Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Great wall of Ramsgate Vandalism Pictures



Here is the link to about 100 pictures http://michaelsbookshop.com/laptop213/id2.htm of the vandalism to the Art on the Great Wall of Ramsgate.

This appears to have been done with a pot of white emulsion paint and a paint roller, it can’t really be called graffiti as it doesn’t appear to say or mean anything recognisable.

I talked to a few of our Labour councillors on the way round and they seem to be laying the blame firmly at Cllr Ian Driver’s door.



I have my doubts that the political blame game is going to help much with this one, the use of a paint roller and a tin of paint is unusual in the type of vandalism and may with the help of the CCTV lead the police to whoever did it.  

Update I am also adding the picture and email I sent to the council's engineer as a result of visiting the Pleasurama site today.


Hi Mike you may remember about a year ago we discussed the brick balustrade between the two brick pillars at the Augusta Stairs end of the Pleasurama site. This was part of the 1860 structure the rest of which collapsed in the 1960s.

I mentioned to you that the foundations had been exposed by Cardys about two years ago and were sitting on made ground and at that time Cardys had just replaced the soil they had removed covering up this defect.

You assured me that Cardys had agreed to underpin this structure with concrete and I said that I hadn’t seen any evidence of this but couldn’t check as the foundations were now covered up again.

During the last year of site abandonment the infill has settled revealing that no underpinning occurred.

I should remind you that it was this structure that I reported to you and the HSE because part of the rendering was delaminating and within a week of you assurances that the structure was sound about a hundredweight of cement fell into the site and onto the public highway from a height of about forty feet.

As far as I can tell the rendering above the exposed part goes straight over the original drainage holes in the brickwork blocking them causing water from behind the balustrade to be draining via the made ground, this combined the damage to the drain and surface topside looks potentially dangerous to me.

You will also remember several years ago assuring me that something would be done by the council to instigate the weight limit topside required by Jacobs and that something would be done to prevent vehicles from going next to the top cliff edge altogether.

Can you please let me know if any progress has been made on this front?    

Picture attached.

Please take this one as official customer feedback, requiring some sort of response within ten working days.  


Best regards Michael 
 



 

101 comments:

  1. Suppose it had been someone he didn't favour quite as much as Driver who came out in support of graffiti would michael child be quite so laid back? I am guessing not....

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    1. My understanding is that this money is for line improvements through Canterbury to Ashford with the intention of having a high speed link to Ashford. The funding of Manston Parkway is the next step/application. I note pnce again Michael you cant wait to trot out socialist propoganda regarding Ramsgate station. The local socialist luddites want the high speed train only into the three stations at Ramsgate Margate and Broadstairs and no parkway station. As usual they are anti developments which may help the island and their argument as usual is flawed, cos we could get both; and elsewhere in the country parkway stations have really helped inward investment. Rather think the socialists want neither so they can continue moaning. God help Thanet if Hart is now to concentrate solely on economic development he has no understanding of the issue at all. Thought I had better say that Michael, cos you certainly wont. Hart's last explanation of his fit for the post of economic regeneration was that he had worked on many of the buildings which may be involved. So far they have developed a meaningless draft strategy with no real targets; which was expected in February and arrived last month; and promised three more stages of draft waffle before drawing any conclusion. ASgain Michael thought it best to inform your readers as you wont. No doubt you will shortly say it has been covered elsewhere.

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    2. Anon I am assuming that you are a Conservative councillor or Conservative supporter trying to grapple with the intricacies of the local blogging scene, obviously you are having a bit of a hard time of it.

      Typos commenting on the wrong post and so on, in the first instance I would recommend going to blogger.com and opening a blogger account, you can still comment under some anonymous pseudonym, but you will then have the advantage of being able to delete comments you have made in the wrong place, don’t make sense or both.

      I would also recommend in your case, typing your comment out in a word processing program (like MS Word) that you are familiar with and then pasting it into the blogger comment form.

      Sorry if that sounded a bit patronising, it wasn’t meant to, busy day in my bookshop, you can always come into the shop, wear a false beard if you are worried about your anonymity which I wouldn’t divulge anyway and I will show you how to comment without making a total hash of it.

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    3. Political loyalties are all getting rather confused, Michael. Many who were Tories are now UKIP. Cllr Driver who was Labour is now independent and a couple of times lately has voted with the Conservatives. Some people on here, you regard as Conservatives, are calling for Driver's head although his resignation would see a proper Labour councillor returned in his seat thus strenghening the Labour grip of TDC. Meantime, Worrow, the one time pet hate on the blue side seems to have gone very quiet all of a sudden. Perhaps he has been busy painting for, or against, his old TIG friend.

      It is all a bit Alice in Wonderland for me.

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  2. Maybe a Dingo ate your baby!

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    1. I fail to see how this is a political blame game, something we normally associate with Labour and Conservatives, for here an independent district councillor called on the graffiti fraternity to paint on the wall. Whether he intended that to be confined to comments in support of his campaign and on a blank section of hoarding is irrelevant. He sought to promote and encourage a criminal act and that should be sufficient for him to be drummed out of office regardles of whichever party any of us may or may not support. Indeed, I would go as far ass to suggerst that the police should consider criminal charges against him.

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    2. 'Ass' should read 'as' in this context although it is not a totally unsuitable word when discussing said councillor.

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    3. Tom I guess Ass usually means something else.

      I have to admit to being surprised at the virulence of anti Driver feeling in political circles. I also guess that if the developer is engaged in some sort of land banking operation than there may be a few million hanging on the council towing the developer’s line. So I am just adding the possibility here that the vandalism could have been a direct move to discredit Driver.

      I am not saying that him saying: “Personally I support grafiti & think there should more of it! Since writing began 20-30,000 years ago people have been drawing and writing on walls. It's human nature. You can't stop it. Grafiti can be incredibly funny and it can also be highly political, helping to bring down tyrants. It can also be very artistic too. Think Banksy!. So I fully support the anti-Pleasurama grafiti which has appeared on the Great wall of Ramsgate. It's in the right place at the right time and there should be more of it to expose the scandal behind the wall.” Wasn’t stupid.

      I guess that driver has been sucked into the political vacuum caused by the Conservative group failing to act as a visible and viable opposition.

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    4. Michael, and despite your inability to resist a dig at the Conservatives, the fact remains that Ian Driver brought this on himself with his irresponsible posting on his own site. It is even worse than his earlier call to boycott a restaurant in Margate because the owner drew attention to some of the less desirable elements that exist in that side of the isle.

      What the man needs to take on board is that he is a district councillor, and whilst that affords him the opportunity, and particularly in his Scrutiny chair role, to raise issues, he needs to be careful about what he says. Some has definitely been unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (perhaps that is a ludicrous comparison in this case), so more specifically unsuitable for an elected representative.

      Perhaps the virulence of the anti-Driver feeling amounts to the fact that those that live by the verbal sword are likely to die by it. He has not been slow to dish out the inflamatory language and insults and so cannot be surprised when his opponents leap on his mistakes.

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    5. What a load of verbose tosh Tom Clarke.

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    6. Unknown, if it was not for the fact you can spell, I might suspect you are Cllr Driver!

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    7. Probably one of his TDC labour lackeys

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    8. As I have said before, it's a building site hoarding for goodness sake, not the Tate Ggallery. Get over it. I doubt whether Ian Driver is the slightest bit bothered by the fulminations of the pipsqueaks we call councillors in this area; remember where he cut his political teeth. Not one of those midgets had shown the slightest interest until Ian Driver started taking this on as a cause; and there are still so many unanswered questions that you have to wonder why suddenly a bit of white paint is of more concern than the tanker loads of white wash that are poured over this whole project at every opportunity by those that seek to govern us locally.

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  3. Petty politics and nasty in-fighting once again seem to be ruining the chances of Thanet ever dragging itself out of the mire. Instead of slinging mud we should all be concentrating on finding the dickhead who did this and getting them to clean their mess up.

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    1. Rubbish, 3:30, this is not petty politics. If you encourage someone to burgle a house it is no good claiming in defence that the did the wrong gaff. Driver is banged to rights on this one and is as guilty as the moron with the paint roller. In all probabilty, if he had not stuck his noisy oar in, we would still have our lovely hoarding.

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    2. Playing the blame game doesn't get the mess cleaned up, the culprit found, or the whole sorry saga of the Pleasurama site sorted, does it? I personally don't give a tuppenny whether Mr Drivel is 'bang to rights' or not. The deed is done, let's concentrate on sorting it out - both the graffiti and the terrible eyesore that has blighted our seafront for a decade and a half.

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    3. Sure we are all with you, 4:27, about the eyesore to our town, but it certainly does not help when a Ramsgate ward district councillor openly encourages vandalism. He should at least help with or financially contribute to the clean up.

      PS I wish I had thought of the name 'Drivel' for him.

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    4. 'Drivel' was one of those fortuitous typos Mr M!

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    5. Allan Mallinson you are talking about a hoarding that defines the perimeter of a building site. This is a temporary structure, I don't suppose it is even insured or insurable. There is a huge difference between graffiti art and deliberate defacement. The paintings are attractive, but by their nature impermanent, Clearly someone wants to divert attention from the real issues surrounding the failed development and a fair and meaningful outcome for the community. People who are wanting heads to roll and blaming councillors or whoever need to look at the real issue and stop wasting their breath and filling the digital ether with supposition, hearsay and opinions based on a limited understanding or knowledge of the real issues.

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    6. All of which, Unknown, amounts to utter drivel. Of course, councillors should behave responsibly and encouraging vandalism is hardly that. Whilst I would agree that the failed development is of great public concern, this posting by Michael is about the vandalism of the paintings, something Cllr Driver encouraged, albeit unintentionally.

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  4. Has Thanet or Ramsgate in particular got some sort of death wish? I'm not very much into art but I'm well aware of the visitors that walk down there looking at the pictures. To be fair it did seem remarkable that the usual grafitti / vandalism that plagues most towns had not appeared on the Wall. If it transpires that an adult, and I use the word loosely, encouraged others to deface the wall then they are doing their fellow citizens no favour no matter what excuse.

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    1. You are talking utter rubbish Pat M, you and your Labour colleagues should know better!

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    2. Thank you Cllr Driver, alias Unknown.

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  5. 6:42 Alas you appear to be under some illusion as to my identity I am neither a member of the Labour party nor a local resident, just a visitor who comes to stay in Ramsgate on a regular basis and puts money into the local economy. Idiotic acts like this one merely reinforce the notion that trying to raise the profile of Ramsgate / Thanet as a tourist destination is a waste of time. I fail to see how any political party can gain any kudos from this sort of act, perhaps you could provide enlightenment as to what this has to do with Labour,I made no mention of any political party.

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    1. Pat M, one Cllr Driver has on his own site encouraged the criminal act of grafitti and is now trying to wriggle out of any responsibility for what has happened. Because he was elected as Labour, but then turned his back on the party, he and others are assuming that it is Labour politicians who are now blaming him. They possibly are, but so also are all the responsible residents of Thanet who would like to see our towns pleasant places to live and visit as well as free from the kind of militant, rabble rousing politics that Cllr Driver represents.

      As a resident I apologise to you for the ill manners shown you by Unknown, whoever he may be although, I could hazard a pretty accurate guess.

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    2. Have a guess, that's what everyone else seems to be an expert at - residents and visitors alike.

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  6. Thankyou AM. No harm done,leastways to me as an individual.

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    1. Unfortunately Pat, I think you've been mixed up with Labour Cllr Pat Moore of Eastcliff Ward.

      While Driver is distinguishing between the art already there and the white sections left, to give any indication that graffiti is acceptable is a dangerous message to portray.

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    2. Thanks for that James...my apologies to Councillor Moore of whose existence I was unaware, in the nicest sense of course.

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  7. To be fair, I suggest that Driver was in speaking in favour of grafitti on the blank spaces of the hording, and not the defacement of the paintings. If this true then he must stand up and say so.

    I can think of things that I would like to write on the blank hoarding.

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    1. John, I credited you with more sense for how do you put limits on encouraging criminal activity. Calling for graffiti on even the blank spaces was asking for trouble and, as a councillor, Driver should know better. That he doesn't speaks volumes about the man, his self promotion, band wagon jumping and irresponsible rabble rousing.

      I do appreciate that he has attracted something of a fan following over his recent campaigning on the Pleasurama site but he has done nothing more, indeed I would say far less, than Michael has been doing for years and with far less information to back his allegations.

      Read John Hamilton's site, link on the side bar here, if you want a second opinion on the antics of Cllr Ian Driver.

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    2. Blustering bores-the world according to UKIP you mean!

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    3. Are we to take it that all opinion apart from yours, whatever that may be for you are mostly famous for one liners, is boring. That sounds fairly extreme and totalitarian which may be a clue to your politics and why you should be leaping to the defence of Cllr Driver.

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    5. Tom,

      Having travelled the world I consider Ramsgate to be my Home Town. A town with which I have strong family connections reaching back for a hundred years. A town that I view with affection. This protracted Pleasurama debacle is a monumental example of sheer incompetence. Incompetence on the part of those that we elect and pay to take care of Ramsgate. They make me ashamed.

      As far as I can tell Cllr Ian Driver is of the far left with loony overtones. In this he does not, nor never will represent me. But I must be fair. In the sole case of Pleasurama he speaks for me. If this is for his own self aggrandisement then so be it. He has encouraged a much needed press interest.

      From my experience I appreciate that certain Government business needs to be a strictly guarded secret. But only in defence of the Realm; and never to protect political reputations. Are there reputations are at stake within TDC.

      Occasional Democracy stumbles. Politicians need to be reminded that power does not come from top to bottom but always, always from bottom to top. This frequently results in some form of civil action. As our history demonstrates.

      Writing slogans on a private and otherwise empty and rather shabby temporary hoarding is fundamentally criminal damage. Yet it does not harm me, nor any other Ramsgate resident. Though I will agree that it might harm some in TDC. However, I feel that perhaps I should not discuss crime in the same breath as TDC's Pleasurama development. Though on balance I still conclude that this a more a case where incompetence runs rife.

      Tom, I agree with you that Michael is a tower of strength. He has done far more than any politician in his endeavour to rescue us from this squalid TDC development.

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    6. My 'occasional' above should read 'occasionally' Sorry.

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    7. Whilst I agree, John, there is always a price to pay with extremist campaigners and Ramsgate may just have made the first instalment.

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    8. Dull pensioners whining. I miss the Manston aquifer info.

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    9. That's rich coming from the dullest pensioner ever to bore the pants of everyone around the blogs.

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  8. So your saying it's ok to deface private property as long as its a blank space?

    Hope the front of your house isn't a nice big flat white area?

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    1. That is precisely what alleged Councillor Driver was saying. Trust it is his house you are talking about although that is in leafy Broadstairs suburbia, well away from graffiti alley and the Ramsgate ward he represents. Mind you, no one in Broadstairs would ever be daft enough to elect the man.

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    2. If you want it to be, fat boy, be my guest.

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    3. anonymouse at 8:16pm,

      Are you talking to me?

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  9. I have added on to the post my email to the council’s engineer about the condition of the cliff balustrade at the end of the site, council lorries are driving along the top of the cliff above this on a daily basis, I have to admit this caused me more concern than the vandalism.

    I guess the debate about whether graffiti is ever an acceptable form of civil disobedience has been going on since people could read and write as evidenced in Pompeii and other sites of historic interest.

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  10. I remember student debates that were more illuminating than this. Let's all argue ad hominem while the real issue gets lost, shall we? Pathetic.

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    1. Anonymouse 11:49AM.

      I find it difficult to accept that you were ever a Student (despite your use of gratuitous latin tags). Though perhaps you do display that certainty and rudeness often found in some teenagers.

      Please expand your argument. What in you opinion is the real issue here; and what do you suggest be done about it?

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    2. Call me a pedant, but you're right, I can't claim to have ever been a 'Student'. I was once a student. Studying Literae Humaniores at Oxford, to be precise. Hence my gratuitous ways with the language of the Romans.

      My point is that, whether Councillor Drivel incited the graffiti or not is a red herring. The real issue is that we have a council that has got into bed with a developer who is patently not up to the task of producing a prestige development on a prime site on our seafront. The future of the site, and how to remedy the situation, is what is at stake here. Petty arguments about who said what or who did what and when are irrelevant. There wouldn't be a Great Wall of Ramsgate to deface if the developer had delivered what he promised in the first place.

      So let's waft away all this hot air and concentrate on getting the site sorted. 15 years of blight is a monstrous waste of Ramsgate's potential. QED.

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    4. Anonymous 12:46PM

      I agree with you in principle. But studying who said what, did what, when, where, why and how often leads to the truth. I think you may agree that we should look at the totality of the evidence in the round. Even if at times it may appear petty or irrelevant.

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  11. Well said 11.49

    I see David Green is calling for the resignation of Cllr Driver (Isn't that our perogative?). If he goes, then who will be able to put the questions we want answered, to the chief executive?

    In his piece, David Green appears to be saying that the wall was somehow a dignified, long-suffering expression of the people(I can't give the exact quote,sorry, as I need to be gone from here as it is). All very convenient would you not think? to divert attention away from the cosy relationships that existed originally, that has lost us so much income, employment and services for us in Pleasurama?

    With respect, I think we all need to be focusing upon, and commenting upon the Auditors Report of 2003, which Michael has published on ReadIts Blogsite " Inthanet"

    By dealing with what happened in the past, we might then be able to secure a better future for generations to come. Having a secure, thriving blogging communtiy, as I see it, would help secure such a legacy.

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    1. But surely he says, quickly checking back to the yop of the page, this particular post is about the damage to the wall paintings, so responsibilty for it is relevant. The issue of Pleasurama and the dodgy development have been debated at length elsewhere on several items posted recently. It rather looks, Solo Gays, that you are seeking to divert attention from the monumental error of judgement by Cllr Driver on the vandalism issue.

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    2. Tom

      I have just read Michaels opening comment, which is:-

      ".........It can't really be called graffiti, as it doesn't appear to say or mean anything recognisable."

      Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own comments that has followed on from this.

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    3. My point exactly, this is about the graffiti or vandalism of the paintings, just look at the subject heading, therefore it is perfectly reasonable to discuss that issue here and doing so no way detracts from the other problems associated with the Pleasurama site. Problems, I might add, that Michael Child and others have been campaigning about for years, long before Driver spotted it as another profile raising opportunity.

      I see over on his own site, presumably to divert attention from his open call to the paint boys, he is now publishing council secret papers still further demonstrating his total unsuitabilty for public office. As a councillor he is supposed to respect confidentiality on some occasions although all will out ultimately through FOI requests, at which Michael has been very good.

      If you really want a champion on Pleasurama, Michael Child will be a much better bet in the long term than friend Driver. He will disappear the minute the cameras are pointing in a different direction.

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    4. Tom

      Take a look at whose views Michael was expressing in the very next sentence after his own observation.

      What do you think Michael wishes to discuss now? Have you asked him?

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    5. SG I think the difference between vandalism and graffiti is important in this instance.

      Is all graffiti vandalism?

      Is all vandalism graffiti?

      Is whet has happened graffiti, vandalism or both?

      Tom, I think Cllr Driver has got a bit confused about these secret documents, they were published as pdf download via the Friend of Ramsgate FaceBook group over a week ago, i.e. in the public domain if you join this group.

      Since then they have been subject to discussion here and elsewhere.

      These are the documents that show that in 2009 the Conservative group allowed the developer a build finish extension deadline to 2017, based on letters from a Swiss bank that had ceased to trade.

      My take being that if the Conservative group admit they were taken in by theses letters and wouldn’t have issued the extension if they had know the bank had ceased trading at the time they made the decision, then the extension becomes invalid and the council can reasonably get out of its relationship with the developer without fear of legal action from the developer.

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    6. In other words, you confirm this document was already in the public domain and Driver is just using it as a red herring to divert attention from the wall issue. Graffiti or vandalism is another red herring and you know it. It is about a councillor encouraging a criminal act by whatever name you want to call it.

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    7. Tom the online version is a white clean PDF, such as one would lift from the council’s secure intranet, if one was computer literate, Ian seems to be grappling with trying to photograph a creased paper version, not helped by being on pink paper, I genuinely think he just hasn’t realised that it has already been published.

      Obviously otherwise he would just import the pdf into photoshop export it as images of the pages and upload the thing to the blog post, about six clicks and done.

      I genuinely think that “I will eventually publish the entire document on this blogsite when I learn how to do it” means what it says.

      I would guess if he was able he would have published it all, it is a diverting document.

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    8. Tom Clarke at 1516 actually supporting Michael. What is the world coming to?

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    9. Thanks, Tim, but I would even support Clive and Iris against Driver.

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  12. I think we have to consider several unpalatable possibilities with this one.

    1 that this was a random act of vandalism that would have happened anyway regardless of what Cllr Driver said or the new graffiti appearing on the previously blank part of the wall.

    2 that the vandalism was directly the result of what Cllr Driver said or the new graffiti appearing on the previously blank part of the wall i.e. an act of encouraging a crime.

    3 that this was a pre planned act of vandalism directly aimed at undermining what Cllr driver and the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront are seeking to achieve, which to me appears to be both pointing out the mistakes, failures and possible collusion of both political groups, in what looks like a 20 year attempt to acquire a valuable freehold, with little actual investment.

    4 that what looks like just plain vandalism is actually graffiti with some point and in some sense decipherable.

    Cllr Driver advocated Graffiti not mindless vandalism, which could have been setting light to the hoardings, knocking them down or whatever.

    On the calls for him to resign, in general sense with councillors, this raises the question should they resign when someone on a blog accuses them of a crime, when they get arrested, when the DPP considers they have a case for prosecution or when they are found guilty?

    I guess with the whole Pleasurama issue pretty much every legal option has been explored by local people who have become tired of the thing, the exception here being my trespassing on the site that has lead to various repairs to the cliff wall.

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    1. Anyone would think the flipping Great Wall of China had been demolished, not some shutter ply hoarding, with a few daubs by local artists stapled on, graffitied. It's an eyesore of TDC's making, whichever way you look at it, and it needs to be sorted out.

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    2. Some of the comments on here seem to forget the time,effort and commitment by local artists to make a shabby hoarding into a locally famous work of art. I salute all their hard work and I am saddened that some mindless moron can even contemplate defacing such dedication. The art has nothing to do with the shambles behind the hoarding and is an expression of Ramsgate artists' commitment to the town, trying to keep it looking good while faceless individuals do their utmost to ruin it.

      By all means complain about the debacle which is Royal Sands but do not dismiss or deface the efforts of the local people.

      If it is OK to graffiti, how long before it appears on the Turner Contemporary exhibits, would you say it is OK then, or don't the local artists matter.

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    3. Michael,

      I agree. The evidence suggests to me that this is land banking, a grab for the freehold

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    4. Well said, Ken, but some seem determined to defend the behaviour of Driver at all costs and with little or no regard to the offended artists or the impression given of Ramsgate.

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    5. Readit, I should point out that at the moment the most famous contemporary artist exhibiting in the Turner Contemporary Carl Andre, although now very establishment, was back in 1976 controversial, to the point that one of his works on display in The Tate Gallery was smeared with paint.

      Frankly now, I doubt that anything in The Turner Contemporary is controversial enough attract that much attention.

      In both cases I don’t think the paint had anything to do with graffiti, but a great deal to do with making political statements.

      I think you have to consider that while some graffiti is vandalism, not all vandalism is graffiti.

      Tom I think there is a difference between defending Driver and following the course that he and only he is directly responsible for an act of vandalism that is likely to have been carried out to divert attention from the very real problems with the development.

      In this instance I think the Labour group should have used the bargaining position, facilitated by the developer seeking concessions, to insist on a flood risk assessment.

      This failure should have been noticed and used by the opposition, both to ensure a better result for the local people who will ultimately have to live in it, and to further the cause of the opposition by drawing attention to the shortcoming of the party in control.

      In this instance the primary opposition should have been the Conservative group, issuing a statement after the decision had been made, saying they supported a flood risk assessment, just shows a weak and ineffectual opposition.

      I did point this out to the Conservative group before the decision was made and frankly I don’t think local people appreciate a major opposition that only seems interested in after the event criticism.

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    6. Try as you might, Michael, this is not about politics. I have no representation on TDC and whether the Conservatives are an effective opposition or whether Labour should have bargained better is irrelevant on the question of damaging the paintings. Paintings which have given some pleasure for a long time instead of just looking at a derelict building site.

      It is not without significance that almost immediately following Councillor Driver's call for graffiti on the blank wall, as if such fraternity can tell the difference, the paintings get vandalised. Now he is trying to detract attention by publishing the first page of an old screwed up secret council document on his site. Really significant that, for does it throw light on how this deal was struck up in the first place, no it does not. Does it tell us what is going on behind closed doors now, no either. What it begins to tell us is a little about a meeting in 2009, but with nothing most of us did not know already.

      The man is a clown, a noisy extremist and, in my opinion, is unfit for public offices whatever politics he thinks he is.

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    7. With all these worthy groups operating on the ground in Ramsgate, are there no plans afoot to preserve these paintings? They have I suppose become part of Ramsgates's cultural history?

      Elsewhere, I see Laura Sandys is plugging Thanet as a cultural/historic destination, and has secured the comittment of National Lottery Executives to look at preserving our heritage.

      I remember reference being made to the Pleaurama building being listed in the Auditors report of 2003 I have just read. Maybe this could tie up with what Laura is doing somehow? I don't have time to cross reference with the seafront group, but to save arguments, it might be expedient to just get the Pleasurama building reinstated?

      Getting plans finalised would take us up to 2017 anyway I imagine?

      All to play for I would think? Tom, you might like to become a Trustee and be head of security?

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  13. Tom - 15:36

    No only that, he can't spell INDEPENDENT either..

    "Driver's Thanet
    An indepedent, straight talking, commentary on local and national affairs and anything else that takes my fancy"

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  14. It occurs to me that, as far as I am aware, the "call to graffiti" made by Cllr Driver was only made on his blog. Now I doubt that this has a mass readership (Michael will have the stats if anyone is interested) so the vandal - if responding to this call - must come from a very small group of people. Probably one of the contributors to this post in fact.

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  15. In conclusion. A useful posting by Michael, diverted as usual by the usual collection of right-wing xenophobes into another personal attack upon one of only a handful of people who is trying to find out what is happening to this eyesore. Don't notice Tom having anything constructive to add to the debate on how we remove this blot from the landscape. Ken is more concerned with the poor old luvvies (well that's the Ramsgate Society for you) who daubed the things in the first place. SG and John, as well as a couple of anonymice tried to steer the conversation back on topic; with little success I'm afraid. And no-one even mentioned the missing foundations.

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    1. Seem to recall, Tim, that it was you, when Driver appeared on the scene in local public life, that informed us all of his Scargillian background and questioned his motivation. I am all for campaigning to sort out the ongoing saga of what was once Pleasurama and, yes, I would like to see Conservatives in opposition playing a more forceful role, but, Driver, what can he add. There have been so many noisy campaigns by this man, generally adding nothing to Thanet's well being, that are dropped as soon as a better bandwagon comes along.

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    2. Tom, those of us that are acquainted with Ian Driver are aware of his limitations.

      When Ian had his foot pressed right down on the accelerator peddle to do with gay marriage, I was perplexed that he was not listening to our group and the message we wished to convey?

      Although, as he represents Northwood Ward, I thought, well they could be gay people in Northwood ward who might quite like the idea? I am sure there are quite a few groups and individuals who are grateful to him for raising all kinds of issues. I tend to listen to what people are saying, I don't worry about their background. And interestingly, he is also prepared to give a voice to the disenfranchised with his "call to graffitti", but is mindful to point out the limitations of this.

      Now that Ian has made us aware of his skills shortfall, let us hope that someone will come to his aid who can help, preferably somone who has identified with him on some of his campaigning issues.

      I think it remains to be seen if it is the case that Ian just seeks publicity and nothing else. I suspect not, since he has three daughters, and I would imagine he would be just as keen as anyone to make Thanet a more prosperous and tranquil place to live and work in.

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    3. Solo Gays,

      Is possible to leave comments on your blog? I wanted to ask you about your views on gay marriage. I'm genuinely interested and not seeking to force my view or score cheap points.

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    4. John

      I am not all that computer literate, which is why I seek advice and support before opening up my blog for comment. I have mentioned a couple of times on Michael's posts, that these technical difficulties and phobias(I should steer clear of that word!) is an equality and/or education issue, if you like, which Thanet Council need to be taking responsibilty for as part of its Equality Duty. I remain concerned that it is down to Michael at the moment, who is sharing his knowledge and skills to help redress imbalances, rather than as part of a comprehensive Island Wide policy.

      I hope that does not sound too muddled John? I am just trying to put the responsibility for making communication easier between residents, firmly on the shoulders of Thanet Council.

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    5. Surely that is the point, Solo Gays, is someone of such limitations with a tendency to shout before engaging brain really right for public office.

      On this Pleasurama issue he seems now to be implying some kind of underhand dealing, but think about that. The original Labour administration who agreed this contractor did so on assurance of a well known hotel group's involvement. When the Conservatives looked at it in 2009 Cardy, a well respected local firm were involved, and now you have another Labour administration under new leadership looking at it again.

      Yes, there may be or have been councillors who are self serving or just plain stupid, but there are also many decent ones in all parties and for this to have been some kind of dishonest conspiracy would have to involve far too many people, from different administrations, for such suggestion to have any credibility. That is why I oppose rabble rousing, name calling, accusatiion making type people, like Ian Driver, in public office. Reasoned debate and constructive criticism is what is required, not the outraged shop steward approach.

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    6. Yes I agree your point, Tom, that the voices of public figures need to be restrained by reference to a particular group. Failure to do that must surely end in sheer exhaustion and isolation in most cases. Cllr Driver, in his defence, must feel on balance that the rewards outweigh the risks.

      I think all he is trying to do is encourage a much wider audience to have their say on Pleasurama, as is Michael in his own way. When we look at this in terms of "Big Society", maybe this is a good time to point out the "Sustainable Community Strategy" adopted by Thanet District Council:-

      "Sets out three countywide ambitions which aim to guide the direction of public services in Kent over the next ten years. These are: to grow the economy, to tackle disadvantage, and to put citizens in control."

      The last ambition is the one that particularly interests me, but I have noted the policy being referred to as a "three legged stool", each leg as important as the other to maintain its function.

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    7. Still does not change the fact that you need the right people to guide and lead us through the achievement of these aims and, as England would not pick someone from minor club level to open the batting in a test against Australia, so Ian Driver is also not up to the task of being a district councillor

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    8. Looking at the toolbar on the side, I see the spammers are pointing us to a near three year old post by Michael about the weeding of the Pleasurama cliff face. The opening remarks there by someone going under the name "retired" is most definately worth a read.

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    9. Retired, alias Rick Card, has incredibly well presented conspiracy theories on everything from police corruption, perjury by councillors, illegal rifle ranges, masonic skullduggery and the Deal bombing. If true, there should have been dozens of arrests, but, wait for it, there has not been one from Rick's allegations.

      The first time I read one of his diatribes I thought there must be some truth in it because no one could make all that up. Wrong, Rick can. When he goes too far and starts naming people still in public life some blogsite administrators delete his comments. Some have said categorically no more Deal bombing conspiracies. At times though he still pops up and has his say but, best advice, Solo Gays, is to take it all with a pinch of salt.

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    10. Well I don't know who you are talking about as I have not been following this case for very long(but then, why are you still here Tom, if these posts are full of rubbish?).

      What Michael appears to be saying though, is that Thanet Council weeded the cliff face in the Autumn of 2010, then denied that such an activity occurred?

      And in keeping with the subject of this post; what do you think was distracting people around the perimeter of the site at the time?

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    11. I never said all these blogsites are full of rubbish but, since you drew attention to a contribution by Retired and said it was worth a read, I was simply pointing out he has been trundling out these conspiracy theories for years. I was in no way commenting on Michael's assertions about TDC's weeding or lack of weeding to the cliff face.

      If you seriously want to get involved with stories about a local councillor who ran a cadet group who, in turn, trained terrorists on their illegal range in Birchington, also frequented by police officers who, in turn, should have spotted the terrorists and thus thwarted the Deal bombing please, be my guest. I, like most regular visitors to the Thanet blogs over the lasst umpteen years have read it all before. I was actually trying to save you from getting sucked in.

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    12. Tom

      I work in Mental health, so I am all too aware of what can happen if you try to take on board too much information and get needlessly sucked into other peoples' issues.

      The point I would wish to make is that in "Retired", you appeared to have someone who took on board Michael's search for the truth, and wanted to draw Michael's attention to Human Rights Legislation. END of my interest.

      I would hazard a guess though Tom, that readers may be curious as to where your loyalties really lie? But I guess there is no harm in playing Devils Advocate, and I thank you for your warning.

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    13. My loyalties lie with a green and pleasant land that exists in my childhood memories, though whether it ever existed in fact is questionable. A place where honour, chivalry and good manners still had a place and where families looked after their own. A land that controlled its own destiny, as well as its borders, and where most of our representatives had done a proper job first rather than being vacuous centre ground occupying professional politicians all trying to be all things to all men at once.

      I doubt that the political party that could demand my allegiance exists although I am staunchly loyal to family, friends, my former regiment and old school. As I have stated many times, I have no time for Labour, find David Cameron cringe making, Nick Glegg is even worse and, if I had to vote at this time, it would probably be for UKIP to save wasting my democratic right to do so.

      You are probably right about me playing Devil's Advocate though I would not express views I do not hold.

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    14. Or, Tom's a sad pensioner blogging to fill the days, and the emptiness of his ex-military views on Manston.

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    15. Far from sad, you miserable toe rag, but enjoying every minute of my post military life with lots of activities apart from looking on this blogsite occassionally to see what more silly ranting about aquifers and such like you have come up with. You obviously do not like me and I most definitely do not find your attitude at all appealing so let's call it a day. I will not respond to your comments and you do likewise with mine.

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    16. What's your excuse for breathing then, 6:59, for you have yet to contribute anything worthwhile to these pages. At least Tom has some views and presents them well, all you do is whinge about aquifers and insult people.

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  16. You know that Driver is getting close to the hunnypot when they demand his resignation.

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    1. He is not an employee, councillors get an allowance not a salary and, as such, no cash handshake on standing down. Where is the honeypot?

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    2. I meant he's getting close to the truth.

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    3. What truth is that then? You mean the likes of Mike Harrison and Iris Johnson on one side are all in a conspiracy with Simon Moores and Chris Wells on the other along with all the other dozens of Thanet district councillors who have served over the last decade to defraud the good people of Thanet. You must seriously be off your trolley, 3:35. In any event, Driver would not know the truth if it bit him on the bum.

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    4. Ren, the comment previously was that you were a sheep. Obviously TDC councillors have defrauded the public with ChinaGate, Manston etc. At the very least they've failed to control the civil servant costs. You're incorrect if not stupid if you think TDC is in any way a competent council. Failed Tory activists like you are part of the problem. No doubt UKIP is your last desperate throw of the idiot dice.

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. 6:30 - You really do search the primary school playground for your insults for in a one comment we have a sheep, stupid and idiot. Well my cretinous ignoramus, I suggest you confine your silly name calling to the kindergarten for you are certainly not a worthy adversary that I would wish to banter with here or anywhere else.

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    7. Anonymouse 6:30PM,

      You are a rude and vulgar fool.

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  17. Such a shame that everyone is tearing themselves apart over this. It's not graffiti and Cllr Driver hasn't exactly made many friends with Clive Harts bunch. If you stand back and analyse this, it would hardly be the Drivers advantage, but it would to Hart and Co who would clearly wish him no good.

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    1. In which case, Driver still caused it by his mouth. Proclaiming open season for vandals was never very clever who ever did the paint job, friend or foe.

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  18. The condition of some of the cliff face structures on the site is an area that bears further scrutiny. It will be interesting to see what response the Council give with regards to how safe the existing structures are in the short and longer term. Maintenance delays to penny pinch in the short term can lead to far larger bills in the future so reassurance from the Council that there are no maintenance issues will go some way to alleviate any concerns.

    The Council must surely survey the structures under their control on the coast so if there is any vagueness in the response it would be a concern.

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  19. Sorry about the spam today, I had the day off, mostly in Canterbury, buying books, looking at paintings and I even bought some artists materials, managing comment with a mobile phone is not an easy or exact science, I zapped what I could when I could and hope I didn’t zap any genuine comments.

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    1. Poor Ian Driver, I have visions of him being bound, gagged and dumped on a beach somewhere......

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  20. Most of those paintings were a right mess, peeling and falling to bits. Might have been someone's way of saying that it's time for some new ones to replace the old, something that is certainly needed.

    As for politicians, they're all wrong 'uns, every last one of them, whatever flavour.

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