Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Great or Not so Great Debate

The Council webcast of last week's controversial debate on gay marriage, parking and much more is now available to view online. James Maskell has also transcribed it here.

The quality isn't great and neither is the sound as it won't capture the shouting and barracking from the public gallery or indeed a number of members of the Labour and Thanet Independent Group. Cllr Drivers' speech starts five minutes in and you can hear the Chair threatening to clear the public gallery at times.

At around minute 11:00 and the again at  21:19 it becomes patently clear that the emotional Cabinet member Michelle Fenner hasn't the vaguest clue about the consultation directions and rambles-on at length about the forces of Conservatism et al.

Not unusually, you will see Cllr Iris Johnston start on one of her long reminiscences, in the form of a wandering narrative, not about gay marriage but on a previous maternity consultation. This is par for the course I'm afraid and Council and Cabinet meetings are much shorter when she is away with relief displayed on both sides of the political divide. She's not aware that there is actually a sweepstake running on how far back she will go with her stories of an earlier socialist utopia in Thanet and on Thursday it was 2003.

Around 15 minutes in you can hear Bob Bayford presenting the Conservative position on the debate and Clive Hart is 25 minutes in.

Chris Wells speaks eloquently at 26:30 presenting his personal opinion and explaining what the nature of the consultation actually is and I follow with a few words myself at 29:54. Cllr Gideon gives a good speech at minute 47 responding to Cllr Harrison as does Cllr Green at minute 53.

Everyone really needs to listen to Cllr Worrow at around minute 36 who refers to this weblog.

The controversial free parking in Birchington pops its thorny head up again and Cllr Gregory refers to "The cost of two votes" to place Labour in control. Up comes Cllr Jack Cohen at  minute 129:16 with a long speech which is really not to be missed.  he refers to Cllr Bruce's survey of traders being 'loaded' but who or what may be loaded I will leave readers to judge!

At Minute 180.35 I make my 'Dark and unhappy place speech' about people in the gallery 'Twittering' allegations of homophobia across the internet. You can watch some of Clive Hart's response but very conveniently his inability to understand anything about basic technology is lost.

Now comes the main event when Cllr Worrow loses the plot completely, makes a number of outrageous statements and an angry Cllr Shirley Tomlinson threatens to take him outside. Once again the most interesting part of the exchange is lost but readers will, I'm sure, gain some  insight into the demonstrably troubled state of mind of the leader of the Thanet Independent Group

I know its politics and of little interest to most but the truth is often stranger than fiction and I do recommend that you try and watch some of it and judge both the debate and the often bizarre behaviour of some members from what you see.


I'm not John Worrow said...

off topic!

I saw in the minutes of the WWRA meeting you were going to ask Roger Gale to ask BT whats happening about the superfast broadband.

I've been looking at the FTTC installs which were also scheduled for March like Sandwich for that enterprise zone which had priority over us in Westgate. There dates are slipping backwards to end of June now from March.

Has BT given Roger an excuse why their getting slower and slower at installing superfast broadband.

simon moores said...

I did and I will as I'm meeting him on Friday and if you would like to email me some technical questions to put directly to BT (anonymously if you prefer) I will hand them to him!

I'm not John Worrow said...

No technical questions really, just a query why they scheduled the 21CN WBC upgrades in the telephone exchange in June/July, and schedule the repair/upgrade of the Virtual Pathways at the same exchange in September.

The upgrade to 21CN would just highlight the lack of capacity issue. Why not upgrade both at the same time whilst the engineers are working there anyway in June?

What follows is speculation, not a question.

As for the FTTC superfast broadband, I think BT have just heavily underestimated the time scale and costs. So all the original figures which they submitted to KCC for the BDUK consultation will be wrong aswell.

I think they will end up paying so much more due to delays and paying out for other contractors to carry out work in Sandwich, Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. They wont really have a lot left in their original budget to upgrade us in Westgate.

Couldn't you go with Roger when he speaks with BT, as I believe you know more about the digital divide and future technology then Roger does?

simon moores said...

I like to think I helped push this forward at least in part last year when I saw the senior people at BT at Westminster but I will pass this to Roger as it really lies within his area of responsibility but will of course mention this to Mike and Clare at BT public sector when I see them next.

I'm not John Worrow said...

Way off topic!

Just read that Google is in The Oak Hotel in Ramsgate tomorrow(Friday 27th April 10am to 4pm), giving free tips and advice to local business's to boost trade through the internet.

You have to book in advance so you can have one to one consultation.

simon moores said...

From the look of the editorial the Thanet Extra was at a completely different gay marriage debate to the one we had here in Thanet or indeed is shown in the video!

I'm not John Worrow said...

I kind of agree with Ian Driver on page 18. Roger's done a lot for the Thanet community in his years of service. I even remember him coming to my school assemblies and giving talks. I cant remember anything he talked about though.

Ian Driver is calling for him to stand down as MP.
"It's time for him to go and be replaced by someone with more modern and fresher outlook on life"

I think if someone doesn't force him to go out enjoy himself on holiday and enjoy life whilst he's still healthy, he will keep going until he drops dead in the house of commons.

You up for it Dr M?

I've got this image in my head that if you filled his shoes, you would use your technical background to bring the whole of Thanet into the digital would, and build the key building blocks/foundations for the future.

When I've spoken to people visiting the area from London and up north. One of the first things they whinge about is we only get 4 channels on the television. So technology/creature comforts are key for Thanets regeneration.
For anyone coming to Thanet, it's almost like visiting a Jungle for them.

In my opinion, I believe you are the sharpest tool in the local Conservatives tool box.
Your like Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver, capable of doing so much, all they've used you for is to stir the Tea and Coffee.

Quote from the film Batman Begins
"It's not who you are underneath. It's what you do that defines you."

Anonymous said...

If Ian Driver is so concerned, perhaps he should run against Sir Roger next time himself. I mean he can at least count on two votes from the rest of his party and from little acorns, well who knows!

Anonymous said...

I have heard that a certain TIG Cllr who used to live in Birchington is going around trying to get a candidate for 'when Cllr Brian Goodwin dies' In my mind this is totally 'BAD FORM' and the said cllr needs to be reprimanded!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why aren't you leader of the Thanet Conservatives, Simon?

Anonymous said...

I see Rag Tag and Bobtail from the Tiggywinkles have not been truly recorded through the press - I was in the public gallery as I often am and have never heard anything so childish and malicious in the case of "Rag" aka JW in my life - it is true Clive is keeping them on board in order that he may keep the "Council" sad days for "Thanet"

Anonymous said...

One might well ask why aren't you leader of Thanet Labour, Christine, for even you could not be worse than the one they have got. Or maybe you have joined TIG as well now.