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Having seemingly successfully seen off Night Flights, the priorities in Thanet now appear to be gay marriage and the Royal Sands development with demands to support one and oppose the other because, allegedly, it is not supported. Do we local folk waste our time with job creation, boosting trade or even having a council that gets on with the real issues. No, we pontificate about avalanches, tsunamis and building on quick sands whilst our council prepares to debate same sex marriage, an issue of major concern to all Thanet residents, particularly the job seekers. What do they say, that people get the governance they deserve. Well I don't know what I did to deserve Worrow or Driver, having voted for neither, but they certainly seem to be dominating public life locally. Are there any words of wisdom out there from sages like John Holyer or Readit or are you both as confused as I. Wait, I forgot, Readit advocated independents on the council and now we have two who should set back the cause of the non politically aligned for decades. Sadly TDC now comprises a largest party of Conservatives smarting at the injustice of losing control because of a turncoat, a slightly smaller party of Labour, though in charge thanks to the self same turncoat, seemingly incapable of making a decision without deferring it for consultation or full council and an independent party of two making lots of noise on issues of no concern to all but a few down the Margate gents toilet. Perhaps we should not forget the other independent party of three though it is difficult to remember them as they appear to do nothing.Where do we go from here folks?
Anon, I do not consider Worrow and Driver independents, just turncoats waving in the breeze. My original plea for many Independents in the council was to stop this sort of thing happening and rid Thanet of petty politics.Unfortunately Thanet only votes Red or Blue and I am afraid they got what they deserve. The future of any independent voice in this local authority is now dead and buried forever, with these jokers making a mockery of local government.
Readit,I fear that you are right. But essentially it is our fault because we vote for these clowns.
Anonymous, With the occasional exception the standard of our elected Councillors is abysmally low. They are out of their depth and incompetent. Consequently, they resort to playing pygmy politics with our council tax. Their Officials are not much better.To answer your direct question: yes like you I am confused. Confused as to how we were mug enough to elect them. I wish we could get the details of their antics an mismanagement into the national press. I am a passive sort of person but I have to admit that the thought of direct action appeals.
We weren't mug enough to elect them. By and large, people just vote for councillors on party lines. They don't know anything about the people they're voting for and don't think it is neccessary to find out. In any event, councillors never tell you what they think. Like all politicians, they just waffle around the issue. Party politics is the key problem here. Councillors know that there are only two parties in the running and so, they know they will get their turn when the other lot screw up (as they always do). Unfortunately, in committing political suicide by backing exorbitant tuition fees, the Liberal Democrats have ensured their own demise and have put back democracy in the UK by 20 years. The next election will be a straight fight between Labout and Tory and local politics will reflect this. I'd be surprised to see the LD win a seat. Back to the issue of the main parties controlling the Council and being able to put up any old tripe for election: try sitting outside the polling station and watch what happens. The main parties spend all day ferrying their staunch supporters to the station to vote for them. By staunch supporters, I mean people who would vote for a hat-stand if it was wearing the right cloured rosette. How do you compete with this? You can't demonstrate that your a better candidate because they won't debate anything with you.
First of all, anon, the vast majority of us do not vote at all in local elections. Half do not even bother in general elections, so we could make a change, but it would appear we are not that interested. Perhaps we just like to moan about whichever shower we get.At local level, since it is not a career like Westminster nor is it paid enough to be a proper job, there are some decent people who are genuinely public spirited. Unfortunately there are also pygmies playing politics (to steal a John Holyer term), posers and bandwagonners seeking to raise their own profiles more than serve. At the moment two of the latter spring easily to mind.I would agree that too many people, who do bother to vote, do so along party lines otherwise it would be impossible to imagine how some of our councillors get elected. The driving people to vote is perhaps not as prevalent as in days gone by. Insurance restrictions, health and safety and even cost have dramatically reduced the numbers of drivers with cars willing to volunteer. Nonetheless, the knocking up of the faithful to go to the polls continues and the party machines are better geared up for this than the individual or smaller party candidate.But then, what about independents and smaller parties. If we discount the two chancers in Thanet, who used a rosette for access to the chamber and then ditched it, what of the other three. What exactly do they do other than a bit of king making at this time? Then there is that Green MP down Brighton way who is more left wing than Len McCluskey could ever dream of being and votes with Labour in the house. What exactly is her purpose in life other than self importance and earning a goodly crust. Whose interests is she serving other than her own.As for the Lib Dems in government. Well what over inflated posers and strutters they have become. Several total inadequates with zero experience holding ministerial office like the Featherbrain woman for example. They have too few members to produce more than a couple of capable of such office, but in the deal they got a sweetie bag full whilst the DPM tells us daily all the things he is either going to do or to block. Who exactly gave him a mandate for anything?As for debate, well there are a few who can. Nigel Farage and Dan Hannan spring to mind, but they are in Brussels and not Westminster. Locally Chris Wells can make a good case or, at least, fights his corner, but most duck and weave in deference to their role models in parliament. Mainly politicians seek to defend the indefensible by putting out central office produced blurbs that treat us as though we were at best children, at worst brain dead.When all said and done though, it is we that put up with it. It is we that fail to demand better governance by first exercising our vote and than making our elected representatives aware of what we expect. Even the protest that is voiced is mainly politically motivated simply to discredit the party in power. In reality it is the candidate we voted for and helped elect that we should be badgering.
Frankly Tom I think it goes deeper than that, I don’t think most people and that would include me up until about ten years ago when Pleasurama literally reared its ugly head above the cliff top, have anything more than a very vague perception of the “local council” that is something to do with roads, drains, rubbish and planning permission. Much of Thanet now has three different local authorities, county, district and town or parish and all of these come the ballot box are subject to party politics, where for the most part people don’t know – have never heard of - the people they are voting for, but do have some notion of political parties.On the other side of this is the public consultation, where the officers go outside of the old process of taking the views of elected members to be the will of the people and ask local people directly.The technology now exists to do away with the process of electing people to make decisions for people and theoretically every decision could be put to people to decide, do you want night flights, yes or no?What I would like and I guess a lot of others would like is for council officers to produce sensible information, followed by reasonable choices and the people we have elected to do there best to review the information and make the best decision they can.With this Royal Sands development, when it first came to planning I and a number of other people had told officers and councillors that the plans were not viable because the building was too tall to fit in the available space, between the high tide line and the top of the cliff.We were told that because we had discovered this after the deadline but before the planning meeting our objections couldn’t be considered, so our elected councillors passed the plans.Now whether this was due to a measuring mistake on the part of the architect or it was due to trying to sneak in another floor of apartments has never been made clear, but essentially the immense cost to a developer who wanted to invest in the town in a way that could have been very beneficial and the economic damage to the town due to ten years of building site all really stem from this decision, which to me should have been obvious to a child, that would have known if you build with your Lego under the table eventually the height of the table will limit the height of your building.
Bit one dimensional, Michael, but I do appreciate the Royal Sands development dominates your thinking, albeit with a little diversion over on Thanet Life, into same sex marriage. My post was a broader view of the overall political and governance scene written in response to an earlier one.
Sorry about that Tom, I need an example and of the local issues Royal Sands is the one I am most familiar with, so I took the lazy approach and used it as an example.With the same sex marriage thing it interest me, particularly the religious arguments as I was once a professional god botherer and spent a lot of my time trying to work out what god would say if he did a major out of the clouds job today.Much of the biblical moral imperative seems to revolve around increasing the population of the believers, in simplistic terms “if you can’t convert them smite them” moving on to a more modern approach in the New Testament, of roughly “love god and love each other, while conforming to civil law, no matter how crazy” I guess the moral imperative at the moment is more towards trying to save the planet and species during the next 100 years.By the time of the new testament attitudes towards sexual deviance moved away from the simple expedient of stoning anyone to death, to what from my very rudimentary understanding of the texts, the Greek is very vague, excluding those who charged people for gay sex from the kingdom of heaven. This would seem from this to imply that those who paid for it were not excluded, with those who were engaged in relationships of this type excluding any payment not mentioned at all.
You raise a few more issues, Michael, but then that is debate. Without writing reams, marriage seems to have evolved with human beings, long before the Christian church or our parliament, as the accepted way for procreation of species and the raising of the offspring. Then again, if, as you say, the aim of the church is simply to increase the number of believers irrespective of adherence to its commandments and spirituual guidance, does it equally embrace peadophilia and beastiality on the basis that some are born that way?Perhaps the gay Labour MP, who spoke out yesterday, had a good point. He maintains that most of the gay community are quite happy with the way things are and are not seeking this change of name to their unions. Why then, tell me, does Cameron wish to push this proposal through at the risk, it would seem, of winding up the potential discord between militant homosexuals and the several religious communties.Perhaps he thinks this makes the Tory party more user friendly. Trouble is he may actually drive away many Tories, but that's politicians for you.
Tom don’t get your then confused with your now and then, in old and new testament times the marital minimum age was twelve, with brides being purchased. I don’t think that the argument here is about what the majority of the gays want, this is an argument about equality, which is something I mostly support and how changes in religious rules are achieved, without publicly visible divine intervention, which seems to interest me but usually not many others.Now obviously people can’t follow the biblical and 1662 rules on marriage here; pay the appropriate price and marry the twelve year old of their choice, so both the church and state have changed the rules, they are not set in stone.The state obviously intends to change the rules, the church is objecting, nothing wrong here, normally clear thinking people are arguing the churches case, i.e. letting the church do their thinking for them, nothing wrong there.However when a RC published a reformation adjustment to an RC rite as part of the argument I though I would mention the incongruity. I think many are inclined to misunderstand the development of the Book of Common prayer from The Sarum Rite through 100 years of various texts, Edwards Payer Book being one of the more useful, into the 1662 rite that for anyone who can remember remained unchanged until 1928.
Michael, due respects, but I don't do confusion. Nor am I impressed with the theological development within individual religions. As for equality, what, as I am sure you well know, would seem to be equal for some offends the sense of such to others. Most definitely the church does not do my thinking for I am often at variance with the somewhat wishy washy agonising that passes for leadership on important issues within my own.Be that as it may. Why risk alienating communities when most people within them do not want it? And on your point of paying for marriage back in the 17th century, did you deliberately miss my earlier one about marriage predating the church. That some paid, probably still do in some cultures, or had their marriages arranged for them is a total irrelevance. They were still unions between man and woman primarily for the procreaction of species.A same sex partnership, however loving and enduring, cannot be the same as that between man and woman biologically. One is as nature intended for the perpetutation and evolution of species. The other is not. That nature made sex enjoyable was obviously deliberate to encourage such unions, even if bunnies seem to get more kicks than pandas, but procreation is the dominant reason for it, not pleasure.Perhaps one of our problems today is that we have become so obsesed with sex as pleasure that it detracts from the union and its purpose. Unstable relationships, adultury, deserted children, sexually transmitted diseases and a general decline in morality describes our modern world. Other civilisations have perished down this route, maybe its our turn though I have not given up on mankind totally yet. Just politicians and their meddling and popularity kicks.Look at Blair for example. Warned that devolution could ultimately lead to the break up of the UK. Warned that enshrining the European Human Rights charter in our law could create problems. Warned that invading Iraq with no post war plan was a recipe for disaster. Did he listen, did he consider expert and public opinion? We all know the answer to that and now Cameron is off on unwanted and unnecessary legislation.
Tom I occasionally afford you the odd deliberate misunderstanding and omission I only mean this as a compliment, I could put the shadow of Plato’s Symposium against the Greek contributors to the New Testament as these seem to be the only ones that may be relevant here.While I concede that herosexuality may predate homosexuality my guess is that in terms of human evolution it wasn’t by very long.Pondering your introduction of the bunnies and pandas, were these heterosexual animals or were they like the animals that I have observed?I am also trying for the life of me trying to think of a period in history when humanity wasn’t obsessed in sex as a pleasure and have selected the Dark Ages.In my student days in order to avoid a lot of wasted time, it wasn’t unusual to get the whole business out of the way, by asking people fairly early on if the had any interests other than sex and death.I guess that my main concern here is that most of our local councillors are going to discuss the issue under the glare of the national media and the those who appear to oppose same sex marriage seem to be going to argue a religious case based on a mix up over a syphilitic monarchy’s attempts to conceive a king, using a text that was adjusted by a scholar who then went insane.Don’t get me wrong here 1662 is a beautiful piece of English, but it mostly isn’t original and a lot of the parts that are relate to political compromise.
Not interested in which type of sex evolved first, simply that marriahe as a union for procreation and raising offspring predates both church and parliament, the debating opponents seemingly on this issue.The reference to bunnies and pandas was intended as a light hearted aside more on variable sex drive than what life style choice they prefer. Judging by the numbers of the former running around out Manston way, most of them are evidently getting things right (or wrong depending on your preference).Your student days are not dissimilar to those of sailors going ashore where the tendency is to ease springs quickly with the first available lady of the night and then get on with the serious business of drinking. I exclude French sailors from this for they have a tendency to waste valuable drinking time romancing some damsel who would have given them a knee trembler straight off for a fiver! Reference: 'The Mating Habits of the Royal & French Navies.'Perhaps my main concern, if we ignore the modern day obsession with sex even to sexualising children with clothes and make up, is whether TDC should really be debating this at all. Personally I would prefer my elected representatives to deal with the issues they are there for and which they can influence.
Tom I suppose although essentially Italian the greatest lovers to come out of the UK are Romeo and Juliet, from the text we can deduce that Juliet is 13 and I assume wore makeup.I have to own to not being entirely serious either,My own experiences when TDC has apparently attempted to debate sex with me suggest that you may be right, and that it inappropriate for them to do this, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts2/id59.htm this should be taken more as an example than a proper sample.
Did they have make up back then? Are we also to assume that Romeo should have had his collar felt for the unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor?Agree with you about your debate with TDC. An interesting link.
Tom, what I suppose you would call the age of consent in England was first set in late 1200s Edward II something along the lines of, yt shall bee dymed illegal to ravage a maiden, it was lowered I think during the reformation to 10. at about the same time homosexuality was made illegal 15 somethings I think. There was a lot of fuss in mid Victorian times when a picture of naked children being pulled from the mine they were working in, I think, was published, I what worried people was that they were clinging to each other, not working down a mine and the age of consent was raised to 13. Then in the late 1800s there were a series of articles on child prostitution, something like the maiden in babylon and it was raised to 16 where it has stayed. So I think in Juliet’s time it would have been 10.In biblical terms I think it pretty safe to assume the Virgin Mary would have been around 13, pregnant with people evidently checking her virginity and marvelling at it. I think any older and it just wouldn’t have been credible.
Whatever, Michael, for she was but a product of a writers quill, Juliet that is. As to Mary, well I really do not think there is anyway of accurately fixing her age so your suggestion of 13 is pure conjecture. Hardly matters though.
I was in the RAF when Pontius was a pilate and I can confirm that Mary was 17, and a looker too.
A mere sprog, John, for my number was chiselled on a tablet of stone by Moses.
I don’t really disagree with you Tom, just pointing out with life expectancy both in Shakespeare’s and new testament times making sixteen middle-aged proclaiming ones virginity – first love, as an old maid wouldn’t have fitted the stories somehow. What I am interested in here though is the case that the church is putting up against same sex marriage is a weak one, the case opponents are putting up also seems weak, the government by proposing as part of the same legislation that civil partnerships will only be available to same sex couples, appear to have written discrimination into what I think was supposed to be legislation against discrimination. History is a hobby of mine, publishing and editing about 150 history books means that I have a vague understanding of it and when people use it to justify arguments, well this is all right and dandy, but does me to sometimes ask the question.
Too deep a subject to get involved in methinks, especially on a bank holiday weekend. Most government legislation these days seems ill conceived with little thought to the greater ramifications. As you will know, they frequently introduce new laws to deal with something when the already adequate ones are not being properly enforced. It is more about doing things or being seen to be doings things than either good governance or sense.On the cases for and against same sex marriage, it hardly matters whether they are weak or not. The important point is that the proposal sets one community against another totally unnecessarily. The religious communities, from the outright opposition to homosexuality back in the sixties, have gradually come round with even a few gay bishops within the worldwide Anglian Communion, if not yet with Rome. This proposal opens up old wounds, forces lines to be drawn and the battle positions taken up.Right or wrong goes out of the window once passions are inflamed and it was all totally unnecessary. Whether married, in a civil partnership or just living together, certain rights attach to the partners in law. We are simply talking about what you call unions and, frankly, why shouldn't different mixtures have different names. Why, in some places, they still have both wives and concubines.Perhaps more concerning locally, is the motivation of the two councillors pushing this issue before the council. Like animal exports, now seemingly on the back burner for a bit, it is just another bandwagon and do either of them really care if they inflame feelings and some unfortunate gay person gets thumped by some of our local hoods as a result. In truth, they are probably praying for such an event so they can scream and shout about homophobia.
Oh, and by the way, Michael, I think you will find Mary predated Shakespeare by about one and a half milleniums.
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