Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of 11 - Beginning of 12

With everyone else ready to write predictions for 2012, I thought I would tear myself away from the X-Box and a very good glass of red wine to write down my own thoughts, as well as wishing both my readers a very Happy New Year.

I can't start this New Year's Eve blog without congratulating our Thanet North MP, Roger Gale, on being made a knight in the honours list. It's richly deserved, given his years of service to North Thanet as an excellent constituency MP and we will now have to become used to knowing him as 'Sir Roger.'

Thanet finished the old year with another beached whale, this time in Birchington and on this occasion, no blogger's hurt feelings were involved with any typing errors, although I did notice from the front page of the Thanet Gazette that Cllr Alan Poole now owns an iPad, which already appears to be playing its part as a weapon of mass destruction. It's an encouraging sign to see the technology used. I still find the iPad does things I don't expect and big fingers can deliver the unexpected.

There's never any shortage of  imaginative predictions across Thanet's blogs on New Year's Eve and this time, there appears to be some speculation on the blogs about a change of leadership in the Conservative Group but we can dismiss that straight-away as Bob Bayford remains the best man for the unenviable job of what is now 'Shadow Leader.' It's quite possible that the Council may change hands again this year but then, with no overall majority on either side, that's hardly a prediction worthy of Nostradamus!

While there's gossip, that one councillor may yet be seen around town, wearing a cape and his underpants over his trousers, which may make the ward work appear a little more interesting, there's no doubt that the Labour Group are going to find running an administration a great deal harder than being in opposition and I very much look forward to the lively debates to come.

The future of Dreamland remains an important issue to be resolved and the Conservative administration started the CPO process earlier in 2011 and this, with luck, will roll to a successful conclusion in 2012. Its been a long struggle but I remain optimistic that the rides and the crowds will back on the Dreamland site soon enough to give a further and much-needed nudge to Margate's regeneration, already being pushed-along nicely by the 'Turner Effect.'

I think there are too few bloggers left to drop out now although we may see a few more starting-up in 2012 but likely falling by the wayside, as most do.

In 2011, a tidal wave caused death and devastation in Japan and we waved farewell to Steve Jobs, Christopher Hitchins and Kim Il Sung among others. in 2012 Iran's nuclear ambition remains a problem that won't go away and lest we forget, we are fighting a war, many thousands of miles away that we cannot possibly win, only exit with honour.

With that final thought, I would like to end 2011 and start 2012 by paying tribute to all the servicemen and women in Afghanistan who couldn't be home to celebrate the New Year

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

"as well as wishing both my readers a very Happy New Year"

and a Happy New Year to you and your other reader!

Tim Clark said...

Kim Jong Il. Kim Il Sung was his father.
Happy New Year

Peter Checksfield said...

Kimg Jong ill no longer.

It's the end of his Korea!

...Erm, happy new year folks!

Tim Clark said...

Kim Jong Dead then Peter?

Anonymous said...

A story to start the new year Simon. The caped crusader was in his favourite hostelry the other week saying he didn't really care about his constituents or animal rights, he just wants to put himself about so he can be leader of the council. Have you heard this one, and if so, can you comment on his chances?

DrM. said...

I prefer not to pass comment on rumours even if they do involve trips of fantasy!

Tim Clark said...

Quite right too. The CC is old news and best ignored. Everyone that keeps resurrecting this vendetta is just fuelling his publicity. Concentrate on more important matters than the sayings of a turncoat

Tom Clarke said...

Interesting that John Worrow should nominate Ian Driver, a declared anti-royalist, for a knighthood whilst, elsewhere, poor old Pat Butcher has kicked the bucket over on Eastenders.

You would not know whether to laugh or cry.

Anonymous said...

its astonishing that Rog has presided over a constituency that has, at best, become one of the most deprived area of the country, primarily caused by Dreamland eating itself and not once has he mentioned it in parliament.

Add to this the horrific whining noise coming from north thanet when family members were banned from working from MP's (the whining noise came from Rog and his wife) and you get a knighthood.

That makes you a potential Lord, DrM.

DrM. said...

I really don't know why Roger Gale would wish to mention Dreamland, which is privately owned, in Parliament?

Obviously money is forthcoming from government and the lottery for a heritage amusement park if the CPO is succesful but this is really a local council issue and one expects an MP to be deployed strategically and frequently seeking support and investment in the background.

Anonymous said...

I have also heard about Worrow saying that he was only using the animal rights campaign and 'concern' for Birchington residents' issues as means to an end i.e. furthering his personal political ambition.
As everyone knows he reads your blog, Simon, I think the electorate has a right to expect Worrow to comment.
I also believe that it would be reasonable to interpret silence as admission that he is guilty as charged.

DrM. said...

I see that the comment allegedly made by John Worrow about wishing to be leader of TDC was made in the Sundowner's bar and so it's no longer a rumour but has come from a separate source as well.

Tom Clarke said...

Not content with aspiring to leadership, but I see JW is already planning his round table with Sir Ian to be amongst the first of his knights. Perhaps he has not noticed that knighthoods are historical honours bestowed by monarchs and they rode off into battle with Richard the Lionheart in the crusades.

Ian, whatever his animal hugging attributes, is both anti-royalist and anti-Christ by his own admission. Hardly knight material then. Perhaps John will annoint Sir Will for I see the young man gets the Worrow nod of approval over on his blog. Guess that really brightened his New Year.

8.33am said...

DrM, why would Sir Rog mention Dreamland, a privately owned entity in his constituency, in parliament?

However, he has mentioned Manston Airport, a privately owned entity outside of his constituency, on a number of different occasions.

So why did Rog stay silent whilst a huge chunk of his constituency failed, and is now taking a large injection of public money to be fixed? If Dreamland is so important to Margates regeneration today (CPO, mi££ions in public funds), why were the private owners allowed to run it into the ground without so much as a whimper from our knight in shining armour?

DrM. said...

I would suggest that Manston and Dreamland are a little different, in scale if nothing else. However, as you appear to be burning to pose the question of Parliament that Roger didn't ask, feel free to ask it now.

Anonymous said...

How about raising the plight of margate in 2003 when faced with the closure of dreamland and 700,000 visitors and the devastating impact this would have on margate. A PM/secretary of state question, ask them to join him in asking the local council and owner to come to a compromise agreement to keep the visitor attraction open whilst allowing some development?

You are the local politician Simon. Do you this it was acceptable for gale to say bugger all?

Manston and dreamland are no different. Both are currently seen as potential saviours of the region through jobs. Both have seen better times in the past. Only one however has had success as a private business attracting people in numbers the other can only dream of. Both are in Thanet, but only one in sir rogers boundary. And he chose to mention the one outside of his area multiple times in parliament.

Arise sir rog, your work here is done

DrM. said...

I have no idea what took place in 2003 but I do know that since I have been in council, there has been considerable activity taking place behind the scenes in trying to resolve the Dreamland problem without having to resort to a CPO.