Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Social network casualty

Its seems a regular occurrence in the news that social networks, such as Facebook, Myspace are becoming a new way to restrict your employability.

According to Sky News, Kimberley Swann a 16 year old girl from Clacton, mentioned on Facebook that her office job was “boring” a fairly innocuous statement which millions would be able to make and do.

Her employer Ivell Marketing & Logistics were rather offended and apparently sacked her without allowing her to explain, her mother pointed out that “she didn’t mention the company’s name.

Steve Ivell of the company is reported to have said "Her display of disrespect and dissatisfaction undermined the relationship and made it untenable."

I just took a look at the website for Ivell Marketing & Logistics Ltd, and find it full of noble assertions for instance on the Welcome page it has this statement “We follow a zero tolerance social accountability standard” not sure what that means, but perhaps a little clearer are statements to be found in the Corporate Responsibility section and this one in particular headlined Basic Labour Standards

“We want to ensure that our factory partners respect basic labour standards defined by the International Labour Organisation and basic human rights defined by the United Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encoded the in the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights”

Its my opinion that along with having worthy statements, Ivell Marketing & Logistics Ltd might like to take a bit of time to actually understand them, also they might like to add the European convention of Human Rights in particular article 10 which provides the right to freedom of expression, although this is also covered in the United Nations Declaration.

Lets hope that Ivell Marketing develop a better sense of humour or thicker skin, or maybe partake of the real world in which people will make far worse remarks about work, still I’m sure I’ve never come home from work and said something like “those mean spirited B*st*rds blah blah” , well perhaps I have but I’m old enough not to put such thoughts on this or any other website.

I’ve only ever mentioned work in the most general terms, but if I were to do so, on a social network pages, does it matter, these electronic conversations are a mirror to those we have face to face in the street, pub, cafe etc.

Finally I see on the website that this company are investors in people.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Strikes bin sorted!

Thanet council have averted, a winter of discontent, in last minute talks with GMB members who drive the councils dust carts, its been agreed to have their pay assessed independently by the end of the year. 

Residents can rejoice and place their bins out, once more. Still is it the blue bin or the black bin this week?

Thought for the day - The Home Page

I'm sure that most who read Thanet Blogs, get the impression that those of us who are driven to inflict our ideas and comments on the world must be egocentric nutters, well I'd like to disabuse any readers who think that way but since I tend to agree I cannot.

Just now, I was thinking of setting my home page to this weblog, proof if anything that my sense of self importance is dangerously inflated, for now I still have sufficient cognisance to resist the urge to swop, from my current home page, the neutral BBC to this masterpiece of waffle.

Still I noticed that Cllr Mark Nottingham follows his own blog, as do I.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dust gathers on Thanet Jewel

Saturday with an idle moment, I thought like many I’d go walkies, which if we had a dog on the staff here at Flaig mansions would be a more frequent occurrence.

Still the idea of having a dog, which would impose its own exercise regime has never appealed, nor has the idea of carrying a bag of steaming hot dog poo, still judging by the amount of dog doo around these parts it doesn’t bother many owners either.

Any how in common with many, there are two destinations for a walk, the seafront or park. I chose park, Northdown Park, as it happens, but once again a visit is tinged with the thought, just what the hell have TDC done to this great asset and in particular the House.

Of course, the answer is nothing, I understand that temporarily there has been a fudge, since the ruling Tory group, got acquainted with the affection local people have for Northdown House.

Now the council made a lot of noise about the cost of maintaining the property of which there is slim evidence but when eventually they were kind enough to send details of costs of running the property, which to be honest are well fairly meaningless since the only figures they have relate to a fee they pay to Thanet Leisure Force and some meagre maintenance that last year came to around 50 grand, figures for income earned are with TLF and likely to remain a mystery.

The point of all this, well I feel that the money they’ve spent on running Northdown House is fairly small and its time the council got off their bottoms and got this building back into use for the public benefit, in a positive way rather than the grudging way they’ve handle things thus far.

I didn’t have the chance to go to the consultation they had in December, but from what I can glean they had no idea and no vision for the House which is a blooming disgrace.

As far as I can tell Thanet council over the years has neglected this and other properties, and despite the buildings listed status seems content to ignore its responsibility for the proper upkeep.


I just noticed this brief statement on Councilor Greens website, just wonder if Thanet Council are once again attempting to restrict what some of us know as free speech anyway from the Bignews archive you might want to read some background I'll link to this posting from September 2006, but if your inclined you can always snoop around by using the blog search facility at the top of the page.
UPDATE  Not the case apparently having checked it out with the council, still, one has to keep on top of these issues, because if we don't then one day we wont be able too.  Still if you have any info I mean  "I have local difficulties once again" seems a tad cryptic, probably a neighbour complaining about the noise as he bashes out another long inducement to vote Labour!  Whatever the difficulty trust that you will resume soon David. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“Council tax rise is cut”*, what? and 2 % increase for TDC Staff ?

*From last weeks Thanet Times, that was their somewhat meaningless headline to a rather sycophantic piece about the Tory groups council tax budget, which the author failed to notice was yet another stonking big increase of 4% (please note I have rounded the figure up by 0.01%).

2% Increase for Staff?

Still whilst I was praising Paul Carter’s (leader of Kent council) offer of 1% increase to staff at KCC, I doubt I’ll be able to do the same for Sandy Ezekiel, since he and his Finance Cabinet colleague Martin Wise are taking a not so tough stand on wages having already conceded “for budgetary purposes…,an increase of 2%” according to details contained in the agenda for TDC’s recent cabinet meeting.

I know that those who work in the waste and recycling department of TDC, are probably the least well remunerated and are sufficiently upset as to go on strike according to the council, (and I have some sympathy since those who work hardest tend to get treated poorly) but even so its probably still good news for staff in a climate where many outside of TDC, will of coarse be receiving no increases, pay cuts or even the P45 and don’t forget that staff have good pension benefits and generous car parking benefits (worth up to £6.80 a day (£1500 PA)).

I hope that Sandy and Martin, have the strength of character to offer a similar deal as KCC, but doubt it, the bulk of the work on the budget was carried out by “officers” which Cllr. Wise was kind enough to point out, to me personally as he presented the budget during the cabinet meeting 12/2/09, I think “for Mr Flaig’s benefit” so really its no surprise that a 2% increase is allowed for in their budget forecast.

No doubt those who work in the public sector see me as some mean spirited B*st*rd and I can understand that, but just how much can the wider economy take, it seems that every year our council tax increases well above inflation, its now at a point that’s no longer sustainable.

Just as a final thought lets hope that TDC don’t have some sly deal, on the side where top knobs get some ridiculous bonus (see last post).

Paul Carter wrong again as KCC top bods share Bonus Bonanza

In support of Peter Gilroy Chief Executive, and the other 7 top “officers” at KCC who are apparently sharing a special taxpayer funded bonanza of £100,000.00, Council Leader Paul Carter informed KM News thus "As an excellent authority, we need to pay the right salaries to recruit and retain the best people possible. However it is worth noting that there is no progression for senior officers, unlike all other employees who have a grade range, and have the opportunity to progress through their grade as well as receive a cost of living rise. Senior officers receive 'clean pay' and do not have the additional benefits others receive."

Precisely what all that means, I don’t know but I’m guessing that maybe its this, were all pretty self important around here and as such we’ll pay ourselves what we like.

What we do know from Paul Francis’s excellent account is that KCC, wouldn’t let us into the secret of how the money was divided up, no doubt, it was subject of a dignified discussion, one can only imagine, perhaps Peter Gilroy, declined his share since he's reputedly paid a quarter million each year, “no you lot have it”, well we will never know! and that’s the way they like too keep it.

So really I have to take back what I said about Cllr Paul Carter, yes he took the tough decision to limit pay increases to 1%for staff, but really cocked it up by allowing these to bods to just carry on as normal. KCC reminds me of all those crazy Labour run councils of the 80’s that were described as Loony.

Just imagine what this lot would be paying themselves if they hadn’t lost £50mill, if they hadn’t set up Kent TV, Kent Healthwatch. It would be intriguing just to know how or what they did to earn this bonus if anything.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Thanet’s more convenient conveniences

Some time ago I wrote about Cavendish Street toilets or rest rooms for the occasional American visitor, to these parts, originally to point out how smelly they were. More recently I mentioned how they’d apparently been cleaned up resulting in a more breathable atmosphere.

On my last visit in January I though I saw a sharps(needles) box but one really doesn’t linger in these places so I wasn’t sure, anyway Thanet Council have issued a press release and boxes have been placed in the following locations for your convenience.

  • Buenos Ayres, Margate
  • College Walk shopping centre, Margate
  • The Centre, Margate
  • Harold Road car park, Cliftonville
  • St. George's Lawn, Cliftonville
  • Cavendish Street car park, Ramsgate
  • Harbour Parade, Ramsgate

Its a pity that Broadstairs Birchington Westgate and Minster have been left out of this initiative, but good news for visitors and responsible users of recreational drugs, who now have somewhere to dispose of their needles.

I realise this is a serious problem but couldn’t these boxes have been placed outside doctors surgeries, where addicts ought to be receiving treatment.

I just feel that placing these boxes in our conveniences makes it all too convenient for drug addicts to continue there addiction, still if this means Thanet’s street cleaners are safer I suppose on balance its a good move.

Myself I feel that we should have a more liberal approach to drug abusers, which would cut out the need for drug users to resort to crime, still for those who need help you can contact the Kent Centre for Addiction (KCA) 01843 298355 ext. 201.

Friday, February 20, 2009

For once I agree with Kent Tories

I think any fair minded person reading my criticisms of Kent's conservatives, will realise that the main reason I complain about their policies, is more to do with competent management than any wild ideological mission.

So just to make a change I would like to, for once support, Paul Carter's administration, in making this years pay offer to Kent councils staff at just 1%. 

Now I realise if your employed by KCC, you'll be outraged at the prospect, but then many of my friends, working out side of the state sector, object to finding there jobs disappearing, pay rates being held, or even cut, whilst the public sector is immune. 

Still if staff at KCC find it unacceptable having job security +1% pay rise, the answers quite simple, get another job! 

I think its a pity Paul Carter could not, have been tougher and just said no increase. One thing is  for sure all those who have lost jobs recently, forced to take a pay cut, been generally bullied into accepting poorer conditions will not be shedding any tears and neither will the business community who are also suffering.

Maybe the time is coming when those in the commercial sector, will refuse to accept, the unequal situation which allows public sector workers better pay and conditions. 

Whilst he is in the mood perhaps Paul Carter could get the scissors out on some of those frivolous areas of KCC activities like Healthwatch,  Kent TV, and maybe cut some of the six million pound advertising budget.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First the Horses Head now this

Earlier today, some office wallah with an idle moment was kind enough to make a comment concerning copyright, strange, but having checked this some time ago, I thought no more.

But later as I understand, someone sent an email to the Newspaper Licensing Agency, about yes you've got it Bignews Margate and presume copyright infringement something the recipient hadn't seen before in five years?.

I often take a screen capture of newspaper headlines etc. to illustrate a story and almost always then link to that newspapers website, so that they get the benefit of traffic from this site and hopefully advertising revenue, this is probably only something that only a multi platform newspaper or media company would understand.

Now I have spoken with NLA and its quite clear that the use of material as i have used it, is acceptable and NLA deal with organisations and businesses, not tin pot bloggers (my words) .

I cannot think for the life of me, who I've upset recently, that they'd be so silly as to waste time on petty vendettas, still crikey on the other hand, there's been so many, most of the council and even my old mucker Eastcliff Richard (I think we've shaken hands metaphorically speaking).

Dual Standards in the Council Chamber

Thanet Council appear suspicious of scrutiny, those who were preset last week at the Manston 106 meeting will have been well aware of the warnings at the start of the meeting, not to record, communicate or hold séances during the meeting, least the public get too involved.

Just why Thanet Council members and staff are so fearful is a matter of conjecture, I reckon its some primeval fear, a bit like those in primitive societies who believe that photography will steal the soul. Still more likely they think, they no best, and don’t want the public getting too involved.

A particular target for this fear on the night was Councillor Mark Nottingham who seemed happy enough tapping away on some sort of electronic device, not really doing any harm, still in the excitable mind of Conservative politicians, such behaviour is suspect and Councillor Nottingham was challenged, still he carried on despite these interventions.

I recall at one point an interruption from a startled Cllr Ezekiel who could hear a phone, asking that all present make sure their mobiles were off.

The dual standards? As you can imagine, a big occasion like that meeting, many of the members were inclined to chip in for the benefit of democracy, which meant the meeting overran the starting time for the Cabinet Meeting and during the half hour or so before the end “officers” arrived for the next show, with at least two of them tapping away on mobile devices. I’m sure the Chair would have been in a position spot this, as would the “officers” sat up on high with Cllr Kirby but nobody noticed apart from me and nothing was said?

I myself have no problem with the use of electronic devices in connection with a public meetings as that’s taking part however when officers come into the chamber and are reading emails or sending messages on their phones then someone should say something, just so that we know its all fair. Those officers could presumably have waited outside the council chamber where they could have checked their messages without distracting me

Cllr Mark Nottingham you have my permission to write what you like on what you like during council meetings, just don't be checking your text messages.

Maybe Richard Samuel or his deputy could investigate, why council officers appear to ignore the ban on telephones in the council chamber, and perhaps someone could remind me which "officer" declared that he didn't want members discussing Thanet matters in the press.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kent TV the fuller version

The other day I commented on the short story published in the Sunday Express, I think you will find this version of events located on the Sunday Express website, more fulsome and balanced, as ever if you'd like to comment your free to do so particularly Ten Alps since I've not seen anyone actually support their actions it might be useful.

As you know I write for free and sometimes its best to leave it to the professionals, like Ted Jeory and Eastcliff Richard. Click here and see what you think.

Cat Trivia is BBC Radio Kent Dumbing down?

Mr Puss says "NO"

Mr Puss commenting on this mornings Breakfast Show on Radio Kent, was much impressed when Julia George and John Warnett posed the question, does your cat do something remarkable? Of course Mr Puss is to modest to mention he helps edit Bignews Margate.

Here's a cat on Leash in Central Park NYC.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Right Kids, tonight’s homework!

Yes your home work tonight is an essay on which minority, you belong, and why Kent police ought to employ an officer or two so that you get preferential treatment.

To get you started here are some minority groups you might belong to “yoofs”, “coming up to 30’s” , “drivers of white van”, “middle aged bloggers”, “agency workers”, “taxpayers”, “fat blokes”, “married to bloggers” “born and bred in fannit” etc.

No excuses will be accepted other than I had to watch “corrie” before ITV goes bankrupt, or I’m worried that bankers wont get any bonuses next year, I will also accept “that the Staffie I adopted ate my homework and has just started on the settee”.


Kent police last week made the news for their gay initiatives, which apparently moves them up the league of gay friendly employers, and of course, this month Kent police are celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by getting 14 year olds to write an essay entitled "All different, same respect".

Quite what the purposes of this is I do not know, since I think to highlight any group in this manner, suggests that they are somehow remarkably different or even privileged, as far as I'm concerned people are people and should be judged by there character rather than anything else.

This of course is the latest evidence that policing is not what it should be, if you'd care to have a glance through Kent police hate crimes page (I take it they mean crimes of violence which occur as a result of a stereotypical view). On the Hate page, you find definitions and helpful advice and phone numbers to report Racial Incidents, Homophobic and Transgenic, what you won't find are hate crimes that fall outside these Headings.

Why no heterosexual reporting line, just imagine how many incidents occurred last weekend, just as a result of someone's girlfriend being chatted up, or the discovery that some bloke has been playing away from home, something I'd think a much bigger problem but generally confined to young adults.

So maybe if the police have to get involved with education, they might encourage youngsters to write an essay, on why it's not acceptable to put someone in hospital for chatting or sleeping with a girlfriend or boyfriend, of course this would also apply to the homosexual and transgender community and would rule out the necessity to have some "minorities" team in each policing area within Kent and maybe save us some money.

If anything the creation of "Hate" crimes, creates hostility since naturally the public rightly or wrongly feel that some crimes are given greater resources than others, surely all crimes should be treated with similar resources, I assume that most victims irrespective of their attackers motive, just want see the perpetrators brought to justice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blogger discovers horses head

You never know what sort of people you might upset blogging but found this recently, in the grounds of the Flaig estate, a horses head impaled upon a stick.

God knows what sort of twisted mind is capable of this sort of thing, but blimey I’m going to have to be more careful, I think.

Anyhow I’m going to have to make arrangements for this little creature, when I’ve decide whether he goes in the black bin for burial or the blue one for recycling.

If it belongs to you, email me in the next day or so before it gets a paupers funeral.

Sunday Excess

Its my view that not every thing is as it seems in this world or for that matter in the world of journalism, as most of you know ECR was kind enough write up, the dispute I have had with Kent County Council regarding their project Kent TV.

There is a serious issue here which is why I have pursued the matter as far as I can.  It was and is my position that I have in written about Kent TV expressing my opinions in a political context.

My dealings with KCC have reached, as far as they are likely to do in this matter, with their acceptance of my right to free speech and an acknowledgement that the are ultimately responsible for all operational and strategic aspects of Kent TV.

Now coming round to the above “story” in the Sunday Express yes its in black & White but it deserves some explanation.

Journalist *Ted Jeory contacted me for some background which I was willing to give, since it appeared he was interested in writing about this in some wider context, the growth of internet telly funded by local authorities.

Well reading the *story published in yesterday Sunday Express, knowing the background it gives me the impression that Bob Geldof is personally threatening to sue me, which is not the true (still I have yet to check the post).

Its the case that Ten Alps of whom I understand Bob Geldof is a Director, shareholder and public spokesperson, did send me a letter which threatened legal action. I cannot say much about the contents of the letter, other to say that naturally I was surprised that anyone wrote it in the first place and particular surprising was the fact they addressed comments I had made about part of Kent Councils operation and not about them.

But just for the record the letter did not ask me to remove any postings from my web site and it wasn’t signed by Bob Geldoff.

This subject does need some scrutiny although so far with the exception of Private Eye, the issue has not been treated seriously by journalists, for instance the BBC spent some time interviewing me and for some reason decided not to use it in any representative way, the express journalist, best not go there.

I believe this is the first time that I myself have directly mentioned Bob Geldoff KBE in relation to this matter, the view I take is this although he has publically been strongly identified with Kent TV, I doubt he was aware of the letter sent out by one of his subordinates and even now may no nothing of Bignews Margate.

I think that Ten Alps should never have written to me in the way that they did and that KCC should have dealt with my concerns at the time rather than suggest a meeting with Peter Gilroy the chief executive and then wait until I had email members of KCC some months later for KCC to acknowledge their responsibilities. 

Given Bob Geldoff’s role with Ten Alps, and promoting Kent TV it is difficult to see how you can write about my experience without mentioning him but I’m not sure that the Sunday Express item is helpful either, since it seems to be negative with out exploring the facts. 

Whatever his role in “public broadcasting” I’m not sure that the tone or summary given in the Express is fair or warranted. As ever if you have a comment feel free and if your a journalist and would like to write about local authorities dabbling in broadcasting, do contact me.

*postscript I should point out that newpapers often take a journalists story and then sort of distill it, a bit like making whisky or meths depending how they do it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Reason prevails over Manston

Before you read these comments they are my impressions and recollections of last nights 106 Manston meeting, they are of course not meant to be a verbatim report just a slanted view and my memory may not be that reliable.

The overwhelming impression that I got from tonight's meeting over Manston, were of a council united in the interests of Thanet’s majority, which of course has been predominately silent in contrast to the minority plane crazy environmental lobby.

Maybe it's a symptom of this country's dire economic woes, but both Labour and Tory councillors were in the main unified in the soul purpose of assisting Infratil as much as is reasonably possible, to help them gain new business for Manston, and us the workforce of Thanet to get a chance of future prosperity.

It's possible we witnessed the birth of a new political party, namely the Greens that being Cllr. David Green and Cllr Elizabeth Green, who despite being reluctantly in favour of endorsing Infratil's request to adjust slightly the operational hours of the Airport, wished to make a few changes. Which fortunately for all, were overwhelmingly rejected.

The meeting itself, was full of the usual incomprehensible detail, jargon, codswallop and bull, we were treated to the following "late evening" meaning late night, "shoulders" I think being the last and first half hour of the day, aircraft being QC4 or better, god knows what that meant but for some reason nobody dared show their ignorance and ask, still maybe they knew.

The only evidence of labour having a pop at the conservatives, were a couple of comments berating the conservative administration for not coming up with a night-time policy, its just a pity the Tory Group didn't throw this back at the Labour group and ask them to come up with a blimin night-time policy.

On balance the conservative group put up the best performance (maybe I'm just get older) their team had all the skills, their councillors had gone to the trouble of asking their constituents what they thought, most on Nethercourt were in favour according to Councillor Jill Kirby who had taken the trouble to enquire, Bill Hayton mentioned aircraft noise lasted about 9 seconds a small inconvenience if it helps provide jobs and of course Simon Moores was able to talk with some confidence about prevailing winds, 4 minutes standard separation for 747'S, to be honest labour never stood a chance.

Labour had their moments, but with the Green's, having their own amendments, and Councillor Nottingham tapping away on some electronic device (probably writing his next blog) they weren't really a team tonight although cllr Mike Harrison made some good points as did Councillor Clive Hart who confined himself to just one speech .

I think this was a rare example of your elected representative doing the best for the local community even if it doesn't suit everyone particularly the bloggerati and activists who like to think that they speak for all, which they don't, the silent majority are just too damn polite to challenge them.

Thanet's councillors have done the right thing, shown how democracy should operate, a credit to the community showing why we have elected representatives and not a mob or a rabble or even smart *rse bloggers.

Thank you


Eastcliff always open to reasonable debate is having a bad day, after reading his latest posting Good News! (which some of us might call poor taste) I added a rather fatuous remark which ECR has censored I cannot exactly remember but here is roughly the gist.

Deleted comment (a dramatic reconstruction)

To put things in perspective it is probably 5 to 6 years since a similar occurrence, there must be in excess of 20,000 runways and airstrips around the world.

5 X 365 X 20,000 = 36,500,000



My response to a sensational posting

Apparently this is shouting, according to Eastcliff, I believe this is a nerdy sort of term which refers to using upper case characters in messaging, but clearly ECR was so offended that he deleted my comment. Nothing to do with the fact he didn't like my comment.

I have never deliberately deleted any comment unless it has been a defamation of someone other than myself, one or two exceptions were graphic threats to my life, most I left on, there is one local contributor who likes to make frequent school boy references to my appearance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Meeting? When and Where?

Map picture

As some of you might know, today there will be an extraordinary meeting of the council to discuss the request by infratil to increase flights into Manston from a very few to a very few more.

That’s not really the point, if like me, you have the inclination to witness, the meeting it seems the case that details are fairly vague about both today's meeting over Manston (Cabinet one as well).

I you follow the TDC website and are actually able to get to the schedule of meetings, you will find the vaguest of details, just the date and thats all.

Thanet is probably full of anorak politicos, who know what's what and when, myself only being slightly obsessive I’d like clearer details.

I’m sure its not the case that “officers” are none to keen on our participation as observers, although the thought does occur as to whether, senior council “officers”, consider councillors as much democracy as they can stand.

Lets hope its not a case that they find public scrutiny, well intrusive.

The Manston ones @ 5:30pm and the Cabinet @ 7:00pm (same time as Emmerdale) both in the council chamber.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meridain Back to the Past

new meridian

It seems I get most of my news these days from the blogs to the left of this twaddle, and I must thank Thanet Observer for breaking the news that …. news will never be the same and local stuff, rare as hens teeth if ITV continue their public service commitment to making a fast buck at the expense of the viewer.

Thanet Observer’s post “Waking the Dead”, informed me that once again veteran presenter Fred Dineage will be gazing out from the goggle box a little older and well not a lot different (he used to fit a 20” screen but seems more suited  40”).  He last appeared in these parts some time in the early eighties, then he dissappeared when TVS took over broadcasting in the South East.

I for one think that Fred Dineage is one of televisions better presenters, that said his return brings with it news items, that are actually nothing to do with us here in Kent, one of the reasons Southern TV lost the franchise all those years ago, was the piss poor regional news output, which mainly consisted of cats being stuck up trees just outside their Southampton base.

So in one fell swoop, local news has been screwed because regulators OFFTOSS (I can’t be bothered to look the proper name) or whatever their called caved in to demands from ITV to denude us of a proper regional news service.

Still it was clear things were going down the toilet fast when I received an email last year which included this remark “I have just come across your Thanet blog and wondered if you would like to be a guest blogger on ITV Meridian? We haven't had our blog long but are looking to expand it and offer it to people such as yourself who can give us an insight into local life.” well as you can imagine I was much interested but once I mentioned wonga it went no further.

Still as an experiment I shall copy the text and email it to see if I get a response I assume the person who sent the email has been caught up in their mass cull.

On the bright side there’s always Kent TV with a wealth of, best not go there hey.

NHS Double Drugs Bill scam the er facts?

keep taking

Noticing that apart from The News of the World, no other newspaper appears to have picked up the story that Department of Health is issuing guidelines to doctors to only prescribe medicines for a month at a time instead of two months, which has the effect of doubling prescription costs for patients, I thought I’d check their website.

For some reason on their press releases area I could not for find a reference to heartless b*st*rds, doubling the cost of medicines for patients or anything similar, so I gave a ring to their press office, to see if they could elucidate.

My question was something to the effect, could you tell me if its true that doctors are being told to only prescribe medicines for 28 days, I think their answer is evasive bull anyway see what you think (email text below) , perhaps News of the World got it wrong. They could have just said something like yes that is correct or no of course not we wouldn’t dare exploit patients (well only if they use car parks or want to make telephone calls or watch telly).


"Dear Tony

A Department of Health spokesperson said:“Wasted medicines cost the NHS over £100m per year – that is money that could be spent on patient care. It is therefore appropriate for GPs to only provide the required amount of drugs to each patient.

“While many clinicians routinely write prescriptions for 28 days, in cases where patients have stable long-term conditions, and can manage their stocks of medicines effectively, prescriptions for longer periods can be
written and made available.

“The Department of Health has commissioned research into medicines waste and the complex and varied reasons why people don’t take their medicines as intended, which will report later this year.”



Department of Health"

See earlier story

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Could you give this little fella a home? Thought not, like me you’d probably prefer a dog that went woof woof rather than snarl assuming it doesn’t just get its teeth into you straight away.

I guess that most of us don’t have the personality flaw that requires, ownership of a dog that’s mostly jaw teeth and muscle, that commands respect only due to its potential to maim. Owners are now abandoning the poor animals (I doubt they’d thank those breeders who bought them in to existence, if they could reason which they can’t).

Over the last year of 334 dogs taken to kennels in East Kent a staggering 104 have been Staffordshires’ with only 47 being reunited with their owners.

These dogs are dangerous and if the owners are irresponsible to allow them to wander free, I think local councils should destroy them humanely as soon as is possible.

And anyone who thinks that dogs like these are safe and are somehow conditioned into becoming dangerous dogs, capable of attacking children, is just feeble minded, just don’t forget that people are far more important than any animals.

For more info click on TDC website

Just for Eastcliff Richard


I know your a closet enthusiast, but since I haven't got any pictures of closets, I hope these will do instead.

Police stop vehicles of a certain age

The police are out in force in Margate stopping cars and for some reason, they decided to divert myself and my own vintage Renault 19, clearly they must be enthusiasts, since mine was not the only a vintage car to be stopped.

As you can imagine, I challenged this request, and was told that, they do not need a reason to stop vehicles. Although a reason was given, that they were checking on tax and insurance, which I suppose is reasonable.

Obviously there are a lot of untaxed vehicles in that part of Thanet, although my own had a current tax disc clearly displayed. Still I suppose they were considerably more polite than I would be, if I were dealing with the likes of me.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Manston "I'm all right jack"*

It seems to me the future of Manston Airport, is all about imagination, those in the Luddite camp, imagine that a few extra plane movements will forever blight and destroy the ambience of Thanet, those promoting it are optimistic feeling a few extra freight planes will create a wealth of new jobs.

For me is quite clear that Manston Airport should within the reason be allowed to operate, with as few constraints as is necessary, obviously Thanet council and the Airport operators appear to have been less than interested in monitoring those things that concern us all, that being the noise and level of pollution from the Airport.

I'm in a minority of local bloggers, since I don't blindly feel that Infratil have no right to operate their business. It seems opponents of the Airport, have an irrational fear of aeroplanes, citing the environmental impact that air transport has, forgetting the cars outside their houses and possibly the mid life crisis motorbike gathering dust in the shed.

If you take their arguments to the logical conclusion, assuming most opponents actually live in a similar world to me, by which I mean they are fully immersed in our consumer society, then their protests are purely selfish. The same people who object to reasonable operation of the Airport, have little clue or idea, of the impact the their lives, have on the rest of society.

Assuming these half baked environmentalists, were true to their beliefs, they would presumably eschew all aspects of modern life, for instance the supermarket, whose goods are delivered by large polluting lorries, often with fresh fruit and vegetables, flown in to other airports from halfway round the world. It wouldn't surprise me at all, if many of the protesters, are not themselves above average users of air transport, but then presumably, the people of West London don't matter.

As you know I don't talk bull, so that is why I feel it disingenuous, of those local protesters who live in the same consumer society as us but wish to sidestep the consequences of modern life.

If those who have such a down on Manston, were to adopt a lifestyle similar to that of Amish people I would have some empathy

Just to check the state of local opinion I checked out Peter Checksfield Survey and that of ECR both asking about flights from Manston Peter's was well infavour and ECR evens @11 ish today 9th of Feb.
ECR's Question above
Peter Checksfield Question below

*Reference I'm all right Jack Wikipedia

Labour in fresh betrayal of ordinary people

scretary of state for health

Along with the phrases like "education education education", " British jobs for British workers" and this current one from the labour party's health page on their website " our NHS -accessible to all, personal to you"

Well we all know that as far as education is concerned, the labour party, waited literary just a week or two after they came to power, to end many years of free tuition  in Britain's universities and colleges, British jobs we all know are available to everyone, particularly those who see them advertised in East Europe.

In a clear move to double prescription charges, according to the news of the world, the Department Of Health are now telling doctors to only prescribed medicines for one month at a time instead of two, this is yet another attack on the weakest (literally) members of our society.

It's rare, a week passes, without some new evidence of Labour's remoteness from those who elected them, whether Peers on the take, the Prime Ministers telling porky's (in misleadingly vague sense) about jobs whilst feeding failed bankers with billions from the taxpayer.

It seems that Labour have become every bit as sleazy and corrupt as the Tory party in the nineties, what a depressing thought.

The government might well have acted in the best interests of the economy, in saving the banks from collapse, but it's clear that Gordon Browns government are so inept, that they didn't even think to attach any conditions to the loans, so whilst those revolting people in the banking industry are lining their pockets with our money and paying themselves huge bonuses for being useless, those with long term medical conditions will help fund this nonsense. 

Contact Alan Johnson to thank for the opportunity to subsidise bankers through the NHS

Sunday, February 08, 2009


As part of my great works of charity, I offered to drive my niece up to Heathrow, as she's flying home to her family today, anyway instead of parking up and giving her a hand with her luggage, I loaded her bags on to a trolley and left her to own devices.

I promptly disappeared and got into anorak mode, and parked up to take photographs of planes taking off, from the Airport.

Anyway when I checked in with the Mrs. Me, later, she informed me that my niece had just rung my sister, then posed a question " guess who was in the queue with her?", instinctively I knew " Bob Geldof?"

He was last seen apparently heading towards, Smith's, I just wonder if he purchased a copy of Private Eye for a bit light reading.

Maybe it was just as well that I didn't hang around, anyway she also claims to have seen Hugh Grant.

The day was not a complete waste however, since I did get to witness an Airbus A380 fly overhead, and managed to take a couple of mediocre or photographs.

Would I have said anything? Probably not.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Oi! its me again

Sometimes I just cant be bothered to give you lot the full treatment, you know the carefully crafted post with a start, a meander in the middle and well a finally. So I thought I give twitter a go. Let me know what you think.

Fragments really!

Oh! Don't forget if you would like sustainable growth and a future for Manston give ECR weblog a visit and vote in his regular Manston poll, which ought really read Should I have bought a house somewhere other than on the approach to an airport since I don't like planes Yes if you agree No if you don't. Remember to vote early and vote often.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Taking Liberties and talking rubbish

This morning I had occasion to make a telephone call to Thanet's District council regarding their waste disposal services, you see I'm one of the beneficiaries of their wheelie bins and this week was the first time, we were unable to find enough space, in the bin to put all the crap and debris from Flaig Mansions.

This prompted a chit chat with TDC, as with all calls to the council, the familiar and sinister "calls may be recorded" messages is played, which I have always found most irritating, and if I think think of it, then I generally inform them that anything I say, I consider to be copyright, and not for disclosure to a third parties without my explicit permission.

As you can imagine it was the usual frustrating telephone call, it seems Thanet Council will only remove rubbish from your wheelie bin and not take anything else, and the helpful advice was to put the rubbish in the bin and await a further two weeks for its removal, all well and good of course assuming that every fortnight I don't have an additional bag of rubbish that won't fit, which of course in the long run, at the end of the year would leave you with 26 black bin liners for crap and presumably rodents.

Our conversation eventually reached a stalemate, in which I reminded, the poor unfortunate recipient, that Thanet council have a legal obligation to remove domestic waste from my house. I finished the call with something like this, " I'm sorry I will have to terminate the call if you continue to stick to your unreasonable policy of refusing to remove household waste".

Anyway after this conversation, it got me thinking about current reports, concerning local councils having powers to mount covert operations under anti terrorism legislation, they can use to poke around in your life, as much as they like, the thing is if they cannot collect my rubbish just how would they manage running their own secret service.

If you walk round Thanet, you cannot miss all the surveillance cameras, but honestly how often have we heard of anyone actually being arrested as a result of these cameras.

As someone whose recently dealings with a local authority found them, more concerned about face saving than acknowledging my personal liberties, I have severe reservations about local councils being trusted with the amount of surveillance they have, and feel there must be circumstances when local dibdobs haven't the competence or the maturity to exercise such powers in a proper manner.

Maybe it's too late, I'm probably already under surveillance from Sessions House Maidstone. And despite the fact I occasionally vote conservative, I believe quite a few local bureaucrats have me confused with some fruit cake militant left wing looney because having an independent libertarian mind, is something they cannot comprehend.

I can just imagine council leaders, having late night discussions with their heads of security, "M, just what we do know about Flaigy?" The answer being something like this " We've managed to come up with several 100,000 words, on this website Bignews Margate, but we think that's just a cover for something far more sinister, and think his ultimate aim is to see competent democratic and efficient local services, delivered at minimum cost". "SHIT! That is dangerous!"

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Why Thanet needs a Mayor

It seems quite simple to me, Thanet needs a Mayor, a visit to Thanet's council chamber, will give you a pretty good idea, why, assuming you can withstand the uncomfortable public area and of course the generally turgid agenda.

To be honest it's a while since I, had the time and the stamina to endure a couple of hours of Thanet's political elite, posturing, massaging their egos, and eagerly monitoring the debate, in that obsessive manner associated with train spotters, awaiting some rare procedural misdemeanour at which point they intervene, look indignant turn to seek approval from their political allies, whilst their opponents express impatience and frustration.

Whilst the council chamber makes good theatre, to my mind all it means is more bureaucracy and expense, particularly wasteful I feel, are those cabinet members, whose posts effectively duplicate that of the paid officers.

This is not the case in Thanet, but elsewhere its clear that some local authority officers are politicised, I can think of one particular authority, where the leader of the council is so bereft of ideas, that policy seems to be the domain of the chief executive rather than the elected administation, which is why a full time focused politician is needed. Someone with the authority, management skills, vision, fully employed on the task of running the district, at the very least cost savings would acrue from fewer meetings and produce a more focused authority.

Thanet as with all government, is bloated probably inefficient and over staffed, I believe tremendous cost savings could be made, just take the role of chief executive whilst such a post might still be necessary with a Mayor, would the chief executive need for a deputy?

The biggest improvement might be that a Mayor would be so blimin busy as to not have time to be distracted by outside business interests.

Incidentally I am available.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Thank you to Private Eye (no. 1229), for finding room in their Rotten Boroughs section to air my problem with Kent council, and what I perceived to be an incursion on my freedom of expression. Copies available at all good newsagents page 11*.

Ever since I've received, that letter, taking exception to remarks I've "made about Kent TV", I have tried to resolve the issue as to whether, KCC would take responsibility and or acknowledge my right to free speech.

When I got in touch with Kent's councils contractor, after receiving their rather exceptional letter, I contacted them, firstly to ask what if anything they wished me to retract remove or otherwise. Also I recall that I made contact the contractors outpost in Maidstone and promptly apologised to a bemused employee who must have been so traumatised as to not know to what I was referring as a precaution I also sent an email to John McGhie the editor of Kent TV.

Last week Geoff Wild, KCC's director of law and governance replied, I presume on the council leaders Paul Carter's behalf, agreeing that I did indeed have a right to free speech, even going to the trouble of finding a quote from Peter Tatchell.

I accept responsibility for what comments and suggestions I make. One thing is for sure I've never sought to make a bigger issue of this matter than is necessary but just what the hell are you supposed to do!

I've already spent to much time on this subject, but lets just get this clear, this blog is all about me and what I think and how you think, should you take the opportunity to make a comment you can do so freely long term readers will know that the only censorship on this weblog is restricted to abusive comments and even those when directed at me usually stay including those offering hospital treatment.

Regulars will also be familiar with my frequent grammatical errors and the like, and each time I post I take tremendous care in what I say, so for that reason I will not give you my opinion what motivated that exceptional letter.

I see a letter that as effectively being on behalf of KCC since it addresses itself to comments that I have made about a council project, paid for by taxpayers, created on a council whim, producing content to council guidelines, and governed by a council appointed board (all with public sector connections or media bods).

Thank you to all those fellow bloggers, readers of bloggers, journalists, politicians, who've expressed support. This subject is now boring me but I'll leave it with my postscript on last email on the subject to Mr G. Wild.

PS Whilst you consider this further you might want to ponder on these words of Thomas Paine "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." or even "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
The above comments are my opinion and are not necessarily factual statements, also please note these comments like all those on this blog are made within the law particularly those that guarantee freedom of expression.


*Text on ECR's Blog, Crikey I should get out more update@22:26 didn't find out myself till I spoke with Thom Morris about 3 ish

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Its not just Margate that has to endure Kent councils Gateway nightmare, the gentile folk of Tenterden have just had a rude awakening, with the opening of one of these establishments.

Those of us here in Margate are not entirely impressed with Kent's attempts to merge a Library with council services sorting out housing matters and the like, to produce a unique ambiance, rarely associated with reading.

Still it looks as thought the worst aspects of Margates Gateway have been enhanced by inclusion of a post office to the mix council services etc.

Anyway the following extract from KM groups KentOnline site will give you a flavour of this Kent's latest mutant Library, the full story can be found here.

"Jo Masters of Smallhythe, described the move of the library from the Pebbles site as losing “a little oasis of peace”.

She added: “We now have toys for the screaming kids to play with while their mothers are in the queue at the post office.”

Mrs H. R. Martin contacted the Express to say: “Whoever thought that it would be acceptable to mix readers trying to select books with pedestrians with or without wheelchairs, walking sticks, children, shopping bags, baskets and buggies et al en route to the post office counter without the annoyance and distress that it has inevitably caused?

“Not only is there competition for the shared space, but the return journey from the post office area also takes customers through the main body of the library, adding to the confusion. The library space feels cramped and uninviting with the children’s area not ideally placed, to the detriment of children and adults.”

Elizabeth Benies of Appledore said: “It was a sad day for book-lovers to find that Tenterden’s new library had become an unappealing combination of tourist office, council office, computer centre, playschool and post office along with some of the original books."

If Kent's Gateway "concept" is alien to you might like to check out Kent councils info on this "vision" from Peter Gilroy "Kent councils top employee", its worth a read if only to encounter words and phrases like "transactional services" multi-agency, "cross-sector solutions" "front office services" , "holistic customer experience", "destination brand".

I think a library should be separate from other services, still maybe this is a transitional situation until such time as Kent can phase out the Library service entirely, and maybe they've given the game away by including the strap line "The future is retail" , perhaps at some time in the future we will find Waterstone or W H Smiths instead, although I can't see that either of those would appreciate a line of customers for housing benefit, or postal services snaking through the bookshelves.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Following my e-mail to Paul Carter back in January, in which I asked for clarification, concerning my right to freedom of speech, particularly on my right to criticise Kent's controversial sacred cow or what some refer to as Kent TV, I have now received at least an acknowledgement that indeed I'm entitled to exercise that right.

One outstanding item of contention I still have with Kent, is the ability of, I presume educated people to distinguish between me criticising Kent TV which is funded by you and I the taxpayer, and third party providers of goods and services.

Admittedly when I refer to Kent TV, I can easily understand how some feeble minded person, could misinterpret my remarks.

Just to make it perfectly clear, when I refer to Kent TV, I am referring to Kent County council's Kent TV, in a political context, and no other, this includes suppliers of electricity, cameras, paper clips,toilet rolls and other facilities Et cetera.

Just why Kent Council are so sensitive about Kent TV is beyond me, admittedly from the outside it appears to be struggling, but even I except that Kent TV has a role, however in attempting to cover politics and news, Paul Carter's Administration ought to have had enough judgment, just to realise how controversial it would prove with many Kent residents.

I would like to thank my readers for their supportive comments and emails, which thankfully included some from Paul Carter's own party (which is no surprise to me).

Much as I like to press Kent Council for an apology its never going to happen is it?

Kent TV is a small issue in the scale of things only a million or two, still any day now advertisers will be no doubt whipping out their cheque books, and wont us critics be looking silly, particularly when Kent council produce those figures, showing just how much its saved the taxpayer.

Still assuming Kent TV is covering news they might like to check this heart breaking story on KM Groups website concerning closure of a centre for disabled people but you know what I dont think they will some how?

The above comments are my opinion and are not necessarily factual statements, also please note these comments like all those on this blog are made within the law particularly those that guarantee freedom of expression.