Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Time and a Place

It's Mother's Day and I've been having a rather bizarre email dialogue with John Worrow, our council ‘diversity champion’ and leader of the new Thanet 'independent independent' party and I think I should share the conversation in the public interest.

John sent me : ‘A motion for your consideration to be moved at the next Full Council meeting' and once again, we may see where the priorities for council business lie with Cllrs Driver and Worrow now cracking the diversity whip!

“Council notes that the Government has launched a consultation on Equal Civil Marriage. Council also notes that the Government has invited local authorities to respond to this consultation by 14 June 2012. Council therefore agrees to submit the following response to the consultation.

That Thanet District Council:

a) Supports the removal of the ban on same-sex couples being able to have a marriage through a civil ceremony.

b) Supports the proposal to allow transsexual people to change their legal gender without having to legally end their existing marriage or civil partnership.”

This surrounds this news story from Friday, which if you haven’t seen already, I recommend you read.

What follows  is my email dialogue with John Worrow and I will let readers decide, which of the two of us has the more tenuous grip on reality. While I would rather not give him the publicity he craves, I’m sure, without any shadow of doubt, the good people of Birchington that he represents, would rather have their crusading councillor focusing his attention and efforts on pressing  and less controversial local issues but that’s a matter between John and the ballot box in another three years.

SM: “Don't you have better things to do....! This is a matter for Government and not for a local council which has a remit for the delivery of public services in difficult times.”

JW: “I suggust that you share that view with David Cameron, as it is his Government that is asking local councils to take part in the consultation.”

SM: “Please point me at the direction by Government to local councils and what is meant by consultation?”

JW: “Plenty of time to discuss it in April.”

SM “So you made it up then?

JW: “You have a very questionable attitude towards this subject.

SM: “Simply answer my question please John.. I asked you to kindly direct me to the Government's instructions for local councils as described in your first email. This will be the subject of tomorrow's weblog and so I welcome your un-ambivalent response to share with the general public.”

JW: “Your attitude proves how right we were to remove you.”

SM: “John you are really digging yourself into a larger and larger hole when all you have to do is answer a simple question.”

JW: “Bless x”

John then sends a link to the press release: 'Thanet Council First to Vote for Equal Marriage.'

SM: “You said ‘my government’ had directed councils to consult on the matter and I have asked you where? Simply passing me a press release of your own attempt to debate the matter doesn't really offer any enlightenment.”

JW:”LOL bless.”

The end of the conversation then lapses into the juvenile and It’s my opinion, one shared by a great many others, that a council has a remit that surrounds public services and the wise spending of your council taxes.

The definition of same-sex marriage and vexing matters of diversity are really matters for church and state to decide and this argument lies somewhat beyond my own pay grade, although of course, everyone is quite entitled to an opinion.

However, taking-up council business does no favours to the people of Thanet who, I believe, expect rather more of their council and councillors in difficult times.

You have to ask yourself what important business is not included in the agenda to accommodate the personal crusading interests of Cllr Driver and Cllr Worrow?

What we now see in Thanet, is a microcosm of what is now taking place at Westminster, as a small unrepresentative minority, the Liberal Democrats press the Government to waste valuable Parliamentary time on such equally pressing issues as the reform of the House of Lords and whether bankers should be forced to wear pointed hats in public.

The 'real' Home Office consultation on 'Equal & Civil Marriage' can be found here for readers and councillors to respond to if they wish

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a little light-hearted parody of our times, 'The Spanish Inquisition.'


Peter Checksfield said...

I have very mixed feelings over gay marriages. By all means allow them, but not in churches (or mosques) if it's against what these religions believe in. The Bible (& The Koran) isn't The Highway Code, & can't just be rewritten to suit changing morals... and I'm saying this as an openly bisexual man who has no strong religious beliefs.

(I posted a similar message on a different thread but I thought it belongs here so I'm reposting it!).

Anonymous said...

Is the Minnis Bay Gay Day event still going ahead?

Anonymous said...

Having just read the Gazette - is Mr Worrow making these comments as a councillor or a member of the public? He seems to choose which is best - push an older gentleman over at a meeting = member of public, spout rubbish and change colour weekly = councillor.
By the way, in my day LOL meant lots of love, how times change!

Anonymous said...

Why is it the gay activists have so many more rights than heterosexuals? Surely we all have the right of Freedom of Speech to be heard whether we agree or not.

Anonymous said...

I've just looked at the TDC press release link you have and see that Driver has got this on the agenda for the April meeting - to be voted on. So if councillors don't vote in support - is the Diversity twit going to put you all on a charge for being homophobic? I suggest you all abstain! This is getting absurd - can someone please stop these two just bringing rubbish to council and get on with the important stuff.

Birch Tree said...

All this rubbish has come about since Labour took over in December. It's about time they woke up to the harm all this Worrow/Driver distraction it is doing themselves locally. How can Labour allow two such insignificant newcomers hold the council and it's residents to ransom? Get tough and put a stop to such issues coming before council - it isn't the place for these matters.

Readit said...

Not very often I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with you Simon, but on the occasion I must say it is the case.

Someone should remind JW that a consultation should allow people to put their opinions "for or against" any issue. It is not for the purpose of shouting down or ridiculing anyone who does not agree with him, he is just displaying his own deep rooted prejudices whilst complaining that "Joe Public" who probably has never given the matter serious consideration, is against him.

Anonymous said...

This will make TDC a laughing stock. It is not an issue over which the council have any authority so to spend time, lighting, heating, officers salaries etc debating it is a criminal waste of taxpayers money.

Even the proposed vote is ludicrous for it will only reflect the views of a handful of councillors, not necessarily those of the poeople of Thanet as it was not an election issue.

Meantime, tourism, an issue of local importance, is hindered by a swift leadership failure over car parking at Minnis Bay. Surely that should be of more interest to Councillor Worrow, the champion of free parking, than some central government issue.

Will Scobie said...


Follow this link:

It takes you to the Home Office page with details about the consultation and the different groups they want to hear from. Included in this list is local authorities so hopefully that will answer your question.

I think this is an incredibly important issue and I will be very proud if this passes and Thanet responds positively to the consultation. Marriage should not just be for heterosexual people, it should be for anyone who has found a partner that they want to spend the rest of their life with.

DrM. said...

Will... If this figures as another of your Labour priorities for Thanet, then I really start to wonder whether the likes of Worrow, Driver and you, are completely out of touch with what is really important to the people of Thanet.

This cynical and shameless political showboating around national and not local issues risks bringing our council into disrepute and wastes valuable time in the chamber at the expense of more important issues.

I suspect that if you approached the people who voted for you then in the most part they would set you right in no uncertain terms.

A council's remit and obligations are quite clear. Leave this matter for Westminster and let's try and see local Labour doing something really useful rather than pandering to the personal agendas of Cllrs Worrow and Driver in order to desparately hang on tonpower!

Mike Harrison said...

I rather suspect that the difference between marriage and civil partnership is a matter of complete indifference to most people.
And yes Councils energies would be better spent making sure that disasters like Broadstairs fireworks and the Minnis Bay event actually go ahead. The problem is that these things dont come to light until its to late to do anything as Officers dont/wont tell Members until the evil deed is done.

Anonymous said...

Will, what ever is wrong with having different names for different kinds of unions. Why offend many religions by hijacking the term marriage which is milleniums old and was started as a recognition of a union of man and woman for the procreation of species and the raising of children.

Calling other same sex unions marriage adds no more rights to those they already enjoy within civil partnerships and has nothing to do with equality. To be totally equal men would have to start growing reproductive organs which might prove a bit painful in the delivery ward.

Finally, and as I said before, whatever the council vote it cannot be claimed to represent the views of the people of Thanet as it was not an election issue. We, the people, have not had a say.

Anonymous said...

Ren Wood said...

1:35, what exactly is your point in referring us to an article in Pink News. It is hardly likely to oppose gay marriage and should a decision in Glasgow influence Thanet?

Michael Child said...

Couple of elephants in the room here, that concern me, not the least because I intend to try and write some sort of balanced post about this. One is that the Roman Catholic Church seems to have come out against same six civil marriages and are actively encouraging their members to oppose them. The other is that the recommendation to seek local authorities opinions on this matter comes from The Home Office of a predominantly Conservative government.

I couldn’t make Will’s link work so here it is hopefully it will work in the way I have written it. I think the main reason that local authorities have been asked to respond is because of their involvement with civil marriages. It is important to remember that local authorities have considerable involvement in housing and social services issues that relate to “equal civil marriages”, this is the governments phrase not mine.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Errr... Hello! I'd much rather the Council spend MY HARD EARNED MONEY debating things that ACTUALLY WILL BENEFIT THANET than something that should be left in the hands of Central Government.

I apologise for the "SHOUTING" but I want ACTION to make THANET BETTER.

Anonymous said...

Michael, not just the Roman Catholic Church but the majority of Christian churches, as well as Muslims oppose the use of the term marriage when applied to same sex unions.

One very obvious reason is that once the LGBT community win this battle for civil marriages how long before they try it on with a church and haul some priest off to the courts on their human right to marry.

Thin end of the wedge rather like the adoption laws of a short time back. That has led to the closure of all the Catholic agencies and problems now with placing older children at which they were particularly good.

On the Home Office issue, calling for contributions to the consulation does not demand debate in the council chamber and a vote. More a request to sound out local public opinion.

James Maskell said...

John looking to flush out what he sees as homophobic Tories. Here we go again... Whoever is advising him in doing these recent stunts is either an idiot or playing John like a violin...

If John has any want for a second term, he needs to leave this stuff alone and focus on his Birchington residents.

Anonymous said...

Press release
There have been concerns that Tory Councillor Simon Moores' personal attacks on his blog against non-hetrosexual councillors that are moving an equal marriage motion could potentially damage relations between the LGBT community in Thanet and the local Conservative Party. Cllr Moores has a right to debate whether he agrees with the motion or not. However, his nasty "Section 28" style personal attacks are very irresponsible.....ends

John Worrow - Leader - Thanet Independent Group

DrM. said...

I don't know about 'irresponsible ends' or even 'Section 28 style attacks' but John appears to be making an allegation of homophobia, when in fact I am simply drawing a line in the sand between what I believe are the duties of a local council and the obligations of Government.

Birch Tree said...

I think there is more a chance of the LGBT group's relationship with Mr Worrow being damaged. He's just an embarrassment now. Simon - you are in the know, what can us Birchington residents do to get him removed as our councillor?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the Diversity Champion is only supporting one cause? Is that not a contradiction. Clive, you really make a big mistake creating this ridiculous post just to get a vote!

1 o'clock Rob said...

Seems that John is happy to make his allegations public... that may well be his undoing.

Nothing I read above indicates anything other than Simon typically saying that he would rather concentrate on issues of the local electrorate, issues of which there are many and that need time and effort discussing and sorting through, time that should not be spent on second-guessing the national government as to what they will do regarding same sex marriage.

I suppose Simon will now have to give serious thought as to how he will respond to these allegations.

Peter Checksfield said...

At least Simon encourages debates; some cllrs just ignore or delete comments they don't want to discuss (sometimes deleting whole blogs).

SteveP said...

Simon, your quote"
Will... If this figures as another of your Labour priorities for Thanet, then I really start to wonder whether the likes of Worrow, Driver and you, are completely out of touch with what is really important to the people of Thanet."

Enough is enough.... How can these idiots be removed, what a total waste of space. Will,Worrow and driver are no more than helpless wannabies trying to play above their weight.
No one is remotely interested in what they have to say, enough is enough we are well rid of these people.

Anonymous said...

I do believe it would be up to the Chairmand of the Council to accept things for an agend - he needed only to have said NO! What a waste of time this all is!

The Seagull said...

I am pleased to hear that this is something that Thanet Council is taking seriously.

Not because I agree with it, but because the next time I step in dog muck whilst trying not to trip on lifting paving slabs and enjoying the sight of the Turner centre I will at least be able to console myself with the knowlede that Thanet Council are taking something seriously.

I was under the impression that up until now someone has been having a laugh...

Remind me again - why did we vote the various councellers into their positions?

Was it to issue syncopatic statements on the latest govenment attempt at equality appeasement or was it to ensure the bins get emptied on time?

Go on... pick one.

Anonymous said...

Word is that Scobie is to be the new Mayor of Margate! Wonder if this would be so he could be the youngest Margate had - certainly not for the right reasons. What a travesty and joke this is all becoming.

Anonymous said...

Having previously lived in a London borough with a looney left council and their strange priorities like a nuclear free zone, this is all sounding very familiar.

Perhaps the Conservative party should be extremely grateful that Worrow left and Driver did not completely cross the floor.

Mind you, elsewhere according to the esteemed and venerable councillor, Mike Harrison, it is all a plot by the officers to discredit the Labour administration.

Anonymous said...

We're planning to take up the debate on equal marriage in the next issue of Thanet Watch magazine - and maybe in Thanet on Film if TDC takes up the challenge of history and becomes the first council to fight for it - so I'll follow this debate on Simon's blog with great interest. Thanks for raising it as an issue, Simon. What do you personally think, seriously, in your heart of hearts, regardless of party politics?
Christine Tongue
Thanet on Film/Thanet Watch

DrM. said...

I'm informed that Peter Tatchell has now been invited to attend the council meeting in April at Ian Driver's request.

Anonymous said...

Has Will or any other councilor been to offer apologies to the businesses in Minnis bay?

DrM. said...

Christine.. Let's be absolutely clear. Thanet council isn't 'Fighting' anything.

The council is under no obligation to debate Ian Driver's motion, which has, in my mind, absolutely nothing to do with the rather more important challenge of delivering cost-effective and efficient pubic services in Thanet, which is the remit of the council.

Anonymous said...


I have been in touch with Peter Thatchell's office and asked if he might be avaiblae to brief members on Equal Marriage prior to the Council meeting on 19th April.

There is quite a lot of misinformation cirulating about this subject and I think it would be helpful if one of the country's leading human rights activisits could breif us before we vote on the motion.

I will keep you posted on developments


Ian Driver

Anonymous said...

Hardly unbiased advise, Ian, unless you also invite Lord Carey to balance the debate.

Anonymous said...

This is remanisant of the great nuclear free debate held by many local authorities in the late 80's.

I think it was where the phrase 'looney left' came from. I thought they were an extinct species. How times haven't changed.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastically bonkers. I soon expect councillors to be quizzed on their views on, among other things, the music of Abba, Judy Garland, facial hair and Big Brother winners 2000-2009.

Anonymous said...

More relevant debates might be cancelling fireworks and wind surfing events in Tory areas, banning aircraft from over flying Labour wards and making Thanet Watch the only paper permitted in Thanet. This could be followed by banning the sale of bananas as they might give offence, making everyone wear pink on Tuesdays and outlawing any word (or person) that the Diversity Champion does not like.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Driver, you might as well invite Karl Marx to give a briefing on capitalism.

Ian Driver said...

Tom I think you have missed the point. The motion is about civil marriage which is normally conducted in a register office or appropriately licensed premsisescwithout the intervention of a minister of religion. This motion is nothing whatsover to do with the church it is a secular issue. So I can't see the point of invting Lord Carey, John Sentano, the Chief Rabbi, or the Dali Lamato a meeting. Secular = Not the Church. Modern Love = Equal Marriage Ian Driver

Anonymous said...

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister for equality has said that the language the Church of England and the Catholic Church have used is homophobic and that the views that the leaders are expressing belong in the Dark Ages.

Mrs Featherstone told the Sunday Times: “This is about love and commitment and things that are good for society and families; it is a matter of celebrating love and commitment.” She added :“I have heard homophobic language used in connection with this very loving and progressive step.” She said the language use “belongs in the Dark Ages”.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Thatchell - Tatchell

Can't even spell his name right...

Driver - Worrow, is this really the biggest issue facing Thanet right now?

Ian Driver said...

There is a never a right or wrong time for issues of human rights. To say there are bigger issue to deal with, or its not important, is a smokescreen to cover oppositionor duck the issue. The actual discussion of the motion at the Council meeting will take no longer than 30 minutes. There will plet of time to discuss all the other issues.

I for one am immensly proud & honoured to be mobving this motion. I will be even more prouder if Thanet council becomes the first in England to support Equal marriage. Vote no to bigotory vote yes to modern love

Ian Driver

PS spellin wos neva mi strong point but i do av a moral compas

Anonymous said...

Ian, one thing I would not call you is naive and I am sure you know as well as I do that once same sex marriage is legalised, the LGBT lobby will start campaigning for church weddings. Then some poor old priest will be dragged through the courts over denying a same sex couple their human rights and a ruling will come in their favour from Europe whether we like it or not.

However, on this equality issue, since civil partnerships are equal to marriage in law already, why risk antagonising whole sections of the community for rights that already exist.

As for Lynne Featherstone, she also said this was going to be pushed through whether the public like it or not. So much for democracy.

Then again, out come the chants of homophobia. Just shows how weak is the case when they have to fall back on name calling.

Anonymous said...

This whole debate is making a mockery of Local Government -with idiots like Driver and Worrow trying to make something out of nothing -I feel the local electorate are being badly let down by these two clowns. Marriage is a very personal thing - and it does not have to be paraded in the Public Eye. Tolerance has always been part of the British character and it seems to me that the Looney Left of the 80's and the diehard Gay brigade have surfaced again under the Driver/Worrow banner to the detriment of Thanet voters - who I think are much nore intelligent to capitulate to this extreme twosome who have no mandate publicly for a debate at a Council Meeting now or in the future

DrM. said...


If the comments here are even faintly representative as a litmus test of local public opinion, then I suggest that you and John Worrow take your personal crusade elsewhere.

Local government has more important issues to concern itself with at present and I would politely suggest that it does not exist to indulge the personal agendas of two 'independent, independent' councillors with an axe to grind on matters that lie outside its immediate remit..

Ian Driver said...

Anonymous your vitrol comes close to exposing a much more sinster motivation. The facts are the Government has actually requested local councils to respond to the consultatiton so how can this debate make a mockery of local government when we are being asked for our opinion. The leaders of England's 3 main politcal parties support =Marriage. A Populus poll over last weekend showed 65% in favour in =Marriage. So how can this be in any way extreme or detrimental to Thanet. Have you looked in the mirror and thought that you might be the one making a making mockery out of democracy, being extreme, or totally out of step? Perhaps in future you should actually listen to what is being said rather than rushing to judgment. Finally your assertion that tolerance is part of the British character is utter nonsense. If this was true there would have been no need for all the legislation passed over the 40 years to protect women, disabled people, black and minority ethnic people, older people and gays lesbians and transgender people. These groups of people required and still require legal protection from the bigoted and prejudical wrongdoings of your so-called tolerant British people. Just look at today's news on illegal exclusion from school.

Ian Driver said...

Simon with all due respect it does concern the Council. if you read the consultation document you will see that we are being asked for our view. Furthermore it can be argued that as elected councillors we have a general duty under the Equality Act 2010 to promote =Marriage.
As I have said to other contributors on this and other blogs - to repeat the mantra that its not our concern, thats its not a priorty could be seen by others as putting up a smokescreen to cover more sinster motives

So come on Simon instead of carping tell your readers where you stand. I have

Birch Tree said...

Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but how is it that 2 councillors are holding 54 others (I think?) to ransom. If any of the other councillors vote against this issue they wil no doubly be branded homophobic. Just because you don't agree with an issue does not automatically mean you are against it - more likely you don't want to discuss your personal views in public. Surely the diversity champion should respect all views - many religions do not agree with gay marriage, does this mean he will not defend their right to disagree?

DrM. said...


I asked John Worrow to kindly point me and the public at the Government's direction to local councils, in regard to consultation but the seemed unable to oblige; responding with a mix of 'LOL' and XXX's

Perhaps you might be able to share the appropriate link that supports your argument in favour of a debate.

That said, I suspect that the enthusiasm for such an evening's discussion appears limited to you, John Worrow and Will Scobie but perhaps there are more members on the Labour side of the chamber who see this as a priority over other concil business?

1 o'clock Rob said...

Oooh, get him with his "I have a moral compass"! What are you saying Mr Driver? That anyone who doesn't agree with everything you say doesn't have one?

How did you ever become a Councillor?

I fully support the concept of Civil Marriage, but I think that process should be left to Central Government and Local Government should get on with providing essential services.

ian Driver said...

Hi Simon Page 2 of the Consultation document says This document is aimed at: local authorities, including registrars who are responsible for conducting civil marriage ceremonies; etc

So it is clearly within our remit to debate and decide at Council. In Scotland a separate consultation was conducted by the Scottish parliament whihc recved more than 50,000 repsonses including responses from local authorities. The fact that Cllrs Scobie, Worrow and myself might be the only councillors interested in debatings this issue could be seen as suggesting that that most Thanet Councillors are out of touch with the people they represent.


Anonymous said...

Ian from what is on this blog, it is you and your 2 colleagues that are out of touch with the local electorate.

DrM. said...


It looks to me and I would suggest others, that you and John Worrow are simply interpreting the guidance to suit your personal agenda. A document aimed at local councils is not, I might argue, direction to hold a debate in the chamber, which would achieve nothing more than a platform of opportunity for you and John Worrow to wave a large diversity stick at everyone else, at the expense of council business.

To pretend that you are interested in the views of other councillors on this subject does rather stretch my credulity!

Ian Driver said...

Dear Mr One O'Cock please see my posting to Simon. If you take the trouble to read the consultation document you will see that the Government is specifically asking local councils to respond. In discussing =Marriage TDC is simply doing what David Cameron and Nick Clegg are asking us to do. The entire issue will be dealt with in under 30 minutes hardly a disproportinate use of Council time. Please try to be more respectful and realsie that time has moved on, and its now 8 o'clcok and you have been left behind.

Anonymous said...

At the end of all this, is debating gay marriage going to sweep the streets,sort out Manston or decide if Tescos should build another shop. If Worrow and Driver don't know what is required in the council chamber, it's time they both left.

Ian Driver said...

Simon my final comment is this. Why don't you tell your readers where you stand. Cllrs Scobie, Worrow and myself have publically stated our postion only to be told by others its not for the council to discuss, its not a priorty, but hardly any of these people have said where they stand. Perhaps I missing something or perhaps this silence confirms my suspicisions. Simon if your gonna kncok something your gonna have to say why not just make excuses.

DrM. said...


Cllrs Scobie, Worrow and your goodself hardly offer a resounding endorsement of common sense politics in Thanet!

Trying to distract attention away from the subject of the column by asking me to state my personal position on gay marriage only demonstrates to readers here how shaky your argument is.

I'm seeing a near record number of page impressions, some from as far away as Saudi Arabia and the USA and quite unusually, the consensus of opinion remains very narrow and against wasting council time on this matter.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that Cllrs Scobie, Worrow and myself might be the only councillors interested in debatings this issue could be seen as suggesting that that most Thanet Councillors are out of touch with the people they represent."

Really? Do you think people are discussing gay marriage in the pubs of Thanet tonight?

Michael Child said...

Ian thanks for the clarification here, I think what the consultation document is getting at here is local authorities responsible for civil marriages, which I believe in Thanet is KCC and not TDC.

I think something often not understood here is at the moment we have, civil partnerships only open to same sex couples and civil marriages only open to opposite sex couples.

What I am having difficulty with is understanding where the differences lie between the mutually exclusive civil marriages and partnerships.

Anonymous said...

I can't afford to go to the pub tonight otherwse I would be discussing it

1 o'clock Rob said...

The issue is the word "Marriage".

In the most general of terms there is nothing different in the eyes of the law between a Civil Partnership and a Civil Marriage.

The problem comes from the fact that the law doesn't use the word "Marriage" when talking about same sex partnering, and although the Government is posturing that it wishes to clarify this and "may" look at changing the wording they probably won't given the fact they don't wish to alienate the church or Conservative voters who believe that the term "Marriage" relates only to the patnerting of opposite sex couples.

This whole arguement is about a word.

DrM. said...


I think we should remember that history is littered with nations that have rise and fallen on the strength of words.

The issue with 'marriage' is not simply in its strong association, with Mosaic-based faiths and a union between a man and a woman for the purposes of procreation but that it also carries a powerful link with both family and property built into common law.

This makes any attempt at re-interpretation to match the increasingly non-nuclear shape of modern society contentious for millions of people as well as the major faiths.

Anonymous said...

"Really? Do you think people are discussing gay marriage in the pubs of Thanet tonight?" ... they are discussing the scandalous incompetent handling of the windsurf competition at Minnis bay buy the local council, well the one i was in was.

Peter Checksfield said...

Have John, Ian & Will actually ASKED the people who voted for them what they think of this (& I don't just mean in their local gay bar or pick-up point)? I've discussed this (both online & in person) with dozens of people over the past couple of days - people who are young & old, gay & straight, Tory & Labour etc - and every single one of them thinks this has nothing to do with TDC!

I defended John on this blog & others when people demanded that he stand down after leaving the Tory party, but now I really think it would be the honourable thing to do as this is NOT what people voted for. Why don't he & Ian save their preaching for Minnis Bay Gay Day, & get on with trying to sort out Thanet's problems instead (at least free parking & animal mexports are relevant!).

Anonymous said...

You are so right, Peter, but this has nothing to do with relevance. It is all about highlighting the profile of a couple of self important characters whilst seeking to show others as homophobic because they oppose it.

It is the time in which we live where sensible debate is destroyed by the use of labels. Want to discuss immigration and you are racist. Have reservations or even strong religious beliefs where same sex marriage is concerned and you get called homophobic by the JW's of this world.

They may achieve their aim to raise their own profile but at the risk of inflaming passions and creating divisions where none existed. Who are the real enemies of society?

Anonymous said...

Well said Tom - I am fed up of being persecuted for being in the majority! Well done also Michael - you are absolutely right and Mr Driver is interpreting this matter to suit his, and Mr Worrow's bandstanding. I feel very sad that Will Scobie has got involved in this - I thought better of him.

unamused from Birchington said...

Yew Tree you and the hundreds of others who voted for John Worrow who put himself forward as a Conservative have truly let you all down and betrayed the trust and confidence you had in him.
They say leopards never change their spots well here is a lassic case. I hope all Birchington South Residents will voice their anger and displeasure at this betrayal and certainly ensure that he never gets elected again.
His latest "crusade" is a charade which is purely for promoting himself.I am sorry for all of Birchington South who have been so let down and have wasted their votes

Anonymous said...

Just read all the remarks after someone told me about this debate - it's interesting reading when you put them all together at once. What a pair of plonkers the new TIGS are!! In any case is Mr Driver asking Mr Tatchell to brief his members - all 2 of them? Or is he presuming he has the right to speak for all councillors on this? I don't remember him or Diversity Chump being made chairman! As general consensus is this rubbish - just what is the Chairman doing about getting it off the agenda?

DrM. said...

Cllr Driver has written to all councillors - see below - urging them to debate his motion. I have also written to all our councillors:

Dear Colleague

If you happen to visit, you will see that the overwhelming response to Cllr Driver's motion from people in Thanet, appears quite negative and many of the the comments firmly remind us of our duty as councillors.

I've seen a quite unprecedented online interest in this matter from local people, who are less concerned with "modern and inclusive love" and much more worried about Thanet's priorities in difficult times.

Kind regards

Simon Moores

>>> cllr-Ian Driver 03/19/12 6:28 PM >>>


See article below from PinkNews
The motion to Council is in tune with overwhelming public opinion.
I very much hope that you will vote for the motion

Vote yes for modern and inclusive love.



Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought that equality and diversity covered many areas but it seems not, Mr Worrow is not interested in raceism or any other abuse only his own personal crusade.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Ian should turn his attention to the Coalition for Marriage petition which has attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures in a very short space of time. This campaign is gathering momentum and is supported by those opposed to same sex marriage.

Maybe that is more representative of true public opinion than Pink News.

Anonymous said...

Is this Driver chap the same one who insulted the Queen last year? Just what is he doing in public service - he should be removed for his behaviour, bringing the council into disrepute and not listening to those that elected him. Come on the rest of you in the council he and 'Diversity chump' are only 2 - there are a lot more of you, sort them out!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, Cllr Driver, can enlighten me but what exactly is modern love. Surely love in all its forms is as old as mankind.

I suspect he means sexual orientation which does not necessarily have to involve love at all. Let's at least have an honest debate if we are going to have one.

Anonymous said...

Birchington Resident
I thought that Will Scobie was a nice young person trying to help the people in his ward and others and I am sorry to see that he has decided to get mixed up with the other 2, he is better than that.

Anonymous said...

Fiddling while rome (Thanet) burns...

James Maskell said...

TDC responded to a Government consultation on reform of Business Rates last summer. No debate in the Chamber.

Why didn't John ask for a debate then? Given his interest in business growth in Birchington, local residents would have welcomed that debate and so would I.

With a good audio system, a transcript of that debate could have been forwarded to the DCLG as part of the Council's response.

Anonymous said...

Worrow is now Driver's glove puppet as Sober Jack is keeping his distance from this train wreck.
I wonder why!
What's your position Sober Jack?

DrM. said...

It now appears that at least two members of the Labour group plan to support John Worrow and Ian Driver in pushing for a debate on Cllr Driver's motion. For readers interest, here are a couple of of comments from the council's email system:

Cllr Peter Campbell writes:

I am all in favour of modern and inclusive love, as long as it doesn't include TDC's shadow cabinet.
John/ Ian you can count on my vote.


Peter Campbell

Cllr John Worrow replies:

Thanks Peter

I am sure the team at 30 Millbank would be chuffed to bits with what he just wrote, I think the Tory party might be a little left wing for him :)

John Worrow

So that's Worrow, Campbell, Driver, Scobie (Junior) and a deafening silence from the remaining Labour councillors. Perhaps readers might wish to contact their Labour ward councillors and ask if they are in favour of using council time in this way?

Anonymous said...

Ian Driver thinks marriage is only about ‘modern love’: I wonder what he thought love was before modernism. Perhaps he’s behind the times in this post-modern age.

If this ‘modern love’ is his understanding of marriage, then he lacks sociological, historical and philosophical background of the institution of marriage. Without such understanding of the background I can’t consider him even remotely qualified to pontificate about the subject.

To finish: heterosexual unions are (at least in biological orientation) naturally productive, whereas homosexual unions are not. This is a fundamental inequality provided not by law or society but by nature. Does anyone really think that by redefining a word (“marriage”) such a fundamental inequality will be overcome? From that, how is it equal or fair to obliterate the legal uniqueness of the only type of union that continues society?

Anonymous said...

Gay marriage is not a 'human right': European ruling torpedoes Coalition stance

Same-sex marriages are not a human right, European judges have ruled.
Their decision shreds the claim by ministers that gay marriage is a universal human right and that same-sex couples have a right to marry because their mutual commitment is just as strong as that of husbands and wives.

The ruling was made by judges of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following a case involving a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained the French courts would not allow them to adopt a child as a couple.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has condemned the UK government over its plans to legalise same-sex civil marriage; insinuating that it is behaving in a dictatorial manner. But he is the real dictator. Dr Sentamu wants to impose his personal opposition to gay marriage on a society that rejects his demand for homophobic discrimination,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, coordinator of the Equal Love campaign, which seeks marriage equality.

“The Archbishop is unelected, whereas the government is democratically elected and a clear majority of the public support same-sex civil marriages. See below.

“Dr Sentamu is a religious authoritarian who opposes equality. It is not a loving Christian value to demand legal discrimination against gay couples and to treat them as inferior, second class citizens.

“The government is proposing to legalise same-sex marriages in register offices only. This will not affect churches. The Archbishop has no valid grounds for objecting to civil registrations that will ensure marriage equality for all couples.

“The vast majority of the British people, including many Christians, support the right of same-sex couples to get married. Dr Sentamu is intolerant and out of touch. His stance colludes with homophobia. It brings shame and dishonour to the Church of England.

“The Archbishop’s insulting, disparaging attitude towards lesbian and gay people is evidenced by the way he dismisses loving same-sex civil partnerships as mere friendships.

“His demand to preserve the tradition and history of marriage is very similar to the arguments that were in the past used by the church to justify slavery, colonialism and the denial of votes to women,” said Mr Tatchell

Ian Driver said...

Simon I said I was stop posting but I am afraid yourself and and many of your contributors simply do not understand the issues invlvoved here.

This is a major debate about public policy and rather than react out of ignorance, could I suggest that the best place to get an objective balanced view of the equal marrriage debtate is to vist Peter Tatchell's Equal Love webpage

Peer Tatchell is one of the world's leading human rights campaigners a modern day Martin Luther King. Read what he has to say. I really hope he is able to do a member breifing for us.


DrM. said...


At the risk of sounding cliched.. "you must be aving a larf"

"Peer Tatchell is one of the world's leading human rights campaigners a modern day Martin Luther King. Read what he has to say. I really hope he is able to do a member breifing for us"

Anonymous said...

Ian Driver is insulting the electorate and railroading the council. A stop should be put to this before the debate is even considered. To quote Mr Worrow in last weeks Gazette......' I believe that Thanet's fair minded MAJORITY will judge me.......' We are, and both of you are idiots!,,,

Anonymous said...

How dare Ian Driver insult Martin Luther King by comparing Tatchell with him. Tatchell could never be considered in his league. I hope Mr Tatchell can do a members briefing ....... for the two in your party while the real councillors are having their meeting!

Anonymous said...

Shame on the council leader for letting Driver issue the invite to Tatchell......or has Driver done this without asking? In that case he is rude as well as ignorant.

Disgusted from Birrchington said...

It looks to me as if Worrow and Driver have bitten off more than they can chew, this is a crusade going nowhere like most of Worrows campaigns.
Come on Birchington South rise up you did not vote for the issues being raised by someone who masqueraded as a Conservative, he has been Grey Party, Conservative Party, Independent Party now Thanet Independent Party, I wonder what colour his rosette is now that he has a new campaign of same sex marriages,You could'nt make it up. Time for you all to speak up and make your views known

Anonymous said...

Ian Driver may ‘suggest that the best place to get an objective balanced view of the equal marrriage debtate’ [sic] is Peter Tatchell’s website, but he would be wrong.

Even if Tatchell is ‘a modern day Martin Luther King’ (what an arrogant and pathetic comment), I would hardly expect him to be balanced and objective. Did the great Martin Luther King ever propose, “On the other hand, black people could validly be oppressed because...” – I think not!

The website Ian Driver gives has the fundamental assumption that marriage and civil partnerships are only about ‘love’ (whatever that is – answers in the philosophical libraries). To begin on such an assumption is to diminish the whole debate. Indeed, many tales of love operate precisely outside of marriage: stories of classical romantic love or a man’s love of his mistress, for example. The debate is far deeper than ‘x loves y’.

Perhaps Cllr Driver could learn the meanings of ‘objective’ and ‘balanced’ (and explore ‘the issues invlvoved here’ [sic]) as well as learn how to spell.

Anonymous said...

That's just silly. Should we ban infertile couples from getting married as they can't reproduce?
The definition of marriage has constantly changed. What about divorce? What about forced marriages? What about marrying for status and position? None of these hold the 'traditional' value but are all accepted as a marriage.

Anonymous said...

9:06, no it is not silly for marriage is between a man and a woman and has been for milleniums. Civil partnerships, for other combinations, provide the same legal rights to the participants but are different.

However, don't take my word for it but just look around you at this time of year. Throughout the animal kingdom males and females are pairing off and preparing to breed as spring arrives. Doubt you will find two drakes building a nest together or two vixens. It wouldn't be natural now would it?

Perhaps you can explain, obviously being some kind of expert, but why do we, allegedly the most intelligent of all species, have to buck nature and be different?

Anonymous said...

My view is that marriage should refer to the union of two persons whose aim is to create and/or to raise children. A same sex partnership adopting child (ren) should be designated as a marriage.

If I was a cllr I would tend to support Simon's position that the council chamber is not the place to pigeon hole cllrs to stating a position.

It seems to me that the position taken by diversity cllrs is like oxymoron. On one hand they say debate will only take half an hour. 30 minutes For such a complex issue with all its Common Law and religious and social implications ? On the other hand they lapse into lols and xxxs which imply they treat their own cause in a trivial manner.

A few years ago a road in Ramsgate was circulated with a letter informing residents that a neighbour had undergone gender re-assignment to become a woman. The consultant psychiatrist had recommended that a letter be delivered to every house in the road.

Discussion in the road occurred. And it was generally agreed that to have a female brain suffering bewildering biochemical feedback from a male body must be agonising mental torture. And many neighbours responded by sending good will and best wishes cards.

A show of human compassion that occurred spontaneously and with no input from a self styled diversity champion.

Retired ....