Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to Thanet Tosh

An interesting afternoon, I thought, accidentally finding myself on the BBC Kent’s ‘Pat Marsh Show’. (see video clip below)

I was minding my own business setting up the marriage proposal banner for Bluebell Hill at lunchtime, when my phone rang and it was Laura from the BBC, asking if we ever did romantic messages such as proposals. “Funny you should ask”, I replied, “As I’ve got one to do in less than thirty minutes.

With that I was whisked on to a live conversation with Pat about my secret mission in uncharted space or in this case, Bluebell Hill and promised to let them know how it went.

Anyway, Emma agreed to marry Max and I introduced them to Pat and between the three of them, they had a ‘love-in’ on BBC Radio Kent after the flight, so a good result all round I thought!

Back home again and I see that Cllr Nottingham (LAB) is still pounding on about webcasting council meetings without any real idea of what’s required to record a two hour meeting. He writes: “If Thanet Council won't broadcast Council meetings could we get some volunteers to film the meetings.”

He really should pay attention in class or even in council but sadly, he didn’t make an appearance yesterday evening and so missed the announcement at the beginning of the council meeting regarding the whole issue and the council’s intention to explore how we might achieve it. Obviously, nobody bothered to tell him.

I see that Cllr Harrison (LAB), on his weblog, has his own slant on the events of yesterday evening and I’m sure you would quite rightly expect them to be quite different to my own. Clearly, we were sent running for cover by the inescapable and forensic logic of the opposition’s arguments and I must have dozed off during the important bits.

The new General Purposes Committee takes a bashing on the blog and this apparently “May or may not meet in the course of a year”, which is news to me, as I’ve been asked to Chair it with Cllr Crotty as Vice-chair. It has an interesting and valuable role to play in shaping council business, which I will tell you more about a little later, as I have to thrash-out the finer details of its remit next week and meet with council officers to sort-out the dates of the meetings, that reportedly, we aren’t going to have.

So for readers, you can pick and choose what you want to believe. Sadly we’ve lost ECR, whose style I much admired despite our visible differences and for now at least, we’ve lost Cllr David Green for other reasons. However, there’s more than enough news and political analysis for you to choose from by Michael Child, Tony Flaig and more and half the fun I suspect is working out for yourself, what’s true and what is indeed utter tosh!

Have a good weekend!


Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

" It has an interesting and valuable role to play in shaping council business, which I will tell you more about a little later, as I have to thrash-out the finer details of its remit next week "

Very interesting Simon, this presumably means that the Forward Planning Group will now be disbanded and that Council agreed to a Committee that doesnt have a remit or Terms of Reference, some would say that is very bizzare.

DrMoores said...

Not at all Mike. It's rather like the convoluted debate over the ambivalent, 'either or' clause we had earlier. I mentioned to the chief executive that whoever authors the documents needs to know that in English grammar, a conjunction is never followed by a comma. That's 'and/or/but' otherwise you create exactly the problem we all encountered.

So in regard the 'finer details of its remit' there is no ambivalence. I don't say it has no remit or indeed that I am even unsure of its remit. Rather, I'm saying, I will thrash-out (sic) explore the 'finer details' of its remit with guidance from the officers.

I hope that's clear enough for you?

Michael Child said...

Simon you seem to have missed an important point here as does Mark, which is the equipment has already been installed and, we the taxpayer have paid for it.

The recordings are already being made and, if you ask democratic services for the transcript of a meeting they will like as not send you a DVD of it.

Kent TV has masses of unused server space and bandwidth also paid for out of our council tax, the whole business is easily resolved by posting the disks to Kent TV.

Wasting time and money trying to resolve an issue, that isn’t an issue, seems somewhat incongruous give the present economic climate.

DrMoores said...

I'm not missing the point at all!
One argument involves live webcasting of meetings and a totally separate argument involves recording and then webcasting.

Live webcasting is, I'm told, an expensive proposition because of the upstream bandwidth demands required for live video feeds fromt the council offices.

Pre-recording only requires that a host site, like YouTube can make the video available, e.g. Kent TV perhaps.

I suspect that the majority of the population may be more interested in the live webcast of the more controversial meetings, than say, the recorded highlights.

Either way, the matter of both will be explored by the appropriate committee but I for one don't see it as an urgent priority but only a "nice to have" at the present time.

I suspect that in the not too distant future it will become as familiar as YouTube though!

Michael Child said...

Sorry Simon it was me missing the point here, I had no idea anyone was contemplating live webcasting and I am inclined to agree it would be inappropriate in this economic climate.

Could it be though that this is being used to cloud and delay the real issue, which is making the meetings available on the web.

It would seem obvious that if the service becomes popular then one could consider adding live streaming to an existing library of council meetings, however I am sure most of us would wish to watch them when and as convenient.

Rob said...

Why shed out loads of cash just so a few people can watch the live stream eminating from the chambers? I don't believe that there will ever be a time in Thanet that the money would be better spent elsewhere...

Although Councillor Nottingham is obviously a geek sitting in chambers with his "berry", he is also armed with only a limited amount of knowledge, thus making him dangerous.

Rob said...

eek!.... that should read

"that the money wouldn't be better spent elsewhere..."

Anonymous said...

"I was minding my own business", and then just had to be interviewed and make sure everyone knew about it!

My god, your ego is getting worse! And just remember the old adage! The truth is out there; and someone might just know it!

DrMoores said...

If it were a pure ego trip (12:38pm) sleepless of Thanet, then I might have added my own part of the ineterview to the recording.

Instead, I thought it was quite a nice story, BBC Radio Kent clearly thought so, having spent so much time on air with it.

I wonder, in your drab, resentment-filled space (12:38) whether you have ever been the catalyst for such happiness?

As for the truth, whose truth, your truth, my truth? I recommend you read Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and then re-engage the conversation at a later date.

Michael Child said...

Hey Simon does this call for a bookseller comment on Zen and the Art, a new way of dealing with obnoxious anonyms comment, prescribe a dose of Neo-Platonism, I like it, I supose the poor chap was just en vino vertas, I suppose if one could get some of these people to consider logic being subservient to good it could help, I hope they don’t drive you back to custos morum modis.

DrMoores said...

Michael, Why not? However I think Neo-Platonism may be lost on the dear chap!

I keep forgetting that I'm not supposed to mention what I might be up to in Thanet Life, it upsets those with no sense of humour or irony and who would rather determine its editorial direction.

Anonymous said...

No, it just bores the pants off people that your sometimes interesting blog then gets high jacked by your over inflated, I am so wonderful, ego!

Be in love with yourself and all your self congratulatory honours (?) but stop ramming them down our thoats!

It might suprise you to know that there are people out there, that have had a far more interesting, and effective life than you, who do not need to go to the top of a hill and shout about it!

Sad little man!

DrMoores said...

Frankly speaking 11:56, I don't give a damn what anyone leaving a late night anonymous personal comment thinks of me. If you don't like me or what I write, there are a million or more other Blog sites for you to be unimpressed by. And if your own life is even slightly interesting or effective, which I very much doubt, then do share it!