Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Election Special including the absolute duffers guide to AV

 After not having received anything from either the Labour or Conservative parties relating to tomorrows election, I emailed both parties yesterday saying that I was trying to fill out my postal vote wosisname and didn’t have any info on their candidates.

I got an email response from the Conservatives listing the names of their candidates standing in my ward, as they were already listed on the ballot paper I had told them I was trying to fill out, this wasn’t particularly helpful. It is this type of gormless logic that makes one wish one had a Monster Raving Loony Party candidate.

The Labour Party sent a candidate, so at least I got a response.

Next AV after a very uphill discussion about what this actually means, this is a best shot at a duffers explanation.

There are three candidates standing in the imaginary constituency of Fanit.

Ludicrous Lazyboy, standing for the Loony Left Party.

Ridiculous Roarer, standing for the Raving Right Party.

Mischievous Michael, standing for the Mad Middle Party.

So the three candidates are LL, RR and MM.

Under the present first past the post system 31 people vote for LL, 30 for RR and 30 for MM, LL gets elected.

Under AV 31 people vote for LL, 30 for RR and 30 for MM, as their first choice,

None of the Loony Left voters want the Raving Right Party to get in so they make their second choice MM.

None of the Raving Right voters want the Loony left to get in so they make their second choice MM, MM gets elected.

It does look as though the local elections here in Thanet are going to be a close run thing, so I would say it is worth making an extra effort to vote as every vote will probably count.

I have to admit that there seems to be a bit of a state of apathy about the whole thing here in Ramsgate neither party seems to have that much to offer us, with the main emphasis being on Margate. Certainly at the moment Margate needs all the help it can get so I don’t think anyone resents this, there is a bit of a things couldn’t get much worse feel to the whole thing, in terms of council owned assets there really isn’t that much left to close here.

Press releases in and published from Laura Sandys and Clive Hart, both asking us to vote tomorrow but nothing in from the Conservative candidates, do they want us to vote?


  1. Unfortunately it's bit too late to find which candidates are for or against the livestock trade proposed for Ramsgate Port, as I see on the AIS web that the vessel is about to enter for its berthing trials. The candidate that that is anti this vile trade would certainly get my vote.

  2. Tony

    There is absolutely nothing that any councillor of any party can do against the livestock trade. Many would wish there was and it's a question I have already asked at the highest levels!

  3. DrM, I think if you delve back into the history of the Harbour, maybe when it was under the Ramsgate Borough Council, an attempt to to run the same trade was rejected under the Bye-laws. As far as I know nothing has changed.

  4. There is definitely a slight anti-Tory stance to this posting and one does have to wonder about your wisdom as a local businessman sometimes, Michael.

    Thanet Lab has run a regular series of rants, some suggesting plans to introduce things outside the councils remit and others doing the Tory smear bit.

    Thanet Life gives the blue version of things and some well intended responses to questions when asked.

    Laura Sandys, MP has given you fairly regular press releases and both Labour and Conservatives have given you their manifesto.

    How much information do you want, especially as elsewhere you have already indicated a preference for voting for David Green.

    There is just an evening and night to go and then the polls open. If you are offering a service try to keep it even handed. Leave the digs on the other side to those of us who are clearly partisan.

  5. Section 44 of the Ramsgate Harbour byelaws appears to prohibit anyone taking animals into the harbour or onto or off of any vessels. The only exception given is for dogs or other animals used by the police, customs or the armed forces for law enforcement or crime detection.

    The TDC byelaws for the regulation of Ramsgate Harbour.

    I can't see anything that would give an exemption for livestock.

  6. Bill last time I voted for one independent, one Labour and one Conservative and had the same thing in mind this time, but genuinely can’t find anything about the Conservative candidates in my ward.

    It’s been withdrawn by the current administration recently Gerald, perhaps they should have considered the phrase, let sleeping dogs lie.

  7. I had a phone call from the Labour party earlier on. They wanted to know if I voted Labout last time. When I told them that I didn't they said: "thank you, goodbye." I guess they aren't looking to persuade anyone to vote for them, just to get the same old faces down to the station.

  8. 19.46 this is probably the influence to The Turner Centre and I believe is known as a surrealist phone call i.e. on the eve of an election the are only seeking to persuade people to vote for them who are going to do so anyway.

    Silvano Levy the British surrealist wanted to build a house entirely of bricks i.e. solid bricks all the way through, no rooms in it, only bricks, same sort of logic really, lets hope the artistic influence doesn’t reach the design of council houses.

  9. 19.46 The phone call was just to identify voters who are intending to vote for them. If you said 'yes' then they would have been doing follow up calls tomorrow to check you had voted and if not then they would have been urging you to do so or offering you a lift to the polling station. apparently voter Id is more effective use of resources in election periods than trying to persuade people.

    I saw a Labour email earlier which says with this targeted approach, they reckon they can increase their share of voters by 15%

    I hope they don't take control of the council or God help Thanet!

  10. Sorry Michael, crossed posts!

  11. Michael,

    My mistake - I hadn't spotted the council meeting item about this.

    [Council meeting 16-Dec-2010 item 236, "That Council agrees to commence procedure leading to repeal of Byelaw 44 of the Ramsgate Harbour Byelaws".]

    I suspect that were thinking more of allowing pet dogs into the harbour rather than a lorrys full of livestock :-)

  12. To be perfectly honest i have my own strong personal feelings on the subject of the livestock trade but the advixe i have is that the matter lies with DEFRA and that the company involved has a legal right to conduct its business without interference.

  13. 20.12 one rather ancient member of my family, now unfortunately dead, was an ardent socialist, fought in the International Brigade and always voted Labour. After they had taken away his driving licence was always driven to the polling station by the Conservatives where he always voted Labour. This state of affairs continued with all parties going along with it. Because as the old man said. “I can’t abide small cars.”

  14. TDC took counsels advice several years ago when they were advised that there was nothing they could do regarding the livestock trade, they hid the advice for many years but in the end they had to admit that they could not accept the trade.

  15. I certainly don’t like the idea of this livestock business, I still don’t really understand if the bylaw was stopping it happening in the past, if it was, one wonders with all the peculiar old bylaws, why it was this one that got repealed.

  16. As the son of a cattle dealer/farmer and having worked in the meat trade and been a slaughterman I find it strange that anyone can object to livestock transport. The farmers selling the animals are trading much the same as anyone else. Michael sells books and sends them all over the world Farmers grow cows and are sending them all over the world. In my mind there is no difference, the animal is a commodity muuch the same as a book in that if your book arrives damaged your customer would complain. Animals could spend longer being transported from Scotland to Devon than from Kent to France. I know you are all going to say these are living animals but they are transported under conditions approved by the authorities and if you object contact the MP'S and dont blockade the port as that that would be distressing to the animals.

  17. Michael, seeing it was repealed in December 2010 and the transhipments are normally late summer early autumn one suspects that an approach was made to the port and TDC made a commercial decision to bring some income into the port. What the wind farm people and the ferry people will say when they can't gain access is another matter.

  18. Don stated "In my mind there is no difference, the animal is a commodity much the same as a book in that if your book arrives damaged your customer would complain". The difference there Don is that if the animal arrives damaged it means it's in pain. Modern methods mean if it is slaughtered and then transported it will arrive just as fresh as if it was slaughtered at its destination.
    You also say don't blockade the port, which means you know what is going to happen, and what Ramsgate could do without while the port is trying to remain viable.

  19. Bill Richards. What has Michael's perceived anti-Tory stance got to do with his abilities as a businessman? I doubt anyone would deny that Lord Sugar is a pretty good businessman and he is certainly not a Tory. Once again another clownish statement steeped in bias and prejudice

  20. Anon 07.58, you must remember that on his own admission Bill has posted comments after having to much drink. This must be another case.

  21. Tony my Father transported animals all over the country and took good care of them. The people involved in this trade have vested interest in animal welfare not from a wooly animal liberation ideal but from a view point of financial survival. This is somebody's living and at a time of financial problems the protestors can bankrupt people.

  22. Don I think the problem here is a sort of gormless play it by the rules out of area officer approach to something they don’t really understand.

    As a port Ramsgate doesn’t on the surface have much to offer, Dover is much closer to the continent and therefore as much quicker crossing.

    What Ramsgate seems to have cashed in on is a sort of low profile efficiency, combined with a relaxed atmosphere, giving drivers a chance to relax on long European drives. One of the things helping this situation was an old bylaw dating from rabies problems, quietly left in place and applied with a modicum of common sense.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of animal transport and I suspect some of it is done well and some horrendously, what there can be no doubt about though is that it will to a greater or lesser extent disturb something that is working quite well, thank you very much.

    I think it is the same with the wind farm people, I don’t think that Ramsgate offers the best available facilities, we have even had one slipway out of action for over a year, dredging and general maintenance hasn’t been all that it could be, but and it’s a very large but, the whole thing has a relaxed get on with the job atmosphere.

    I suppose the clearest understanding of this official gormlessness in the harbour can be got from the historic vessel pontoons. These are undesirable moorings for a number of reasons, but are right opposite the café culture, no one wanted to use them so they were rented out to historic vessels at a reduced rate, something that greatly enhanced this part of the town at no cost to the council, in fact they were making money out of them.

    What seems to have happened is that someone in an office somewhere, probably Margate decided that everyone should pay the same amount, for the same length of vessel.

    Well the owners of the historic vessels that had been putting up with dreadful moorings because the thought they were doing everyone in Ramsgate a big favour displaying their boats there, just went.

    Now we have a long empty mooring generating nothing for the council.

  23. Michael I must say from your recent pictures the harbour looks unloved. The dredging needs to be done soon I find it laughable that it has not been done already. I know we are in financialy stricken times but the amount of boats that are missing seems excessive. I feelthe harbour is an asset that TDC is ignoring.

  24. Actually Bill has a point. Certain people in certain professions and lines are best advised to keep their politics to themselves rather than risk driving away a percentage of their customers. Would have thought this particularly so for a book shop owner as, statistically, probably more Conservative voters can read than those of Labour!

    Alan Sugar has long cracked it so he can afford to come out politically especially when there was a peerage up for graps. Funny that how the old haters of privilege can't grab the ermine and robes quick enough.

  25. 18.46 let me get this straight, these illiterate voters, how would they be reading their ballot papers?

  26. unfortunately all bean counters in tdc know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. which is why the historic ships have left the harbour. I guess also explains why someone got a paygrade jump just before the left and a bean counter is dog dog.

  27. Reading ballot papers, Michael, you cannot be serious. Sat at home throwing empty beer cans at the telly, more like, whilst waiting for the next giro cheque.


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