Friday, February 20, 2009

The Outer Limits

Not a day for good news. The price of Gold finally reached the watershed $1,000 an ounce and there's the warning from Tony Woodley of the Unite Union that a British car maker is in imminent danger of failure, with the subsequent loss of 6,000 jobs. Channel 4 News appears to think it may be Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire but regardless of which one it is, the motor industry globally is now in dire straits, with Saab today announcing it is to go into protective administration from its creditors.

This week, I heard Lord Digby Jones warn that the financial crisis may stimulate the rise of the BNP and before the week was out, the BNP have had a shock council election victory in a Swanley, a safe Labour seat. We aren't talking Brick Lane here, it's a 'leafy' Sevenoaks after all and both main political parties must be hoping it's a temporary political abberation, like a sudden meteor strike. But I'm not so sure and we need to understand why this happened and respond to it in a positive manner before we start seeing similar results elsewhere in the country.

The UK stock market was plumbing the depths today and in New York the Dow Jones fell to its lowest point since the Internet bubble burst in 2002. I can remember that quite well, because I was taking part in a TV series, where, together with six other contestants, I was given a virtual sum of £100,000 to invest and the object of the game was to see how much profit one could realise in twelve weeks.

Using my knowledge of technology stocks, I came in second with £480,000 (I think) and announced that I was going to buy a virtual yacht with my winnings but only a matter of weeks after the programme, the value of that same portfolio dropped to around £22,000 as the Internet and technology market came to grief!

I'm getting a similar kind of feeling about the state of the economy at the moment but the worry factor is even greater. One person I know has even predicted that Government may one day announce a withdrawal limit on National Savings but I think that's very unlikely or put another way, we would be so far up the financial creek without a paddle that it probably wouldn't matter if they did.

I read in the Gazette today the story that the council is too mean or worried to webcast the council meetings. What a load of tosh! It's an old story and one I looked into when I started as a councillor.

If you want your council meetings webcast then it's not cheap. We aren't discussing a three minute YouTube clip but a fully duplex high bandwidth facility piped into the offices in Cecil Square. Those readers with a more intelligent grasp of the challenge than the hacks (pictured) at the Thanet Gazumph will realise that paying £15 a month for their 8mb broadband connection is cheap because the 8mb only goes one way. Ask your ISP for 8mb upstream and you'll be paying rather more than your monthly charge.

Now extrapolate that as bandwidth in and out of the council offices and you'll realise that live webcasting invariably comes with a hefty bandwidth bill. So the simple choice is do you want your council meetings televised and if you do are you happy to pay for it or see one of the other council services cut-back to finance it. At this time in our history, I believe we have more urgent priorities to spend our dwindling budget on.


tony flaig bignews said...

Why not record the meeting send it along to Kent TV and get it broadcast that way.

We shouldn't have to pay a ******* penny since they have plenty of money in the kitty, and its all ours!

that comment is refering to Kent TV as operated by KCC who are ultimately responsible and no one else.

DrMoores said...

It's a good point Tony but I believe I mentioned elsewhere that I think we would still have to pay something for it. Still, I wonder to would want to look at the recorded highlights as I suspect that it's the immediacy of webcasting which is attractive.

tony flaig bignews said...

Lets not kid ourselves a meeting of TDC council would not interest that many people, and would take minimal bandwidth.

If we can pay for Bob Geldof to preach the benefits of Kent TV, I'm sure they KCC could hardly complain if it was used for something we might want to see.

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

Leafy sevenoaks? You obviously haven't been to swanley.

Call me Infidel said...

All this doom and gloom is sadly familiar to anyone who lived through the seventies. The last time Labour had a run in office and had to go cap in hand to the IMF. Of course they were not able to blame it on America back then.

The rise in the BNP is troubling especially so for Liebour given the way that the are losing support to the BNP. Mind you national socialists vs international socialists. I can't say as I care for either. I felt this is what would happen once the house of cards Labour had created fell apart. Labour's open door policy to immigrants was bound to result in resentment and I honestly don't know how you put the genie back in the bottle.

I can see labour losing a lot of seats if they allow us another General election because of the immigration issue. They successfully portrayed the Tories as the "nasty party" on immigration, but twelve years of their lunacy and even the most hard core supporters can see the results. Nice to see them all jostling for position though now they know time is running out and unemployment beckons for many. It might even be worth getting in a stock of fine ales so I can celebrate when Jacqui Smith and all the other pigs in the trough get their marching orders from the electorate. Happy days.

Anonymous said...

I see that the Liebour councillor Nottingham is suggesting that Thanet has the highest council tax in the country on his blog.

I posted this on his blog, but don't suppose he will post it as he censors everything.

"A quick trawl through the websites shows Tunbridge Wells 4.985%, Shepway 4.7%, Maidstone 4.46%, Ashford 4.7%, Maidstone 4.46%. So Thanet are hardly the highest.

You are deliberately misleading your readers, which is shameful for an elected representative".

DrMoores said...

I did suggest on his Blog that Cllr Nottingham come and join me on the Finance & Audit committee, which would enable him to learn a little more about the detail. However, where his Blog and that of Cllr Green are concerned, you read what you expect to read. Anything possible to distract the voter from the awful reality of the Labour-led disaster nationally.