Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It's good to see that banks and even the CBI are apparently worried about the state of Europe's economy particular as it effects the euro.

Reading the Times this morning Vince Cable the Business Secretary puts some perspective on the lobbying by banks who he suggests are using the euro crisis as a reason not to introduce safeguards between the normal customers of banks and the freewheeling investment bankers who in reality are little more than reckless gamblers, who not long ago robbed us all blind with a little help of Gordon Brown and his Labour colleagues.

Anyhow it's seems that Liberal Vince Cable was right a few months ago about the Murdock's suitability to run Sky TV and I've every faith that he is right about regulation of banking to protect us from the banks worst.

According to the Times Angela Knight boss of the British Bankers, allowing lenders to finance the recovery should be a priority, a fair comment were it not for all the stories we've read recently in which banks refuse working capital to profitable business.

For what it's worth I personally would always take, with a pinch of salt anything from the banking industry, at street level there is still some honesty however at fat cat level ?

The head of the CBI according to the Times claims regulation in the current climate was "barking mad" in my opinion so would be trusting an industry which has bought much suffering on ordinary people, while senior bank staff have continued their immoral life styles.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why we need elected Police Chiefs

I often wonder just what the purpose of Kent's Police authority is and one thing is for sure it's not to curb expenditure on Luxury cars for top bods, if today's front page storyin the Kent on Sunday is any thing to go by.

The government are in favour of elected chiefs, who might just curb such expenditure, however here in Kent the establishment are quite happy to keep the status quo I wonder why.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Driving home my point

driveby commentsSorry to visit old ground but a quick glance through the letters page of the Isle of Thanet Gazette this week (something which might not be possible for much longer) and wallop there’s Labour bod, Cllr Ian Driver exuding indignation, not miffed! nor perturbed! that would be too mild, no the poor gent is positively “SHOCKED and appalled”. Crikey!

Why? because Cllr Bob Bayford had the temerity to ignore requests to speak at the recent animal export protest, now I don’t know why this is so upsetting for Cllr Driver however from his letter I’d guess if his feelings were to be measured, on the scale of botheration, he must be somewhere between incandescent rage and explosion, rather than just flustered.

Personally I’d see an invitation to speak, at such a rally, as posturing by Cllr Driver loaded with political complications, which certainly appears to be the case given his revelations and clear sensitivity.image

One might ask the question of any of Labours “Old boys” why is Cllr Driver not making a big issue about Clive Hart who I understand did not attend? Did Cllr David Green speak (Mayor of Ramsgate?)

As I may have suggested it seems Labour have imagehijacked an issue which is naturally upsetting. It looks like “labour activists” are milking this for all its worth, Cllr Jennifer Matterface , lets us know that “several Labour councillors including myself were there” referring to the protest (big deal).

I think that someone in Labour ought to name and proclaim all those wonderful heroic Labour members who clearly care more than the rest of us, perhaps the flippin pope could have them sainted or whatever the term is.

Or maybe they should get a sense or proportion, I remember some time ago posting about people trafficking in the sex industry and newspapers accepting advertising, it seemed understandable that few wished to comment on such a wretched matter.

I think for Labour activist to manipulate the issue of animal welfare, is despicable, maybe Cllr Clive Hart could give us the official Labour line, does he support this sort of line of attack. Yes or No?

It makes you wonder, what sort of group Labour is becoming, earlier in the year we had the surprise of Mark Nottingham being deselected in the Northwood Ward accompanied by some controversy with Labour “old boys”  keeping very quite on the subject (perhaps with a mind on cllrs allowances), anyhow up pops Cllr Ian Driver.

Anyway I cordially invite* Cllr Ian Driver, Cllr Clive Hart and what the heck Cllr Jennifer Matterface to submit their comments, on this blog posting and if I don’t receive a reply I shall promise not to be unperturbed, uninterested, unaffected,  no .. no I shall be wound up, er furious and blimin upset… no thats not strong enough I shall be “SHOCKED and appalled”.

* I will email a link and no doubt, expect Cllr Driver to offer a prompt and courteous account of why he expects others to jump when he corresponds. I’m sure Cllr. Clive Hart and Cllr. Matterface will also be compelled to reply considering my request anything but autocratic arrogant and designed to make them look bad. emails despatched between 13:21-22

Reminder -Weekend stuff - Spectacular tonight in Margate and Summer Squall in Ramsgate

Blink and you ll miss itMy apologies to readers who think I have my finger on the pulse, also to the organisers of Blink in Margate and Summer Squall in Ramsgate for not mentioning these events earlier.summer squall

Both Ramsgate and Margate people are trying hard to enhance and enrich our lives, a bit like the mission of Bignews Margate, anyhow Mrs Me has just reminded me, of the Blink Event, which if I can arrange a late night pass,will see me in Margate tonight soaking up a once in lifetime visual delight.

Anyhow click for details of Blink here and Summer Squall here and visit Thanet here for other goings on here, have a nice weekend!

blinking marvellous

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thanet Council does the camera ever lie?–We’ll never know


Well when I clicked the link on TDC’s website to find the answer, it came up with this,missinglink

so I’d been inclined to say yes, still maybe Cllr Simon Moores is helping out in IT, you know how tricky these links can be, remember this incredible mistake.

I assume it will be sorted out soon.

Still if you’ve ever looked at traffic wardens, particularly in London, if it wasn’t for their uniforms you’d get the impression that they were fashion photographers as the wrestle to get the best angle’s to “prove” a vehicle is half an inch outside a parking bay.

Clearly TDC is reacting to reports focussing on the rather selfish use and abuse of taxpayers money at Mill Lane car park which, as we recently discovered has more cameras, looking after council staff’s cars and free priority parking space, than looking after taxpayers like you and I in the rest of Margate.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The NHS is wonderful except for–Blood Pressure

nice blood pressureAnd choice, I’ll make no bones about it, the NHS is blimin marvellous except when it isn’t and unfortunately we have no choice, its an authoritarian take or leave it service.

No surprise then to read that millions are being wasted on misdiagnosis of blood pressure problems, apparently patients give false indications (white coat syndrome)  when present in the doctors surgery or hospital.

It has been suggested by NICE, the organisation that advises the NHS on such matters  that rather than rely on testing in the surgery, which is the case for most, that  in future, patients should be monitored for 24 hours using a special gizmo designed for the purpose.

Now it seems obvious to me, that patients blood pressure is raised attending surgery, given that medical centre’s appear to be run for the convenience of staff and medics, not consumers, most of us, will have had a hard time getting an appointment, either due to criteria such as “You’ll have to ring in the morning” (to find if lucky enough to get through the telephone lottery, that 5 minutes after office is open there are no appointments) or  “is it an  emergency” ( you tell me?) etc.

I’m sure many people, in middle age, are subjected to routine blood pressure tests in surgery’s and I just wonder if any of these readings are a true reflection, many tests are done using grubby machines (presumably for cost reasons), placed in waiting rooms, they have, rather optimistic advice, relax and wait 5 minutes, how you relax in a busy thoroughfare is never explained.

I have no illusions about the health service, all those, clichés in TV dramas of caring medics, might have a tenuous link with the truth (who doesn’t want to do a good job in their work), however it seems to me the rather saintly view doesn’t hold water, I used to think that G.P. stood for general practice/practitioner, now I’m not sure it isn’t gross profit.

I don’t think I’ve seen my doctor for some years, its too difficult, earlier in the year I had an ear infection, after two days I saw the out of hours one (job done in three minutes), it seems like a major trauma, to conform to whatever the criteria is for arranging an appointment, this is down to the command economy of the NHS, like most I’ve paid for a service, to which I’m disconnected, as there is no link between service provider and consumer. Everything controlled by well paid Muppets who can go private.

General Practitioners are well paid, and so they should be, although a witless Labour government, probably overdid it on pay and decreases in hours, which explains why if you have some pressing health problem, the chances are you’ll have to see an out of hours doctor, who has kindly flown in from Lithuania for the weekend.

There needs to be some balance between what patients expect and what doctors can deliver, at the moment health industry in the form of the NHS has us consumers by the dangly’s there ought to be some element of rewarding good service or discouraging bad, maybe patients could be required to give marks out of ten, the health authority could then reward.

When I next have to do a blood pressure test, I shall try to relax by thinking happy thoughts, as how things should be and ignore the conversation 3 metres away, as some naive patent tries to arrange with the receptionist, that appointment “next week” which the doctor convinced them was so necessary. Anyway I shall keep taking the tablets.

Guardian Story

Friday, August 19, 2011

New crowd pleaser for Labour–Animal Welfare?

Labour crowd pleaserAs far as I can tell, perhaps the only thing that unites Thanet councillors apart from drawing expenses is the distaste and antipathy they share over the recent export of animals from the port of Ramsgate.

It’s good to see that people are prepared to stand up and be counted like Labour bod, Cllr Ian Driver to organise and protest a cause. However part of being human is our individualism, we can opt in or opt out of being part of the herd.

I have firm views and priorities, I pursue my own interest via this blog, which is, for me an effective way for me to contribute to society (as distinct from Cameron’s biggun).

So, I’m taking a gander at this weeks Thanet Times, and there on the front is a report of last weekends protest, against live exports, with a photo of  Cllr Ian Driver, obviously whispering gently into his microphone, apparently he mentioned that neither council leader Bob Bayford, nor Laura Sandys were present, to which the crowd cried shame.

We’ll here’s where I’m going with this, it seems a shame, that Cllr Driver thought it necessary, apparently to mention the absences, do you or I give a toss whether Labour Leader Clive Hart or Ramsgate Mayor were present no of course not. Suffice it to say, enough people were encouraged to express their objections to this trade, which makes us a whole more human.

What worries me, is this is a very emotive issue and some animal rights campaigners have forgotten humanity and resorted to extremes, which might be a reason, even those opposed, might be reticent to attend, what could develop into a rabblerousing event.

Cllr Bayford has written to the Government, asking for a maximum journey time for animals, should we castigate Cllr Driver or Hart etc if they haven’t done the same.

I’ve never met Ian Driver so I don’t know but maybe he’s better at motiving crowds than corresponding with government. Fortunately for all we don’t live in some Stalinist world so we don’t have to do what doesn’t suit us. Lets just hope Labour “activist” aren’t just playing to the gallery in a cheap  “I’m more concerned than you” sort of way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Software companies do they ever consider the human cost?

It's me I think, half way through my fifties and I feel it's time to acknowledge, that I've reached a point where I  no longer have an appetite for technology, and I blame the constant nagging of software companies, who insist on updating software on an almost daily basis "Java"from Oracle and Adobe Reader seem particularly irritating in constantly demanding my attention.
Its a crude calculation made by cruder in my case since I spend a lot of my time in manual labour, any how with that out of the way, I have worked out that responding to each demand from Oracle to update Java asuming 3 Billion devices run on Java if everyone was to spend 10 seconds to deal with the regular popup window on their device a total of 951 years of attention will have be used, this equates to somewhere near 13 human life times.

Anyhow I had planned to give you a definitive view on Britain's moral decline, this will have to wait, I think microsoft are waiting to update windows, and my smartphone wont go a day without syncing and charging.

I'll be back when I've upgraded my will to live an no I don't know what the er.... heck java is I generally drink Kenco.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kent Newspaper takeover - How things change

How attitudes change over the years, I recently stumbled across this document published by the Competition Commission, basically it is a small snippet from an report concerning the aquistion by Trinity Mirror of a regional newspaper group MIN (Midlands Independent Newspapers) and I suppose, is really ancient history in media terms, dating back as it does  to 1997.

Currently as I understand it, the Office of Fair Trade, are consdiering evidence and comments from interested parties as to the likely effect of Kent Messenger Group's takeover (click here for  postings on this subject) and back in the nineties, things were different in the media, the internet was just becoming mainstream and Bignews Margate was still nine years away.

Now here are some of the comments which whilst addressing a different scale of newspaper acquisition (national publisher buying a smaller regional player|) it still has a relevance in the context of Kent Messenger Group taking over Northcliffe Newspapers Group's Kent arising from imput by Kent Messenger Newspapers " acquisition of smaller newspaper groups by larger newspaper groups was no longer in the public interest" now KM Group are not in the same league as Northcliffe Media but they have a bigger slice of the market with their radio stations and newspapers.

Although Kent Messenger was refering to large corporations acquiring smaller newspaper groups I think this is also think this excerpt from that report are relevant to the current situation  "corporations which had their own monopolistic reasons for paying a high price, perhaps even over-paying.
6.9. KMGN argued that, wherever a local or regional newspaper was acquired in this way, the public lost: (a) a company which completely and entirely focused on the good moral and financial health of its own region; (b) a company which was entirely composed of staff dedicated to the regions in which they operated; and (c) a company which maintained high editorial standards; in order to make larger profits to pay for greater investment by the purchasing party, savings were often made in the editorial department, which were never replaced.

I hope that the OFT take great care in reaching a conclusion as to the benefit of newspapers in Kent being owned by one company which has so far not in my opinion managed to produce a quality newspaper product in East Kent such as the Gazette in Thanet,  prime example the KM Extra.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Clive Hart local Labour Boss points the finger?

Last weeks riots in most people's view were about nothing else than the manifest greed and lack of morals of a small minority of yoofs.

However it seems that Labour, are rapidly moving from the consensus of blatant criminality, I suggest you follow the link to this Guardian article no surprise reading this you will find it follows the new Labour theory, that cuts are to blame.

Most people including Labour were of the opinion that criminals were to blame less than a week ago.

Since jobs concerns are at the forefront of new theory I wonder how Clive Hart feels as his party have done much to kill both aspiration and jobs in Thanet particularly in relation to Manston.

A good old fashioned "I'm alright jack" attitude from Labour old boys.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thanet Council first priority to protect officers cars and the public last?

council looks after no 1The Isle of Thanet Gazette's front page story, this Friday concerns Margate's Mill Lane car park (an occasional topic here on Bignews Margate),  as you might expect with Thanet council, money is no object when it comes to looking after the interests of officers.

Although ostensibly Mill Lane Car Park is a public car park for use by shoppers, residents and visitors, it is effectively commandeered by Thanet Council staff as their comfort and convenience outweighs the public interest.

So it comes as no surprise that the car park itself, which during the week is almost exclusively occupied by TDC staff, has more cameras (34) protecting it, than the rest of Margate.

As a result over the years Mill Lane car park has played a significant  part in the decline of Margate as a shopping centre, since five days a week its near impossible to park in that part of town without having to pay for the councils predatory on street parking and or

To make sure residents don't inconvenience staff by using what must be one of the safest parking facilities in the country, our sneaky local council close the car park over night so staff can park easily in the morning.

Its good that the Gazette is around to remind us (Subject to take over) anyway I made the  point I made back in December last year with this comment while bemoaning that they TDC couldn't find  money for local museums " Thanet's CCTV cameras £1.4 million in three years, which allow council staff to snoop and spy on you and I as well as check, that their car is still safely parked for free in Mill Lane car park.

I'm not getting at the front line staff but I ask why we be subsidising staff car parking particularly at the fat cat end of the scale. Still that's a question that might be aimed at Conservative group leader Cllr Bob Bayford, and his equally ineffectual cabinet colleagues.

Whatever excuses, spin, misinformation, Thanet council use to explain this, does not excuse this disgraceful policy of putting staff before the public.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The ghost of Kent Community TV

champions TVCommunity TV I thought had died but it seems that David Cameron's Government have yet to learn from history, long suffering readers will know my view, on Kent councils disgraceful record on blowing large sums of money, on unwatched video, still it seems that £40 million from our hard earned money, is to be squandered on the creation of small local TV stations across the nation, despite ITV having pretty much abandon local TV.

Fortunately for Kent council, the spectre of their disastrous experiment, has faded to the background, even though it's still possible to catch a glimpse of past experiment through their digital Kent site, which for some reason nobody a Kent County Council are willing to talk about.

Briefly Kent TV, was an experiment in communication which never lived up to the fantastic vision of highly paid officers, despite KCC digging deep into taxpayers pockets, and spending two million quid, and flashing as I understand the KCC credit card, to promote Kent TV on Google search engine.

Whatever induced the Kent Conservative group, lead by Cllr Paul Carter to go along with such wasteful spending, is beyond my comprehension, still what can you expect of a council that stumbles from crisis to crisis and claims to perform excellently, despite losing £50 million in Iceland ( yeah I know it going to be recovered any day) or worse failing our children and then not investigating the root cause?

Even here in Thanet we've seen experiments in community TV like this "Champions TV" it was apparently launched with £100,000 of Government money as far as I can tell, this just flickered for a month or two and gradually faded, a bit like the spot on those black and white tellys of my childhood. Unfortunately the Champions website has  disappeared still this blog site still remains and a twitter account.

A couple of examples of community or local broadcast experiments which didn't succeed  anyhoo the government believe that there is room for a fresh approach, frankly I'd prefer if they didn't nick money that would otherwise go to the BBC.

I understand that the 40 million is for start up costs, Kent TV was going to generate income and well it never did, did it? The government have foolishly identified Dover, Maidstone and Tonbridge as possible locations for this nonsense, clearly nobody at the department of culture, media, sport has ever read Bignews Margate.

Surely if KCC and TenAlps couldn't make Kent TV, a success what chance anyone else?

Community event–Windmill Allotment Project

summer open dayOne for your diary, Windmill Community Allotment Project are holding an open day at Dane Valley Allotments, Dane Valley Road. This is a project all about producing food to high standards without chemicals and transforming how we get our veg.

As part of that project the community offers a "vegetable box" scheme in which I presume you purchase every week and receive a box stuffed with a variety of local organically grown veg to see you through the week.

Anyhow for more info click here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Riots mythNot surprisingly rumour and utter bollix run riot during events such as last nights disturbances in London, I note increased traffic goggling on to this site as feeble minded yoofs check out the latest rumours. Suggest two things keep precious teens under observation and trust in the police (500+ arrested in London). KENT POLICE TWITTER STREAM FOR LATEST ALSO CLICK ON THIS SITE TO READ OF TWO ARRESTED FOR ARRANGING RIOTS AND REPORT OTHERS


no fire no riot

Riots–No excuses

riotsThere are no excuses for the riots in London and other towns and cities, clear and simple, commentators who suggest otherwise are brainwashed idiots, the fact is the country has witnessed a moment of madness, as lazy young immoral thieving scum organised themselves into cowardly ruthless groups of violent thieves.

It was clear to me last night, as I drove to work, that kids were out on the streets in London, not to demonstrate about being victims of some great social injustice but to cause violent mayhem.

Lets face it on mass and on the streets, these kids are little more than pack animals, I think it would not be unreasonable if normal considerations of "rights" were suspended in respect of individual liberty, however "we" society are better than that, so it's unlikely that we will see any curfews or dispensation of normal legal process in dealing with this scum.

Excuses don't hold water, the vision of some lazy uneducated workshy teenage kid, on the television news, mumbling about respect, typifies the senselessness and worthlessness of this criminal minority.

This country certainly has structural problems and even self-destructive polices and without a doubt, many of these kids will be the product of deprived families, some of whom, will genuinely be the casualties of economic woes, however I suspect most are the product of generations of workshy parasites.

Ordinary people have been terrorised and inconvenienced, on the way to work last night in central London, the roads were populated with kids, their faces covered, I just wondered why these yobs are out and about rather than sleeping in preparation for a days work.

As much as you can judge these things, driving down the Old Kent Road, enroute to work I have to say, the police were showing commendable restraint in handling groups of these feral kids, in a way that makes you proud to be British, unlike the conduct of these (4)

These kids are wallowing in the delusion that the world owes them, and probably think that they're somehow victims, unlike those in my world who just get on with life, who like one co-worker, take whatever work is on offer, change their travel plans because Croydon, Clapham, and Lewisham are under siege or another having to return home because these bastards are threating their home and family.

After this is over, lets tackle the real social problem, which is the "it's my rights" attitude of feckless scum, who've never if ever held down a job or earned "rights" because "it's not worth it" unless it's being a state funded mum or dad.

Ordinary people like me will of course be at work today, tomorrow and the next day despite these self obsessed criminals and those who like some of my colleagues couldn't get in last night, will just get on with things and despite having lost a days pay, wont be breaking in to shops or destroying peoples homes to make up for it.

There are no excuses!

Roger Gales - Press Release on Recall of Parliament

Recall of Parliament

North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale , has this (Tuesday) morning welcomed the recall of Parliament (on Thursday) in order that the House may receive a statement from the Prime Minister in relation to the acts of criminality that have taken place throughout London and elsewhere in recent nights.

“It is absolutely right that Parliament should have the opportunity to hear from the Prime Minister and to question the action that is being taken and the facilities that are being made available to enforce the law, to restore order and to bring to conviction and sentence those that are responsible.  Not one of us is immune from the effects of these acts of violence and vandalism – those that have not been directly damaged today may, unless appropriate action is taken, be damaged tonight or tomorrow.

In expressing sympathy with those that have suffered injury and loss and damage I think that we have also to condemn those – including some media commentators – who have sought to make political capital out of these riots and to somehow excuse the perpetrators as the victims of “cuts” or “deprivation”. What we have all seen reported on television is straightforward vandalism, theft, criminality and brute violence and it cannot be excused or apologised for in any way at all.

The robust line taken by the Home Secretary and by the Prime Minister upon his return to the United Kingdom this morning indicate, I think, how very seriously the authorities are taking these matters and I would hope and expect that every measure – up to and including the use of water cannon and, if necessary, the armed forces – is deployed to protect people and property, nationwide, from further injury and damage.

In paying tribute to the constabulary – who have certainly been stretched to the limit by unpredicted and unanticipated events over the last 48 hours – we also have to call upon the decent people of every community in the country to deny any comfort, protection or safe haven to anyone at all who has participated in, or is planning to participate in, further riots.”

Monday, August 08, 2011

KM Group's Takeover bid - Update on Politicians Views

Firstly an apology, to Roger Gale MP, last week I stated that the MP for Thanet North had not responded to my communication concerning the likely takeover by the Kent Messenger Group of Northcliffe Media's Kent newspaper which include Thanet's Gazette and Times.
Looking through my bills and junk mail this morning, I came across a letter addressed to me on House of Commons stationary dated 2/08/11 I'm not sure when this arrived but it's likely that it came before my last posting on this subject.
The expectation that Roger Gale MP would offer some crumbs of comfort, perhaps an impassioned plea to maintain local media diversity has resulted in me feeling a bit disappointed and I don't share his glib view but anyhow.Galeonkm
I hope the Office of Fair Trade will not just allow a monopoly to be created, Kent Messenger Group may well have served the county well but certainly not this part of East Kent and certainly not with the meagre offerings from the Thanet Extra of late.
Still we shouldn't necessarily take a glib view on these things, just now Thanet Council and Tesco have had the plans for an incongruous superstore derailed by Arlington residents and good thing too, in just what crazy world, would you want Tesco's as the back drop to an afternoon at the sea side.
Hopefully ordinary peoples view will be taken into account a little more often, given the hostility by residents, it was extraordinary that Cllr Jack Cohen recently used his casting vote to progress Tesco's plans but then as  I understand he lives in Birchington.
We are all part of the "Big Society" (its not some creation for Tory busy bodies) if you want to influence things make your voice known, down just let your politicos take the easy route, get involved.

The Weekend - Broadstairs Folk Fest & Margate Soul Weekend

meatfolkfestPretty good for me, I think, I didn't get out as much as I'd hoped but managed to nip over to Broadstairs on my bike and soak up the ambience of the Folk Fest, and a had a pleasant rare break from work.

sledgehammerThe festival always seems good natured and the people well behaved not sure why local business or the police feel it necessary to support a "Dispersal Zone" seems like a sledgehammer reaction to demonise teenagers. Yes kids are irritating and obnoxious but this anti social legislation wouldn't be out of place in any totalitarian society no surprise this was a Labour bit of control freakery

Rather disappointed to see banner advertising at such an important event after the councils crack down, particularly given the sensitive nature of Broadstairs Folk I must say this banner was particularly shocking, promoting as it does the wonders of Westwood Cross, given the complaints and ballyhoo about similar promotional items around the shopping centre. I just hope these have "official sanction" of the council otherwise, I'm afraid Cllr Simon Moores is going to have make another statement.

westwood banner

Anyway the Folk Festival gives this area a big boost, encouraging much positive promotion for the area like BBC South East Today "infotainment" show , again thanks to all the hard work of the organisers.south east fest folk

I walked into Margate, to take a gander at the Soul Weekend, spent an hour or so on the "Piazza"  the weather wasn't the best, although the music played by the InterSeptors was very good I particularly enjoyed "Proud Mary" and "River Deep Mountain High"  and well worth standing in the light drizzle afterwards had some deluxe cider (handmade by some noble family in Suffolk since the dawn of time) which was marvellous in that new bar adjacent the Piazza.margatesoulweekender

The Margate Carnival Soul Weekend certainly offers something different to the Folk Festival and it's not on the same scale however it dragged me into town, and understand quite a few travelled from up norf. I hope the everyone had a good time, unfortunately I couldn't get down on Sunday but understand that the carnival was as good as ever.TC distraction

A few things in Margate could do with tweaking, one the TC's cafe seemed to be employing sales prevention methods, looking for somewhere to sit out of the rain, I took a command decision and dragged my family toward the Contemporary from outside Barnacles, on arrival about two thirds of the Cafe had been rendered out of bounds with "Reserved" notices now I understand they do an evening dinner from 6pm onwards so it seemed a tad overzealous around 4 ish .

Whats all this

A couple of contentious items part of Margate main beach been corralled by fences for what I understand (despite no signage) will be a permanent volley ball court (more on this later) with three new huts and more possible  "illegal"?   advertising and is it time to restore public toilet facilities in the old town which used exist at the back of the old Margate Council building.

Finally a thank you is in order to the Bar/Cafe owner who allowed non customers, the use of his facilities, also a thank you to one of my readers kind enough have a good word for this blog, it is much appreciated.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Hard Choices - Broadstairs Folk Festival or Margate's Soul Weekend and Carnival

margate soul weekendNot something that normally bothers me, what to do for the weekend, the choice is usually stark, my destination a railway worksite, which recently has been, a dank murky dust filled tunnel, in which men heroically toil for hours on end, to build a better railway, my only choice, the contents of my "pack up", rolls or doorstop sarnies, cheese or ham, mini pork pies or mini eggs, the later I compromise and take both, eleven hours in a tunnel is a long time.

broadstairs folk week 2011Hopefully like me, this weekend you are free of work worries, so my biggest choice is whether to soak up the entertainment offered by Broadstairs Folk Festival or Margate's Soul Weekend and excellent Carnival.

Well I suppose like my packed lunch you could have a bit of both, Broadstairs Folk Fest goes on all week starts today 5th August through to next Friday, Margate Soul Weekend starts tomorrow @ 2PM in the Piazza with live music from 4pm and continues on Sunday which is also the day  Margate Carnival

I'm not sure that I have any preference for specific genres of music, like a lot people I can enjoy most music, even country and western, as a kid the albums I played to death would have been Rod Stewarts "Every Picture tells a story", Lindisfarne's "Fog on the Tyne"  and compilations of the Four Tops, the Supremes & Diana Ross.

The music links are to "spotify" which allows you to access to millions of tracks and create playlists like this,  one from my era back in the day, when nightclubs like Hades, Crackers, Starlight, Nero's, Ace of Clubs existed and others any how to listen to those items you will have to register which will cost from nothing to a tenner a month.

Well to whet you appetite for the Soul Weekend


or Folk Week

Broadstairs Festival 2010 (Short Version) from spiralearth films on Vimeo

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Kent Newspaper Monopoly - Roger Gale, Laura Sandys, (Thanet's MP's) what do they think?

the cat gets itWell damn all it seems, I've not heard any pronouncements or views of any Kent politicians, maybe their oblivious or like the idea of Kent Messenger Group acquiring a virtual monopoly on local newspapers reporting in Kent.

*I contacted Roger Gale's office earlier in the week, to see if he could assist in revealing more information, I also hoped that my enquiry might provoke a reaction, unfortunately this does not seem to be the case. I did however get an email of Gales View on Thanet Labours anti jobs and anti business policy which while I agreed, did not hit the spot

I cannot help thinking threats to the future of the Mr Puss (the Flaig family cat) would probably be more likely to get a reaction, than the end of competitive reporting of local issues.

It seems staggering that local politicians don't have a view. In the case of Roger Gale, I know that some years ago, a rather shabby "story" was published in the Gazette, not surprisingly resulting in Roger Gale, transferring his "View" column  to the alternative KM Thanet Extra as there was the choice, which shortly may not exist.

I doubt either the Kent Messenger Group or even Northcliffe Media (who paid some millions for Kent Regional News and Media) are about to go belly up if this deal does not go through. 

It's perhaps an indication of the quality of our local politicians, it might be that either they don't care or even know what's going on.

For all postings on this subject click here, it seems despite living in a "democracy" this issue is not being reported elsewhere including the state broadcaster BBC South East or Radio Kent. WHY NOT?

Finally it seems strange that MP Laura Sandy's adept as she appears at having a view on most subjects is remarkable quiet on this matter.

*Since writing this I have received a letter typed on the day of my enquiry to Roger Gale, therefore this need be read in that context, and my apologies to Roger Gale MP.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


As mentioned earlier, the time to make comments to the Office of Fair Trading concerning KM Group's submission to acquire Northcliffe Media's Kent newspapers is running out. You have until Monday 8th August.

It seems rather surprising and disturbing that the counties politicians have yet to comment but who would report it anyway. KM Group like the minimalist Thanet Extra and Northcliffe Media newspapers such as the Isle of Thanet Gazette/Times etc. are hardly going to wish to stir things up. Kent on Sunday stands to gain so their hardly going whip up a storm.

It's unfortunate BBC South East and BBC Radio Kent have not made this the subject of public discussion, I spoke to a Radio Kent manager who suggested I send him a paragraph, I didn't have the energy, what would be the point.

KM Group's take over of Northcliffe Media's Papers would be similar at a regional level to Murdoch taking over every national newspaper with the exception of say the Daily Express.

Anyway here are the key points of the likely outcome in my opinion if the Office of Fair Trading nod this deal through.
  • NEWSPAPERS CLOSED – Is it likely KM Group will keep the Gazette and Times in Thanet as well as the Thanet Extra or indeed others across Kent.
  • LOCAL NEWS POORER COVERAGE – The normal competitive process of reporting will cease. Particularly at district level.
  • MINMAL COMPETITION  - Archant Media Group who produce Kent on Sunday, do not currently as I understand produce local district newspapers as in print form. Their papers like "yourthanet" exist purely in "e" format so lack the appeal of hard copy papers like the Gazette or Extra which you can browse news as well adverts Homes, Cars and of course Classifieds.
  • HIGHER ADVERTISING COSTS – Businesses aren't charities and neither is the KM Group unrestrained by adequate competition what choice will business have when advertising rates rise.
  • PUBLIC INTEREST – Local Democracy will be harmed as its almost inevitably journalists will be sacked and consequently resources wont exist to scrutinise local government.
  • MEDIA MARKET SHARE – KM Group will if this deal goes through have a massive strangle hold on media with newsprint and radio, which cannot be in the public interest however well intentioned they might be.
The process of the Office of Fair Trading's deliberations into the consequences of this proposed takeover, are unfortunately not as open as would be desirable due to commercial confidentiality, so as far as the public interest is concerned its only possible to guess at KM's plans.

I suggest if you concur with my concerns that you mention it to those you know and also keep the Office of Fair Trading by contacting Raúl Nieto Fax: 020 7211 8916.

PS Companies and organisation are being consulted by the OFT about KM's bid and therefore may be unable to comment or feel its not in their interest to do so.

BBC Advertising report - The missing link

smooresADOutside of national news we are used to superficial reporting from the BBC, an interesting case in point is reportage of Thanet Councils tough new campaign against "illegal" advertising.

Peter Wittlesea's report (Click) has Cllr Simon Moores firmly staring down the lens of his camera, looking uncomfortably formal on what must have been a hot day, anyhoo the councillor suggests, referring to advertising that businesses "go through a proper process.

Mr Wittlesea could have asked at this point, what proper processes other than compliances with the CAA, Mr Moores (as a businessman) goes through before dragging airborne banners across our sky I wonder why the reported didn't make the link?.

Maybe Cllr Moores will enlighten us, with what steps he takes to inform the authorities before he disturbs neighbourhoods with the noise of his plane droning above, with an incitement to marriage or a friendly message of support for some football team.

To be honest unless it's real nuisance I'd say it's none of our damn business as with some trader using there vehicles to advertise for business.

Finally how sporting of Simon to allow himself to be framed with a traders van in shot but how shocking seeing TDC using Stanley type knives to cut down advertising posters, on worksites these are frequently discouraged by Health and Safety zealots due to the open blade.stanley

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Council Busy Bodies - Road Side advertising and the problem is?

addexstremeIt seems rather ironic given that Cllr Simon Moores earns money from towing ads from a plane without any planning regulations, he is quoted in the council press release on "illegal advertising" so far the examples shown in the media, have yet to harm me in the deep psychological way that it looks to offend Thanet Council officers and those who are attracted to Cllr Moores. Apparently zealous council officers are about to wallop wrongdoers with the full force of criminal law.

Leader of Thanet council Cllr Bob Bayford (who he? exactly) made a good choice in placing Cllr Moores in his cabinet, as he (Simon) appears to be a willing target of or lightening rod for some of the more cranky council policy.

Anyhow this latest bit of nonsense will go down like a lead balloon with a lot of local traders doing what they can to attract business, who apparently dare to park business vehicles on the road, one presumes these are taxed etc. Why a tory council wish's to attack enterprise god alone knows, perhaps Cllr Moores would like to see honest traders criminalised and join the ranks of workless.

So what's the problem, well apparently people can get distracted according to Cllr Moores "As a council, we’re also worried about the impact it could have on drivers, as adverts like this tend to be distracting. We would clearly wish to avoid any potential for an accident, because someone is distracted by an advert, rather than concentrating on the road.”

I'm sure Cllr Moores has never been involved in advertising which could be provocative,  offensive or been in anyway a cheap publicity stunt, I'm sure he seeks local government approval before he interrupts the environment with his plane buzzing around. 

My view is this, if people are so feeble minded they cannot drive past an advert without getting excited then they should not be on the road, let alone as in the case of Moores allowed to fly a plane towing a blimin long advertising banner.

This is for me a typical example of how council's lose control of the fact that their sole purpose is to provide services to the community, no doubt there are some extreme cases of roadside advertising and these should be dealt without the ballyhoo or political codswallop.

It will be interesting come the next election whether Thanet council will be prosecuting local conservatives and criminalising them when the inevitable poster and bill boards appear on farmers land.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Picture this–Margate Photo Fest

hi viMargate is to celebrate the art of Photography once again with the M P F : Organic event to be held on August 13th & 14th in the town.

Various locations will  display this years selected work, which if I digress for a moment is something neglected by Turner critics, the various locations being, galleries and "spaces" which wouldn't exist without the Contemporary or eateries and pubs for that matter.

Anyhow for more details, click here or make yourself available to enjoy the delights of this festival by wandering around Margate town during the weekend of 13th & 14th maybe with your camera.

I understand acceptance for submissions has closed, which is a bit of a disappointment as I have just stumbled  upon the above image, which on one level might look like an out of focus shot of my hi-viz work gear however it was inspired by my struggle to make just one flippin phone call with my smart phone (why can't they make these easier to use).

Hopefully I will have time to take a gander myself, usually I have work at the weekends so miss some of the great events, like this weekends "Middle age blokes with War Memorabilia" in Ramsgate, still there are more great events like the one above and of course the biggy for Broadstairs the "Folk Week" a festival of middle aged beardy guys in odd rustic clothing who've dragged and cajoled the partners and kids to immerse themselves in music and spend a week under canvass in a school field at the back of the town.

Although I might be facetious, events particularly of the grass roots type, do much to enhance the area, one omission this year has been the popular Thanet Pride event which I understand will take place next year after talks with the council secure the event for three years from 2012.

Thanks to those who work hard to arrange events in these parts, particularly those of the organic variety, that being from enthusiasts, myself I'm thinking of the Thanet Blogging and Alternative Media Fest however this would be a multi venue event connected in cyberspace.