Archive | April 2013

UKIP, laughable sideshow or serious threat?

With the upcoming KCC elections looming large it is becoming worrying that the majority of the publicity has been focused on UKIP. Firstly we have the ex-NF member Martyn Heale standing as the UKIP candidate for Ramsgate. I’m not quite sure how this can create positive publicity however knowing the xenophobic nature of the average Thanet resident I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he does rather well.

The other almost astonishing incident took place in Birchington. Our old tory chum Roger ‘the dodger’ Latchford has pinned UKIP colours to himself and is running for UKIP there, (wouldn’t be the only local Conservative to defect from the party lately would he?) Mr Latchford was accosted by certain well known people, I’m sure we all know now who they are from other blogs so won’t go into too much more detail here.

My personal concern is that with the local Labour and Conservative groups too busy blaming each other for the wrongs of Thanet, UKIP are gaining support and anyone who saw Nigel Farage’s appearance on the BBC’s question time last night will know this is worrying in the extreme. Let’s hope the local residents see sense on polling day and opt for the greens or independent candidates if wishing to make a protest vote, I wait with baited breath.

No Filming Again?

Well, it seems TDC still are reluctant to allow any of their meetings to be filmed! On Tuesday the Overview and Scrutiny committee met to discuss the ongoing Pleasurama debacle. Now despite the chairman Cllr Driver openly inviting the masses of Thanet to attend with filming equipment and record proceedings once again filming was banned from the meeting.

Going back to the last meeting of the full council when as already stated in an earlier entry both a local journalist and councillor were removed from the meet for attempting to record the debate. TDC always state that their own equipment records the meetings to be viewed online at a later date, presumably so they can edit out the childlike behaviour of our esteemed councillors.

However, upon a bit of research it appears that the video recorders installed at council chambers is permanently ‘broken’ which does appear somewhat convenient! Even more astounding is the ignorance of certain members of the council who don’t seem to know about this problem.

So where does that leave us (the public) in regard to being informed of outcomes of debates and how is it ever going to be inspiring people looking to get into politics? As national government doesn’t seem to have a problem and even encourages meetings to be filmed why does TDC constantly refuse people to record their meetings?

Nothing to Hide

PRESS RELEASE

Thanet Council Scrutiny Chair “Public Welcome to Film my Meetings”

Following the regrettable incident on Thursday 18th April when a journalist was thrown of a meeting of Thanet District Council for trying to film the disgraceful behaviour of councillors, and following my own exclusion from the same meeting for taking photographs of the unacceptable events, I have been giving careful consideration as to how I will manage the meeting of Thanet Council’s Overview and Scrutiny and Panel on 23rd April.

I have decided that in line with Council rules to allow all accredited journalists to film proceeding of the OSP.

I interpret the term accredited journalist to include Citizen Journalists i.e. members of the public who wish to make and transmit video, sound or textual recordings of the meeting.

I will therefore allow anyone who advises me that they are citizen journalist to record the proceedings of Thanet Council’s OSP without obstruction.

This decision is in compliance with a letter sent to all Council Leaders and Chief Executives by Bob Neil, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department for Communities and Local Government in February 2011 which states that in order to promote stronger local accountability the public should be “able to film and record in meetings without obstruction”.

Mr Neil’s letter also suggests that Thanet Council’s recent decision to throw myself and Christine Tongue out the Council meeting last week was wrong. He says that

“recent stories about people being ejected from council meetings for blogging, tweeting or filming … is at odds with the fundamentals of democracy and I want to encourage all councils to take a welcoming approach to those who want to bring local news stories to a wider audience”.

I am very surprised that the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council have never brought Mr Neil’s important letter to the attention of the Council. This is a very serious mistake on their part.

I am also extremely surprised that the forthcoming review of the Council’s Probity and Reputation following the gaoling of ex-Council Leader Sandy Ezekiel for misconduct in public office and the on-going problems with councillor behaviour at meetings, does not include any reference at all to the recording of public meetings. I wonder what the powers that be at Thanet Council have to hide?”

My decision to adopt a liberal and open approach to the recording of the OSP will I hope, be a step in the right direction, and I expect the Council to be supportive of my decision.

Good to see at least one councillor following Eric Pickles guidelines

 

Farce and Double standards at TDC

Well, yet another council meeting passes with plenty of incident. Firstly, a member of the public is ejected for attempting to film the meeting, (something that should be allowed in my opinion as it is supposed top be a public meeting). Shortly afterwards Cllr Ian driver is also asked to leave for attempting to take photographs of the proceedings. Good entertainment I must say but if that is what people want then the zoo would be a better option.

TDC is proving itself to be a total farce. After the Ezekiel debacle, TDC are supposed to be encouraging more open transparency but they turn into hypocrites as soon as members of the public and council are ejected for trying to record events. Usually, I would let this pass but last night’s meeting was packed to the rafters with both Anti Bedroom Tax protestors and FORS (Friends of Ramsgate Seafront) who were there for answers on the ongoing Pleasurama scandal.

The most astonishing thing however is that the public were told that they couldn’t even tweet what was occuring while a certain councillor from Westgate can sit there all night tweeting regular updates with impunity! I think it is time for TDC to set clear guidelines on reporting and updating from council meetings, personally, I think that all meetings should be filmed, even so far as to livestream.

However, from the meetings I have attended it would not be a surprise at all if TDC banned any sort of  updates or filming, you only need to go to one meet to see how pathetic the council is. Whether it be childish playground bullying or personal attacks on each other, the people we elected to represent our local interests don’t really care about us at all, it’s more like a big game to them, scoring cheap points off each other and generally disturbing proceedings as much as possible.

In conclusion I can only be amazed that they actually manage to get anything done at all!

Luncheon

 Thatcher Funeral Buffet Menu In Full

STARTERS
Assorted Nuts
Pickled Scargills

MAINS
Minted Burgers
Roast Rump Of Argentinian Belgrano Beef With Delorsradish Sauce
Falkland Island Lamb Cutlets
French Fries
Irish Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts
Foraged Heath Turnips

DESSERTS
Sour Grapes
Essex Mandarins
Nutty Slack
Cabinet Pudding
Eton Mess
Bombe Surprise
Finchley Blue Cheese And Crackers

DRINKS
Bitter Pils
Chateau Callaghan 1979
Privatised Port
Coffee And Humbugs

Catering supplied by Nigel Lawson
Handbags at Dawn

Right Wing Hypocrisy

It is amazing the rhetoric coming from the right wing regarding the celebrations happening around the country at the demise of Mrs Thatcher. What follows is some viewpoints from the Daily Fail readers when Michael Foot passed away just to highlight the hypocrisy emanating.

Here are what Daily Mail readers said when Labour Leader Michael Foot died, the same people probably foaming at the mouth over remarks made about Thatcher’s death. A brief insight into the minds and sheer hypocrisy of those on the Right, bemoaning peoples lack of respect at this time of “national mourning”:

““I have rarely laughed so much at a poor old man’s passing”
“One less communist hoon, time for a party”
“Pity the red lunatic fuckers can only die once, I could watch it all day.”
“Fuck off Foot and rot in hell.”
“Foot was either a moron of truly epic proportions or he was an evil, evil man. Either way, I see no need to mourn the treacherous bastard”
“Good riddance. One by one the socialist stalwarts are kicking the bucket … C,mon Hattersley you fat fuck, choke on your own dribble.”
“Fuck off Michael – I won’t miss you at all.”
“Anyone know where the traitorous quisling shit is buried so I can dance on the hoons grave?”
“Just another dangerously wrong-headed utopian Lefty of no use to Britain.”
“One more communist dead.”
“After a pretty piss poor week, this is good news at last.”
“Of all the socialist traitors that have stained the UK … he is perhaps one of the most evil, I hope he rots in the deepest pits of hell”
“What took him so long…? Typical sponging leftie, screwing the actuaries to take more out of the pension scheme.”
“If any Labour supporters are reading this blog right now with a tear in their eye may I just say to you… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”
“So. A 96 year old traitor has popped his clogs. So F****** what.”
“I also laughed my fucking socks off when Tony ‘fluffy foxy woxy’ Banks died.”
“Foot was a communist killer like Stalin he was possibly the most treasonous man in British political history. Lord Haw Haw did less damage.

Thatcher

The difficulty with giving a comment on Margaret Thatcher’s death to the British tabloids is that, no matter how calmly and measured you speak, the comment must be reported as an “outburst” or an ”explosive attack” if your view is not pro-establishment.

If you reference “the Malvinas”, it will be switched to “the Falklands”, and your “Thatcher” will be softened to a “Maggie.” This is generally how things are structured in a non-democratic society. Thatcher’s name must be protected not because of all the wrong that she had done, but because the people around her allowed her to do it, and therefore any criticism of Thatcher throws a dangerously absurd light on the entire machinery of British politics.

Thatcher was not a strong or formidable leader. She simply did not give a shit about people, and this coarseness has been neatly transformed into bravery by the British press who are attempting to re-write history in order to protect patriotism. As a result, any opposing view is stifled or ridiculed, whereas we must all endure the obligatory praise for Thatcher from David Cameron without any suggestion from the BBC that his praise just might be an outburst of pro-Thatcher extremism from someone whose praise might possibly protect his own current interests.

The fact that Thatcher ignited the British public into street-riots, violent demonstrations and a social disorder previously unseen in British history is completely ignored by David Cameron in 2013. In truth, of course, no British politician has ever been more despised by the British people than Margaret Thatcher.

Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday will be heavily policed for fear that the British tax-payer will want to finally express their view of Thatcher. They are certain to be tear-gassed out of sight by the police.

United Kingdom? Syria? China? What’s the difference?”