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.


  1. Surely the hottest news on the blogs is that Eastcliff Richard has finally completely lost it?!

  2. not entirely true I spoke to the great man himself yesterday and he seemed fine to me, although he was still ruffled that I had made some suggestion that he was a bit of a prima donna a few weeks back

  3. Not only is blogging not dead but wired frequently get things very wrong. I'd not trust them beyond the reporting of actual facts. Now if Tim Berners-Lee (the father of the World Wide Web), Google's Matt Cutts, Darren Rowse (ProBlogger) or maybe shoemoney (or one of the other top one hundred bloggers that make their living blogging) had said this I might have looked a bit closer - this sounds like a lame link bate attempt to me. I can't believe the BBC fell for it... actually, yes I can, standards have been sinking there for a while.

    I've not even given this one the time of day. Honestly it's so lame - all the discussion of the life of blog is happening on blogs. That alone speaks volumes to me.

  4. Tony

    (1) Before the answer, of 470 tonnes to date recovered, was reecived by me from Environment Agency I was able to send Police Authority some information that there had also been thefts of cyclohexanone.

    (2) Therefore I had asked KPA to put detectives soonest into Sericol and be aware of the use of cyclohexanone in back street drugs factories.

    (3) Whether by coincidence, or otherwise, it was immediately subsequent (or consequent)that Margate had an arson fire by which a huge back street drugs factory was discovered. (Case officer seems to be a Dsgt Claire Munday)

    (4) Whether Kent Police are pursuing all lines of inquiry who can say ? I would certainly be looking at the electrical installation bearing in mind Part P Building Regs and changes to cables available at electrical wholesalers etc in order to get a rough take on how long the drug factory had been operative for example.

    (5) It should be made clear that there was not an "Incident" of leakage at Sericol. In the early 90s there was suspicion raised by a new stock keeping method. Investigation discovered that leakage had occurred continuously from the installation of the underground pipework. How ever many years or decades that would be. The local water abstraction was turned off when investigation in the 90s found the scale of the problem. A remediation project began in 96 and is ongoing.

    (6) I do not know why TDC did not then classift the Poorhole Lane site as a landfill of contaminants which would have to be revealed on property purchase and planning consent searches (such as for Westwood Cross)

    (7) As far as I can tell only three cllrs may have known about the Sericol events. Mary Langley, Harry Pickering and Tony Ovenden. And it seems that these may have been misled by a TDC officer letter implying the incident was a recent leak which had not reached the aquifer.

    (8) From my point of view. In 1998 I was corresponding with Sericol Managing Director. A site maintenance engineer, tory Cllr George Richard Maison, was given ten thousand pounds severance shortly before he was found guilty of libel at Aldwych High Court in the action brought by tory Cllr Margaret Mortlock.

    (9) One of the matters at that time discussed with me by Margaret was the history of an alleged mail intercept run at TDC by TDC officers helpful to Cllr Maison. And one of my current FOI requests to TDC is for information on the action taken by a former Chief Executive in that regard.

    But on the face of it the allaged mail intercepot would have been concurrent with correspondence about Sericol and other correspondence about the 6th Thanet Gun Range and unlawful firing activity and TDC failures to enforce planning law.

    (10) In 1998 I asked Leon King, MD of Sericol to report to police the results of allaged internal inquiry into forged enginering qualifications and into stock thefts especially if thefts involved equipment or material which could be used by terrorists or criminals. So that is a matter I am revisiting as it is now clear that Sericol had a massive tonnage of interest in not alerting police or public ?

    (11) Because the Sericol incident now acts as precedent for such events in Thanet I have asked the Environment Agency to check the story that Pfizer Development pipe and vessel welds may not have met contractual standards.

    (12) My interest in the Pfizer weld history extends to the request for EA, if they have jurisdiction, to report to police with what I hope would be evidence establishing the alleged history of weld sabotage at Petbow. This would be evidence of corroborative confession as I already have given police evidence of confession.

    (13) I am told that TDC may have yielded lead agency to govt departments on a number of occasions re Thor Chemicals. So I have sent an FOI Request to TDC to try to establish the history there

    (14) I add that in 1988 Kent Police were given a statement alleging two cases of obtaining employ by deception. Sericol maintenance engineer and Deal Barracks civilian security guard. Both accused being associates of the man accused of orchestrating sabotage of production welds at Petbow.

    (15) If you add the Ferry Walkway weld failure tragedy (due to structural design shortcomings but nonetheless a falure on the Thanet record) to the Sericol facts, the Petbow allegations, the Thor and Pfizer information and inquiry requests. Add that Thanet was the place in which local TA soldiers were arrested having been daft enough, or military fantasist enough, to get duped into paramilitary activity. Thanet Police who failed to record crime complaints of obtaining employ by deception (they want these Sericol facts emerging like they want a hole in the head). Thanet Police who failed to act on security warnings given before the 1989 bombing of Deal Barracks. etc etc etc Then surely anyone from outside Thanet would be justified in questioning what sort of people live there ?

  5. Tony - you left your esteemed self out of that list! Keep up the good work!

  6. Here's one for the parents Tony. I add my sentiments to above. Well done. You use your name and don't hide behind a nomme de net.

    KENT ADVENTURE TRAINING CORPS UNIFORMED PSEUDO MILITARY CADET GROUP ... KCC reply to Youth Group Affiliation Freedom of INformation Request

    Quote: (From KCC Officer Andrew Swann)

    "I have been asked to clarify that KATC has not been affiliated by KYS since 2003, and in no way does KYS endorse either the organisation, or any of it's activities."

    This group at one time had adult leaders George Richard MAISON and Lloyd BARTON (erstwhile civilian guard at Deal Barracks). Their colleague Clive RICHARDS continued to run the group.

    RICHARDS, although he has not served in Army, sems to have been involved with George MAISON in founding the British Army Assn in 1988 and was also, allegedly, a member of Thanet Branch of the REME Assn chaired by George Richard Maison.

    The bona fide Army Cadet Force has had a reporting procedure for many years to report to higher echelon any contact from KATC.

    So Thanet parents now you know.

  7. I see the gazette has the sericol story perhaps I should back track slightly, but still it wouldn't be in todays paper without blogging, anon 06:21 was from myself but for reasons best known to geeks my nokia and or telephone company would not allow me to sign into my account

  8. I think this is a time Thanet would benefit from ECR's mastery of wordsmithing. So I wish he would get off his Pravda period and do the ECR blog again.

    I wrote a quick piece on my site

    complete with spelling mistakes here

    And Michael has put another post on his site on the subject.

    If I have speedily written the post and yet managed to convey sufficient meaning then you will see that these many and varied issues in Thanet have never been my primary duty or concern. Someone had to be the grown up over the Thanet issues, because they have established a threat to the Realm, and neither Thanet Council nor Kent Police issued you with a grown up .... and I seriously doubt Kent Police have a grown up on the staff.

  9. Tony LONG POST

    Here is roughly what I emailed ECR.

    Imagine I am a purveyor of MOD and ISO quality control accredited people.

    To get your little BSI approved tie pin you have to pass my quality control tests.

    For this you bare your foot. You place the bare foot on my big anvil. And I brandish my ten pound sledge hammer. I balance the sledge hammer on your big toe and leave it there for half an hour during which from time to time I take your temperature.

    At the end of this I issue you a quality control certificate, and a BSI tie pin to impress my customers, verifying that your big toe is fully accredited to withstand loading from a ten pound sledge hammer.

    Now I pack you off to my customer premises. He only has a small anvil. You bare your quality certificated foot and place it on the customers eeny meeny ickle anvil.

    And all the customer has is a toffee hammer.

    Your big toe is certificated to withstand a ten pound sledge.

    So when the customer hits your big toe with his toffee hammer it does not break your toe and you do not say "OW" (If you believe Petbow engineering theory)

    That is a representation of the Petbow factory load test and how it fails to simulate the reality at site.

    And that is how sub standard welds got through factory test and then some failed at customer sites.

    And someone with his OU Applied Maths degree worked all this out. And the result is allegedly that nearly 400 machines were installed with deliberately nobbled manufacture welds. Calculated to be strong enough to survive factory test yet weak anough to crack under smaller but more quickly demanded load at site.

    The nation relies on such equipment to shut down its nuclear power plant in emergencies (A Russian backup gennie failed at a place called Chernobyl)

    And we have not yet got this case recorded as a crime complaint because way back in 1987 DI George Rogers refused to record it as a crime complaint and Kent Police don't like reviewing his decisions.

    And the history is as stupid as that. And more dangerous than most would care to contemplate. And that is just the welds

    Don't get me started on control wiring, couplings and fuel transfer systems.

    And the threat from this will continue until after 2050.

    And the nation thanks Thanet.

    Thanet where qualified men were losing their homes in the late 80s at the rate of five families per day (CCJ orders) and leaving the area. The decent Thanet people leaving the area. Whilst unqualified men, albeit such as a tory cllr and Freemason, can have skilled work at Sericol it seems and not be inconvenienced by Maggies bailliffs. Even at that emotive level it stinks.

    "Rambling Rick" had to think of the consequences if IRA took out mains electric distribution. If you had relied on kent Police then in 1996 you would have had a six month blackout and quite likely a multiple Chernobyl causing a three century nuclear set aside evacuation.

    And I bet the Thanetians would still have said "Ruddy council ..."

    ME ? Engineer who got confession to this sabotage from the alleged organiser in 1987. Posed the above technical explanation which Health and safety Executive said they could pose no alternative explanation.

    George ROGERS Kent Police Officer who failed all his exams at school so had to become a police cadet.

    I wonder who is right mmmmmmmm

  10. Blogging will soon die if bloggers cannot take the flak that displaying your opinions for all to see attracts.

  11. Also, it is very boring not to see other peoples reactions to issues. Who wants to read unopposed dictates? Not me. I will be staying with the blogs that allow comment.

  12. There is no news on the Isle of Thanet Gazette website this week either so perhaps the politburo have got to them as well as ECR.

  13. ECR will be back soon! Its like a dealing with a child, you always know the tantrum will not last forever.

  14. Given the generally low level of education in Thanet sometimes the blogs are surprisingly ok. Poorly written? Yes, but they are sometimes first with some of the news.

    Almost none of the real journalists working in Thanet are from the area - they just pass through as quickly as possible getting some experience reporting on some of dramatic things that happen in such a deprived and poorly led (TDC and KCC IS run by a bunch of useless old duffers, yeah tell us something we don't know) area.

    Some of the best blogs in the world don't take themselves too seriously but are well-informed about global events. Many of the ones in Thanet suffer from being right up their own arse and being obsessed by tiny aspects of life in this tiny backwater. Yes, yes of course it's good to attack crap councillors and some of the stupid things that happen here but this insular, obsessive, navel-gazing approach ultimately makes the place look crap and backwards.

    ECR is a joke. It's all very well being vain and self-obsessed if you have done something of global, national or even regional significance. But if you are just some twat with too much time on your hands banging on about tinpot nobody councillors and micky mouse old 'gangsters' then don't be surprised and upset when people laugh at you and post comments you find upsetting on your blog.

    I wish there were some better blogs here. Given the high level of unemployment it's a wonder that there aren't more people with plenty of time on their hands who could write some interesting things.

  15. Where's the link to YOUR blog anon 09:53?

  16. I have a life and a job so I don't really want a blog. But if I did have a blog it wouldn't be about a decaying 5 mile stretch in Kent that most people don't care about, it would be about national and global issues.

    If there was one person from Thanet with a blog that had any wider significance, whether for the range of issues examined or writing ability, it would be fine, but poorly expressed insularity and navel gazing is just shit.

  17. I wrote the Flak comment and I would like to say that the Blogs in Thanet are most interesting and influential. Keep it up and ignore the rude and ignorant jerks who try and spoil it.

  18. So what if someone wants to write a blog about 5 miles of beach? 01:16 may wish to write about national or global issues, others may want to write about local issues.