Saturday, 5 January 2013
No news is good news? From animal exports to secondhand books, a quick and rather muddled ramble.
A quick delve of the internet this morning revealed that the RSPCA are aiming to take further action over the export of live animals from Port Ramsgate, bouncing around the internet as one does this story seems to have originated in Farmers Weekly, see http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/04/01/2013/137008/RSPCA-launches-Ramsgate-legal-battle.htm
I am not sure if this is really news as the article ends with. “A High Court judge will decide early this year whether it will hear the RSPCA's case.” I have filed it away as something that may happen.
The RSPCA, more internet, have been getting a fairly bad press recently, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/countryside/9780817/Our-once-great-RSPCA-is-being-destroyed-by-a-militant-tendency.html and I have noticed that there is certainly a perception now that if you call the RSPCA about a problem relating to an animal, then this almost always results in the animal concerned being destroyed.
We don’t keep animals, living over the bookshop in the middle of Ramsgate, I don’t think it would be practical, we did have a cat for many years, but he was different as he had come to bookselling at an early age and didn’t seem to be interested in much else.
But this was many years ago, so I don’t really have anything in the way of recent personal experience of animal welfare charities.
An aunt of mine once mistakenly was quite cruel to a dog on behalf of this charity, mistaking it an RSPCA collecting box she attempted to push a coin through its scull.
I did finally manage to get hold of this week’s Isle of Thanet Gazette, so I discovered that the online article I linked to yesterday was part of their article about Tracey Emin’s CBE.
There are more letters about Ramsgate’s Pleasurama debacle, in the paper including one from Cllr Poole which says that he is the idiot who will be making the final decision.
I have to admit to being a little unkind to Allan Poole here, but starting a letter to the local paper. “I AM the “idiot” that Janet Woods is referring to” did seem to be asking for it.
The council seem to me to be between the devil and the deep blue sea over Pleasurama and I would guess that even with the combined efforts of Cllr Poole and his opposite number Cllr Moores, working together on this one, they would have great difficulties in sorting out the mistakes made in the past by both their parties.
Perhaps them both admitting to being idiots would be a good starting point in working together, I don’t think either of them have the highest regard for the other, but then that is the way of Thanet politics. Outside of this they both appear to be reasonable and able people, so there may be some hope.
My take on the situation at the moment is that the developer hasn’t got and isn’t likely to get the money to build the development, but does now have an interest in the site and the council are concerned that it could cost them a lot in legal fees to get rid of the developer and start over.
All down the line with this has been about problems related to having no one experienced at the helm, blundering into a project like this without considering the problems related to being next to a cliff face and on the foreshore, suggest going nowhere much, ever.
Looking at the secondhand book world from the other side of the fence, Amazon are now offering exchange value against your books, meaning presumably the postman will ring twice.
As a professional looking at what Amazon have to offer on the book exchange front, I is very difficult to tell what the benefits would be like, there is a lot of "trade in this book for up to £0.25"
From my point of view as a general secondhand bookseller the comparison seems to be roughly the ordinary secondhand paperback that we would sell for £2.50 and offer £1.25 in exchange on return. Amazon would offer for £2.81 and offer 25p in exchange on return.
It isn’t really possible to do an exact comparison, I tried about 20 books and would say in terms of buying, reading and returning, we are still much better value, but of course Amazon with the larger range are far more likely to have the book you want in stock.
The Kindle download side of the equation falls into the odd situation where most of the books you would be likely to enjoy reading are in fact more expensive than a secondhand paperback would be and most of the books you would like to own as physical books, especially most of the classics are available for free.
For us it is the end of Christmas today is the last day we cook a Christmas dinner for extended family and friends, the children’s education recommences on Monday and I have to apologise for running off a quick and rather muddled post inbetween everything else.