Monday, March 30, 2009


Most people will be unaware of John Prescott's appalling legacy from his time as Deputy Prime Minister, which has once again impinged upon local democracy here in Thanet.

Many of course are aware of the recent bad publicity for conservatives, when the leader of Thanet Council was censured for an incident reported by a Labour member, not surprisingly much to the annoyance of local Labour politicians, our Sandy declined the opportunity to resign not that I was too happy for reasons of what's happened to Thanet during his time in charge.

Today on councillor David Green's weblog, he informs us that he had temporarily suspended his blog as a result of a complaint made by councillor Mrs Tomlinson.

blimin standards Of course most of you are asking what the hell's this got to do with John Prescott, well unfortunately during his time in the job, he had some noble idea of improving standards in public office and particularly the conduct of local councillors. He introduced the Standards Board of England, this at local level requires I believe a monitoring officer, to busy body about councillors' business, and of course a District Council's Standards Committee to adjudicate on matters.

Anyhow the net effect, of John Prescott's initiative, has changed little, except the rights of councillors to express themselves, as we have seen and will continue to see, councillors will occasionally embarrass both themselves and those they represent, no amount of monitoring will change that, neither will it make them any more or less honest.

Fortunately for Labour, most people are blissfully ignorant of one by-product from John Prescott’s attempt to legislate for good manners, which is to prohibit local councillors, the freedom to express themselves, in an uninhibited way.

Basically if a councillor has a firm viewpoint on a particular subject, which he or she has made public or even been elected on, such as dogs having a crap in the park, then for some lunatic reason they're not allowed to vote on that subject and have to declare an interest at council meetings before speaking, clearly a complete and utter farce.

So what’s achieved with the Standards Board of England or local standards committee's, ignoring Thanet, many local councils are witnessing councillors on both sides, scoring trivial points, just like little children running to the teacher or in this case the standards committee's, basically to say that one of their colleagues has been mean to them.

It's my belief, that really the only arbiter needed to judge a councillors conduct, outside of fraud or any other criminal activity, should be the voter and not some well meaning appointee or paid for official.

I understand that one recent enquiry cost around £30,000 just to gather evidence.

Anyway if you wish to become an arbiter of the genteel manners as practiced by Thanet District Council members then you're bound be interested to know that you can apply to become a member of the Standards Committee. Click here

Unfortunately much as I might like to poke my nose into local councillors spats with their colleagues, I have to declare an interest which is this, I believe the process a waste of time and money, and of course it corrupts democracy. Anyway that apart, I doubt I could be of any use, since I myself would find myself declaring my own interest, something along the lines of " I think he's a tosser" or "is she that mad women who thinks bloggers are parasites".

Anyway I'm sorry to see any councillor, impinged upon but in the case of Labour councillors you've only go your party to blame!


  1. Cllr Green's gone "no comment" on his blog

  2. I see Mark Nottingham is none too happy about the Standards Boards but for some reason doesn't credit his own Labour party who created it.

    I wonder what that's all about.

    I just love political hypocrisy

  3. I just love the local blogs ...... as for the 30 grand I cant understand how it comes to that figure but I still recon those who were charged should pay keep em in check . But perhaps we need a standard board for the local bogs cut out some of the needless swearing

  4. 2.29 don’t think so I have commented on it twice today

  5. Here Tony is the response of Chief Executive Mr Samuel

    Claim letter mandamus‏
    From: Richard Samuel (
    You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as junk
    Sent: 27 March 2009 17:19:18

    Dear Mr Card Thank you for your email which I acknowledge receipt of. We have corresponded on this subject in the past and I advised you thenthat if you have any evidence of wrongdoing you should place this beforethe appropriate authorities for investigation ie the police or thecourts. My view has not changed. The Council will not be responding tothe points in your email but if you should be successful in placing thematter before the courts as you indicate is your intention then we willof course deal with that eventuality should it transpire. Richard SamuelChief ExecutiveThanet District CouncilCouncil OfficesMargateKentCT9 1XZ

    Chief Exec says schtum. And without a reference to his democratically elected masters ?

    Is he a public servant or a freebie defence advisor for certain councillors.

    That is Freedom of Speech at TDC.

    You know what this is about Tony.

  6. I should add that one of Richard Samuel's first actions as Chief Exec was to seek my permission and then copy matters to Police on behalf of TDC.

    Seems he was happy all the time Police did nothing on his reports ?

    But now there is an attempt to compel police in their duty he sees his duty as imposing silence on TDC ?

    No response to FOI requests. No response to questions.

    Funny sort of democracy and funny sort of freedom of expression.

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