Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Every little helps Tesco but Margate? - Politicians ought to do less

Whats been acheivedEvery little may well help Tesco but in the case of politicians, a little can do a lot of damage. 

As far as I'm concerned, too many politicians and for that matter citizens expect politicians to do some about blimin everything.

Whether politicians are professionals (MP's), semi-pro (councillors who screw those fat additional allowances) and keen amateurs such as TDC back bench councillors they all appear to share an uncontrollable urge, to do something, about just about every thing, they can't help themselves. 

Take a run down town like ours, trying to reinvent and remodel itself, then think of the eyesore that is Arlington house and it's environs and then mix in property developers/estate owners, witless councillors and top it off with flipping Tesco and what have you got? Wallop a blimin disaster.

This is from memory, so check the facts, Thanet council rarely noted for strategic thinking, recently approved plans for a supermarket at Arlington House, and as I understand such are the historic levels of competence within planning, decided to change long term plans to accommodate, what will be an unwelcome out of place development. Why develop local plans if your just going to fold at the first opportunity?

Typically one councillor, known for er …. extravagant claims wittered on about how we wont get a chance like this again, to which I say thank God!  lucky the owners of Arlington House didn’t propose a sewage treatment plant, to which I don’t doubt the average Thanet councillor would give serious consideration.

So what will Margate get out of the proposal for a supermarket, another flipping Tesco, traffic jams, Arlington House itself will probably remain in is current jaded state, more independent traders will be put out of business and more importantly visitors will be greeted with a hideous supermarket building, just what you need, after millions have been invested in regeneration.

At one point, an outline suggestion was made that a hotel could be the catalyst for improving the area, another is that the existing building could and should be revamped, its clear to most outside the council, we don’t need a seafront supermarket, which will blight the town, and the planned heritage theme park.

Should the planning committee, vote the development through, lets hope the people of Margate and Thanet make it there business to see that those responsible, don’t get elected to public office again.

Here’s my advice to councillors, learn to say NO and sometimes do nothing, its not necessary to build a supermarket just because someone wants to make a lot of money out of your little vote!


  1. Sadly, the only really satisfactory solution to Arlington House is demolition, but that is probably beyond possibility now.
    The mind still boggles at the thinking of the council way back when this long term eyesore was approved. Did the town plan then envisage some East Kent Manhattan!

    Now, some money poured in to redevelop and smarten up this run down area is perhaps all that is possible and, since the council don't have any, it probably takes a firm the size of Tesco to come up with the cash.

    Slightly amused at Tony's comments about councillor's allowances and not voting for them, whoever they may be, next time. Do I not recall Tony was more than happy to run for office last time and could well have been part of the administration that approved the Tesco plan. I suppose also he would have refused the allowance?

  2. Tony touches on the curse of politicians, the endless need they have to legislate. How many new laws were introduced by the last government, how many so far by the new one?

    No matter that we already have laws, often not being enforced, at each happening up spring our legislators with a new one. It is their constant answer to everything.

    Whilst I know that in some quarters, usually those of opposing politics, MPs and councillors are damned if they do and damned if they don't, sometimes they could achieve far more by leaving well alone.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I really don't see why it is such an impossibility to demolish Arlington House (drastic solutions require drastic measures!). While I can understand some people being against Tesco because of it's appearance, I can't understand how the same people can write blog posts declaring their love for Arlington House.

    I too have been wondering what Tony's solution would've been if he'd been elected (let us know Tony!).

  5. Peter, probably too many legal complications with multiple leaseholders and a freehold ownership. The TDC do not own Arlington House so, to demolish it, would involve compulsory purchase and probably some rehousing. Way beyond the coffers I suspect.

  6. 9 54 myself I don't agree with the Tesco idea and therefore would in the hyperthetical world stuck to my principals as in the real world

    As I mentioned earlier Peter it had been mooted that a hotel could go on the site, so that would the prefered option or just refurbishing the existing buildings.

  7. How would refurbishing the existing buildings work? They're empty due to lack of business, & even if they looked good I can't imagine new businesses taking them on while already have a deserted High Street.

    Myself, having listened to reasoned debate (as well as delusional ramblings) have changed my opinion a little, & would prefer it if TDC & Tesco met halway & proposed a Tesco Metro (similar to the one in Broadstairs). But given the choice of a huge Tesco or nothing at all (with a risk of it remaining derelict for another 20 years) I know which one I'd choose.

  8. Tony lost 2 replys due to word verification shant do another GET RID OF IT and some of your ads cos they make the blog too slow just have a few

  9. Tesco in Broadstairs killed off the lovely Dickens Pantry and Johnston's fishmongers. Bastards.
    Arlington should be blown up along with the hideous council portcullis building in Cecil square. Robbing bastard scumbags. Go and see people feeding the monster through the wall! Pay here peasants! TDC under Special Measures NOW! Arlington residents can be rehomed in the 800+ empty houses in Margate. TDC can walk the plank off the Harbour Arm. Bless 'em all. Up the Thanet revolution! Bob Bayford rot in hell! Anon at 9.54 on 19/10 is so right. East Kent Masnhattan.Ha! We're in the fuckin VANGUARD of artistic bullshit neon shite mate. Time to join the feckless and forsaken on the wall for a Special Brew. We are here as on a darkling plain swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night. English Heritage QUANGO can sod off. NO ARLINGTON LISTING. Give us back our heritage coach park circa 1960. Freshwater are pure reptilian evil. Rancidwater more like.Mmm.. time for a look at the Plough from a horizontal position while cradling Special Brew. Astral Projection here we come! Far out my good man! Dum vivimus vivamus, as Epicurus used to say. Top chap ye know.

  10. Actually, despite the colourful prose, this contribution is something of a literary gem reminiscent in style of the late, lamented ECR.

  11. Computers Are Hard Lets Go ShoppingFriday 21 October 2011 at 04:38:00 BST

    Actually Peter Checksfield I don't like your house and I'd really like to see it demolished, preferably with you still inside it. I've heard people comment on the time and effort you put into being critical. They're not wrong there.

    As for your "no need for that sort of language". How old are you ? 60 ? 70 ? So judgemental. One would think that someone who makes a big deal of his artistic creativity (bog standard b&W shots in bog standard emo settings ... yawn) and artistic licence would be a little less purse-lipped and sanctimonious. I actually think the response you decry has a lot of originality and integrity.

    One might call you anal. But there's no need for that sort of language so I'm going to call you asshat instead.

    @ Your comment "Myself, having listened to reasoned debate (as well as delusional ramblings) have changed my opinion a little," Ah Mr Checksfield, I see your bicycle pedals backwards.

  12. Only one thing is clear on this debate.... all the time we have the current incompetents holding favour at TDC nothing will happen that will benefit Margate.

    Do any of you remember that place.. MARGATE,it once was and could still be the finest seaside venue in our country, yet is being allowed to disolve in its own excrement right before our eyes.
    Remove TDC altogether and start afresh, new ideas, visions, determination, drive, expertise and MARGATE,RAMSGATE,BROADSTAIRS will once again become the destinations of choice rather than the subject of pitty.

    TDC you should be ashamed of yourself.

  13. Labour introduced politics into local government and it has been downhill since. Instead of decent local people working together for the good of the community it turns into political shenanigans the whole time. Constant bickering serves no purpose and, as we know well in Thanet, changing the political colour of TDC makes no difference.

  14. Something of a red herring, I think, Anon of 02.19. Also perhaps an example of rose-tinted nostalgia.

    There were good and bad local authorities years ago, when there were less organised political parties involved. But those who were elected to office were, in effect, local businesspeople and "worthies" who were, in the main, Conservatives. Working people stood no chance of breaking through that barrier until Labour came along. Decisions were never "by the community for the community", but were made by those who thought they knew best, and had the right to make that judgement.

    There are good and bad local authorities now, of all political colours, the distinction being that people vote to get a mix of representatives more reflective of the make-up of the community.

  15. 09:22, whilst fully accepting what you say about the historic make up of councils, I still feel that the introduction of politics has led to too much band wagoning.

    Yes, perhaps old pre-political councils of the butcher, baker, candlestick maker and squire may have been self serving to some extent, but they were not distracted by party political positioning. Nor did they oppose ideas simply because the other side thought of them first.

    As to the exclusion of more ordinary mortals, surely that is a fact of life everywhere. Few boardrooms or senior management teams are made up of the shop floor any more than army high command is of private soldiers. Perhaps leadership should come from those of experience who have risen to positions of influence.

    That, of course, does not exclude the Alan Sugars of this world nor should it, but by the same token, party membership should not be a route to office for sacks of potatoes. I am sure you, as I do, appreciate that there are places, wards, constituencies, where the village idiot could be elected, and sometimes is, if wearing the right coloured rosette.

  16. 01:29 I could not agree more, in fact I think we are currently run under the instruction of the village idiot.
    Just once, would it not be refreshing to see this council shake off its pathetic child like wrangling and make one sensible, intelligent, forward thinking suggestion ?
    We the populous, deserve and demand so much better than this shower of ........ that currently occupy cecil sq.
    Incompetent does not begin to describe them, in fact i dont think the words have yet been created to sum up the total farce that they drive forward.

    It would be an interesting measure of public opinion, if blog sites such as this, ran a poll on who actually thinks they are getting the best service/value from this bunch of muppetts.
    Now which one of the Thanet Blogs do you think would take up the challenge......?

  17. Indeed, 2:30, but unfortunately it does not stop with TDC. Take this afternoon for example. In our illustrious centuries old parliament they are to debate a proposal about a referendum on our relationship, indeed, membership of the EU. Now polls show that 75%of the people polled want a referendum yet all the leaders of our main parties are opposed.

    The leader of the opposition had a chance to align himself with the vast majority for a change, but blew it to support the government. Do we, the people, matter to any of them at all?

    Then there are those that work under the umbrella of government, central and local, the civil servants and local government officers. How many of these reflect the general ineptitude of their political masters. From the HMRC to the town hall, red tape and incompetence seem the main priorities.

    Sadly the whole thing is a shambles and a few unemployment or disability benefit recipients, who are unable to find or are unfit for work, camping outside St. Pauls is not going to make one iota of difference. Incidentally, how can they be actively looking for work when camped on the pavement for nine days.

  18. There are a number of us who try and make intelligent and informed decisions but there are those who try equally hard to achieve a socialist dystopia and who insist that the financial crisis that confronts us all, is some kind of 'Toff Tory Myth.'

    Now you can, if you wish, believe that people like me, with three cabinet portfolios, are simply lazy or incompetent or you can ask why an opposition, so demonstrably lacking in ideas and imagination, works energetically to frustrate all progress and prevent Thanet from moving out of the 1970s?

  19. Dr. M, I for one am not disputing the serious limitations imposed on local governance by Labour's introduction of politics. The very nature of a party arising out of worker demonstration, confrontation and, even, revolution is to be noisy and disruptive, revolting if you like.

    Nor would I dispute that you try to make intelligent reasoned decisions and even endeavour to explain them on your blog. Unfortunately too many politicians now, including some of your party, get drawn into this constant bickering and point scoring to no avail and certainly to no benefit to the public.

    One of the criticism of the last Labour government was its 'nanny state, we know what is best for you pleps' approach. Now David Cameron knows better than 75% of the population on Europe and forces a totally needless confrontation with his own MPs in the process. Indeed, not one major party is with popular opinion on the EU issue.

    The public's frustrations with politicians is quite understandable and perhaps we need more explanation and more listening to our opinion. We are not all idiots out here.

  20. Anon, your arguments seem to be colliding with each other, or at least contradicting each other.

    I agree with you that the practice by political parties of condemning everything that is put forward by their opponents, almost as a matter of routine, is unhelpful and unproductive. "Bickering" in order to underline differences, make political capital, and secure political advantage is what turns off most of the electorate. If there are differences because of sincerely held, divergent ideologies and policies, fine, but that is often not the case. There is frequently more scope for compromise than political point-scoring allows.

    It is especially sad that Cameron promised, on election, a new era of political behaviour, yet has continued emphatically in the "old way". No more "yah boo sucks" in debate and a greater deference by the Executive to Parliament - he said. But much of his debating has relied on negative point-scoring, and his actions this week have given the lie to his regard for Parliamentary democracy.

    Then you go and suggest that Miliband missed a trick in not opposing the Government over Europe. Would that not have been precisely the "oppose for the sake of it" that you - rightly - condemn? Would it not have been a golden example of political advantage being sought over principle? Labour believe in Europe - they once didn't, I know - and in working to improve matters from within not without. Personally, I share that view entirely and do not support the thinking behind the push for a referendum. Labour would have been setting aside their principles to do what you suggest - and no doubt would have attracted your scorn if they had done so.

    Turning to your other points, I disagree profoundly with you hankering after the old, "non-political" days of local councils. Firstly, as I have said, they were not in truth non-political. Secondly, it is bad enough that a significant portion of the current Conservative Party believe they have an inalienable right to govern because of birthright, money, landholding or presumed intellectual and social superiority; I would hate to see that institutionalised once again. Thirdly, it is distasteful that you feel the representation of the working people through the ballot is "noisy, disruptive and revolting".

    As an aside, it is clear that there is an intellectual snobbery embedded in "DrM" that underlines the second of my points so beautifully.

  21. Most of what you say, 7:43, must fall in the beg to differ category, but there are a couple of points where you may have misunderstood, possibly deliberately, in my case.

    On the issue of the EU I was as critical of Cameron as I was Milliband and I could have just as easily included Clegg. All three party leaders seem to think that it is totally OK to ignore the very people who elected them. Frankly it does not matter if Labour, Tories or Lib/Dems parliamentary parties support the EU, the people have a right to express their view.

    EU membership, very different to the original EEC, is a major constitutional change and should be voted upon, particularly as both main parties have previously promised a referendum on the matter.

    As to the question of who should represent us, surely you cannot be suggesting that only Tories rise to positions of rank and influence in the community. I have no problem with 'of the people, by the people for the people' so long as the people elected have demonstrated some expertise and leadership capability. I object to sections of the community, from whatever quarter, having to be represented at governance level even if they are little better than parrots, reciting the party slogan, or cabbages even incapable of reciting that.

    Surely there is nothing wrong in wanting to be governed by capable people or is that snobbery in your book, something no doubt that fits with all the other 'isms' and 'phobias' so liberally thrown around by the left to kill off debate.

  22. I am sorry, Anon, but your constant jibes at "the Left" - including your comments about the NHS on another strand - are proof positive that your hatred of that political wing is clouding your every argument. They are also proof positive that far from being a supposedly objective commentator on the political scene generally, you are simply a strong-mouthed advocate of the political right (and certainly to the right of the present Tory leadership). No problem with that, but stop lying.

    You suggest that those on the Left cannot or will not debate certain subjects. That is simply not true. You allege it because it is just one of your debating "weapons". You're a bit of a bully, I think.

    And no, I don't want to be represented by people who may be bright, but who look down on those they represent, and are thoroughly obnoxious human beings.

  23. Selective as ever, anon, and happily throwing out your labels. Now I must add lying to my various other isms and phobias. Yet again you avoid debating an issue by seeking to discredit your opponent rather than their argument.

    Since I have never made any secret of my distaste for the left in particular, and the political scene in general, where is the lie? I would suggest that, unlike you, having no strong allegiance to any political party means I can be more objective. I am happy to call a spade a spade without fear or favour.

    As to the people that represent us at levels of government, being bright does not necessitate superiority of attitude, something sadly all too prevalent in some politicans of all shades. Indeed, it tends to be the thicker skulls who adopt airs and graces on elevation to an office beyond their level of competence. The present speaker is a prime example.

  24. The former Deputy Prime Minister in the last government was another one.

  25. Anon, I have never accused you of any phobias or isms personally, but if it suits you to wear them proudly on the chest so be it.

    At the risk of this exchange descending to playground level - which I would not want to see - it seems to me that you continually practice what you accuse me/others of, namely discrediting the arguer, not the debate. Another "beg to differ" conclusion, I suspect.

    And whatever you say, you clearly do have an allegiance to one Party, and its ideals, but that perhaps is secondary in force to your hatred of the Left, and of anything to do with the Left.

    I have a personal and family history of Trade Unionism and Left-wing politics and am as proud of that as you are of your allegiance to the Right and your hatred of the Left. That is allowed under my preferred democracy. Less so under what you would prefer to see.

  26. Yet again my anonymous friend you seek to assume what I would prefer to see. You do not accuse but I can wear badges with your consent.

    What arrogant nonsense along with your pride in your militant left roots. My great grandfather campaigned in the South London dockyards for better working conditions even before the Labour party was formed. Grandfather and my dad were both Labour activists and councillors between and after the two world wars. Hence I do not bow to your proclaimed Labour pedigree, which is no better than mine.

    Let us say I saw the light, realised my forefathers dreams of some socialist utopia were in fact the stuff of nightmares and I became more apolitical, but with a right (not Tory) bias. I have seen nothing in the performance of the last Labour government, or the Labour group on the TDC, to make me change my mind that all politicians are bad for my country, but Labour ones are a total disaster.

  27. You really are good, Anon, at practising so perfectly the failings of which you accuse others.

    I do not believe it is arrogant nonsense to have pride in a history of trade unionism and left-wing politics, any more than your taking pride in your conversion and support of the political right-wing. But you seem to enjoy putting down the beliefs and opinions of others. You have something in common there with certain local Tory Party bloggers.

    And I make no assumptions about what (type of democracy) you prefer to see. You made it plain in another exchange that in terms of local authorities, you would prefer the model that applied years ago - local businesspeople, the landed gentry, and those who believed that "governing" was their birthright to be the elected council. I prefer a system that enables people from all walks of life to stand and be elected. I "assume" no more than that.

    Do try and rein in your hostility.

  28. You do not read what I say so basically I am wasting my time in these exchanges with you. Shame because I enjoy a proper debate where one at least acknowledges the points raised by the other.

    Since we are getting nowhere and you will continue to attribute me with opinions and characteristics I do not have, I will bow to your saintly working class credentials and duck out. You love your Labour party if you must and I will continue to hate what it has done to my country.

  29. Whatever, Anon - a point we have reached before. And by the same token, I am far from saintly, and would never claim to be anything like that.

  30. Yes, anon, we have reached this point before but will not be doing so again. Well you might, but not with me,

    Off thread, enjoyed Nigel Farage on Question Time last night, but the two women MPs did nothing for the cause of female equality. Like a couple of gopping sixth formers at the school debating society. Shirley Williams can still wipe the floor with these ladies even at her advanced years.