Thursday, 22 July 2010

Are Thanet District Council Homophobic?

There are two major events in the main Thanet towns this weekend Thanet Pride in Margate on Saturday and Ramsgate Carnival on Sunday.

I just checked on the councils website for the times, there is a big splash for Dippers and Dunkers in Margate at the end of August and surprisingly as Ramsgate events are seldom mentioned there one for the Monster Bass in Ramsgate in the middle of August.

Well frankly I wasn’t that surprised to find nothing about Ramsgate Carnival as they didn’t put the lifeguards championships up last week, but it is very unusual for them not to give a major Margate event a big splash.

So why not Thanet Pride, I don’t suppose Brighton Council would – cover up their gay pride event – perhaps they would I don’t really know, what I am asking myself though is would the council have promoted it if was a major Margate event, but not a gay one.

Well I tried their sister site http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/ the front page is promoting Margate Carnival at the end of the month, which sounds about right for Ramsgate carnival week.

So I clicked on the “what’s on” link there and this came up.

18th - 25th July: Big Sky Jazz Festival

6th - 13th August - Broadstairs Folk Week

14th and 15th August - Monster Bass Festival

16th - 21st August - Ramsgate Week

20th - 27th August - Dippers and Dunkers

28th September - 3rd October - Broadstairs Food Festival

2nd and 3rd October - International Kite Festival

The picture is Ramsgate Carnival 1968 more of those here http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/history/id13.htm no historic pictures of gay events in Thanet as they would have been illegal, well certainly in 1968.

More to come on this one I think.

Yes more, it is always a bit tricky when one gets into discussing prejudice, women’s rights if one is male, racism if one is white and so on, gay rights are a bit different as one can’t necessarily tell who is gay and who isn’t. In a sense you are what you say you are although this isn’t always said with words.

I can’t for instance assume that this is because all of the major players in the council are straight, I just wouldn’t know.

In the book world most of us made up our minds some time ago, you either sided with Oscar Wilde or the Marquis of Queensbury, this was more a matter of taste and sensibility than anything else.

Now frankly the pink pound, in fact any pound is important to Margate, I was there earlier today and the traders I talked to didn’t seem exactly overjoyed about trade there at the moment.

I also get the impression that the amount that the council promote local events is directly proportional to the amount of our council tax they have spent on them. I don’t think that benefit to the local community can be a factor or they would have promoted last weeks lifeguard championships here in Ramsgate. It would be very difficult to argue a case that lifeguards weren’t beneficial to costal towns.

18 comments:

  1. So what's wrong with these links ?? It is all listed there....

    http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/thedms.asp?dms=13&p1=db&p2=ev&feature=1043&GroupId=1&venue=3201198&easi=true

    http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/thedms.asp?dms=13&p1=db&p2=ev&feature=1021&GroupId=1&venue=3201210&easi=true

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  2. Sorry 22.05 you’ve lost me both of them take me “sorry venue not found” if I paste what you have posted into my browser.

    If you are having difficulties making a link on blogger and you email me the url (web address starts http) I can send you back a notepad attachment that when you paste it into the blogger comments box it will function as a link.

    Needless to say your anonymity will be assured with me.

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  3. Michael, those links posted by anon 22:05 work when I copy & paste them into my Firefox browser (the first one is Thanet Pride & the second is Ramsgate Carnival).

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  4. Thanks Peter they didn’t work in IE and I won’t use Firefox as it is possible to make it show saved passwords, something I see a serious security hazard.

    I am not posting on the web how to do this for obvious reasons, but I reckon if you can put a link in a comment you shouldn’t have much trouble finding this flaw for yourself.

    It would be interesting to know how you navigate to the links from the home page though, after all this is about the way the council promotes different events and there isn’t much point in having the information there if no one can actually find it.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. The links worked for me, Vista with IE8, no problem.
    TDC Homophobic??
    No I don't think so, there are words I could use like useless,stonewalling, in denial, ineffective, too expensive, complacent, etc etc but I won't do so.

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  7. Sorry 23.31 the anonymous add unsubstantiated comment inferring that senior councillors and officers are corrupt, is not acceptable here.

    I try very hard to avoid comment moderation and word verification here, as they make it difficult to comment and stifle debate, please when you comment remember that as the law stands now the responsibility for comments here are ultimately mine.

    Please also understand that anonymity on the internet is only relative.

    3.19 I have tried copying and pasting the urls they work on some computers and on others you can only copy the bit up to GroupId=1&venue so part of the url is missing.

    However the main point here is about how and why the council promotes one event much better than another. Most particularly with the internet where it is the presence on the front pages that is important.

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  8. If that had been the main point, Michael, I would accept it. The headline is deliberately provocative and dishonest, and you should take it down as you have no evidence for it except your own inability to follow links!

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  9. I have to agree with Chris here for possibly the first time ever!

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  10. Chris the headline is a question not a statement and while I accept that one can ask a provocative question, I am a little uncertain about the validity of a dishonest question. Perhaps you could suggest a more appropriate headline, perhaps you think it an inappropriate question, one that the council shouldn’t be asking.

    The fundamental and underlying problem here though is getting the council to put local events on their websites in a way that ordinary people can find them, at the moment many of the council sponsored events either don’t appear on the council’s website, or can only be found if you know what you are looking for.

    What you have to consider is that most people want to know what is on in Thanet, so they can come down and visit.

    The councils main website homepage promoting only two events both well up next month would seem to me to sagest to most people looking there that these are the next major Thanet events.

    Going to their tourism website and finding on the homepage Margate carnival promoted would seem to suggest that it is the next Thanet carnival.

    And yes for those who are very IT savvy they may be able to extrapolate what is on by browsing the site.

    Searching isn’t much good as, for instance with this event, putting gay into the search box doesn’t bring anything up, so someone hearing that there is a gay event on in Margate tomorrow wouldn’t find it that way.

    Peter given time and the bookshop is busy today, I will put up a more detailed post explaining what I am up to here.

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  11. Yes Michael but we both know the question itself is dishomest - what you mean (as you always do) should read Is Thanet Council Ramsgate phobic? Or Is Thanet Council IT phobic? Except I shopuld think most people reading that would pass by on the other side as you mount your soap box again. The homophobia line is deliberately provocative, cos you know it is unacceptable and likely to attract attention to your otherwise dubious analysis!

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  12. Lovely Typo Chris, dishomest, I mean, that is unless you have a wicked sense of humour that I hadn’t accounted for. The beauty of the blog is that people don’t have to read it. I am obviously having some trouble with people understanding my motives here and will put up a more derailed post later when I get time.

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  13. Derailed does not beat Dishomest...30 -15 to me I think:)

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  14. Oh stop sounding like a whinging old git michael

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  15. While you're banging on, why no mention of the Ramsgate Arts Summer Squall festival over the August Bank Holiday Monday?

    A completely Ramsgate organised event with no TDC funding or help whatsoever, providing three days of events including cinema, literature, performing arts etc etc.

    Shame on you Michael!

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  16. Chris my prime objective here was to get the council to promote Thanet Pride and Ramsgate Carnival on their homepage, now because the events are this weekend and I would like to see some money coming into the Thanet towns now.

    It wasn’t anything to do with some sort of competition with you, or anyone else for that matter, if you thought it was I concede.

    16.38 if you don’t like it don’t read it.

    16.42 send me the details and I both try to get the council to put it on their website and do a post about it, my email address is on the sidebar.

    Chris Peter et al I hope the next post helps to explain what I was up to.

    One further thought is that shop and family commitments mean that I won’t be able to get to Thanet Pride and take a few hundred photographs, if I could I would and would publish them on the web, so if any of you get the chance please send me some so I can put them on the web.

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  17. Unfortunately I'm working most of tomorrow, so I won't get to see much of it either (I only work part time but because it's mostly weekends I rarely get to any of these events).

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