Saturday, October 03, 2009

Dane Valley anger as Broadhurst resignation bounces and TDC media manipulation?

In what is yet another extraordinary twist in the Dane Valley absent councillor story, Cllr Stephen Broadhurst’s resignation (post dated) has been bounced (rejected) by Thanet Council’s Electoral department, and adds to the already unique features of this story, that has deprived local residents of proper democratic representation in these parts.

Already those of us who actually live in Dane Valley have witnessed plenty of nonsense from local Tories and their commitment or lack, to the democratic process. It all started when Cllr Broadhurst’s absence was noted soon after the last local district elections, it was suggested that he was taking business trips but eventually it became clear to most, apart that is from none to bright local Conservatives, that he was out of the country in Panama for months at a time, and as in my case, not able or willing to respond to his constituents.

In August Bignews Margate exclusively revealed that despite Thanet Council’s assurance, Cllr Broadhurst “the invisible man” had not attended a council meeting in July as falsely claimed by TDC. I insisted that council officers check their facts, which they did and promptly they amended their records, surprisingly a point not mentioned by local politicians or even the rather poor Gazette, that Bignews Margate had discovered the attendance anomaly that has been the catalyst for the current election fever.

Any how this latest news, is proof if you need it of the level bungling within our local council, admittedly a post dated resignation is a rare thing, presumably similar to that old practice in business of sending a post dated cheque made payable, when funds are available at some future date, still it seems odd that council officers hadn’t apparently checked the resignation letter earlier, given the public interest (they’ve had it since early September).

Incidentally despite putting in a call to TDC yesterday morning nobody had the courtesy to ring back despite reading back my phone number, I take it, they must still be upset about my earlier insistence that they’d got it wrong. However it seems wrong to me that council officers appear to manage news in what could be misinterpreted, as manipulation.

It seems a bit partial that TDC were happy to assist yourthanet and didn’t bother with Bignews Margate, seeming a bit perturb with a “who told you this response” my refusal, which might explain the reason, why they were less than forthcoming with me.

So what now, well my guess is this, like most things at TDC, the matter will drift, to a natural conclusion between Sandy Ezekiel’s inspirational leadership and Richard Samuel’s highly competent administration, I’d imagine the most likely outcome is Cllr Broadhurst, will not show up in council, before October 23th in which case he will cease to be a councillor, although given some of the brazen behaviour of current and past local Conservatives he could just turn up and continue to “represent” his constituents in the same questionable manner.

Still if Cllr Broadhurst were to turn up and proceed to go and collect £200 pound sorry that’s monopoly, at the council and continue to bag the councillors allowance of four grand plus it would make things a bit more excitable.

PS I might be wrong but so far most of the “would be” candidates appear come from outside of Dane Valley, and doesn’t it seem remarkable that Labour cannot find a candidate in what was a once a Labour stronghold, I suppose that’s a measure of just how far Blair, Brown & Mandelson have taken “New Labour” perhaps if they went the whole hog they could style themselves “New Conservatives” which is exactly what they are.


  1. New labour like the New Conservatives? Heaven forbid! I doubt any new labour politicians have the guts and gumption to make the kind of necessary cuts to the health service and education system that our Conservatives have pledged! The middle classes just can't go on bailing out the poor any longer, it's time they got on their bikes and lifted themselves up their bootstraps.

  2. I don't know what planet you're on, lady, but the Tories have in fact pledged to spend MORE on healthcare ( and are also intending to increase funding for schools in poorer areas. True, the Tories are pushing for massive public spending cuts, but not exactly in the areas of healthcare and schools, as you claim they have pledged.

    Additionally, there are doubts that cuts are (as you claim) 'necessary', especially during a recession (; in fact, there are fears that the 'savage cuts' in public spending the Tories are calling for could even tip the UK back into a recession. Historically, there is evidence that cutting the deficit during a recession yields bad consequences (i.e. Japan). Further compelling arguments against this idea further state that cutting the deficit “at a time when the private sector is unable or unwilling to borrow and spend is a recipe for depressing demand” (

    Don't get me wrong, I agree there is a lot of money being spent on nothing, so some cuts are definitely necessary, but not until economic recovery is fully assured. I must also add that on the subject of bailing out the poor and "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps", former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and Spectator editor Fraser Nelson agreed with a two-year research project which concluded that wages for the average worker are far too low (which, incidentally, is why people continue to claim benefits, because the few jobs that are available don't pay well enough to cover their rent and bills).

    As a result, Nelson and Duncan Smith suggested that the government needs to reconfigure the benefits system to top up the wages of low paid workers with cash benefits, in order to encourage the unemployed into work ( So, it's not about the poor “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps” at all, it's about guaranteeing them well-paid jobs to take advantage of in the first place. Since they'd be employed (and less money would be spent topping up their wages than is currently spent on housing and council tax benefit), I'm sure (or hope) the middle classes would be a bit more sympathetic to this idea. But encouraging the poor to “get on their bikes” won't be enough to resolve the issue at all, so as far as I'm concerned, you're living in cloudcuckooland. I advise you do some research before you step off your UFO and share your political biases.

  3. You're clearly a very intelligent and well read young man Luke but I have the advantage of the years over you. Politicians say all kinds of things in the run up to an election, yet unfailingly behave in a predictable manner afterwards: Labour - tax the rich and waste it on the poor; Conservative - make cuts and protect the middle classes.

    I'll ignore your rather personal comments.

  4. The tax credit system already uses public funds to supplement low wages. Local Housing Allowance towards rent is payable to those in work.

    The reason the benefits receipients will not take work is NOT that work would not make them better off.

    It is that work does not make them, in their mind, sufficiently better off.

    Hence you hear them say "I am not working for 25 p an hour" etc. They won't work a full week just to be a tenner better off than on dole.

    Try twenty quid then. Nope.

    Try thirty quid then. Nope.

    And so on.

    Luke the oldies know best young mate.

    I will tell you about a little research shall we say that occurred in Ipswich circa 1973.

    Job advert in Jobcentre ... two weeks shut down work at a local foundry while their workforce on holiday. Heavy work inside the shut down furnaces. £500 per week.

    The result was that half a dozen of the area's hardy perennial unemployed took the contract (this was big money then). But the contractor insisted they must sign off the dole for two weeks which they did.

    He said he would have to pay week in hand and thus he would pay two weeks pay and a bonus on productivity on their final day.

    Yep ... they did the work and got diddly. Far be it from me to suggest that the contractor was a mate of the Labour Exchange manager. But I was in their company when the joke was shared and I drank free all night.

    At the same do was the owner of a chicken packing company. He put on free transport from estates in Ipswich. Door to door for female staff. He was prepared to pay thirty quid to the Jobcentre clerk for each female worker that could be forced off dole to work for his company. And there was no doubt the wages were higher than dole. Plus free transport.

    How many did he get ? Zilch.

    Sign off to gut chickens all day ? Would you Luke ?

    A little lesson in differentials