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.