Sunday, 10 May 2009

Sunday Ramble

An eventful week for the council cabinet and much comment on various blogs, my own thoughts on the appointment of Simon Moores to cabinet member for customer services is that it was a very good decision.

Of the entire Conservative group Simon is one of the most accessible, he always responds communications and is best placed to resolve the councils IT and customer service problems.

My own impression of the councils IT department is that has the problems that many IT departments in large organisations have which is that now most of functions that IT experts were needed to perform 10 years ago can now be performed by pretty much anyone.

Blogs are a case in point, when I first started publishing to the internet it was an expensive slow and difficult business with everything having to be written in a computer code, now anyone with a computer internet connection can use blogger to put up a website. It doesn’t cost them anything and no specialist knowledge is required.

What is even more interesting that as a news website the blog will be a technically better site than all three of our local paper sites and the councils press release site, all of these sites are written by IT experts and I would think most of them realise this.

This is quite simply because Google that runs Blogger have better IT resources than our local papers and council. One of the most difficult aspects of web publishing is to produce feeds that work properly.

The local bloggers that don’t use seem to be able to produce post feeds so I am able to add them to the sidebar of this blog and their recent posts appear automatically. None of the local papers not the council press release part of their website have managed to archive this yet.

None of the local bloggers that don’t use to have managed to produce comment feeds so that I can add them to and keep up to date with the comments on them.

Now the obvious question here is why don’t the papers and council IT experts just put a hosted blog in a frame on their website and let the journalists and the council press officers contribute to it directly?

I have just done this on my website see

I believe the answer to this question is, what on earth would the IT officer who at the moment is taking anything up to 10 days to put up council press releases, do with his time if the press officers could put them immediately, as I do here when they send them to me.

Of course they would have to explain the blogger bar but I believe people would happily accept this knowing it was saving them money and getting the press releases up in a timely manner.

Virtually every council press release comes with a photograph and they are very good indeed very occasionally they send me the photograph and I publish it with the press release.

These photographs recording life in Thanet don’t appear to appear on the council website, apart from as very short lived thumbnails on their homepage, it really is quite extraordinary that on the one hand the council should be paying for the photographs and on the other hiding them.


  1. Mike

    Sorry to change subject but this is very important!

    Do you think that Steve Ladyman MP should resign from his position as a local president of the Royal British Legion (page 35 Kent On Sunday- view online) after voting against the rights of the Gurkhas ?

    Its a bit like a vicar voting against the choir!

  2. 12.16 I do wish you anonymous people would adopt nicknames so one can have some sort of dialogue without confusion as to who is who.

    I haven’t got to Kent on Sunday yet, personally I am for letting the Ghurkas that want to settle in this country.

    I noticed that you have put this comment up on most of the local blogs so have just had a look at others responses and have lifted the following from Bertie’s as it raises an aspect of the issue that hadn’t occurred to me.

    “10 May 2009 09:33
    Bertie Biggles said...
    You have a point,09:33 but as someone pointed out on another item, we recruit Ghurkas with the consent of the Nepal Govt. Returning soldiers and their pensions have been a source of income to a poor country and if Nepal loses income and its finest men to settle in the UK, will the Nepalese Govt continue to allow recruitment? It is a complex issue, but I tend to take the view that if Ghurkas wish to settle in the UK after serving this country, then no barriers should be put in their way.

    As for Steve Ladyman's position of local president of the RBL, that is a matter for the RBL to consider.”

    I will also ask Steve what his position is on this and I would recommend that you do the same.

  3. Berite is wrong in saying that the Gurhkas need the consent of their government to choose where they wish to live. Only the host nation needs to give consent. .ie Cubans going to the USA

    Bertie must understand that these non-anglo people have their own minds just as we do. We would not need our governments consent to move to the USA, just America's consent .

    Any non-American that serves time in the USForces gets the right to live there.

    Anyway my point is that Ladyman is not fit to be the President of the British Legion!

    He is the gamekeeper not the pocher!

  4. PS
    My name is Bob

  5. Bob I have written to him asking for comment and I will wait and see what he has to say.

  6. Michael,

    East Kent Real Conservatives

    At our regular meeting this week, certain of our members were discussing the rather unhappy state of the Conservative Councillors sitting in Thanet, and what could in reality be done.

    There has been talk of disgruntled Tory supporters standing in certain Wards with the hope of getting in, or splitting the vote to allow Labour to win the seats. This seems a rather destructive idea and so that is why the ‘East Kent Real Conservatives’ will meet this week for the first time.

    This is a working title and may change, but it will initially be made up of a group of financially independent Professional and Business folk who intend to try and put forward viable Conservative opposition at the next local election. People who have real standing and reputation with their local communities and a wealth of experience.

    We will let you know the website address etc once we have confirmed our name and strategy.

    Kind regards,

    Richard H

  7. I do wish you anonymice would use a little imagination and choose a unique name.

    Anyway, to whichever anonymouse it was that suggested Ladyman should resign from the RBL for voting against the Gurkhas - I agree. It would be better still if the Royal British Legion made him stand down as president. Which is what they will have to do because Ladyman is not man enough to resign of his own accord.

    As far as I am concerned the Gurkhas' case should be considered outside of the Immigration Rules. The Immigration Act allows the Secretary Of State to do this. He can then grant them permanent settlement in UK.

    If it were left to me the Gurkhas would be allowed to come and go in the UK as they please. I would be proud to have them as fellow British Citizens. We owe them so much. I have worked with them only briefly in Malaysia. They have my respect and admiration.

    Here's an idea, we could employ retired Gurkhas to to track down those illegal immigrants that have absconded.

  8. Richard H, am interested in more details. Please leave a message as a comment on Thanetstrife with contact number etc. As comment moderation is in place its a quick and confidential way of communicating to me.

    Best wishes.

  9. Sounds like 'Service before self' !

  10. Richard H, I am convinced that the only solution is a mayoral petition and election, which would give us a leader independent of favour from other councillors.

    At the moment the electorate has a choice between two cabinets, Labour and Conservative probably made up mostly of the people that we have had before.

    The problem here is that party politics has limitations at district council level and as people’s perception is that successive administrations of both parties have failed Thanet we need a new approach.

    I would say that the main problem for both parties is that Thanet South is a marginal it is often peoples perception of the current local administration that swings this marginal the other way.

    I believe that this is the reason that members of the local Conservative Associations have considered standing against some Conservative candidates in safe seats.

    Obviously as you get your website I will post about it, you would do well to make part of it a blogger hosted blog so that I can add it to the sidebar under latest posts on other blogs.


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