Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gap Theory

'Disappointed.' That's one way of expressing my opinion of local newspaper coverage of the last and very controversial council meeting in the local papers this week. Why? Because of the chasm between what actually took place and what was reported; the evidence being clearly visible in the video of the meeting that everyone can watch and judge for themselves. James Maskell has an opinion of his own in his blog today.

Did the Thanet Extra, I wonder, actually send a journalist of were they simply creative? I can't recall seeing anyone there from the newspaper and the earlier and much-reported personal views of our Member of Parliament, have as much to do with the meeting as the original motion call for a debate had with the Government's consultation.

The editor of the Thanet Gazette, appears to think it was quite funny that people with one set of views, sitting in the council chamber's public gallery, felt intimidated by another section of the community with a different and  frequently noisy perspective on the proceedings and equally amused over allegations of 'Homophobia' directed at councillors over Twitter, who for personal or religious reasons either abstained or voted against the motion.

Once again, the local media have let the people of Thanet down. I can't judge whether this is simply sloppy reporting or evidence of a personal agenda. If you look at the most popular 'Blogs' on the island and their growing visitor numbers, it's self apparent that people are now turning to these as a source of news and local information in increasing numbers and as Rupert Murdoch commented this week, he doesn't expect to see newspapers surviving beyond the next decade.

So what next? Well we are bound to see more council business and energy spent on items which have absolutely nothing to do with the remit of local government and if CND were still active, I might predict Thanet declaring itself as a 'Nuclear Free Zone.'

In the next couple of weeks Margate will have a new mayor and the Council will have its annual general meeting. Now may be a good time to open the betting on a Faustian bargain over who will get what role and with it, any special personal allowances to match, in order to keep the minority and some may remark, 'quite shameless', Labour administration in power with two vital independent votes.

Whatever happens, I'm sure it will keep us all entertained and me busy blogging for weeks and months to come.


Michael Child said...

Simon with the socialists producing Thanet Watch isn’t it about time the Conservatives got their act together and produced some sort of rag or mag?

Alternatively you could contact the watch and ask them if they would have a blue section in their red rag or mag.

I guess having watched the video all I can say is the evidence wasn’t clearly visible, six of one and half a dozen of the other comes to mind.

simon moores said...

Thanet Watch is interesting as having published a number of magazines in the past.. e.g JavaVision magazine, I know how much production, publishing and distribution can cost.

As Thanet Watch doesn't fill its rather scrappy editorial with advertising, it begs the question of who is subsidising the £000's of monthly production costs to promote their agenda without any viable business proposition in evidence?

Perhaps that's a question you should be asking?

So you didn't notice in the video that one party attempted to debate in the classical sense and the other simply heckled or avoided any discussion of the central issue?

And you didn't listen to Cllr Worrow or Cllr Cohen either!

Shame on you Michael!

Anonymous said...

Interesting, Michael, how you instantly recognise the political bias of Thanet Watch when, like you, they claim to simply be campaigners for the common good.

As a Conservative I would be appalled if the party were to produce such a rag, but then, Thanet Watch is not the OFFICIAL mouthpiece of Labour. Indeed, one might argue that they show a hefty leaning towards the TIGs. OK, while Labour and the TIGs need each other, but it does not look like a match made in heaven destined to last.

Time will tell, but the way things are going it might be a good idea to sell up in Thanet before the combined forces of lunatic politics totally kill off the local property market.

Michael Child said...

Simon I also have a limited knowledge of publishing and printing as I have about 140 publications in print and a bit of a dubious family history of relationships with publishers.

I guess the answer to that one is along the lines of, as a retailer stocking local publications when taking delivery of The Watch, I have observed that it is the editor who arrives carrying a bag of rag or mag and it is to him I pass the dosh for his invoice.

At the same time he is inclined to ask something along the lines of, what’s going on, on your turf? I think it may be the combining of roles that makes the economics possible.

So on the whole I don’t think it is a question I need to ask.

However the question I asked you; isn’t it about time the Conservatives got their act together and produced some sort of rag or mag? You don’t seem to have answered.

I am a bit unclear about this debating in the classical sense, I guess you don’t mean “classic debate” I know it considered as having an overt conservative bias, but this is small C stuff, and I guess you don’t mean classical in the Greek sense, or even something to do with parliamentary debate.

Have you any idea what you do mean?

I guess in this context I have to assume classical is to be taken as being typical to debates at the council, I have only watched about three of these webcasts so far and in this sense it did seem to me to be classical, if not a classic.

Yes I did indeed watch the whole thing and didn’t want to be drawn into saying anything about the individual speakers, some of whom where unexpectedly good while others were unexpectedly bad.

O course most fell into the expectedly bad some speakers are just naturally untalented.

It is the shaming I am trying to avoid here Simon.

Tom having read all the red, it really isn’t as red as I expected, so it wasn’t so much recognised as having been told in advance, that it was the reds from the red hall. The political left right divide in Thanet seems to be much more about who said what about our Rita in 1963, than any thing to do with the conventional political divides that I understand to exist in the UK in 2012

simon moores said...

Who would write it? Me I suppose!

The answer to your question is that the main political parties will commonly distribute local ward newsletters of sorts but that anything more elaborate involves funds that simply don't exist in local politics which is a hand to mouth operation at the best of times!

Michael Child said...

Right Simon I think it fair to say we have established that Thanet Watch is probably not being financed by North Korea subsidising the £000's of monthly production costs, but is more likely to be financed by Norman walking around with a bag.

So you could have a word about a blue watch section, my guess is that he would first be totally shocked at the idea and then the economics would surpass the political expediency.

To answer your question

I think the likes of you and me, who fiddled with computers before most people, the internet and not having to input everything in code was rather like someone who learnt how to ride a unicycle at a very early age, being presented with a very powerful motorbike on a superhighway where traffic instructions were merely advisory, as unlike most of the others we could, as it were, continue on one wheel.

However there is a whole group of people in society who have much more confidence in paper and I gues,s while they wouldn’t have thought of writing for the blogs, would happily write for a rag or mag.

simon moores said...

I would agree that we can eliminate North Korea as their agenda doesn't quite match that of Thanet Watch.

However, if you do a little maths by estimating the production costs of the stack of magazines in Westgate newsagents at 60p a pop and then extrapolate this across Thanet, then the cost is not insignificant and I for one wouldn't like to be footing a monthly bill of such a size without any return on investment

Anonymous said...

OMG TIGs have printed email from N Thanet Conservatives. It looks bad. Wonder what else they have up their sleeves.No wonder Hart did a deal. These are his attack dogs.

Anonymous said...

I heard Driver, Worrow and Cohen are supporting Red House/ Thanet Watch nutters with their members allowances.

simon moores said...

To be fair RL, although old-fashioned in his views, considered John Worrow to be quite inappropriate as a candidate given his track record and the fact he was campaigning for himself rather than the Conservative party, to the extent of creating and distributing his own materials and had to be warned that this was quite unacceptable.

Others like me, thought we should give John a chance to prove his enthusiasm and his commitment to the Conservative Party and I'm afraid that was shown to be bad judgement as consequent events demonstrated.

Contrary to what is being shouted from a very large soap box, being gay or not gay really had nothing to do with his selection as a candidate, as that was by conducted by the executive committee which I happen to sit on.

Michael Child said...

Simon I have investigated this a bit and reckon on 1,000 copies you could get it printed at that quality for about 40p per copy and on 2,000 down to 30p without any trouble by just using an online printing firm, I got this sort of a quote after about 5 mins searching.

Not really sure where that takes anyone apart from the losses are probably not very great as I guess the trade price is about 35p and a sympathetic local printer would probably help to get any local mag going on the hope of regular business.

One county wide mag I know is getting a run of 1500 done for 25p each and I guess if you looked around you could probably get a deal of this sort of order.

None of this helps my local history printing where the runs are between 10 and 40 copies and the quality higher, but it does show you that something could be done.

As for the TIG business I guess if they had any revelations that would cause more defections they wouldhave come out by now and any changes in the balance of power are likely to be self inflicted by either of the main parties.

simon moores said...

I do see that John Worrow is publishing more email correspondence from well over a year ago and this surrounds his personality class with former councillor Roger Latchford.

I'm not quite sure what his point is but it did not prevent him from becoming a Conservative councillor so his complaint of discrimination falls by the wayside.

James Maskell said...

Comments on TIG are now not appearing automatically and now require approval. Basically this means comments wont be posted...
I also notice that the wording in the Jim Nock email has now changed since last night.

Im not angry at John, though I'm sure other Tories will be. He's venting over something that's been stewing for a year and the sense of injustice must cling close to him. However this is absolutely NOT the right way to go about it and in time John will realise this.

simon moores said...

Yes I noticed that Jim Nock's email has been edited too. Also readers may not be aware that someone started posting as "Jim Nock" on Michael Child's weblog on Friday morning and he kindly removed these as Jim doesn't do weblogs. I wonder though who was using his name?

In any event, I see I'm now being called a liar on the TIG weblog, which is not the kind of language used in polite company and certainly not by aspiring politicians with any common sense.

Just to remind people who don't know. Where you might wish to stand as a candidate is one thing but it's the party executive that determines the ward and not the candidate.

Secondly, election materials are strictly controlled and have to be accounted for within an expenses limit and require the agent's imprimatur. A candidate can't simply print his own materials announcing that Conservative Party policy embraces a personal interest in stray cats etc etc if you know what I mean!