Thursday, May 26, 2011

The wonderful health service myth

Isn't the NHS wonderful? a question that many affirm, without thinking, along with that other cliché about our wonderful police service and lets be honest, yes they are, up to a point.

I'll put our wonderful police on the back boiler for this posting and leave them Kettled for another time.

However it comes as no surprise to me that the NHS are in the dock for poor treatment to elderly,  the NHS is an out of control behemoth, unfortunately we as providers of funds have no say in who or where, we get treated.

Instead of passing responsibility for managing health resources, to over-worked GP's couldn't the health service be re-engineered so that patients control funds, choosing which doctor or practice gets their money.

Imagine if you were taxed and your groceries were "free", and then imagine that in some areas the grocery provider was asda rather than Sainsburys

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good News from Manston and bad News from Labour

The good news Is that Manston airport could provide 2000 jobs in the not too distant future according to an independent report from York Aviation commissioned by owners Infratil, the report concedes it would be necessary to allow flights between 7am and 11pm.

The bad news is that Clive Hart's Labour has contrary to the hopes and aspirations of ordinary working people declared war on Manston and the significant inward investment like the new Parkway Railway Station.

It's in my opinion easy to see where Labour are coming from many Labour councillors are at the end of their working lives if not retired, so they've taken an unchallenging, win at any cost, approach to the recent elections, unfortunately this means that they've boxed themselves into a position.

Not long ago Labour councillors were principled, enough to reluctantly accept as did their Tory counterparts that it may be necessary to allow night flights.

Whats changed since, maybe it's to do with Clive Hart's leadership or the realisation that the Labour party core support comes from the pampered public sector economy and welfare dependent.

Does Thanet Labour care about ordinary working people, not likely their to wrapped up in back slapping each other with the odd petty victories of chair of local council and mayoralty.

Still on the bright side, Infratil are still battling, Labour have some new blood, who I hope don't get the deselection treatment from the old boys, hopefully even Clive might wish to watch his back and I'm sure even he would appreciate that those of us who on balance prefer to get up and go to work everyday will be unlikely to forgive him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Future of Local News–Make your own–Here's one I made earlier

civic whatIt seems to me that we have said goodbye to a golden age of local news coverage, recently I spotted a new innovation on Kent Messenger's website something called civicboom which is meant to turn many more of us into news gatherers  (I know my place and prefer to remain a blogger).

Maybe two or three years ago we there was a golden age for local news media when three newspaper publishers were producing well resourced newspapers for Thanet. It seems that the quality of output from local newspapers has suffered as a result one assumes the economic climate or perhaps even the profit taking.

Kent on Sunday  ( KOS/Archant ) launched many newspapers across Kent like yourthanet to complement their excellent weekend newspaper, these now appear to be only available in electronic format, Kent Messenger's group paper Thanet Extra appears to rely heavily on press releases and Kent Regional newspapers have cancelled one of their titles the Adscene and we now just have two papers one of which is a hybrid free at your door or charged for in shops and of course the Gazette which has the edge as was always the case in being more comprehensive than all the rest.

Does this matter probably not, we've got used to being dumbed down, particularly in coverage of by broadcast media, so the loss of a bit more local media will not kill us, however it makes the illusion of democracy more so than it is already.

One plus of sorts, has of course been the input of the odd crazy, like myself prepared to comment, on things you didn't know, you didn't know,  or inquisitive bloggers like Michael Child who is particularly good at fishing out detail.

I hope that one day soon the newspaper industry sorts out a solution to falling revenues, and can invest in proper news bods again, I don't think amateur news gatherers are likely to add to much to existing media brands.

Anyhow this particular posting really was made earlier, I've changing it around for a day or so and frankly it's not one of my better efforts but then, for me this is just a distraction from watching television.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thank you twitter, the rich and famous have just become a bit more equal

I believe in equality, fairness and honesty and so do the majority of British people not words I necessarily associate with some sections of the legal industry.
Its the case that we expect not just as a right but a matter of course, that should we be physically attacked, that the law, as enforce by the police and judged by the courts will treated pretty much, similarly irrespective of position or wealth.
Of course when it comes to reputations, there is no facade of equality, if you have the money, fine, if you don't its a case of tough tits.
Just look at some of the specimens in recent times who've attempted to side step the consequences of shabby hedonistic deceitful little lives.
The argument is often put that if a someone wishes to cheat on his partner and family it's a matter for them alone, forgetting that if you screw your nearest and dearest, then a work colleague or business partner can expect no loyalty.
The law concerning defamation is the privilege of the rich and famous who can afford to pay a lawyer a grand or two. Still its not just individuals, businesses with deep pockets are more than happy to pervert the ebb and flow of information.
Currently the media are being all high and mighty about press freedom but its worth remembering that newspapers routinely, malign the those of modest means in the knowledge that it's unlikely that those on the end of slip shod stories can get legal representation.
Perhaps defamation, the right to privacy and all these vexatious infringements on the right to express yourself ought to be treated as other offences like physical assault.
Also a sense of proportion wouldn't go amiss, how for instance could a former boss of a  bank ever consider being a called a banker offensive, maybe if he'd been called a
I'm afraid that this popular uprising against the greedy lawyers their rich and famous clients will be short lived.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Does this mean you wont visit again?

jim davidsonIf your wondering to whom I refer, its Jim Davidson, a comedian who's has strong views on Margate, last Friday's Gazette had a story about Jim Davidson's Blog posting which appears to be criticising the Turner Contemporary, this comment of his seems to encapsulate his mood "What the f--k is an arty-farty art gallery doing in Margate? 

A thought provoking question, still here's another,  Turner Contemporary attracted 80,000 visitors during its first month, could Jim Davidson attract that many visitors to Margate?

Maybe he would and could draw that many, however the chances are they would be a different sort of audience, what he and others don't seem to grasp is that there is a market and demand for art, as there is for more traditional seaside entertainment, the gallery is here and has proved popular, Dreamland is next on the list, the two will help reverse the decline, I must say there is little I agree with on Davidson's blog accept about the Winter Gardens inadequacy as a theatre.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A subdued council

I won't go into to much detail, my overall impression was of a subdued meeting of tonight's first council, Labour were happy but not too irritatingly so, which I would ascribe to not having done as well to win but it could have been worse.

Tories are losers but not in any emphatic way, they still lead the council but not in the confident way of just a month back.

People don't necessarily appreciate the personal side of council, whilst their might be some real divide in political ideology, the council is like some big unwieldy family, however tonight evidenced much respect, friendship and acknowledgement of the positive contributions made by various officers staff and of course councillors past and present.

I was going to give more detail, but had other fish to fry (problem with the family limo). May add too later and of course more likely wont. The decrepit P A system failed so my notes are probably not too reliable anyhow my tweets from broadcast from the meeting ( I probably broke the law) are pictured below newcounciltwitter

Kent's Police from Old Bill to Barnacle Bill

Kent police it appears are showing some contempt for tax payers and their own staff as they continue to extend their role past that of policing us landlubbers on an expensive maritime project.

Some time back about 2008 they acquired an ocean going boat Alexandra III. Which myself have only seen once moored off Margate when a security alert involving terrorists, organised crime, drugs smuggling and all that sort of stuff just happened to coincide with an air show taking place somewhere between the shoreline and the boat.

Today they have announced their new base for Kent Police maritime section, has been opened at the Sheerness Port, which I suppose is more appropriate than the previous base near Maidstone.

Personally think this a bit of mission creep, surely most crime, incidents and threats are already dealt with quite well by other organisations such as the Navy, RNLI, Coastguard and Customs.

I will take a guess that this will be costing you and I millions from our combined tax bill and so far I've yet to hear of what significant crimes have been resolved thwarted or even deterred in the last. few years by the marine section.

Listening to reports on the radio tonight it seems that Kent police have a big tool and a big budget item they're just trying to justify. The sooner we have elected heads police of authorities the better, this just seems like a waste of precious resources. (your money)

BBC for unchallenging coverage

My item from 2008 Police at sea

Breaks over new term for council

Today Thursday 19th May 2011 the first meeting of the council since the election, we've yet to know how the new council is to be cobble together, it will be worth a visit, just see how things end up.

In all probability we will have a good bit of political theatre, various scenarios, have been offered to me,  hopefully everyone will be on their best behaviour, one things for sure, there have been no winners, outside of individuals.

I don't know everything as you lot know but tonight I think will also be the first council meeting with Sue McGonagall as Chief Exec so good luck! If the new admin boss can see to it that the doors are left open to public during public meetings she will have my vote and also done better than her predecessor (in my opinion).

Finally how often have we heard all that rhetoric about cross party cooperation and all that malarkey, well money talks and B******** walks, we shall see.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Surely not

It seems to be taking an inordinate time for local councillors to agree on what sort of council, we will be getting, a clue as to what is going on comes from twittering Clive Hart (Thanet Labour), who failed along with his comrades to take control of the council, despite dragging in help from outside and trawling through the digital dustbin that is Facebook for dirt.labourtwitter

Its an uncertain world and my view is that the next four years will be a complete dogs breakfast of bitter rivalry, petty political point scoring, backstabbing and wasted opportunity etc., so business as usual.image


It remains to be seen if former councillor, Mark Nottingham gets a chance to throw a spanner in the works and get Clive Hart and his pals to justify his somewhat contentious removal from Thanet Labour Party.

If anyone has insight on the wheeling and dealing don't hold back ( within reason). I just hope that should Clive Hart form the next administration someone leads it back from his parties recent swing to the right, which has seen Labour fight against social housing and job opportunities.

Whatever we end up I hope the new council will be strong enough to lead rather than be advised by "Officers".

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Media pack still chewing up Lib Dems

The more I read our national press the more it becomes apparent that British journalists are like semi intelligent pack animals trained by their masters to produce stories within a narrow band of political ideology.

Admittedly journalists are cleaner than animals as their crap ends up in print or broadcast, but they are nothing if not relentless in attacking Lib Dems, which continues unabated, with Clegg hammered daily, the Observer had Ed Milliband, asking once again for Libs to defect not for the first time.

Saturday the paper's were bitching about, AV and how this was another blow to Nick Clegg, failing to mention this was also an issue for which Ed Milliband who also campaigned.

I wouldn't say I've actually been approached by other parties, but just why would anyone ditch their party, in the same way, Mrs Me is a keen Chelsea supporter, for many years and even though this year has been a wash out, I understand (I don't do football) there would be no way she'd ever switch her support.

Labour nationally and locally have failed to make any truly significant inroads, yes they gained a few seats but even here in on the Isle of Thanet, despite social deprivation, a bleak outlook, they couldn't win, even after herds of Labour top knobs & dib dobs, had flooded the area.  

Maybe controversy surrounding Thanet Labour's recent abandonment of social housing, arguing against job creating investment or indeed that rather unpleasant mess surrounding Northwood Ward which I suspect is not yet over, in fact I could well envisage a situation in which Labour's leader will need some considerable help to hold on to the leadership.

Locally we are in for some interesting times, nationally and for us Lib Dems, we have hit the bottom, and things will improve, speaking for myself, I think Nick Clegg has acted for the best interests of  both the country and party, like dogs, eventually the press will move on, perhaps to chew on Labour's poor leadership.

Finally on Milliband's current and previous invitations for Lib Dem's to join Labour, no thanks, Labour had a great past but is now run by professional classes, which seems to exists only to serve the public sector having long abandoned ordinary people.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Yesterday's Election

Just got in from last nights or rather this mornings election count as you can imagine quite an intensive evening and in places exceedingly boring as the count went on forever and as I left at seven, there were still some awaiting their fate however it was fairly clear that labour had made quite an inroad into the Tory vote.

In Dane Valley Labour had a big win which I am sure had nothing to do with the 28 strong crack team of canvassers bussed in from London and rag bag of front bench Labour MPs and also runs.

Still a win is a win and well done to Sandra Hart who had the biggest vote, also my thoughts to those who in the past who have worked particularly hard, like Michael Jarvis for the residents of Dane Valley and did not get re-elected.

Still I shall get back to blogging, having felt inhibited during the election, at what might prove an interesting time as Labour and Tory fight over the result.

Again thanks to all those who made the effort to vote, since your participation makes the process worth doing. in

I see one disgruntled Tory,  who for reasons best known to himself, wasnt at the count, troubles himself thus "No sign of any impact whatsoever from the LibDem's Bill Furness or Bloggers Tony Flaig or Matt Brown, in fact incorrect I had around 270 votes, given the background of an unprecedented media campaign against Liberals by the mainly foreign owned press, and Labour's sour grapes clearly not the greatest result but something I'm proud of and which I would like to thank the voters for whoever they chose, Cheers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

AV explained

Tired of lazy lack lustre MP's, you know the Tory or Labour MP's who don't have to try to get elected. Well this video will explain AV.

This video is Promoted by Willie Sullivan on behalf of Yes in May 2011 Ltd, both of Carmelite, 50 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0LS