) for the “thanet Local Labour” party, for winning last weeks Dane Valley By election, an incredible result against given the Labour Parties calamitous, handling of the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, immigration, health, welfare, education and even curbs on freedom of speech.

Clearly Sandra Hart is one of the minority in society who actually cares enough about the community to take an active part and I expect she will do her best, which will be without a doubt a better job than her predecessor.

The result of the election has certainly been interesting although Labour’s win is not particularly remarkable since Labour have an existing base in the area, no surprise that the conservatives took a hammering, as well they should for the inept handling of the absentee councillor situation.

Mark Nottingham makes much of Sandra Hart’s win and is even honest enough to touch on Bill Furness Liberal Democrat candidates impressive second place, Tory exile Bertie Biggles concentrates on the conservatives infighting plus a hint of irregularity by council officers, Michael Child ignores the Liberals and witters on about the Labour victory waffling on about ”a very large” Labour swing, which had he read the figures below that statement would have realised was simply not the case as their share of the vote had been effected by the general disillusion of Labours national shenanigans, it appears to me that Matt of Thanet Star fame is the only blogger to have got things in perspective with “Labour have very little to crow about”.

Anyway I’d like to add to the congratulations to Sandra Hart and thank all those who took part, particularly well done to Wendy Allen and Bill Furness who both made significant advances.

The fact remains Labour’s swing was negative and despite the simplistic approach made by the Hart team of “local girl” for “local elections” its clear that local Labour party members make up, Labour nationally and are every bit as culpable for Labours stewardship as their in some cases less than respectable parliamentary colleagues.

Just to keep Ramsgate’s Taxpayer funded Labour Eurocrat (Nottingham) happy I am a Liberal Democrat something I probably wont mention again, as my views on this blog represent my own.

Finally I trust that Thanet District council will correct this error in their press release “The by-election was held following the resignation of Stephen Broadhurst.” as I understand it Stephen Broadhurst did not send a valid resignation, and was automatically removed from the council after he failed to appear at the council.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

By Election Special - Dane Valley the final stretch and whatever happened to Labour

Just a quick posting before I head off to cast my vote, this election is, when all is taken into consideration only remarkable for its origins and background.

The resignation of absentee, Cllr Broadhurst I recall never really occurred, since his letter of resigning, was found not to be acceptable by council officials, eventually he was automatically removed from the council, the handling by the local Conservative party of the situation was typically of the light, sloppy and weak managerial approach shown by their administration of Thanet council.

Anyway we, that is us voters, have in the last few weeks had more than a few leaflets, on the blog sites’ there has been the usual insight, from middle-aged gits like myself, some with an axe to grind like I think a rather cheeky Cllr Nottingham who comes out with this tosh “I note that Tony Flaig rejoined the Liberal Democrats recently and think with his frequent comments on the by-election campaign it would be best if readers saw writing or an image or clear writing so that they knew they were reading a yellowtinted opinion. In what looks like typical sanctimonious Labour style, we then read, that he, puts his party membership at the top of his blog, as well he might being employed as a Eurocrat Labour functionary (and has for some time). Please note my joining the Liberal Democrats (about three weeks ago) does not make me a zombie.

Down to the nitty-gritty, this election was eventually triggered for no other reason, than we have had an absentee representative in Dane Valley and the law at least requires our representative to show their face at council, but the electorate prefer more than some party member, who’s been given a seat by the local hierarchy what we want is someone who will actively represent us.

Therefore it would be nonsense to pick a candidate because they happen to be more local than the next which seems to be the thinking of some of our lightweight contenders, also we need to ignore emotive nonsense like this from one candidate “ I will simply not get into the mud-slinging " blah blah blah…. presumably that’s down to somebody else then.

Here’s what my choice is based on, knowing that the candidate I’m voting for has done much hard work for this constituency has already shown a willingness to do a bit of hard graft.

So I’ll be voting for Bill Furness (Lib Dem) today, because this is a local election, not a referendum on how Labour has impoverished the ordinary people of Dane Valley (which they have), or whether the Conservative Party should take over from Labours onslaught on working people.

Finally I see Clive Hart’s crew, seems too embarrassed to be associated with Labour, maybe upfront Cllr Mark Nottingham could explain that one ? instead they have in the most recent communication put the logo “thanet Local Labour” rather than remind the electorate of just who they represent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dane Valley Update

I see after weeks of neglect Thanet Tories are a last making an effort, as someone with little time, to dwell on the issue it appears extraordinary that the Tories have left it to just over a week before the election to stuff a leaflet through my door, you’ll more than likely have read Bertie Biggles on the subject.

Any way as with all these leaflets, much is to my mind waffle and then some, with much tosh from Roger Gale, with this “.. you have a chance to do two things’ you can re-elect Ingrid Spencer” (blah blah blah)”.. and you can send a clear message to Gordon Brown……..”

Well here’s my suggestion you can do even better vote for the Liberal Candidate , Bill Furness and not only will you hack off Labour supporters who’ve taken to disguising themselves not as old Labour, certainly not new Labour but they come up with their very own party, thanet Local Labour a totally new party nothing to do, one guesses with those handful of crooks who’ve been either fleecing the taxpayer with fraudulent mortgage claims or bankrupting the country to assist crooked bankers. What Labour

I see that they’ve even been employing different colours. Clive Hart’s Labour bods must be desperate, too ashamed of Labours record, along with the Tories and incredibly both of the establishment parties claim to have suddenly become proactive.liberal labour

Now along with many in Dane Valley I’ve met Bill Furness and know that he actually is making a difference, every day so for that reason alone, I’d suggest that electors in Thanet ignore Labour and Conservative boasts of what they’ve done because I’ve seen Bill Furness in action on the rare occasion I get time off due to Labour and Tories allowing ordinary people like me to work 60-70 hours a week.

Anyway just to set the record straight Bill was kind enough to let me know what he has done in Dane Valley during the last few weeks, which seems and is a darn sight, more the other candidates combined.

1 …Bags of rubbish dumped amongst weeds and dirt on the corner of Wharfedale RoadCollected after Bills intervention.

2......Roof of Flats made safe after storm damage in Airedale Road, Bill took up the problem with Orbis Housing

3 Hastings Avenue , road repaired!after taking up the problem with K.C.C.

4... Dumped bed and mattress cleared away at rear of Invicta House.

5.. Concrete post removed from footpath in Adisham way

6…Sacks of rubbish etc. removed from rear access road in Marlowe road

7..Large potholes repaired in Dane Valley Road.

8..Graffitti removed from Flats in William Street

9..Overhanging trees cut back in Millmead Road

10..Leaves swept up and collected from Northdown way

11..Sacks of flytipped rubbish collected from Millmead Road

12…Fly tipping in Broadley Road reported to the councils environmental department.

13. Roundabout at Northdown Road and Millmead Road marking repainted

14 Sarah Road/ Irvine Road repaired and road markings repainted.

15…Rubbish and litter cleared away from Appledore Close.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear Mr,Mrs or Ms “Check your facts” and Kent Press Office

eurotosh In my last post I touched on the visit by Kent officials to the eGovernment bash in Malmo where its likely that Kent TV may win some award in connection with “the use of information and communication technology in public services”.

I received this rather helpful comment on which I’d like to remark.

Given recent events I should warn you to check your facts about the 'jolly' to Sweden. I was at a conference in Maidstone yesterday where Peter Gilroy gave a presentation. He's definitely not in Sweden.
Strangely though, one of the other speakers was a guy from capgemeni

Thu Nov 19, 12:42:00 PM

Firstly I didn’t refer or imply a “jolly”, secondly I was informed by a KCC officer that Peter Gilroy Cheif Executive and Tanya Oliver Director of Strategic Development and Public Access would be attending the eGovernment conference in Malmo Sweden, with a third person representing Kent Councils Kent TV whom I understand to be John McGhie.

Now rather surprisingly in my opinion, I actually received a reply to a request for information, from KCC’s press department via an email which in the past has not always been forthcoming and this is it.


In your response to your query, the European Commission is covering the costs of accommodation and flights for Tanya Oliver and a colleague to present Kent TV at the award finals. Peter Gilroy has been invited separately as guest speaker and his costs have also been covered by the European Commission.

There is no cost to KCC.


The answer arrived more than a day after my request and surprisingly late in the day @ 17:39

I relied on other sources when I mentioned this now, so didn’t have to wait around for our 5 star council to answer a simple question.

This afternoon I received a call at my other office which happens to be out on a construction site, it seemed that KCC press office were most interested that I impart information from the above email.

Now one thing seemed to niggle KCC and its this thing, the suggestion, that the Kent taxpayer might be funding the trip which was an opinion, conjecture, hypothesis.

Well folks I was wrong or perhaps right in someway, since as I understand, we are part of Europe and as nation a large contributor to the European Commission therefore Kent taxpayer will almost certainly have made some contribution however small.

I do not always, just throw this stuff together, and generally attempt to check facts, however I find the prospect of KCC officials nit picking on what is an opinion and or commentary yet another waste of public resources just like Kent TV, and finally when I’m told there is no cost to the Kent Taxpayer I take it then, the time spent in Malmo will be unpaid.

I’d like to remind KCC how much effort it took for them to acknowledge my right to express myself in relation to council policy.

I haven’t commented on “recent events”, that being local blogs being pressured, just recently but I will and despite the chasm between me and the Ramsgate blogger I owe a debt to all local bloggers for the support I received and particularly ECR.

This posting may well contain errors but the council officer whom was "on the case" seemed to think I should impart the funding issue pronto why ? I haven't a clue. but as a result this hasn't been checked in as much detail. Still if I've got it wrong you can instantly comment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kent TV the jury’s out and probably in Sweden?

Here is my latest view on the saga that is Kent TV, as you will know in common with many others, I consider Kent TV to be a complete and utter waste of Taxpayers money.

Just last Friday the Corporate Policy Overview Committee discussed a document prepared by Capgemini, the document imaginatively called “Kent TV review”, now I’m no expert but hopefully my readers are able to distinguish between a well thought out objective report and polished media waffle.

A quick glance at this report is all I needed to wonder at what is the purpose of a review, is it to critically evaluate, appraise, question, or perhaps report in a manner which would please the organisation commissioning it.

Now I wouldn’t seek to promote my own view in fact I’ll remind you that in connection my comments concerning KCC’s Kent TV I have myself found myself subject to some hostility as a result.

So with that preamble, you form your own judgement but one big concern I have, must be the fact that the author of the report consulted with only 36 people of whom 16 were directly linked with Kent Council or Kent TV in addition several of the remaining 20 people consulted would have to a greater or lesser degree, links to Kent council and that artificial world of the public sector.

Mrs Trudy Dean Leader of Kent council Liberal Democrat group during last Friday’s Overview meeting, made it quite clear, that the report has a lack of meaningful figures in it and for me she’s right on the mark and gave a better report of Kent TV than the anyone else.

Still you make your own mind up click here for Capgemini Kent TV Review also click for a webcast of the meeting fast forward to 02:17.

To get some balance I contacted the author Nigel Waterson and briefly spoke with him, despite interrupting his lunch, he was kind enough to give me some context to his report and it seems that his report was balanced in context that he undertook it, as his understanding is, that whilst he spoke with “stakeholders” (which in this case predominantly means public sector bosses) rather than members of the public, its his understanding that KCC were also getting views from proles like us via some questionnaires.

Intriguingly and rather surprising I though I’d contact Tanya Oliver (Director of Strategic Development and Public Access), only to be told as I understand, that she would be out of the office till next week, apparently in Sweden along with Peter Gilroy KCC Chief Executive and I think John McGhie of Kent TV.

I assume that this means that Kent Council’s Kent TV have won the er highly prestigious award for eGovernment “in the use of information and communication technology in public services” I think the e stands for electronic although I reckon, eccentric, extraordinary, exorbitant might also be applicable.

My final thought if and when Kent TV win one of the eGovernment awards, will there be a highly charged tearful acceptance speech, from either of the local authority bods, in which, after they’ve thanked their mum and dad, they might add, that without the contribution of hundreds of thousands of Kent Taxpayers, most of whom have never heard of Kent TV (unless the read Bignews Margate) it wouldn’t have been possible which it wouldn’t.

PS I’d like to think that Kent taxpayers aren’t being saddle with the cost of hotel and accommodation but with two mill flushed down the drain that doesn’t seem likely.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thought for the day – MP’s on Family values and loyalty, when it counts

I’ll keep this brief, as I can (some chance), a lot of comment has flowed over the last two weeks particularly in the papers, concerning whether or not MP’s spouses should or shouldn’t be allowed to involve themselves with their partners work, and of course we all know that MP Roger Gale has taken a principled stand on the issue, being as you’d expect supportive and outspoken in defence of his wife and spouses of other MP’s who help manage their offices.

Now this is obviously a tricky subject but for a bit of balance MP Stephen Ladyman, employs his wife Janet as constituency Office Manager, so here’s the line I’m taking, which our new improved “Gazette” failed to pursue, just where does the esteemed member for Thanet South stand, one presumes that the great man had no qualms about employing his wife prior to the recent proposals so apart from some kerfuffle caused bent bent and crooked colleagues where does he stand, for instance has Mrs Ladyman received notice that her job may be in jeopardy, has he issued noticed or even “the P45”.

I think we should be told, has Ladyman decided to meekly to go with the flow in the rather optimistic hope he might just get re-elected next summer?

It seems extraordinary that any democrat would sit by and see a class of employee have their employment rights trampled on as somehow righting the wrongs of MP’s who’ve in several cases been involve in blatant fraud.

The crazy aspect of this no spouses rule ignores the reality that many couples don’t bother getting married so how would parliament deal with that.

Just out of curiosity it would be interesting to know whether Ladyman and other MP’s in this situation have discussed the matter, I mean how would you broach it, I suppose being politicians it wouldn’t quite be as blunt as “I’m going to have to let you go” or would it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things to do on your day off – Listen to “Mandelson Hypocrisy”- BBC Radio Kent product placement – Blogging – Political Redemption

Firstly listen to radio four's “Today” programme for as long as you can bear, which in my case was until Peter “Chump” Mandelson came on and proceeded to criticise the Murdoch Press (not that I'm to keen), I think the suggestion of bias towards the conservative party was more than a bit rich, quality Mandelson hypocrisy failing to mention that for the last ten or twelve years, Labour had been more than happy, to have Murdoch's support, which might explain why the Murdoch Press has such a huge influence in the British media, and how astonishingly in the large parts of the country, SKY TV represents a monopoly provider of subscription TV, which for some reason “honest” Labour politicians like he, have never thought to question.

Over breakfast, I thought I'd give radio Kent a go, so I could experience the uniqueness of BBC's regional broadcasting, one of the things we're told justifies paying the BBC broadcast tax, listening to John and Jules Breakfast was the usual disappointing tripe made up of a shameless a promo for documentary on George Best's son, followed with an equally outrageous item on “SimplicITy computers” which as far as I'm concerned was an unquestioning promotion of a commercial product.

Any way my attention turned as it does to blogging so after my second cuppa, I thought I'd launch into top Thanet politician, Cllr Mark Nottingham, his style is often sanctimonious and written in that “Labour knows best sort of way” which always hacks me off.

Afterward I thought I’d ring up BBC Radio Kent and pass on my displeasure at the unapologetic plug for “Simplicity Computers”, apparently the way these regional stations (BBC) work, is that some of the content is shared and somewhere in London, BBC boffins create content for their far flung outposts around Britain including Kent, which is why I feel vindicated over my often levelled criticism that Radio Kents content could be broadcast anywhere.

I feel that BBC's Radio Kent frequently use topics that require no research or effort to fill their tedious Breakfast with show makes regional broadcasting utterly pointless. It may be trivial but the real irritation of this promotion of a computer for the more mature citizen (blimey that's me) wasn't just the unchallenged condescension but the failure to refer to comparable products, assuming that there are some, like asus eeepc favoured by myself and Mr Puss (seen using here).

Pondered on Luke Edward’s tweet, concerned at the invitation only access on Ramsgate's most notorious blog sites, which I no longer visit but would suggest this is normal procedure when things get a little heated and its probably the usual cut and run tactic, when the author goes too far.

After blogging I thought I'd do something positive which I have done, which was rejoining the Liberal Democratic Party after lapsing some years back.

That was this morning, topped off with a quick visit to Rooks the home top quality lunch time snacks.

Labour councillor in cheap and prejudicial shot ?

It’s my own view but I get the impression from Cllr Mark Nottingham latest posting that he is pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable comment.

Most of us are familiar with allegations made and the legal process involving a leading member of Thanet’s Conservative party and Nottingham’s current blog post seems to connect that in some rather contrived way with Labour policy although in fairness, its also the case that yesterdays Thanet Times also seemed to be indulge in over reporting the case.

The media in general have pushed the boundaries of reporting in high profile cases to a degree which thirty years ago would have been I feel unacceptable and which often looks prejudicial.

As we all know Labour are having a miserable time in the Dane Valley By-election, battling against a background of Labour sleaze and betrayal of ordinary people by Labour’s leaders, who’ve favoured bankers and corporations in recent times, I’d image Clive Hart’s Labour group could do their candidate a favour if they concentrated on telling potential voters what if anything, they could offer locally rather than taking cheap shots at political opponents.

Still you can form your own opinion by reading Cllr Nottinghams blog here and whilst you do so, its also worth remembering that he is a professional Labour eEurocrat politician working for MEP Mary Honeyball (no I’ve never come across her either) funded by us taxpayers.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Gale whips up storm of populist criticism

Labour have as the government handled the MP’s expenses row with great incompetence, aided by greedy and crooked members and ministers, trying to justify scandalous claims which includes food bills despite 60K plus wages.

The new look Isle Of Thanet Gazette, has the topic as its first editorial and lays in to Roger Gale, for daring to go against the general flow of opinion and championing the cause of spouses of parliamentarians who for many years, have run offices for their partners. 

It's my opinion, the particular editorial is rather shallow, it's argument flawed and biased toward, Stephen Ladyman whom it claims has held his hands up and says now he feels the systems wrong, presumably that would explain his pitiful attempts to excuse and justifying claiming food allowance, as per his contribution to this blog back in May (click here for details), clearly Rebecca Smith, doesn't get round to reading the pages of Bignews Margate.

It might also be worth mentioning, that perhaps the Gazette has old scores to settle, since as a result of poorly judged and misleading article back in April 2006, Roger Gale took the principled stand not to contribute any further editorial to the paper.

Rather pompously, the author of the editorial, whom I would assume would be Rebecca Smith, whinges on about Gale's accusations of the media whipping up a storm, when the editorial is based on, the usual media cliché's.

Its true that Roger Gale rarely pipes up and his was pretty much a lone voice against the hysterical remedy to MP’s excesses, still he has a point, why shouldn’t MP’s have either their husband or wife run the office, since MP’s work more hours than most what’s the problem, as I understand Stephen Ladyman also employs his wife, its odd that he doesn’t make the same stand. Still I recall that these two differ on other matters like taking donations from local developers for their constituencies.

On the whole I think Roger Gale is a man of principle who sticks to his guns, he may not be the most charismatic and its a pity he represents the Tories but at least he is honest and straight forward.  

Monday, November 02, 2009

Kent police have they become politicised?

As many of us will recall, Kent police were recently criticised by independent organisations etc. for the handling of the Kingsnorth climate protest last year and of course by Kent residents who were utterly bemused at the apparent violence used, toward climate change activists by police officers acting one assumes under command of the Kent constabulary.

So far, I've yet to hear Kent Police Chief Mike Fuller apologise or explain last year's extraordinary conduct of officers subordinate to himself and neither have I heard the head of the Kent Police Authority Ann Barnes making any comment on this rather sensitive matter, which for many has made this question, just what agenda Kent police following.

Further light is shown on the some of Kent police's questionable practices on the front page of this weekend's Kent on Sunday newspaper, detailing police use of car number plate equipment, which I would interpret as politically motivated spying. Anyway if you didn't read it, I suggest you give the article a gander and make your own mind up (whilst you're still allowed to).

No doubt, I myself will be on some, Kent police database of independent thinkers, fortunately the list of democrats who need to be under surveillance has probably already grown to a scale Kent police can no longer manage such is their apparent paranoia.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Some thoughts on Dane Valley By Election

I had the good fortune to meet briefly with Liberal candidate Bill Furness, yesterday who was busy canvassing for the by election in Dane Valley ward. It's clear that Bill Furness is already making a difference in the ward. Already he has highlighted and dealt with problems in the area, and has certainly be more active than the competition which not only includes wannabe councillors but also the two rather dormant councillors who already represent the ward.

I take it from the Labour camp that things are not entirely hunky dory with their campaign, I get the impression that certain leading figures within the Labour group are still a bit miffed that they didn't retained their county council seats, apparently rather illogically blaming Liberal voters for daring to vote with their conscience and not in the pragmatic win at any cost mentality exhibited by the Labour figures like Peter (what a chump) Mandelson.

Apparently according to my Labour source, what Dane Valley desperately needs is determined and well organised representation, which from my occasional chit chats with Bill Furness would certainly qualify the Liberal candidate, whom I believe was at the time of meeting, just finishing delivery of his forth communication with the people of Dane Valley.

My Labour correspondent seems to have a rather arrogant opinion of himself going as far as to blame Liberals for his own lacklustre performance in the county elections, ignoring the fact that parties such as UKIP had increase votes. I've no doubt that Labour activists at local level are honest decent people, but looking at MP's and Labour Lords and they're disgusting abuse of the expenses system then he ought really to be looking at his own party.

Also Labour don't help themselves and locally, in the last district elections, Labour did little canvassing in this area apparently assuming they had some god given right to win the three council seats in this ward, therefore handing local Conservatives three seats they might otherwise not expect to win.

Dane Valley is not necessary the most affluent area of Thanet, and of course it's ordinary working people who have suffered the brunt of the Labours mismanagement of the economy and will of course be spending many years paying for Labour's love affair with bankers and big business so Clive Harts crowd have a difficult job.

Not surprisingly neither Labour or the Conservatives wish to see the Liberals gain a foothold in Thanet district council, in fact the rather pointless argument was put by my Labour friend that one single Liberal councillor would not be able to form a group (thanks for pointing out the obvious) still what they would do is serve notice that the electorate have a choice which doesn't have to be some Muppet from the Labour or Tory party.

Anyway I would like to thank Bill Furness, for allowing me the privilege of signing his nomination papers and I hope he wins, which I'm sure he will do.

Sunday news - Thugs,NHS waste, Jordan, Gordan and Boring? Fry

I get little time to read anything these days so having Sunday off is brilliant, sheer luxury having breakfast waiting for the sound of newspapers being  crumpled through the letter box and plonk at the front door, in my case they are exclusively Murdoch a habit, more than a preference, although I couldn’t do without Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times, who today suggests rewarding those who kill cats by poisoning, should be rewarded by being given the freedom of the Borough (not something I or Mr Puss agree).

The News of the World’s front page always has emotive items, the story about Marlon King being a prime example, who having cowardly attacked a young women bleated that he was a multi millionaire, adding she (his victim) wasn’t in the same league, Emily the victim is calling for a life time ban from football and I for one hope that is the case, fortunately for us, few people, are in Mr Kings league, that being low life scum who belong in the gutter or as in his case prison.

The News of the world also has more serious stuff, like evidence of Labour’s incompetent and wasteful spending on hospitals and the scandal of hard up British soldiers having to pay for their food which till now has been free. As I understand both local Thanet MPs Roger Gale and Stephen Ladyman are more than happy to claim for free food on expenses from the taxpayer despite 60K+ salaries maybe they’d like to tackle the MOD on why people we ask to take great risks on our behalf are being treated so badly.

Every Sunday seems to have a Jordan story, apart from being Jordan and possibly having cosmetic surgery I don’t what this women’s ever done to be famous, which brings me on to Gordon (Brown) who I’m sure hasn’t had cosmetic surgery but has had an awful lot of cosmetic policies which have failed to do much for the ordinary man or women in the street although he has helped the rich get wealthy and no doubt benefited the European economy more than ours.

As Labour politicians look toward life after the likely ignominious defeat during next summers general election, Gordon Brown is trying to maintain at least one other colleague in the “after world” that being the European Union, last week it was fat cat Blair for President this week its Blimin David Milliband as a Foreign Secretary for Foreigners (EU).

Finally Stephen Fry, is getting a little upset about fellow twitterers suggesting he is boring, how outrageous, I’m off to Sainsburys I’ll update you later.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Should KCC Chief Executive Put Up or Shut Up ?

Ray Parker, another Kent blogger, pointed out on his blog recently that Peter Gilroy KCC Chief Exec had written a letter which appeared in this weekends “Kent on Sunday”, now I don’t know whether you share my view of the role of government employees, whether local or national I feel they should confine their opinions to themselves or their colleagues or political masters.

I share Ray Parkers concerns about impartiality, now I don’t care how important Peter Gilroy thinks he is or even how others judge him but its my feeling that he should keep his views to himself unless of course he has been asked to comment by his democratically elected bosses.

Now just to clarify, by Put up, I mean he himself should perhaps stand for public office once he retires from KCC or Shut up by which I mean he should keep his views to himself whilst employed by the Kent Taxpayer.

Still what do I know?

kenttv promo

Well what do you expect, Mr Gilroy would support this and me as taxpayer knows, that most do not, and having been given figures concerning the “savings” frankly don’t share his view.

Finally if Peter Gilroy wants anyone to take his views seriously why doesn’t he write as Peter Gilroy member of the public like tony flaig of Bignews Margate.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Democracy running on empty

As you’ll appreciate the pickings are pretty slim here on Bignews Margate of late but fortunately there’s a comprehensive list of Thanet’s bloggers in the side bar. I’ll just run through a few things that caught my eye this last week or so

Nazi News

Firstly along with every man and his dog its difficult not to have noticed Nick Griffin who made more news than was called for, on the “question time” issues, it seems to me and everybody else that the BBC handled this muppet with some incredible clumsiness, I cannot recall anyone else who had their appearance trailed weeks in advance and even by BBC standards the unusually patronising and heavy handed way Question attacked Mr Griffins and his questionable ideology past and present was unnecessarily hostile and did the almost impossible of making him look like a victim of abuse.BNPleader

God knows why the BBC changed the format of question time, to that of Kangaroo court, not trusting the public to hear the views of a man who’s expressed views that in the past appear to have been sympathetic with neo-Nazi groups.

Did we lose anything by this, yes this sort of hysterical crass treatment of the apparently eccentric leader of the BNP, makes it difficult to discuss the legitimate question of migration which as a result of Labours misguided policy has resulted in large scale job losses by UK citizens, prompting many of us to ask why is it, that UK citizens who wish to work can’t find jobs or have found that wages have dropped to such low levels as to make it impossible to work.

Royal News

manofthepeople The Duke of York has made a powerful case for Britain to become a republic, as Royals often do, Prince Andrew speaks with all the authority of someone of those who come from, a background immense wealth and privilege, clearly demonstrating how out of touch he is by suggesting that Bankers’ bonuses are minute, I suppose the thing is, Andrew is just showing empathy for a similar class of privilege people whose wealth vastly exceeds their worth to society.

Labour sell out labour

oink Labour support for working people has once again been shown to be non existent as Labour MP’s and Ministers like the down to earth Peter “what a chump” Mandelson have shown no support for postal workers, who have not unreasonably suggested that they and the management get together to under the guidance of Acas (the government agency set up to help settle industrial disputes) to resolve disputes with management.

I like most would hate to see Labour ever revert to the grim extremes of loony lefties of the seventies and eighties with leaders like Michael Foot but come on, Mandelson has for me the appearance of a toadying Tory who happens to be more comfortable with bankers than working people, how sad that as a government minister, he can not back or encourage a government owned business, to use a government created agency, to resolve a damaging postal dispute in the national interest.

I suppose, most senior Labour members MPs, Lords’ & Lady's’ and the like are just too damned bothered about sorting out their expenses (blatant fraud in a many cases), and pensions knowing of course that by June next year many will be in receipt of richly deserved P45’s.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

As you can see I’m about as morose, as its possible for a middle aged git to be. Perhaps its the time of year or the suspension, going on my car put me in a bad mood, still I have to Thank Kwik Fit for fixing it within half an hour.

Dane Valley by - election

Did I read somewhere that the Tory candidate thanked Mr Broadhurst for resigning? I thought he made a botch of resigning? No doubt Labour will be suggesting they give a toss for the people of Dane Valley, when nationally are only interested in sucking up to bankers, business leaders and screwing the taxpayer. As for the Liberals they have my vote I think, its clear to me that nationally Liberals are about the only party that represent the interests of ordinary people in any honest way.

It would be nice to see Labour and Tories upset, particularly Sandy Ezekiel the Tory Leader who so often mentions his concern for Margate and lives in Broadstairs and Clive Hart who will to do what’s necessary to defend Margate Flower beds, bus routes etc even if means looking glum and staring down the lens of a camera. see Mark Nottingham’s blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

May I suggest

Given the little spare time I have at the moment, as much as I enjoy contributing to the blogosphere, its not possible so I shall suggest you have a read of Paul Francis KM (Med-edt) writing on a frequent topic of these pages Kent TV.

One thing I did note this morning around 4:20 was that on top of the frankly inappropriate spending, on Kent TV ( 2 million) KCC has now compounded this excess by trying to ramp up interest and advertise the much criticised “Hollywould” soap.

I’m just wondering if, as I’m one of the few to have heard this, whether I’m their target audience, a whingeing middle aged blogger and white van man.

Still if you want to know more you can always click the Kent TV label at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a turn up for Turner

I have to say I was extremely sceptical that KCC would get a penny back from money rather naively spent, in my opinion on the original project “Turner Contemporary MK1” which would have been a ground breaking experiment (wrong metaphor) as Britain’s first off shore, ocean going art gallery.

To me the gallery seemed destined to fail from day one, and also the day a test structure floated off with in minutes of being anchored to the sea bed or not as the case may be.

As we all know those boffins at county hall (KCC) who manage these things eventual cancelled the project designed by Snohetta Architects when the projected cost reached the fifty mill mark.white elephant gallery

Frankly I think the contractors are not entirely to blame since their bid was the only one not proposing to build on the Rendezvous site but out to sea, someone at KCC should have spotted the anomaly at the time and thought why has no other bid chosen the sea bed rather than the safe relatively dry land to build on.

Some may recall the public meeting when Paul Carter suggested a more realistic project, also I think he mentioned doing up the Winter Gardens, which he has as far as recall not mentioned again.

Anyway today those businesses sued by KCC have agreed to settle out of court with KCC around the 6 million mark. Well done for once to KCC, anyhow since that money results from the Turner debacle and many have suffered as the timetable for opening has slipped a few years maybe Kent council will have the good grace to spend this money on projects in Margate like improving the Winter Gardens by way of compensation for a cock ups involved with the Turner issue.

I think Chris Wells may well have struck the right note with this comment Chris Wells “This is wonderful news for both KCC and the Turner Contemporary project. The last of the ghosts of the original. Project have now been truly laid to rest, and we can look forward unfettered by the past to the opening of the new gallery in 2011

the agreed press release “Kent County Council, Snohetta AS, Davis Langdon LLP and Ramboll UK Limited have been involved in a dispute and court proceedings in connection with the architectural design, engineering advice, cost advice, project management and intended construction of Turner Contemporary Gallery at Margate. That project was abandoned in February 2006. The parties are pleased to say that they have reached a settlement of the dispute without any admissions as to liability and that the court proceedings have been brought to an end by way of a payment to Kent County Council of £6 million inclusive of interest and costs.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Connectivity and service interruption

You'll appreciate that I have not contributed much to the local Blogosphere of recent, I'd like to be able to tell you, that this is the result of working on other fantastically more interesting projects but it's not the case. Plain and simple I no longer have the time.

Still fortunately for you the reader, there are plenty of alternatives, a favourite being the newly arrived Thanet Waves blog, which combines cynicism, humour and better grammar than what you're likely to get here.

Apart from listening to the news on radio four going to work, I'm pretty much out of touch with what is occurring in the greater world, my connection with Thanet and what goes on is at this point tenuous, not helped by lack of available copies of local newspapers like yourthanet and Thanet extra. The Gazette which is readily available seems pretty patchy in its coverage of local issues probably the consequence of losing one of their reporters Thom Morris.

Maybe I'm just peculiar in my tastes, but for Margate itself the biggest story or perhaps most important story is to be found in the classy Margate architecture blog. Now the subject matter of the blog to which I'm referring is not necessarily the most sexy item you're likely to read unless that is that you happen to be a train buff.

Dull and unexciting as it might be, according to Margate architecture, train services to London from Margate are about to get ten minutes slower and and there'll be fewer of them, in what would appear to be a blatant attempt force travellers to use the expensive and not particularly fast service from Ramsgate to Saint Pancras it looks like Margate will be suffering considerable economic damage. Not something likely to interest those down at Gazette towers but probably more important that the endless drivel about Manston.

Since Roger Gale will soon be asking for us the electorate to keep him in the luxury he's become accustomed, maybe the rail time table is something he could sink his teeth into once of course he's finished polishing off the monthly £300 + plus food expenses courtesy of you and I.

Warnings of further disruptions to Bignews Margate, its likely that contributions will be erratic for a while particularly when my own journeys are subject to their own quaint disruptions more on that later.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blair the final nightmare

In 1997, I along with probably most of the country felt things could only get better as the rather irritating pop tune used by New Labour kept reminding us.

Twelve years later, what was it, that could have got better, well for me, it was the climate and constant stream of sleazy scandals involving Conservative politicians.

Did things get any better under Labour clearly not, since they’ve had their fare share of scandals, from early on the Blair’s first Foreign Secretary, was given an half hour ultimatum dump his mistress/wife or lose his job, rather cowardly the wife was dumped, since then we’ve seen Peter (what a chump) Mandelson resign and come back for the third time.

Labour lords and MP’s have it seems spent more time devising creative ways to fleece the taxpayer by deploying in many cases clearly fraudulent claims for expenses than doing anything to improve the lives of those who voted them in.

Its worth noting on many occasions Bignews Margate has pointed out Labours negligent care of the working people in our community, but the only thing that ever stirred Thanet’s supreme Labour being (not Clive) S Ladyman MP into response was the issue of expenses and I’m sure he still believes that despite his sixty grand plus salary he’s entitled to claim food expenses which I assume he is but is it right?

Still who could blame Labour’s minnows, Blair did little for anyone but himself, and now after plunging this country into a pointless war in Afganistan, and getting out of office before the Sh*t hit the fan the final nightmare is the possibility of Blair the European President head of an un elected crooked State.

Still if you’d like to know more about Tony Blair check out his website with the in no way megalomaniac title of “The office of Tony Blair”, another pompous Labour Chump I think.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Local Thanet Blogger quoted in today’s Sunday Times

Another example of just how influential Thanet Bloggers are is found in the pages of today’s Sunday Times, admittedly mention is not found until somewhere in the middle but it is in the news section, I usually dont get that far before Tuesday evening except when I’ve the weekend off, as is the case this week.

Any how page 12 “Kent Blogger” gets a mention, if you’ve not a copy then click here.

If you’d like to read more about the subject matter Kent TV click here

Dane Valley Matters - Labour continues to campaign in the phony by-election

I get the impression that it takes a lot to stop Cllr. Clive Hart (Labours supreme commander in Thanet) once he embarks on a mission.

Its clear to me that it takes more than a botched resignation from Tory boy Cllr Stephen Broadhurst and a non-existent by-election to stop local Labour activists lead by Clive Hart to call a halt to mass leafleting.

Right now in Dane Valley, nobodies safe from Labours election bumf, yesterday’s deliver is typical, clearly Sandra Hart’s been reading Bignews Margate as a big mention is made of rubbish building up on the burnt out development site at the bottom of Millmead Road.

Were told that Sandra Hart reported this issue on the 23rd of September, some time after ward Cllr Martin Jarvis one to the Conservatives more active councillors had, still its nice to see that with an election likely that Dane Valley is getting some much needed attention and about time really as we’ve seen gazillions spent on Cliftonville and Central Margate.

One interesting item in Labours latest “Dane Valley Matters” is the chronology or timeline given to the Broadhurst er non resignation, I’m probably overstating the my role but I just wonder had it not been for the vigilance of Bignews Margate in spotting Thanet Councils flawed attendance records its possible that Cllr Broadhurst would never have been put in a position of putting in his resignation. A fact revealed exclusively on this site on August 18th See “Cllr Broadhurst almost the invisible man”

Anyway this “by-election” is not over till the fat lady sings, since there’s an outside chance that our man in Panama might still turn up at the council as I understand he has until October 23rd before being automatically disqualified from office.

Any way time will tell so far the groundswell of support for me as an independent has yet to occur, so its most likely I’ll be backing Liberal man Bill Furness since the Liberal party don’t discriminate against working people as do Clive Harts bosses like Peter (What a Chump) Mandelson, Brown etc.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kent TV a last throw of the dice or indeed “What the Hells going on”*

In yet another attempt to make Kent TV work, it seems our county councils TV boffins have come up with the ultimate weapon in attempting to justify the least essential council services ever.

Its been said before that nobody has ever lost out, in under estimating the peoples intelligence and it seems that theory is being put to the test, in

a final attempt to justify Kent Council throwing our money down the drain toward the Kent TV experiment.

Those of us of a certain age might just recall a time when 70’s ITV drama Crossroads, was perceived as the ultimate in poor story lines, cheap production values and the frequent look of terror from startled actors who appeared shocked to be in front of a camera.

Why mention the above, well, its seems as part of an attempt to get an audience, KCC TV media experts, have come up with the tried and tested audience generator the Soap Opera “Hollywould”.

I strongly advise you take a gander at the trailer, a word of caution, Corrie it aint, but just taking a glance at the trailer might amuse and I feel could become a cult in a “What the hells going on” sort of way. I’d imagine that poor acting, plot will be combined with heavy, none to subtle, public service messages. God knows Kent council seems to full of clowns so the chances of a comedy classic are high.

Anyway honed under the exceptional circumstances of public indifference, failure to attract an audience and against a back drop of Kent Council cutting genuine services to the public, I think this mini soap opera could be so appallingly bad that it will be required viewing for our Youtube generation.

I reckon with a bit of luck not only will we Kent taxpayers be laughing at “Hollywould” but also Bob Geldoff’s execs might just salvage something from this which has so far failed to justify any of the money invested.

Its still my view that Kent TV is an outrageous waste of local Taxpayer money, and even in the world of public authority waste Kent TV has been so far a star, I’d just love to know how Kent top Conservative Paul Carter justifies this nonsense particularly if he attended the Tories conference last week, when Cameron was letting us know that how tough life is about to get in the public sector.

Although vaguely aware of this latest Kent TV tosh I’d much like to thank the journalist, who flagged it up for me.

* A line from KCC’s Kent TV drama “classic”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The happy complacent world of Kent Conservatives

I’m often amazed at just how stupid Kent Tories think we are or perhaps how stupid they are and we are to elect them.

Example Kier the building firm have been awarded business worth 600 million pounds to build 36 secondary schools in Kent, and it just so happens that Kier have been fined 17 odd million for “cover pricing” by the office of fair trading which is basically understood by many to be what we would more likely call price fixing.

Therefore its rather extraordinary that Kent Council is not about to review the massive contracts it has with Kier even more remarkable are the comments made by Paul Carter Kent Councils Conservative Leader take a gander at this load of tosh from Kent on Sundays story.

“In the good days before the global recession when firms were working flat out, contractors were very worried about not filling in tender documents for fear of being struck off future lists.

“I don’t know the details of the cases, some companies have been found wanting in terms of collaboration through the tender process, which is not good or right.

“But I have not read the details… It is a highly complex area.”

Cllr Carter stood by the company and said he was “enormously” confident.

Now I’m also enormously confident that not reviewing contracts when a firm has been found to have been involved in misleading tenders smells like a week old fish grilled on hot radiator.

Still I’m sure Cllr Paul Carters spot on and right as ever, just as he has been with the in no way negligent Iceland Banks issue, as we all know a cheque for 50 million quid from Icelandic banks is on its way because Kent Tories have told us so.

Monday, October 05, 2009

BBC to expand political reporting on local radio and its business as usual on South East Today

As some readers will know the BBC has become one of my recent special interests.

A few weeks ago I devoted one of my more pompous outpourings of bile, on the broadcasters dire local news content, which for some inexplicable reason gives politicians in Kent an easy ride, either through the absence of reporting or inadequate scrutiny.

The reason the BBC is publicly funded is so that it can report in an impartial way but I just wonder if BBC Radio Kent’s sparse coverage of the workings of regional government is more than just an omission and favours the Conservative administration in Kent Council.

Anyhow I’ve been in correspondence with David Holdsworth BBC’s Controller of English Regions, as you can imagine I despatched my usually whinge about BBC’s poor contribution to local understanding of government. I wont bore you any more than I have already

Even so I thought I'd let you have a butchers at his reply interestingly the BBC are about to recruit 12 specialist political reporters to local radio stations.

Whether the one and a half million residents of Kent will finally get a hook on local politics will be interesting to see, certainly having caught the tail end of Sundays Politics show on BBC 1, I noticed once again the bland topics and questions had much to do with Westminster and damn all to do with Westgate or Kent.

Still assuming I'm wrong (which I don’t think is the case) its nice to see BBC might be coming to a similar conclusion to me, that heart warming stories about animals and cranks are all well and good but we also need to know what’s going on in local government as well as Westminster.

Anyway here’s the reply I received, I didn’t entirely agree but what do I know.


I understood your earlier correspondence had been dealt with in Tunbridge. We do very much set out to scrutinise and report local government, so I'm sorry if you feel we fall short in Kent. I know that council leaders do appear regularly on the air there. As further evidence we are about to start recruiting specialist political reporters for our local radio stations - the first 12 posts are likely to be advertised in about a fortnight.

All the best


David Holdsworth

Controller, BBC English Regions

This email was received a few days ago and I have been a bit busy recently but thought it worth passing on.

PS I caught the opening of South East today and despite culling the older presenters, it seemed to be business as usual, teddy bear’s, photographer of bins, strictly come dancing in house promo, I didn’t watch anymore.