Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thanet Councils Rubbish Christmas

In the spirit of Thanet Councils "Drop it or Cop it" campaign  may I suggest a special nomination and award to Sandy Ezekiel (leader of the council) and or perhaps Richard Samuel (chief executive) since I note a massive pile of rubbish is over-flowing at the top of Northumberland Avenue in Cliftonville with apparently little activity from the councils environment people.

"Drop it and Cop it" is a rather irritating slogan attached to Thanet District Council's campaign which involves "officers" leaping out at unsuspecting litter louts and levying humongous fines which are out of all proportion to the crime ( a fag butt might well lead to a fine of a couple of hundred quid). Still the money received is probably needed to patch some of Thanet Council's gaping financial holes like the one created by purchase of the M& S building around 4.5 million for something worth more likely below 2 mill.

A New Year's Message to Kent's Politicians

Clearly I cannot thank everyone in local government district and county, but I'd just like to highlight some of those things we should be thanking politicians for this year. 

Thank you for emptying our dustbins, except when you don't, like this last week.

Thank you for wasting money(£2 million approx) on pointless services like Kent TV .

Thank you for losing £50 mill in Iceland.

Thank you for wasting money on advertising, as with Kent Highways.

Thank you for setting aside £300,000 of public money for the KCC Healthwatch advice line.

Thank you for Transforming Margate's Library into an all singing all dancing Thanet Council customer services area for paying fines, community charge and claiming benefits with minimal privacy.

Thank you for admitting to spending £4.5 mill on the old M&S building millions over its current value.

Thank you for doing nothing to save Margate Museum.

Thank you for doing nothing to save Ramsgate Maritime Museum.

Thank you for putting the future of Northdown House at risk.

Thank you for the hasty consultation Northdown House and the inadequate figures available on which to make any judgement.

Thank you for bending over backwards when dealing with property developers, just look at how Sea Bathing Hospital has ended as a pigs breakfast.

Thank you for all those politicians who've been justifying development plans whilst being rather reticent to mention some of the benefits they already had.

A genuine Thank you to Thanet North MP Roger Gale who has retained some dignity and who's a genuinely free thinker as far as China Gateway was concerned without the "twenty five thousand crisp reasons" that may have cast a cloud over some others.

Finally Thank you for two of Thanet senior politicians, who may well provide something to look forward too, when they have the chance explaining their conduct to the Standards Board.

Monday, December 29, 2008


As you know I've no axe to grind as far as Manston Airport or as some know it Kent International is concerned, but a recent out burst from Kents Green Party over the future of our local airport, to me looks indicative of some rather woolly thinking.

Now some have argued that Manston that will never attract business due to the population of Thanet, which would be a valid point if airports didn't have regular customers who have to travel some many miles and even hours to reach, as in the case of Heathrow and Gatwick both of which I currently consider to be local airports.

Both the Green Party and CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) have criticised Infratil's master plan for the Airport which would if they were correct result in up to 6 million passengers using the airport by 2033, a "flight of fantasy" say the greens and the CPRE chip in with "unrealistic".

Assuming these parties are correct, where's the beef, if their so convinced Manston will fail why don't they direct themselves to more pressing environment issues and leave Manston alone. After a Grim year the thought that one local business is considering growth is a little ray of sunshine and since their business would indeed, if successful bring in good quality jobs rather than the likely warehouse jobs @ Chinagate,I know which I would prefer.

A sustainable expansion of the airport which Infratile are working toward is infinitely more, environmentally friendly than the concrete vision that CGP has.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Turkey in the oven. Its Christmas

Crikey it's not just me then with nothing better to do on Christmas morning than surf the net and worse the blogs.

Well the Flaig Turkey has been stuffed, late last night, the gammon boiled and now all that remains having fired up the turkey @ 8am is to tend the blooming thing until around 1 ish, when no doubt it will be devoured by starving relatives.

Not sure what time the obligatory family row will occur but hopefully it'll will be trivial and quick.
Have yourself a damn good Christmas!

Mr Puss seen here barely able to contain his joy, at receiving a new collar for Chelsea F.C., he would like to point out that he doesn't usually do product endorsement but if it keeps Mrs Me happy and he also gets a salmon starter for lunch then he's willing to oblige!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Dilemma

With hours to go I have like many (men that is) yet to embark on gift purchases for my nearest and dearest, unlike Mrs Me who has informed me that she has done her buying for this Christmas and hinted that I need not get too excited as she hasn't spent alot on me this year.

Since its better to give than receive, that doesn't bother me too much, and as usual for Christmas I rather selfishly, purchase either a book or some magazines, so that I have something to look forward to at Christmas (my choice this year a copy of Private Eye and Viz).  

Anyhow with giving I always reckon that its the thought that counts, irrespective of price, although to be honest, I rarely get things right, perfume has over the years been a big problem, invariably I miss hear the brand name and spend fifty quid or thereabouts on something that apparent is too sickly and generally results in a severe allergic reaction.

Jewellery is a particularly tricky item, although it also happens to be my top tip for any man who wishes to look generous at zero cost, a few years back being flush I decided to buy an expensive necklace or was it earrings on my credit card (it still had room), anyhow unbeknown to me the item was hideous, not a problem I gave Mrs Me the receipt unfortunatly the shop could not give her the refund as they needed the card holder present, a few days past, I get my card credited and things sort of drifted. Please note I'm usually not that mean and I think I paid for our holiday that year so don't be too judgemental also I reckon this tip may not be fullproof and result in all sorts of unpleasantness.

Anyway I shall continue to reflect on Christmas as I listen to my favourite christmas record "Fairytale of New York" which in better times (when the pound had some value), I've listened to walking around that city prior to Christmas.

I suggest everyone make the most of Christmas this year particularly if Gordon Brown continues to throw caution to the wind as far as the economy. Still on a lighter note Clive Hart, has sent a link for an animation It's the STRICTLY CLIFTONVILLE WEST 
Cllrs. Aldred, Clark, Hart, Johnston & Watkins wish all in Margate & Cliftonville
 a very merry Christmas!
(it takes a few seconds to load but it's worth the wait)

Mrs Me has informed me she doesn't expect a lot this year, I just wonder if I'd get away with copying this animation onto a DVD.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Christmas to all the Staff at KCC

Just a quick one, as you'll appreciate I've been away from the keyboard for a day or two and who knows when I will next vent my opinions, but anyhow I've spent the morning following up bits and pieces from earlier in the year with the odd phone call and email.

Just trying to motivate myself looking for something to get my teeth into, one of my contacts mentioned a joint Christmas Message from both Politician Paul Carter (Tory) Leader of Kent Council and Peter Gilroy Chief Executive who have apparently sent a joint email to KCC staff thanking them for their efforts, this year (no doubt to save on printing cost since staff will no doubt wish to take a copy home for the family).

I wonder if they'll be sending hard pressed local taxpayers a similar message for once again digging deep into their pockets to fund essential services like Kent TV, Kent councils own transport business and various other enterprises, not forgetting the completely pointless Health Watch scheme or those large pensions which I and many like me, will never be able to afford for ourselves.

Happy Christmas KCC.

PS One of my contacts thought that maybe Paul Carter and Peter Gilroy should really send their greetings individually, still not having seen the email myself I cannot comment, particularly since KCC were not to keen on sending me a copy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Northdown Consultation where are the facts ?

Despite my ongoing request for financial information TDC have yet to produce figures as the to cost if any to taxpayers, makes you wonder how they decided to dispose of the property in the first place.

As Im unable to go to the hasty consultation maybe some kind soul could let us know whats going on.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BBC South East's special report on Kent TV*

The following remarks should be considered as being "Without Prejudice" and also protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights

I'll admit not the usual preamble to a TV review but then Kent TV* as a subject is something unique.

As you can imagine, being interview by the BBC is a bit of an ego massage, especially for what most people see as an overbearing opinionated middle-aged whinger like myself (and yes that would probably sum me up).

Still you might ask apart from getting your face on the telly, what's the motive, well in my case I believe that there are two main negative aspects to Kent TV* which ought to be exposed, first of course is the incredible cost of this "Kent project"( that's the best description of one of Kent councils lawyers could come up with) a million visits at a cost of not far off a pound each.

A second and perhaps more unsettling aspect came to light in a letter, I received from a contractor for Kent council, now since the major part of the interview I had with Paul Siegert concerned this, I assume that this subject is too sensitive for the BBC, then I myself had better be careful.

Now if that last bit, interests you, I suggest that you contact Paul Carter KCC leader, and ask him questions or Peter Gilroy Chief Exec. KCC since both of these gents had a copy of the letter which caused me so much concern earlier, and I doubt any contractor would suggest defamation proceedings with these gentlemen.

I believe that this post, as all of my posts, is fair comment and to date the only correction I've had to make was a remark, I made about Roger Gale MP, which I was happy to acknowledge and apologise for, however having your right to fair comment impinged upon is something else for which I'm not guilty.


*Please note when referring to Kent TV I am specifically referring to the "Kent Project" and not to any third parties or individual staff members and comments are made in a political context.

** Please note Mrs Me is a bit miffed that I didn't make more of an effort to tidy up the house.

*** More background to Kent TV click here

Kent TV on BBC

I understand that I appeared on BBC local news tonight more when I get home

Monday, December 08, 2008

Northdown House

I hope to give you more information shortly when Thanet District Council reply to my freedom of information request for figures that would give us some indication as to what exactly profit or loss TDC has made in regard to Northdown House.

In the meantime I have received this letter refering Hannah Thorpe recent communication. This echoes some of my own concerns particularly the new haste involed, that is a consultation just a week after Latchford and co seem to have changed their mind.

Response to “News release” “The future of Northdown House” from Hannah Thorpe 1/12/08

Dear Sir,

Unfortunately I shall be out of the country on 10/12/08 and wish my views to be recorded.

In this short bulletin you use the cliché “AGREED SURPLUS TO THE COUNCIL’S REQUIREMENTS/NEEDS” twice. Agreed by whom? The council have a plethiora of highly paid officers who have to be supplemented by even more expensive consultants costing millions because they themselves lack the required expertise. Is it these officers who have recommended and the council who have accepted vicariously on behalf of local residents? Certainly the Council holds no mandate from the Thanet residents to categorise Northdown house as surplus to their requirements.

Permission for Thanet Leisureforce to let Northdown house for an additional 3 months is derisory. No potential customer would entertain such deliberately contrived uncertainty.

The “Open day” is a small step forward. However extremely short notice means difficulty “in spreading the gospel” exacerbated by a time of year when pre-christmas arrangements and preparations are paramount to individuals. No doubt the council would be highly disappointed if the turnout (in common with local elections) was low!!

Two options are postulated. That for “public use” includes social housing, Northdown house is completely unsuitable for such a provision. The second option envisages passing the yoke of moral and legal responsibilities presently on the council to a private organisation/individual. This is interesting but the council would need to spell out what assistance, financial and otherwise might be expected.

Name and address supplied

Ouch that's got to hurt!

Surely this is some mistake, the photograph above apparently, so I'm told, shows work carried out on behalf CGP the company currently hoping to build China Gateway. Now I'm no expert but as a cyclist or pedestrian the fence as show with barbed wire to me constitutes a real hazard on what is at times a very busy road with fast moving traffic.

Now as some of us are aware those associated with the China Gateway project are known for their generosity and helpfulness as local politicians etc. will no doubt testify, whether it happens to be assisting with travel arrangements or helping out with political donations, so lets hope that if CGP are equally helpful to the traveling public and local residents.

As we know CGP are hoping to improve things here in Thanet by pouring concrete and tarmac across acres of fields and I assume this fence is either a blunder or nothing to do with them. I have rung CGP'S local number as well speaking to their PR company who will clarify the situation later.

Hopefully CGP will recognize the potential harm that this fence could cause passers by, as well as the inconvenience to residents of Pouces Cottages, and will quickly remove, which will not only improve road safety but also clear suggestions that residents have been penalized for objecting to plans for CGP's China Gateway

For more detailed reporting see Bertie Biggles Thanet Strife Blog

Feel free to contribute but please no barbed comments or I'll have to spike them!

UPDATE FROM CGP. Rob from CGP has been kind enought to update me on the fence, pointing out that they are entitled to erect a fence on their boundary and pointing out that his company have issued a statement which appears on Bertie Biggles "Thanet Strife" which I shall paste in here ""We are simply following good practise by establishing the correct boundary. No one had written in or contacted us to request permission to park in the entrance to the gate or on the verge. We are merely establishing the boundary correctly since our purchase in 2007. The original fencing line was established by a previous tenant who was keeping livestock in the field adjacent to Pouces Cottages. This fence was originally constructed to keep live-stock safe and not to demonstrate the boundary of the land. With the agricultural tenancy coming to an end, CGP felt it important to erect a fence reflecting our ownership. We will be re-fencing the whole boundary line in due course with appropriate fencing material and not with barbed wire."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Westwood Cross the documentary

Previously only obtainable, on an exclusive basis, Sparkin productions have made their documentary "Westwood: Land of 1,000 Houses" available via Youtube.

This is a documentary made by Nick & Lisa of Canterbury College explores some of the issues surrounding, what I consider to be that hideous development which will be taking place once builders developers bankers and the like stop going bust.

The film contains contributions from Brian White, Damien Cooke, Tony Flaig (Bignews Margate Fame) and Steven Ladyman although in a rare show of bias, I have to say I think I'm a lot more charismatic and funny than some of the other contributors.

Anyway if you'd like to see this well crafted local documentary, it is in, two parts Click here for the first part and for the second part which contains myself can be found just here.

I honestly don't have much time currently to comment on the front page story of this weeks yourthanet other than to say just what the hell is a" monitoring officer" and do we need one in these hard times, I think not.

I would just like to thank Tom Betts and other journalists for showing an interest in this story because you can bet your bottom, if cretinous tin pot local dib dobs can censor amatuer commentators like us bloggers then you will be next.

Finally I'm still waiting for Thanet council to give details on Northdown House running cost, which is become quite urgent since next week a consultation is taking place on the houses future, it certainly would be nothing less than shameful, if the council cannot provide figures since it would be a strong indication, that their earlier plans to sell the house off, were more a whim than a plan. So chop chop !

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

NORTHDOWN HOUSE TDC get round to reading the small print?

Its nice to make a contribution in a world of sleaze which is not a reference to our esteemed Thanet District council but a genuine thought provoked by two things, a "thank you" email informing me that the council had reconsidered their stance on Northdown House, the reference to sleaze refers to the attack on liberty by the Metropolitan Police and the Labour Home Secretary, who seem to be acting like Nazis, who ever thought an MP would subject to arrest for publishing facts, I don't think even Mrs T's crew ever went that far, not with MP's anyway.

It seems that the council have listened to the public, and or maybe they've got the lawyers to take a butchers, at covenants that were attached to the property when it was originally transferred in public ownership, either way concerns must remain for one, we still don't know what precipitated the proposed sale, at this point Richard Samuel Chief Executive TDC has yet to reply to my request for financial information as to any income or loss made on the property, secondly another worry is the rather hasty consultation which will apparently take place next week on the 10th of December (just how do you consult the public when they don't have the facts).

Thanet council should give more time for public consultation on the future of the House and in the mean time, it would make sense if TDC would ask Thanet Leisure Force to take bookings for a more sensible interim period maybe to the end of 2009, since we've already seen the confusion when act in haste and repent at leisure.

Whilst I'm typing away I note that a couple of emails have referred, to TDC's concerns over bloggers, I don't have any facts other than as I say some emails, suggesting that in TDC are not happy, just what they intend to do I don't know, still if you have any info generally does the trick, go on you know you want to, maybe Richard Samuel could give his views?

We do live in a democracy, don't we?

I'll have to go someone's knocking on the door!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bob Geldof speaks about Kent TV

Without prejudice

Bob Geldof has made a video explaining the wonders of Kent TV. I will when I get time expand on my views.
Incidentally Bob (director of KCC's, TV contractor Ten Alps) was apparently speaking after Kent TV's successful first year, so successful in fact that KCC are now considering spending another £400,000 of the taxpayers hard earned money to keep it going, well done!
For some reason Kent TV has not asked me to make a similar apprasal of Kent TV's success I wonder why, also I just wonder whether they will be inviting Trudy Dean of the Liberals or even Mike Eddy of Labour to speak about Kent TV?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TOP URGENT Things I've forgotten and not got round too

I'm more than a tad busy at the moment so a quick mention to a new shop opening on the Harbour Arm this occurs tomorrow night 7:30 and will sell all sorts of "girlie things" my words and probably none to PC.

Anyhow this from the recent email sent to me "There are some really special things that you won’t find anywhere else in Thanet including jewellery by Sukie Lau, Danon, Johnny Loves Rosie, Ashiana and Miyabi, as well as locally hand-made pieces. We also stock the famous Momiji dolls, bath creamers that look good enough to eat, candles, cards, handbags, funky specs, children’s toys, and a selection of other small gifts and stocking fillers"

Also a new website with loads of connection to things thanet ACTIVETHANET created by Parker Jones who wrote this in his Email to me as his reason for setting up the site "Life is more than just work followed by pubs and clubs! And youngsters are less likely to create mischief if they are not bored. I was surprised to discover that there is a lot going on in Thanet. So I've tried to bring all this information into one place."


The opening of a new gallery Ingoldsby . The Ingoldsby Gallery can be found at 2 Lombard Street, Margate and will be opening on Saturday 29th.

PS I will get round to replying to emails when I can>

Whatever happened to courtesy?

Stupid question really, as you know I happen to have a fairly brash and robust way about me, particularly where politicians and officials are concerned, so really I shouldn't get too concerned when the social graces are lacking from bureaucrats and the like.

Back in the summer I had a problem with one of Kent's contractors who happen to be in the media, now since my local taxes go to pay this particular company, I was none too please when both Paul Carter and Chief Executive the very well paid Peter Gilroy were less than supportive of what I take to be a direct attack on my freedom of speech, even more offensive was the thought that I had made critical remarks about a" Kent council project " which were directed at Kents political establishment but which resulted in a contractor threatening legal action which I interpret as the contractor acting on KCC's behalf.

More recently I've attempted to get a clear answer from Thanet Council as to why they felt the need to sell Northdown House, briefly one officer claimed it made a small profit, the deputy leader claimed Thanet Leisure Force had declined to operate the building, Sandy of Standards Board Fame claimed that the council couldn't afford to lease it to TLF, and the assets bloke didn't have any figure and even more surprising neither did the accounts department, according to the junior who answered the phone (incidently she did a top job since apparently accountants are uanble to use the phone).

I cannot comment on Richard Samuel since he has yet to answer the phone or answer my email of last week, but I understand that he will not be available tomorrow either since he has some conference to attend.

I can understand that local councillors and petty or not so petty civil servants, get upset by bloggers after years of dealing with a tame press, but its about time they stopped being so er..... and accepted that the world has moved on.

I don't give a toss if politicians and "officers" dislike me, I do however expect them to support free speech and reasonable access to information however uncomfortable.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gordon Brown the warm up man

Unless you know me or happen to be one of my more obsessive followers you most likely missed my appearance on the politics show. For those of you who had something better on during transmission, like pub or lunch click here for the south east edition of the politics show, please note if you wish to miss my warm up act (Gordon Brown), it is possible to fast forward to the local segment which features local luminaries at around 32 mins in or if you just me fast forward to 46mins, the link should work for a week or so.

To be honest although I lead a fairly ordinary life, technology has offered me, and others opportunities to express ideas which were unthinkable maybe a dozen years ago. So when the opportunity to appear was offered, I wasn't particularly phased, not until maybe a few minutes prior and then I'm thinking what the hell do I know about Turner Contemporary, Regeneration or blimin art but also I'm thinking be polite and don't say anything that I'll regret.

Watching this later I had urge to cringe behind the sofa (similar to the first appearance of the Daleks 40 year ago), still as it carried on I think I got better, a couple of things I should have mentioned was one that I actually think that Derek Harding has good ideas, also I regret not pointing out a lack of direction from our own local council.

Apart from Mike Hill, KCC cabinet member I was surprised, not to see some of those out of towners on the show, like for instance maybe a sprinkling of the new Trustees. Still no doubt they have busy lives, myself I did 70 hours plus, traveling into London everyday last week, still I suppose that's the benefit of being local.

PS I didn't mention my participation earlier in case I got cancelled, it would have been bad enough turning up for work and getting grief there.

Margate in the Spotlight

Just a quick one for those of you not strong enough to get to the pub or Margate sea front for the Quad Bikes, you can still immerse yourself in Margate stuff with the BBC politics show which will be featuring Margate Turner Contemporary and Margate Regeneration.

Well worth taking a butchers The Politics Show starts at 12:00 with local content at around 12:30, more on this later......

Margate Big Sky and our Sandy

I see courtesy of Thanet Life blog (nice to see you back Simon), that this weekend Margate is hosting once again a Quad Biking Weekend, now since I travel past the beach everyday, I have this thought that maybe if any promotional signs that where put up to advertise this event they clearly didn't work (for me).

Still unclear messages seem a feature of Thanet life, like Sandy Ezekiel's comments in this weeks Gazette that feature a gripe about Labour's policy on building on suburban gardens, which I'd tend to agree with, but with this reservation, if Sandy's so concerned about building in gardens, why does he appear to be in favour of excluding the public from parts of Northdown Park Estate, it is his council which is attempting to ignore covenants protecting Northdown House and to flog off to some crappy developer, it's his council which has yet to give clear information as to why.

This is the same Sandy that has yet to answer the questions in my email to him about Northdown House?

Jan Moir

From time to time, I pick up the Daily Mail, for two reasons one its a quick read for days when I'm not going to get time to plough through one of the "quality" papers the other reason being to read a good old right wing rant and some quality hypocrisy. To be honest I haven't a clue who the hell Jan Moir is and the chances are she's yet to stumble upon Bignews Margate, but like any down market or quality newspaper you have the comment columnists which fill the vacuum between factual reporting and the advertisers.

Never having read or heard of this women I was of an open mind but read what I assume is her main "rant" which tells me all I need to know about this particular women. The article concerned Jacqui Smiths proposals to criminalise men who use prostitutes who've been forced into the sex trade having been trafficked by criminals.

Anyway here is an example of here journalistic er.... style talking about Jacqui Smith "Patronisingly, she sees every prostitute as a helpless victim. And to the suggestion that many 'trafficked' women are actually just economic migrants, she says: 'I do not buy that argument.' End of.

Men need to think twice about paying for sex, says the Home Secretary, who wants to obliterate the sex industry by strangling demand for it - rather like trying to stop tooth decay by banning the baking of cupcakes."

Still if you want to read the full article try clicking here, I offered a comment which I note has yet to be posted on Daily Mail web site I wonder why. My comment as follows "Your article "Grow up Jacqui" really deserves the reply "Wake up Jan" since the company that employs your talents, also happens to own Kent Regional Newspapers, that runs adverts for "full body to body massage by Chinese girls", no doubt this is an entirely legitimate service offering complimentary medicine, which you'd be happy to send a husband, partner brother son to

With or without the law, having sex with someone forced to participate is quite clearly rape, well done Jaqui Smith for pointing out the obvious."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Political affiliation don't be embarassed

I happen to believe that all men (and women) are created equal, and then they do things which may or may not be stupid like joining a political party.

Now not surprisingly Nick Griffin is a tad upset that his membership list has been exposed, and I suppose he has to some extent a problem apart from the obvious breach of data protection legislation and its this, for some reason he cannot convince his members that their policies are entirely wholesome or why the secrecy.

Now I've myself been a member of a rather dubious, political crowd in the past, and to save any speculation it happened to be SDP, although I never did think to highly of David Owen, he seemed rather full of himself and I'm sure he frequently opened sentences with this phrase "when I was foreign secretary"(which was probably the pinnacle of his career) also for a time I happened to be a member of the Liberal party.

Anyway however embarrassing or not my political memberships, I'm not that bothered and can't see why anyone would be touchy about their politics, its been suggested a few times that I might myself have sympathy with right wing fruit cakes which is simply not true.

I understand that some people like to be private about their true opinions, but when those opinions are at odds with a fair society then its just tough titties if you get exposed.

Finally should police officers lose their jobs, well I think so, who doesn't want equal treatment under the law, well apparently serving officers who happen to be members of the BNP. If your too ashamed to admit an idea or an opinion there must be something wrong.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Space Ritual ?

Crikey I see former members of Hawkwind, will be playing at the Westgate Pavillion this Saturday, according to a report in Adscene. I must say I find this a bit spooky, since only a few days ago I was attempting to convert one of their albums into digital format.

I remember seeing them once at the Dreamland Ballroom and a few months later in the Dreamland cinema, in nineteen seventy er.. unfortunately its a long time since Mrs Me throw out my Hawkwind Tee shirt (for which I'm still a tad upset) as well as a poster from those days, also a status quo Tee shirt which in all honestly will never be missed.

I'd like to go myself but Mrs Me mentioned that Chelsea will be kicking off at Home on Saturday at 3pm, so their might be a conflict of interest, Damn!

Tickets from Westgate Pavillion £12 Doors open 6.15 01843 835611 or 570905

In search of a straight answer

It seems to me that, members of and officers of Thanet council must be a fairly thick skinned bunch, and try as I have, it seems impossible to get a clear picture of why, or for what reason TDC are attempting to sell Northdown House for which they are legally prevented.

Recently I spoke with an officer who deals with council assets, who informed me that he had no accounts, which would indicate, how much if anything, Northdown House was costing to run, trying to speak with the councils accounts department, only bought about more confusion as I was informed by I think a receptionist that I would have to contact Thanet Leisure Force?

Well I'm still of the opinion that TDC either have something to hide or their clueless and useless, anyway tonight I sent another email to Richard Samuel Chief Executive of TDC not that I got anywhere last time, and even the invitation to meet with Sandy Ezekiel seemed pointless if a straight answer is not available.

Dear Mr Samuel

Thanet councils proposed sale of Northdown House seems to be shrouded in controversy and the information I have managed to acquire seems at best contradictory.

As Thanet councils senior officer I would ask that you clarify the
situation over this property, previously you were apparently too busy to answer my email directly.

I have yet establish a clear explanation of the exact reason
Northdown House is being considered for sale particularly given the legal constraints preventing such a sale. I recently spoke to one of your colleagues responsible for assets who informed me of the fact that he did not have accounts for the property.

I therefore request that you provide details of income and expenses for Northdown House for the last three years under freedom of information legislation.

Regards tony flaig Bignews Margate

Sent from Google Mail for mobile |

Monday, November 17, 2008

Service interruption

Without being too self indulgent, I've not had any time to devote to Bignews Margate of recent and that may well remain the case for a while.

I hope to get round to giving you a long winded bitch about something any day now, one area that particularly concerns me is Kent Councils mission creep by this I mean our local authority KCC involving itself in business by supplying things like temporary workers, taxi and bus services etc rather than leaving entrepreneurs to do it properly.

One of my readers was kind enough to point out that one of their enterprises Kent TV ( which is funded by Kent Taxpayers) has made available its last minutes, an interesting read.

Its probably best to read the document as KCC intended by clicking here if you cannot be bothered and who would blame you I've pasted in the text below. My own view, is that things are not going as planned like no significant advertising revenue, anyhow should KCC confine themselves to service like education, social services and roads, I think so.

Still with Kent TV being free except of course to taxpayers I cannot imaging why Mrs Me parts with large sums of money to Sky TV?

Kent TV Board. 23 September 2008 Present: Peter Gilroy (Chair), Ian Chittenden, Geoff Miles, Paul Wookey, Richard King Apologies: Cheryl Armitage, Ray Parker, Steve Phoenix, Ann Sutton, Martin Jackson, Gary Beautridge In Attendance: John McGhie, Tanya Oliver, Louise Elliott (minutes)

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting.
The minutes around Income Generation were discussed as it had become unclear what parts were still being pursued and what parts were not. We were moving away from the scatter gun sponsorship and still pursuing the possibility of large corporate organisations sponsoring channels. All other minutes agreed.

2. Ten Alps Report. John McGhie presented the report. Overall viewing figures have increased steadily although a slight dip in August. Kent TV covered a summer of festivals which Kent played a large part. Total visits so far are 770,000 with 4.3m page views and 493,903 unique visits. Clarity was given over viewing figures from a Kent County Council building. It was agreed that a note should be sent to all members explaining this. There was a discussion around the company that provide the statistics to ensure that they are completely independent from Ten Alps to avoid controversy. John McGhie will share more detailed information with Board Members. Kent TV has started uploading content onto other websites which helps raise the profile and overall our number of core viewers is on the increase. The decision has been made at Kent TV that the weekly reviews would change to monthly reviews The Your Say section has also been suspended pending a revamp of the entire section. “What’s On” is working progress at the moment and is being tested. An October soft launch is planned. The section will publicise all events in Kent, both large and small. Kent TV has been short listed for ‘Website of the Year’ at the EDF Regional Media Awards. One of our Video Journalists, Tom Chown, has also been short listed for ‘TV News Journalist of the Year.’ The results will be made known in October. A suggestion was made that the politics channel could be used by all parties / groups by having their own sections, but during election time all political videos will be removed. It was suggested that John McGhie contacts the three KCC leaders to see what they think. Richard King and the rest of the board agreed that videos should be dated so that you can see how up to date the videos are.

3. Board Membership Applications.
The advertisement for member(s) of the public to join the Board had good press coverage in the Kent on Sunday, KCC website and Kent TV. Despite this we only received 6 applications. Decisions took place about what should be the next steps, it was agreed that a letter should be sent to all of the 6 applicants informing them that we are extending the deadline. An advert would be put in “Oi” magazine and John McGhie would look at embedding the advert into other film website to attract more attention.

4. Marketing and Advertising sub-group update Various discussions took place around the next steps for this sub-group. Ten Alps have offered to commission Mongoose Media to compile a report regarding out-sourcing out advertising sales. There were too few Board Members to make a formal decision so it was agreed to pursue this for a more detailed discussion next time. Peter Gilroy is in talks in Microsoft and IBM around sponsorship of a channel.

5. AOB
A discussion took place around who the next chair of the Board should be as Peter Gilroy will be stepping down in the New Year. It was agreed that this should be discussed at the December board meeting and the hope was expressed that Peter stay in post until at least the end of the Kent TV pilot programme.

6. Dates of next meetings
17th December 10-12 The Board Room, Maidstone Studios

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How many

I was about to bash out another post and noticed that this will be the 808th posting, I just wonder how many words I've used and how many politicians I've upset.

Maybe I'll take the weekend off.

Still one quick thought, I see in the local newspaper that Thanet's zealous council officers are busy issuing tickets for crimes such as dropping cigarette a butt, fine of £200 plus quoted I think and for non - payers of council tax, prison sentences, I just wonder how the public should treat council officers and members for the £4.5 million hole in finances or that multi million pound overspend on the old M&S building in Margate. I take it lynching is out of the question how about tarring and feathering, maybe not.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Human Trafficking could the press do more?

I see that once again newspapers in Kent are reporting yet another vile case of people trafficking involving prostitution and the thought occurs, as it has before that there is possibility of an ironic side to these reports.

I remember last year reading, one of our local newspapers which was reporting a police raid on a local brothel and the question occurred to me, just how do the criminals attract business, and reading newspapers published locally by Kent Regional Newspaper I just wonder whether there could be a connection with adverts offering foreign girls and full massage and people trafficking.

Probably not, I'm sure that Northcliffe Media who own the Daily Mail and Kent Regional Newspaper would not be involved in such a business, particularly given that the Daily Mail often lectures on morality, still they could avoid such speculation by just cutting out adverts for massage services.

Still to their credit when I last checked neither KOS or KM Group appear to carry such ambiguous adult advertising probably calculating that it wasn't worth taking the risk.

I've contacted the advertising department of one of our local publishers more than once and the line they seem to take is that, they check the content and that's about it, oh they will assist the police should they enquire, but that must be slim comfort to the victims of this trade and some relief to local pimps.

Perhaps if you feel the same you could write and complain to Kent Regional Newspapers, Gazette Building, Union Row, Margate CT9 1PP

I have written about this previously click here

Thisiskent story

Kentonline story

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thought for the day - Government Barn Door closes almost

For Barn door I should have said Turnstile.

On November 27th, a new points based system, is introduced to curb migration from non-EU countries, apparently 200,000 jobs will now be off limits, however I understand from today's Guardian that 800,000 remain.

Now this means little to me, what I want to know is why, British citizens are being discriminated against, why construction sites are predominantly employing foreign nationals, when our own people are seeking work.

Why are employers are allowed to advertise non skilled jobs exclusively to East Europeans?

When if ever did you hear you local MP Tory or Labour speak up against the tide of immigration that has skewed the jobs market toward low wages and poor conditions? I can't remember Mr Gale or Mr Ladyman ever standing up for their constituents in any meaningful way?

A word that comes to mind when I think of our politicians, is betrayal, whilst they remain an almost exclusively protected British jobs market, those of us in the lower levels have been disenfranchised and sold down the river by remote pompous politicians who couldn't give a toss.

My apologies if I have offended readers but my intention is to upset those professional classes who don't have to compete on a daily basis with foreign nationals for their job unlike myself and co workers.

The fish tank? well maybe I ought to relax before posting and maybe not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Inspirational Turner Moves On*

Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time will probably be aware of the recurring references to the Turner Gallery which was the catalyst to this website.

I'd like to think that I have been honest in my comments, which have varied from shock at the waste involved with what I refer to as the Turner Debacle and more enthusiastic support for the current incarnation designed by Chipperfield architects.

I have found at times some of the events surrounding the Turner contemporary, highly entertaining particularly, one presentation which was advertised as being on a first come first served basis (very egalitarian) only to find that Kent Council had apparently introduce an unpublished, segregation system into play, whereby what I assume to have been friends of the conservative party and other of Kent's top knobs, were greeted separately and given preferential seating, although not realising I had the misfortune to sit in one of the reserved seats only to find, our very own Leader Sandy and deputy Roger networking either side of my seat.

Anyway that's all in the past, things have moved on and Turner Contemporary represents a large chunk of Margate's future, this week, we've had an announcement of those who will be on the first board of trustee's and later this month their will be a ground breaking ceremony.

I'd suggest to those who have criticise the Contemporary, which includes me, in the past might as well accept its going to be part of the Margate of the future and maybe lobby for something that appeals to the mainstream and even oiks like myself.

Now you have to be pragmatic in life, and taking a quick gander at the list of trustees to the gallery they all seem fairly influential and that I suppose is what is needed for this organisation, still its seems sad that local influence is fairly thin on the ground, as is the social background.

For now I leave you with the thought that this is the best thing on offer and probably the only thing on offer in Thanet that is positive, now that Sandy Ezekiels local conservative group are selling off all our local cultural assets.

I will return to this subject but in the meantime I'm sure our local press will give us the in-depth analysis for which we've come to expect! and if not I shall discuss a tad more, when I have the time.

*(please note I've not had time to go through this one so it may contain more than the usual number of errors)

For the full press release see David Green has published on his EASTCLIFF MATTERS and form your own opinions

Monday, November 10, 2008

Facebook Diversion

I know that I'm often critical of much of what originates here on the Planet Fannit, but tonight even I'm unable to summon up the bile necessary to whine about what's right and wrong, so with my mind wandering for something to bitch about, I stumble on to my facebook page with the intention of seeing what new invitations and requests had gone unanswered for the last week or two.

There's usually something from Matthew Brown of Thanet Star fame, which I never quite understand then there's other request something called "half man half biscuit" again something I've not got the faintest idea about.

I sometimes look at the bottom of the page to the friends online section, which generally empties as I look at whose available to chat, still one unfortunate friend tonight was top local (local as in went to school in these parts) journalist and author Iain Aitch (former Thanet resident), whose book "Were British, Innit" seems to be doing well, I judge this by the fact that copies were prominently displayed in Margate WH Smiths, last time I visited.

Anyhow since I don't have anything to say myself tonight I might suggest you take a gander at Iain's blog site, which I will do now cheers.

PS whilst on local authors etc I am still reading Plain Jane's book "Wannabe a writer" which despite the fact I haven't finished reading is a surprisingly good read and I will finish it soon when I have the time, which reminds me its about time I commented on the european working time directive, particularly haveing recently heard some Tory tosser go on about how the plucky British worker loves working 60-70-80 hours a week. Bankers like him ought to try working outside in the for ten hours of wind rain and cold, I can assure you that few are that keen on it!

PPS A quick one for Matthew Brown why doesn't facebook have a Skype type gizmo instead of text chat?

Still no answer from Sandy Ezekiel on Northdown House

Maybe I should start this dear Sandy, but I'm not in the mood, I think its about time the Leader of Thanet Council actually give clear reasons as why his administration is seemingly determined to flog off Northdown House.

In the local press and even last weeks letter page of the Gazette, Mr Ezekiel has once again, suggested that subsides on Northdown House are too expensive here's my thoughts, the cost to the council is probably less than say employing some bottom of the rung manager in the council who wouldn't be missed, its almost certainly no where near as expensive as the stratospheric £4.5 million wasted by his administration on the Marks and Spencer building in Cecil Square.

Two questions that need answering, the one I asked earlier did Thanet Council order Thanet Leisure Force to no longer take bookings for Northdown House? Why not sell the Marks & Spencer Building instead?

As an outsider from the council I just wonder what has motivated the council to ignore legal restraints on the sale of Northdown House (that is the covenants on the property protecting it)?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Media Hypocrisy, Morality and the BBC

Last week I had hoped to post a further comment regarding the recent nonsense published in particular by the Daily Mail and the Murdoch papers, but my computer somehow contrived to lose one of my more verbose postings, still the world moves on, and last Sunday it was Jeremy Clarkson's turn to offend, with an offensive remark about lorry drivers and prostitutes.

It appears to me that what was at best an error of Judgement a few weeks ago by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand somehow became an excuse to attack the integrity of the BBC with some astonishing hypocrisy from the National Press.

As I say since the abusive call made to an elderly actor by Ross & Brand (for which they should have been sacked), Jeremy Clarkson made his obnoxious remarks about lorry drivers and prostitutes, interestingly Murdochs papers the Sun, NOTW and I suspect the Times, have been rather easier going on Clarkson, and why well he happens to be one of them, that is he writes for the Sun and Sunday Times.

I seem to recall that the Sun even had an article suggesting how truck drivers up and down the country, had hardly stopped laughing at Clarkson's comment, which you might say was all well and good but hang on, is there anything we've forgotten? Well maybe, lorry drivers, I've no doubt are fairly strong characters but here's the thing I find unsettling in the press that I came across seemed to have little or no concern for prostitutes who are at considerable risk.

This particular joke of Clarkson's seems to reinforce the women as objects stereotype, a particularly offensive and demeaning view which unfortunately says far too much about him his fans and the media.

Still for further reading you could just check out this rare view from the Press Association, a report referring to Chris Mole MP calling for Clarksons sacking which is particularly pertinent since in 2005 five women were murdered in his constituency.

A little gem off Northdown Road

Just a quick, mention, and a thank you to local artist Adrian Day, for drawing my attention to a new gallery the Viking Gallery just off Northdown Road (Cliftonville ave), which is currently showing his work as well as that of Luda Burgess, Sally Carson, and Kathy Michael.

I understand that the gallery has been opened recently, which I personally hadn't noticed since most days I leave the planet fannit @ 5.15 for the smoke returning around 8 ish, anyhow in yesterdays grim, overcast and wet afternoon this gallery was an oasis of sunshine.

I consider myself probably representative of your average art goer in fact probably above average in as much as I've been to four major galleries this year and reckon the that work on show is as good as much that I have seen particularly that at the Tate Modern.

Anyway I have an appointment with a Kronenbourg, but for those of you with time to spare I recommend a visit and maybe if your one of my more affluent readers even dipping into your pockets if you see something that appeals. Also most likely you will be able to meet one of the artists as did I anyway dinner beckons as does that beer, but do nip down and have a butchers open Tuesday thro Saturday 10:30 - 4:30

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Quick Thought

My computer is a little ****** up, just now, so I'll save you from a long boring posting I'd planned, on the recent hypocrisy, shown by both The Daily Mail & News International over public service broadcasting.

Still since I've spent too long trying to beat my PC into performing, so I'll just add my meagre thoughts on the pleasing news that Americans have elected Barack Obama as their next president, it seems to me the best man won, clearly its note worthy the he is the first black American to hold the top job I just hope that journalists, will realise sooner rather than later that it is his ability to articulate his policies and vision that have got him elected rather than the other factors like Senator McCain's age 71 and his vice presidential candidate Sarah "MOM" Palin (blimey who would vote for someone who boasts about their blimin parental skills rather than political competence, being a mom is hardly a qualification for potential running the worlds biggest most influential nation).

Finally something I always find refreshing, which might sound cheesy to many is the genuine love of and pride in America by both sides of the political spectrum and all communities in the US, which I don't think is ever likely to shared in this country due to the class system exemplified by our Royal family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In my opinion - Should we blame shallow celebs?

As a libertarian I just wonder if we can blame entirely celebs like Ross and Brand, for their actions, we the British public regularly tune into see or hear their mediocre talents and skills.

Jonathan Ross has apparently made a career out of sycophantic interviews mixed with innuendo, which if he was some spotty school boy talking to his mates would not be out of the ordinary, Russell Brand less well known, has a confrontational style of humour which from what I've seen, relies almost exclusively on his sexual appetites, both of whom provide mindless entertainment for adults who choose to watch or listen to their performances, which for me is OK.

Still the controversy raging over their, school boy, antics in making what can really only accepted as arrogant offensive telephone calls to Andrew Sachs is not just some storm in a tea cup, its a chance for the public to express their distaste of celebrates or anyone thinking, they are somehow immune from common decency, I hope that both Jonathan Ross, and Russell Brand find themselves unemployable for some time.

If either of these jokers feel offended, they might like to consider how ordinary members of the public would be treated, leaving abusive messages on the answer phones belonging to the elderly, I'd like to think that society would be harsh.

I think yobbish behaviour toward any 78 year old, broadcast as entertainment is a new low for broadcasters even after last years fraudulent quiz shows.

If you want make yourself sick I suggest you take a butchers at this page from the BBC Click here, Russell Brands to view his latest performance!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanet Tory's washed up on our Sandy Beaches

I note that "This is Kent" (also Thanet Times) website has the story of Thanet councils new sell off, as you will know, Northdown House is currently under threat of being sold off, it appears Thanet Council is hell bent on selling this, come what may, and will probably ignore the covenants protecting Northdown Park estate, just to spite the local community.

Anyway it seems that Roger Latchford joined Doug Brown, major projects?, and Justin Thompson asset manager to announce the new asset sale list which includes at least one old favourite the Montefiore Games Centre, although no Northdown House, apparently they'll have another consultation and attempt to sidestep obligations to maintain the listed property by doing some deal with the usual rag bag of developers so loved by TDC.

I just wonder when and if Roger Latchford and Sandy Ezekiel will get together and actually give a consistent answer on Northdown House.

Fresh controversy, as Thanet council delves to the bottom of the barrel or rather edge of the island, with a couple of sections of beach, at Marine Terrace Margate (is that part of the main beach) and Viking Bay Broadstairs (blimey that will upset the ambience, still their quite snobby in those parts).

Quite what you would do with a bit of beach, I'm not sure but maybe you could flog it off to a local publican or caterer and put lines of deck chairs out like they do in some parts of the Med.

Anyway what an achievement, Sandy and co will effectively close part of our beaches just to fill the holes created in finances by his administration, I believe TDC literature refers to 27 miles of beaches, perhaps in future they'll have to add that you'll need to get your wallet out for some of them.

What a legacy Sandy's building, Margate High St. dead, millions wasted on the M&S building in Margate, Dreamland dead and buried, and now two beaches presumably to be fenced off, two museums closed in the last few months, Margate Library turned into an extension of TDC offices mainly dealing with housing benefits enquiries, rates and fines. What more can this crowd do ?

The stark reality of course is this Thanet Council, is probably over staffed and inefficient, so these assets sales will take some of our heritage and in the short term, the council will put off the day it has to address the real fiscal problems, but sooner or later someone's going to have to sort Thanet Councils administration.

If Sandy and Roger can't sort things out perhaps it's time someone within the local conservative party with a bit of backbone consulted there colleagues, and ousted the current leadership.

Monday, October 27, 2008


For some reason Kent Council, really do have problems with freedom of information, as with my last posting, this time it concerns Kent TV and the Kent messenger group's, request for information concerning the feasibility study for Kent TV.

Fortunately for the taxpayer, libertarians and democrats whom seem to be in short supply in Maidstone, the Information Commissioner has ruled that the county council was wrong to withhold some information that had been asked for by the Kent messenger group.

It seems an extraordinary thing, that a county council, which apparently prides itself on being marvelous, excellent, five star or whatever the superlative happens to be, refuses to comply with some freedom of information requests.

We live in a democracy, and naturally expect a free flow of information into the public domain, this is yet another example, of Kent's failure, to communicate with the public, it's ironic that Kent TV which both Peter Gilroy, KCC chief executive and Paul Carter conservative leader have promoted as some advance in public communication, should itself be surrounded in the secrecy.

Surely I can't be the only person who expects politicians and council officers to uphold democracy?

Anyway if you'd like to read more about this click here for the story from Kent messenger group Kent online website, just on the Kent TV thing I might myself have something to add to that subject, as ever when referring to Kent TV, I find it necessary to point to my rights to freedom of expression as per article the European convention on human rights.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Top Tory wants to restrict freedom

In an unusually move Paul Carter Kent's senior Tory politician and the leader of Kent Council, has made a remarkable call for restrictions to the freedom of information act after earlier complaining about building rules and regulations.

Those who have followed the goings on of Kent Council, must often like me find themselves bemused at some of the enterprises Kent Council gets involved with, which are frequently notable inasmuch as they fall outside, the services you would expect of a local authority, for instance Kent TV, temporary employment agencies, bus and taxi services, health advice line, and this, which is something which I had forgotten about for a while, Oakwood House, the 37 bedroom hotel situated in Maidstone run by the blooming KCC .

Now since Paul Carter happens to be a Tory, you might think, how enterprising a conservative council, running businesses, which would be fair enough, if it weren't for the fact, that the taxpayer who probably subsidies these businesses, isn't able to see all the facts pertaining to them, nor can hard working business entrepreneurs, who risk there own money.

Paul Carter apparently cites business confidentiality as a reason for not disclosing full information about council owned businesses, but here is the reason he's wrong, in a fair market businesses shouldn't be subsidized by taxpayers, which because of Kent's secrecy we are unable to determine whether for instance business premises are cheaper than those commercially available thus giving council run business is an unfair advantage.

Assuming Kent Council are actually are running these businesses in a commercially proper manner, it seems nothing short of outrageous, that Kent Council who are under the leadership of Paul Carter, should wish to ignore freedom of interest inquiries and push presumably for legislation to stop us the taxpayer knowing what's going on.

As far as I'm aware, normal commercial businesses are required to publish accounts, so exactly what does Kent Council have to hide? Here's two possible answers ruthless efficiency or gross incompetence the truth is probably something in between, but if Paul Carter gets his way, we will never know. For me Kent council is like on of those loony London councils from the eighties, just what are they thinking!

PS Paul Carter also mentions in the Kent on Sunday newspaper, how he believes business is being stifled by rules and regulations, not surprisingly he makes no comment, how he would feel if he were having compete with companies subsidise by the taxpayer. I always thought Thanet had a lot of front with 26 miles of beaches but its nothing compared to Kents Tories!


In answer to some of the comments on the previous blog, anonymous 9:19 AM " Blogging will soon die if bloggers cannot take the flak...." I for one have had many hostile comments, not least various threats of violence (interestingly from those claiming to represent a particular type of road user, usually associated with men with a midlife crisis, mindless morons and not surprisingly quite a few of Thanet's leading political knobs).

Anonymous 9:53 PM " Many of the ones in Thanet (blogs) suffer from being right up their own arse" yes so what? " ECR is a joke" surely that's part of the blog, vain and self obsessed (that's part of the character) " I wish there were some better blogs here" try writing one, you smart arse!

In answer to Peter Checksfields, "where's the link to your blog" anonymous 9:53, the reply comes " I have a life and a job so I don't really want to blog"
Anonymous 9:53, suggests he doesn't like the local blogs, is more interested in global issues, suggests navel gazing is just shit, well that's just fine, but begs the question why you fill in your head with shit?

Incidentally I work, long hours, struggle to write this crap, love the feedback, even the rare occasion, when some complete idiot has the urge to chip in, well done! And thank you for your inspirational words, it's what blogging is all about.

Please note that I've written this using voice dictation software, and the above may contain errors, which if I can spot them later, will no doubt correct, but I must get down to Tesco's. Cheers

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankfully news of bloggings death is premature

BBC's website today poses the question is blogging dead, also it was an item in the radio four's today programme, apparently an article in a magazine called Wired suggested that blogging is now a thing of the past. Click here for the bloggings dead blog

Blogging is a useful method of communication, which not only compliments traditional media but also on occasion, takes over from local journalists, who I assume, feel uncomfortable at the possibility of upsetting, there local contacts which in the main, I would guess are tin pot politicians, and a mediocre bureaucrats.

Two fairly important stories, featured by Thanet's blogerati, would almost certainly have sunk without a trace, are the China Gateway project, which would have been nodded through by complacent councilors with barely a question raised, and of course perhaps more disturbing is story of a hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals leaked into the chalk below Thanet and possibly our drinking supply.

It is a measure of the state of both local and national journalism, that no newspaper that I have seen, has so far thought that 470 tons of dangerous solvent, recovered from local aquifer is newsworthy. I would imagine that the potential danger to Thanet residents is considerable although fortunately it would appear not to be as serious as the Camelford incident.

It's difficult to draw conclusions at the motives of local editors and journalists who appear to have ignored a major story, are they lazy, incompetent, or perhaps just too friendly with the vested interests.

I note that some critics but also readers of local blogs, accuse us bloggers of sensationalism etc. with one particularly extraordinary attack on ECR recently, it's clear to most people, that without the likes of Rick, Michael Child, Biggles and ECR we would know considerably less about Thanet, if we just relied on The Extra, The Gazette and yourthanet.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I had my feet up this weekend as far as the blogging thing goes, Sunday being my 52nd Birthday, I thought I'd head to London for a bit of culture, spent the morning with Mrs Me in Tate Britain, which went well, started off, with two cups of coffee, a slice of fruit cake (with change from a tenner) and a free copy of the Observer, free parking (on Sunday) only upset being when my mobile went off in the gallery dramatised by an attendant going near hysterical, blimey, its only a phone (I always turn off for films, theatre, courses and funerals) god knows what a visit to Margate Gateway Library would do to this women.

Even exposure to some great works held at the Tate eventually palls and by about 2pm Mrs Me was getting a tad fractious, so fresh air and a walk down the Thames toward Parliament Square across Westminster Bridge sauntering along the South Bank until coming up to the disused power station now trading as Tate Modern.I understand that Tate Modern has been a great success, why or how are beyond me, entering the large space which I think is called the Turbine gallery or whatever, populated with bunk beds and massive sculptures which unlike art from an earlier age does not give pleasure or pain or escapism or indeed pass on any emotion it just seems, not only joyless but meaningless.

To understand modern art, I think you have to be conditioned, as an example strolling through Tate Modern we stumbled upon a pile of bricks, these were stacked two high perhaps five or six across and maybe 8 or 9 length ways, my natural reaction is what the ****! now had this been at work I would no doubt moved the bricks to the wall, so the didn't become a tripping hazard but if your told its art theirs the urge to conform (I managed to resist). Perhaps the most interest thing you notice walking round is how most visitors spend more time reading the description of exhibits than looking at the "art works" themselves.

In the hour or so I made myself walk round, probably the only thing that was familiar and or vaguely engaging was Roy Lichtenstein's Whaam, although this always leaves me wanting to see the whole comic.
Earlier in Tate Britain we had the privilege of looking at some of Tracy Emin's stuff which was (this is my opinion) primitive and well within the capabilities of any angry teenager, although I must say I have some sympathy with the piece "Sad Shower in New York" I've only stayed in cheap Hotels in that part of the world and agree the plumbing is crap, (were all adults here I assume, if not look away now),"Fuck you Eddy", to be honest is reminiscent of much, local art graffiti genre which I believe can still be found in local toilets (give me banksy any day) , "Tracy Emin C.V." comprises several pages and if it were me, I'd consider getting someone to type it up and also condensing the content down to one page, still what do I know, Tracy Emin is worth millions, me not quite so much.
Outside the Tate Modern, was I think a demonstration of sorts, in the form of a Funeral officiated by Contemporary Art Collective, I had a word with one of the participants who mumbled about their being to much money producing too much worthless art, but still for all I know maybe their part of the industry.Anyway I don't think I'll get any opposition next year from Mrs Me if I suggest a visit to the air museum at Duxford.

Finally this quote from Tracy 'Being an artist isn't just about making nice things, or people patting you on the back; it's some kind of communication, a message'. Too right, I reckon this also goes for bloggers as well, if any rich art collector or patron would like to bung a few quid toward Bignews you can always email me.

Tate Britain Tracy Emin exhibit

PS Tate Britain has a nice selection of Turner stuff, which I'll be surprised if it ever washes up in Margate