Thursday, April 30, 2009

Clive Hart takes on Labour Leadership in Thanet

I see posted on Cllr Nottinghams Blog, that Clive Hart has taken on the Leadership of Thanet Labour Group after Richard Nicholson stood down.

We're told Clive Hart defeated Dave Green after a “comradely campaign” whatever that might be (sounds very grown up, but so boring).

Clive Hart is I understand a regular reader of Bignews at least that’s what he tells me whenever we meet, which as it happens is generally in Tesco’s Cliftonville, anyway Good Luck!

Obviously at this stage its not known whether the increased burden of the leadership will mean more or less photo opportunities for Clive, I’m tempted to think more.

Lets hope the local Conservatives will at sometime revitalise, their standing in the community and also change leader.

Finally I hope that Richard Nicholson enjoys the backbenches.

Highways Agency to save the planet at what cost.

Crikey as a frequent night worker, I was a tad concerned that the Highways Agency might be risking my safety after a long night grafting on the railways by turning off the lights on the M2, just to save money.

What a relief it was to see that this is not the case, according to the Highways Agency, South Eastern Operations Director "We are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of operating the motorway network and this is one step in that direction."

Personally I don’t think their is any credible evidence outside the institutions, paid to prove the existence of global warming, that it actually exists, still it seems the Highways agency are doing the honourable thing and risking my safety for unproven science and no doubt the 40% energy saving and resulting cost saving is just a by-product as of course will the diminished safety.

For the BBC story click here

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Peter Gilroy recipient of bonus

It seems every day, that Kent’s Tory administration does its level best to push the limits of credulity with every increasing acts of profligate spending.

The taxpayers of Kent could be forgiven for thinking just how crazy, can things get in Kent’s council administration as the latest excess comes to light.

Believe it or not Kent’s Chief Executive Peter Gilroy who as many of us know is paid more than the Prime Minister is subject to fresh controversy as its revealed that he received a bonus of £31,065 in performance related pay?

Now Paul Carter has failed to convince many apart from himself presumably Peter Gilroy and a small group of supporters that, the chief Exec is on a high salary to attract people of his abilities but what I want to know, if that is true then why or for what is he being paid extra. What are the extras?

If your a Tory how can you justify Paul Carter's spend thrift administration?

And finally how big is the public sector begging bowl?

Oh and on top of that Mr Gilroy took another £12,000 grand for a few days of annual leave?

Click here for Kentonline story

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thought for the day - British Democracy Fundamentally Corrupt?

I hope its not me and hope the local Tories are wrong, but just digest the magnitude of these extracts from Conservative bloggers in Thanet “With both local council and elections now taking place in a short period of time, I'm now very constrained, under the code of conduct, over what I may or may not write in regard to political content” writes Simon Moores and this from Ken Gregory “As a result, in order to comply with electoral law, I will, until the election is over, restrict my postings to Non Political issues

Two things strike me, if these two councillors are saying that they are restricted in the comments they can make on political issues during an election, then we don’t live in a democracy and maybe more infuriation are the apparently bland and compliant comments from Simon with this “I can make a quick comment about yesterday's budget without having my wrists slapped by the Monitoring Officer” and Ken Gregory saying this “Sorry for the inconvenience , but I do not wish to fall foul of the law”

Here’s what I say if some monitoring officer tried to slap my wrist they’d get more than a slap back, and as for falling foul of the law I say **** the law.

Men and Women throughout history have gone to incredible lengths and still do today, for the right of self expression and the limp acceptance of being constrained is for me untenable.

Still I suggest you click on video below in which the late Peter Finch, expressed more eloquently how I feel.

Monday, April 27, 2009

To twitter, blog or take a stand?

Been catching up on the papers today, since I had no time yesterday. Nothing really taken my fancy today, other than the gentle stirring of candidates in the county elections.

Perhaps a notable situation worth a comment, would be Paul Carter(Kents Tory Leader)and his recent, almost embarrassing backing for highly paid KCC official Peter Gilroy, both might well feel a tad uncomfortable, if they pay any heed to George Osborne, the Tory shadow chancellor, who appears to agree with me, that pay for public sector workers, ought to reflect economic conditions and is promising to end the "age of excess".

Perhaps both ought to brush up their C V's. Anyway you can read more about that if you click here for yourthanet’s report.

Oh yes I mentioned contenders warming up for the coming frey, drawn to my attention by a couple of emails, from the opposing candidates, one informing me that highway improvements are about to start, on the Eastern Esplanade, at the end of May (although he doesn't say whether he will be helping out, or posing for a photo opportunity, or both) and the other candidate is offering a facebook friendship.

Whilst both messages are welcome, unfortunately, my mind is almost made up, as to my to voting intentions and anyway, I know I'm cheap but please. (just kidding!)

Politics is a serious game which is why I occasionally mention it in passing, right now people are suffering, and when we pick up a newspapers, read of mediocrity, being rewarded by the taxpayer, whether its money spent on luxury goods for MP’s or eye watering salaries in the top end of the public sector.

Still should there be a popular uprising by the electorate against the status quo and snouts in the trough and all that sort of Mullarkey and enough people were to demand my nomination, as the voice of reason in a world of skewed and stale politics let me know! I'd be interested.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kent County Elections

wannabee You’ll have likely noticed, increasing activity on your door mat, just recently, in amongst, appealing leaflets offering allsorts of exotic foodstuffs chips, pizza, kebabs etc you will find local candidates grinning out of cheaply produced election pamphlets, with various innocuous statements about personal triumphs and if you’re lucky some wild promises of what they’ll do for you in the future.

Anyhow with this in mind maybe its time, to examine how to get yourself, into County Hall, first off your best bet is to be a member of a political party, do a bit of brown-nosing and maybe join the lodge if you don’t mind dressing up and exposing yourself to banal rituals, which are so stupid their kept secret and with luck you’ll bag yourself a safe seat.

Of course its too late to pursue the normal route coming election and any way the thought of joining a political party and supporting some hypocritical agenda is too uncomfortable for most of us to contemplate. That leaves the independent route and often eccentric route, which is popular with those who’ve upset the clique running their preferred local political party, and those actually wishing to contribute something to the community.

I’ve thought about it myself and just wonder what my policy would be apart from trying to instil, some sense of responsibility at Maidstone, which appears to me to be sadly lacking particularly under Paul Carter’s leadership, where it seems any half baked idea, so long as it has nothing to do with core services, that the public expects gets the green light like, Kent TV, Kent Healthwatch and those other diversions that have nothing to do with delivering services.

I just wonder if Tim Garbutt is considering having a bash in the county elections, as he’s declared himself as a future parlimentary candidate for South Thanet, might be a good time to test the water, particularly with his strong local concerns.

All I can say is god help all those functionaries, on hundred thousand plus salaries if either a competent Tory or Labour administration took charge with the intention of delivering services, rather than Kent’s multi million pound PR budget.

Any way if you fancy a go click here for info you have until May 7th to get ten registered voters to sign your nomination

Friday, April 24, 2009

Big Breakfast a thing of the past.

My favourite meal, Bacon & Eggs, looks endangered or about to be diminished, after a rather surreal conversation with Mrs Me, it appears she has developed, a concern for chickens, which hitherto I had been unaware.

Apparently we are, no longer to have, big eggs anymore since “it hurts their bottoms” , what the …….

Mrs Me added “I’ve been reading, about it, quite a lot recently”  clearly we don’t we read the same stuff. Still do turkeys, do eggs?


Margate Harbour Area

Earlier in the week, I was as I frequently do, wandering around, the Habour area, and was pleasantly surprised, to see that work at least along the Parade is completed after what seems years.

Still a couple of things niggle, and its probably my middle-age grumpiness, but how far are Margate’s Cafe’s allowed to extend, on to the paved street. I note that one has now crossed the road from the bottom of the High Street and looks as if, left unchecked, might well be serving coffee and pastries in Cliftonville soon. next stop cliftonville

The other thing, that’s bugging me, although work has finished along the Parade, I just wonder why contractors have found it necessary to just abandon, old signs and fencing.

whats this

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why fat cats are worth it according to Paul Carter

Kent Council leader Paul Carter in a recent letter published in the Telegraph, clearly takes exception to the tax payers alliance, public sector Rich list, which of course places Kent's own Chief Executive Peter Gilroy in third place from the top, on a miserly quarter of a million pounds plus.

B coz I say so

Councillor Carter, cites the responsibilities of Chief Executives in authorities the size of Kent, wittering on about the amount of young people in education, the 40,000 odd staff, and two billion budget to run Kent Services.

Still Paul Carter has a point, the job is responsible, but then presumably Peter Gilroy doesn't do it all on his own, (in fact surely Paul Carter himself ought to take some blame as leader of the council, he is presumably the boss ?)and he has various officers who are often referred to as director's who run the various departments of local government.

If one cares to take a gander, and KCC's senior management chart, excluding ordinary office wallahs, he (CEO)has no less an eight directors of this that and the other, including a Director Of Commercial Services (I didn't realize KCC was a business), Director Of Public Health (I understand Mr. Gilroy once worked in Health Care) and a Director Of Strategic Development And Public Access (god knows?). Its probably a long shot but I’m willing to bet, most of this lot are trousering a hundred grand at least and in some cases for what?peters helpers

Excuse the diversion but something else that I worry about with Paul Carter, is this in the run up to the local elections, I have received an election leaflet from the Conservative party, I have no wish to be unkind but if you take away, details of the candidates, photograph of Roger Gale and Laura Sandys grinning, with a paragraph of complete waffle, and remove the Saint George's flag on the other side, your find, at least in my ward, a blank piece of paper, absolutely no policy whatsoever from Kent conservatives, as to what they intend to offer, us the electorate should they be re-elected.

Now this is why you need to worry whether Paul Carter is competent and up to leading Kent Council, Kent Tories are facing an local county election next month, and yet their election leaflets, in the run up to the county elections, contain no policies what so ever.

I just wonder when Paul Carter lists his reasons, why he thinks council officers, like the chief executive are worth, a higher salary than the prime minister, whether he is not also factoring into the equation, that the council officers, are there to deliver policy, because simply put it, appears neither he or his clique have the remotest clue about initiating policy.

Briefly returning to Paul Carter’s assertions, about Fat Cats being worth all the Gold Top they can guzzle, it seems that I’m not the only sceptic, since not one letter published in the Telegraph, in response his fat cats are worth it stuff, seemed to concur.

Here is a sample of what people think about Paul Carter’s defence of overpaid council staff “puts foward the bizarre notion” “A bricklayer is worth it, a head teacher is worth it, but, sorry, Mr Carter, a "chief executive" is not.”

Anyway click here for responses to Cllr Paul Carters letter from the Telegraph website

PS since writing this I understand the Tory group do indeed have manifesto which is about to be unleashed tomorrow. Hurrah !

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Saint George reclaimed

Bayside St. Georges day is almost upon us, and its worth mentioning that unlike other nations that make up the United Kingdom its probably only in the last year or two, that people have become comfortable with celebrating the occasion.

Anyhow I just mention it in passing as I received an email yesterday, from The Bayside Brasserie 54 Albion Street, that they have a special menu both lunch time and dinner.

Its good to see that business is starting to adopt the day, which is proof that St George has lost its hijacked connotations.

Anyway the menu looks good unfortunately, I have a prior engagement on the railway, enjoy!

Gordon brown has delayed panic attack?

Gordon Brown has belatedly acted, on the controversy surrounding MP's expenses, clearly after weeks of continuing scandal, much of it coming from his own ministers and Labour MP's as they fill their boots with taxpayers' money.

He made the announcement on the number 10 website, where you can see the video of Gordon brown, explaining his interim measures, it's worth looking at, just to gauge how bad things are, watch his delivery and demeanor, toward the end it seems his smile for instance flashes from scowl to full volume grin or rather grimace without any in-between a bit like watching a light bulb flicker before it fails.

Maybe it's the possibility, that the prime minister has just cottoned on to the fact, of how seriously the public take, the images of the home Secretary apparently bluffing her way out of a rather unseemly position because if you study the PM, it looks as though he couldn't be more uncomfortable, if sat in a dentist's chair, facing an extraction without pain relief.

Of course he comes out with all the usual tosh, of greater disclosure accountability etc.  but what does that mean in practice, I seem to recall one particular MP, who although he declared taking 25,000 pounds for his party, from a developer, not surprisingly as far as I can recall, didn't then preface remarks about a development, by saying “I had a donation from one of the directors of this company”, when speaking in favour of it.

Also mention was made of second jobs, again I seem to recall, a former minister, taking a "Consultancy" not long after being sidelined, in the same sector that they had recently held ministerial responsibility for.

Labour has positioned themselves, firmly where the Tories were in 1997, that is remote from those who voted for them, and with their snouts in the trough.  Of course I believe that barring some miracle, most labour MP's will be in receipt of the P 45, which to be honest is their own fault, but might explain their screw you attitude to the electorate.

I'm convinced that Labour won the 1997 election, not because of Blair's cheesy grin, their policies but because of years of Tory sleaze.

MP's if they want to be considered professional, they need to cut out the second jobs, not take gifts and just get on with the bloody job, it's fair enough that an MP might have a special interest, but taking paying job is just not on.

Conservatives are probably just the same but of course the difference is their not currently the party of government, although Gordon Brown is doing his best to make that so.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BBC In a tizz over “Gay Margate”

Stumbled on this report in the Mirror, about the suggestion by one of the Apprentice contestants, that Margate should be promoted as a gay resort.

It seems that the producers of the show are now in a bit of a dither, as to whether to show an embarrassing discussion, which ensued after contestant Howard Ebison, had the idea for a gay resort and rival Mona Lewis apparently made remarks to the effect, that she wouldn’t be to keen on her son being in a “gay environment” whatever that means.

Now I thought that their was a good chance of local dignitaries making Margate look bad, but it seems as though BBC producers and “sources”, are taking a damaging and condescending, view of us here in Margate.

The Mirrors source is quoted as saying “..Howards plan probably wasn’t the best idea when you consider that Margate can be a pretty rough place full of drunken lads”

Further insult is added with “Producers have not finally decided how much of the incident to show - they are worried it could offend some viewers.”

My retort to this load of cobblers, is this, (those of weak disposition, please look away now) it would seem that the producers of this show must be a bunch of feeble minded, clueless cretins, with stereotypical views that those living outside of West London must be consider as dangerous louts.

Clearly these idiots have done little research on the area, as far as I know, Margate is not generally known for homophobia, and the Margate Pride event has been well received.

My advice to sensitive BBC execs is this, the appeal of the show is the rivalry and conflict between contestants, so lets see the row and judge for ourselves.margit pride

PS Another contestant apparently gets legless, on a night out and spends the following day being sick, no doubt BBC bosses wont hesitate for a second, with that binge drinking cliché.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A last glance at Margate

margate photogs

Saturday with a few hours to spare before I went to work, I thought I'd better get down and take a gander at the exhibition held by Margate's Flickr group before it closed yesterday.

It was well worth the effort, unlike some of the more expensive artistic outings that we have, had, on offer in Margate.

This exhibition put on by a group of locals, with an interest in photography and some affection for Margate, frankly it puts to shame, one or two of the Turner Contemporary exhibitions like the recent Super - Redundant exhibition of old Ikea bathroom scales and other recycled tat which for me have not been worth visiting.

Proof if you need it that self help might well be that way forward to Margate's future, particularly if you think of the earlier mishandling of the Turner Contemporary project, pretty much exclusively cocked up by KCC, SEEDA and Arts Council wallahs with minimal connection to Margate.

Anyway well done to all those involved, Fiona Sherriff from the Harbour arm company and Dan Bass whose photographs I much admire, whom I had a chance to bore witless, by talking about myself rather than the exhibition.  Obviously Louise Oldfield founder of the group, and Aaron Stone who's picture of seagulls featured on last week's yourthanet deserves praise, as do all the others who took part, really its unfair to single out individuals, since all of the pictures were of high standard, thanks to all!.

I understand that visitors were drawn from far and wide, which just goes to show that ordinary people can make a difference.

Anyway to see more of the work and find out about the group click here, and I'd like to apologise for not having linked to the Flickr group before.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gazette’s Smudger on the news pulse

we've got a pulse

Not being a subscriber to the Gazette’s “Smudger” thisisthanet Twitter page, I’m often out of the loop on hot news, still I noticed the twitter feed on Thanetonline blog, offering a warm welcome to a fleet of tall ships that had arrived posted 4 hours ago.

I assume this is not the same flotilla that turned up on Wednesday and departed on Thursday.

Anyway here is a link to thiswasthanet, I reckon the editor of Thanets Northcliffe titles could afford to buy the crews drinks all night since I think their long gone.

It's simple really

This blog is really addressed to Dr. Moores, of whom I would like to say before anything else, appears to be, the subject of rather preposterous and unwarranted insinuations elsewhere in the Blogosphere.

That said I'm sure that some would agree that, when cllr. Simon Moores is discussing politics he is capable himself of coming out with his own brand of tosh.

On Tuesday I made reference to the Tory groups inexplicable, decision to throw vast amounts of money at senior top knobs within TDC's Administration. Now since Cllr. Moores chaired that particular committee and rubber stamped a rather generous increase, presumably already agreed with by Sandy's cabinet, so to some extent his comment to me, "I really you wish that it was all as simple as you paint it" is fair comment.

However, I cannot help but think, that leading members of our local conservative run council, are themselves easily led by council officers rather than the electorate in general, do you get the feeling that our Sandy has an agenda policy or even a clue, no thought so.

One thing that is clear, is the fact that the due to the economic downturn most council's including Thanet District Council will be experiencing a fall in the revenues, so what most of us would like to know, is whether Sandy, Roger and or financial supremo Martin Wise even bothered to suggest to chief executive Richard Samuel and his fellow officers, whether it wouldn't be fair and reasonable to have no increased salaries this year and share the burden of economic hardship experienced by most businesses and residents not employed in the public sector.

No one is asking Sandy and his rather lacklustre cohorts, to be mean to council staff, but really let's be honest what has Richard Samuel, assuming his pay scale has been increased done to deserve it and why do we now need a deputy chief executive also on an improved pay scale

It seems incredible that neither Sandy Roger or Martin Wise as tories have made any pronouncements on making real economies, such as staff cuts etc. I wonder what a real tory like Mrs T would make of this crowd, not a lot I suspect.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WHAT TALL SHIPS? Tall ships short on spectators!

Not for the first time Thanet lets slip, yet another opportunity to promote this area at almost minimal cost.

I cannot understand why Thanet Council, didn't announce earlier the visit of the Tall Ships race, even if it could not have been more precise about actual arrival times.

Presumably authorities at Ramsgate Harbour where aware, of the likely arrival time of the flotilla, as was one assumes, the Royal Temple Yacht Club overlooking the Harbour, where it seemed from my vantage point, that one or two G and T's and maybe the odd pint were being guzzled, by participants of the race overlooking the Harbour. drink anyone

Since the local media rely heavily on press releases from local councils and the like, I'm sure if handled more effectively there would have been more people around the Harbour area, spending money in our local businesses, particularly since, many people are currently taking time off for the Easter holiday.

The site of these ships is magnificent, as would have been a crowded Harbour area, stuffed full of onlookers.

Hopefully next time the Tall Ships, visit Ramsgate Harbour, local authorities will have the foresight to publicise, prior to their visit and not halfway through.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sandy’s Tories Guilty of Feeding TDC Fat Cats

No surprise for readers of Bignews Margate Feb 24, when I suggested that staff would be receiving 2% and bosses a few grand more, was I right with "lets hope TDC don't have some sly deal, on the side where top knobs get some ridiculous bonus"

Last week Simon Moores chair of the general purposes committee was quoted as saying "This is a difficult and sensitive time for all pay negotiations", well he's not wrong there except when he presides over a free for all, with our money.

Particularly annoying for many in the private sector, who have either lost jobs, lost hours, had no increase, must be the fact that those in the most secure jobs locally, are to receive a two per cent increase.

Rather misleading was the suggestion that a pay award of nought percent had been made to the corporate management team, now whilst their strictly not telling porkies, there is however a smokescreen surrounding just how much, TDC top knobs have managed to snaffle from us, long suffering tax payers.

Probably the only group more furious than us the taxpayer, would be the those referred to as a senior staff, since their increase was less than 2%, offered to others, and presumably the reason for this would be to help finance TDC fat cats.

Just why old Sandy, would want to reward the corporate management team, is presumably something we will never know, but maybe it's for their competence in handling the Northdown house fiasco when they wasted thousands, rather than just check what everyone else knew (that covenants prevented the sale), or maybe not issuing a TDC press release in the style of a drop it and cop it, which is reserved for us taxpayers, should we drop litter, but not apparently when the Leader of the Council is censured for the second time in as many years for rather bad and boring behaviour, which does nothing to enhance Thanets reputation.

If our local council was reflective of the local economy, then harsh as it might sound, local councils staffing levels ought to be reduced by something of the order of 10%, however since our Sandy and his deputy Roger rarely seem to initiate policy, it's no surprise that the local Tory Group seem to have been led into a situation in Thanet ignores economic reality.

The Conservative party used to be regarded, as the party that would deliver cost effective services, if the Tories are as lazy in protecting the taxpayer across the country, as they are in Kent it will be interesting to know what David Campbell will have to offer us to voters in any future elections.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Now we are three

I never forget my own birthday, but Bignews Margate is a separate entity so its, no surprise, that I missed the anniversary, of that Wednesday (12th) April 2006, when I posted for the first time on blogger and Bignews Margate was created.

Since then I have posted 930 times, splattered around about 350,000 words, and offended god knows how many tin pot, third rate bureaucrats and politicians, which has at least bought me immense pleasure.

Reading, Royston Robertson,blog today reminded me of the continuing and current fat cat scandal, a subject frequently touched on by myself and on one occasion fat cat expert, Mr. Puss. So rather than revisit the subject I shall recycle a previous posting from March 2007, unfortunately little has changed.

Despite a leading Tory councillor recently informing me, that bloggers are parasites, I like to think that along with other bloggers' and readers, that we also contribute to a greater or lesser extent as do councillors, particularly when you consider those with limited talents who are trousering several thousand pounds a year in " expenses" an unlike them we don't charge.

Any how I can't personally say that I have had any breathtaking revelations on this particular blog but I hope I've kept things in the public domain that need to be exposed, such as Kent Healthwatch TV, Turner contemporary, dubious advertising, Northdown house, dual standards and hypocrisy from both the Labour party and Conservative party.

Anyway as I mentioned earlier here's one I made earlier from March 2007.

Mr Puss calls for calm
in local authority Fat Cats row!

Although Mr Puss works in the private sector he is becoming increasingly alarmed at the criticism of local government Fat Cats.

In a rare and exclusive interview with BIGNEWS MARGATE Mr Puss has decided to speak out.

During our interview Mr Puss at first miaowed and then after some provocative questioning he growled his displeasure at public disapproval of council Fat Cats, abruptly leaving the room for the garden. Some minutes later he returned more reserved, and refusing to add to his earlier comments, clearly Mr Puss is a cat under pressure.

We discussed his early career, how as a young cat, he had been forced onto the streets, a life of crime beckoned until the day he broke into Flaig Mansions.

The owner took pity, Mr Puss was offered the position of Cat, in the Flaig household, however, in those early days not everything went smoothly, keen to show his all-round ability he decided to add the finishing touches to a spreadsheet on the computer, unfortunately his keyboard skills were not up to the task, a birth defect had left him with four paws, a lot of fur and no brains.

Mr Puss had learned his lesson, after this he concentrated on traditional skills, sleeping, killing things, and his own speciality torturing bumble bees.

Things now run smoothly, there have been occasional setbacks, like the time the vet removed his testicles (Ouch!) and that scandal when a family of 15 mice or more, moved in.

Overall life has been good to Mr Puss, now in semi-retirement he can reflect on how he earned his position as a 'Fat Cat'.

Sometimes he ruminates on what life would have been, as a Public Sector Fat Cat, but never having courted publicity, preferring Tuna fish to Smoked Salmon, not relishing the idea of the public baying for his blood (along with the dog next door). In common with Edith Piaf ( " Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien") he has no regrets.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Concorde 40 today

conc2 At least today is the 40th anniversary, of the first flight of the Concorde from Filton near Bristol, an incredible machine, which is made all the more remarkable, since all these years later, no commercial airliner has been built since, to match its speed and it's unlikely, in the lifetime of anyone reading this, that another passenger aircraft will be built with similar capabilities.

Whilst it's a source of immense conc3pride of what the British aerospace industry was once capable of, to me it's a reminder of the failures of Britain as a nation.

In common with a majority of air travellers, whilst we might have admired the thing from a distance it is rare that any of us actually had a trip on the thing.

My first trip on the Concorde consisted of entering at the rear of the plane, walking through to the front and after a quick butchers at the cockpit leaving via the front, I was in fact visiting The Intrepid Space Museum, In New York, where they have a British Airways Concorde, plonked on a barge, in the Hudson River (much recommended, credit crunch allowing (rules me out), if you tire of being dragged round the shops).conc1

Now I mentioned, Concorde being a reminder of the failures of the British nation, and it's for this reason, at the same time as France and Britain were developing this superb aeroplane with the assistance of the British & French taxpayer, Boeing in America were developing the 747 Jumbo Jet, which opened up long distance travel to the masses, something which Concorde despite being funded by taxpayers in Britain and France never pretended to do.

Concorde will be remembered fondly for a long time to come, but it's my guess that, passengers will be flying Boeing's 747 jumbo, for at least another 40 years. Concorde built for the elite few could never have flown without massive taxpayer subsidies, so whilst it was a technical marvel and still is, it was also a resounding commercial failure.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Changes and additions

Blatant Brit I started a new blog yesterday, aimed at bigger fish I think, Blatant Britain, as they say its under construction. Purely accidental, and not the greatest title, still Bignews Margate is not the greatest, anyhow that’s not the point.

Bloggers will be aware of the reminders from google to monetise your website, with adverts, its probably the blogging equivalent, of taking in dirty washing (email

My new blog was only started so I could play about with google adwotsits, and yesterdays post, was suitably pompous, I don’t think that i’ll be making money, anytime soon, but I’ve an idea that is unlucky not to pick up money in the street, even if its just a penny.

A couple of years ago before the depression, I reckon I was making as much as 25p in week (five shillings in old money), but in these more desperate times its rare to see coins left in the street.

I think I may have cocked up the registration, for this thing so I’ll see what occurs, but I don’t expect to make money anytime soon, if I earn the price of a pint by the time, I jack in blogging I’ll be surprised.

Man dies shortly after police contact And Jacqui Smith talks about managed inquiry.

g20 police Sometimes you just wonder whether you live in a western democracy or some banana Republic, particularly whenever Britain's police appear to act in an aggressive manner towards those citizens, they are supposed to protect.

Anyway if you're unaware of the circumstances leading up to the death of Ian Tomlinson, you might wish to read this report from the BBC view the  filmed interview with Jacqui Smith and video from the Guardian newspaper showing policeman attacking Mr Tomlinson from behind.

It clearly shows a police officer, at last week's G20 protests knocking Mr. Tomlinson to the ground from behind for no apparent reason.

Now I suspect that had this been, any other identifiable citizen of this country, apparently knocking an innocent man to the ground, which preceded a man's death by minutes, they would, most likely have found themselves at least, interviewed and probably charged for either manslaughter or murder within hours of the tragedy.

However often as is in the case with Britain's police forces, what had been normal procedure for the general public, becomes strangely muddied, and non applicable it seems where police officers are concerned.

Anyway it's not for me to make your mind up, but I strongly suggest you look at the video of this incident, if also I would recommends watching Jacqui Smith referring  to a “managed investigation” overseen by police officers, myself I would hope that all investigations were managed etc.

What worries me is the fact that the police appear not able to confidently and briskly conclude their investigations.

And the Home Secretary's reference to the managed investigation, reminds me of all those enquiries that go on interminably over such things as ministers claiming for porno videos and barbecue sets, until the public lose all interest or politicians have had enough time to muddy the waters.

At the end of the day, a man on his way home from work, has been knocked to the ground from behind, by a police officer, and shortly after died of a heart attack, he deserved better and his family deserve a prompt and honest conclusion to this matter

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Paul Carter and another old chestnut

Paul Carter has issued a statement with that old Chestnut "Kent County Council has to compete in a marketplace to attract the very best...." blah blah blah

As you might expect he's responding to the rather dismal news that Peter Gilroy, Kent's Chief Executive is apparently worth much more than the Prime Minister, for reasons not understood by this blogger and most of my readers.

Hasn't David Cameron got any proper Tories who might be careful with our money and live in Kent!

See KM for full story

Net Curtains for Dreamland

No not a makeover for Margate’s icon, just a mention that the Theatre Royal will be hosting theatre company Net Curtains who’ve been developing three new plays around the theme of Dreamland and perhaps more specifically Margate town.

Having received an email from Claire Farringdon artistic director of Net Curtains, I did what I normally do with my emails, overlook it, for a week or so, until about half hour before I started blogging on the subject. Anyway I’ll tell you what I know which is er not a lot.twitch

The Net Curtains Theatre company specialise in working with writers, to develop new work, anyway enough of that malarkey, it seems that they’ve taken some effort to cook up, three short plays on the theme of Margate, the shows entitled Dreamland and will be performed on the 24th of May.

Depending on how these are received, one of the plays will I understand be further developed into a full length production.

Whilst I think about it, I’ve rarely visited the Theatre Royal, and strangely I’ve been more often to the West End and further as I suspect is the case with most of us, but this looks like not a bad evenings entertainment.

Anyway it’ll be interesting to see what three, one hopes talented writers, can find to write about that connects with my home town, myself I’ve found the last few hundred thousand words, on this blog a bit of a struggle any how, Sue Liener gives us the ,”The Bed and Breakfast Burglar”, Tim Stimpson “First Impressions”, and James Woolf “Soul'd” are they any good, hopefully but you’ll only find out if you go see.

For more info click here for the Net Curtains site and here for the Theatre Royal.

Monday, April 06, 2009

KCC Credit Crunch solution - quantitative squandering !

If you think that Paul Carters Administration is just a handful of Tories wandering around Maidstone, Sessions House, looking self important, pompous, and generally waiting for council officers to dream up new ways to massage their masters egos’ , then I reckon you’d be about right.

I cannot think of any intuitive, originating from Paul Carter’s Kent Tories, that hasn’t appeared to, have emanated other than from non-elected council officers.

Still maybe that’s not entirely true, since it emerges Kent Council have increased the amount of “officers” receiving more than £100,000, from 16 two years ago to 30, which I assume must be Paul Carter’s attempt stimulate the local economy, using the old trickle down theory, Kent taxpayers’ money trickles out of their bank accounts, is then collected, and poured in to the pay packets of top officers and who then flushed it down the drain never to be seen again.

Make no mistake our senior officers are special here in Kent, for this reason they can waste millions and still keep their jobs and fat salaries. Millions of pounds disappears on publicity whether its full page adverts, pointless help lines (that nobody calls), printing their own magazines which have articles, telling us how blooming marvellous they are, and that's not all of course, as we all know the Audit Commission, found KCC Negligent (no surprise except to Paul Carter, Peter Gilroy and colleagues) over the loss of millions in Icelandic Banks.

I just have this idea that as people enter Session House (KCC HQ) that they must be affected by some temporary paralysis of the brain, perhaps with near lethal doses of bollix emanating from council officials, how else do you explain a Tory administration wasting money at every opportunity, assuming the culture of waste is actually one of Paul Carter’s deliberate policies then maybe its similar to Labours “quantitative easing” only instead using funny money, KCC goes for squandering our real money.

Anyway for more insight into how much money is wasted on overrated and overpaid local government top knobs refer to the Taxpayers alliance website always available on the right hand sidebar.

That will do nicely in Maidstone and mind your own in Thanet

Shock horror as once again the Tax Alliance, announce the winners and er.. WINNERS in their fourth Town Hall Rich List, and its good news for Kent’s Local Authority Supreme Bureaucrat, who despite slipping down from highest paid council officer in the land, to number three position, has nothing to complain about (well actually there is, since the Audit Commission were none to impressed with KCC’s Icelandic cock up) .

Any how KCC’s Chief Executive Peter Gilroy, still has something to celebrate though, since not only is he still paid, vastly more, for running Kent, than Gordon Brown gets for running Great Britain by day and then in his spare time saving the world from global catastrophe, as Peter has managed to breakthrough the quarter million barrier, to trouser a very reasonable £255,000.00.

Still according to the Town Hall Rich List, Thanet District Council has refused to answer their question on Town Hall pay, as a local Tax payer I’d like to know why? How much does our Chief Exec get paid, perhaps Sandy could make enquiries. Still its seems safe to say that few local authority chief execs gets out of bed for less than a hundred grand.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


I just wonder how stupid or clever politicians are or how stupid they think we are or even how stupid we must all be to put up with them.

How often have we read recently that things at TDC are improving, there’ve been quite a few references to Thanet being in the top 50 most improved, but since things are presumably improving from being pretty poor, is it such a big deal.

Planning is cited, as being much improved, particularly its improved processing of applications and by this they mean speed, as mentioned in Sandy’s “Leaders View” in last Friday’s Gazette.

Brilliant you might say and Ezekiel seems happy enough no surprise, but wait a minute, hold the phone, what's that on page 7 of the Gazette, Oh yes, maybe a year after top brains at the council suggested they could just flog off Northdown House, to the first spiv developer to come along, despite being told from the outset, that this was not possible, since it was protected by covenants too prevent, just such a casual sale, its taken all this time for the council to acknowledge that.

Worse still it seems that Sandy Ezekiel, along with those officers, who are paid very well, to deal with these things, failed to check, into the legal position of any potential sale, astonishing as its incredible.

Just to illustrate the depth of Sandy’s thinking consider this excerpt from the Gazette “Cllr Ezekiel said it was the purpose of consultation to bring out issues such as covenants, adding “Its easy to say with hindsight that it shouldn’t have been put on the list for sale,………..

Well chew on this one (particularly Tories who claim to be running the council), it would be even easier with foresight to insist, that an officer take a cursory glance at the property about to be considered for sale, just to check that it is actually possible, instead as has been the case wasting large amounts of public money on what many might consider a hare brained scheme.

Briefly coming back to planning, the same paper reports another failure of the planning department, has resulted in a belated admission, that it did not send letters to residents, concerning changes to plans for the New Meridian Village development, which means that residents in nearby property will presumably suffer an incursion on their privacy, never having had the proper notification and therefore little chance to voice concerns to the planning department, still as Ezekiel points out at least the planning process is faster than it used to be, which presumably includes its ability to cock up!

If Cllr Ezekiel wants to actually prove that he is the leader of Thanet Council, I suggest that asks the Chief Executive Richard Samuel something like, “Just what the hells going on?” and perhaps instigates an enquiry into these two failures and insist that those responsible either get sacked or sidelined to where they cannot do anymore harm.

I suppose that Sandy Ezekiel and Richard Samuel realise, that these errors aren’t some abstract issue, but have bought misery on the lives of real people, particularly those whose privacy has now been destroyed by failures of the planning department. I believe there was a time when people in public life, accepted the consequences of their actions, clearly those days have passed.

PS Some time has passed since Sandy’s most recent censure by the Standards Board and I’ve still yet to hear or see any positive comments in favour of the man from his own party. It will be interesting to see if Sandy makes it through to the next council elections.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Recession, what Recession?

Its easy for some of us to forget that large sections of the British public have yet to experience the recession and haven’t got a clue about the depth or misery this current economic downturn is proving for those in the private sector.

Still I for one wonder just how much longer, those in the public sector can remain unchallenged, in their for now immune lifestyle, which of course is dependant on those who are feeling the brunt of the depression.

I see in Kent that the trade union representing council staff reckon that whilst thousands in Kent, have been thrown on the scrapheap, they for some reason have a divine right not only to retain their jobs but screw the taxpayer for a pay increase.

Still is it any wonder that union representatives have such an unrealistic view of their self worth, when MP’s and even government ministers are blatantly robbing the public blind, be it paying for entertainment, scoring bogus claims for accommodation or sorting out fat pensions since many will soon be getting the P45.

Overall many in service or the construction industry have not seen any significant increase in pay in last few years. Those of us in unskilled or manual work have seen our earnings eroded, as well as our jobs disappear, as a result of Labour’s policy of attacking their traditional base and bringing in cheap foreign workers.

Labour under Blair completed the transition from being run by loony socialist cranks, into a comfortable, caring sort of Tory Party, which since 1997, moved further to the right, till today most Labour top knobs are every bit as corrupt and bent as their Tory counterparts once were.

Labour no longer needs or cares about working class voters for a couple of reasons, one that the Labour Hierarchy are mostly articulate middle class bods working in the public sector, and plus its the middle class that are more likely to go out and vote.

Twenty-five years ago the Tories were the big threat to the ordinary people of this country, as they systematically, destroyed industry and communities in their lunatic pursuit of low inflation, now the Labour party not through spite have done even greater damage to the people of this country, by allowing mass migration without any consideration to its consequences, because the only time their likely to notice the great social upheaval, is when they nip into a cafe or have some building work done.

I’d love to know what benefit this country derived by allowing uncontrolled migration and ruthlessly exploiting of both British nationals and East Europeans and why was this policy never featured in any Labour manifesto.

Not something that would bother your average public sector worker since their jobs are unaffected nor I would think most Labour MP’s who are appear content so long as they can claim bogus expenses, have a second job and take money from wherever its offered.

A lot of people are under the impression that Britain has had no option but to accept limitless migration, which is not so, since both France and Germany decided to protected their economies by opting out of a free for all migration policy when the EU was enlarged.

Gordon Brown’s performance as Prime Minister has been dire it will be interesting to see how he emerges at the end of this G20 charade, still apart from saving face which is unlikely at some time he will be able to walk away from the chaos created by his government, draw a fat pension and bore rich businessmen senseless by giving lectures.