Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shame on Clive Hart's Labour Thanet Council as they now encourage censorship

Thanet Democrat!?
It will be interesting to know what next to expect from Clive Hart's time in office, in my view his dreadful administration is propped up with inducements made to anyone who will support his inept administration, tonight I was told that I could not write or report on the cabinet meeting so rather than argue the point, I left.

It looks to me that Thanet Labour are taking the route of militant extremists, in the past I have been challenge, last time I understand that one of the Thanet independent crowd, Labours allies, took exception to me reporting, although on that occasion, it was accepted that I was using my phone as a computer.

I can recall members of the public previously being encouraged to report on precedings, still clearly, these days as Labour reveal their ability or lack of it, they wish to curb reporting, and of course this is something, which I think many council officers, don't like either.

SHAME ON THANET COUNCIL AND SHAME ON CLIVE HART'S THANET LABOUR PARTY

P S While the public are still admitted to council meetings, go along, if nothing else, to witness for your  self how Labour stumble through proceedings.

PPS The contempt shown by local government staff never ceases to amaze me, still I've written to CEO Sue McGonigal, previously Thanet Council staff have locked me out of public meetings, and locked me in the building they really are that indifferent to any public service ethos.

46 comments:

  1. Well over at Ville Views he was able to report proceedings so It looks like you have thrown your rattle out of your pram just because TDC would rather you use pen and paper rather than your phone to take notes. No big deal and I am sure its not just labour that prohibits this.

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  2. Says Clive Hart maybe, being unaware that Labour despite i believe encouraging the use of social media previously, has now developed a nasty side, of abusing democracy.

    I asked the seemingly officious council security bod if he could give me a pen and paper, he declined to help.

    I had no choice in the matter, I couldn't take notes and why because of an irrational fear of technology, crikey I know that you've some old boys in Labour and some at the top unfamiliar with working for a living but even as a humble trackman shoveling ballast, relaying tracks, I still use email text etc.

    Until Clive Hart or TDC officers explain and clarify, I am of the view that this incident was arranged for the benefit of poorly educated labour unfamiliar with both honest democracy and technology, and again shame on you Labour and TDC

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  3. I am unable to use pen and paper any longer so how do the Labour group surgest I take notes send smoke signals to someone.

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    1. No I think, being the dinosaurs they are, I'd expect cave paintings.

      Without being paranoid, it wouldn't surprise me if tonight's disgraceful successful attempt to disrupt honest reporting of the council wasn't preplanned.

      I've actually seen senior council officers reading and sending emails using blackberry phones in the past, so what is the problem.

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  4. I honestly don't think they can stop you making notes and reporting later. I'd honestly suggest next time simply refusing to leave, remind them it's a public meeting and if they try and remove you demand to know what legal basis they have. If they do kick you out go straight to local press.

    The woman who writes this blog

    http://carmarthenplanning.blogspot.co.uk/

    got arrested when she tried to film on a camera phone. It hit national news eventually and has caused the council she monitors serious PR issues.

    I did look into this a while back and they really only have powers to remove you if you are disruptive.

    Good luck.

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    1. Thanks for the info, I could have toughed it out and got arrested no doubt, but I just want take park in the democratic process without being abused by the council.

      If the security bod had offered to get me a pen and some paper I would have stayed, a few months ago i spoke with an officer who told me that it was ok to tweet etc

      It sad to see local government corrupted like this?

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    2. You say they are only able to remove you if you are disruptive, that is a joke. I have attended many meetings and the ones who are disruptive are the councillors dam rude and aggressive show no respect for one and another they are a disgrace to Thanet, I hear even Ezekiel insulted the whole of the public at a meeting and wasn't even removed after his second attempt to insult the public, the chair should have been removed had no power over the meeting. absolute disgrace

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  5. Tony, I have a question: Who challenged you on the use of your phone? Are you at liberty to name the person who told you that you could not write or report on the cabinet meeting?

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  6. Council security guard told me that i couldn't use my phone. I pointed out that I was using it to take notes not make calls or receive them.

    I asked if he could get me some paper, which he couldn't telling me I should have bought some.

    Last time I reported on the council I was challenged, it was at the end of the evening, one of Thanet Independent group, I later spoke to the councillor about the incident if I recall correctly he thought I was makeing a call, around the same time I also spoke with a senior officer who told me it was ok to tweet.

    What can I say, this incident is an outrage. I can only assume from the information given to me by the council officer, that Labour have changed the goal posts, lets face it, Clive Hart used to send PR stuff to me, however once he realised that I happened to be independent. That stopped still I see you Luke are on the poodle list along with Michael as approve local bloggers.

    It is shameful that a labour council imposes such restrictions. No phone no paper no pen no democracy!

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    1. As someone who cares just as much about free speech as you do, Tony, I think what we have here is a case of a council security guard thinking above their station and acting like a jobsworth. Just because someone took umbrage with you using your phone doesn't mean that it was sanctioned by Labour, nor does it mean that Thanet Council reneged on their promises to allow blogging and the use of social media from the public gallery. Clearly, you are making grand assumptions to exaggerate the matter. Oh, and poodle list? It sounds to me as if you were the one who slinked off from the council chamber with your tail between your legs, so I’d say that makes you more of a poodle than I am!

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    2. It's a labour council? The poodle reference is refers to the fact Thanet Labour blog link to your site, as they presumable trust you to be kind to them.

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  7. I cant think that looking at the ways that mobile phones can be used in council meetings as been high on the agenda since Labour came to power. But if you think it should be and want TDC to spend officers time looking at this then you should email your local councillors to get the ball rolling. Loosing ones rag will not get you anywhere. But just remember that the coallition parties are loosing a lot of support for concentating on non essential business rather than putting there best effforts into getting us out of the worst double dip recession for 50 years.

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    1. 9 41 if you're inferring that I was losing my rag, not true, the security bod/officer approached me, told me I could not use my phone.

      I explained that I was not using the phone as a phone but as a notepad, since he either didn't understand or had been instructed to eject members of the public who had a phone, I no choice but to leave, had I stayed it would have been a distraction, so I left.

      Earlier in the year I was told by a senior officer that it was acceptable to use my phone for blogging and social media. I sought clarification received it and last night Thanet Council reneged on it.

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    2. Perhaps if the Council installed an electrical interference inside the Council chambers, it would stop even the councillors using their phones as they are as guilty as everyone else.
      Go back to pen and paper much more liable.

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  8. If using your phone is prohibited which is normal policy just bring along pen and paper next time and type up a report later, job done.

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    1. 11 21 May I take a guess you work for the council or Labour or just didn't read my earlier comment "Earlier in the year I was told by a senior officer that it was acceptable to use my phone for blogging and social media."

      Maybe you approve of Thanet Council intimidating and harassing the public.

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    2. With all the problems TDC have to solve you and whether you have to use pen and paper like the rest of us are the least of their worries. Democracy is not at risk as you could have stayed and listened and in future do as James M did and write it down. He had no problem with it and found no need to round up on Labour.
      Why do you think you are a special case that needs the whole councils attention?

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    3. He shouldn't be a special case but the use of an electronic object being used to take notes shouldn't be an issue at all. To me it seems that the Council is going out of its way to make a point and Tony seems to be at the sharp end. I'd be making a complaint to the council asking why if I was Tony. I wonder how they would cope with a double amputee at the wrist sitting there with an iPod reacording it?

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    4. What happened to the microphones at Meetings they either don't work, not used or don't want to be heard. We also used to have the facility of being able to hear the meeting on line, if we were unable to be present, minutes were also made available on line for the public to read.
      Last time I read the minutes of a recent meeting where two councillors abused other councillors and even abused the public, nothing was mentioned in the minutes of this disgraceful meeting, the Chair failed in removing the the disrespectful pair and as far as I am aware neither has received any reprimand whatsoever.

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  9. 1 19 Despots love people like you, if you think it acceptable to be harassed by council staff for no reason, why don't you emigrate to somewhere like north korea or Syria

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    1. Well said Tony; all these apologists for the council need to pull their head out of their backsides and realise how late it is.

      Actually the Syrians were doing nicely, ta very much, until the global banking dictatorship decided they want their masonic muslim brotherhood buddies to be running the show.

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    2. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/bbc-rides-with-al-qaeda-in-aleppo-syria.html

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  10. Perhaps Tony you could formally ask Councillor Hart how his Labour group press release on Pierremont Park was available from 715pm, at the very moment the item finished in council, liberally quoting from Cllr Alan Poole's only speech - without using electronic devices in the chamber.

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    1. Good point Chris, I'm minded to assume that, the security guard was poorly trained, but this is no excuse for the lack of response from the Thanet council, whose arrogance is breath taking.

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  11. Talk about scraping the barrel for issues! And it must be cheap point-scoring territory for Wells to haul himself out of the woodwork to support you. Interesting that he's now your new best friend. Get a life, blogmeister, and do something productive with your time instead of "taking notes" at council meetings then twisting and spinning what people say on here. And get over your hatred of Labour and present your own Party's policies positively instead.

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    1. 12 34 not a democrat perhaps one of those dullleftwing bureaucrats draining public money in a vaguely pointless public sector job, or Clive or one oh his mates

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  12. If there is any substance in what you have set out here, Tony, then it would seem that all of the political parties in Thanet are tainted and are spiralling downhill. The "standard" of behaviour is lamentably low, as evidenced perfectly by the latest post over on Thanet Life, which contains yet another in that blog's series of snide, school-playground-like references to stories about non-Tory politicians. The style is always the same - dirt is dished but the blogger holds back from giving the full details. Perhaps frightened of legal retribution, or perhaps preferring to spit venom from the shadows and then claim to be "above" the rough and tumble - all the while believing himself to be superior to everyone else around. One would have thought that the exploits of soon-to-be-tried ex-Tory leader Ezekiel would have been a far more productive subject.

    Keep at it, Tony, but be more even-handed in your approach and you would certainly get my vote.

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    1. Someone else drowning in his own bile, methinks.

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  13. What right do these public servants have to dictate how you should take notes, they are obviously forgetting who they work for. The public own the buildings and the councillor/staff are paid public servants entrusted to be work for us NOT the other way round.

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    1. It is bad enough that hardly any have the voice to speak in public they either mumble with their heads down, don't speak into the microphone or don't even turn it on. even when asked to do this small chore they blatantly evade the issue.
      Lately it has been a complete insult to witness the behaviour of the Councillors in action at council. Many people complained amongst themselves after the meeting and one was selected to make a complaint of the behaviour of two councillors who continued to show such a lack of respect to all others, one in particular insulted the public which is absolutely unforgiveable. The Code of Conduct for the councillors should be altered and amended and all councillors who breach the code should be severely reprimanded.
      We have all noticed many councillors who have been voted in by members of public for a position as councillor in their wards, have taken it upon themselves to move over to another political party, I voted one particular councillor for my ward as he was a Tory, he has now changed to Independant, this was not why I voted for and I take umbridge that my taxes are paying him to do a duty I didn;t ask for, I find this an insult and should be amended as soon as possible. Others residents feel the same as many councillors are guilty of this act.
      By all means put themselves up at the next election but we should not be forced to pay your wages if you are not representing the Party of our choice

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    2. I do not support any party, they are all as bad as each other, disrectful, lazy, self opiniated and only do the job for the status they believe they get with the position, I hate the lot of them, hardly any deserve respect, I can name but a few.

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    3. Parties are what most of us had as children adults should not need governing - which is why I will never vote for any of the low life.


      How Will the 99% Deal with the Psychopaths in the 1%?
      A lot of the world's misery can be traced to people who lack the wiring for empathy. What can we do to contain the damage they cause?

      http://www.alternet.org/visions/how-will-99-deal-psychopaths-1

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  14. I am sorry that you consider it is "bilious" to draw attention to the gutter-level tactics and behaviour of certain local politicians, Anon of 19.08. I guess we'll just have to agree to differ, recognising that if my target was a Labour representative, you'd be guffawing in support.

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    1. Wrong, I find little to applaud in all politicians regardless of party, but your blinkered bias is overtly obvious.

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  15. Hart's had over 6 months and nothing achieved - as irrelevant as when Bayford was in charge

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    1. Did you really expect anything more from someone who divides his time between the swimming pool and the hairdresser?

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  16. I wonder if the forthcoming court case will determine the places between which Sandy Ezekiel divided his time. I'm sure they'll be more interesting than having a swim and a haircut. Shame about the legal issues...

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  17. Clive Hart was suprised when it kicked off Thursday so I seriously doubt it was a Labour set-up. This has happened before so, in all fairness, you took the risk. The security guy didn't say you couldn't write or report on the meeting but that you aren't to have your phone on.

    Given the Twittering from the public gallery before and the wild accusations of homophobia, you can't hold it against them for being sensitive. This has cropped up at meetings involving Councillors like Wise, Gibson and Worrow as well. There's a notice backing up this point about recording and relaying of proceedings. He saw you typing and rightly got suspicious.

    I understand you were annoyed when you left but by now you mustve realised that this is probably making more out of this than was there Thursday evening.

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    1. James your first point,concerning Hart may well be right, your next point, "in all fairness you took the risk" (reporting the council shouldn't involve risk) ignores. that I took reasonable steps to clarify the situation, speaking with a senior officer (18th May)shortly after the previous incident (AGM 17th May) who confirmed that I was allowed to tweet etc.

      Last meeting I attended, no problem, nor should there be, a local journalist pointed out that twittering is allowed from the high courts, so whats the problem, a councillor confirmed to me that he often used a phone to tweet or check facts on the internet.

      "There's a notice backing up this point about recording and relaying of proceedings. He saw you typing and rightly got suspicious.

      As you mentioned on you own blog I was taking notes "Tony was using his phone to take notes on a WordPad type program, something that was shown in his defence. He was doing the same last time. He was not Twittering."

      So James how can you claim that the security bod "rightly got suspicious" about what? doing something I had confirmed was OK having the taken trouble, after the previous incident to seek clairification.

      Perhaps James you could explain in what way, my using a phone to write or indeed send notes could possibly interfere with the business of the council or indeed what laws I might have broken.

      Finally the conduct of the council amounts to harassment, in what warped society do we have council officers allowing members of the public to be forced to leave a public meeting. This was the first time I was forced to leave since had I stayed my behaviour would matched the bad manners and childish approach we know and love of a few of our council representatives.

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  18. As a paid-up member of the Liberal Democrat Party, and a past local candidate for them, wouldn't it be more helpful to set out your policies and ideas for the future of Thanet, and seek to persuade others around to them, rather than keep banging on about process issues like this? I am not - before you jump on the point - suggesting that democracy in practice isn't important, but you need to keep it in perspective. You constantly attack others without setting out your own ideas.

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  19. All public actions must be recorded for our own records and safety to protect against the wrong doings of public servants. I am sure that many realise that their dealings are not always above board, covert recording can be particularly useful particularly when the authorities decide to come after you for raising awkward issues.

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  20. We need all councillors to sign a pledge at elections on FOI and for it to be in civilservant contracts: webcams of meetings, all documents and emails available on request, press and public not excluded, end on the pink secret reports and monthly online updates etc.

    Even Party meetings as they're representing a public office.

    Secrey allows incompetence and corruption with public funds.

    Fools like Hart and Bayford and Macgonigal just trundle along doing nothing and rejigging the memos.

    Similarly the Police and Courts have almost no scrutiny if its the same duffers.

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    1. Of course they all contain the same duffers many of whom also belong to the many secret societies well protected and kept hidden within public services, try finding a judge who isn't a freemason virtually impossible.All must be exposed and removed period.

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    2. Quite agree with you, far too much corruption every where nowadays, if you can't trust the Courts, Police and the Councill then who the hell is going to support us workers of Thanet. Life is s**t

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  21. I am all for open government and will be moving motion at the next full council meeting allowing for the use of phones, hand held devices, laptops and cameras to be used by members of the public and councillors. I have nothing to hide and stand by what I say.

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    1. You will never get it passed Ian

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