My reasoning being, having done this, how would a socialist in Thanet ever get elected as a councillor again without the support of the local Labour group? Perhaps I am missing something here but to me it seems that in Thanet there isn’t much political ground left of Labour or right of Conservative. I don’t think that standing as an independent candidate in the ground outside has much mileage.
At the moment I suppose what I want my councillors to be doing regardless of their political party is to try and get the best for the local area and to try to achieve something in the direction of what local people want in terms of the direction the council is moving in.
I guess this week most of us want to see our councillors supporting the council’s bid to get Dreamland and turn it into a visitor attraction and I am told that the lack of numbers at the public enquiry is being seen used by legal team who want to develop the site as mostly housing, as an indicator of lack of interest in the heritage leisure park.
A busy Friday in the bookshop for me today, so I haven’t managed to get out and get a Gazette, obviously the leaked information about EKO Eurokent is of great interest to me, so here is the link to that story http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Councils-property-firm-lost-pound-300-000/story-14412242-detail/story.htmlhttp://thanetonline.blogspot.com/search/label/Eurokent as it takes you to the posts I put up when trying to find out from a somewhat reluctant council.
Like the Dreamland site this is about putting more housing where perhaps housing isn’t appropriate, only in this case the property developer seems to be our local councils and the land seems to be prime agricultural land and our children’s playing fields.
I spent a fair bit of yesterday evening looking at the equality issues that John Worrow is now to champion, see http://www.stonewall.org.uk/what_we_do/2583.asp and am coming to the conclusion that there are still some very real issues here.
I suppose the problem for me is that being a white heterosexual male I don’t often come up against anything remotely like discrimination, I was one disabled but that was a long time ago when discrimination hadn’t really entered into the world of awareness.
Being in wheelchair meant being a cripple, if the disabled word had come along it was a new one, homosexuality was still theoretically illegal and the word gay meant carefree and happy.
In the world of secondhand bookselling where almost everyone involved is fairly eccentric, I don’t think there is very much discrimination, certainly books have been a major factor in changing attitudes towards discrimination.
Although there are areas where there are surprising gaps, for instance you may wish to try and name three famous American feminist novelists, this isn’t as easy as you first would suppose.
So now we come to what really bugs me about Ian Driver and that is total lack of any attempt to communicate why he has resigned the Labour whip to us lot the Thanet voters.
He has a blog http://redthanet.blogspot.com/ a twitter account https://twitter.com/#!/ianddriver so why not tell us, the local people what he is up to and why?
Mike Harrison is saying that this is a flowerpot issue see http://newingtonblogspot.blogspot.com/2012/01/expected-resignation-happens-again.html there are other indicators online see http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/back/Wnext6/Slp.html
We now of course come to what happens at next Thursdays council meeting to approve the budget, see http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=141&MId=2612&Ver=4
Where for instance do the Conservatives stand, do they vote against the budget, because it is a Labour one on principle? I suppose the answer to that would be yes.
The rest of the independents, where do they stand, I would guess that they had considerable influence in the formation of this budget.
There is also of course where Ian stands, obtaining from the vote because he doesn’t want the flower pots is one thing, but obtaining on a vote of confidence, if this then means he lets the Conservatives get in could be something to live down for him.
So now we come to the really tricky bit and that is what are the solutions open to trying to deal with the serious problems that Thanet has.
Here in Ramsgate many of the problems that we have relate to council owned properties, Pleasurama, casino, museum, Albion House, Westcliff Hall and so on, so I suppose many of us here are waiting to see if the Labour group stay in power for any length of time whether any of these problems will get solved.
There is a perception in the town that many of these problems were related to spite towards a town that has mostly Labour councillors and I guess the Conservative stance that the business with the community centre in Broadstairs was an act of spite by the new Labour administration towards a town where the majority of councillors are Conservative lends more weight to this perception.
It does look as though Ian may have quite a lot on his plate at the moment as I think there were some interesting ramifications at last nights live animal export protest at Port Ramsgate, I think this facebook thingy will open even if you are not a member of it http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Live-Exports-From-The-Port-of-Ramsgate/205331499512961 let me know if it doesn’t and I will fiddle with it.