Saturday, March 31, 2012


Even the extraordinary offer via email received this morning from Mrs Halifat Mohammed offering me an inheritance of 18.2 million pounds has failed to lift my spirits.

This week had been truly depressing, pies and pasties going up twenty percent, cretins from the government inspiring panic at filling stations, cretins from the Labour Party getting statesman like in condemnation of Conservative idiot ministers, then spending Friday wondering why George Galloway has run rings round them in Bradford.

The thing is most politicians are in politics for self promotion,if you ask me, you've only got to think why fewer and fewer bother to vote in elections and the sad reason is we no longer believe that politicians give a toss, something you can probably trace back to those days when the lackeys in Mrs T's government worried that their message wasn't getting through, when the real problem was that the public understood to well the malign agenda of the rich getting richer.

Local politics, this week Kent conservatives have worried much about grammar schools, deciding to extend the number of places offered by encouraging an annexe school, you will of course note that Kent Conservatives are not to vexed about the continuing problems of education in Ramsgate, as once again the Marlowe Academy continues that tradition of failure, which I'd say is the result in part of selective education. The idea of selecting children at eleven to succeed, seems more suited to the eugenics, favoured by fascists in nineteen thirties. In Kent children are simply written off early on with a high proportion of children coming from deprived backgrounds, do don't expect Kent tories meet any time soon to worry about kids in Ramsgate.

Marriage features prominently, with Thanet just at the moment as our local diversity experts bring this up for debate at thanet council, not sure myself quite why it's necessary for gay couples to get married, as I understand it civil partnership offers the same legal protection, so whereas the problem? Also in our diverse culture I understand that some communities go in for bigomous marriages and nobody says anything, so if it's that important why not fake up a ceremony and just call yourself married and who would give a damn.

Finally I listened to the BBC giving the news that 75% of Thanet residents had voted against night flights at Manston, or even that a majority of residents were against night flights, of course were the BBC to have honestly reported the matter they might have just told us that a minority of local cranks stirred up a sh*t storm. Even local labour were in favour of night flights until the just before the last local elections, but hey that's politics for you.

Just before I leave you, a propaganda sheet comes through the letter box, on the back a picture of council leader Clive Hart with deputy leader Alan Poole they're smiling why? God help us.

PS Still life is not all bad this week, series 5 of Mad Men started this week, what a joy a drama series without murders, or medical emergencies just people getting along as best they can.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Of course some of us have been under misunderstanding that last years riots were caused by work shy scum, what a relief to hear the news tonight that we have forgotten families to blame if that were the right word, which of course its not.

Call me a cynic, but the kids I witnessed on the streets on my way to work didn't look as if they wished to make any contribution that particular summer night last year.

You might consider my view a bit glib but not entirely since I do come across plenty of young people prepared to work in my job, they come from the same forgotten families of course, its just unlike the light fingered scum involve in the riots there are still those who would rather earn a living doing heavy manual, grafting long hours in the wind and rain late at night or long shifts at the weekend, than be thieving "victims".

My view on these rioters remains unchanged since last year and on this I'm arrogant enough to think my view last year is more accurate than some report by some clueless panel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday Times Hypocrisy?

Shock Horror from yesterday's Sunday Times, Prime Minister has meals with big sponsors, just a thought but has anyone spotted the big stink of hypocrisy, from the News International paper, having seen plenty of evidence of wrong doing by the News of the World and evidence that other papers like the Sun have been up to no good, and never having seen theses papers ever criticise Rupert Murdoch's access to Downing Street and indeed Leaders around the world, just what games are Murdoch's lackeys upto??

Even more worrying is how the media, is following the Murdoch press.  

Have we forgotten Rupert Murdoch's back door access reported here or other visits proof if you need it that Britains press are little more than sheep

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thanet Press a new dawn?

With local papers being hard pressed, due to the migration from paper to pixels, on top of the recession, it's encouraging to see the recent launch of a new monthly title "Thanet Watch", which if nothing else adds to local biodiversity.

Having missed the first edition, coming across the April edition, probably gives a better idea of what to expect in future should it last that long.

A quick glance and I have to say it's better than one of those little advertising booklets often found in chip shops, but has some considerable distance between itself and the Gazette. 

Still the Gazette isn't perfect, I note that recently some considerable space was given to Cllr Mike Harrisons choice of words in describing some women he disagreed, interesting that so far no reference to my own complaint, must give them a ring!

One feature that I thought might be interesting in the Thanet Watch, was headed up "Is there human trafficking in Thanet? My view is there almost certainly is but reading this article it goes off on a bit of a tangent which in itself is thought provoking, any how I suggest you divvy up 60p if you want to know more.

For myself it leans to far to the left but then so much of mainstream media leads to far to the right especially BBC radio Kent who almost alone in news gatherers that have yet to cover the rather embarrassing and confusing  state of affairs of senior Kent Conservative County councillors including local Cllr Bill Hayton in handling their expenses and rides in taxpayer funded chauffeur driven cars. Still be assured this all resulted from ghastly  "administrative errors".

Anyway that's it for now

Tory Toffs introduce prohibition in misguided class attack on drinking

Surely it can only be spite and class prejudice that is driving the government proposals to increase the cost of alcohol to prohibitive levels. The government wishes to almost double the price of some alcoholic drinks to curb binge drinkers.

David Cameron of whom it has been suggested, was in his younger days, familiar with excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and the behaviour of the infamous "Bullingdon Club", would not have had his drinking habits modified by expensive booze since clearly he's come from a well healed background.

The target of these proposals, is us the masses, the majority of whom have no alcohol problem and of course those who do have a drink problem, will do what they have to.

Like all politicians, the Conservatives adopt a patronising attitude, to the electorate that they know best, or perhaps they will be getting a big kick back from the brewers and supermarkets, who look to be about to receive windfall profits. 

Maybe its an attempt to drive people into pubs, since much reference has been made to pre-loading (the practice or drinking cheap booze before going to the pub), I for one object to paying the same for a pint in a pub as I would for four from the supermarket.

I started drinking in my teens and would often do so responsibly with my fellow under age associates, in the pubs of Margate, Broadstairs, and Ramsgate, rarely having problems getting served and I note that some of those businesses have done well, so am inclined to think, little has changed since my day. 

Still for normal people like me who go to work, have passed the stage of weekend binge drinking, the increase in booze, will be just a spiteful act of  repressive class prejudice, from multi millionaires who run the Conservative party.

Instead of class bigotry, it would be sensible if other measures were taken, such as taxing local pubs and off licenses on the cost of dealing with drunks in the health service, or making drunks pay a fine when they show up at hospital.

Still every cloud has a silver lining, so on the plus side, it will be drinks all round for local entrepreneurs such as smugglers, along with drug dealers, who will probably see an upsurge in business, along with cross channel ferries who will also benefit, as will traders in France as Brits are once again forced to buy their booze abroad, and spend time in the unique uglyness of Calais.

Personally I cannot think of anything more civilised than having a drink at home with the family, and the availability of cheap booze has encouraged a lot of people, particularly men to spend hours at home rather than some pub which if anything are a malign influence many families.

Anyhoo if Liberal Democrats in the coalition go big, on this unnecessary bit of class warfare it will be unlikely that I will be renewing membership, these measures will only effect middle and low income earners, David Cameron and those of his ilk, will have continue to have the personal liberty to drink with no constraint, unlike most of us.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The political group nobody can reason with.

These pages are littered with criticism of political parties, why, because no single group have all the answers and in the main most politicians, appreciate debate, however if you ask me, one political group unelected, inflexible always involved will often block the smooth flow of commerce and we the people pay the price, of course I refer to government functionaries, "officers" at local and national level.

This weeks headline story in the Gazette, tells of the cancellation of a major windsurfing event and just how intractable and unhelpful this group can be, we refer to them as local government officers or civil servants, left alone in non decision making roles, they can be quite harmless, still give them a chance and petty decisions, can easily throw a spanner in the works.

So this week, we hear because they can, a major sporting event has been cancelled, it seems Thanet Council officers have been defended according to the Gazette by Cllr Keith Coleman-Cooke (Conservative apparently), unfamiliar I imagine to most of us. 

Apparently last year, Windsurfing Event participants, behaved outrageously and parked camper vans overnight in the car park, behind The Minnis, they also spent large amounts of money in the local economy, just what harm was done, if any is not clear, however someone has taken the trouble to find some arcane by-law and stop this event taking place, not as I see it because it would not be in the public interest but because the could. 

I suggest that Thanet Council chief executive Sue McGonigal, has a word with fellow officers and point out this sort of petty enforcement of By-laws makes the council a laughing stock, likewise leader of Thanet Tories Cllr Bob Bayford ought to have a word with Keith Coleman-Cooke. We expect Thanet Council and our elected representatives to work for the benefit of Thanet not just take our money.

The Gazette managed to get a quote from a council spokesman "The council is supportive of this event but unfortunately............ of course the unfortunately, was not as you might expect an apology, perhaps something along the lines of  " unfortunately we have not got a sense of proportion or commonsense to overlook petty regulations and will always revert to jobsworth mode, if allowed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Re Standards Complaint

Some of you will be aware that I found it necessary to refer Cllr Wells to KCC’s Standards committee.  Details of their determinations follows

Decision Notice
Standards (Assessment) Sub Committee
Reference Number: KCC/1/2012
Date: 7 March 2012
Details of the complaint:
Mr T Flaig (the complainant), raised concerns about the alleged conduct of Mr C Wells, an elected Member of Kent County Council. A general summary of the complaint is as follows:
It is alleged that the conduct of Mr Wells has fallen below acceptable standards in that he has used an abusive and disrespectful term, “lickspittle” to describe the complainant on the complainant’s blog. Initially, the complainant contacted the Head of Democratic Services, who spoke to Mr Wells, who then made a formal, public apology to the complainant on the same blog site. However, the complainant has refused to accept the apology on the basis that it is not an unreserved apology and a retraction of the disrespectful term and, instead, he has asked for his complaint to come to the Standards Committee for assessment
The Standards (Assessment) Sub Committee was of the view that the complaint related to Paragraph 3(1) of the Code of Conduct: “You must treat others with respect”.
In accordance with Section 57A(2) of the Local Government Act 2000 (as amended), the Assessment Sub Committee of the Standards Committee has decided to refer the complaint to the Monitoring Officer for action; namely that Mr Wells be asked to make an unreserved apology to the complainant for his use of the term “lickspittle”, which the Sub Committee thought was disrespectful to the complainant and that if Mr Wells was not inclined to offer an unreserved apology in a form acceptable to the Monitoring Officer, the matter be brought back to the Assessment Sub Committee.
Reasons for decision:
The Assessment Sub Committee’s reasons for its decision were as follows:
  • The evidence for the actions of Mr Wells is not in dispute and it was unlikely that anything further would be gained by asking the Monitoring Officer to expend public monies carrying out a formal investigation into the complaint.
  • Nevertheless, the term “lickspittle” was disrespectful to the complainant and it was appropriate for Mr Wells to offer an unreserved apology to the complainant for his use of the term

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Southern Water - Drought No Worries

This is just a random thought, I have like many of you, just been sent a begging letter from my water supplier, these blighter's seem to think I'm going to hand over the best part of 500 quid.

Now I don't worry too much about a hose pipe ban, but I do get a bit hacked off, when year after year, they charge for draining surface water, despite the fact I had a soakaway drain dug so that rain water goes directly into the ground which they were informed about years ago.

Frankly like everyone else I'm angry, companies like southern water run monopolies without any effective consumer protection. for 40 pound a month I reckon southern water could afford to supply perrier water should supplies of the natural stuff run out.

Child Courts 20% of Experts not qualified?

I know a lot of readers have concerns about family courts, and child care.  Channel four news carried a report suggesting that many child experts giving evidence are not qualified. This was shown at around 19:30 13-03-12 I suggest you check out ch4 +1 or check out their catch up page later.

Monday, March 12, 2012

KENT WATCH - Freemasons as reported by BBC radio Kent

From Grand Lodge website
It seems Freemasons are on a recruitment drive, in the media, believe it if you will, freemasons are coming out of the closet, as it were, suggesting not for the first time that all those dark views, of sinister goings on and funny handshakes are, well a myth.

BBC Radio Kent was more than happy to give a fairly or perhaps more accurately easy ride to Nigel Brown the Grand Secretary to the Freemason, I was not surprised at how the presenter Clare Mcdonnell referred to  "a new report published this morning" without giving much, if any background to it's authority. Having delved a bit you can read it here for yourself, anyhow this independent report was commissioned by freemasons, not quite the same, as say a government, judicial report and a quick glance suggest it draws on many academic works (see extensive bibliography at back of report), however none of those books that I've read full of bent coppers, politicians and dodgy dealings appeared to be source material.

"Not a secret society" says Nigel, Clare asks "Why do people think that of you, do you think?" Nigel "a combination of reasons, we have been very open for a long time.... during periods of intolerance we've had to adopt a defensive position" Nigel then citing Nazi persecution, had I been Clare I'd have interjected and pointed out (I'm drawing on my own experience aged 55⅓), that the WW2 ended 66 years ago and that this is the first time in my life, I've ever heard, the rather (to me) preposterous notion that Freemasons are "open".

Now I've no doubt that most members of freemasonry are honourable, honest, decent people including Nigel Brown, still here's a couple of things that contradict and perhaps reinforce a contrary view, first  two acquittances applied to join, both joked their motive was personal advancement, later one told me that it did help considerably, secondly after posting the view here on Bignews, that Kent County Council had promoted freemasonry, I was surprised that shortly after a council contractor, hinted at legal action, should I express my views again. As a result I had to take the extraordinary action of asking Kent Council, if they acknowledged my right to freedom of expression since the company threatening legal action, were running a Kent council project and in my view by implication were representing the local authority.

I was interviewed by the BBC about the threat I'd received, for some reason, they decided not to transmit the interview, apart from a bland remark about KCC not wasting taxpayer money on media projects (£2 million roughly), fortunately print media such as Private Eye were a little more open. I understood later from someone who might know, that it would not have been of public interest.

Coming back to last Fridays "phone in" programme after interviewing a mason from West Kent, Clare Mcdonnell reassured us with this ".....they are not a secret society, ...... I still don't quite know what they are .....but they are not corrupt..." and I'm content with that as I'm sure you are.

I'm sure that at some time soon, the BBC will be reporting on real news, like Kent councillors having to repay expenses, the use of official cars for private business, wishing to charge for freedom of information requests, and perhaps most disturbing matter of grieving relatives, unable to arrange the timely and dignified funerals ought to be given a bit more air time.

The masons will always be contentious, given the personal oaths to fellow members, however yes most are decent people, not on the make and at the end of the day, we have to take individuals on face value unless we know otherwise but then we shouldn't accept that group whose loyalties are to one another above all else are entirely benign.

To hear the programme again click here you have until Thursday night, listen from about 1hour 8 mins in.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Are we there yet - Three booms and that's it

Photograph taken during trackside fag break
Yes we've lost an iconic landmark, a reminder that men once grafted, not too long ago, underground in East Kent, to provide fuel for Richborough,  tossed aside and dumped by a conservative goverment along with thousands in the coal industry.

The towers a loss for most of us, the knowledge, that once sighted, we're a few minutes from a cuppa, meal and relaxing in our favourite chair bathed in the glow of a warm telly.

I've got this weekend off and frankly couldn't motivate myself to see the towers come down, still, thankfully thanks to twitter the blogosphere we are able to experience the event second hand, still I did hear three rumble booming type noises from the breakfast  room of Flaig Mansions.

The United Kindom has embarked on a long journey into decline, this week I heard that Brazil has replaced us as the 6th largest economy, much of the British economy is dependent on well dressed spivs and crooks in the banking and financial sector, the cooling towers now gone, were a monument to time, when we British, got our hands dirty with proper graft, China now I believe the worlds second biggest economy, has got there, by people creating wealth in manufacturing and productive industry, a lesson worth learning before India (who we give money to) overtakes us.

As I mentioned these days we all contribute to news looking around I found these two excellent video s  from Edd Withers and Kent Online Video News of this event.

Friday, March 09, 2012

WELL DONE CLIVE - Labour's Manston Policy pay's off

Unfortunately, it would seem for workers at Manston, Local Labour's anti Manston policy, is likely to result in redundancy payments in the not too distant future, so far we've yet to hear from Cllr Hart's Labour group.

Those of us with memories, will recall that just a few years ago, with the exception of Councillors Elizabeth  and David Green, Labour members of the council were in favour of allowing flexibility in operations to provide jobs .

In the run up to last years district election, Labour under the leadership of Cllr Clive Hart, adopted a nimby  approach, suddenly becoming anti airport, although this was in line with an earlier decision of Labour to fight the provision of social housing in Dalby Square it came as some surprise that Labour wished to condemn workers to the dole queue and kill off a potential future generator of jobs and business. 

What's the future? Bleak, the only payback will hopefully be Clive Hart's and his colleagues getting the P45 next time they present themselves to the electorate.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Academy FM

Just a quick update on my complaint, concerning Cllr Chris Wells to KCC Standards, heard this mentioned on Academy FM this morning and was later contacted by Martin Vacher who produces news content for the station.

Any how I understand he may well be choosing some of my words for broadcast, on their local news at 3.30pm, 4.30pm and 5.30pm.

I'm not very good giving brief comments so he has his work cut out. 

So far I have not heard what decision the Standards Committee's was, on whether they will progress the matter.

To listen to Academy FM 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What standards? Councillor Wells " I am expected to follow a code of behaviour different than that expected of members of the public"

Really? Well maybe councillors are somehow different, anyhow I personally think we should all try and maintain a bit of dignity in our lives.

I've got to say I'm a bit jaded and looking around the local blogosphere, it seems that there is a general malaise, perhaps it's the realisation that none of us, are as smart or important, as we would like to think that we are,  local councillors seem particularly tetchy.

The last Thanet council meeting I attended, seemed to have a hightened sense of frustration, tinged with some bitterness, in fact I thought some of the Labour bods, were sort of hissing when Independent Cllr Ian Driver came into focus, a bit like a pantomime audience, all a bit ironic really given that, as far as I recall, not one of the Labour group had either the fortitude or wisdom to question  selecting Driver as a candidate over his predecessor Cllr. Mark Nottingham.

Anyway you have to conceed that Cllr Ian Driver has been a more effective representative than most on the council, clearly a real independent, whom I noted sat a little distance away, from his more right wing independent colleagues.

I see one or two spats about etiquette just recently, Cllr Driver questioned Cllr Mike Harrison's language toward women and I note Cllr Cohen in dispute over correct forms of address with Cllr Bruce, and Cllr Moores assisting matters by refering to it on his blog.

Of course myself not being on the same playing field as these old boys, I recently took exception to what I consider to be abusive lanaguage and factually incorrect comments from Cllr Chris Wells, who suggested that I was, depending on the dictionary used, a contemptible, fawning person; a servile flatterer or toady by or alternatively from the urban dictionary (a slight variant the version used by Wells a single word, this is broken into two) A slimy grovelling and devious person who will do anything to get ahead in their life and career including.....

Not mixing in the same circles, as our local councillors I reluctantly decided to refer Cllr Wells to Kent County Council's standards committee for their consideration since as far as I'm concerned he neither accepted that his language was offensive and his  apology seemed  ....., well judge for yourself, Cllr Wells words

"I have already placed a qualified apology on your blog, which you appear to have not accepted.

I will not waste anybody's time or taxpayers money on this matter, and acknowledge as an elected member I am expected to follow a code of behaviour different than that expected of members of the public.

If in this case you believe I have breached that code, then I am content to make formal apology for use of a word you find offensive in describing your behaviour, placing this as comment on your blog to ensure it reaches the same readership as the original comment."

If Chris Wells is typical of our local representatives and Kent Conservatives, why muck about? assuming any council has standards lets see what they are, hence  my reluctant referral to their standards committee.

I'm genuinely sorry that I've been placed in the situation, but since Cllr Wells choose to insult me in the first place, what choice did I have, and finally I'm sorry that councillors have become so dismissive of the electorate. Of course Wells could have acknowledged that his language was unpleasant and his suggestion that I was in some way subservient to one of his fellow county councillors,was also incorrect but he didn't.

Anyway I understand that the complaint is to be considered today, I'll let you know whether  KCC's standards people, think it acceptable for Chris Wells to insult me.

Finally Chris Wells claims to be expected to follow different codes of behaviour, well not by me or I suspect most people.

As a PS Chris Wells has on more than one occasion been a "guest blogger" on this web site so just where did he get the idea that I following a fawning servile party political path, when not insulting me I have some respect for Wells as someone who on balance does his bit for the community.