Saturday, January 29, 2011

Local Labour - Handbags at dawn and less than fraternal feelings

Being the weekend, I generally have Saturday off, hence I have other things to do, so not wishing to check comments every hour or so, what with Labour being highly volatile,  I introduced moderation..
Normal service will resume shortly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You're resigning then Cllr Hart

clive hart celebratesHere follows the content of Cllr Clive Harts, response, to Cllr Mark Nottingham's recent claims, I was considering emailing him to ask if he would be resigning, I take a guess the answer would be Yes but hopefully the party faithful will beg him to stay INTENDING, should that be I am?

Any way enjoy! Please note no responsibility is taken for these comments but as someone who believes in the right to express oneself.


Cllr Clive Hart


Mark Nottingham's wildly inaccurate and defamatory allegations made in his 'open letter' to me have come as a great disappointment.  He appears to be very angry at the situation he finds himself in, and sadly he is therefore lashing out at anyone and everyone, whilst totally failing to look at himself.

Firstly, I can't help but note the timing of Mark's 'open letter' to me which coincides with my having two close relatives (my mother and brother) in hospital, both fighting extremely serious and potentially life threatening conditions.

Mark's sad and anxious rant is full of inaccuracies, false allegations and ridiculous innuendo and it says far more about him and his state of mind than it does about myself or any other member of the Labour Party.

I have a longstanding and completely unblemished reputation and in particular I have spent the last two decades, leading, supporting and working passionately with and for numerous community, voluntary and political organisations at local, county and national level.  My life is an open book.  My comprehensive CV is attached to this email and absolutely anyone can follow my daily life through twitter & facebook on the internet.

Labour is a democratic party and local branches choose their own candidates for town, district and county elections, it was therefore Mark's own Ramsgate branch who decided to 'deselect' him. I am a member of Cliftonville branch and I took absolutely no part in the selection meeting held in Ramsgate.  I feel extremely sorry for Mark but at the end of the day, members of his own branch, for whatever reason, decided they didn't want him to be their candidate in the 2011 elections.  If I were Mark I would be asking myself what had I done to make that happen, not trying to point the finger at everyone else.

Mark's concerns have been thoroughly investigated and rejected by all the relevant bodies and committees here locally in Thanet and following yet further and extremely thorough investigation, the Labour Party South East Regional Director has confirmed "Labour's candidates for Thanet District Council were selected by the Labour Party's agreed process. The allegations made by Mark Nottingham have been fully investigated by the Labour Party and all of his complaints have been dismissed. Mark Nottingham is not a candidate for the Labour Party for the Thanet District Council elections".

Unfortunately, Mark will simply not accept the situation.

Those are the facts, but for clarification of the situation that Mark finds himself in, I now introduce a statement that I would swear to be true in any court in the land:


"On the Saturday morning following the Ramsgate TDC selection meeting in 2010, Mark Nottingham appeared behind me in a car park just off of Northdown Road in Margate, as I was parking my own car.

He came up to me and started to complain that 'someone' had told him I had somehow arranged for him to be de-selected.

I told him he was daft and that I had absolutely no part in the proceedings.  Indeed, as group leader, his deselection as a candidate had caused me all kinds of problems.  I also told him I was only present in the room on that evening to make the meeting chorate if I was needed (as per party rules).  I wasn't needed but I stayed simply to be respectful to all candidates (as did the rest of the Executive Committee).  I also told Mark - absolutely truthfully - that had I been allowed to vote, I MOST CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR HIM.

I then asked Mark who exactly had been saying I'd been working against him, because I wanted to speak to them personally and put them right - I was very assertive with this reply because I knew I had done absolutely no such thing.  Mark would not say who and I can only imagine his original suggestion that I was involved in some way was some kind of trick to 'out' me as 'someone against him', if it were true.  It didn't work because IT SIMPLY WAS NOT TRUE!

MORE IMPORTANTLY, because I had been so assertive with my absolutely truthful response he then started to get very agitated and told me he didn't care about next year’s local elections and that he would 'shred' all those involved in the selection process. He most certainly used the word ‘shred’ in relation to those involved and although I can’t remember his precise words he definitely said he didn’t care about next year’s elections.

He then walked off and across the road to the Labour office.  I was extremely annoyed by his ridiculous allegations and even more so regarding his comments about 'shredding' fellow members and his total disregard for his Labour colleagues and the forthcoming local elections.

I got back into my car, drove out of the car park and stopped just outside the Labour office.  I entered and stood in the doorway.  In front of at least four other members I shouted from the doorway across the room at Mark that I was appalled by his ridiculous allegations, his remark about shredding his fellow members and his attitude towards the 2011 elections.  I added "what happened to you at the selection meeting was a tragedy and as I said, had I been allowed to vote I would have voted for you, but after your comments across the road in the car park just then, I can only say the Ramsgate members made the right decision at your selection meeting, whatever their reasons".

The next morning I met with Mark and another member in the same office in an effort to reconcile matters and by the end of our hour and a half long meeting I truly thought I had convinced Mark of the truth that I had absolutely nothing to do with his deselection. I felt we were leaving that meeting on good terms so I told Mark I would put his appalling comments made in the car park down to his anger and forget the whole matter.

Unfortunately, despite the total absurdity of his allegations,  Mark has continued to blame myself and several other innocent members over this matter, and to this very day.  He absolutely fails to see that he himself could be in any way responsible for what was clearly his own unpopularity with his Ramsgate colleagues".


I repeat, I am quite prepared to swear the statement above to be true in any court in the land.

I am a team player and always have been.  However, I simply refuse to be the leader of a group with a member who behaves in the manner of Mark Nottingham.

1) I therefore intend to stand down as the Leader of the Labour Group.

2) As I have done consistently, every single day for well over three weeks now, I will continue to visit and support my close family members in our local QEQM hospital.

3) I will remain a loyal Labour councillor and continue to work with colleagues Cllrs Linda Aldred and Doug Clark for the residents of Cliftonville West and to retain our seats at TDC, where we still have so much work to do.

4) I will continue in my role as secretary of Cliftonville Labour Party.

5) I will most certainly continue with all my numerous voluntary and community roles in organisations across Thanet.

6) I will consider the possibility of any further roles within Thanet Labour Group after the May elections, if and when I am re-elected, in a group which the Regional Director has clearly stated will not include Mark Nottingham.

7) I will also be taking time to seriously consider possible legal action against Mark Nottingham.

Cllr Clive Hart

Thought for the day - Big pay offs at Thanet Council?

It appears that payoffs for casualties of the cuts, certainly for the higher echelons of officers at Thanet council, will be generous, how do I come to that conclusion, well if the Thanet Times is to be relied on, reporting that Chief Executive of Thanet council is to leave for an undisclosed sum, could perhaps be decoded as Thanet council has offered an embarrassingly generous pay off, which of coarse will not be available to the lower orders, that is, frontline staff, and the ruling tory group have no wish to look weak and feeble.

Further evidence would be past conversations with councillors, who come up phrases like "we have to pay high salaries" or "they have us by the short and ...." well my advice to Cllr Bob Bayford, leader of the conservative council, is couldn't you try a little harder to hang on to our money.

I wouldn't mind so much, big pay-outs, its just that you know that senior officers, will be given more consideration, than those at the bottom of the food chain.

Still Kent Tory council  led the way making extraordinarily generous  payments to top knobs, with no justification or reason whatsoever, so theirs no reason to think Thanet Conservatives will behave in any way different to their "county" cousins.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Labour going nowhere

One of the very few positives, to come from Kent Conservatives, is the recent announcement that they are actively seeking to promote a new rail station Thanet  Parkway south of Kent International Airport.

An idiot could see the potential for both the airport and Thanet, unfortunately councillor Richard Nicholson, is no idiot, instead he is part of the fractured, Labour party which, it looks as if, when not enmeshed in personal vendettas, is now against traditional values like personal freedom, locally social housing and perhaps even jobs and hope.

According to Richard Nicholson, as per quotes in this weeks KM extra "I can't see the remotest economic justification for this.

Well of course he couldn't, however for Cllr Nicholson's education, one remote possibility, would be work on construction of such a project, I know at least six people (in Ramsgate)  involved in renewals and rail maintenance who last time I spoke to them were actively seeking work. If you include those like me who are currently working on projects elsewhere, who will be looking in the not to distant future, the figure would be considerable.

On a more imaginative level (probably well beyond the thinking of Labour), a new fast connection to the airport could and hopefully will, vastly improve the airports business, leading perhaps to justifying an extension to the high speed track, from Ashford, resulting in more employment, faster journey times, less traffic on the roads, better property prices and god forbid a bit of prosperity.

Admittedly such a thought takes a bit of vision, which I'm afraid Labour are incapable I always think if you can imagine something, you can make it happen, or as this quote from George Bernard Shaw had it “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” *

Perhaps Cllr Nicholson, is a realist, pity, Labour could do with some dreamers. In the mean time I'll keep dreaming, and the councillor his post as Shadow Cabinet - Regeneration & Economic Development.

Depressed, you should be.

* Used extensively by US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy

Clive Hart's Local Labour accused of something nasty

God knows politicians, are only human but having a quick read of Cllr Mark Nottingham's account of Cllr Clive Hart's (Local Labour Leader) role, in Mark being de-selected from Northwood Ward and subsequent investigation, leaves a smell more offensive, than the mess I just cleared up left by the family cat, (Mr Puss has no finesse).

Mark's post, is one that needs careful reading but a cursory glance would suggest that Clive Hart and other members of Thanet's Labour party, ought to resign assuming Mark's account is true, which since I understand, it is well documented, I have little reason to doubt.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simon Moores - Thanks I do appreciate the support

Loth as I am to give other bloggers, the oxygen of publicity, all I know is Simon appears upset with my new blog, lord knows why, I quote "I see that Tony Flaig, formerly of 'Big News Margate' now has an exciting new weblog, Outside the Turner Contemporary. Nothing I'm sure to do with the capture of passing trade, with the gallery due to open in three months.

Despite all his achievements, Simon is not even able to get the name of this blog right. My advice to Simon is if you wish to play with the big boys, grow up and not that its any business of yours Moores but  if I wish to comment on things other than the squalid world of local politics I will.

I can't imagine the day ever coming when I feel it necessary to get the permission of any councillor not just Moores but of any party, jack of all trades, political opportunist, hypocrite etc

Still Moores has as I understand been in favour of censoring what can and cannot be said by councillors in the past with blogging protocols (it could only happen in Thanet).

What others say

I am still laughing at the little spat between Tony Flaig and the "Doctor" over on Thanet Life. For the "Doctor" to accuse anyone else - as he does Tony - of being full of self-importance is one of the most hysterical bits of parody I have seen in years. The "Doctor" should go on the comedy stage. Something else he could add to his list of professed achievements.
Tue Jan 25, 09:41:00 AM

What rubbish the flying Doctor spouts as usual. Maybe sometimes Tony you have blinkers on but not "as usual".
I think he owes you an apology for his glib statement. He should understand that you often speak for the majority of Thanet's residents whereas he only speaks for a few.
Sun Jan 23, 10:08:00 AM

Once again the Doctor's comments start by insulting Tony. Tony you must be doing a good job if he has to resort to this.
Mon Jan 24, 03:56:00 PM

The "Doctor" - Moores that is - customarily insults everyone apart from the toadies who continue to visit his site and say warm things about his views and opinions, or his much trumpeted personal achievements - of which there are, he says, many.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I didn't say that – an apology

Crikey had it not been for an email apology received last Thursday, I would have read through the Gazette on Friday, got to the letters page and thought "Crikey that's similar to wot I wrote" , however alerted by  the missive, "sincere apologies for an error made in today’s Isle of Thanet Gazette (Friday January 21)."    "some kind of mix up"   "compiling our letters page"    "incorrect author’s name was printed."    "correction in next Friday’s paper" I was almost disappointed to realise that my name was not attributed to some letter thanking the local hospital, complaining about dog mess, or claiming to be a researcher making a documentary about middle aged gits who don't spend their lives whingeing on the internet.

Its the first time I've written directly to a newspaper, in this instance, my letter was attributed to Christopher Chambers, who must be a damn sight more miffed than I, although it was not my error you do have my sympathy  in the unlikely event you're a reader Bignews Margate, particularly if you don't share my views.

At the Margate Conversation thingy, Gazette Editor Rebecca Smith, whom I've never met before was kind enough to offer a genuine apology, mental note I must be kind to the Gazette for a least a week.

THANET LOCAL BOARDS -What to do on a Tuesday evening

Every few months, Thanet residents are treated to an audience with local Kent county councillors, tomorrow night is that opportunity.

Now these are important people, they must be because a while back they voted themselves a fat increase in allowances, more than £1000 a month, and are busy because every few months they have to attend a council meeting in Maidstone.

What can you expect, at the meeting, well in truth not a lot, that is of significance, however there will be, upbeat info on small grants given out to local organisations, but don't expect any great insights into such things as

When is that 50 million pounds coming home from Iceland, or

What was the point of paying more than £400,000 in one year to retiring Chief Exec Peter Gilroy and not fessing up until later or

Why is the counties finance boss on gardening leave, is it really because she helped the media, surely that's what public servants might be expected to do or

Why push ahead with closure of old peoples homes in the county and not take seriously the consultation process or

Will you be making anymore "Gilroy" type payments or

In the time Bignews Margate has been published why has KCC spent around £25 million pounds on Advertising and PR

And finally why don't Kent Tories dump Leader Cllr Paul Carter

I believe the local board consultations are deliberately non controversial PR exercise mainly run for the convenience of the ruling Tory group, a more useful meeting would explain the counties finances, why children's services have been so criticised, why senior staff are given gold plated pay deals, still we wouldn't want anything unpleasant in public would we.

Anyway the Draft Agenda is available here, and remember Kent council is run by Conservatives, whom anywhere else, you would expect to be careful with public money here in Kent ,this is not the case, KCC has indulged itself in several high profile vanity projects such as Kent TV, which I'm proud to have helped get closed down. In my opinion if anyone is considering any err

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thanet planning calamity

Thanet council is hardly renown for its strategic thinking and planning has often been in the frame for its ability to cock up.

It seems that planning bods can never do enough for developers and the recent decision to allow a development of 3 storey housing in Margate which will result in the closure of the Pharmacy Gallery in the old town after millions have been spent on Art and culture.

What always surprises me is how over the years Thanet planning have got away with so much, a particular costly balls up, was the one in Ramsgate in which residents were given misleading information and never informed that a planning application had changed to allow buildings overlook their homes.

Anyway for more detail click here

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fire at council offices– its a worry

I see Thanet council website mentions a fire incident which occurred yesterday, it makes me think and frankly worry about safety of the public.

In September I wrote to Mr Samuel the Chief Exec of the council to point out that doors to the council offices were locked and unattended when the public were attending meetings.

At the time the chief exec replied including this assurance " I'd like to assure those people who were not able to access the building initially, and indeed the wider public, that the security procedure has been reviewed as a matter of urgency to ensure that this situation does not happen again."

It did happen again, did I write to the chief exec, no what would have been the flippin point? Simon Moore's commented at the time "Tony, the Chief Exec apologised to council over the doors fiasco and will address the matter in the morning."

Whether he did or not, I'm not going to take the chance, why take the risk? No public statement was made as to why having been alerted to a safety issue, the council failed ensure public safety!

It's maybe an issue Kent Fire Brigade ought investigate.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another quick mention–NEW BLOG

Was going to master the intricacies of Twitter tonight, having managed apparently to have sent a message to myself earlier in the day.

Then I thought bollix, how about posting on the state of Margate on the run up to the big Turner Contemporary opening, and then how about recycling some old posts and bunging up a new blog.

We'll you can enjoy my account, objectively told of the last four years or so of the Turner Contemporary, from the view point of one of Margate's alienated residents side-lined by politicians, quangocrats and the like (please note this is work in progress).

Quick mention–Margate's other greatest living person

I see that Iain Aitch, writer and author, will be giving a talk in Margate next Monday for details click here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thought for day - Should I wear sunglasses?

I suppose not every one in Thanet has the opportunity to wonder at the artificial lightshow provided by Thanet Earth, however the thought occurred this morning as I drove out of town near Acol, given the amount of light leaking from the greenhouses and projected onto the clouds, should we be concerned.

Obviously any amateur astronomer might be miffed by increased artificial light in the night sky, however I'm thinking, that if UV lighting is used by growers, whether this has any implications that have hitherto not been considered.

Still at least three other commuters escaping Thanet around 5 this morning are probably asking themselves why did that idiot, pull over on the Acol to Brooksend highway (less than a minute). Sorry!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is our Conservative Kent Council guilty of bullying the media?

All organisations have a right to protect their reputation, but it seems to me that Kent Council have a particular aversion to media reporting.

Kent council is of coarse funded by you and I the taxpayer and some of us feel uncomfortable about just how sensitive KCC are over bad publicity, I'm sure they didn't like me criticising the failed Kent TV, they didn't like being called negligent over the fifty million Icelandic banks (best not say **** up) er incident, Cllr Paul Carter leader of Kent council didn't like Kent Messenger reporting on the last KCC chief exec Peter Gilroy's contract renewal, which at the time was understood to have cost you and me two hundred grand but later it was revealed to have been closer to half a million at £408,0000.

Recently the Kent Council Finance chief has taken leave at the time rather worrying suggestions were made and a BBC report suggested  "after concerns were raised about her relationship with the media and "sources" suggested that her emails had been investigated.

Currently KCC have the hump over how the BBC reported on the news that the boss of Children, Families and Education, was leaving, click here to see what I mean, I wont bore you since that would be paranoid.

It's clear that Kent have failed children and no amount of news management will change that.

Does it matter, well yes because Kent Council spend millions on PR and press management, and of course some of us will see the big spending on PR as an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes and an attempt to promote the Conservative group. Don't agree with me, remember this extraordinary bit of withheld info.

I think its important that local government officers, remember they are providing services to public and have duty to be open, honest and fair in their dealings (which most are) without fear of upsetting politicians.

Perhaps Paul Carter would like to comment, for free, here which, unlike his own blog is produced at no expense on a site not funded by taxpayers, and no surprise doesn't  currently allow readers comments.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's the same old story as BBC come clean on discrimination

A glance in the mirror is not something I look forward too since I have little pleasure in studying my weather beaten features of fifty plus years and I doubt anyone would be that taken with them either, still enough of you read this stuff so it can't be that important.

Anyway the BBC has behaved in a rather disgraceful way to former Country File presenter Miriam O'Reilly and clearly discriminated against her on grounds of ageism.

Of course I'm sure this sort of thing has never occurred in the past and this earlier posting of mine from June 17, 2009 is in no way evidence of a policy of side-lining mature we sacked earlier
Still I had an interesting insight into what goes on in the mind of BBC managers and presume the organisation, when one of them told me that by plonking a weather girl sorry presenter, on the late news edition of South East Today, viewing figures increased by ten per cent.

How shallow, the BBC gets its licence fee, in part by being unique, so we are told, so how about respecting presenters and journalists on the basis of experience knowledge depth rather than whether Muppets like you and I find a presenter attractive or not.

Still the BBC looks to me to be another part of the bloated selfish public sector, run by smug politically correct elite that has perverted the idea of public services delivered in a fair and equitable manner.Yentob
Perhaps the most irritating aspect of BBC news coverage was the "interview " with Alan Yentob, Creative Director, I feel the reporter could have been a bit more adventurous, perhaps by asking  a hypothetical question like this, "Mr Yentob, your no spring chicken yourself, your balding, old, so how would you feel, if you found your career destroyed simply because you were knocking on a bit and then after months of legal argument, some grisly, very well paid, senior executive, gave a miserly contrived apology?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas is over and summers way off

Depressing I know for some of us but perhaps there are a few highlights between now and next summer, in Margate, we have in April the opening of Turner Contemporary Gallery, not necessarily every ones' cup of tea, but if the experts are to be believed the opening will prompt a new golden age of prosperity in Margate or maybe prove a bit of a disappointment.

So something else which might lighten the mood or if not compliment it, takes place is Broadstairs Blues Bash 19th-21st February,  a weekend celebration of the blues which I've been asked to plug please note no inducements or offers of free tickets have been made (more's the pity). The weekend starts with Nine Below Zero and three support acts at the Pavilion Broadstairs.

In addition to Fridays opener another 20 acts will be performing at 10 pubs throughout Broadstairs. For full details of the Festival which is in its third year, please click here

Its good to see events like this which stimulate life in Thanet, and I'm guessing exist because of a genuine enthusiasm of the organisers and not just some manufactured event. Thank you to the organisers and good luck.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Last year was a roller coaster ride of a year for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats with its highs and lows in the polls, the decision for them to form a Coalition Government was not easy, they had no option as no one party had actually won the election.

A discredited Labour government had decisively lost, leaving the country with billions of debt, a quick solution had to be found otherwise the financial problems that were arising in other European countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain were likely to spread to this country, due to the impending uncertainty of the financial markets there was no time for dithering or procrastination.

Putting their political differences aside the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties in the interest of the country and its people uppermost, the first real Coalition since the war was formed, Coalition governments in Europe have been successful, in this country many of our local councils are run through a coalition of different political parties, including even more significantly the assemblies of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland .

Whilst the Liberal Democrats are the junior party in the coalition they have faced many tough challenges and decisions since the General Election. Nevertheless they have been able to curtail some of the less desirable Conservative policies, they have also been able to introduce real reforming policies in Westminster, nearly a million of the country’s lowest earners will be taken out of income tax, the link between pensions and earnings will give pensioners a much needed increase, the abolition of the I.D. Card will save millions of pounds, the pupil premium would not exist without the Liberal Democrats being in Government, £2.5 billion extra will benefit the poorest children, the spending review protected school funding at a flat cash per pupil rate, as pupil numbers increase the overall budget goes up as well, one of the biggest bones of contention in the country is the way bankers and directors award themselves large bonuses. A banking levy is to be introduced which will raise nearly £3 billion; banks will also be coerced into lending more money to businesses. Capital gains tax will be raised to 28% for higher rate tax payers, The Localism Bill with its powerful new rights will put real power in the hands of real people, “local decisions by local people” this will benefit and improve the lives of many thousands of people which they would have been unable to do if the Liberal Democrats were still in opposition.

This year will give the Coalition Government perhaps some even tougher decisions to be made, yet the opposition Labour Party even with a new leader have still to come forward with any substantive proposals and plans for the future, they failed us before can they ever be trusted again?

Bill Furness

Kent Tory Leader reassures public on money worries- Its just a technicality?

Kent council may have lost £50 million in Iceland, we may be in the midst of a big recession, massive public spending cuts, Kents finance boss may be on "gardening leave "the reasons we are not told but fear not, money it would seem is just a technicality!

News that the government will not be giving £38 million to Kent county council, to build a massive lorry park in the middle of the countryside, has been greeted it seems as just a trifling matter, conservative leader Paul Carter talking on BBC this morning said "this is a small technical issue"*

Thank god we can all sleep easy knowing that Paul Carter's in charge.

It's interesting that the BBC Kent are not using that* quote, still bureaucrats' and state funded organisations need to stick together.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

BBC - Blinkered views on VAT

Is it me or has the BBC lost all sense of balance tonight's (4th Jan)main six o'clock news, seemed to lack the usual background that most stories carry.

The top news story was the increase in VAT to 20%, from the serious tones used to convey the story you might have got the impression that the end of the world was nigh, rather than an adjustment to the tax system, caused by Labours years of squander, of which little explanation was given.

The only plus point on the national news was that the recent BBC journalist's Liberal Democratic bashing, couldn't be bought in to play.

On the local news, VAT and the increase in rail fares were much in evidence with Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker cornered by Polly Evans who despite (in my view) having a rather simpering manner can act tough, and unlike the national news team had no difficulty dragging in a Lid Dem policy and that slanted question your manifesto says this, so why have you done that?

Of course politicians are too polite, to say to journalists, something along the lines " How flipping stupid are you, nobody won the election, so no party can push every blimin item of their manifesto"

A Journalist mentioning todays partial eclipse looked to have no qualms about treating the viewing public as dribbling idiots, in tonight's South East Today program, if my memory serves me correct, one of their reporters felt it necessary to explain what an eclipse was.

Maybe politicians should start talking to reporters as if they were children because the more I see the less I'm convinced they have a clue.

Finally I just wonder how many share the views that an increase in VAT does not represent the end of the world. And I just wonder whether the effect will be that great on many items since retailers use price points to sell which have little relation to cost, I mean how many telly's will be not be on offer at £199.99, £249.99, £299.99, etc. Its not just journo's who think were all idiots so do shopkeepers.

Monday, January 03, 2011

They don't make them like they used to

It's a cliché, god knows but entertainment seemed thin on the ground this Christmas, I sought comfort in film, rather than confront the cold hearted misery of our TV soap opera's, few harsher this year, than Corrie in which a baby is discarded and dumped with a reluctant father and worse East Enders (but then it always is) who ruthlessly and without heart, allow one baby to die and another stolen, all in the name of ratings.

Avoid these I did by falling asleep or watching some classics of film, and insisting on Mrs Me Skyplusing the soaps for later (to be viewed by consenting adults only).

So what did I watch instead, first off Stallone  in "Rocky" not a film in my top 20 fav's but what hell, it cost me a couple of quid, and I hadn't seen it in twenty years great story, "Seven year itch" brilliant comedy Marilyn Monroe and last night "Brief Encounter" Cecilia Johnson and Trevor Howard have an affair, they regret but in a frightfully restrained sort of way, only possible in the cinema of the 1940's, Classic.

I was going to mention one dreadful film which I suspect many have endured this Christmas "Inception" staring Leonardo DiCaprio some will have received it as a gift, others like me paid good hard earned dosh, within a minute or so I realised the plot would prove incomprehensible garbage to me but since this cost £13, I persisted, resisting Mrs Me's requests for clarification for two long hours.

The reason I mention Inception was the brief appearance of actor Peter Postlethwaite whose presence made me think it might be worth the effort, it wasn't and even sadder is the news of Postlethwaite's death. I'm no expert but I'd say he was one of the finest actors of his time, and shall always enjoy his marvellous performance in Brassed Off, particularly the speech toward the end in which he articulates the emotions of ordinary people in a summary of Thatcher's government.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Murdoch too powerful?

I have mixed feelings about Murdoch his newspapers along with Eddy Shah's Today newspaper broke the print unions stranglehold on newspaper production which revolutionised the print media.

However the share of popular news titles and broadcast media owned by Murdoch companies is not good for democracy, such is Rupert Murdoch's influence he has no problem in accessing government, I believe shortly after the coalition was formed Murdoch was allowed in through the PM's back door at Downing Street. 

Anyhow it's always bothered me, that papers like the Sun, News of the World, come up with "stories" which the public swallow wholesale, but even setting that aside, most of us who view subscription telly have to do so through SKY, I've never understood how this monopoly has never been investigated by government to see if it offers a fair deal.

Why Labour didn't do anything over the years, you would have to ask Blair perhaps Murdoch made him an offer, before the 1997 election around the  time the Sun dumped the John Major's deadbeat conservative party.

Anyhow  an online petition gives you, your chance ask the government to act impartially, clearly Vince Cable is a politician who has pre judged as might Jeremy Hunt so lets leave the competition commission to deal with this fairly.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Goodbye from them and er Goodnight from me - The end of blogging

I like to think I don't get too introverted, I like to think I've something to add, I like to think, I like to expand, I don't give a flyer if you struggle to understand.

I blog therefore I am.

Fellow bloggers this week seem in melancholy mood, blogging is not what it once was, well neither are a lot of things, my looks, my future, even the laptop is beginning to look bloated and full, my blog has recently attracted the sort of fixated nutters I try not to emulate.

I don't think that anybody is saying that blogging is dead but there are clearly quicker easier shorter sharper methods of getting your message across like twitter and facebook.

It's not always that simple I feel, if I have something to say you need to know why I'm saying it, you need to know the emotions the facts or the reasons why I post as I do, and more depth  than 140 odd characters in a twitter post can offer. 

A simple four letter word like sh!t can be very expressive if you have just stepped off the pavement in front of a speeding juggernaut, the word conveying seriousness, desperation, futility and any other emotion that needs to be quickly expressed.

However an opinion on say a political policy, has to be more explanatory, otherwise you just come across as a complete moron ,as I suspect many of you view me, hey ho, do you think I give a     !!

Call it arrogance if you will but I'm convinced that blogging has given me some influence in the way things are perceived or indeed outcomes.

Blogs have become a very vital alternative to writing to the editor of the local newspapers I for one do not have any interest in sending a letter to the local newspaper to have it edited shortened or selected or not selected.

If there is one initiative locally in blogging that is interesting it's that Kent messenger group for instance who have a blogging section on their website, which I would suspect they maintain editorial control and therefore the ultimate product, I know this sort of thing appeals to the likes of some local Tories who are never more happy than when dreaming of blogging protocols but I prefer the blogging unfettered by editors.

Finally one of my long running themes is the manipulation of media which in Kent often means your local authority spending vast sums on advertising and  public relations or poor reporting as is the case with the BBC who have an  indifference to the local political structures, I hope I don't get side-lined into the dinosaurs and idiots section of Internet but who knows.

Have a happy new year and check out fellow highly inspiring bloggers Michael Child, Simon Moores, blogs come and go, they're not all about boring politics some have more interesting and uplifting items like Don's Promote Thanet. Blogs come an go I wont do this for ever so why not start your own.