Thursday, 6 December 2012

A meeting of a dysfunctional council tonight.


Having watched BBC southeast today the lead item being about Thanet District Council, with Emeritus Professor of Government at LSE George Jones describing our council meetings as dysfunctional, I guess as a Thanet blog author I have to say something.

I think the gist of the item hinges around animosity between the Conservative group and the rest of the councillors that form between them the majority keeping Labour in power.

Part of the grievances seems to be Cllr Gregory should apologise or go, part seems that the Conservatives feel they should still be in power, but it does appear that more members of the council are concentrating on their grievances than running Thanet.


I suppose over the years the differences between UK national Labour and Conservative politics has changed and I think many of the older politicians have lost track.

I have said before that the Thanet Conservatives seem to have a 1960s mindset with the Thanet Labour group a 1970s mindset, watching the dreadful council produced video, with a quality worse that the video from an average mobile phone. The councillors wrangling about issues that frankly belong in another decade. I guess one mostly feels a sense of embarrassment.

Considering the council spend a great deal of money putting the thing on the internet themselves badly, when they could put in on Youtube for nothing, even live stream it if the wanted to, it is a constant reminder of them wasting our money.

They told me, and in writing, that they do this to stop people copying it and infringing their copyright, well the BBC have obviously copied it and used the part they felt like. I copy it every month, so I can at least view it large enough to see.      

I will ramble on here as I think of things to say.     

170 comments:

  1. Michael, what was most noticeable was that Bayford denied any problems in the conservative group and Hart claimed Labour were running the Council properly despite all the others. In other words total denial. No mention of course that the so-called trouble makers from both sides are Labour appointees used to gain control. What should happen is that Gregory should go and Bayford and Hart or his puppet-master Iris Johnstone, should be locked in a room until they either kill each other or agree to work together in a coalition. The rest have no mandate.

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  2. "So much to do and so little will to do it". Leaves you speechless doesn't it.

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  3. I wish I'd seen this (maybe someone can put it on YouTube?).

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  4. I wouldn't worry too much Peter. Nothing will change. The cons will carry on covering for up for their crooks and labour and the officers will keep pretending they know what they are doing.

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    1. It would be a start if they stopped blaming everyone else for the problems (I see that Simon has already blamed the TIGs & the BBC this morning!).

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    2. If the Conservative Association would have selected more drink drivers and people like Sandy and Ken instead of gay people it could have all been so different

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  5. Peter >> http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01p4j6w/South_East_Today_06_12_2012/
    Won't be there for long tho...

    Bayford defending Conservatives.
    Hart defending Labour.

    Worrow and Driver consuming air-time harping on about the same stuff they have been for the last 4 months, little surprise there. Listen TIG the Police have been involved and they've washed their hands of it, spouting off during the time that you should be working out how to deal with Thanets problems about why Gregory shouldn't be allowed back into the Conservative group is POINTLESS, so stop wasting time trying to make yourselves important and start doing something constructive.

    Dear TDC, can you please stop bickering amongst yourselves, as pointed out by a few people asked in Margate in the interview, and start working with each other to get the friggin' job done. Otherwise please stand down from the post, the one you are elected to and paid for by people whose views you should be representing, and let someone else has a crack at it.

    Regards,

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Thanks Rob, will check it out in a bit.

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  6. What is worrying is that we, the poor put-open council-tax payers, seem pretty powerless to do anything about it and we will be stuck with this charade until, I think, 2014. As others have stated, everyone is blaming everyone else and the council seems to bereft of any leadership. Not much hope as far as I can see.

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  7. Rather contrived...Ian Driver shown shouting and accusing the Conservatives of Criminal Homophobia and a brief cameo appearance by John Worrow. If the Council could actually get on with its business without constantly being distracted by minority issues and soap-box opportunities that would be a good start.

    I note that Cllr's Worrow and Cohen did not support Cllr Driver in asking for a proper debate on Royal Sands and instead voted with Labour to block it with a 27/27 Council split and the Chairman's casting vote given to Clive Hart. Looks as if the TIGs are split on this one while we reasonably expected that they would vote to debate the matter, given the public concern that surrounds it.

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    1. Wasn't cllr Driver's motion the first one on Pleasurama and the motion you mentioned above the second one proposed by cllr Bayford and seconded by yourself Simon?
      At least thats what he secondary agenda papersays on the TDC web site.

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    2. My understanding is that we have the Conservative independents who always vote Conservative, the Labour independents who always vote Labour and Cllr Driver who increasingly seems to be trying to represent the electorate and votes the way he thinks local people would want him to.

      I understand that this time he voted with the Conservatives, I am wondering whether the greatest fear among the majority of councillors is they haven’t got a clue of what to do about a councillor attempting to represent the local voters and using privilege to say things that local voters may wish to say but dare not, because like the Hilton Hotel the law is open to everyone.

      I also gather that some Conservative councillors went as far as to support Cllr drivers motion, could it be that we are starting too develop some independently minded Conservatives?

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    3. Has the Pleasurama development ever been debated in full council Michael?, if not its a bit rich for the Cons to now ask for this to be done.

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    4. The general concensus when Michael posted a link to the council meeting a few weeks back was that it was the Tories who came out looking bad in it, and they're hardly helping their reputation by constantly allowing people to stay in the party after they've been convicted of criminal acts.

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    5. Michael, there have always been indendentlty minded Conservatives, often trumpetted as Tory rebels by Labour and its mouthpieces, the BBC and Guardian. It is much more a Labour thing to always adhere to the party line even when good sense screams otherwise. In that respect, Cllr Driver's defection from Labour is understandable. Whatever else he may be, he is not a 'Yes man.'

      Interesting that when someone from the LSE describes TDC as dysfunctional, you manage to swing the blame mainly onto the Conservatives. Would we expect otherwise?

      Elsewhere, an interesting letter in the Gazette highlights how at a recent gathering, whilst leaders and councillors from other districts were busy networking with company and trade represenatrives seeking to generate interest in their areas, Hart and co were in a huddle round a table out of the main stream, presumably having a party meeting. Says it all really. Out of their depth and clueless.

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    6. 11.58 I think you may be confusing politics with democracy here, back in 2009 when it came before cabinet for determination with a recommendation from officers to drop SFP – you can’t really call this company a developer because it has never appears to have developed anything – the Conservative cabinet decided to ignore the council officers advice and go ahead with SFP with much reduced financial guarantees.

      With all of the recent speculation about the validity of the documentation the cabinet based this decision on, I guess the Conservative’s best bet would be to check it out and if they were fooled into making this decision, to say so loudly and clearly, conversely if they check it and everything seems to be in order they should say this too.

      It was after all them who discussed the issue in secret based on secret documents, we make an act of faith that they at least read the documents and if anything looked wrong followed this through with further checks, we are all familiar with what a letter from the bank should look like after all.

      Having made the decision they then sent it to council for the final rubber stamp, however because the Conservative group at that time, politics takes over from democracy and regardless of reservations of Conservative councillors they would all vote for it.

      Answers to other comment as I get time.

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    7. Tim Clarke has just exposed himself as a FORMER Birchington Parish Council Chairman by praising his own misleading letter in the paper. It amazing how OBE (guyz & gals) calls himself Tom as well - Birchington's answer to the Chuckle Brothers only not as good looking! MR W & Col L

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    8. Michael,

      As I understand the law you cannot libel a class of people; so you can say that all TDC councillors are !!**##. Neither can you libel someone who uses a nickname if you do not know who they are; so anyone on here posting as 'anonymous' is fair game.

      I daresay there may be Thanet resident Solicitors out there who will wish to educate me. I say do not bother with me; rather stand for election as a Councillor and put some brains, common sense and drive into TDC. And push aside these time serving, whining, squabbling pygmy politicians.

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    9. If the Conservative Association would have selected more drink drivers and people like Sandy and Ken instead of gay people it could have all been so different

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  8. Just remind me who is in the Party after being convicted of a 'criminal act'? There are firm rules on behaviour from all the main parties and whether a person can remain a member of a political party is invariably a central and not a local decision. For example, a drink-driving conviction is treated differently to fraud or theft. It very much depends on the seriousness of the offense and whether any custodial sentence, suspended or otherwise is passed down.

    In regards to the motions on Royal Sands last night they were similar and the Conservatives supported Cllr Driver's call for a debate. In fact, I was quite happy to second it to bring the two together but that was all scotched by a combination of Clive and two TIGs. Quite why Jack Cohen the Chair or Planning would obstruct such a debate escapes me. Cllr Worrow simply grinned in triumph at blocking the motion.

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    1. Simon, on November 15th you wrote the following on your blog in reply to a comment:

      "Drink driving is completely unacceptable behaviour regardless of politics and Shirley is stepping aside which is the proper thing to do."

      So presumably you still believe that she should resign?

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    2. A gay grin at that

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  9. Perhaps local politicians should be subject to a performance chart so we can choose more wisely at the next election.
    How many of us have seen our 'representatives' at polling time to disappear in a puff of smoke afterwards.
    We have some good'uns who engage with their wards but they seem to be lost in the rest of the dross.

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  10. As we are on to last nights meeting, let me enlighten some of your commentators regarding the reality.

    Firstly the conservative motion was taken first by the chairman, without any explanation as to why. The motion tied at 27 each (Driver voting with the motion, the other 2 TIGS against) thus joining Labour in suppressing any debate about Pleasurama at full council, or any decision at full council which happened every time under conservative administration. We then had Cllr Drivers due diligence motion, which I seconded, which sufferred the same fate, and the same voting, so two TIGS did not support their own member. Cllr Driver did however stray into areas of personal accusation regarding the sale of apartments on the site which may lead both himself, and the poor chairing of the council, into some trouble. My seconding of the motion, had to include a distancing from those comments.

    The Labour administration, supported by messrs Worrow and Cohen, press on with their secretive decision making on this site; refusing to bring it into full council for debate as has been previously done for changes to the development agreement.

    Later in the evening, they also declared themselves to be clueless about the council tax base; and the estimate their own officers had used to work in the budget; and very clear that the precepts around the parishes are hitting trouble with the new regulations, and could be left short of some funds - however late this information arrived announcing possible losses of income to parishes ad hoc in a full council seemed a little crass. As did their leaders pre announcement of winning money from a government scheme to resume weekly bin collections in some areas. This triumph was differently phrased from the scripted political viciouness of answers to questions earlier in the evening. In spite of the television exposure, it was business as usual, with back door deals and deliberately scripted provocation. Clive told us all how proud he was of his first year, last evening and in the paper today. Mmmm!

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  11. I suppose someone has to be proud of Clive Hart's first year and if not himself, who else is I wonder? Possibly John Worrow and Michael Child, but few others spring to mind.

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    1. And the gays and animal lot

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  12. At least these days it seems that all councillors turn up, unlike that days that Bignews Margate exposed when a councillor where recorded as being prresent when in fact he was in Panama, clerical slip, my elbow!


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  13. 1:19 How many times do you wish to have the clerical slip clarified. It's a big book with ruled lines and glued to each page is a list of Councillor's names. If you are present, then you sign against your name... Got it so far? Good!

    But let's say that for one meeting the names on the glued page doesn't quite line-up with the ruled lines? No all Councilor's flowery signatures fit exactly into a neatly ruled space.. mine certainly doesn't and so in this example, there's an overlap and what we call in aviation, a parallax error for the Council officer who records the names of those present.

    Given that at the time with a large Conservative majority there would be no benefit whatsoever for signing-in an absent Councillor, the conspiracy theory is about as plausible as the little green men landing at Roswell!

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    1. Was there ever an independent investigation into this, or was the "slip of a pen" excuse readily accepted?

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    2. The benifit was that the absent councillor could tick off the meeting and claim his allowance. Did he ever pay back anything?

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    3. Councillor's allowances sre an annual sum paid annually, not an amount per meeting. Hence the ticking off is irrelevant.

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  14. The matter was investigated by the council and found to have been an error on the part of a democratic services officer. A councillor's monthly allowance is paid whether he or she is present or not. This is a rather old story and if you recall, the Councillor in question stood down and a by-election was called when he was no longer able to fulfill his attendance obligations.

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    1. So in other words he didn't pay back the monthly wages he was paid while living abroad. Thanks for the clarification!

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    2. Oops, "allowance" as you prefer to call the monthly wages!

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    3. I think you will find that he stood down when he was found out by Tony's exposure and not when he moved to Panama. In the meantme he collected his allowances for doing sweet nothing. Get back to blogging Tony there is plenty more for you to expose.

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    4. Thanks anon 3:08... Two questions (for anyone, including Simon):

      How long was he in Panama, before being found out / standing down?

      And what is the monthly wage / allowance?

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    5. Peter I think we are looking at about £380 per month and from memory it was about three months so about a grand, which would be taxable.

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    6. Thank you Michael... and what a scumbag he is!

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    7. Peter I guess one again this is a group credibility thing, I would say if you pay 52 councillors an allowance, over a four year term of office some are going to stop being councillors unexpectedly for some reason or another.

      If and I don’t know that it happened in this case, they don’t return the allowances, then it is down to their political group to deal with the situation, explanation, apology even paying it back.

      Whatever they do it is the sense that something has been covered up that rankles the most, and all the time I guess it is trying to get councillors to move into now, rather than trying to live in a time when they were considered far to dignified to do anything other than the right thing.

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    8. I certainly don't find Simon's "clerical slip" credible at least 3 times in a row! Maybe the current administration should reopen the investigation AND get their money back!

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    9. Sorry... OUR money back! And I don't think I even have to ask whether or not Ted Watt-Ruffell paid back his "allowance" (earnings) claimed between being charged and eventually resigning.

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  15. "and he said, and she said, and he ganged up on me with him...."

    Did we really need an LSE Prof to tell us how dysfunctional TDC are?

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  16. Tom, Chris, Simon et al, busy in the bookshop today so my comment may be a bit disconnected.

    The problem is that we no longer live in 1965, granted that under the skin I expect many of the older members of our society are still homophobic.

    I guess this applies to racism, sexism and other prejudices too.

    However I think if you asked a very high, probably more than 95% of the population would claim not to be homophobic.

    In modern 21st centaury politics and media, regardless of what people actually think homophobia is unacceptable.

    This means that no media is going to side with any group appearing to condone it, in this case not publically crucifying Gregory in order to maintain credibility is just plainly beyond media understanding.

    On the other hand outside the homophobic connotations a death threat from one politician to another is just banter and solved with an apology.

    Frankly the Conservative group may just as well say they are considering reinstating someone who turned out to be a concentration camp guard as to have a homophobic in the cupboard.

    The drink driving is a very different matter, not many members of the media are going to throw the first stone here, different if there is an accident involved, then the media are all going to be, sober as – one of my friends a high court judge now and a memory of a boating party where he had a few and had to extracted from the party of some Hells angels he had gatecrashed – not judge then.

    The problem here for me is there is a difference between telling the situation as it is and my own personal view.

    Now my take is that the Conservative group have to get themselves sorted, the Labour group on the other hand, do seem to maintaining some sort of credibility, particularly when Thanet politics has degenerated to choosing the lesser of the available evils.

    From my own point of view Chris, Simon and Ian are councillors I would vote for, they pass the first test which is being responsive.

    I guess the Labour group have performed as expected so far, but with Pleasurama I think they have completely misread the public mood on this one and the lack of action on the other large council owned Ramsgate disasters, pavilion, Westcliff Hall, Albion House they need to be seen to be taking some action.

    But then we come back to the alternative, the Conservative Group, perceived to be for night flights, closing the maritime museum and basically anti Ramsgate. I may be wrong but my guess is they need to win back part of Ramsgate to regain control.

    So guys you are for Conservative control at TDC and I guess many people in Ramsgate who would normally vote Conservative are worried you may seek to trash the place, got a message for them?

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  17. Yes dont read Michael Child's self indulgent rubbish! Did you actually read what I wrote about the council meeting last evening? The BBC found a Professor who described the september council meeting as 'very important'. It should have been cancelled; it had the thinnest agenda I have seen for many years, and was there simply to deliver the sort of mayhem that took place. Presumably neither the bbc nor the professor considered that element, Play it through, I think I may have contributed 3 sentences across the whole bloody miserable evening, and simply spent the rest of the time wishing I was somewhere else.

    Yesterday the smoke filled room deals were in evidence all over; as was poor and partial chairing once again. If the BBC wants to explain political mischief it should at least try to understand it. If a Professor of Govt does not, what does that say about your view of young scobie's 'professional qualification?' Wake up. You were betrayed yesterday by labour, plus Cohen and Worrow, despite all labours promises to you when in opposition. And once again you pretend its all somebody else's fault.

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    1. Another sour grapes posting by Chris Wells, you had your chance to improve Thanet for over 5 years and failed even with the ample grants that came Thanet's way from the EU, central government, SEDA and even KCC. Michael can be self indulgent, its his blog but just because you disagree its hardly rubbish, thats what you and you cabinet left behind in Margate High street, in Dreamland, around Arlington House and the place that was once Ramsgate's Royal Sands.

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    2. Chris my point was the conservative group have mismanaged themselves into a situation where they have become media targets, I am sorry if I made it badly I was collating a rather obscure book and serving customers in between.

      Who knows what a professor may find important, mine had an aircraft wing rotating in his lab, which seemed to be intended for the decapitation of anyone who entered. I don’t think anyone ever discovered what the sign on the door “Rotational Studies” actually signified.

      What the BBC was, I think, trying to achieve in a news slot, max time 2.5 mins, is that all is not well in our council and that its democratic functioning is dysfunctional, you don’t seem to disagree with this point of view, if as you say a whole council meeting was pointless.

      I think that now the bbc has found a council with skeletons like Pleasurama in the cupboard, it is likely to keep coming back for more, what you need to address is, with Labour now in power for a year, why it Cllr Driver who seems to have take the initiative and not the Conservative group.

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    3. Cllr Wells. If I remember correctly that Professor of Government came from your old alma mater.

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  18. So, how much would an Independent Valuation of the Freehold of the Pleasurama site cost I wonder? My name is Alan Williams by the way, and I will get around to joining this excellent blog!

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  19. Many issues emerging here.

    1. Chris Wells. I can't imagine how he thinks that insulting people is ever going to win over the population. I don't know him personally but to be honest I don't think I would want to anyway; and that's as a Conservative voter.
    2. Bias. Michael has become a hate figure for Messrs Wells, Moores and my near namesake. In fact all Michael is trying to do is plough his way through the fog that is local politics. What's wrong with you people, can't you engage in a discussion without resorting to political insult? It's just that the local Conservative councillors are more adept at slipping on banana skins than their Labour counterparts. As I have said before they are not going to regain power until they win back Ramsgate; I see no serious efforts yet to do this.
    3. BBC bias. That's just tired old Daily Mail journalism, and if you believe anything in the Daily Mail then......And if you think that's bad, wait until Private Eye really get a grip on this; it's already shown an interest.
    4. Cllr Gregory. A disgrace, Should remain an Independent. His return to the Conservative whip just piles fuel on the fire. And he is already a turncoat.
    5. Cllr Harrison. Also a disgrace. And it's a disgrace that the Labour group took no action.
    6. Cllr Tomlinson. I'm sorry, she is a convicted criminal. She may be the best Councillor that Garlinge has ever seen but if there were any honour left she should stand down.
    7. Cllr Worrow. Don't rise to the bait.
    8. Cllr Driver. At least he's trying to achieve something. And his support for the Conservatives surely shows him as truly independent.
    9. Cllr Hart. A puppet. I watched him on the BBC yesterday and he did as much political point scoring as he alleges the Conservatives do. And his Leader's address is a joke, or it would be if the whole charade that is our local governance was already beyond humour.

    I moved down here a quarter of a century ago, from a solidly Conservative Home Counties area. At the time I soon formed the opinion that all was a bit dodgy in local politics - time has proved me right. I see no reason to change my views. The whole lot of you are a disgrace. Our two MPs must be embarrassed to have to be associated with you.

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    1. "BBC bias. That's just tired old Daily Mail journalism, and if you believe anything in the Daily Mail then....."
      That's just tired old blogging. Dismissing the Mail because you don't agree with it, is no substitute for reasoned argument.

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    2. Tim Clarke has the same style as OBE (guyz & gals) who has never liked Chris Wells.
      That is one thing OBE has in common with MOORES, neither of them like Cllr Wells, which can only be a positive thing for Cllr Wells

      (mind you Mr Bruce is the only Tory that really like Moores) Margate's local drunk woman can't stand Moores!

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    3. Ahhh... Moores' "Shirley is stepping aside which is the proper thing to do" comment is starting to make sense now!

      I can't recall ever meeting Chris Wells, but I have (sometimes grudging) respect for him judging by his comments, letters & campaigns.

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    4. Too many gays and animal lovers in the bbc?

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  20. I really must agree with Chris Wells, having had to endure the depressing and rather awful experience of the Council meeting he refers to. As for Cllr Driver and his colleagues, you may have noticed they are quite unrestrained by common sense, principles or the process that governs everyone else involved in local politics!

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    1. The Tories are better at spin and avoiding questions though.

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    2. Try answering my points above rather than slip off in another direction. That tactic is more reminiscent of the Tony Blair era

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    3. And in case you missed it Simon, here's another question from earlier...

      Simon, on November 15th you wrote the following on your blog in reply to a comment:

      "Drink driving is completely unacceptable behaviour regardless of politics and Shirley is stepping aside which is the proper thing to do."

      So presumably you still believe that she should resign?

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    4. Thank you Peter - their collective silence is deafening

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    5. MR MOORES It's a shame that you could not be bothered to attend the council meeting last year in which Bobby Boy Bayford lost power to Mr Hart.
      THE SUN MIGHT SAY "IT WAS YOU THAT LOST IT"

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    6. Does being such a snide come natrual to Simon Moores or does he have to work at it?
      Both Labour and Conservatives remark on what a snide he is

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    7. See old JW nipped in there with his block CAPITALS as always to emphasise his points. My, does that man (sorry slip of the fingers) hate the good flying doctor.

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    8. Yes it's a fact only gay and bisexual councillors us block CAPITALS. I know it's true because I read it in the Daily Mail

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    9. If the Conservative Association would have selected more drink drivers and people like Sandy and Ken instead of gay people it could have all been so different

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    10. You can't always tell who is gay, it's not like a coloured person

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  21. Cllrs Moores and Wells. You are both intelligent men with interests outside the Council. If it is that much of an imposition on you then resign. If not, then shut up about how awful it is. I actually think that you two hold the key to improvement but you have to break out of this cycle of vitriol that you have allowed yourself to slip into. And with two Conservative Councillors guilty of criminal offences in the last year, don't you dare lecture me on principles!

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    1. Tim, as your near namesake, I have some sympathy with several points you have made, but am a little surprised that you have been taken in by Michael's, apolitical, trying to point the Tories in the right direction stance. He is enjoying every minute of the local Conservatives difficulties, but where is the criticism of Labour's appalling performance so far. You will not find it on this blog.

      If you bothered to properly read the contributions of Chris Wells and Simon Moores they are not all vitriol, as the trolls would have it, and they do try to tell it as it happened. Just where are the contributions from the Labour side. Mark Nottingham, David Green, Mike Harrison, Will Scobie and even Ian Driver, all had blogsites, but the last entries in them are now but ancient history. Is this perhaps now party policy, tell the public nothing in case we let slip something they should not read.

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    2. I will remind Tom Clarke of the disrespectful attack on another blogger by cllr Wells that resulted in him being ordered by KCC standards committee to make a full public apology, fact not fiction.


      ... and two criminal offences the year before by con councillors and who knows what next year will bring!

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    3. Tom. I have not, as you put it, been taken in by Michael's stance, which, since this is his blog, he would be entitled to anyway. Unlike you I live in Ramsgate and have witnessed first hand the neglect that the last few administrations wreaked here. And, at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, if you don't win Ramsgate then you don't win Thanet. In fact, judging by the last Westgate result, the next Thanet council will be mostly Labour, with a smattering of Broadstairs Conservatives.
      Let me spell this out as clearly as I can. Roger Gale has yet to announce his intentions for 2015 but if he decides to retire (and who could blame him?) then who is likely to be the Labour candidate in Thanet North or whatever it is known as by then? I think you need look no further than the present Mayor of Margate and as things stand at the moment he would stand a good chance of winning. And since he, like Messrs Hart and Poole, is merely a puppet of their Irish Whipmaster, that means that Iris wins. And we don't want that now do we? I desperately want a Conservative Council but I don't see anyone here that is doing anything else than trading insults. It doesn't matter how true to life last night's BBC item really was - it's what the rest of the south east now believes.
      Cllr Wells' style might suit the flagellants of Broadstairs but believe me the rest of us are severely underimpressed. The last thing you do is trade insults with the voters, or maybe he missed that lecture when he was at the LSE.

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    4. Tim. Again I would agree with much of what you say, but it is my own gut feeling that the next TDC elections, being the same year as the general election, will hinge more on central political issues than local. That said, I would suggest there is not a cat in hell's chance of a Conservative administration here or in Westminster, however grim that prospect may be for our country.

      Once I would have considered myself a staunch Conservative, but now feel totally alienated from the party as led by David Cameron. In his pathetic endeavours to make the Tories less 'nasty' he seems to have driven away whole swathes of normally core Conservative voters. Sadly I would now be more inclined to support UKIP even though I know such a move will simply let in Labour.

      Frankly, I think the party will even find it difficult to field a full hand of candidates next time in Thanet, there being so much loss of enthusiasm in the ranks. Perhaps the Conservatives locally need an Iris themselves to whip the team back into shape otherwise the prospects are not promising.

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    5. "Cllrs Moores and Wells. You are both intelligent men" (So-called T Clarke)

      But not politically wise enough to hold on to power

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    6. THANET CONSERVATIVES shoot themselves in the feet everytime they let a Drink drive Councillor, a homophobic ciminal or ex-leaders with issues stay in their party!

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    7. Tom
      The best we can hope for is full Scottish independence. Without their disproportionate number of Scottish Labour seats the national Party will struggle to form a UK government. Locally, there is no answer. If the various Anons above are to be believed then the problem may lie in schisms within the local Conservative group itself and both the major National parties have discovered what happens when the population perceive them as divided amongst themselves.
      Way beyond our lifetimes it won't be a problem anyway. China owns so much of the western world's debt that it's only a matter of time before Mandarin becomes the worldwide lingua franca.
      I notice that the Diversity Champion has suddenly become more active on both Twitter and these blogs - several of his efforts are evident above. Nice to see he's still around and so actively championing the various diversity causes on the Island. Another Christmas quiz - name one!

      Delete
    8. Agree about the need to learn Mandarin. Much of former colonial Africa now have them as masters in everything but name and may just come to find them a bit less benevolent than the old mix of white colonial settlers, nuns and missionaries.

      On the issue of splits, this is an area where Cameron seems to excel, seemingly taking on one Tory support group after another. The old strongholds amongst the armed services, police and blue rinse church goers are looking a bit strained now and the next rebellion always seems to be just around the corner. Sadly picked the wrong David at the last leadership election.

      On the Scottish question, the less likely the Conservatives look to win the next election so the more likely it becomes that the Scots will vote to stay in the union. Personally I do not see much hope of salvation from that quarter.

      I too had noticed the Diversity persons increased activity, but I wonder under which flag he will stand next time. Unless Labour embrace him, I cannot see him getting back as an independent. Interesting times, but it could have all been so much better with a more careful choosing of candidates in the first instance.

      Delete
    9. The Chinese imperial march is fuelled by necessity. Their country has only 8% of the tillable land in the world but they have 20% of the world's population. They are therefore buying up vast swathes of Africa to grow crops on, which they then "export" to China.
      Until the Conservative Party finally decides what it thinks about EU membership it is likely to be in trouble. My personal view is that I didn't vote for a federal Europe in the last referendum and I would welcome the opportunity to have another shot. I also think that Germany and France would be quite happy to see us move to a looser Norway-style EEA arrangement; we create more problems for them than they probably think we are worth. We are also an obstacle to the reintroduction of the Deutschmark once the Eurozone experiment has finally imploded.
      If he stands again, and loses, he will accuse the entire electorate (apart from the few who voted for him) of homophobia. Actually, the term is misused anyway. "Homo" means "the same" in Greek or "Man" in Latin. Phobia means an irrational fear, So, homophobia means the irrational fear of sameness or an irrational fear of man. The usage he puts it to does not suggest fear. Others in the LGBT community has proposed Misanandriac((miss/mees-uh-NAN-dree-ack)from miso (hate) + anandria (effeminacy, "gayness"). I think misogynist is a good parallel. Will all wash over him anyway.

      Delete
    10. On the the subject of China: China is not a country it is an Empire. It is an Empire of diverse tribes, languages, religions and erstwhile independent countries. Once the communist hold is released, as it soon will be, then the peoples' wages and aspirations will grow. Consequently, China will break up as did the USSR and Yugoslavia. China's economic power will decline.

      After the break up Shanghai could join with Hong Kong to create an economic powerhouse. We still have much goodwill in Hong Kong on which we can build.

      Delete
    11. The Daily Mail readers are so obsessed was the Diversity Champion that they give him credit for every comment they dislike, and no, gay and bi people do not use CAPITAL letters anymore than anyone else.

      Delete
    12. If the Conservative Association would have selected more drink drivers and people like Sandy and Ken instead of gay people it could have all been so different

      Delete
  22. Thanet Council has been dreadful for many years. If you think they treat each other badly just wait until you see how they have been treating their constituents. Anybody who wishes to complain about anything is immediately labelled as a NIMBY, a troublemaker and even "a malicious complainer." This appalling attitude has created a culture in which officers and councillors alike feel that it is OK to evade giving straight answers to straight questions. In fact, it is almost second nature to give people the runaround. The consequence is that many people have had to resport to the FOI process. Answers to questions have had to be dragged out of the council. Even when the council has been ordered to answer a question, it has continued to try to find ways of avoiding giving out further information; one ploy has been to whinge about the costs of complying with information requests and to try to use this as economic justification for not giving people the information. We need a new broom and a clean sweep at TDC. It's time to evict the dinosaurs and to reclaim our towns from the arrogant politicos who have ruined them with their petty squabbling and points scoring. ALL meetings to be held in public, recorded and made available on the internet; ALL meetings to be minuted and ALL minutes to be available on the internet; nothing on pink paper; disciplinary system for evasion and wasting people's time.

    I leave you with a Christmas quiz question. The airport has been in private hands for the last 13 years. In that time it has failed to deliver on any of the promises that were made when it was sold. It been a constant source of irritation to local residents and has cost local taxpayers an incredible amount of money. If you were to ask the council for copies of all minutes of meetings held netween officers and the airport operators, how many documents would you retrieve?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 7:51am I would not totally agree with your stance on the airport if a high speed link was provided, but the rest of your comment is so true. I could have written it myself. The only thing you got wrong is that they designate you as a vexatious complainant (not malicious), in order to avoid criticism or embarrassing questions.

      Delete
    2. Anon 7:51,

      You would have been closer to the truth if you had said that Manston has been a constant source of irritation to "some" local residents. Please do not include everyone in your sweeping assertions.

      Delete
    3. Anon 11:24AM,

      You did write it yourself bearing in mind that your are one and the same.

      Delete
    4. John, are you still believing there is only one anonymous commentator who does not like Manston? Keep dreaming, sunshine.

      Delete
    5. Oh, I've seen the handover documents from one Brian White to his replacement. One councillor took it upon herself to discuss the possibility of direct flights to Cyprus with the airport owners on behalf of the large Greek Cypriot community in Thanet.

      If you were to ask your question via foi it would probably get rejected as its too big a task to undertake across its 600 employees. However, if you were to Ask TDC via 600 foi's, you would get your answers.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous 9:48AM,

      Do try to keep up. I am simply saying that you persist in posting in assorted transparent guises.

      Delete
  23. We have all seen the piece on BBC TV about the infantile antics of some TDC councillors. The media have discovered TDC and I'm sure they will be on the lookout for more juicy items. It cannot be long before they discover Pleasurama. Let us hope they do so before TDC part with the freehold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the elephant in this particular room that might spark their interest is the series of unfortunate fires at Pleasurama, the Rotunda and Dreamland, not forgetting the Margate Amusement Arcade. Two common factors in all of these incidents

      Delete
    2. Tim,

      There are indeed rich pickings here. Sufficient I would say for a TV mini series. I cannot decide whether the show would be a mystery drama or a comedy. Either way it would be a tragedy.

      Delete
    3. Not a mini series, surely a full-blown soap opera?

      Delete
    4. The bloke who played DI Burnside in the bill could be sandy. Brian Blessed for Wells. Or Bayford. George Clooney for Clive. Daniel Radcliffe for margate mayor. Oh joy!

      Delete
    5. Simon moores could be played by the actor who plays rimmer in red dwarf. He could even use the same costume!

      Delete
    6. Who can play Shirley?

      Delete
    7. Now if it were a pantomine who would be Ali Baba, the Dame, the Fairy Godmother etc and who would say "He's behind you"?

      Delete
    8. As it's Thanet, I suspect most of them would want to remain anonymous...

      Delete
    9. Is there a part for Julian Clary?

      Delete
  24. Anon 7.51 i agree with your calls for full and open transparency of council business and have been campigning for this for a long time. I moved a motion to Council calling for anyone who wishes to be able to record and broadcast all council meetings. i have challenged officer decisions to exclude the press and public from meetings time after time. The problme is that the overwhelming majority of councillors do not want openess and nearly always vote against my proposals. Fortunately there are other methods of ensuring that secretive decisions are brought to the attention of the public and I would like to congratulate those brave officers and councillors who are committed to ensuring the Freedom of Information by all neccessary means.

    Ian Driver

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian,
      You say that the majority of Councillors do not want openness. Some don't, but the majority haven't the faintest idea what day it is let alone what the rest are up to. Unfortunately you are now a lone voice in the wilderness and you need to foster some support. The question then is from where? The Labour shower all stand in a row waiting for Iris to shout their next command, and the conservatives are too busy covering up and excusing the misdemeanour's of their own transgressors before Iris finds out about them too. In other words, you will have to get the great ayatollah's support or you will get nowhere. She rules Thanet. You should know that by now.

      Delete
  25. The following text is from a bigot on Simon Moores' blog who chooses to forget that GREGORY, actions made the story news worthy.

    The text was posted on Simon Moores' blog, a man who says he is not homophobic. Moores is too much of a coward to post it himself:-


    Congratulations Mr. Worrow. Your antics and greed for publicity has brought to ruin and shame the Thanet District Council. I do not care who has sex with who, or what for that matter, what I DO care about is our area. I am now embarrassed at the way in which this matter has reached national levels and I place the entire responsibility at the very small feet of Mr. Worrow. Shame on you, shame on Mr. Driver and Shame on the whole 'TIG' Brigade. Does it not occur to any of these people that they have committed political suicide with their antics ? Enjoy your moment of fame while you can, you will quickly disappear into obscurity and be forgotten forever by the voters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JW, how do you figure out this comment you have transcribed from Thanet Life is homophobic. The writer suggests the antics of the TIG group within the conduct of council business have brought shame on TDC. That is not homophobia, it is fact.

      Delete
    2. If I had to stand in the trenches I think I would much prefer to have the 'cowardly' Moores alongside than any of the TIG group, especially Worrow.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous 2:03 PM,

      What you say is interesting. But I am confused and would welcome clarification. Can you please explain what you understand by the word 'homophobic'; and in what way is your quote homophobic?

      Delete
    4. Those comments must of been made by JW because they look gay

      Delete
    5. John W is the only person I have heard use the word homophobic to tell the truth, and is Ken Gregory really homophobic or just Aids-phobic? . JW has probably got some of his to write 99.9% of the Anonymous remarks

      Delete
  26. I agree with bigot. Does that make me one too?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anon 2.19. Surely it was the generals, majors and colnels who were the real "cowards" sitting miles away from the front line getting drunk, having sex with prostitues and looting the countryside whilst the poor bloody infantry got slaughtered in their tens of thousands. Thats they way it was, thats way it is. The armed forces remain one of the most corrupt insitutions in this country, possibly on a par with the church

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 3:47PM,

      Have you ever served in HM Forces? You should tell us before you start slinging around accusations of cowardice.

      However, I prepared to accept that you have an intimate knowledge of corruption.

      Delete
  28. Hello Mr H whether or not I served in HM forces or was ever a member of clergy is my affair. However, it is fair to say that most serious historians of war and most serious investigative journalist generally have quite a low opinion of the abilties, committment and moral fibre of the brass hats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only VC awarded during during the Falklands Conflict went to a Colonel. Maybe you don't consider them as brass hats. I wouldn't give much credence to either of your preferred sources - history is always written by the victors, and modern history is written from the perspective of the so-called underdogs. And I think the Lord MacAlpine affair indicates the standard of modern investigative journalism. I'm more inclined to pay attention to embedded journalists, who tend to be a bit more objective about warfare.

      Delete
    2. Have you read the books of Max Hastings?

      You accuse others of cowardice from behind the skirts of anonymity. I find this curious.

      Delete
    3. Anon 4:26,

      Since its inception their have been only three people who have one the VC twice. One of these was a Lieutenant Colonel.

      Presumably you have heard of the VC?

      Delete
  29. Tom Clarke one of the common factors you mention is no longer with us. If I undersand you right the other common factor was mentioned by Cllr Driver at the Council meeting last week, for which he might have to pay dearly. Rumour has it that that common factor was hurridley followed out of the Council Chamber by a one time leader of TDC who is now facing charges of corruption in public office. Driver seems to have poked a stick into a vipers nest. Will it all begin to unfold now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right that one of the common factors is not here. The other one was an entity, not a person, although by what you say the second common factor may have had a person associated with it - let's just say that common factor 1 had some interests that (if I've guessed right) common factor 2 may have had some influence over.
      Bertie Biggles, Joylandbooks and one or two others no longer around were also on this trail

      Delete
    2. Common factors, then followed out by The Man From Auntie, which I guess aint going to help with media representation. Being in business here in Thanet, with suggestions that I am somehow gloating, you may wish to revisit my take that it is embarrassment that I actually feel.

      Anyway having just put up Cllr Drivers press release calling for the chairman to resign, I can’t fault his reasoning here, can anyone else?

      Delete
    3. The flaw is that only time will tell but it may be in Thanet's best interest for the deal to be done in private as the only option on the table that does not put TDC in a position where it can be sued for millions.
      What concerns me and I have seen in mentioned a good few months ago is that TDC must get the best possible price when disposing of assets and selling Pleasurama to what could be a "best buddy" company seems to be something that must be done in public and the names of the owners must be made public to ensure no funny business is taking place.

      Delete
    4. But should the chairman have been allowed to cast the deciding vote 7:04?

      Delete
    5. As no Tories have said otherwise then presumably they agree with Ian (though of course they wouldn't dare admit it, as that would be putting the people of Thanet first and their childish tribalism second).

      Delete
    6. anon 8:47AM,

      Whereas you are not being childishly tribal.

      Delete
    7. John, Anon 9.17 is not being childish, but stating the truth. Where is the opposition. They should be shouting from the rooftops but for some reason they dont and they wont. As a member of the public and a conservative, I expect my representatives to challenge decisions that are clearly misconceived. Driver can do it on his own and despite the Labour shower having put him there. Why the silence from my councillors? Have they got something to hide as well?

      Delete
    8. Either Ian is doing something very right or the Thanet Tories are doing something very wrong for Tory voters to start agreeing with him.

      I guess we won't be getting any answers from Moores... presumably he's busy out socialising with his chums Chris, Shirley, etc! ; )

      Delete
    9. John and 12:01. I think the reason the opposition are so quiet is probably two-fold.
      1. As has been pointed out elsewhere they don't actually like each other
      2. They do probably have something to hide. Michael, and now Ian Driver, are whittling away at the Pleasurama saga but I think it's part of a bigger picture involving other sites of accidental fires. I was on the clifftop on the night of the Pleasurama fire and there was an overpowering smell of petrol, yet it was caused by an electrical fault.

      Delete
    10. Tim,

      I agree.

      When I lived here as a child with my parents and grandparents there was standing joke that after a bad summer season everyone waited for the fire at Dreamland or Merrie England. They were never disappointed.

      Delete
  30. Back when I was a Major I recall hiding in a Church. Luckily it was harvest festival so I nicked the food display. Trench grown celery was particularly good. I then moseyed along with a young Padre on his way to minister at the front. After a feed up and swig of rum I had a whistle to blow. Then I led the way over the parapet. Later on did that St Peter, licensed bouncer at the Pearly Gates, give me a hard time about nicking the Harvest Festival produce. Thought for a bit he would send me to hell but apparently I had just left there .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite clearly, 3:47 & 4:52, you have no knowledge of the armed forces. The senior officers you seem to despise started out as junior officers, the latter having very limited life span prospects in WWI and not much better in WWII. Plenty of officers have been killed in Afghanistan so your notion of them sending privates to their doom is a bit off the mark. All made for good stories by the anti war brigade and to turn the masses against the perceived leaders for political purposes. As I recall, most recently it was a Labour PM who sent our troops into an illegal war so that many thousands of people could die needlessly.

      Delete
    2. Try re-reading Tom ?

      Delete
    3. I did and the one at 4:52 is still nonsense unless it is supposed to be humourous, ha bloody ha! The one at 3:47 remains lower deck prattle.

      Delete
    4. Tom,

      Tom,

      As I read the story of the 'Major' at 4:52 it is in praise of bravery. The trenches were hell on earth but he still found the courage to blow his whistle and lead his men over the top.

      I agree with you that 3:47 is lower deck prattle (you were in the andrew, Tom?). However, I would listen to him if I knew that he had seen action himself. Which I doubt that he has. At the least he is a clown and at the worst some kind of tin pot political agitator. I suspect the latter.

      Delete
    5. John. No Tom was a Flyboy, it was I in the andrew

      Delete
  31. Is there any way we can perform our own coup d'état, throw out all of the councillors, council officers, and start again?

    The only reason a private company would not sack all of its staff and staff afresh is because one generation has much to pass onto the next. What's would we honestly have to gain from the past 20 years of experience at TDC apart from how not to do things?

    Up the revolution!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might have to reveal your identity to do that though.

      Delete
  32. to anonymous 0948,

    No, I am simply saying that you persist in posting in assorted transparant guises.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Just a minor point here, there are about fifty anonymous comments on this post, if when you go to comment, under the comment box there is a drop down called “Comment as” if you select Name/URL instead of “Anonymous” and put any old name you fancy in the name box – you don’t need to anything the URL box then at least it is possible to tell one anon from another.

    This doesn’t effect your anonymity in any way, you don’t have to fill in a form or anything like that, but it would make it a lot easier to follow what is being said here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,

      You make a point of common sense. But it will fall upon deaf ears. In many, but not all, cases, the word 'anonymous' gives the poster the courage that they otherwise would not have.

      Delete
  34. I am refusing to blog about it. i think it is funny enough without mmy input. Nice one about the commmennts Michael never new you coulld do that,

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ladies, Gentlemen, once again conspiracy theories and half truth abound, and there is little real truth in many of these assertions. In truth the Conservative group supported both Ian Drivers motion, indeed I seconded it on the groups behalf - whilst disassociating from many of his remarks which may result in legal action. Cllr Driver now wants the chairman to resign because of his partiality..an interesting assertion. I have challenged the chairmans lack of impartiality on several occasions, without any support from Cllr Driver when on those occasions he was supporting the Labour group and its parking elements in the budget particularly. The solution lay in Cllr Drivers own hands in that he is a member of a group of three cllrs, the TIGS, but his group colleagues did not support his motion, or ours, when he did. If Cllr Driver had delivered his own group members then the chairmans casting vote would not have been needed. A cynic might assume a deal had been done to ensure the labour group got what they wanted, whilst cllr Driver could continue his public grandsatnding safely as he and his colleagues knew their support would deliver the labour line. So two TIGS support secrecy for the Pleasurama decision; one screams the opposite. We supported open decision making, and contributors here blame us for the failure of cllr Driver to deliver his colleagues to the vote.

    I wonder what the BBC, who were present throughout made of the chairing of the meeting. In particular my intervention pointing out cllr Drivers dangerous claims about a local estate agent, which the chairman publicly agreed was correct and dangerous, and then did not enforce. Perhaps he was simply waiting for cllr Driver to hang himself with his lack of caution in accusation, and in response cllr Driver wants to cover his failure to win over his colleagues and to properly control himself in debate with a ne accusation, which others here whohave not thought this through suddenly greet as a triumph of democracy. In the light of the failure to win support from his own group leader and colleague, it is, perhaps an object lesson in how not to behave in a democracy. The Conservative, and two genuine independents supported transparency, the Labour group, and messrs cohen and worrow secrecy and closed door deals. Bob Bayford and I discussed the casting vote in the chanber that evening. Whilst Cllr Driver may argue on a particular rule, there are also other precedents which come into play, usually either that the chair when they vote casts their final vote in line with their original vote; or that they will usually cast their vote in favour of the proposition being overturned as the onus is on those who want change to prove their support. The fact the vote was cast for secrecy and closed door deals is consistent with the Labour and TIGS behaviour over twelve months and should surprise no one. It has of course worked for cllr driver in the past so his accusations risk the ring of hollow hypocrisy to any one who really thinks this through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris a couple of points on this one that occurred to me, one being that there is only much significance in something going to full council when there an uncertain result to any vote and the other is that we have the Labour independents who always like the Labour councillors vote with Labour, the Conservative independents who like the Conservative councillors vote with the Conservatives and Ian Driver.

      You seem to be saying that you think Ian Drive should always vote Conservative like you do, is that right?

      Delete
    2. No, he did not say that, Michael. He said that Cllr Driver did not have the support of his two TIG colleagues on an issue he claims to feel strongly about. I understood what Cllr Wells wrote, why can't you or is it simply that you choose not to for your own political ends.

      Delete
    3. Ah Lea, Cllr Driver left the Labour group because he didn’t agree with them, there wouldn’t be any point in his having done so if he always voted with them, however I think the other two TIG members always vote Labour, regardless.

      I think Chris understands this, obviously if the TIG group voted as a group with either main party, depending on the issue they would hold the balance of power on every issue.

      Delete
  36. Michael. I'm not going to trawl through your blog and ThanetLife for the numerous references to discussions on Pleasurama being curtailed because they're on pink. I also gave up on trying to decipher Cllr Wells's offering above but can only assume that a jovial lunch at the Lanthorne must have prompted it. Suffice to say that when outnumbered surely you welcome any support you can get, even if it comes from unexpected quarters.
    This posting started out as being on the subject of the BBC item regarding the dysfunctional council. In summary it would appear that most, if not all of the contributors, apart from two Conservative councillors, seem to share that view. Now we can argue until the cows come home as to why it is dysfunctional but I would still hazard a guess that personal enmity has a lot to do with it. The offerings from Cllrs Wells and Moores only reinforce this view; it's not our fault chaps it's those dastardly TIGs/Labour people/you fill in as appropriate. I am also reminded that Cllr Moores used to make a big thing, when in office rather than opposition, of the childish behaviour of the Labour group. Sticks and stones spring to mind.
    In the end it is almost irrelevant what the Councillors think, or how biased they believce the reporting to be. What matters is what the ordinary man in the street thinks and I doubt if many were impressed by the showing last week. Or maybe our Council don't share that view. If they don't then they damn well should.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Michael, where did your responsecome from? Not from what I wrote clearly. The Conservative Group supported Ian Drivers notion and he ours regarding transparency in decision making. Ian Driver could not bring his TIG colleagues with him, which would have negated any need for a casting vote - and then wants a big public fuss about the casting vote. How does that equate to expecting him to vote conservative all the time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, that puzzled me as well. However Cllr Wells was not happy with the way the casting vote was used so I guess he should be quite happy with this being brought to the surface.
      Putting aside all the accusations of grandstanding (which certainly apply to at least one of his colleagues)I'm forming the view that Cllr Driver is likely to be with us for some time and is probably (somewhat surprisingly) generally a force for good. There is a scatter gun effect but I think that he is trying to deal with the entrenched positions that other bloggers (ECR, Bertie) have come to grief over.

      Delete
    2. Nice typo Chris, you seem to be implying that his notion had the full support of the conservative group, wasn’t it a case of about a third of your group voted for his notion and about a third of his group voted for your notion?

      Delete
  38. Here's an easy one for everyone to understand. Ian driver has concern over the bank guarantee/ confirmation of cash holdings for SFP. A private or commercial firm would only go into business with a firm that needed to provide such evidence if it was approved and confirmed by a member of the institute of chartered accountants. I assume TDC asked for such an indemnity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DFL the company behind the Royal Sands was solely a BVI company when the initial agreement was entered into, at that time I don’t believe BVI companies had to produce accounts, so I doubt they would have needed an accountant.

      Delete
  39. Micheal, how interesting that in response to DFL you ackowledge the error of selecting a BVI company as a development partner, but omit to mention it was a Labour administration decision, unlike your constant references to the 2009 decision which always assert it was a conservative cabinet.

    Tim Clark, how eruditely you comment on my contributions, having admitted up front that you have not read them. In addition your accusations of alcohol fuelled activity could not be further from the truth in my case as is well known. It would appear once again there is no risk of a little truth getting in the way of a good accusation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually said that I wouldn't bother trawling back through various blogs. I have read all your contributions here, although I have to admit to finding them a little hard to follow at times - communications must have been another lecture you missed at LSE. I also never mentioned alcohol, merely an establishment where alcohol and food are available. You may eschew alcohol but not a good lunch. Do buck up.
      The Conservative group is doomed to opposition until such time as it starts being an opposition rather than a name-calling rabble. And maybe you could start by trying to look beyond your prejudices; Michael is no more left-wing than I am, and I have voted Conservative since the days of Ted Heath and Harold Wilson. He's one of a group that an opposition should be courting - a true floating voter.

      Delete
    2. Tim,

      You are making me feel old. I voted for Harold MacMillan.

      Delete
    3. I am too young to have voted for Harold Macmillan i.e. under 76.

      The Macmillans were family friends the politician and his brother the publisher, so they were often about during my childhood and I was inclined to take the then prime minister to task about things that interested me at the time, like the taxation on sweets.

      Delete
    4. Michael,

      I am younger that 76. Macmillan became Prime Minister for the first time in 1957. When was the voting age reduced to 18? With this in mind maybe I supported him but was too young to vote. I am too lazy to do the research and arithmetic.

      Delete
  40. Chris I don’t know that I could have gone further than saying the Labour administration selected a development financed by what they thought was a Swiss bank and turned out to be a Swiss stockbroker without a banking licence.

    I also published the documentary evidence to support this.

    First mistake to Labour, I absolutely concur with you on that.

    I posted about this the other day, didn’t know I needed to repeat it in detail in the answer to DFL.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Chris Wells, you notice I said TDC. We pay hundreds of civil servant, some of them over one hundred thousand pounds, to keep policital decisions correct and honest. I would not expect the elected member for anywhere to know the niceties of counterparty due diligence, but I would expect the finance director, legal director or the chief exec to ask the right questions.

    Michael, if you are going into partnership with someone, and that partnership is dependant on one of them having a certain amount of funds, a letter produced by them saying I've hot the required amount is the first step in proving that, not the only step. BVI, USA, EU or British Registeted company - it does not matter.

    What we really need now is a whistleblower, preferably one of the council exec, who can come forward and confirm if certain check were lacking, or what they would do today of faced with the same dilemma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DFL,

      Thank you for endeavouring to drag this case back into the real world. As you rightly, say these highly paid TDC Officials have a duty to keep their Councillors within the law. The facts suggest to me that in this they have failed.

      From the evidence I do not think it unreasonable to conclude that there is something seriously wrong here. It may be corruption, incompetence or both. But we will never learn the truth and repair this disaster without a full independent inquiry. The press are watching now and I'm convinced they will come back for more.

      Someone out there, probably a TDC Official, knows where the bodies are buried.

      We need to be rescued by a whistle blower.

      I have a feeling that the truth is slowly rising to the surface.

      Delete
  42. Interesting comment DFL. It has been a tenet of my understanding of this situation that a BVI regiostered company could not have effective due diligence done in the same way as companes registered elsewhere. This story has had at different times, surety bonds, and sums to be held in bank accounts, and appears to be now reducing to step in rights. In light of your comment what do you make of the Chief Execs response to cllr Driver on this point, reproduced below?

    "Turning to your actual request - I can confirm that checks were made in respect of the documents and the claims within the documents which were included in the Cabinet report of 16 June 2009, and that these were deemed to be satisfactory in the light of the decision that was being taken at that time, and the associated risks of such decision. I would like to point out that the report set out clearly that the supporting evidence attached to the report "show how the project is being funded, but they do not prove funding" and that the question for Members was "whether to proceed with the Development Agreement on the basis that there is evidence to support, though not absolute proof, funding is in place"; which of course, Members decided was sufficient to proceed with the new development agreement."

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    1. That is what you call a cop out. This should never have gone to council without proper checks of funding availability. This is beyond the pay grade of all councillors, and TDC officers are at fault.

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    2. DFL,

      I have written submissions to Ministers. We had to state the problem and offer a solution, supported by reasoning and background documents. This is what Officials are supposed to do, it is what they are paid for. I do not know, but maybe this sort of thing is considered not so important in Local Government. I do not have all the facts. But I get the impression that in this matter TDC Officers adopted a cavalier approach.

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    3. The truth is inexorably emerging. The whistleblower should speak up now, before it is too late, if only to save their own skin.

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    4. My 5:45,

      My grammar has gone rong here; should I have said 'emerging inexorably'? Any English teachers out there please comment.

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  43. Chris,

    What you say is revealing. Thank you. Can you, or indeed anyone else, say why the members chose to go ahead with the development agreement in the knowledge there was no absolute proof that funding was in place? Am I being unreasonable to conclude that this was somewhat reckless?

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    1. There is a key point here, which may help to understand the situation and that is the officer recommendation was to reject the proposal made to the cabinet, that was essentially going ahead with a much reduced financial guarantee.

      Now Chris, assuming that I accept that there were Labour errors during their time in power, but as you are a Conservative opposition cabinet member, it is the errors made under the previous Conservative administration that I am asking you about.

      There were four occasions where the thing didn’t seem to be looked into properly under Conservative administrations.

      Right at the beginning of the pervious eight year term where plans were passed for a building that was too high.

      When the gull wing roof was lopped off and the planning changes must have constituted material change.

      In 2006 when the initial development agreements and leases were signed, where there presumably should have been some sort of due diligence and some sort of asset disposal process.

      In 2009 when the cabinet went against officer advice and went with the reduced financial protection.

      Could you have a look at what went on and check that things were done properly and that the decisions weren’t made based on wrong information?

      Obviously ten years of building site does suggest that there were errors made under both administrations, but frankly it must be about time that those errors came out and got resolved.

      Zip I think an answer there would help finally sort the problem out.

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  44. I have already stated my own approval, for good or ill, hinged on the involvement and investment by local reputable company Cardy whose credentials are checkable and sound. I had doubts about the visible viability of SFP, but accept that Cardy know their business better than me and were prepared to invest their own money in the project as well. For me that was the deciding factor in 2009. In hindsight that may sound wrong but it was my personal view at the time, and I have expressed it many times since.

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    1. Cllr. I think that's all anyone could expect and I thank you for your clear explanation. Since you seconded Cllr Driver's motion I understand that you and the Conservative group now have reservations about this development. Please join the rest of society! So moving on from the Council meeting, what practical steps can be taken to have this whole can of worms opened for full scrutiny. And please, no political mud slinging, just a plan of campaign. That's all anyone wants.

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    2. Chris Wells,

      Please refer to Tim Clark's post above. Can you help?

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  45. The trick tdc officers missed was to recommend refusal without actually giving the councillors enough reason to do so. Cllr Wells got sidetracked with Cardy being involved. Others may have done the same. If officers had investigated the back up documentation, or asked for further proof, and this was presented, there might have been a different outcome.

    Still, it's only 3 years wasted!

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