Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunday Ramble, Ian Driver stands for KCC, Margate in the Telegraph’s Girls Guide and anything else that comes up.


The internet is a dangerous place, a friend of mine recently clicked on a link in phishing email and gave away his internet service provider password, not like giving away a bank password, but it did result in everyone who had ever emailed him getting an email saying he had had to rush abroad because his sister was taken ill and his credit card wouldn’t work, please sent money to a foreign bank account.

The only way I could think of get my children to understand this was by getting them to send each other a phishing email.

Ian Driver has started his Kent County Council election campaign with a blog, tweets and FaceBook, I suggested to one of our Labour candidates that it was likely that I would vote for Ian Driver, I don’t think this has made me flavour of the month, but I was interested what the reaction would be.

I think one of the election difficulties for councillors is that most of us tend to think of the council as just that “the council” I guess at the polling station or filling in the postal voting form there are a lot of people who don’t differentiate between the town council, the district council and the county council.

My guess is that this time there will be the Conservative Candidates, the Labour Candidates, probably UKIP candidates, Lib Dem candidates and some independents.

I would say most of the names on the ballot paper if not all of them won’t mean anything much to most people and a lot of the votes will be based on how people feel about national politics rather than any grasp of the effects of this on the county council.

The obvious question rises in our minds, do we feel like voting for any of the main parties at the moment?         


Another issue for me is KCC issues, what are they and would any one councillor do any more about resolving them than any other.

I am pretty sure they are responsible for the yellow lines and a prime example of this in Ramsgate is the yellow lines on the min seafront, for anyone who doesn’t know this is a dead end road with no traffic flow, well what KCC has done there looks like an act of vengeance.

Perhaps the idea is that having invested so much in The Turner Contemporary in Margate they don’t want anyone to come to Ramsgate, perhaps it is a case of a county Conservative administration taking out on a town with predominantly Labour councillors.

Perhaps it is something else I have taken it up with some of the county councillors with no result and no answer. Does anyone know? Perhaps county hopefuls will have an answer, I may try a few open emails to candidates, what do people think?

Of course there is the business with the damaged floors and more recently the “out of order” exhibits at The Turner Contemporary, as KCC spend at least £1m per year on running the gallery, perhaps some of the prospective candidates may something to say about fixing these issues. 

Anyway laying aside the various KCC issues I will take up with candidates for a mo, I am wondering how the voting tactics will pan out with the KCC elections.

I would guess there will be a fair amount of protest voting in this election and I guess it is very difficult to nail under which situation Thanet would be better off.

I always get the feeling that Thanet’s is a small voice at county and that county considers Thanet rather as the end of the road.

But I have to admit that while I have take some interest in TDC I have never even grasped the basics of KCC.  

I am cooking roast dinner at the moment and will add to this post during the bits where there isn’t anything much to do.

112 comments:

  1. Excellent, that's the 1st voting choice made, no brainer really.

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  2. Thanks John. Would you be happy to distribute some leaflets for me mate?

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  3. Love to Driver, let me know where they are, and I will deliver them to where they belong, I have nearly run out of kindling, and I must admit I am running out of bog roll.

    I will leave that to the occutards, both of them, and perhaps your pet monkey, assuming you can raise the deposit.

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  4. Quite incredibly, Ian Driver, on his own Red Thanet blog, talks of snouts in troughs because councillors may hold office at severalk levels. Well, if we just discount the value of progressive experience for the moment, let us examine Driver's own record.

    He stands for Ramsgate Town and Thanet District councils for Labour, thus becoming a double hatter in his terminology and securing himself some £4,000 a year in the process. He then turns his back on Labour, having used their machine to get the seat and allowance, but promptly sells his soul and his vote at TDC back to them again in return for a chairmanship carrying another £8,000 per year. That secured, he then turns his back on Labour yet again and decides to run against them in the KCC elections.

    Is this really a man the electorate can trust and is his snout not equally in the trough. Think about it and his grand jesture to resign his Ramsgate and Thanet seats, costing us further elections in the process, why not resign now? Why didn't he resign either the Ramsgate Town or Thanet Dist5ict seats earlier if he feels so righteous about double hatters. Then, and this is the big one, what is his chance of taking the Ramsgate KCC seat or will he just split the Labour vote, he is. after all, unlikely to take any from the Tories. Hence his grand jesture is just the usual posturing or have we already forgotten what he was going to do as Kent's Police Commissioner and then could not even raise the deposit.

    Since many of the anonymous commentators mark me down as a Tory, you would think I would be happy to see Driver splitting the Labour support in Ramsgate. Wrong, I would be much happier to see clowns and chancers like this one totally out of local politics.

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    1. Of course you'd think that, as you and Tom are the same person.

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    2. And who might you be, 5:26? Tell you what, ask Michael, to tell you whether John Hamilton and I comment via the same google account so you can prove your silly point.

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    3. That doesn't mean a thing, and you know it. It takes just seconds to sign out and then sign back in as a different user, so unless Michael can see IP addresses (which he can't) then he can't tell.

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    4. All very fine, but what really is your point. You seem obsessed with attributing other commentators with names of your choosing, like today I am John Hamilton but on another I might be Roger Latchford, yet you remain hidden under your anonymous label. OK, so let's say you are John Worrow who is the same person as Barry James who is also Ian Driver. It might be true but who is going to prove it one way of the other and thus it all becomes utterly pointless.

      Christine

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    5. I never wrote that last comment because I am busy getting the hall ready and polishing Ian's megaphone.

      Christine

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    6. And I am Lobby Lud and I'm keeping the £5.

      I posted on FRS FB in my own name and Christine Tongue referred to me as 'Simon'. They really are a strange bunch.

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    7. Tom whatever made you think I was Worrow or Driver???

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    8. Apologies, Barry, it was just to demonstrate the stupidity of trying to give commentators on blogs alternative identities. I don't even think Worrow is Worrow, for how could anybody be and, if they were, surely they would seek an exchange.

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  5. Over the last three years I have become concerned that the same people at both town and district level are influencing our lives through their actions or inactions. So obviously Tom I agree with Cllr Drivers' concerns about the lack of balance, and fresh blood with new ideas.

    I think it would benefit us all if those that progress to County level were to mentor their town and district colleagues. Some may already do this informally but I do think this is something that needs looking into. It would encourage everyone to act as more of a team and perhaps even make the main parties attractive to work for again?

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  6. Those with short memories need to be reminded of this when it comes to snouts in troughs:

    £365 on a dictation machine then following year spent £104 on cassettes
    £695 on bedroom furniture
    £125 on towels and bedding
    £509 on decorators
    £875 on a new computer system
    Books - The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd , Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd, Russka by Edward Rutherfurd - 7.99 each
    Oxford dictionary £36
    £129.99 on a silver Olympus camera + £34.99 on a memory card
    £63 in 2006 on curtains re-tailored
    £549.99 on a 26" Phillips TV
    £1,700 for plumbing, electrical, redecoration and installation of handrail September 2007
    £50 to become a friend of the Herne Bay festival,


    That was Roger Gale, Tory MP for North Thanet, four years ago. And he got a knighthood for it.

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    1. Anonymouse 1:01 pm,

      You are saying nothing more than Roger Gale received his Knighthood in recognition of his services to claiming expense. You are being silly.

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    2. Anonymouse 2:35 pm,

      Whatever what? You are still being silly.

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  7. Is that the same Roger Gale who gave convicted ex-leader of the local Tories a reference?

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    1. Anonymouse 1:12 pm,

      Nah, it was a different one. Anyway who will you turn to should you ever be up before the judge?

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    2. I don't need to be a judge, the judge already did his job you silly man!

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    3. anonymouse 1:46 pm

      Your standard of comprehension is abysmally low. I did not suggest that you would ever be a judge which is anyway a ludicrous idea. I said who would speak up in your favour should you ever find yourself in court charged with a crime. In other words you were being hubristic in your comment.

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  8. Speaking of the KCC elections and thinking of Eastleigh, I would not be surprised to see a UKIP victory. Now that really would put the cat among the pigeons.

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  9. "Christine Tongue


    A special emergency meeting in which people will get a chance to put questions about corruption in Thanet will be held at 7pm, on Wednesday 20 March in Broadstairs.
    The meeting will take a format similar to the TV “Question Time” programme, with a panel of experts answering questions submitted by the audience.
    The meeting is being held by Thanet’s Independent Media Society, publisher of Thanet Watch, in the wake of the imprisonment of ex-council leader Sandy Ezekiel and the news that Kent police are widening their investigations in the area.
    The panel of commentators will include Ian Driver, chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny committee, and Louise Oldfield, citizen journalist and blogger.
    People with questions they want to be put to the panel should send them to IMS, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs CT10 2BT or emailinmeds@yahoo.co.uk or telephone 01843 604 253 01843 604 253 .
    The meeting is at 7pm on Wednesday March 20 at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Rd, Broadstairs CT10 2BT. All are welcome."

    I am sure that this risible event will be the epitome of impartiality, or maybe not.

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    1. I doubt that it will be impartial, if only because anyone locally to the right of Lenin has already said that they won't be there. However, somehow or other, TDC have to dispel the image of corruption and/or incompetence that has become their trademark over the last ten years. Petty homilies from Comrade Hart about how things are different now don't go anywhere near far enough towards changing perceptions, and I wait, probably in vain, for any constructive proposals from the Conservative side. What is really needed is a coming together of the two minority parties, Labour and Conservative, to agree some sort of consensus over local governance. At the moment the only coming together that I can see locally is the unlikely alliance of left-wing Ian Driver and soft-right Laura Sandys over live exports and since MPs, by convention, do not interfere in local politics (although I'm sure Steve Ladyman must have wished that he could during the Ezekiel years)that is probably as much as Laura is likely to do. One wonders what CCO make of things down here.

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  10. Putting aside the personalities, which of course most commentators here will be unable to do, Cllr Driver does have a point. There does seem to be something not quite right about being a member of three interdependent Councils. What do you think Michael?

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    1. Tim I don’t think that Ramsgate Town Council really counts as an extra hat from the benefits point of view, as it carries no significant allowance scheme. Certainly I think were the multiple hatting forbidden and we continued with the party political – both main parties putting up candidates for all seats – the standard of candidate would drop.

      Perhaps if the multiple hatting were dropped then party politics at district and town level would need dropping to, I think without Labour, Conservative, UKIP etc on the ballot paper the people would have to consider more who it was they were actually voting for.

      I am also not very happy about the thought of trying to get anywhere with some of the TDC issues without Cllr Driver acting as a catalyst, although this may be just a Ramsgate issue – here in Ramsgate he appears to be the only noticeable opposition in our Labour unanimity.

      I also have to admit that I am disappointed by the quantity of the arguments against Driver, once again these seem to be based along the Left and Right lines of national politics, as though there was some fear of a socialist revolution at town or district level.

      At county level there is the problem that while at an idealistic level the arguments against grammar schools are difficult to counter, if you did away with this system in Thanet you would probably also do away with out best schools.

      I guess once I start putting questions to the candidates I will have abetter idea.

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    2. All very fine, folks, but if Cllr Driver feels now so strongly against double hatters, why is he one? Michael is right that Ramsgate Town posts carry no allowance, but then Driver does not turn up to the meetings anyway. Sort no pay, no show situtation.

      As for Michael's right left assumption on the opposition to Driver, for me this man's antics, especially along with his earlier cohort in exhibitionism, Worrow, do nothing to enhance local politics or serve the people. I think, Michael, you will find plenty in the Thanet Labour party who are opposed to Ian Driver and not because he is exposing much in the way of shortcomings other than his own.

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    3. Tom I guess a problem for me is that I view local politics through local issues and have no allegiances to any political parties, I certainly don’t think the previous Conservative administration at TDC was a good administration. And I do concede that I was critical of this administration, as I watched our public buildings being closed and trashed, combined with some rather dubious planning decisions, which I highlighted, I think I may have become seen as a Labour supporter.

      I guess I want to have county councillors who are both active and seen to be active, I also perhaps even more than this would like to have county councillors who are responsive, i.e. they respond in a coherent manner when one communicates with them.

      I do concede that Chris Wells is responsive, I don’t always agree with him, but what of the rest? And of course where are their websites, blogs, tweets and so on? I don’t see that either you of I are likely to get county councillors we agree with, but as for the rest I don’t find I know anything much about their views on any of the local issues.

      You seem to be saying we should be voting for people who keep their heads down, don’t express any views and don’t respond to issues, is that right?

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    4. No, it is most definitely not right, Michael, and you touched on Chris Wells as a suitable candidate, yet you do not finding him jumping on passing bandwagons, raising temperatures over non issues like Thanet Earth paying below the statuatory minimum, our local A & E closing, the Broadstairs Health Centre fiasco or wasting council time on national matters.

      I agree with you that we want councillors who tackle those issues that matter to our local quality of life, that help people like you to do business in orderly and well kept towns, who promote local trade and who maintain those services necessary to a decent life quality. If you think that is what Ian Driver is about, think again. It might be Pleasurama (or Merrie England) this week but it was gay marriage last and could be anti-capitalism the next depending on the headline opportunities and flavour of the moment. Just because we are not impressed with recent administrations locally there is no need to go mad.

      In a nutshell, we need the electorate to think about the candidates and look beyond the colour of their rosettes in order to get responsible and capable people into office.

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    5. Truth is Tom that at the moment I have a pretty open mind about the candidates, but niggling at the back of my mind is getting someone who would go any further that passing me on what the council officer has told them to pass on.

      What I am looking for is a councillor who will take up an issue on a constituents behalf, endeavour to understand the issue and then argue the case.

      I am not interested in councillors who pocket the allowances, agree with what one has to say, but actually do nothing.

      It may be me but you don’t seem to be putting up a very good case for not voting for Cllr Driver, perhaps alternately it would be easier for you to put a case for voting for some of the other candidates.

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    6. The councillor has to be capable of arguing the case you want represented, not just shouting it from a soap box. At Kent County level there are some smooth, polished and experienced county councillors and I am afriad your boy would be well out of his league, but it is your choice. When all said and done, you live in Ramsgate and I do not, but frankly, I cannot see friend Driver standing over here, other than to lose his deposit.

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    7. Look Tom you seem to have got your wires crossed here, he isn’t my boy, I am just exploring the Thanet alternatives, starting with him because he is the only one whose web presence I can find at the moment.

      The last three times I have been to The Turner Contemporary at least two of the exhibits have been out of order, KCC are paying over £1m towards running the gallery, my take is the exhibits being out of order is bad for local tourism. This isn’t an argument about whether or not you like contemporary art, just something we are paying a great deal to have running properly broken.

      So perhaps you could name one smooth polished experienced county councillor who you would think capable of first understanding the issue and then taking it up and getting it sorted, rather than passing back some meaningless officer speak in a bout a month’s time and pocketing their allowance.

      Granted Driver may be neither smooth polished or experienced, but my guess is he would understand a simple piece of machinery being broken and needing mending.

      As I say I am not asking for you to support him nor am I supporting him but I am, just saying point me to the credible alternatives, their websites, track records and so on.

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    8. Michael, I would have thought someone of your foresight would have long seen through Ian Driver for the attention seeking stuntman he is and, as such, would have dismissed him as a credible option. That I do not know the other candidates standing in your electoral district is irrelevant though I would imagine that most would be preferably.

      With the KCC at the moment there seems to be a preponderance of West Kent councillors holding the higher offices though whether that is because they have control or because our East Kent ones are not so good I have no idea. Be interesting to see the final list of candidates around the Thanet wards and what effect local and national events have on the result. I would imagine Conservative disenchantment with the Cameron government will help both UKIP and Labour, but KCC will remain under Conservative control with perhaps a few more Labour councillors and perhaps some UKIP.

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    9. Ah Tom All shall be well, and All manner of thing shall be well. If we don’t vote for people who are not wholly commendable. We are certainly not going to vote for some peculiar genius, perhaps we are united in the strife which divides us; is it not to ring the bell backward this voting against one person or one party. We cannot revive old factions. We cannot restore old policies. All united in one party? I don’t know. I do know that this voting against this party or that person is no answer. The only hope, if not despair must, must be to vote for something or someone.

      Sorry about that, mixed my metaphysics a bit there, but there is a rather sad and dull texture to some of the comment here.

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    10. I think I followed the underlying despair in that and you are pretty much on the nail. We, in the larger electorate sense, vote for the rosette not the person and then we rebel, following perceived inadequate governance, by voting for an alternative, sometimes just another rosette or a protest figure. Seldom do we vote for the person for their own qualities and thus, say, a good constituency MP as our local Laura has proved to be, could be ousted because of the unpopularity of the government of which she is a member.

      It is this very tendency that allows the odd extremist to gain office in an otherwise democratic electoral system.

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    11. I think Tom that if we don’t allow, if the odd extremist never gains power, then we have. What? A democracy. A sham. Call it what you like. There is however something else, to do with opposites, although in a sense opposites don’t really exist in our local politics, but at least something to stand against. The Thanet Conservatives did something here, there was, if you remember a stance taken that stems from when the new men rebelled by threatening to resign, and yes eventually a partly new administration was indeed formed. However when in a position of power having to rebel against itself and being partly made from the individuals it rebelled against, all very difficult. In the end and in the vein as before. I think the problem may be: “There are three conditions which often look alike
      Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow: Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment. From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference, ... .”

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    12. Personally I think we can do without extremists although I am not opposed to individuals standing on an issue. In my view extremists can be the thin end of the wedge, are nothing if not disruptive to the business of governing and have a nasty tendency to encourage the opposite extreme.

      Whether opposites exist in our politics is, indeed, debateable because, come the day, they face the same set of problems. To some extent it depends who is pulling their purse strings, big business or unions, and there lies the difference. Perhaps the interests of nation and, thus, its people are best served by business where books have to be balanced rather than unions where, in the utopia thinking of the thick skulled, there exists a bottomless pit of rich book shop owners to fleece.

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    13. I think Tom that most of the political parties have their roots in what at the time they started was considered extremism, however at this local level of government I think we always come back to looking for alternatives.

      It is finding the candidates to vote for that have any sort of presence and are likely to both communicate with us after they are elected and are likely to pursue issues on our behalf.

      The broken exhibits at the Turner are a case in point, any ideas on any Kent councillor who would take the issue up?

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    14. Communicate is the key word here, Michael, and to do that they must be capable of communication. I am not opposed to your idea of alternatives, but have a total abhorence of bandwagon jumpers and extremists on either side of the spectrum.

      In May 2011 we had opportunities to elect some very credible independents, Ken Read over your side for one. In the main they were ignored by the electorate who went with the rosette even though at least two of the so badged candidates were masquerading under false pretences.

      As for pursuing issues, whilst I would agree with you, I am afraid the likes of Driver will pursue the high profile issues rather than the ones you and I might be most interested in.

      On the broken exhibits at the Turner, surely the councillor to approach is the one in whose Margate ward the gallery is located. One of my objections to Driver is that I am yet to see him championing anything particularly for the people of Newington although I am sure they have their problems. Probably all a bit too mundane for a mini TV celebrity.

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    15. Tom as you can see I have taken your advice and emailed all of out KCC councillors individually, as you say communication is the key issue.

      A question for you, would you be prepared to vote for a councillor who didn’t bother to reply in a reasonable timeframe?

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  11. It's all down to the Red Hall meeting on Wednesday then?

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    1. Yes, it should be packed as most of their gatherings seem to claim numbers in excess of the building's capacity.

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    2. I do find myself panicking a little when we are all packed in like sardines....

      The presence of Louise Oldfield should lend some credibility to the evening, and Ian Driver of course will have to earn the support of the audience.

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    3. Not difficult at the monthly lefties love in.

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    4. Be nice to get some love then.

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    5. Well all the little lefties in their camping kits and anoraks will by now be wetting themselves at the exciting prospect of listening to the dulcit tones of Ian Driver in the Red Hall accompanied by supportive cackling more generally associated with Macbeth. Whatever would the bard have made of this little lot.

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    6. Well the little righties were also (at my suggestion) invited along to speak, but t̶h̶e̶y̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶ ̶c̶o̶w̶a̶r̶d̶l̶y̶ they're busy.

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    7. The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.

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    8. Lack of understanding, Peter, for Christine's little red establishment is well known for its extreme left views and the tendency to stifle all counter debate as they do annually at the Broadstairs town council public meeting. It is not a case of cowardly but very sensibly avoiding setting yourself up as an object to be abused and ridiculed. This lot ain't about democracy. There will only be a handful of them, previously photographed hugging trees in Pierremont Park or camping outside the Turner, and they will all cheer each other loudly. Why spoil their pathetic little fun.

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    9. Maybe so, but Louise Oldfield is a reasonable person who doesn't mind intelligent debate from all sides.

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    10. Peter,

      You appear to be close to the Red Hall event. Can you help me. What is the nature of the 'emergency' that has triggered this special meeting and why is it an emergency anyway?

      I have twice asked Christine Tongue but to no avail. Perhaps she is too busy - too cowardly, certainly not?

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    11. Peter,

      your 11:05 am.

      I take your point. But I suggest that there is a chasm between 'not minding intelligent debate from all sides' and to actively encouraging it for ones own education and because it is the right thing to do. I mean, I do mind listening to your opinions providing that you agree with me. Would that be OK.

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    12. I've got some halloween masks I have never made use of if anyone would like to attend in disguise?

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    13. "Close to the red hall event"? I only know what I've read on here & Michael's Press Releases blog John.

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    14. Peter, Louise is not running the show, the usual suspects are. Might be a good idea, if she has not been before, to wear a gas mask as there is a vaguely earthy aroma to the place from too much squatting.

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    15. Solo Gays, I think Allan's suggesting of gas as opposed to halloween masks is the better one.

      Peter, your comments reveal your lack of real knowledge of the Red Hall gang.

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    16. Peter,

      your 11:24,

      My apologies: I must have misunderstood you when you said, "Well the little righties were also (at my suggestion) invited along to speak, but t̶h̶e̶y̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶ ̶c̶o̶w̶a̶r̶d̶l̶y̶ they're busy."

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    17. Yes, I suggested that via a comment here:

      http://thanetpress.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/thanet-gets-its-own-corruption-question.html

      I certainly won't be going along (unless someone like Dr Moores changes his mind).

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    18. Ah I see. I took the wrong inference.

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  12. I'm afraid I'm too busy doing what people elected me to do and that's represent them as opposed to climbing over a collection of discarded political soap boxes. On Wednesday, I'm challenging the Tesco application for a store in Westgate, which has rather more people opposed to it than voted in our local elections.

    So Christine and her left of Lenin cohorts will have to do without me!

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    1. Which will certainly be less "challenging" than wiggling out of awkward questions about corrupt cllrs that you've worked very closely with in the past.

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    2. Anyway, I'm going out cycling as it's far too nice to stay indoors.

      No doubt I'll be cycling past the derelict ground near Birchington where people are opposed to Sainsbury's, the derelict shops in Margate where people are opposed to Tesco, the derelict Lido in Cliftonville where people are opposed to housing being built, & a few other derelict and decaying spots where a few people claim that "No one wants it" while at the same time claiming that "It will take trade away from others".

      Toodle pip!

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    3. Peter,

      Your apparent belief in guilt by association intrigues me. I had a colleague that I worked with, liked and admired. However, I did not know that he had been misappropriating public funds until his trial and subsequent imprisonment. By your standards this makes me also guilty, which I find odd. Or maybe you believe that I should show shame presumably just for knowing him. Going for the guilty man's friends and family is the Totalitarian way. I should be grateful if you could clarify your own position.

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    4. John, it is all down to Peter's hatred of Simon Moores which stems from being banned from Thanet Life. He is not a lefty, supports Roger Gale and Laura Sandys, but pops up with digs at Cllr Moores at every opportunity, like the cowardly jibe about him not going to the Red Hall. No Tory politician, Roger Gale included, would go anywhere near that place, but, for Peter, it only matters that Simon Moores is too busy to go.

      Note also that Peter knows nothing about the Red Hall, Christine Tongue or Norman Thomas yet, whilst he will condemn others for not going, he is too busy cycling to find out for himself. How, for example, does he know it will be too nice to stay indoors tomorrow evening.

      When first returning to Thanet I went along to the Red Hall once thinking a notice I had read was about something of genuine interest. Suffice to say I never made that mistake again but, unlike Peter, at least I speak from personal knowledge.

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    5. John, where did I say or even imply that anyone is "guilty by association"? What I AM implying is that several people who worked with Ezekiel must've known that something was amiss yet did nothing about it.

      Tom, I'm not going because I know it will be a totally biased left-wing stunt (though please tell me if you think I'm wrong). It would only be worthwhile if 1 or 2 promininent local Tories or at least someone who isn't a socialist did some speaking - Tony Flaig for example, when he's not too busy complaining about toilets that is.

      In addition, I have a big photoshoot to do tomorrow, so I'll no doubt be busy editing, and then thursday morning I'm going out early for a long cycling training session with a friend (something we do every week), so that we're in decent shape for the 45 mile Pilgrim's Hospice Cycle Challenge in May. Not all of us are retired / layabouts.

      I pop up and take digs at all cllrs (and ex cllrs) that I think are bad for the area, and it just so happens that most of them in Thanet are (or were Tories) - Moores, Ezekiel, Watt-Ruffell, Worrow, etc.

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    6. Thank you Tom. Sorry Peter.

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    7. Fair enough, Peter, but I think you will find that Worrow was only a Tory as a means to get himself elected having no chance with the Grey Party. I do agree with you there have been some disgraceful Tory couincillors, but there have also been some very good ones. With Labour they all tend to be mediocre non-entities.

      I would also question your statement that people must have known what Sandy Ezekiel was up to. After a lengthy investigation by the police he has been found to have been guilty of abuse of a public office over the purchase of a property, not a whole string of crimes going back over years. Since he used a friend to front for him in that purchase it does not follow that anyone else would have known, in fact, the whole idea was to conceal who was really buying.

      I have met him on several occassions through organisatioins I am connected with and would not have regarded him as in anyway criminal. Evidently I was wrong, but I am unimpressed with all these people who are so wise after the event and want to, mainly for political purposes, implicate others by association.

      No way am I saying there has been no other suspect activity, but there is no evidence of such at this time. Perhaps we should let the police do their job before we start tarring all and sundry. As for the sanctimonous crowd at the Red Hall, some of their benefit claims might not stand up to close scrutiny if we really want to be silly.

      Delete
    8. As I've said elsewhere, I've also met Sandy Ezekiel several times, and I always found him more than reasonable too.

      While I haven't attended any of Christine's events, I did attend a couple of meetings organised by Louise Oldfield a couple of years back. She's great, but it was clear that some of the people who attended were the kind of people who call everyone right of Lenin fascists, and start protest groups on at least a weekly basis.

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. Peter and Tom,

      I have lived and worked in communist countries. I have relatives and friends who grew up in the socialist workers paradise under the dictatorship of the proletariat. None of them wish for a return to that former regime which was corrupt, inefficient, unfair and at times evil.

      Yet this is the regime to which the Red Hall purports to aspire. They do this in the safety of the certain knowledge that they will never succeed. It is self indulgence. I do not doubt that they excite themselves in with dreams of becoming party apparatchiks and imagine cruising in the Thanet Zil Lanes. It will also be a fine way to settle old scores. Simon Moores' plane will be confiscated for fear he will fly around trailing counter revolutionary slogans. But his real crime will be for poking fun at them. Ian Driver will have go. He is guilty of stealing the limelight and having a big mouth.

      Christine Tongue and her gang irritate me at times, but on balance I care little about them. They are in the long run harmless. Actually I find them rather quaint.

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    11. They generally speak posh and are from privileged upper middle-class backgrounds, so they stop wearing make-up and shaving their armpits, & say "f**k" a lot as some sort of rebellion. All a little sad really.

      Delete
    12. Peter,

      In my experience their was a distinct and recognisable aristocracy in Hungary. The locals called them the red barons. One of its manifestations was the sight of the wags of party apparatchiks drawing up in chauffeur driven cars and going into hard currency shops to buy goods that were forbidden to the workers. So much for equality. The regime was infested with corruption.

      All my Hungarian friends used humour to help them get by. A favourite joke was why do Budapest policemen go around in threes? One to read, one to write and one to keep an eye on the two intellectuals.

      In the 80's Queen played at Budapest's Peoples Stadium. The British Ambassador sent a despatch to London along the lines of that Queen played to a capacity crowd, who were word perfect, which was interesting bearing in mind that Queen records were banned in Hungary. He went on to say that if you wish to bring down the Communist regime then send me more.

      Delete
    13. I meant 'there' not 'their' - I blame the spelll chicker.

      Delete
  13. Good to see over on Red Thanet that Ian Driver, that self declared atheist, at least believes in the Devil. I suppose they have red in common.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Humpty Dumpty Speaks TeenMarch 19, 2013 1:45 pm

    "Vote for me for KCC, yeah." If he falls it is no good calling for all the Kings Horses and all the Kings men because he is an anti-royalist as well as an atheist.

    Anyone right of Lenin, who supports the Queen, who believes in God and still has some regard for democracy should not vote for this man. All the rest of you can.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So cynical. If anyone ever asked me (and no, I doubt they will) to stand as a Councillor the answer would be no way. Being Political, of whatever persuasion, is something the majority of the general public, me included, would never want to do. Look at the % of people who turn out to vote in a general election let alone a local one. Most if not all politicians look for their "moment of fame" as promoting their name is what is important not the cause for which they are "fighting" for. And before anyone says it I am as cynical as the rest of you.
    Even the ones I have been writing to over Pleasurama toe the party line even though they know the whole mess is a "farce".

    ReplyDelete
  16. It would be good if a businessman came forward with a plan for Pleasurama who would take responsibility for underpinning the cliff, make sure there was an emergency exit to the cliff top which would not intrude very much (if at all) above the top of the cliff. And integrate the design to compliment the tunnels project. I am sure the wave/puddle concerns will sort itself out.

    Cardys have had an awful lot of contracts courtesy of local taxpayers. Is it not time for a bit of real payback? A few hundred quid to appease street artists is hardly cutting the mustard.

    I think these are the kind of details/ instructions that Cllr Driver need to take from us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allan MallinsonMarch 19, 2013 4:58 pm

      You really do not get the message do you, Solo Gays? Cllr Driver will only be interested in your little project while there is publicity in it for him. If something higher profile comes along you will not see him for dust. As it is, he does not attend Ramsgate Town Council meetings where he should be fighting this battle for starters, being a Ramsgate matter. Also, pray tell me, where was he on this issue, which has been going on ever since he was elected, until very recently.

      As for his exposure of 'SECRET' documents that were already publicly available, it really says it all about the man. Sensationalist but without the grey matter to realise what an idiot such nonsense makes him look. He is a clown, but not a particularly funny one and why anyone would want to waste public money paying him to be a county councillor beats me. I can see far better clowns at the circus for a fraction of the cost.

      Delete
    2. Allan as I said Politics is a dirty business however where are the other 54 Councillors?

      Delete
    3. Allan MallinsonMarch 19, 2013 7:01 pm

      Available to their constituents, addresses and phone numbers all recorded on the council's website but if you choose to ignore that so be it. Just because somebody shouts louder it does not mean they are necessarily working harder or achieving anything.

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    4. Allan I emailed the same email to all 4 of my local councillors only got one reply the other 3 didnt even acknowledge receipt. His reply was what was happening was farcical but he will wait until May.

      Delete
  17. I have no little project of my own to pursue here Alan. I have joined a blogging community which has arisen out of Michael's interest in Pleasurama. As far as I can tell this has enabled us all to have a voice in real time. A rare privilege in my view, given its wide audience.

    Bearing in mind the origin of this privilege, and wishing to build upon this, I would like to see the blogging community here lead the way in building a consensus on the way forward. Councils are irrelevant in this early process if the will is here to do this. Cllr Driver may or may not have a role to play here, all I can do is watch and wait on that one.

    I propose that Ken Read and Michael Child, given their knowledge and experience, should work with the developers to come up with a viable and attractive draft plan for the Pleasurama site to put to us all here in Ramsgate. Any seconders?

    There Alan, that wasn't hard was it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Solo Gays,

      You say that you would like to build a consensus.

      My view of a consensus is that some people say the world is round, while others say that it is flat. I take the consensus view. Which is that sometimes the world is round and sometimes it is flat.

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    2. I am sure whichever view is held regarding the shape of our world is of comfort to those who own such a view John.

      No doubt you will give my proposal some consideration?

      Delete
    3. Allan MallinsonMarch 19, 2013 7:07 pm

      If you leave Driver out of it, I agree. I also fully support the inclusion of Ken Read who people in Ramsgate had the opportunity to elect as an independent and well qualified voice on their behalf back in May 2011. They chose not to and went with the usual mediocre Labour, been there forever, crowd and the clown Driver instead.

      Perhaps had you folk over there elected someone with a brain and knowledge like Ken, then you might well be seeing an improvement already. Instead you get trumpetting about Secret documents that long ceased to be secret and tell us nothing anyway.

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    4. Having read a lot of the communications between interested parties in 2004 there were a couple of people interested in Pleasurama. but as SFP had been selected that is as far as it went. I emailed one of them and until SFP are removed they will not get involved

      Delete
    5. Well done Barry. Was your response confidential or can it go into the public domain?

      Delete
    6. I would go with that Solo, so long as the well known clown Driver, and the clueless fool James are kept well away from it, so sensible people can come to an arrangement that is viable, affordable in the short and longterm and will generate substantial income for Thanet in both the short and long term.

      Delete
  18. Solo Gays,

    For Michael and Ken to work with the developers, as you have suggested. The developers will first have to come out of hiding. Which they appear reluctant to do.

    ReplyDelete
  19. John

    Ken has already challenged them to come out of hiding on his blog. And Ken has kind of already made this a condition of negotiating the Freehold Interest with them. He has also said "We know who you are". I think we just need to strengthen Kens' and Michaels' hand, to negotiate with them in such a way so that everyone can save face. Its just a gut feeling I have??

    ReplyDelete
  20. Five more posts please John Anonymouse (yawn) Holyer. We spread bet on your contributions and you're only up to 20. I've got you down for 25-30.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what exactly is your contribution to the debate then, 7:54? Why shouldn't John Holyer make as many comments as he likes and who are you to impose limits? In case you had not noticed, comments, until some government finds a way of taxing them, are free so lets all enjoy them.

      On the other hand, if it all makes you so tired (yawn,) why don't you just foxtrot oscar to bed and catch up on your beauty sleep. You evidently need it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymouse 7:54 pm

      What's with this 'we' business. This can only mean that the Manston Aquifer man has returned. Where have you been?

      Delete
    3. Ren Wood,

      anonymouse 7:54 pm is that well known troll the Manston Aquifer man.

      Delete
  21. Tom Clarke had exposed himself as Roger Latchford , read above

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which post? The nearest one I can see is where he says "Well summed up, Peter", hardly proof that he's someone else.

      Delete
    2. And you, Anon 9:47, have just exposed yourself as John Worrow yet again by your failure to use a full stop at the end of the sentence. For your info, though quite why I am bothering escapes me, I live in Broadstairs where I grew up and was educated at Chatham House. I do not think any of those statements apply to Roger Latchford although I have mentioned them often enough in my posts over the years. I do not live in Birchington, Westgate or anywhere else in Thanet outside of Broadstairs, I am not a retired colonel or a member of the Northg Thanet Conservatives and my pet hates are the Red Hall mob and Ian Driver. I could easily add you to that last list.

      Delete
    3. You seem to have the same pet hates as me Tom, are we the same person perhaps?

      Delete
    4. According to JW we are as well as also being Roger Latchford and sometime Simon Moores. Frankly, I am getting so confused with it all that I sometimes introduce myself as John Latchford-Clarke, but then I remember that anyone with a few brain cells would have the same pet hates and all is well again.

      Delete
  22. Not unless Roger has stopped wearing make-up and shaving his armpits.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Are you suggesting that Roger Latchford is a cross dresser?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Whats a cross dresser?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A dressing table with an attitude problem.

      Delete
    2. some one that got up angry

      Delete
  25. Many thanks to all who came to the Corruption Question Time and made such interesting contributions.
    Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All. Christine, you mean there is actually more than one idiot in Thanet. Mind you, thinking about it, I guess you must be right.

      Delete
  26. More Question Time meetings planned in the near future. All welcome, as usual.
    Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can hardly wait and already wetting myself with the excitement of it all. Can you imagine the chance once again to ask such an intellectual and well informed panel questions?

      Delete

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