Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Counting Down the Days

Views of Margate by Max Montagut

Views of Margate, a photo by Max Montagut on Flickr.
My Council email inbox this morning, has an invitation to attend a Council standards hearing in January, so I should feel privileged, as this is an extraordinary accolade, a result of a thorough expert and independent investigation of this weblog and a consequence of not inconsiderable tax payers' expense.

As this appears to be a week for Councillor's public apologies, a precedent set by Cllr Ian Driver, I thought I might reduce further public expense in these difficult times, by making my own public apology here.

The complaint in question, bought by one of our Independent councillors, surrounds several allegations in regard to reported content that appeared on this weblog earlier in the year. The Council appointed an independent, outside investigator, to take statements and research the content of ThanetLife in regards to the allegation that I was both antisemitic and disrespectful to one of our distinguished members in breach of the Standards Code.

However, to quote the investigator's comprehensive report, the Councillor was in fact' unable to produce evidence" of either anti-antisemitism or indeed, that a YouTube clip on ThanetLife, demonstrating a "Very drunk Rowley Birkin" character, shown in the clip, further below, was directed at him.

The investigator has independently established that 'The legendary drinks cabinet' "One careful owner", referred to in this weblog, "Is based in fact and potentially justified", is "an antique;" a matter of some personal pride to its owner. Reference to its "Leaving a trail of rare whiskey fumes and political broken glass in its wake", might be regarded as "satirical comment".

Which leaves two further remarks on this weblog, the report has considered to be in breach of the standards code. The first of these was made in reference to special, senior appointments, carrying a generous allowance, within the Council under Clive Hart's new minority Labour administration: "Follow the money" and the second, an allusion to diligent sobriety in regard to the character of a respected local councillor.

The investigator concluded that the "use of satire is commonplace within political commentary and Cllr Moores claims his right to free speech." She does however reach two conclusions. That the reference to financial gain in seeking a position of influence; i.e. 'Follow the money". "Is inaccurate, speculative and potentially damaging and a contravention of paragraph 3.2 of the Standards Code." She also concludes that I have "breached paragraph 3.2" again by describing the councillor as 'Sober' ..."Through the use of his nickname."(Sober Jack.)

Therefore and in order to help reduce further public expense in this lengthy investigation and the hearing yet to come and in the spirit of Christmas goodwill, I would like to unreservedly apologise to Cllr Dr Jack Cohen, for giving readers the impression, that his motives in seeking the position of independent Chair of Planning at Thanet District Council, were in any way financial. Furthermore, I wish to apologise for the disrespect shown in describing him as 'Sober; the independent investigator having decided against the nickname, "Sober in relation to Councillor Cohen;" being in an way appropriate or acceptable, a direct quote from her report.

I hope now we can bring an end to this drawn-out, unique and expensive public inquiry and I will leave you with an old favourite to enjoy and of course, not in any way related to the complaint in question.


Roger Latchford OBE said...

It is very interesting that Cllr Worrow was found guilty by the Standards Board and was requested to "apologise in writing to Mr Latchford and provide written assurance that his personal attacks in the Press and social media will cease", Cllr woroow stated in the Gazette that he has no intention in complying with the finding!!
Tig should realise they are not above the law

Anonymous said...

Simon, yourself and Ian Driver have led the way in unburdening your tortured and guilty souls through contrition and apology. I applaud your dignity and hope that you now feel much better.

My question to you is this, would you recommend to the person (rumoured to be a well known local politician) who on a blogsite likend a member of the public to a Pig, to follow your lead and make a public apology. Do you think that person would feel better if he did this and do you think he would receive his reward in heaven rather than via an SRA?

Simon Moores said...

I'm sure that Brother Worrow may feel the burden on his tortured soul much relieved through the instrument of confession. As for the SRA.. not a chance!