Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No more posts from this Thanet Dissident ?

As some of you know, last year I received a letter from one of Kent Councils contractors suggesting that in criticising council policy I had somehow overstepped the mark of what was acceptable and defamed them (something I do not believe to be true).

To me there is a principle at stake, should a member of the public, find themselves receiving letters from contractors offering to initiate legal proceedings?What I write is personal opinion, which as I understand is a right and protected under various laws.

I shall suspend any further posts until such time as I receive a reply, to my an email I sent to Paul Carter leader of Kent Council asking whether he supports the right of constituents to comment freely on council matters without contractors taking issue with comments not addressed to them but KCC.

Fortunately since I began blogging there has been a big increase in blogs, and the quality, I see even ECR is getting quite good these days.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

More gloss less information

Once again KCC have issued their quarterly magazine for the people of Kent, although I have a sneaking suspicion it is more for the ruling group, on Kent County Council, to let us proles know just how blooming good, they and their administration are

Of course it is full of information, such as details of Kent County council's Kent Health Watch, although for some reason they fail to mention that this enterprise, pointless as it is, apparently has a budget or something like £300,000.

Of course naturally it contains Paul Carter's, "opinion" in which he mentions Kent council's support of local business, however neglects to mention those enterprises that KCC itself runs, which ironically compete with the local business.

Kent T V's mentioned, but I think I'll pass on that one for the time being.

Anyhow I'll leave you to enjoy all 28 pages of magnificent publication, and don't forget Kent wants to encourage you to have your say, except of course when they possibly don't, which is why I imagine this magazine never seems to have any input from labour or liberal councilors I wonder why.

Click here if you cannot wait for it to land on your door mat

Margates Future

As you know I'm one of those traditionalist rooted in Margate's past more, bucket and spade than, well, cultured.

That said, I recognise that part of Margate's future, will depend much on the arts, whether its locally inspired or foisted upon us from the arts council, is already becoming insignificant.

For me its pleasing to see galleries like the Ingoldsby in Lombard Street being established which will hopefully underpin our towns future, I wandered into the gallery last Sunday and was very impressed with the exhibits hence this piece.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Thurrock the future of broadcasting

Thurrock for those of you who don't know is that bit the other side of the Dartford crossing, and possibly the future of local broadcast journalism.

As many of you will be familiar, I have written on more than one occasion about local media, particularly publicly funded broadcast media as propagated by Paul Carter and his Tory crew on Kent Council.

You'll no doubt be familiar, also that Kent councils television project will cost at least 1.4 million pounds but with an additional rumoured, top up from Kent's generous taxpayers of another 400,000 pounds, this will probably move closer to two million pounds.

Anyhow apologies for preamble but I was recently made aware of an broadcast enterprise created by Michael Casey, called yourthurrock.com which is a community based website that contains a mix of local news, sport, politics, entertainment, education and more.

Why you're wondering should this be of any interest, to those of us here in Kent, well it's quite simple really, this successful experiment in Internet broadcasting, has since the 1st of September 2008 produced five hundred films and achieved 80,000 hits per month.

Now a question which Michael Casey posed to me, when referring to Kent TV was this " Is there a Kent County Councilor who may want to ask the question as to why two men in Thurrock can create the same product that a fraction of the cost?

I'll say no more but suggest you have a good gander at YourThurrock.com and then compare with perhaps Kent TV.

In all honesty, I have no objection to local authorities dabbling in broadcast media, however clearly a sense of proportion is called for and this is certainly a model that any local authority ought to consider before handing over large sums of cash to big media companies.

Perhaps those who run the Kent Council, could see what's possible on a small budget, using YouTube rather kissing * away and millions.

I understand around the world that journalists are being culled, for want of a better phrase, almost on a daily basis, maybe what Michael Casey is doing is the future, it certainly looks impressive to me.

* I meant to use another word but have used the voice dictation and Microsoft can be so fussy.

The above comments represent my opinion, and are protected by article 10 of the European convention on human rights and should be considered "without prejudice".

Fort Hill improvement?


After many months of roadworks on Fort Hill, I notice that once again, grandiose schemes for improvement of Margate's roads and pavements are once again undermined by what appears to be shoddy workmanship. The photograph below illustrates what appears to be a poorly placed manhole cover, which as you can see from the photograph, for some reason it is not flush with the surrounding paving stones.

This photograph was taken last Sunday, perhaps KCC highways or whoever is responsible has subsequently fixed it, even so I've noticed contractors working in the Margate area seem have a fairly laid back attitude where tripping hazards are concerned.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Whatever happened to channel four

For a brief moment, a quick look at tonight's TV schedules led me to believe that may be channel four had returned to quality broadcasting.

This impression was given as I misread their documentary tonight at ten o'clock, Surviving Gazza, which I briefly interpreted as Gaza.

But this confusion, brief as it was, leads me to this thought, the predicament of Paul Gascoigne's illness and the impact on his family, tragic as it is, is more acceptable to the British public than perhaps a documentary detailing the plight of Palestinians in the Gaza strip of whom 400 have died, and 2000 have been injured in just the last few days of whom the vast majority are innocent victims of Israeli aggression.

And coming back to Paul Gascoigne, I just wonder what public interest is served by such an intrusive documentary or what benefit for Paul and his family.

Unspoilt Ramsgate

Last week in a break from viewing furniture with the Mrs. Me, I had the chance to walk around Ramsgate, which never fails to impress with its fantastic Harbour.

Even more surprising was the state of the public toilets in Cavendish Street, which I once referred to as Britain's smelliest, I think, anyhow it appears as though some effort has been made to clean these up resulting in a breathable atmosphere.

It would appear that Ramsgate is well on its way to becoming a suitable resort for the rich and famous as per ECR's mythical millionaire's playground.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Is Gordon Brown trying to tell us something

Many of us have suspected that New Labour shows more than a passing resemblance to the conservative party, evidenced by things such as charging for education, surrendering interest rate policy to the bank of England, foreign policy to America, and giving all my future earnings to rich but incompetent bankers.

According to the MailOnline, Gordon Brown has decided to squander 100,000 pounds on a portrait of the wonderful Margaret Thatcher, clearly coming out, as one of her admirers joining such esteemed former world leaders as Reagan, Bush 1 and 2, Pinochet.

Anyway I think New Labour, should be applauded for coming out and finally admitting what most of us have suspected for many a year, that they are indeed conservatives.

Primary Care Trust seek a cure for honesty?

In what appears to me to be a refreshingly honest, if self deprecating remark, Caroline Davis the assistant director of strategic partnerships for Eastern and Coastal primary Care Trust, happened to mention on her Friends Reunited page that she " bullshits for a living".

According to Kent on Sunday, an official for Eastern and Coastal PCT came up with this bit of er… Waffle " We are following an internal process with the individual concerned. We take our reputation very seriously and disapprove anything which brings the NHS into disrepute. We will be issuing guidance to staff about the use of social media."

A couple of things spring to mind, just what the assistant director of strategic partnerships actually does and if she's worth 50 grand a year, just how much is the actual director of strategic partnerships trousering.

As for bureaucrats issuing guidelines on staff using social media, that seems like typical control freakery, utter bull, and no doubt contravenes people's rights to freedom of expression, not something that would bother your average pen pusher.

Whether Caroline Davis was just being honest or maybe flippant, there is a serious issue here and this is it, we have a right to express opinions and say what we think, assuming this was intended as jokey remark I'd advise those at PCT to just ignore it and not waste time on this.

I'd suggest if you receive instructions from your employer on using "social networks" just tell them to F*** OFF, and point out we live in a democracy.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Yes that will be the last jolly greetings message for at least 50 weeks, not to say that its anything but sincere.

Whilst I'm in the last stages of that jolly hysteria experienced by most at Christmas, I would like to say how much I appreciate, the comments and email contributions that I receive throughout the year, also worth a mention are those readers whom I occasionally meet more often than not, in either big or little Tescos and for the benefit of fellow blogger ECR I have to inform you that most also claim to be readers of some blog based in Ramsgate.

This years likely to be tough for many, particularly hard hit if things don't improve are those in construction (who've already born the brunt of cheap foreign labour) , retail and service industries, of course those in the public sector will continue to syphon off a disproportionate share of the countries wealth. Incidentally when I criticise the public sector I refer to the many fat cats, not those in front line service like bin men, police, or front line council staff but the fact is those in the private sector earn less and certainly don't get fat pensions or sick pay or even any employment rights due to the proliferation of agency working.

Still despite the likely grim times ahead, at least we live in a civilised part of the world for the time being, spare a thought for those in the middle east, one side cannot apparently understand the hostility of their illegal occupation by those they've oppressed for last 40 years and the other cannot understand why Western governments don't do more to support them.

Anyway have a better year than last, again I'd write this stuff whether you read it or not but its better with your input, and for those whom are offended by what I say, you have a right of reply in as much as comments are only ever removed if they appear libelous or too offensive in a personal sort of way.

For me personally last year didn't go entirely to plan, since I spent a couple of months er resting but I did get my chops on telly a couple of times, and in the local papers, Northdown House has got a reprieve of sorts.

PS I've not read this through so their may well be more than the usual amount of errors CHEERS!