Thursday, 1 May 2014

Thanet Council, Turner Contemporary, Edmund De Waal and The Impossible Object; a day orf ramble.

May day today and I went to Margate; in search of something pagan? Don’t know really. At Turner Contemporary I went through the motions of not photographing or drawing “Atmosphere” by Edmund De Waal, the only major exhibit you are allowed to photograph, I hope was is a sufficiently minimalist approach. There are parallels between the vitrines containing his pots and the gallery’s café where I went for a coffee. There is a sense there of being inside an extension of the exhibits that one has just been, what’s the word? We will go for “observing” from different angles.

For me the acid test of any work of art is does it inspire me to engage in art myself. And after my minimalist observation I was just gagging to draw, my brain was still between two glass cases, so the impossible (above) occurred.

After this I ventured further into the gallery in search of maidens with maypoles.

On the bookbuying front I struck lucky with a pagan Margate item.

The literate among you will know “Impossible Object” is a novel by Nichols Mosley, what with one thing and another I baulked at trying to photograph an impossible object

So here is a picture of one of his other books.

On, sadly to the council, some of you will have read Ian Driver’s blog post where there is an email from the council’s lawyer asking Ian to do the impossible i.e. remove something from the internet.

Here is the relevant quote:

“You should also be aware that qualified privilege attaches when issues of concern are raised internally but your conduct in publishing these can attract no such protection and as a result, you have placed yourself at significant personal risk of having multiple actions in defamation taken against you by all those named in your web-blog, If nothing else will persuade you to do the right thing, perhaps the realisation that you have placed your home and personal assets at risk, will.

I therefore require you to immediately remove from your web blog all the matters referred to in this letter. I would also suggest that you seek urgent legal advice on how to mitigate your liability for your ill judged actions.”

Of course no one would read this as a veiled threat and as I have already said, removing something from the internet is impossible anyway, only the most technologically illiterate would have the slightest difficulty finding the cached page.

Anyway this morning I sent the following open letter in the form of an email to the council’s chief executive, lawyer, leader and leader of the opposition.

Hi Sue [forwarded to the others asking them to comment on it] 

Please see this one as an open letter that will be published today, with any reply you send me.

I am becoming increasingly concerned about the situation at TDC with senior officers and councillors.

This culminated yesterday in a councillor publishing documents [which he was then asked to remove] Ed. I have removed part of this paragraph pending legal advice.

I am leaving part of the post deleted at the moment but have added this link to the Gazette article about the issue   

The follow up to this was the council’s legal department threatening the councillor with legal action that could result in the loss of his house.

Looking at this from outside the council my impression is, that if an elected member discovers wrongdoing or suspects that there may be wrongdoing among the most senior officers, then that councillor is likely to be threatened with having his or her house repossessed and being made bankrupt.      

Any thoughts you have on this matter would be helpful.

Best regards Michael”

I have so far had the following reply from the leader of the opposition:

Hi Michael

As I am presently a member of TDC's General Purposes Committee, which is presently engaged in a process related to the issues you raise, I feel that it would be inappropriate to comment on your open letter. The work of this committee has been seriously compromised by Cllr Driver's actions and I have no desire to make things worse.



And this reply from the council’s PR team:

Dear Michael,
Your recent e-mail has been passed on to the PR and Publicity team.
Our response to your enquiry is as follows:
The council is following due process and in order to allow this to be properly and thoroughly considered – and in fairness to the parties concerned – it would be inappropriate to provide any comment on this investigation at the present time.
Kind regards

I don’t really know if I will get any more replies though I expect I will as I am sure they are not all in it together, if I do I will publish them.

In view of the warning and although I really don’t have any idea what the council would do with my bookshop, comments with names of officers and councillors that look dubious will be deleted from this post as will anything else that could possibly construed as detrimental to the council’s investigation.

I will also ramble on here about my visit to Margate.

Now the bulb has gone out in Tracey Emin’s Margate sign, I wondered if anyone could remember what it said as I found myself struggling. Wasn't it supposed to be worth loads of dosh, I do hope I am not the only person to notice that there is no canvas in the frame.  

Back in Ramsgate with the lifeguard hut on our rapidly diminishing beach.

As you see they have the right idea about how to stop it floating away.

Ah yes, a stamp on the toe for being so slow, I went to the webstats for this blog that I usually use for the referring sites on my pinch and a punch posts and it says I only had one visit during the last month. So either there has been a technical glitch or this blog has become a lot less popular recently.

This is a picture of the rather limited information about referring sites on bloggers own stats page, this is what drives the counter app at the top of the sidebar.