Many thanks for to Thanet District Council for promoting Thanet Pride on their homepage today, so here is some explanation of what I was up to.
In our politically correct society it would seem it is quite ok to discriminate against most people and organisations, in the case of Ramsgate Carnival it seems OK to discriminate against a whole town.
In these circumstances, I understand the situation and so generally there is little I can do about this.
Some discrimination though is legislation protected, rather like listed building protection this creates areas where one can complain, examples of this are racism and discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
In a way because of this we have created, rather like our listed historical buildings something of an anachronism, with buildings and their listings their main protection comes from something called architectural merit, this means that you can have a whole area of a town where its whole atmosphere and charm is created by its Victorian architecture, but as it isn’t deemed to have architectural merit, then you can stick in double glazing knock down buildings in fact get permission for pretty much anything regardless of how out of keeping it is with the area.
Now as I pointed out in my previous post, most of the social groups protected by this legislation have no choice in being identified for what they are.
However with homosexuality there is a difference, which is that anyone may be homosexual and unidentifiably so, so it follows that anyone can reasonably make a complaint about a public body or an individual on the grounds that they have acted homophobicly and that public body can’t turn round and say you aren’t female, disabled, black or whatever.
Now one factor in complaining to a public body is that you have to show that you yourself have been directly effected, or in this case discriminated against, you can’t for instance complain that the council have damaged the whole town that you live in, the local government ombudsman – oddly enough there doesn’t seem to be an ombudswoman in the UK although plenty of them are female – can only take up a complaint about how the individual is effected.
Going back to architecture for a moment, it would seem that the government have created what I like to think of as, the stately homo of England, a phrase first coined by the famous homosexual Quentin Crisp. Now providing that it can be shown, as in this case that the council are promoting one similarly important council sponsored event in front of another and the event losing out in terms of promotion is primarily a gay event, then anyone can be the stately homo of England.
Now from my point of view I have been badgering the council to do something about the way they promote major events in Thanet for about a year now and I think last weekend, when they totally failed to promote the lifeguards championships on Ramsgate main sands, I realised that I had to take some sort of more positive action.
So in this case I am taking the role of the stately homo of England, that is I am defending a right to gay equality. With the lifeguards event this was unique event and very difficult to compare with anything else, in fact it would have made a very poor and difficult thing to complain about.
Thanet Pride is different particularly as it most closely compares to the Thanet carnivals, it is also very useful that Ramsgate and Margate carnivals are all in approximately the same time frame.
Today is the 23rd July
Thanet Pride is on 24th July
Ramsgate carnival 25th July
Margate carnival 1st August
So a simple test, Google “what’s on in Thanet”
Top link http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/whats-on.asp?p1=d&p2=ev (TDC run website) no mention of any of the events on the page that comes up, only the following events are on the page 18th - 25th July: Big Sky Jazz Festival 6th - 13th August - Broadstairs Folk Week,14th and 15th August - Monster Bass Festival 16th - 21st August - Ramsgate Week 20th - 27th August - Dippers and Dunkers 28th September - 3rd October - Broadstairs Food Festival 2nd and 3rd October - International Kite Festival.
Second link http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/ only a link to Margate carnival on that page.
What the council should have worked out is that people should be arriving at the Thanet Events for the next seven days first, like you do if you go to – oh say Brighton council’s website or whatever – it isn’t rocket science.
Now for one reason or another I am trying to trade in Thanet and I would prefer the people Googling what’s on this weekend to come here rather than go to Brighton.