Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just when you think things aren’t that bad

I was pondering as I cycled along the cliff top in Clifftonville, that maybe things are not bad as they seem, I had a gander at the new play area, which all credit to those responsible, looks fantastic.

I was so positive that I was willing to ignore the TDC press release which started “Thanet's historic Viking connections will be celebrated….” and curb my usual morose reaction which would be to ask what’s to celebrate about a bunch of looting, pillaging etc Norsemen on holiday in Thanet.

That was until I received an email from Cllr Clive Hart, telling me that flower beds were in danger outside the bowling greens in Eastern Esplanade, as TDC attempt to grass them over, rest assured Cllr Hart has informed Chief Exec.

Anyhow I expect a photo opportunity for Cllr Clive Hart coming up, some time soon, either in front of endangered flowers or the Viking Playground or both, looking stoic or triumphant depending on the location and story, in at least one of the locals’, incidentally the play area will be official opened @ 11:30 on April 2nd, and no surprise not open for children until Friday 3rd of April.

Still in other news Mr Puss was spotted getting in a bit of late afternoon sunshine, as he starts his strict spring exercise regime, seen here limbering up with a few gentle stretches as he gets into shape for summer.limbering up for summer Late news, I see that, Michael Child has been bigging up Manston on Newsroom South East tonight cheers!


Most people appreciate that Kent's grammar school system favours children from middle class families, since along with those kids of innate ability, many parents buy their children's way into the grammar schools system, by paying for additional tuition or using fee paying schools to coach their kids to pass the eleven plus, now to add to that injustice, it seems West Kent and Tonbridge Schools in particular, are accepting kids from just about anywhere within the south east, which must be detrimental for the local community.

The grammar school system is irrational, in that it chooses, those that it considers, most likely to be successful in public examinations, several years ahead, rather than maintaining a competitive system that encourages children to have aspirations, Kent unlike most authorities places roughly 80% of students, at eleven into an sort of second rate educational cul de sac.

Anyhow that is not the point, it seems wrong that in the west of the county, grammar schools are with our money, choosing to ignore local children, and instead creaming off kids from Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, East Sussex, Bexley in all 268 children from outside KCC.

Still fortunately for those who live in West Kent, help is at hand, according Kent on Sunday, who’ve reported that Kent supremo and leader Cllr Paul Carter, is not one to see the people of West Kent suffer, in a tough stance, it looks like someone's gonna have to pay for this and surprisingly not for the first time it might well be the residents of East Kent, that will lose out as Paul Carter pledges to make sure that West Kent has the right number of grammar school places and is quoted as saying "if necessary reduce down the number of grammar school places in East Kent".

Still it seems to me Paul Carter ought to do the right thing and talk to those schools in West Kent and ask them what the hells going on, or perhaps since these schools are quasi-independent apart from needing our money maybe Cllr Carter could see if its not possible to starve them of funds in some way, since their quite happy to take money from the community and then reject local kids in favour of outsiders who have contributed nothing to their running cost.

East Kent is often overlooked, so its no surprise that Kent’s top Tory boy would make East Kent pay just to sort out his mates in West Kent,

Is this phishing is it Google or is it Goodbye

Just a quick one I received an email this morning, seemingly from google, jabbering on about I don't know what and then telling me that my account will be closed down if I don't confirm my user name, password, date of birth, and country by email.

I know google are not a bank but presumably if they wished me to confirm my status it would be through their website?

Anyhow whilst the email does not ask me to deposit money, in some dodgy Nigerian Bank, or invite me to purchase a bride from either Russia or the Philippines the last thing I want is someone logging into my account reading your emails, writing something that might entertain you lot, or upsetting my politician friends who are just perfect in every way.

Any suggestions? is this a variation on the standard Nigerian letter scam, is it Kosher or is my account about to close along with Bignews?

Monday, March 30, 2009


Most people will be unaware of John Prescott's appalling legacy from his time as Deputy Prime Minister, which has once again impinged upon local democracy here in Thanet.

Many of course are aware of the recent bad publicity for conservatives, when the leader of Thanet Council was censured for an incident reported by a Labour member, not surprisingly much to the annoyance of local Labour politicians, our Sandy declined the opportunity to resign not that I was too happy for reasons of what's happened to Thanet during his time in charge.

Today on councillor David Green's weblog, he informs us that he had temporarily suspended his blog as a result of a complaint made by councillor Mrs Tomlinson.

blimin standards Of course most of you are asking what the hell's this got to do with John Prescott, well unfortunately during his time in the job, he had some noble idea of improving standards in public office and particularly the conduct of local councillors. He introduced the Standards Board of England, this at local level requires I believe a monitoring officer, to busy body about councillors' business, and of course a District Council's Standards Committee to adjudicate on matters.

Anyhow the net effect, of John Prescott's initiative, has changed little, except the rights of councillors to express themselves, as we have seen and will continue to see, councillors will occasionally embarrass both themselves and those they represent, no amount of monitoring will change that, neither will it make them any more or less honest.

Fortunately for Labour, most people are blissfully ignorant of one by-product from John Prescott’s attempt to legislate for good manners, which is to prohibit local councillors, the freedom to express themselves, in an uninhibited way.

Basically if a councillor has a firm viewpoint on a particular subject, which he or she has made public or even been elected on, such as dogs having a crap in the park, then for some lunatic reason they're not allowed to vote on that subject and have to declare an interest at council meetings before speaking, clearly a complete and utter farce.

So what’s achieved with the Standards Board of England or local standards committee's, ignoring Thanet, many local councils are witnessing councillors on both sides, scoring trivial points, just like little children running to the teacher or in this case the standards committee's, basically to say that one of their colleagues has been mean to them.

It's my belief, that really the only arbiter needed to judge a councillors conduct, outside of fraud or any other criminal activity, should be the voter and not some well meaning appointee or paid for official.

I understand that one recent enquiry cost around £30,000 just to gather evidence.

Anyway if you wish to become an arbiter of the genteel manners as practiced by Thanet District Council members then you're bound be interested to know that you can apply to become a member of the Standards Committee. Click here

Unfortunately much as I might like to poke my nose into local councillors spats with their colleagues, I have to declare an interest which is this, I believe the process a waste of time and money, and of course it corrupts democracy. Anyway that apart, I doubt I could be of any use, since I myself would find myself declaring my own interest, something along the lines of " I think he's a tosser" or "is she that mad women who thinks bloggers are parasites".

Anyway I'm sorry to see any councillor, impinged upon but in the case of Labour councillors you've only go your party to blame!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Comment Moderation removed

Hooray! I've lifted comment moderation, I know that I encourage abuse, by writing this stuff, so knock yourself out, if you're part of that section of readers, whose reaction to my erratic analysis and ill-conceived rantings are to indulge in trivial insults, enjoy.

Anyhow moving on I've not posted yesterday, for no reason other than, I couldn't think of anything to get my teeth into, there were a few things that tempted me.

Briefly I was tempted to post something when Paul Carter talking about Icelandic Banking, seemed to me, to be making light of a few mill disappearing down the swanny, on the 6 o'clock news last thursday, however it couldn't have been that important since BBC's Newsroom South East programme took no account of what proceeded, and rather than expand on the issue, they took the brave choice not to mention it, any how I've written to their editor ( I don't think they do politics).

Also I can't find any video on BBC to link the piece on the six o'clock, so I can't refer to it in any reliable way. Suffice it to say the top bods at Kent are not happy as reported by Paul Francis ( KM Group political Editor) who mentions that Peter Gilroy C.E. of KCC and Paul Carter Tory Leader have written rather a strong letter to the audit commision.

I see that Kent's police are to issue Tasers to traffic officers, according the police federation in Kent seems they'd like more dished out to officers and Ian Pointon had this to say "TASER is a vital piece of safety equipment. It protects officers, the public and enables violent offenders to be subdued with no ill-effects. Kent Police's decision to leave TASER in the hands of a few officers, often miles away from where it is needed, is plain crazy."

The Police are one of those public services, where staff earn their pay, particularly in the case of those in front line, that said, having seen how Kent Police conducted things at the Kingsnorth Climate Change protest, it seems to me, that its probably sensible to not to issue Tasers widely, its bad enough getting a clout with a baton or riot shield for being merely being present at a protest but being Zapped ?

Also whilst I'm no doubt upsetting members of the Police Federation, I suggest that they take an objective view of their Kent website graphics (on the publications page) which show officers (although they look like Darth Vader wanabees) in a rather combatative attire Gas Masks and Helmet and like at Kingsnorth no identify numbers sending out the wrong signals, for what are, at the end of the day public servants. 

For the moment thats all I have to say but as the economy seems to make little improvement despite me offering to spend the rest of my life paying taxes so bent bankers can continue to collect bonuses, I might just do a bit about Gordon Brown shortly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Think First - Comment Moderatiion on

Often I offend, and that's unintentional though sometimes its difficult particularly when jabbering on about politics.

Believe it or not, I try to think through the consequences of what I'm saying, particularly given that I post as myself and not some remote untraceable persona, I appreciate that those who don't blog themselves contribute by makeing comments, generally anonoymous and there's nothing wrong with that.

Sometimes I get abused, so what, however sometimes a throwaway comment is placed which can be damaging beyond the authors intent.

Yesterday afternoon I got rung up for a job, (I work for agencies), so I was halfway through wittering about The Apprentice and then I thought I'd take a quick pop at the ease with which the Conservatives see themselves fitting in with Kent council, any how as a consequence I didnt read through comment on this site.

One comment made yesterday was not worth the trouble of making, I just ask you to think before pressing Publish comment button, I'd prefer not to come home from a long day to check my emails and have deal with the consequences of someone else's off the cuff remark and I find my own comments bad enough!

Labour have shown us theirs where’s the Tories ?

Don’t panic, I’m only talking about manifestoes , still checking last night, I couldn’t find what the conservatives, have got planned for us assuming, they win the county elections but I did find two Kent Conservative websites dotcom & dotorg both seem quite comfortable about linking to KCC webpages showing a sort of contentment as if they were KCC and not electable representatives, its as though they have a divine right to rule us proles which they probably do.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Apprentice

The Apprentice returns tonight and in an unexpected turn of events, the Daily Mirror reports that Sir Alan Sugar, himself might well be an early casualty of the series, as he's none too happy, how he was portrayed in a recent trailer for comic relief.

The mirror has several quotes from the Sir Alan, but this one typifies his complaint "The idiot that edited it - and I don't know who's done it - went through the past five years of archive to find snapshots of me roaring like a deranged lunatic and just stuck them all together. That person feels that is how they want me portrayed. I did my nut about it, but it was too late. It had been screened and I wasn't shown it beforehand. (sounds like good telly to me)

Anyway temper tantrums aside, I for one can't wait for the new series to start, not just for the joy of seeing the apprentices not living up to their inflated egos but the bonus of one episode in which the apprentices are tasked with the job of rebranding Margate.

Just how the apprentices will handle Margate’s image makeover, should be quite amusing and you never know they might come up with something good, that said there is a potential for some cringe making television though, since anyone rebranding needs to have some idea of the raw materials, which in our case include the high street in terminal decline, work in progress, derelict abandoned or burnt out attractions and of course the Turner contemporary building site and god forbid any local dignitaries wittering about cafe culture.

Now I come to think of it, that particular episode I might just give a miss or view from behind the sofa.

New edition to Kent's Bloggerati.

Kent's leading political commentator Paul Francis has joined Kent's bloggerati, which of course is part of a trend followed by many journalists in recent times.

I understand from Paul, that at the moment his blog is in an embryonic stage and will be rejigged as soon as a new system is introduced.

Hopefully this will be a welcome addition, whether Paul will adopt a more casual style, similar to mine is doubtful, and being a blimin professional journalist, it's unlikely that there'll be any of the emotional hand bags at dawn, type stuff familiar to readers of Bignews Margate and dare I say Ramsgate's er .... Prima Donna opps, damn .... Thanet's Greatest living blogger (we've only just buried the hatchet again and frankly it still stings) .

Paul Francis, as Group Political Editor for the Kent Messenger Group is much appreciated by politicians throughout Kent. I expect that Kent's other bloggers' will be joining me in welcoming him to the Blogosphere. I expect that Paul Carter (Kent's top Tory) himself a top blogger will no doubt devote a few words of praise on his blog (hosted on KCC's website at your expense) since I understand he much enjoys Paul's ability to explain the workings of KCC.

I realize that this is hardly the most innovative addition to local media but at least it displays a positive attitude, as we all know that Kent's media, are suffering the effects of the crunch, but I get the impression that both the Kent Messenger Group and KOS (yourthanet etc.) are still advancing, whilst Northcliffe's, Kent regional newspapers have adopted a siege mentality and I understand are closing some of their papers.

I shall bung a link somewhere in the mean time click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crikey Labour give Kent TV notice to Quit!

Labour manifestoLooks like Kent TV might be about to lose any hope of carrying on, as Labour pledges it will scrap the project in their manifesto for the Kent elections.

I for one cannot say that I’d be too bothered if the Kent TV experiment, came to an abrupt end, I would of course have every sympathy with those who produce the content.

That said, I’ll not shed a tear for one well known Kent figure Bob Geldof, who as a director of Ten Alps winners of the contract to produce the thing, was allowed about five minutes, back in November to give us the benefit of his thoughts on Kent TV presumably at the taxpayers expense.

My experience of Kent councils project is clearly tainted by Kent Councils apparent lax defence of personal liberty only resolving my concerns after I had emailed every county councillor to explain my situation.

Tories that I have spoken with on the subject, seem to view Kent TV as a big mistake, which of course it is but it didn’t have to be, had things been handled differently.

Anyway aside from this issue, their are other items on the menu to be sorted out including £400,000.00 on Kent’s Healthwatch advice line (which duplicates existing services), the not inconsiderable £6,000,000.00 spent on advertising etc .

The way I see it Labour have changed and Kent’s Tories have yet to show, any willingness to appreciate that taxpayers don’t want money wasted on vanity projects.

If your a Tory County Councillor and want to get re-elected start asking yourself this, who should Paul Carter be listening to, the taxpayer his colleagues or advisors and just ask yourself this, who’s coming up with policy “Kent TV”, “Healthwatch”, “Gateway” not I fear elected representatives, voters nor even Conservative HQ.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jade Goody

I suppose, I said just about what I wanted too about Jade Goody a week or so back, I’m sure that her family and friends will appreciate, just what a remarkable women she was.

I’m a cynic but Jade Goody’s determination to provide for her family has been incredible, her boys will have every reason to be immensely proud of their mother, its just a tragedy they’ll not have the chance to tell her.

20 Years from now Sandy’s Vision

As you can imagine Thanet’s own charismatic and inspirational leader Sandy “Achievements” Ezekiel is apparently interested in Thanet residents views (please no petitions though) on Thanet in “2030” since next Monday they (TDC) intend to publish a “Vision” of the future (lets just hope the “Vision” hasn’t been arrived at with mood enhancing potions).

Is it me or have Thanet councils press department been more productive recently and yet still no official mention of that nasty incident in the high street, leading to a censure of our beloved leader, still maybe that one’s gone to the top, being a bit sensitive, probably got the Chief Exec and mini Chief Exec on that one, drafting out a statement, assuming I understood correctly, that they would issuing something probably along the lines Drop the courtesy’s and Cop it.

Any way lets forget all about that, back to the “vision”, Cllr Sandy Ezekiel, talking about this commented "This is the council's vision of how we would like to see Thanet looking by the year 2030, but now it's over to local people. We want to find out whether they have any other ideas that we've missed that we can add into the document.” ……

I suppose we will have to wait till next week, but I can’t help thinking that, whatever vision they come up with, it will do little to improve the area, unless your a local developer.

In the meantime here’s my Vision of 20 years hence, Westwood Cross will be solid with traffic going nowhere, particularly once developers have built their massive housing estate, Kent council will still not have built a dual carriageway into Thanet, a half built Sea Bathing development will along with Dreamland, now be a wild life refuge for rats with old mattresses' an furniture to enhance the environment, in Ramsgate the Maritime Museum will be a distant memory as will the Turner Contemporary Gallery and those arts council bods who just ignored local input will be long gone, and unlike today, meek Tory councillors will be ruled by an overbearing foul mouthed leader, who has no respect or idea of how to behave in public.

Sorry that was more nightmare but that’s how things might be if people don’t start to engage in the democratic process or develop a backbone.

Here’s some music

Whilst I think of something to mention or comment on here’s some music, I found recently on Spotify, which is one the reasons I didn't get round to bloggin yesterday.

I spent my weekend waking hours at home reading the papers listening, to music, watching the telly and entertaining relatives.

I know I mentioned Spotify recently, it is one of the great internet inventions, along with Google Earth, streaming music (good quality), that you choose from a vast library, it’s served to you as you lounge about on the sofa, rather than hunting down some rare bit of scratched vinyl or CD in some box buried in the attic or cupboard under the stairs, all you have to do is remember the artist or title and wallop, if they’ve got it, its playing through your headphones in about a second.

If you have Spotify installed on you machine, click here it will link to some of my weekend listening if you don’t you will miss some classics from Bad Manners, the Beat, Specials, Steel Pulse, Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, Bonzo dog, Elton John, Kraftwerk, the Pogues.

If you really need to read middle aged angst click here for Rod Liddle from yesterday Sunday Times, whose infinitely more readable than me and generally part of my weekend reading.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Laura’s Destination nowhere

I see that Thanet’s premier Tory wannabe Laura Sandys has been busy bodying, holding a gathering of tourism experts with the intention of building on the area’s historical past and good luck to her!

I just wonder whether one of the ideas will be to have guided tours to say, Thanet’s now defunct museums or under used assets like the previously mentioned Tudor House.

I hope Laura is successful in promoting this area,  I just wonder if Sandy “Achievements” Ezekiel was present at the meeting explaining his strategy for conserving the past by err.. closing it, then selling it off.

Whilst were on history, aside from the political stuff I trust they had input from Derek Harding (Margate Regeneration) who has some good ideas on promoting this part of the world.

Obviously Laura Sandys concerns are centred on Ramsgate and Sandwich, the later being the most perfect medieval town, which if it were promoted correctly would be heaving  with visitors.

This area is well known, for its visitors and past residents like Dickens, Turner, Vincent van Gogh but for my money the most significant figure to have resided in these parts would be Thomas Paine who had a business in Sandwich before moving to Margate, since this guy has immense significance to the creation of America, he is obviously a figure worth being associated with in terms of history and tourism.

Anyway perhaps Laura might do more for the area than Ladyman has, although her colleagues in the Conservative party have done little to improve Thanet’s standing in the world so far and given that she seems blisfully unaware of Sandy Ezekiel's handy work in the heritage department, I don't think she offers any great hope.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Whatever happened to this Margate Treasure?

About two days a year its possible to wander round Margate’s Tudor House, these are fairly random events but with Sandy “look at my achievements” Ezekiel’s administration well into the process dismantling Thanet’s cultural assets, destroying local museums, what’s the chance of this property ever being made best use of.

I remember reading recently somewhere that furniture which had been on display in the house had been disappeared bit like that big painting in the entrance of Margate Library before they turned into the grisly gateway thing.

It’s probably best not to mention it because the chances are that some half wit will be wanting to sell it off to their developer pals.

Drop it and Cop it for Sandy

Just a quick one, Thanet Council, seem to relish their Drop it or Cop it campaign, imposing fines on locals for minor infractions like dropping litter and cannot help but add to the misery of their hapless victims, bashing out press releases, presumably to add “naming and shaming” to the penalty of their wretched fines.

Contrast this with our Sandy, guilty once more of sullying the reputation Thanet Council, censured and yet no hasty press release from Thanet District Council, although it is understood a statement will be forthcoming next week, I wonder why?

Surely they should highlight not just those who would drop a bit of litter, but those whose behaviour is unacceptable .

Still I note the good old Isle of Thanet Gazette, proved they were up for a bit of Drop it and Cop it with our Sandy, first they dropped the story of Sandy and Roger’s misdemeanours on to the bottom of page 2, then Sandy Copped it with another one of his regular turgid pieces entitled “Admit your failures, Labour.

Well just to round up on this subject its been four days since the standards board’s decision was announced and I’ve yet to hear any comments from the Tory side and I’ll say it again the silence has been deafening from local Bloggers Simon and Ken.

Still it may be the case that Sandy & Roger, need to watch their backs, since silence isn’t always golden and it maybe they might still “Cop it” as their colleagues weigh up the situation.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I don't suppose there is a person living, who is happy to see the environment polluted, damaged and destroyed, however in the real world humanity has evolved to live in a complex social and economic structure.

Justifiably residents of the Isle Of Thanet, have been concerned about the possibility of large industrial developments such as the China gateway proposal, which with its acres of lorry parking could potentially allow significant amounts of oil to run off and be absorbed into our underground drinking supply.

However sometimes you just think, that people raise objections just to pursue a cause to its extreme, and yourthanet's frontpage story this week, is I believe a case in point. Apparently Thanet Friends Of The Earth, believe it absurd that both Tesco's and Asda don't deliver cucumbers directly from Thanet Earth's greenhouses but rather sensibly choose to send the produce to what I assume are regional distribution centres in Maidstone and Dartford.

Unfortunately the articles does not make entirely clear, how Thanets Friends Of The Earth, would prefer their cucumbers to be delivered perhaps by horse and cart or a battery powered Citroen 2CV, directly to Westwood or maybe we should all just go (on foot) in person to Thanet Earth and barter a few home grown potatoes for a cucumber.

I'm sure if the Friends Of The Earth spokesperson had thought about the issue, they would realize that the supermarkets would probably share their concerns over produce are being transported more than is necessary, and I am sure that market forces will ensure that their methods are amongst the most efficient.

I see also that Bertie biggles is getting rather excited about a proposed golf course at the Two Chimneys caravan park, which if anything will probably benefit the local environment and perhaps safeguard a few acres.

By putting up extreme and ridiculous objections to environmental issues, the consequences for the likes of Thanet's Friends Of The Earth, is that they will not be taken seriously on matters like the China Gateway.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Apologies to middle age fans of monotonous rock music, if your search engine has thrown you on to this page, unfortunately I am not discussing, tired rock acts, decades past their sell by date.

I'm discussing the perpetuation of things, as they are, maintained by the local media, the big news of course in Thanet, for those of us who have access, is naturally the latest judgment on Sandy Ezekiel's behaviour towards a fellow councilor although at this point in time, his latest condemnation goes largely unreported.

It would of course be unfair to tarnish all of our local media with the same suggestion because clearly there are differences, at the standards committee meeting on Monday, were two journalists, Tom Betts and Thom Morris both competent and professional writers, although at this point in time most of us have only seen Tom Betts report, which was available via the Internet yesterday and can be read on page three of today's yourthanet, unfortunately Thom Morris's report will probably not see the light of day till Friday's Gazette, which is a waste, for some reason either the editor's or perhaps Northcliffe media themselves have some strange idea that news coincides with the publication date of their newspapers, which makes you wonder why they have an Internet presence.

Anyway it's to the credit of both Kent on Sunday's yourthanet and the Gazette that they thought the standards board deliberations worthy of reporting, still it'll be interesting to see what prominence Rebecca Smith gives the story on Friday.

Notable omissions from covering this item would seem to be KM Group & BBC, however on checking I understand Kent Messenger Group, report the matter prominently! on page six of this weeks Extra and it may well also feature on their otherwise excellent KentOnline website some time in the future. BBC Kent didn't think it news at all.

One can only guess why the KM groups editorial bods, do not report in a more timely fashion council leader Sandy Ezekiel's latest appalling behaviour. BBC local news, seem to prefer to confine themselves to news trivia and will probably, be shortly putting tough questions to Sandy Ezekiel, on cafe culture, with him stood on Margate seafront, no doubt with accompanying shots of donkeys on the beach.

It seems rather strange, that professional purveyors of news, either ration news or prefer to dribble it out, still you can imagine they're difficulty, I should think even the most belligerent supporter of Sandy Ezekiel must be a little embarrassed at these errors of judgment, and of course the deafening silence from the likes of Simon Moores and of course Ken Gregory, unpalatable as it sounds maybe Sandy Ezekiel is the best of Tories have got, which reminds me of the old saying that in some areas so long as the candidate is a Conservative, they'd get elected even if they were a er...................

Sadly for us here in Thanet, you’d not be alone if you got the impression that Sandy, has learnt nothing from the latest rebuke, to finish here’s a quote courtesy of yourthanet “Labour would call for me to resign, but I will not be standing down. I stand by my record as leader and the things we have achieved in that time.

Apart from doing nothing for the reputation Thanet what achievements? answer on a postcard, the back of a postage stamp or in the comments below.

Monday, March 16, 2009


It was all a bit difficult to follow tonight's meeting of the standards board, since to start off with the person chairing the meeting didn't wish to use the PA and when she did nobody could turn the damn thing on.

So this may be entirely wrong but Sandy seemed to have copped for two counts of being naughty, young deputy Roger I think got off largely, since those deliberating didn't discuss anything in public, it seems through some telepathy, which was never explained by the chair of the meeting they agreed to accept the reports recommendation which I hope like me you read over the weekend.

A break in the public performance was required so that, the standards bods could confer on whether Sandy's and Roger note of apology to councillors and not least Councillor Iris Johnson was enough of a punishment (I suppose it must have been like writing one of those thank you letters, your mother used to make you write, thanking an aunt for some hideous knitted item given as present).

Anyhow it seems Roger's letter was sufficient, however Sandy has been censured by the standards board, which will no doubt guarantee his best behaviour in future and every thing will be back to normal.

PS I forgot to mention that this business is estimated to have cost around thirty grand, so for my money and yours Sandy's behaviour has not only tarnished the image of Thanet and offended democracy by his behavior toward Cllr. Iris Johnson but cost a fortune and it seems the public rebuke to be hardly much of a penalty at all. As I thought yesterday it will be G & T's all round in the Last Chance Saloon for Sandy and crew again.

Classic Sandy

By the time most get read this, presumably today's standards committee deliberations on Sandy and Rogers behaviour, will be all over, bar the muffled machinations from meek Tories who will be no doubt, too timid to push for Mr Ezekiels Head, or that of his sidekick.

I understand that 29 of 34 Tory councillors have recently been thrown bones from the top table, by Sandy who is allowed 18 grand and his deputy nearly 11 grand, I wonder if having a grand or so thrown your way would cloud judgement, probably not.

Anyhow to lighten the mood I just thought I'd throw this quote from the great man himself into the air for the rest of us to chew on or maybe choke .

Sandy refering to Iris Johnson's complaint "If the incident had not been reported then our reputations would be intact"

Drinks will be presumably be flowing in the last chance saloon later tonight! again!

Sunshine plus guilt free music

What a brilliant Sunday, sun shining, not one for indulging in bloggin and local political machinations or negative middle aged angst, much enjoyed by the likes of me and others. I thought I’d give it a miss.

I’d intended to spend most of yesterday reading the papers or bloggin but got side tracked ploughing through the Sunday Times, somewhere half way through the News section was an article mentioning Spotify a new legal website offering music free, financed either by advertising or subscription.firstly

So instead of reading anymore I spent the morning listening to music, some of which I’ve not heard in years Sam Cooke – Chain Gang, Sinatra - Young at Heart, Beach Boys -Fun, Fun, Fun, Little Deuce Coupe, Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians, Darude –Sandstorm, Stevie Wonder – Uptight, Curtis Mayfield – Move on up, Joan Osborne – What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (better than Jimmy Ruffin), Jimi Hendrix – Gypsy Eyes, Who – Who Are You, Baba O’Riley, Rod Stewart – Gasoline Alley, Hall & Oates – Rich Girl

I much recommend this addition for any PC however cluttered with other junk like faceache twatter and even blogger. The only downside is the occasional advert which is fairly unobtrusive and far better than listening to local radio particularly if all you want is music and not someone halfwit DJ’s interpretation of world affairs.

After playing with this I was dragged from the house, for the first cycle of the year, by Mrs Me, not too far, just down to the front at Broadstairs, nipping in to relatives on the way to see if we could bludge a meal (my credit crunch idea), ended up at the Dickens, blimey how much ? (I’m not too used to buying drinks in pubs) Five pound something for a blimin Kronenburg and small glass of wine, still I suppose it would be the same at a McForleys Tavern although generally I find J D Wetherspoons (pity there’s only the one in Thanet) don’t bring on a panic attack, any how the food was reasonable and not a bad price.

The Beach was packed (it is still March), as per the photo at the top, god knows what other bloggers found to write about yesterday?shopped

As you know the arts is not my strong point and this is a rare digression, any how if you’d like to listen to my first Spotif playlist click here it will send you to a page that has the list and some I didn’t mention, or you can always wait till I get the call from desert Island Discs.

One other tangent is one a recent additions to my favourites list, Joan Osborne – What Becomes of the Broken Hearted which I first heard a few weeks ago, when BBC Four showed the Documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” about the Funk Brothers, the musicians behind the Motown sound which was still on You Tube earlier today click here.

Normal service will be resumed shortly. I should get out more!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Something for the weekend

If you've got nothing on this weekend, may I take the liberty of suggesting, that you take time out to have a butchers at the report compiled for the standards board, concerning the conduct of Cllr.'s Sandy & Roger toward Iris Johnson. 

I'd decided to put blogging on the back boiler, but thought I'd just have a quick glance prior to going to bed, that was a hour ago, anyway I'd like to thank Bertie Biggles for drawing my attention, and his take on matters, particularly his comments re John Bunnett.

I'm still plowing through it all myself, and there is plenty to get engrossed with, and if nothing else, assuming Iris Johnson's complaint is upheld, who if anyone will have the balls to instigate regime change within the Tory group?

Have a read by clicking here for a copy of the PDF file which is er fairly bulky, and I'd imagine expensive to prepare( no wonder our council charges have increase way above the national average).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Council Ignore Residents

Just had this in from Clive Hart Local and County Councillor, I don't usually allow for guest blogging or contributions but as I'm otherwise occupied I'll let you take a gander, a quick glance would indicate that Councillor Wells is fearless as far as upsetting locals despite the fact that he will be presumably be seeking re-election to KCC.

This is the email text received from Clive Hart

----- Original Message -----
From: Clive Hart
To: keith.ferrin@kent.gov.uk
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 10:57 AM

Dear Mr Ferrin
I am writing to ask you to overturn a recommendation made by Thursday's Thanet Joint Transport Board - to make permanent an experimental yellow line outside no's. 17 to 25 St Peters Road in Margate (item 12 on the agenda).
I believe the recommendation is extremely bad practice indeed and runs roughshod over local residents rights to consultation. This surely cannot be the way to engage with residents - by simply ignoring them.
I paste below an outline of the debate at the Thanet JTB meeting where the overwhelming majority of evidence was in support of removing the yellow line which officers clearly explained had not worked during the 'experimental' period.
Kind regards
Clive Hart - KCC Member for Margate & Cliftonville
At the very start of the meeting Cllr Wells did at least declare a 'personal' interest this time. At the last Thanet JTB meeting he failed to do so and I understand, ended up having to apologise.
On item 12:
Firstly Highways officers gave an excellent verbal report confirming their comprehensive written document and fully explaining their reasons for recommending the removal of the yellow line.
Speaking under special procedure rules the Margate Central District Ward councillor Iris Johnston then spoke strongly in favour of removing the yellow line.
As soon as debate opened Cllr. Wells put forward an amendment to make the yellow line permanent.
I spoke firmly against making the yellow line permanent, explaining local residents serious concerns and passing on letters, pictures and a DVD given to me by residents for the chairman.
Cllr. Doug Clark (who had correctly made a declaration of interest - as he lives in St Peters Road) then informed the meeting that residents appeared firmly against the yellow line and wanted it removed ASAP.
Cllr. Alan Poole voiced serious concern about Cllr. Wells even speaking and said he was surprised he had, given what had happened at the previous meeting. Cllr. Poole also spoke strongly in favour of removing the yellow line.
Cllr. Burgess then said that all the houses in this particular part of St Peters Rd had drives so leaving the yellow line in front of them didn't matter. Officers immediately responded and explained what nonsense that statement was.
It went to the vote and I'm pretty sure EVERY Conservative member voted to make the yellow line permanent. Many either looked away or down at the table as they voted.
I have never seen a meeting where the argument went so convincingly one way and the vote went completely the other.
Cllr. Clive Hart - KCC Margate & Cliftonville.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tony From Margate

After hearing Simon Moores on BBC Radio Kent, talking about the internet, Tony from Margate gets himself on the same show and doesn't have the brains to mention his own website, what a Muppet!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BAWC Decide Against Manston just to Keep Economy Class ECR Happy ?

Its been announced according to Kent News (on Sunday) that BAWC, British Airways cargo, will not be swapping the operations to Manston anytime soon.

This news will no doubt be celebrated late into the night at Eastcliff Richard's, Ramsgate Mansion.

The Ramsgate media mogul has just arrived back in this country after it appears he was downgraded to economy on his return from Canada.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thanet council planning just what’s the point

Earlier in January I received an email highlighting the rebuild of a property destroyed by fire, on the front of Cliftonville in Lewis Crescent, apparently the owners failed to follow planning guidance to rebuild the property in the style of the original.rebuild

Of course its a phenomena in these parts which frequently occurs when developers are given an inch, they’ll often take a mile (well a few metres at least).

In a bold move officers suggested to the planning committee that it might be a jolly good idea, if Thanet council had the balls to have this building demolished.

No surprise that the committee compromised (that may be an exaggeration), it was decided to allow “officers” and developers to get together and report back so that the committee could review the situation at a later date.

All well and good, still if the council were that serious, how is it the building, which was apparently already occupied prior to their deliberations of the planning committee, now appears to have,considerably fewer of the 29 flats vacant. I took a quick gander at the building yesterday and to me it still looks, every bit as cheap and nasty, as it did in January.

I get the impression that despite the building being under threat of demolition, neither the developers or residents are too troubled by TDC’s planning department or planning committee. Why?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Its back to the future for Dreamland

Although Margate no longer has a town museum, it has a hotel which boasts the fact it's, part museum and has its own curator, which clearly works well in the hospitality industry, as I'm sure most of us prefer traditional surroundings to that of the impersonal cells offered by the large hotel chains.

The Save Dreamland campaign, are making a big public announcement this coming Sunday, about their plans to create a heritage theme park, if you'd care to take a butcher's at their website you will find copious details on recent meetings they have had with various organisations.

Clearly much work has been done recently to pursue the dream of an amusement park, so enthusiasts can dust off ancient fairground attractions and breathe life into them once more.

A lot will depend on whether the Margate Regeneration Partnership support their plans, since this unelected and unrepresentative (of Margate People) quango will be pivotal in encouraging organisations like SEEDA and English heritage into coughing up the dosh needed.

Also they will need to get a reasonable deal (cheap) with the grandly titled “Margate Town Centre Regeneration Co” which I take is just a fancy name for the property speculators who own the Dreamland site, hopefully at this point in time, it will be possible to screw a decent price out of them, since it cannot be easy to have large capital assets in times like these sitting their depreciating.

Whether a heritage theme park will work is a different matter, I understand this is a world first for which their might be a reason. Dreamland is a world famous brand, and I find it astonishing that no company has come forward in recent times to make something of it.

Still what do I know, the thing about all fairgrounds, theme parks that I have been to date is their freshness, topicality even if the rides are old, they generally display graphics which are fresh, so I just hope this doesn't turn out like some sad heritage railway, all about the enthusiast and not the punter.

Finally and again I’m just speaking for myself, unlike a hotel room where I want comfortable cosy reassuring surroundings, at an amusement park I want the unfamiliar uncomfortable and to be frightened er sh witless!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Timed out

A combination of things in this post, first off looking at my spy software meter contraption I note, that you the reader are wasting too much time, trying to decipher, what I’m on about, according to my info your averaging around three and half minutes ( Sitemeter its 3:30 and Hi stats 4:01)

Life is short, so I’ll briefly mention that the details acquired don’t as far as I know give personally identifiable information although often large companies can be identified so media and news workers beware. (But don’t worry because if the UK government are not already monitoring everything the US probably is).

In the news, the plight of Jade Goody is as sad as its prominent, and disturbingly I see a few aloof journalist and commentators, who’ve taken the opportunity to take a swipe at her, because she is well, fairly ordinary but has had the determination and willpower to make something of her life.

Jade Goody faced with the likely crushing outcome of her illness, has done a remarkable job in providing a future for her family, which ought to earn the respect and admiration of even the most cynical.

One hopes that Jade, will along with anyone in her condition be receiving the best care available. For many a key provider of care and advice for those with terminal illness is either Marie Curie Cancer Care or Macmillan Cancer Support, who as ever need funds.

Fortunately I’ve never been in direct contact with either but one thing I do recall is a Macmillan nurses doing something a doctor couldn’t and that was taking the time to explain the severity of a patients condition, who was then able in the following week to sort out their affairs and more importantly allow friends and family a few final hours together.

That small intervention was years ago but I know it had a significant effect in making the most of the patient’s last few hours, so where this going.

Well times short and I can be verbose, so if your one of the regulars maybe popping in once a week to be enlightened spending 3-4 minutes, over the year, that’s around three hours, longer than any film or football match so maybe you could give a tenner.

Anyway here’s a link to both of these essential organisations Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sex just to much information for Kent Police authority?

Just a quick reminder to those of you who are considering getting yourself involved in public life, you have just this weekend to complete your application to become a member of Kent’s Police Authority.

I think many of us are quite used to filling out job application forms, particularly in these days of prudent economic management, any how after you’ve filled out all the normal sort of job application form stuff, Kent Police include a “monitoring questionnaire”.

The main application form covers all the relevant stuff, you know, where’ve you been working, what have you done for the community, can you think strategically (if you can don’t bother), which is thorough enough and lengthy but once you’ve finished you have what seems a pointless and unnecessary questionnaire to fill in.

The questionnaire has the usual tosh about promoting equality, me, I’d be happy if they just said, that they followed UK employment legislation and not bother.

In the second paragraph of the questionnaire they mention that the form is for statistical purposes only, then make it clear it will not form part of the selection process, and immediately below place a box on the form that says Ref No and a blank box next to it?

Now I generally refuse to answer questions about ethnicity because its irrelevant since this country treats everyone equally, but on the odd occasion I’ve complied the choices have been simple, European, Asian, African & other which should cover all, even the odd applicant from the planet Zog.

However that apparently wouldn’t satisfy Kent Police, somehow they’ve managed to come up 15 different ethnic groups, and just in case they’ve missed one, they have a final “Any other”.

Maybe its my age or perhaps Kent police, are relentless, they want to know your religious leanings and even have the cheek to ask about your sexual orientation, which rather disappointingly, doesn’t have these answers, vertical, horizontal, sideways or swinging from the blimin chandeliers. For the time being, they will accept only bi, hetro, gay or prefer not to say, but no doubt they’ll refine this.

The monitoring question they might ask is :-

Which of these most closely describe you?

  • A) Conservative politician
  • B) Retired Civil Servant/ politician
  • C) Freemason
  • D) None of the above (No Chance)

Any way if you’d like to apply click here for an application pack, must be in by Monday sharp.

exhibit eh!

exhit what!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Manston Master plan explained

I went along to tonight's lecture given by Matt Clarke, Chief Executive, of Kent International airport.

It was refreshing to hear what the future holds for Manston uninterrupted by the usual hysteria and delivered by someone who knows what he’s talking about which is not something you will find on the pages of a blog (I know).

A brief glance at the companies portfolio would indicate that Infratil, are expert in running airports and reassuringly have long term sustainable plans, I just find it a pity that in the main the audience were made up of people my age and older.

Anyway if you’d like to see what future they envisage then please click on this link and scan through their master plan.

PS One point that lodged in my mind was reference to the fact that EU Jet carried 402,000 in nine months of trading and they clearly didn't know what doing whereas Infratil do.

Trains, one worker that network rail couldn't stop!

The combined efforts of rail companies Southern, Southeastern and of course Network Rail couldn't manage to deliver most of the South's worker ants to there desks in London but the Bumble Bee (photographed today) managed to get to work despite cold weather, ice and lack of information.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Thanet democracy could be seen on Kent TV in a matter of days

The last few weeks have seen calls for Thanet Council to make available video of council meetings, various comments and nonsensical arguments for been put forward as to why or why not this can or cant be done.

The simple answer is that Thanet council have the ability to record and place video from these meetings on to DVD, we as local taxpayers, pay for Kent TV. So all that is required is for them to send a DVD to Kent TV and tell them to put it on to their system.

Admittedly anyone who has visited the council chamber to witness the great meeting of minds will know that there are no stand out orators or any great speeches but what do you expect, so in fact the ideal content one might think for Kent TV.

Just to check this out I took the trouble to just ring and confirm that this would be possible and the guy answering the phone for Kent TV couldn’t see a problem. So if anyone from the council would like the phone number, just contact me on my email, and within days we could all be inviting Sandy Ezekiel into our homes.

Any delay in agreeing to make records of meetings available in the future via the internet would appear to purely suit council officers and maybe the Conservative group.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Don’t Clown with Kent Police

Last years climate change demonstrations at Kingsnorth were more dangerous than many of us thought, not only were protesters intent on walking into batons and riot shields but worse than that, the guardian has revealed things could have taken a darker twist.

The guardian’s report gives us a clue as to why Kent police had to spend millions, for it seems that closing down Kingsnoth Power station was just a side show, amongst the items seized were balloons, party poppers, crayons and a clowns outfit. It doesn’t take a chief constable to work this one out, these blighters were clearly trying to organise a kids party.


If you’d like to read more about this click here for the guardian story, alternatively you can click here and watch this BBC report from last year showing Kent’s police’s light touch with first a riot shield (20sec into report) and then a baton (30 sec into report).