Monday, 29 April 2013

Kent County Council, Thanet District, Election Special and Monday Ramble



With the elections on Thursday I am understandably wondering who to vote for, despite the various assertions that are often made here I am a genuine floating voter, so I don’t have the luxury of just ticking the box or boxes for one party and have to think about who to vote for.

In the first instance I tend to only really consider candidates that I have actually heard of, despite having a shop and living in Ramsgate town centre, I have had virtually no bumph for this election and have seen virtually nothing of prospective candidates putting their respective cases.

The internet isn’t much better, in most cases Googling the candidates names doesn’t get you very far either, with a few notable exceptions.

It is now too late for those candidates who haven’t to develop any sort of web presence, by the time the search engines have found any new websites the election would be over.

So first of all an open offer to any Thanet Candidates, if you email me something about you, what you intend to do for Thanet as a county councillor, why you think people should vote for you, a picture of yourself and so on I will publish it in this post.

On the technical front the text part of what you want published should be in the email as text and the picture should be attached in jpeg format. Pictures of text or even worse pictures of text within a pdf file are no good for publishing on the internet.

My email address is michaelchild@aol.com

I will delete any obnoxious anonymous comments as soon as I see them and if you spot any yourself it is helpful if you email me with the comment’s time stamp (the date and time at the top of the comment)

On to the ramble, anyone with children will appreciate that some clothes and shoe shopping can no longer be achieved in the Thanet town centres, this means fairly regular visits to Westwood Cross or some other place with major chain shops.

My preferred activity yesterday would have been to go somewhere that looked interesting and sketch it, as it was I punctuated the shopping experience by sitting outside the various shops and endeavouring to sketch them.


See this one as example of a series of failures in attempting this, not only is the architectures there unattractive, it is also very difficult to draw, particularly when seen from the acute angle sitting on the seats outside the shops. 



Having done this and a supermarket shop for lunchbox items we retired to Bentley’s in Margate High Street for a cuppa, very good it was too – thanks to Margate + for the recommendation http://margate35mm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/classic-names-class-acts.html as we sat in the High Street window I had a go a sketching more conventional architecture from an acute angle. As you see this didn’t go that well either.


The tea as you see was fine pot of tea for four about £5.50

Restored I went out into very bright sunshine to try and sketch something at less of an acute angle and difficult comments started, eventually I gave up went home, sorted them it out as best I could, but frankly the blogs are becoming too much trouble.

Perhaps comment moderation, perhaps just jacking it in altogether, I don’t know, what genuine readers and commentators think about how to deal with a small bunch of individuals LT Palmer, Roy John, Anon Etc.  

Ian Driver


Hello Michael
Thank you for your kind offer to post details on your site about my KCC election campaign.
To save space your readers can find out about my election polices by clicking on the link to my election blogsite where I have published  my manifesto. Here is the link.
My site  includes short videos and information about my campaigning work on the Ramsgate  Pleasurama site and the need to terminate  the agreement with developers SFP Ventures UK Ltd. It also includes information about my work to stop live exports from the Port of Ramsgate, my campaign against corruption in public life and the urgent need to make Thanet Council and the new Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group more accountable and transparent to the people of Ramsgate. There is also information about  my campaign to replace Kent County Council with an East Kent Coastal Council and my  support for leaving the European Union (although not from a UKIP perspective).
I would like to thank all the many people who have helped my campaign by distributing leaflets in Ramsgate and all the many well wishers I have met whilst campaigning and doing my soapbox sessions in town.
I am the only candidate in this election who has promised, if I am elected to KCC,  to give up my  seat on Thanet District Council and concentrate on working at one elected position alone, rather than spreading myself very thinly across 2 or even 3 Councils and drawing expenses and allowances from more than one Council.
I am the only INDEPENDENT candidate in this election. I am standing to represent the interests of the people of Ramsgate not to represent the interests of Party Bosses. Ramsgate comes first not Party loyalty
Finally, although Independent, I call on Ramsgate people to not only vote for me, but to use their second vote to vote for the Green Party.
Ian Driver
Independent Candidate for Ramsgate KCC election  
PS Here are a couple pictures of me on the campaign trail. The only candidate in the election to do good old-fashioned street corner soapboxing.  

"The information I have provided for publication on your blogsite is promoted by Ian Driver, 45 Sea View Road, CT10 1BX"


Chris Wells


As County Councillor since 2005, Chris Wells has fought for projects to improve Margate and Cliftonville.
He has pushed for the regeneration investment in the Turner Contemporary and Northdown Community Project; fought for the independence of the Walpole Bay Bowls Club and Tivoli Day Centre; used the Margate Housing Initiative and Kent Community Organisation to improve residents daily lives.

His Highway funds have placed pedestrian crossings for Millmead Road and Dalby Square; bollards to protect green areas in St Mary’s Avenue, Nash Road, and St Johns; and to combat rising fuel costs for the much needed Thanet Community Transport. Guides and Sea Scouts have enjoyed trips and camps; and the East Kent Submariners proudly show their new banner.

Chris has used his 26 years of experience in voluntary sector management to support groups, and is ready and able to continue this valuable work for the next 4 years.

Ian Gregory


First elected in 1995 in Cliftonville East and I have also represented Dane Valley and St Peter’s Wards on the District Council. For the last 15 years I have worked in Estate Management for East Kent Hospitals and consequently have a keen interest in the NHS and Highways matters. A number of my close family are teachers and we have all benefited from the Grammar School system and local Universities of which I am a strong supporter.Tourism first attracted me to Thanet from Essex where I had worked as a design engineer for a large motor manufacturer and for ten years in the 1990′s we owned a 23 bedroom Private Hotel in Cliftonville as well as being involved in the rental sector. My wide experience means that I am now ideally suited to help others, whether it be problems related to Housing, Planning , Healthcare or Education and I hope to be able to utilise this experience as a Kent County Councillor.


Promoted by Neil Parsonson on behalf of Kent Conservative Association, both at
PO Box 1116 Canterbury CT1 9LQ. T: 01227 785427. E:office@kentconservatives.org.uk

Apologies here for confusing two councillors in one load of bumph, I think I have got it sorted out right now.  

58 comments:

  1. Michael,

    I understand your dismay.

    I found my way to your blog when I still lived in London by way of your photographs and encyclopaedic knowledge of the Pleasurama fiasco.

    I and others would miss you if you decided to pack it in. Though I can understand why you might want to.

    Is comment moderation very time consuming bearing in mind that you have a business to run and a family?

    Are there other blog hosts where a commentator is obliged to leave an email address?

    I imagine that you have sought advice and guidance from Google; were they any help?

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    1. To be fair John you're part of the problem. Indeed the Foxtrot oscar Brigade seems reduced to you now. As Tim points out below your frequent, and frequently inane, and insulting comments only stifle debate. And mainly on Manston, that you can provide no details as to why you think it would be a success. While with the end of Pleasurama there's less debating issues here.

      Watching the Magnitsky frauds on Panorama: how are the Manston fines and 0% salary crimes so different?

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    2. Anonymous 8:42 pm aka Manston Aquifer Man

      As is your wont you seek to deceive. Tim does not mention me at all.

      Though Tim could be referring to you with his label of pond life.

      On my part I do not object to you with such venom. Though a buffoon your are essentially harmless. You should stay.

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  2. I think you're being a little disingenuous in saying that none of the candidates have provided information. Driver has a web-site and he hasn't been reticent about his views on a range of issues. You may not like his views but you can't complain that you didn't know what you were voting for. On the other hand, we have the faceless candidates for the main parties.............

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    1. Anon I guess it would have been if I had said that, I think a few notable exceptions covers it.

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  3. I've sent you my contribution Michael

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    1. Done it Ian, thanks for taking the trouble

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  4. Michael
    Tom has given up and I rarely comment now - it brings out all the pond life and really isn't worth the bother.
    You get what you deserve in this life and on the assumption that they're all from Thanet, obviously we deserve such Neanderthals as Palmer, Mallinson and Hamilton. I shall be sorry to see you go if you do decide to call it a day but will fully understand.
    I see Clive has launched an attack on FoI requests - nil carborundum etc

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  5. Those two pictures of Ian are exactly the same.

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    1. Whoops Peter my fault I think I have it sorted now.

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  6. I would certainly be sad to see you go Michael. While Mr Clark and his like only really have inane, predictable and inaccurate attacks to make, some such as myself have important viewpoints that in my view represent a silent majority that simply cannot be bothered to delve into posting on blogs, assuming of course that most even know where they exist!

    I may not agree with a lot of what you, and indeed take issue with your recent move towards unwarranted censorship, but i enjoy reading your blogs, and commenting where I feel appropriate.

    You and your blogs would be missed by many.

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  7. Please keep your blog going Michael, although I can well understand the reasons why you might want to quit as I have felt the same way on several occasions.
    Now that Eastcliff Richard has made a welcome return with originality and true wit I believe that we have a healthy mix of opinions in local blogs.
    Thanks for the plug for my own Margate+ effort too.
    Happy to be the oldest blogger in town and one who has finally outgrown politics.
    Col

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  8. Michael, as another who used to comment, I have returned this once simply to ask you to keep going. Although I gave up, because others simply attack or label rather than debate by presenting counter argument, I still enjoy your site for the photos and information it contains.

    Would have to say I do not find Lyndon Palmers contributions a problem, he seems literate and informed and he was certainly accurate recently about the far left's links to terrorism. Solo Gays, on the other hand, seems to want to turn every thread into some gay victim culture issue, but one does not have to read it.

    For all the problems of spam and the insidious saying that which they would never dare to in public normally, sites like yours give much pleasure so keep going if you can.

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  9. Though he could never be described as a snappy dresser, I respect Cllr Driver for getting out there on the street.

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  10. Having returned to the Thanet blogging fold recently, I must say I was surprised at the amount of venom and vitriol that now seems to pass as 'comment'.

    I'm not saying that there was ever a golden age of Thanet blogging, and bandying insults has always been part of the scene. I've lost count of the number of times I've been called a paedo or scumbag on my own blog, and Cllr Moores spent the best part four years slagging me off to all and sundry on Thanet Life (albeit using slightly more moderate language!) and blustering about libel suits. Ditto Tony Flaig on Big Snooze Margate. I'm not, however, suggesting I was an entirely innocent party in those spats! Then there were the Thanet Blog Wars of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 etc etc.

    That said, from what I can make out, there seemed more diversity of opinion before. And generally more use of humour in the jibes rather than out-and-out, playground-style name calling. I'm sure that has bored, and in some cases even frightened, people away from the blogs. Perhaps they've gone to Facebook, where you can at least see who the person calling you a hairy bollock-muncher is.

    Which is a shame, as in the past Thanet's blogs have broken many stories and carried out many successful campaigns. I've always regarded your blog, Michael, as the foundation stone of the Thanet blogging scene, and much admire your ability to keep calm and carry on in the face everything. So please, please don't go!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What happened to jolly banter,
    the cut and thrust of debate.
    Where went that sharp and witty prose,
    to which we could relate.

    Instead we have moronic comment,
    no real points ever made.
    Whilst any response invites instant rebuke,
    no attention to what you said paid.

    All contributors into categories fall,
    those on the left being trolls.
    Tory bigot fits the centre and right,
    and they are all nutters come the polls.

    But the nastiest fate on the Thanet blogs,
    is for those who have a view on marriage.
    'Cos if you do you will soon depart,
    locked up on the homophobes carriage.

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  12. It's easy to rubbish allegations of wrongdoing. However, the law is available to allow those who are wrongly accused to seek redress from the person making the allegations. If they fail to do so we can draw one of three conclusions:
    1) The allegations are true.
    2) The allegations are false, but the accused doesn't give a monkey's.
    3) The accused doesn't read MC's blog.

    I would make two simple observations:
    If an allegation were true, the person accused of wrongdoing might seek to undermine the claims by rubbishing them anonymously.
    History is littered with examples of people whose claims were rubbished, only later to be proved correct.

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    1. All of which is complete nonsense for most allegations are made anonymously. If the old bill do not turn out for burglaries, just give you a crime number, they are hardly going to investigate someone calling you a swindling dickhead on a blogsite. I suppose you could pay your solictitor a fee to tell him your story, but don't expect to find anon in court anytime soon.

      Anyway, Anon 8:19, let me say I reckon you have had your sticky fingers in the odd till. Now you can seek redress, but, if you don't, can I assume the allegations are true?

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  13. Great summary Mr Wells!

    Good to see councillor who has achieved something apart from endless publicity stunts, and leaping on any and all issues simply to appear in the media. Good to see a man quietly and professionally going about his business, well done Cllr Wells.

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    2. Both normally at county level, but it is the local one that selects the candidates in it's area.

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    3. What do you mean by "work with" regarding Arlington House? Renovating? Demolishing? Encouraging Tesco?

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    5. I should point out that these are TDC issues and it is KCC councillors that we are voting for tomorrow. The KCC issues here tend to be, roads, health, policing, education and the like.

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    7. Sologays seems to have ideas above his station. Or at the very least trying to create a gay pressure group and council funding for his/her own agenda. Dogging in the bushes at Winterstoke is not something to be encouraged or funded. Get a room.

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    10. SG, when you say

      "Exploring Inward Investment Opportunities with the full involvement of residents who are most directly affected"

      Do you mean helping Tesco's establish the new store that the vast majority in Thanet clearly want, or trying to assist the tiny band of nimby's trying to frustrate the wishes of the VAST majority of those that live in Thanet, who are looking forward to the convenience and jobs the new store will offer?

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    13. Sounds more and more like a gay pressure group or perhaps gossip-fest on the rates. All the vague guff in the world about social capital etc doesn't disguise it nor make it any more relevant than other charities. Unless you want to bleat on about discrimination and the like.

      Dogging in the Winterstoke bushes as somehow encapsulating your human rights or mystery persona is ludicrous. And you have provided no substance on the policy areas you claim special knowledge of. Perhaps Driver will amply reward your leafleting efforts though.

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    16. Sologays 109 made the point that you haven't any substance to the issues you mention. A constitution is largely irrelevant too although by all means put it on your website. As for dogging that's down to you and your judgement.

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  15. Looking at the attendance of the three councillors who responded to the online onfo request.
    Ian Gregory comes out on top with 87% of meetings attended then it's Ian Driver with 67% and Chris Wells could only manage 50%.

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    2. So you post under an alias to promote yourself when up for election??? No wonder you haven't been noticed!

      As for attendance records, we all know that's not the whole story. For example how many local residents meetings has Jodi Hibbert attended?

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    5. So what, it is more the effort they put into their casework that counts rather than turning up to meetings. Young Will Scobie last week missed a crucial division in a meeting because he was outside glad handing some demonstrators. Was he putting self interest before that of his party or getting out and talking to the electorate? Chris Wells probably takes on more case work than several other councillors put together.

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    6. SG, Shinguard nevers votes anything but Labour so hardly a good example of a door stop conversion. Does your naivety know no bounds?

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    8. That is not entirely true Anon 4:01, but I'll admit I'm biased,..as you probably are :-)

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    9. Sg, one can only nip in at the next space and sometimes when writing someone gets in between you and the one responding to. I am not having a go at you so resheath your sword.

      Shinguard, the only bias I have is against politicians who collectively seem to manage to screw up people's lives with their pasion for endless legislation regardless of which party. Locally I would go more on indivdual qualities than party, but centrally I have given up. A choice between Cameron and the Milliband/Balls duo is a bit like would you prefer to be shot or hung.

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    10. Anon, I know a lot of people who feel the same as you regarding central government. I agree locally it's best to vote on individual qualities so let's hope some genuine hard working and able people are voted in tomorrow.

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    11. I'm not a huge fan of blogs that don't allow comments. That approach is far to easilt abused as Driver demonstrates. I am intriqued SG, why do you close your thread to new comment?

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  16. Solo Gays

    You have been added to my blog list!

    Pete, I've also added your excellent Checkers Kent treks, I've not seen it before today.

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    1. Bless you Shinguard, I will reciprocate.

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    2. Thank you Shinguard.

      I confess I don't link to many other Thanet blogs apart from thanetonline (which I then use to click on others that take my fancy), but I will add more in due course.

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  17. Thanks SG, One of my favourite words as well 'reciprocate'.

    Alas, not all the other bloggers I have added have done the same!

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  18. What can you believe in the councillors cv's published here.
    Ian Gregory claims ". For the last 15 years I have worked in Estate Management for East Kent Hospitals " and yet his TDC register of interest says he is an assistant head teacher. Maybe he has just forgotten what job he does?

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    1. He works for East Kent Hospitals so you evidently have your wires (or Gregorys) crossed.

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