Monday, March 11, 2013

Show Time

I see, this morning that the loose fringe of Marxists, anarchists, Occupy, former CND, Militant and Socialist Workers' supporters, that have found their home in Broadstairs, have invited me to be a panelist on their special 'Question Time' debate on 'corruption' in Thanet.

"You must be having a laugh" I replied referring to their panel of so-called experts, as I do try and avoid attending left-wing show trials and especially meetings where Cllr Ian Driver is looking for more opportunities for megaphone diplomacy. An example that Labour's Alan Poole chose not to follow more recently in Ramsgate. In any event, they may not have spotted that it's the same evening that the Tesco application for a 'Metro' in Westgate, comes before the Planning Committee and I think that local people in my own ward might rightfully expect me to be there, speaking for them, rather than play the same game of soapbox political charades, more commonly associated with Cllrs Driver and Worrow.

Let's just remind ourselves why Cllr Driver is so popular with the publishers of Thanet Watch, in his own words: " I was in Militant Tendency. Yes I was in the early 1980 and proud of it! I was a Member of Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party.  I later led the opposition against Scargill’s dictatorial leadership of the party, was expelled and retired from politics until I rejoined the Thanet Labour Party. "

Based on the experience of political farce, both inside the Council chamber and outside, quite why anybody would believe that one could achieve anything remotely resembling intelligent debate on any sensitive issue, with Cllr Driver present, I really don't know.

I do however believe that most people, here in Thanet, are astute enough to realise there's an agenda behind the films and meetings regularly turned-out from this small coterie of political activists in Broadstairs. Many of them have, I'm sure moved on from the glory days of CND and Greenham Common, reduced to scaremongering about the future of our Health Service in Thanet or human rights in Israel.

In the last fortnight, I've seen wild  allegations flying around that are both unsubstantiated and malicious. I've even read a suggestion on another weblog that I be jailed along several councillors and council officers for my own non-specific involvement in local politics.

This is a time for calm reflection and not idle speculation, to avoid further damaging the reputation of local politics and confidence in local government. Once all the dust has fully settled in a few weeks then I expect local bloggers and others to look at the bigger picture, based on the evidence, rather then the urgent pursuit of political opportunism.


Richard Card said...

What evidence have you that matters complained of are either unsubstantiated or would not be substantiated by proper inquiry.

Perhaps your presence requested at the meeting, you pillory, was not only because you are a cllr but also because you served with Royal Marines Reserve.

If you had served at a barracks which, unknown to you, was a base for collusive paramilitary activity, don't you think that police investigating the collusion and paramilitary activity (and bringing no charges) should at least notify MOD to upgrade security against the threat of terrorist counter strike.

And how would you feel if investigating police, possibly to protect a source who in fact was misleading them, failed to action crime complaints which were given as part of a security warning police failed to pass on properly to MOD and MOD Plod. Your brothers in arms left like sacrificial lambs for vengeful men with bombs to call upon.

In the Mortlock successful libel action against Cllr Maison the matter arose about a conviction for assault in Pontefract. North Thanet Tory assn, as I understand it, rallied around Maison to say that he had reported this criminal record when he was first considered for selection as a cllr.

Presumably if he had disclosed his violent criminal history then Tories Mrs Mortlock and her son Bill would have known about it ? But they didn't

If it was not true, that the declaration was made, then surely you can see that the Tory assn you belong to authorized a lie to the High Court.

And if it is true he disclosed something of what amounted to a pensioner bashing history what does that tell Thanet about tory selection criteria.

As I understand it the High Court judge forbade public naming of the man who allegedly was responsible for a shortfall in tory assn funds. Roger Gale position is that the assn is independent of him.

But isn't it fair to assume the Civil High Court judge issued a no naming order in the proper expectation of a police criminal inquiry he did not want compromised. An inquiry that never happened.

Yes I know the identity. And all I can add is that the Criminal Justice Act 1936 about failing to report crime would appear relevant and something Roger Gale would be advised to consider if Kent had a police who actually do their duty.

Michael Child said...

Simon there seem to be a few flaws in the logic here, one being that the dust won’t have settled before the Kent County Council elections and another being that the vacuum caused by mainstream party councillors not addressing the issue is bound to be filled by extremists.

I will misquote Edmund Burke here “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Pretty sure the general idea is based on this quote from his: Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Simon Moores said...

I must say that Rick's latest comment is one of his most bizarre to date!

Sorry Michael but I'm not prepared to play your mischievous little games which are built very much on your own speculation.

In order to explore beyond Sandy's trial and a single example of a process being abused by self interest, you need evidence rather than hearsay and rumour. At present there exists none of the former and rather too much of the latter.

Anonymous said...

The IoTG never mentioned the Labour Cllr (male) who went to prison in the 90's or the female Cllr who had to resign for benefit fraud around the same time! It seems all one sided in my view

Bernie said...

but how can such evidence become known and used by anyone in a position to investigate anything?

Have you ever tried, as a member of the public, to tell TDC that their official records are wrong; that they contain scandalously 'incorrect' information, & managed to get anybody at TDC to take you seriously?

Anybody at TDC to actually care that scandalously incorrect information exists on official records?

To be concerned at how this can possibly have happened?

And then to care enough to try & put right the wrong they have done by recording such scandalously incorrect information unverified?

I have and it is nigh on impossible.

Perhaps the most galling thing of all is that nobody at TDC even cares that the truth is not recorded on their official documents - in fact I even have it in writing that the truth is NOT a priority!

I and my family are having to fight every step of the way to make known to TDC what they have done and how they have failed the public in the way they have acted in this Investigation. Nobody wants to know.

Questions ignored, communication delayed for months at a time, responses & information witheld, actual complaints ignored & responses given on an altogether different subject, wasting of public money "investigating" a completely wrong area, even down to taking photographs of the wrong area! Local Cllrs. who do not even acknowledge emails asking for help in specific matters, a Leader who can tweet how wonderful it is that he is out delivering newsletters but cannot reply to a tweet about that! Very senior TDC staff who state that the truth is not a priority in a H&S Investigation!

There are more ways than one for people to act in the wrong way, but if doors & minds are stubbornly closed to the possibility that that can even happen, then there never will be true transparency in local Government, & people who should be setting an example, and leading the way in honesty and truthfulness, and ensuring that all duties are performed and correct and truthful outcomes achieved will continue to pull the wool over people's eyes and get away with what they are doing.

Oh and I'm not a raving loony, nor do I have any political affiliations, I take as I find in that respect, nor I am obsessive. I am merely the mother of a very seriously injured child, whose family's lives have been turned upside down not only by how my daughter was injured, but the way TDC has dealt with the Investigation and with us in complaints in that respect.

While such behaviour may not be illegal, it is certainly immoral and in no way satisfactory in a supposedly 'free' society!

Sorry to ramble on but when my daughter was so seriously injured on 2/8/11 and everything is still being swept under the carpet as far as TDC goes, it becomes rather frustrating to say the least! x

Bernie said...

Oh and before anyone says the words L.G.O. just have a look online at the reputation that 'organisation' has. Then you try and get them to accept a complaint about TDC. Try to get them even to acknowledge that TDC has given them conflicting information. They even obtain a 3rd party's correspondence files from TDC in order to consider one complaint from one person! They have sweeping powers & there is nobody to control them at all. When asked to explain why they demanded my correspondence files from TDC in order to consider another person's complaint to them, & to explain why I was not told about this, they close ranks and simply refuse to communicate! Even Sir Roger Gale cannot elicit a response from them for me!
They even see fit to make judgement about how distressed a Grandmother is about her young granddaughter’s very serious injuries and pass comment upon that within their decision, when it is not part of the complaint being considered, and having absolutely no evidence or experience in that regard! And all with absolutely zero accountability to anybody. Hmmm. x

Simon Moores said...

You make a series of allegations but at no point mention if you have your local councillor working on your behalf, which is his or her job.

To be quite honest I have never had any problem in dealing with TDC officers in matters either mundane or the most serious.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for publicising the meeting Simon. I'm sorry you can't come and I do understand your reasons.
Thanet Watch

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for publicising the meeting, Simon. I'm sorry you can't attend but I do understand your reasons.
But whatever our differences in politics it's a shame the different sides can't get together for a debate - that's the essence of democracy.
Thanet Watch

Bernie said...

I merely stated my experiences. No allegations, just a statement of the truth of what has happened to me and my family.

I don't know how to get either of my local councillors to work for do in recent weeks on no occasion have they even acknowledged my email requests for help, let alone offered any assistance!

I am now, amongst other things, having to try and get a response to a Data Protection Act Request which was made on 25th October 2012! The response was due on 4th December 2012. I have chased this matter before and have still received nothing! Over THREE MONTHS overdue!

Deadlines exist for a reason and this is just one in a whole series of delayed communications. Can you appreciate just how frustrating that is, when matters are delayed not by days or even a week or two but for months?! With no updates as per corporate standards published in TDC website?!

But nobody wants to acknowledge these things are happening; that people are acting in this way, and there is no way that any member of the public can make these people accountable for their actions - or inaction!

All I am saying is keep an open mind. Don't close doors and refuse to believe bad things can happen or be done by people you only think you know. What people do behind closed doors is done there for a reason - so that NOBODY can know what they are doing, especially those close to them - or who think they are good friends with them!

I accuse nobody of anything, merely recount experiences and ask that open minds are the order of the day. That is far more beneficial to an open society and Council.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any comment on the brave decision by Thanet to remove the 10% discount on Council Tax for second homes. I call it "brave" because I assume the thought pattern is that these people can't vote us out - so who cares.

Right now I figure Thanet could do with as much cash flowing in to the area as possible. Isn't the likely outcome that's people will sell, property prices will drop (Due to increased supply). Less "new money" will come in and the net effect for Thanet is very negative.

Interested in your thoughts.

Simon Moores said...

Thanet's decision is pretty consistent with elsewhere I'm afraid. Government doesn't much like empty second homes with a national housing shortage

Tim Clark said...

Single example of abuse. Well maybe but I think at some stage someone in your party is going to have to explain Cameron, Watts-Ruffell,Gregory, Tomlinson and Ezekiel to an ever more exasperated electorate. They are undoubtedly the most wonderful people to have walked the planet and each has their individual tragedy behind their fall but they are all convicted criminals. Can't you see the damage that this is doing to your chances of regaining power and why is there no discernible plan to sort this out?

Simon Moores said...

If local councillors are failing to acknowledge your requests for assistance then I must apologise as such a state of affairs should never exist

Simon Moores said...

Tim. In case it escaped your attention, Ken Gregory hasn't been ' convicted' of anything. Cllr Cameron has paid the ultimate price for the loss of his career and his marriage, as a consequence of a personal weakness which forced him along the road of alcoholism, like so many others. He never recovered frim his prison sentence for driving while drunk.

Ted Watt Ruffell took in a Feral cat which had kittens under his sink. I agree, another tragedy but a high profile RSPCA conviction for animal neglect.

But I digress. Two of these were former Labour councillors and really don't see evidence of a pattern criminality as opposed to human weakness, poor judgement or simple stupidity, which is as common in politicians as it is the general public.

Sandy's crime was very different indeed and we can read everywhere that this is seen as a betrayal of public trust and a confidence damaging episode for the Council.

But let's not lose sight of the fact that the majority of Councillors work hard for the public in return for very little reward or indeed thanks. So I really do not believe the pattern you perceive really exists in the way you obviously think it does

Sara Chapman said...

Fair comments all around I think. I feel it is such a shame that a youth meeting was held to discuss providing services for the young people this evening and hardly any councillors turned up. Namely councillors Cohen, Worrow and Johnston. They were all at another politically motivated meeting in the name of corruption. This is what wastes time and lowers confidence in elected representatives!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the outcome of Rebecca Smith regarding Ezekiel case? I understand that the judge wanted to see her on the Monday to explain why a story which already had proved him "guilty" appeared on the front page of the paper prior to the jury reaching a verdict? He was pretty miffed I think.

Tim Clark said...

I don't think anywhere that I suggested that Councillors don't work hard for their communities (although you're pretty good at taking pot shots at your fellow ward councillor). What you are failing to see (even Chris Wells has finally acknowledged it) is that every time one of these type of things occurs it diminishes all of you. So rather than play semantics with me - okay Ken Gregory received a caution rather than a conviction - please try and come up with a mechanism that starts to restore confidence in the Council. At the moment, to an outsider looking in, you all look and behave like school children.

Simon Moores said...


I fear there is no magic bullet, I wish there was. Sadly councillors mirror the population at large with the complete spectrum of weaknesses and merits on display.

Some work hard, others are feckless and that's a true of Thanet as it is of Westminster. As for my fellow ward councillor, I rarely ever see her in the town so can't really judge.

Bernie said...

Thank you Simon, my thought exactly.