Saturday, December 21, 2013

Warmly Padded

Merry Christmas to all my readers
One of those days where the weather delivers a strong urge to stay firmly under the duvet but the madness of the last days before Christmas directs otherwise.

I even have a flying marriage proposal lined-up near Gatwick for Xmas Eve, with special approval from ATC to get close-in to the airport to do it. That said, my romantic client will require a special favour from Father Christmas and quite likely God as well, if the weather is going to be anywhere near my own operational safety limits.

Having the national papers pick-up my earlier U-boat photos yesterday came as an early Xmas present, as I really hadn't expected them to like the photos so much. It also goes to show that an investment in a very expensive F2.8 200mm lens was worth the risk, as it delivers the image quality I need under awkward conditions from a moving aerial platform. I have learned from my friends who work for The Sun and the Daily Mail that the latest generation of mid-range cameras are fine if photography is a hobby but commercial photography requires deep pockets for the kit.

Over on Thanet's other two most popular blogs, I see that both ECR and Michael Child are now so sick of dealing with the familiar collection of unmedicated, anonymous, delusional obsessives and attention-seeking trolls, that they have been forced along the route of comment moderation. I never thought I would see the day.

I'm very happy to engage in the occasionally heated political debate elsewhere on the local blogs but more recently, this has become quite impossible. Why, you might ask, would any local politician in his right mind, wish to put himself on offer, given the lonely individuals who appear to spend much of their lives cruising the comments section; tapping-out their bizarre remarks on a sticky iPad with a toothbrush, all wrapped neatly in a straight-jacket and from the comfort of a warmly-padded room.

I can just imagine the standards complaints that will now flood into Thanet District Council and I will subsequently forced to join Brighton's city councillors on a BBC-sponsored,  diversity course, which mixes self-criticism, political correctness and endless repeats of Strictly Come Dancing.

I should really start on predictions for 2014. I did predict that someone was bound to mix-up Nelson Mandela with Morgan Freeman and sure enough, in India they did, with huge sponsored posters paying tribute to the death of the great actor.

Back in Thanet,"I have seen the future and it is very much like the present, only longer." to quote a chap named Kehlog Albran.  I can predict that most people will have their bins emptied over Xmas but some will not. That Clive Hart will cling-on to Labour's control of the Council like many socialist dictators before him; until of course the small group of assorted anarchists and militant Leninists, who gather to toast marshmallows and sing old CND songs over in Broadstairs's Red Hall, decide that the time has come for revolution and march on Cecil Square; again....

Until then, I had better get on with the last of my Christmas shopping like everyone else.


William Epps said...

Loved this post, Simon, so befitting both the time of year and the Thanet scene. The Broadstairs anarchists are offering a prize for the best blog comment so you could be in with a chance of winning a free subscription to Thanet Watch!

Anyway, you have a good Christmas and let's hope 2014 sees a continuance of the economic recovery and the dawning of a new era of sensible and open governance in Thanet.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Simon. In the New Year perhaps you will explain how, with comment moderation, the entertainment standard of blog comment exchange has plummeted ?

To be fair from the very outset (The Gippo word outrage) ECR made it clear that he prizes his anonymity over his principles.

And to be fair from the outset Michael has known a witness to paramilitary activity in TA 1980s and unlawful live fire training, involving middle easterners, at a Thanet Gun range.

In fact Michael admitted as much some years ago when he looked up Misprision of Treason on Wiki and gleefully announced that there is a 3 year limitation for the Crown to bring charges.

However Section 54 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is a different kettle of fish isn't it Simon ?

Has Harvey dealt with that yet ?

Simon Moores said...

And with that last comment I rest my case M'Lud!

John Holyer said...

Simon, Witty and oh so true. Merry Christmas.

Simon Moores said...

Sorry .. Just lost two comments there by accident so please try again.

To win back the administration would require UKIP and the independents to ditch Labour and Cllrs Worrow and. Cohen won't I predict, be keen to give up their well remunerated positions in any circumstances

Anonymous said...

Simon, congratulations on the forthcoming marriage proposal. Do you think you'll accept it?

Simon Moores said...

Thank you for the Xmas wishes.. I can't use that last comment remarking on the mental state of an earlier visitor but I'm sure many readers may share your opinion.

Alasdair Bruce said...

Well done Simon on a fine blog and seasons greetings.
By the way, that's one cute dog in your previous blog, and did you manage to see the other two U boats just to the south of the more intact one?

Simon Moores said...

Thanks Alasdair. While there is wreckage and a photographed what I thought might be a wreck, it's in such a mess now it could be anything.

Bemused of Birchington said...

Off message but sorry to hear about the damage to your aircraft, and to your greenhouse.

Richard Eastcliff said...

It used to be my policy to allow any comments, no matter how nutty, in the interests of free speech. In the past, some of these bordered on the potentially libellous, but I thought it was important that alternative views were aired, and that the UK's draconian libel laws should be challenged in some small way.

Thanks to various campaigns, and the new Defamation Act which comes into force in a couple of days' time, things have changed for the better in that respect.

However, the problem with comments on the Thanet blogs is that they have become dominated by a very small group of individuals who are hellbent on using them to publicise their single issues. Five years ago, my post about the Dreamland fire generated something like 100+, mostly sensible, comments. Nowadays it's possible to get 200+ comments on a post about nothing in particular, most of which are taken up with people calling each other names or banging on about stuff that nobody's interested in.

Personally I'd rather have two or three pointed comments than a whole load of dross, which is why I've introduced comment moderation.

Besides, Facebook, Twitter, and even, dare I say, the local press now have pretty much everything covered on a daily basis. So much so that news blogging feels like something out of the ark these days!