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.