Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shock horror! - Labour to take control of Thanet Council?

Not sure how true this is but I understand that Labour are most likely to take over the council next week presumably with the help of the unforeseen principled stand made by John Worrow, whose resignation from the conservative group has further depleted the somewhat tenuous grip the Tories had on power.

Anyway more on this later for the time being I'm working to top up public sector pensions, while the ungrateful blighters take the day off and consider how flipping marvellous they are.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day of action?

Brace yourself for a lot of misinformation over the next few days, as public sector workers, attempt to use all the black arts of the propagandist.

So far in all the preamble to the strike action we've been knee deep in selfless nurses, dedicated teachers, heroic border agency bods, references to school dinner ladies, etc, much play of the low wage public sector workers, I noted that even the BBC's entertainment programme the one show managed to line some prime examples last night (Monday).

For some reason its unlikely that BBC journalists or mainstream media will be spending to much time interviewing inland revenue staff, Ministry of defence bods, or indeed low paid workers outside the public sector, who although they contribute with every pay packet. towards public sector pensions, will not of course be able to fund a decent pension themselves.

Certainly everybody ought to be able to retire at a reasonable age, with a decent income, but lets face, when I hear teachers bleating about having to work till 65, I just wonder if they give a toss for those in say construction, agriculture or manufacturing who have heavy manaul jobs who the government expect to work till 67.

Of course once you get to the higher salaried civil servants pension funds for individuals frequently equate to many hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Well tomorrow, I shall whether I like it or not, be paying into pensions for people who in many cases earn more than I, quite why I don't understand.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Resignation big deal? - No Worrows as councillor deserts Tories

News that Thanet Cllr. John Worrow has resigned the conservative whip on a point of principle concerning the banning of live animals exports, sounds like a humongous event but is it such a big deal.

I myself cannot quite understand what Cllr. Worrow is worried about, rather than showing disdain as John says, it would appear to me that Thanet district Council, has done a lot more than most elected bodies would do in similar circumstances, in representing and promoting the concerns of animal welfare activists.

I'm sure that some cynics might think that John Worrow by resigning the conservative whip is attempting to make himself more important as an independent (than was previously the  case) who now has to be placated either by the ruling Conservative group or won over by the Labour opposition.

Still having spoken to John in the past, I'm sure that he is above all that sort of malarkey and such notions are completely way off the mark, I myself don't doubt that neither he or Labour activist Cllr Ian Driver would use such an emotive issue as animal welfare, to manipulate the public, just to make themselves more important.

Just on Cllr Ian Driver, it seems that although it was unclear whether he was in or out of the Labour party earlier in the year, he has not been resigned or been removed from the Labour group as he is still listed on their website, presumably Cllr Clive Hart still has ambitions to lead Thanet to the promised land.

It's inevitable that petty squabbles will erupt from now until, the next local elections, maybe I should have commented earlier but frankly I had bigger fish to fry this weekend, including wading through a box set of "Mad Men" which is infinitely more entertaining than this event.

To be honest reading the first para of John's resignation address, despite criticising his former colleagues, he neither explains specifics of just how "there has been a concerted effort to undermine those campaigning to ban live animal exports" speaking of These campaigners are good respectable people goes on with this" I will not have their efforts undermined and ridiculed by an administration....... and so it goes on.

Here's my suggestion to John Worrow, try being a bit more explicit? I consider myself a supporter of animal welfare I signed the petition promoted by himself and all the other councillors and the council website, what more can we do? perhaps Cllr Worrow could elucidate?

At the end of the day of course we elect politicians to represent us, how exactly John Worrow is doing this, is frankly obscure, what does he expect of his colleagues, perhaps instead of Cllr Bob Bayford using his position as leader of the council, to influence law makers, perhaps John expects Bob Bayford and his tory colleagues to hold a vigil at Ramsgate port 24/7 and if necessary throw themselves in front of lorries.

Try coming up with a clear message John otherwise the public might just take a cynical view and assume your talking...

KENT WATCH - Launch of Regional Growth Fund - Ironic choice of venue?

I see news reported in the local papers including Kent on Sunday, that "county hall chiefs" and local MP's have had an official launch, of a scheme to offer grants to local businesses in East Kent to encourage up to 5000 jobs in the area, 40 million is on the table from the billion pounds national Regional Growth Fund.

I think its fair to say that KCC have done well getting this money, however its going to be even tougher I think to realise anything like the "up to" 5000 jobs figure quoted by Kent on Sunday, and I can't help think near impossible that jobs created will be solid, if you know what I mean.

This intiative is against a backdrop of the governments attempt to face up and deal with the very real instability in the economy in which half the population live courtesy of the taxpayer in a non productive or wealth creating world supported by the remaining generative industries.

Manufacturing appears to be one of those areas of the economy that no longer employs the numbers it once did either due to improved productivity or manufacturing having moved abroad, which as I understand has been the case with Hornby Hobbies in Margate who moved production to Guangdong Province, China in the latter half of 1990's.

This week will highlight the division in our economy and society between the " haves", public sector workers go on strike, and the rest of us who create the wealth are held to ransom. And yes of course some are getting a raw deal, but without those of us in wealth creation, the public sector wouldn't exist particularly those made up jobs.   

Clearly Hornby Hobbies, like other businesses has prospered having exported manufacturing jobs, particularly those which are labour intensive, hence the suggestion of irony, in launching this scheme where KCC did, still presumably since Council Leader Paul Carter, and  Kent Cllr Kevin Lynes, (regeneration and economic development) both represent divisions in prosperous West Kent, they would be unaware of local history.

Digressing slightly, in previous times, Kent Councils top officer would turn up for such events, however I see no mention Katherine Kerswell, the current Chief of KCC, and am reassured having rung KCC's press office that everything is still hunky dory, although they didn't comment on the suggestions that Katherine Kerswell has not been seen for a while, the Kent press bod could have allayed fears of another expensive high profile departure but didn't or rather couldn't, still if the worse comes to the worse, that's another job vacancy.

Its a pity few and certainly no one in the public sector, realises how important it is to have genuine wealth creating jobs, particularly with the countrie's gas and oil running out, although it's often been suggested that the UK is in terminal decline, maybe it really is, now that this country is more reliant every day on importing energy, and earnings from intangible services such as banking, insurance look every more shaky.

Finally if the top job at KCC has suddenly become vacant, then surely Paul Carter's position as leader of the Council will be untenable and no amount of shilly shallying from the councils press/PR department can save Carter, crikey that could be another job vacancy, blimey maybe the jobs market is looking better  already.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Would you trust Murdoch's Sun on Press Freedom?

I guess you probably wouldn't, however reading this report on the Sun's website, it appears that Sun journalist who just like their former colleagues at the News of the World have bills to pay, have struck lucky finding someone who seems to hold an honest belief that celebrities have hijacked the Leveson Inquiry into the press which focuses in part on some of the criminality of the popular press.

Certainly casual observers like myself of the inquiry, so far, would have noted the appearance of celebrities, but then equally powerful images, have been those of the mother of Milly Dowler, the McCanns, or Mary-Ellen Field personal adviser of Elle Macpherson sacked from her job because nobody realised that newspapers publishers were routinely involved in criminal activities to get stories.

Celebrities perhaps are fair game for newspapers but phone hacking, stalking etc are unreasonable, clearly the Sun is looking after, what it sees as its interests, although its difficult to view the story I mentioned as anything else other than an attempt to sway opinion.

As for celebrities what are we actually talking about, normal people who've got a talent, done something extraordinary or worked hard, maybe people like author J K Rowling, who's had protect her children from "journalist" who've stalked her and her children, a clear of abuse.

For myself I'd like to know when if ever the police will be interviewing senior executives of News International such as the Murdoch's I know its difficult to imagine major shareholder holders would show any interest in how their flagship business the now defunct News of the World beat the competition to some many stories. but who knows.

It's no surprise that a business that has show such a blatant disregard for decency and respect for individuals will cluch at an angle it can to support what I guess most of us see as a sleazy and dirty business.

Just what the answer is to dealing with the slimy rascals who pervert normal standards of decency in the pursuit of titillating the public with stories of human frailty, is something I don't know but if recent history is anythng is to go by cetainly, publishers and journalists are the last people to be trusted or regulate bent news media.

Finally when are we to see politicians in the dock over their relationships with newspaper owners, perhaps Blair, Cameron, Brown have some explaining to do, I understand that John Major was one of the few senior political figures not to jump when Rupert was in town, still look what happened to him.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

LABOUR SHOCK- As Clive Hart finds something positive to say

How pleasing to find local Labour actually has something positive to say, god knows we've heard enough doom and gloom from leader Cllr Clive Hart over the last few years, it sounds to me, as if, when he's not moaning about Cliftonville, he's done pretty much as is possible to dampen expectations in Thanet.

So far during his leadership, local Labour has fought against affordable social housing, (someone ought to tell Cllr Matterface who seemed unaware in last weeks Gazette), fighting jobs in a shabby U turn on Manston, fighting inward investment for new upgraded rail infrastructure, including a new "Parkway" Station which could help cut journey times to around an hour from London, simply I suspect because they don't have the nous to understand the psychological or marketing boast that it would give the area.

Well anyway Clive has made an rare and upbeat comment of sorts concerning lottery funding for the Dreamland site, starting with "good news" in the first sentence, a tad negative in the second half " empty for far to long" followed by "Dreamland has blighted the town since......."

It's a start.

Anyway its good not to hear of down and outs living in Cliftonville, dumping grounds, references to pedophiles or indeed smelly seaweed. Well done to Clive for trying.

Monday, November 21, 2011

KENT WATCH - What goes on behind closed doors

KCC have a remarkable record as far as it's relationships with senior management are concerned, as several high profile controversial events show a somewhat worrying aspect of an organisation, that used to promote itself as being excellent, although in fairness, some time after the dreadful state of affairs in childrens services became apparent, they eventually realised that the excellent tag was no longer tenable.

Anyhow as someone reported recently on my previous "Kent Watch" posting, rumours were rife as to the future of the current Chief Exective Officer Katherine Kerswell of the council or in Kent council orwellian newspeak Managing Director (Kent Conservative appear to view the council as if it were their own business), KCC have issued this Press Release 

Since joining Kent County Council in May 2010, Katherine Kerswell has been an outstanding Managing Director. In a very tough financial climate and against a background of severe budget cuts, she has done a great deal to relieve the financial burden on Kent council tax payers and has implemented Paul Carter and the Cabinet’s strategy for reshaping the council. Significant savings have been made possible through the continuing restructuring process and the new operational framework presided over by Katherine Kerswell and the Corporate Management team so far.
We would like to make it clear that Katherine Kerswell is and remains the Managing Director of Kent County Council. It is completely untrue to suggest that she has been dismissed or put on garden leave.
Neither the council nor Katherine Kerswell will be making any further public statement.
Now when KCC say they wont make any further public statements and you can believe them, as has been the case in other instances of their extraordinary personnel relationships, and even when they do promise more information, they conviniently brush aside further comment, such as how they ran child services down in to a perilous state, yes you'll get bluster and a lot of effort from Kent Council's multimillion pound public relations machine but whether we ever get  honest information is debatable in that case.
Anyway according to Local Government News website " Speculation grew this week that council leader Paul Carter was seeking to follow the recent move by Wiltshire Council  by axing Ms Kerswell and assuming the managing director’s role himself.  Wiltshire County Council has no chief officer as such, assuming that was true and of course its not, just what would, Kent possibly gain surely Kent Conservatives would not wish to blur the lines between politically neutral officers and partisan politicians. 
It is outrageous to suggest that Paul Carter ( Leader of Kent Tories) would compromise the traditional division between politcians and officers which marks British governmental organisations out from all those bent tinpot countries from South America to Middle East and beyond. What could he possibly gain?
Well I must conclude by saying that I am shocked, just as I was when, a company working for Kent's conservative council threatened me for commenting on Kent Councils Media, manipulation, credit card spending, big payouts for departing managers , or found evermore ways to burn your money like KCC's Healthwatch. I get the strong impression that Conservative Councillors would prefer us not to know how good they are at running things in Kent, so the truth is likely to remain behind closed doors(even though you as a taxpayer are funding them)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Out of the gloom

out ot the gloom

I wonder if I’m the only person, who isn’t feeling that the world is about to end under an avalanche of worthless euro’s. Never the most thoughtful after a long nightshift, I couldn’t help noticing that after several hundreds of years, people are still building in London, despite all the gloom of lefty media types, the fantastic shard development, still under construction inspired the following thought.

Yes the economy is being rejigged, its only natural when more than half the population are either employed by the state, or bleeding it dry, an illusion that cannot continue, however  the Shard emerging out of the early morning mist is no illusion, capitalism works, the state just drains you.

Well that’s my thought for the day, and now I shall get some sleep, Cranes over London

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oxford City Council - Jobsworths gone crazy?

I know people think I have downer on local authorities, and local government "officers" and God knows we've seen some extremes locally at both district and county level but blimey, it's looks like Oxford city council have elevated themselves to a new high in terms of well, either righteous regulation, stupidity or contempt for privacy and civil liberties. 

In the unlikely event that this hasn't cropped up on your news radar, Oxford's city council, has decided to insist that all taxis must be fitted with CCTV or what most of us would view as spy cameras recording, what would otherwise be private conversations, read this report in the Mirror, if your unfamiliar.

Still it seems that Oxford City council publicrats are, defiant in the face of mix of astonishment, incredulity,  and outrage at the casual way the Oxford City council presumably advised by "officers" have decided to treat this invasion of privacy which what appears that contemptible "we know best attitude" common in the public sector.

Here's some excerpts from their recent statement on the matter ""Most licensed vehicles will only require one camera positioned above the rear view mirror, however larger vehicles (such as people carriers) may require an additional camera to ensure that the whole of the vehicle interior is viewable. Only one?

Oxford City Council considers that so long as clear notices are provided in vehicles which inform passengers that video and audio recording may be taking place, the risk of intrusion is acceptable  I suppose the like Stazi in the old East Germany.

Anyway of if you'd like to read Oxford City's view and make you mind up as to whether they are bonkers or what?

My advice is simple this, if you value your privacy and freedom Keep away from Oxford City, if you know whats good for you.

Thanet Crematorium to be Solar Powered

Please look away now if your a sensitive soul who has "conservative" views on the pomp and circumstance surrounding the tricky etiquette of death, for myself I have a view that the whole business of leaving this world and entering the next, is all a bit fussy and flippin expensive.

Myself I'd be quite happy to be collected up on bin day and carted off with the rest of the household waste, then recycled by the council, however they see fit, still that's not going to happen, and when viewing the subject from the point of view of a grieving relative or friend, such a send off would be inadequate in the case of anyone else.

I see Thanet Council's Cabinet meeting tonight will be consdering sticking solar panals discretely at the back of the Crematorium in Margate, I assume that the actual process of cremation, will not be solar powered and the panels will be feeding the conveyor belt, curtains, lighting etc and pressumably the national grid.

Still it makes me think that, during the old incineration process there must be a lot of energy waste, I just wonder if maybe we couldn't have a regional crematorium, perhaps one in East and West Kent and recover some energy,  generate a bit of electricity, maybe power those street lights which the county council are turning off, perhaps saving death and injury.

Also on the agenda tonight is the subject of expansion of the Crematorium, which has for some reason, they never adequately explain been labelled as "eyes only" restricted to jobsworth "officers" and our talented councillors ( who will not doubt disclose the details at some future point down the pub) meaning that the public and press are turfed out, unusually a welcome relief, assuming the security guard hasn't wandered off, again leaving the door locked for no good reason.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ed Milliband's Lost Generation

Ed Miliband's Labour party has made much recently of the "lost generation" due to the economic climate,  so Bignews Margate has decided to investigate and track down three of Labour's lost generation, to put a face to the current employment crisis of course resources are limited, so the following is based much on my own prejudices and contempt for Labour.

Tony Blair former figure head of Labour, had the sense to scarper before the sh*t, hit the fan, having been befriended at an early age by Australian American media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who encouraged his editors help  to Blair, who soon realised if he was to get on, had to be nice to people , no surprise then that   the  certain media businesses didn't get much scrutiny, having learnt this lesson Blair was only to keen to help his next best friend, GW Bush even when he wanted to invade Iraq. in the process mistakes were made and evidence had to be " sexed up a bit".  Anyhoo Blair now makes millions by giving lectures and consultations to  rich businessmen, rightwing politicians, on leaving Westminster he also  became Middle East Peace Envoy, and who better, since starting the job it seems there is hardly a country in the region that hasn't seen increased demand for peace what with all the bullets and bombs being tossed around, and of course no surprise that Israel where Blair has a base, still keeps the citizens of Palestine under occupation and continues daily to steal land and abuse the population.

Gordon Brown who spent much of his ministerial career telling us that the years of boom and bust were behind us sadly didnt get the chance to correct himself and point out that boom and mostly bust was er actually right in front of us, sadly he was overtaken by events and  set upon by an  unconvinced electorate who if nothing else overwhelming agreed that they had, had enough of his bullsh*t and that of his colleagues, its understood that he still sometimes turns up at Westminster to sulk and wonder why nobodies paying him the big bucks to speak.

Perhaps the saddest case is that of David Miliband, who it seems has sunk without a trace, once seen by many to have the potential to lead Labour into oblivion, having even less personality and charisma than that of Neal Kinnock and Michael Foot combined, who would have thought that "democratic " trade unions would come up with, the most mediocre leader of Labour ever, his bro Ed Miliband, who's main claim to fame so far,  is that he looks a bit like Wallace.

Perhaps readers will be incensed that, I should make light of such a serious issue, my view is this, that the current real lost generation of  youngsters looking for work, can pretty much blame Labour for sowing the seeds of our current predicament, talking about the "New Labour" generation, these blighters had it all popular support, a stable economy and the good will of the people, at first they showed an interest in getting work shy, layabouts into work, introducing working family tax credits, helping with child care, but hey this soon got forgotten as Labour fell back on the tried and trusted ploy of paying off the public sector and keeping social security scroungers flush. The idea of converting sullen layabouts into a generation of contributors to society was soon replaced, with the easy option of letting things go, and taking an easier and temporary course of importing cheap workers, to feed a then growing economy, ignoring the inevitable future social cost of not enough hospitals, schools, homes or jobs as the economy eventually contracted.

So when Labour sound off, about a "lost generation", remember the generation of Labour politicians who got us here in the first place, and don't worry, they're doing alright, still for all those kids and adults, who now cannot find jobs, good luck and keep trying, and don't go seeking to blame minorities, unless of course your thinking of the cretins in Labour who got us here.

Thanet Council - Morality check - China Gateway

Pleasing as it was to see Thanet Council, take a principled stand on animal welfare recently, I would just like to see whether they might like to consider the plight of victims of China's occupation of Tibet. Since tonight councillors will be consider once again the China Gateway proposals and I appreciate this has nothing the Chinese government, however I think it might be an apt topic for TDC to consider some time soon. 

Knowing that China has an abysmal record over the years of human rights, anything from imprisonment to murder, would the council perhaps convey the sentiment that the people of Thanet, would wish to have nothing to do with any Chinese officialdom, perhaps ruling out an future unseemly  shinanagins with councillors and officers fawning over official representatives of Chinese government.

In the meantime readers might like to sign this petition appealing for help from the international community to stand up to barbaric treatment from the Chinese government. If you've signed the petition TDC promoted on  the recent animal welfare issue, I'm sure that you'll agree this is, since it concern our fellow humans as worthy  if not more so.
Perhaps given the connotations of China's reputation for human rights and er cyber attacks on this country and others,  the developers could rename the proposed development.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

KENT WATCH - A PR initiative about Boards

Bignews Margate has over the years, commented on some Kent Councils PR initiatives, taking a quick look at KCC's website recently, I notice that Kent Council busy bodies have launched a new campaign, which if your of the local authority busy body mindset is a fantastic breakthrough in public safety, however if your cynical like me it's just more interference in peoples lives and a bit of a non-event since you would expect local authorities to police

Anyhow here is the jist from the latest Press Release from KCCA new initiative, A-board Aware, is being launched to encourage businesses in Maidstone to show that they are responsible advertisers.
Shop keepers, café owners and firms that use advertising boards – so-called ‘A-boards’ – can demonstrate they display signs on the pavement in a way that minimises obstructions to. ..." blah blah blah.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste, Bryan Sweetland, said: ". ... firms that comply with the regulations will receive a window sticker that they can put up in the shop front, showing that they are taking care to avoid causing an obstruction on the street
"Where we do find an A-board placed inappropriately, we will advise the owner to re-site it and encourage them to sign up to our scheme. However, if the owner doesn't take action, we will remove it ourselves."
Personally my advice to Bryan Sweetland is to see if he can't keep the roads operating this winter, and as for dealing with inappropriately placed advertising boards outside business premises my adivce is to move them out the way if there is an obstruction  and think no more about it, however if you trip over, have an accident sue the a*se out of the business concerned.
Admittedly this is hardly the most stupid innovation from KCC and hopefully they haven't created a new department to deal with what surely must be a small problem. of late I've largely ignored Kent officialdom apart from the recent gross failings of child care , so I shall now commit to monitor Kent more often than I have in the past, well at least until I get bored with the excesses.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Queen's visit highlights change.

Marvelous to see reports of the Queen's visit to Margate old town and the Turner Contemporary, a remarkable day for the town by any standard. An event in which the best of British met the best of Margate and probably Kent. Not being able to witness the event myself I had to rely on coverage on telly, which was surprisingly comprehensive, particularly Meridian which as a rare viewer challenged my preconceptions.

Brilliant to see so many people enjoying themselves including the royals, and good to see veterans meeting the queen. A day to mark the journey, so far in the regeneration of Margate, the Turner Contemporary having seen 300,000 vistors since its opening back in April this year. Also a point at which maybe those negative views of Margate ought to be discarded. 

I note that BBC's Radio Kent, managed to get a rather clichéd, knocking spin on the visit posing this question" Her Majesty the Queen is in Margate today. Is she welcome? Clare MacDonald seemed to me to be a perfect embodiment of the sort of institutional mindset, for which the BBC is noted. The direction of the programme might well explain, why I got a phone call the previous day asking if I be interested in calling in, I think people view me as anti establishment, with a slavish devotion to criticising anything and everything, anyways as it happens being the rebel that I am, I chose to attend an induction meeting, for work, previously some years ago I was interviewed by a BBC reporter, who asking me what I thought of the contemporary, was rather surprised that local ecentric blogger, took the view that the Contemporary Art gallery was the best way forward for Margate.

My day certainly was a contrast, which after a night shift, found me grabbing a few hours sleep in the van parked up, in Peckham side street, before attending my safety induction for a new job, however much as locals like to run down Margate, walking past a van just off the main road, jacked with the wheels missing, reminded that maybe Margate, isn't such a bad place, and of course the poster in the betting shop window, adjacent to the bus stop appealing for witnesses, to a customer recenlty murdered by a gang inside the bookies, didn't make me change my mind.

Quite a few listeners to BBC radio Kent  thought that the Queen should have been escorted to some of Margate's seedier sights, to see just how things are, in some parts of the town, just what the purpose is seems a little unclear, still presumably these people, when they have guests, take great delight in maybe highlighting spare bedrooms, that need tidying, stains in the bathroom and toilet. I'm sure even the queen is aware that not eveywhere is picture perfect and like me, takes a gander out the window as I travel through various towns, now I didn't have to park up in Peckham to realise it was not the most affluent area.

The Queen and the Royal family as far as I'm concerned are about the last thing that is recognisable as being British that hasn't been disposed of, changed or outlawed by either leftwing cretins or Europe. Being in my mid fifties this country is unrecognisable from the one in which I was born, national identity has been sidelined along with its nationals and to some extent outlawed, Britian or rather the United Kingdom is just a few years from being broken up, religious freedom has been crushed for Christians while other faith can take precidence over tradition and national identity. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Queens Visit and some housekeeping

Excitement is clearly mounting as the Queen's visit approaches and for me a bit of disappointment as I have commitments elsewhere. Still life goes on, and I'm sure that I'll be able to catch up on the BBC's news programme tomorrow night, aswell as the magic of radio or in my case 3g connectivity on the old smart phone.

I understand BBC Radio Kent's, Julia George's 9am phone in programme, will be discussing the Queens visit to Margate, at nine o'clock and I assume that the earlier breakfast programme will have information on the visit including traffic and all that malarkey.

Details have of course have been, understandably limited to this point however Thanet Council now have this posting  on their website, prior to this my knowledge was limited to that which Mrs Me gave me, returning from the hair dressers (routine maintenance on barnet), announcing that the Queen would be visiting the area, arriving by Royal train, around eleven ish and taking a butchers around the old town of Margate and then a gander at the Turner Contemporary Gallery.

Still more reliably according to Thanet council, the Queen will be strolling around the old town @11:15 AM meeting with local people and volunteers and the I might guess a sprinkling of top knobs, still as a republican even though challenged by the thought, that nobody could do a better job than the Queen, as head of state, I'm a put out that I wont be able to witness, what is an honour for Margate, which I don't mean in a sycophantic way.

A quick point on TDC's press release, it seems a little strange that since the visit is to Margate, that the Mayor of Margate Cllr Iris Johnson or indeed the chair of the council Cllr Douglas Clark is not thought worthy of a quote and that Cllr Bob Bayford is.

Right housekeeping I probably wont be blogging again today, but I as much as I take my news and politics seriously its not the be all and end all, but I enjoy talking bollix about this and that, however believe it or not, there are more far important things in my life, and bigger issues, clearly these are of little interest outside of family and friends, such as the youngest member of the family taking her first steps ( a few weeks ago), since I dare say that my nearest and dearest are likely to cringe at mere mention of the "blog" I avoid mentioning them except for the above,

Also work is a no go area except for the broadest comments, I was asked once to point out by a workmate that the assertion by some self appointed group of busy bodies moaning about litter around railway stations ignored the difficulty in accessing the track, for reasons the public might not appreciate. Recently a few comments have been made about safety in my industry , I've only been on the railway for a few years, but I can only say, I can't think of many jobs that start with a safety briefing every day, explaining the job, risks and safe system of work. So don't be surprised if I don't respond to exaggerated comments criticising my industry, because most of us work hard, and are reminded daily of the safety culture within the industry, and lets face it an anonymous comment hardly has any weight, does it.

In a nutshell what I do for a living and other considerations has little relevance to this blog, irrespective of career and personal life I have opinions which are what they are take it or leave it.

I hope the Queen has a pleasant day along with the Duke of Edinburgh who will I believe travel with her, perhaps the duke will treat us to one of his famous, honest but awkward comments anyhow much respect to both of them still working well past retirement age, marvelous!

Other Royal Stories
Smelly seaweed removed to spare the Royal nostrils
Margate gears up for royal visit by Queen

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Kent Child Services - Cover up goes on

I see further evidence concerning child services, has been revealed by Trudy Dean Kent's Liberal Democratic leader, on tonights local BBC news she pointed out that documents had recently  come to light, indicating that severe problems, existed some years prior to last years damning report by Ofsted.

Intriguingly the report on BBC website appears to not mention this, anyway the point is that their needs to be a proper inquiry into this scandal, didn't Paul Carter Kent Tory boss even promise one?

Come on Kent Tories stop hiding behind public relations operations, pointing out how belatedly you've got your house in order, its the least we expect. We also expect an honest answer to the question, just how did Kent's child services become so dire?

Just what are Kent Conservatives hiding?

Clive Hart demands apology? but has yet to say sorry to his constituents for vigilante scare?

You couldn't make it up! as Cllr Clive Hart (Leader Thanet Labour) might say, in response to recent remarks Labour made, seemingly worrying up a storm over crime in Margate and now subsequently demanding that  Laura Sandys MP apologise, for  what I'd presume was a hasty response and an inadvertent mistake, to somewhat ludicrous remarks made by Clive Hart and colleagues, that they  "..have serious concerns that decent local people could take matters into their own hands. " referring to local crime, with the obvious implication that residents, were so witless, that they were about to take the law into their own hands, based presumably on Clive Hart's wildest expectations.

Clive Hart why don't you apologise for your orginal insulting and potentially inflammatory claim. It's maybe time for a bit of maturity from Labour, obviously Laura Sandy's remark, was from someone,  who has a bit more to deal, with than Labour's endless photo opportunities. I have no doubt that Clive Hart and his colleagues were endeavoring to create political capital out of a sensitive issue, which since the public are a little smarter than they might give credit, has clearly backfired on Labour.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

UNISON - The big deception?

I was reminded to day of the completely, outrageous inequality in our economy, in which public sector workers encouraged by the unions believe that they have some God given right to be paid far in excess of the private sector, and that with no sense of shame, their happy to see the low paid workers, fund their extravagance.

I'd have some respect for the public sector unions if I thought they gave a toss, for those subsidising their life style but then you don't, millions in the commercial sector, work without any basic safeguards, still its clear that in the higher echelons of the public sector, there is an alternative reality, whereby people like Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, make odd statements like this one "UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action to protect their pensions in the biggest ballot we have ever held." and the BBC reported that "There was a 78% majority, with 245,358 in favour and 70,253 against on a 29% turnout.

The BBC's figure would indicate that only around 22½ percent support strike action with a big 77½ percent  against the action. More than three quarters of Unisons members are not supporting action, clearly some public sector employees know a good thing when they see it. The government should bare this in mind when negotiating with them.

I personally would like to see the government act tough on this one, the continuing idea that public sector workers, should be given preferential treatment, is plan crazy and unsustainable, and I'm not saying that everything is hunky dory, of course some in the public sector get a raw deal, but of course their probably the cleaners in hospitals, offices, and streets working for some tinpot agency and getting minimum.

Anyway I'll leave you to decide whether Dave Prentis is coming out with porkys' and if your happy with the status quo, then please go back to sleep, if you would like to understand how serious the drain of public sector pensions is, I suggest you read Dominic Lawson in today's Independent which prompted me into my own less articulate rant.

Finally what should the government do, in response to Unison's militant strike action threat, my advice would be to ingnore it, what's the worst that could happen, we save some money on the pay roll and since it has little support, sack a few, just like the real world. Alternatively public sector workers could start demanding equality, for the workforce as a whole. It's clear to me that the balance is all wrong, private and public workers should have a level playing field otherwise, one section  of society will continue to blead the other dry.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Labour "No Comment" on Manston - It's just not politics!

Labour recently issued a briefing concerning, Manston, written by the esteemed local leader Clive Hart, the casual observer might think that the great man is not being as open as he could be, when he writes  "The proposed night-time flying policy may well become the subject of a planning application and therefore it would be inappropriate for any councillor to comment further at this time.

Some might even be unkind enough to speculate that "local" Labour are just seeing which way the wind is blowing, certainly at one time only Cllr David and Cllr Elizabeth Green opposed expansion of operations at Manston, however prior to the last local elections, Labour in Thanet took an anti jobs line against Manston, possibly having taken a cold calculation, that young people don't vote but nimbys do.

Still in the interest of enlightenment unfortunately it is true that, politicians are restricted in what they can say due to the previous Labour government introducing draconian measures, in local government, basically, showing complete contempt for democracy, the previous Labour government decreed that a politician was not allowed to discuss issues in public that they might later debate or vote on in council.

I'm sure you'll think I'm making this up, but read this from a Tory website , I understand that the coalition government will be soon reform this Labour nonsense and then Clive Hart can say what he wants, when he wants just like you and I. Many will have witnessed the waste of money as cretinous councillors up and down the country, have taken political apponents to task through "standards boards" hopfully once this is resolved we know where our politicians stand on issues other than re-election.

Kent Police Authority could they be clearer?

A while back I wrote to Kent Police authority chief executive Graham Hooper, to express my irritation about inappropriate use of KPA resources, see below details of my email 12/9/11 to the chief executive

Hi Graham Hooper
I am writing to express concern that Kent Police Authority appear to be conducting a political campaign at taxpayer expense.
As evidenced by these two “news items” from your website this on 16th August (click) and more recently this from the 24th August** which are critical of government plans to introduce directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners.
We’re all entitled as citizens of this country to hold and express political views, however, as I understand it, that doesn’t extend to public authorities, using resources paid for by the public, to provide services for the community.
I’d appreciate it if you could pass this on to Anne Barnes and her fellow appointees on the KPA.
Cheers tony flaig Bignews Margate

** The item from the 24th August has now been removed from the KPA website** 

Having now read this weekends copy of the Kent on Sunday, I see that the chief executive Graham Hooper has now considered the matter and according to the paper had this to say about complaints  " in my capacity as monitoring officer  for the authority with a number of actions.  These included reminding the members of their responsibilities under the code of conduct and local authority guidance on publicity."

Not too sure why, details of deliberations into complaints are not available on the Kent Police Authority website which Graham Hooper, informed me were to be "considered by the independently chaired authority Standards Committee",  I suppose the KPA are acting in the best interests of the public, I mean you can't have the  public getting to involved in the machinations of Kent Police Authority, crikey it could lead to people  coming to the conclusion that maybe elected Police Crime Commissioners are not such a bad idea after all, I mean at least, we get to choose, who we think might, question the performance of the police.

It will be interesting to see if members of the Kent Police Authority comment, particularly Anne Barnes the Chair of the Authority, also whether they actually make public the findings of their "Standards Committee"I think they should.

Friday, November 04, 2011

E-petitions democracy in action? mob rule? accountability?

Taking a glance through yesterday's paper I read a reaction to one of those new fangled government e-petitions.  Since the example being written about concerns itself with the prospect of the UK population increaseing to seventy million people, no surprise that this was an ideal subject for a "liberal" journalist to slur, us the public with the dismissive comment "What passes for a debate on immigration". Of course there has been no open public  debate on migration for obvious reasons.

Without a doubt being able to register your opinion in a quick and easy way, does not form part of a comprehensive or considered debate on any subject, however the whole purpose of these e-petitions is to flag up issues of concern that may not have been covered during normal business of government, one such being something that is of major importance, here in Thanet,  the subject of  animal welfare which has generated its own  e-petition.

Looking through the list of e-petitions I don't doubt that some are just plain mad, but if someone is sufficiently concerned to register their support for a particular proposition then surely should be taken seriously if their view is shared by sufficient numbers.

Coming back to the petition "No to 70 million" I shall be signing up for this, and no doubt this will come as a surprise to journalists and Westminster politicians, I don't consider myself  in anyway right wing, for this reason, mass immigration Labour's policy,  part of a crazy social experiment to create "diversity"   has resulted in exploitation of both UK nationals and migrants who are paying the price of low wages, poor living conditions, poor education and an over subscribed health services the only beneficiaries being big business who've ruthlessly exploited the situation, while half wit middle class "liberals"have backed the policy with all manner of airy fairy notions of diversity, ignorant of the fact that this is not about racism but increasing poverty and deprivation.

Politicians and media bods, have a contempt for public opinion when it does not fall within their own narrow prejudices and experiences, I just wonder, how for the want of a better term, the establishment, would see things if they themselves were losing out on jobs, schools, homes etc despite having contributed to the economy all their lives just because a Labour government choose to experiment. 

Still not being a right wing bigot, I invite you to read an alternate take on that issue, who better than Tony Blair multi-millionnaire, who is not noted for his concern for working people and responcible for the unplanned and probably unsustainable policy to justify, read this article from the Mail

Since its unlikely that people like  Tony Blair or former colleagues in Labour are ever likely to meet with people like me, these e-petitions at least give the  opportunity of registering our concerns, admittedly it wont help the many thousands who've lost jobs in the last few years but maybe a few politicians will take note.