Tuesday, 10 June 2014

When is a blog post not a blog post?

 There have been some happenings on the airport front and the Ramsgate Mayor’s charity front.

The problem though is how one could post about any of these things without the blog post descending into a personal slanging match.
 Frankly if we don’t watch out there will be no local blogs where it is reasonable easy to comment and to have some sort of dialogue going on about anything.

Now I am not saying things have descended this far, but we are not far off of commentators saying something that they expect to result in other commentators objecting to and then waiting for the objection and complaining and if no one objects then doing it themselves. 
 Of course for the blog administrator this is a no win situation, if someone comments something right on the edge of the comment guidelines and I delete it they are likely to make a fuss, if I don’t delete it the someone else is likely to make a fuss.

The problem is that I don’t have time to be a schoolmaster invigilating a group of adults who didn’t sort out their behaviour in the playground. 
 With the known bloggers, real people that is, in the past I have taken the line that reasoning with them was the best way to go, this however just seems to make them very angry, so now I will just delete comment that I would delete if it was left anonymously.   

So essentially read the comment guidelines at the bottom and if the comment doesn’t conform, or looks to be on the edge of conforming it goes whoever you are. 
 I have added a bit about second guessing anons identities and I will try turning anon comment back on.
 Enjoy the pictures and keep your fingers crossed, if all goes well I will put up something more interesting.

77 comments:

  1. Nice pictures Michael

    Have you heard anything on whether the Great Wall will be moved back seeing as no work is going on?

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    1. Ah Barry the Elephant in the room, Cardy won’t speak to Friends of Ramsgate Seafront, Gerry won’t discuss it with anyone and while most of the artists would be only too happy to do paintings for nothing, most people are standing back to see what gives. The problem is that Ramsgate needs it back up now and will lose economically from it not being there when the tunnels open for tours, which I am told will be as soon as TDC building control pass the emergency exits.

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    2. The wall needs to be removed and they need to reinstate the part of the promenade which they fenced off.

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    3. Anon we have tried and a site meeting between cardy and KCC left it as it was. KCC need to ask people what they think instead of a firm of non-builders

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    4. I thought SPF gave a bond to TDC in the case of not being able to finish the build? Why don't TDC give Cardy some of it to remove the what's there and make good for the next project?

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    5. Not that simple Om the bond, which is basically the same as an insurance policy would normally be issued by the developer’s bank, I think with Pleasurama it was supposed to be £6m, but the developer’s bank wouldn’t issue a bond so the developer has deposited some money £1m in an account which TDC control. The development agreement is not very well written hence no full stop date, but it appears to say that the money can be used to finish of the development if the developer goes bust. My guess would be that councillors interfered with the council’s lawyers to produce this mess.

      I guess in simple terms the council officers recommended to the councillors that they didn’t extend the development agreement in 2009 when the council could have got out of it with a very small risk of legal action and further problems. The main thrust of the officers argument was that as the developers couldn’t get insurance they shouldn’t be allowed to drive the car. I don’t think officers really expected councillors to go against this advice, nor did the MP in fact the general assumption all round was that it was finished then.

      Well we all know what happened and it will take years to get out of the mess, my feelings are is that the best thing to do would be to get some pictures up now and then argue about the whys and wherefores in the winter when it doesn’t matter.

      My hope is that Cardys will see the adverse publicity of the whole awful mess has gone far enough and they will clear and surface the site.


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    6. Thanks for clearing that up for me. It seems to me that TDC would never be able to run a private business and stay afloat for more than a week. they should appoint private solicitors to do all their big work and when it goes wrong then appoint more to sue the first lot lol

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    7. They did use private solicitors to write it and one of the remits of the council’s group sorting this one out is to try and find out if the private solicitors screwed up. I think thin has rather turned into who in the council instructed the solicitors to remove the full stop and fiddle with the rest of the agreement so it wouldn’t stand up. The trouble is that this becomes recrimination with no benefit, my feelings are that the focus should be on resolving the main problem, which is a viable use for the site.

      The main problems being a flood risk assessment and an assessment of how close any development can be to the cliff face to allow the cliff face to be economically maintained for the life of the development. That is the first two things the developer should have investigated before designing the development.

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    8. Without a structural engineer's report on the cliff face and its supports I couldn't say but I have seen your post on the road up there with the cracks and it does look as though It's going south. How long that will take is anybody's guess. My dad owned a bomb damaged shop It may have been 25 feet wide and there was a gap in-between the front wall and the floor boards of about 14 inches on all three floors with cracks everywhere i was waiting for it to collapse but it never did . But a surveyor will say if you can fit a pen in the gap it needs to be sorted.

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    10. There you go Om http://thanetonline.com/cliff/ links to all the reports across the top of the page, "short serviceable life" being the key phrase

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    11. So that means the whole cliff face needs to be shored up to take a longer development this could be done with long ties being drilled into the wall horizontally then filled with resin a new way, but very like the way you would build a mine shaft this would not be too costly and would not take a long time and would last for the life of the resin.

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    12. With a long stop date missing the developers have to be given the opportunity to remedy the breach (build it to completion) the current position seems to be a degree of foot dragging over serving legal papers which maybe because the only address TDC have for the developers is their accountant in Essex.
      SFP Ventures seem to have no know UK address and may possibly be based in Switzerland. Something else they didnt get right when appointing SFP to build

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    13. I know It's not going to be popular but i half hope they do finish it's better than waiting another decade for someone else to plan/finance/build it. Ramsgate needs it if the wall looks as though it's going to fall they can put stays in it while their building the main structure.

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    14. didn't know landbankers build stuff I thought they just held out for the payoff

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    15. Om you do appreciate that the harbour end of the cliff façade has no footings and hangs on steps cut in the face of the unsupported chalk cliff. The idea it that when the development is finished there is a twelve foot gap between the 70 ft high building and the 70 ft high unsupported chalk cliff, in the bottom of this, is canyon the right word? Will be a two-way road.

      On the flood risk front the new foundations sit on the old sand beach, not pile bored into the chalk underneath, the sand is held in place by an 1860 se defence with no known maintenance record and the council say the have lost the construction plans.

      As you said you could read the engineers report on the cliff façade I assume you understand the implications of trying to maintain a 70 ft high concrete façade in a 12 ft gap.

      All of the maintenance costs of the cliff infrastructure fall on TDC

      Barry as you have seen with the foundations, when pushed to build they build something rather than relinquish their hold on the land.

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    16. I had thought Cardy put their own money into the foundations and this stopped when they realised no more was forthcoming from Keegan

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    17. I'm sure that Purple Erm would call the canyon a gorge.

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    18. Barry a month before they started on the shallow foundations the MD of Cardys assured me that the pile boring teAm would be on site for about a month and all the foundations would be piled in that time. Then followed the three me and a digger and the shallow foundations, I don’t really think anyone really knows the whys wherefores of all that.

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    19. Sorry Peter Cucksfield ill try ans watch my spelling

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    20. It will need to be a pile foundation what you say is correct. As for the wall foundation that will also need to be underpinned.

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    21. It will also need to be tided into the the cliff face with bore holes large pins with splay braces and resin.

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    22. was told, Michael, the work was done by Oatmoor and the guy that told me they got shortchanged on the contract

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    23. I did see a pile driver on site but only for a short while most of the foundations are shallow.

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    24. maybe they went straight on chalk and only the piles foundations were where the sand was.

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    25. Om I guess if Peter is going to hand out free spelling an grammar lessons here I will be at the front of the queue, when I started out blogging the situation was pretty bad, but practice and spell checkers are slowly improving things.

      On the Royal Sands front I have covered all of this, on this blog in the past, although my engineering background is in electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electro mechanics and not civil engineering.

      Oatmoor did the surface drain work and not the cliff contract, if I get a chance I will dig the right name out later there have been about half a dozen contractors on site and the name eludes me at the moment.

      The situation with the foundations is that the site consists of chalk bedrock at about the low tide level this extends back as far as where the cliff face was when the sand build-up started in around 200 AD when the first jetty was built there and the sand started to build up in front of the cliff. There is a sort of irregular step of chalk bedrock at the bottom of the cliff caused by weathering related cliff falls.

      On top of the bedrock you have the sand, which formed the beach, and on top of that you have the chalk spoil from the tunnel excavation in 1860, bringing the site up to the level for the station.

      The foundations extend through the chalk spoil and sit on the sand, the whole lot being held in place by the 1860 sea defence.

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    26. Surely Michael even you can see the irony of someone complaining about England flags and then referring to "St. Gorge"?

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  2. "Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people." Socrates. I saw that quote on Simon Moores' twitter feed and it seems entirely appropriate to blogs. If we could stick to the first two and avoid the third, then we would all be much happier. Which reminds me, where has ECR gone?

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    1. ECR was forced to close his blog by person(s) unknown.

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    2. This is pure nonsense anon ECR has closed his blog on several occasions and has made his reasons for doing so this time quite clear on facebook “Richard Eastcliff Tbh the comments are getting out of control, so I've been attempting to research some way of automating comment moderation. In ye olden golden days of blogging people didn't tell me that often advise me on the types of vegetable etc that I could stick up my fundament, but that now happens on a daily basis. If I was of a conspiratorial bent, I would say there's some kind of campaign going on to shut the local blogs down, but it seems more like the kind of graffiti you see on toilet walls, so I imagine it's just kids. Or the occasional bonkers councillor!”

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  3. Bravo Michael! Well said! And some lovely pics!

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    1. Aren’t the just Duncan, pretty much chosen at random from the ones I have on file.

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  4. From memory I believe that there were six or more local blogs a couple of years ago. Some disappearances may be due to authors shifting to other forms of 'social media'. I killed my own blogs when it dawned on me that they were just time consuming ego trips and why should I imagine that my views would interest anyone else anyway? [And no! I don't do social media either] Add the ever present and recent threat of having a visit from Mr.Plod if someone posted an offensive comment ... well, do the risk assessment for yourself.
    Just for the record I have NEVER done an anonymous comment here, there or anywhere. Meanwhile thank you Michael, Simon and the oddly named ECR for entertainment. The others seem peppered with vitriol, rants and inaccuracies and thus lack any vestige of credibility.

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    1. Colin I guess the difference from my point of view is that this blog does promote my business. I do make the odd anonymous comment, mostly when I get an email saying that someone can’t comment. I also have another blogger id and several other blogs, frankly you can’t produce a fairly good blog without all of this. Complex really, I normally delete any comments I don’t make under my usual name.

      I do think there is a whole psychology related to social media and compulsive behaviour related to using it that still needs a considerable amount of understanding, I am certainly still on the learning curve.

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  5. As an anonymous commentator on many of Thanets blogs, I find the annoyance of those who post as themselves against anons most amusing. I have my own login but why spoil the fun of letting people know who I am? As if people would be interested anyway.

    I think most of the spite seems to come from those 'known'.

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    1. I would guess anon this is because most of the anon spite is deleted immediately so no one much sees it.

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  6. Both ECR and Thanetonline are imperative for local people to have all the facts.As most local independent news media say they are independent but their alliances lie with one side or the other. I can see it must be very hard and time consuming to do all the research only to find out that people are squabbling and you need to delete comments as well. As for me I'm guilty of retaliating after loads of snipes and digs for my punctuation/ spelling/ and how thick I am. Well I never professed to be a word smith. I think that the save Manston people cant debate without falling into insults because there is no real argument on their behalf if we just stick to the facts then they will lose every time. If you look at all the other people living on flight paths all round the world a good 90% + would stop it in an instant. So those of us that do, don't want our local council to spend years of their budget on a CPO that would entail us having to endure an increase in air traffic by 10 fold just to keep Manston afloat and in the black so 144 people can have their part time (mainly low paid) jobs back. Does anybody really want TDC to pay 10s if not 100s of millions to keep Manston airport open for 144 jobs? or is it about the prospect of houses being built?

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    1. Ah Om don’t let is worry you I think my grammar and spelling was worse than yours is now when I first started blogging. You also have to consider that a lot of people comment using predictive test which produces Ipos and oidpos all over the place.

      The balancing of sensible comment really seems to come down to experience, the internet in the form where anyone can publish to it easily via social media is new enough for it to be a learning curve for pretty much everyone and mistakes are a component part of learning

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    2. Er, no Purple Om. Any consistent reader of either this blog or ECR's would know facts are in short supply. Opinions unsupported by facts rather more frequent.

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    3. Well Chris you are a councillor and shadow cabinet member, so I expect you are in the know. So what do you think about Manston, do you think RiverOak are an aviation company or seven hedge fund real estate managers? Do you think TDC could realistically put together a viable and fundable cpo for Manston, or do think the whole thing a political ruse? Do you think the council are actually trying to deal with the Pleasurama issue or just pulling the wool? Do you think the last council owned venue in Ramsgate, the pavilion should be turned into the largest pub in Europe? Or do you have an interesting local issue that we don’t even know about?

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    4. Absolutely Chris. I see both blogs (as well as The Thanet Star) as semi-fictional.

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    5. That's slightly unfair, Peter, the Thanet Star has always been totally fictional.

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    6. To take your points in order Michael, I am in favour of a CPO of Manston Airportas the best way th both threaten, and achieve, some continuing control over it's future. From what I can see there are clear links between River Oak and aviation

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    7. Although it does not seem to be their main business. The banning of night flights, the atmosphere created by that decision and fixed consultation will have driven allure aviation investors away to places where they feel more welcome. TDC cannot in my view put forward a sensible plan on its own, they do not have the resources or managerial capacity. Pleasurama policy remains mysterious. And at times almost random in approach to me. I do not believe the pub option for the Pavilion is the finest option for the building but options are limited following the reckless decisions of the Hart administration which has seriously reduced the capacity of TDC to do many of the things we would like. The Hart run TDC was self indulgent; unable to think srategically

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    8. on newspaper headlines and spin rather than positive enhancement of the island as a whole. The Johnston administration promises a different approach, yet it's leader was up to her neck in all the previous Hart decisions, and have just placed Hart in the worst position with regard to potential investigation, because the public will assume he could not be made vice chair of planning in dubious circumstances, but he has been. Many of these things, like the secret reorganisation and all the fallout from it presumably Labour hope will be buried in a honeymoon period for the new leader, of the focus on Manston, suddenly and dishonestly important to Labour once again.

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    9. Surely, it is irrelevant whether River Oak has any tenuous links to aviation or not? The key point is whether you can force them to keep it open as an airport when it is losing millions. I don't think that the planning system would allow you to do this, especially when TDC has never given the airport planning permission. (You can't make somebody stick to the planning permission if you never gave it one in the first place). If I'm right, River Oak can say whatever they like about their intended use, but it would carry no weight if they decided to close it down (again) and build houses.

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    10. Chris in replying to you about the airport I am using what I have just added to today’s post. I don’t think TDC engaging in a cpo is likely to work, my feelings about Sir Roger Gale’s package (RiverOak are after all seven hedge fund mangers with no verifiable connection to aviation and TDC are the district council and don’t represent the catchment of the airport) is, it is just a political ruse to avoid pressure on KCC. I guess SMA could produce a viable petition to KCC requesting a public consultation on KCC engaging in a Manston cpo, I guess the main problem here is that realistically we would be looking at a council subsidised airport and a brownfield development site value in the £700m ballpark. Without planning permission any claim to it being an airport isn’t attached to the site but is an agreement with the company that Ann Gloag bought.

      What I mean here is that on the day the council bought the airport site they would have a brownfield site with no planning consent as an airport, I don’t think there is any way they could acquire the company that holds the agreements under which Manston functioned as an airport.

      My guess is that you would be looking at the council doing the work for an EP environmental permit and then applying for planning consent, with the resultant ecological study and public enquiry. What I am saying here is that any council buying the site would then have to fund turning it into an airport with planning consent in order to be able to pass it on to an operator with an agreement that it remained an airport.

      Another factor here is that for a council to do this, the council would almost inevitably have to raise council tax above the referendum threshold, so the council wouldn’t be able to fund it unless the public agreed by referendum.

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    11. 8.01 nail on the head there, all the agreements under which the site ran as an airport are with a company bought by ann Gloag and no, like a planning consent would be attached to the site.

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    12. Chris on the rest of it I don’t think I was asking you if you liked Labour or Clive but more of a sort of, got any ideas guv?

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    13. Chris : In one post you say : "facts are in short supply" and then you perpetuate the myth that night flights were banned at Manston ( and I presume by insinuation that this is the fault of "nimby's or such like in Ramsgate ) Please tell me when night flights were banned ?

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    14. Please read some of the comments apart ie the original comments on fact and blog sites were a little tongue in cheek. However the night flights point is an interesting one. Whatever the actual position on night flights and the law, the perception of the business community was of a local authority opposed to any neceessary

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    15. flexibility that might be required by the airport operator. This was additionally reflected in the refusal of the Hart administration to include the airport in anything other than a passing manner in their (in)famous economic regeneration strategy. Politics is often about perception and this perception killed many chances to make this airport work. Michael, it's not about like or dislike, it's getting the real picture out there rather than allowing commentators, like yourself, to create a subjective rather than objective agenda. I note this is almost the only issue where you don't demand solution through the magic touch of the Will Scobie bandwagon. Think this one's too difficult for your idol?

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  7. I would feel I am performing a public service if I have just one reader. As it is I am blessed with two.

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  8. My biggest concern regarding anonymous postings is having to wade through them to find the one to which I want to refer, i.e. anon at 5:58 pm, whereas a named commentator is easier to refer to, otherwise so long as anons' don't hide behind that epithet to make abusive comments I have no problem with it.

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    1. Perhaps the problem lies with your view of what should be happening on a blog. Is it for discussion? There is no problem if you give your own opinion, rather than commenting on other people's views. I'm quite happy with the situation as it is. I log in two or three times a week and post an opinion or two. Then, I go away and have a beer. In my opinion the problem lies with people (and I'm not putting you in this bracket) who are glued to the screen waiting for someone to post something so that they can respond to it. I think you have to accept that any debate which takes place on these sites is pretty poor and unlikely to alter anybody's views. This being the case, it's worth posting what you think, but not worth getting into an argument with anyone who doesn't agree. Beer time.

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    2. Ah Em Bob there you have a conundrum for if I turn of anon comment there is usually hardly any comment at all from anyone. You would think the anons would mostly want to give themselves some sort of name tag so everyone could differentiate between the different anons, psychologically speaking, “very interesting but stupid” perhaps.

      Generally I hardly ever bother to reply to anons without a nom de blog, but then some of them do make very pertinent and interesting points.

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    3. I disagree with 7.05 I have had many good debates on blogs and do find a different point of view. All of the debates I have had of late have just turned into slanging matches though so you may have a point. I think the reason is their arguments are week mainly their last words are "So you think its good that 144 people have lost their jobs" Ignoring all the facts that I have stated or another trick is to complain to admin and have the post removed.

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  9. So Michael seeing as we all behaving please would you spill the beans "There have been some happenings on the airport front and the Ramsgate Mayor’s charity front"

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    1. Well the Gazette have already got about half of the Fight For Manston flag story and I think RTC are doing their best to get the papers not to cover the mayor’s charity one, so I think I will wait until tomorrow and see if anything more interesting comes up.

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    2. Lets hope that's their last Gorge cross. Why don't they use banners like normal protesters. Every time they Protest it looks like a BNP rally.

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    3. The airport was a major part of WW2, so with the current commemoration of D-Day it's only natural that people wave English / British flags. Patriotism isn't just for the far right.

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    4. They did use private solicitors to write it and one of the remits of the council’s group sorting this one out is to try and find out if the private solicitors screwed up. I think thin has rather turned into who in the council instructed the solicitors to remove the full stop and fiddle with the rest of the agreement so it wouldn’t stand up. The trouble is that this becomes recrimination with no benefit, my feelings are that the focus should be on resolving the main problem, which is a viable use for the site.

      The main problems being a flood risk assessment and an assessment of how close any development can be to the cliff face to allow the cliff face to be economically maintained for the life of the development. That is the first two things the developer should have investigated before designing the development.

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    5. Also with the up coming world cup ill be waving my Gorge cross. Still looks as though its a BNP rally I know its not but with UKIP doing so well in Thanet you do have to wonder!!

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    1. Really!!!! After all what's been said

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    2. Read the comment guidelines below anon and then rewrite your comment using reasonable common courtesy, you are not in the school playground here.

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  12. Michael's becoming increasingly pompous and censorious. A sure way to turn his blog into tedium again.

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    1. Ah anon if I can achieve pomp, tedium and censure all at the same time then all I can say is thanks for the compliment

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  13. Now does anyone know much about this David Parsons prospective TDC Tory bod?

    I only ask because he's provided a few comedy moments of late. Clearly he's obliged to pay homage at the altar of 'All-fings Manston'
    but his twittering seems a bit confused and off-message! Within two days he managed to extol the virtue of clear blue skies and then talked of the 'futility' of glancing upwards into a plane-less Thanet sky. All things to all people! Just what we need around here in a politician. At least he appears able to hold two thoughts in his head at once and he hasn't even got a vote yet. Brilliant and one to watch!

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    1. Now following him https://twitter.com/da_parsons thanks 9.43

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    2. He seems like a top bloke to me.

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  14. Now after the last comment, just to prove I'm fair when it comes to Manston, here's Nigel Farage in today's TTG (Travel Trade Gazette) online. Now bear in mind that the 'Two Runways' Ukip candidate, can't remember her name, is a great believer in a Cargo hub-future but anyway, Nigel has now decided that Manston can't be a freight hub but could do holiday flights. Do these people, any of them, expect us to take them seriously??.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning the Nigel Farage interview (http://www.ttgdigital.com/news/fishing-manston-and-car-tyres-ttg-quizzes-nigel-farage-on-his-grand-plans-for-tourism/4691715.article).

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    2. I take them more seriously than you anon, particularly Janice Atkinson.

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