Saturday, 1 December 2012

Some shake up

The Gazette has a story this week about another shake up in Thanet Labour, Clive Hart 's record as leader of the council has been to be kind, mediocre, so far it seems to me that the lamentable administration has staggered behind the independents.

Notably councillor Ian Driver, happy enough to be elected as a member of the Labour party but exercising the good judgement not to be led by Cllr Hart and content to run rings around the hapless mishmash that is the Labour group.

This week is dominated by one of Drivers campaign's the obnoxious business of transport of sheep from Ramsgate harbour, good call really, this actually is one of those things nobody would miss should 
campaigners succeed.

Much of this year, that being the time Labour's headed the council (I should of course say controlled the council but that would be to overstate their competence), it looks like Driver has also been setting the agenda, the summer saw all that " gay" stuff, the ridiculous debate over gay marriage hardly relevant to local government, all kinds of unpleasantness at the time, not least homophobia from Labour and Tory and perhaps more offensive the suggestion of  "hate crime" a modern day sledgehammer to curb independent thinking from local zealots.

Anyway so what has Labour achieved in a year, well little if you ask me, council tax is going to rise, low paid council workers are to have pay cuts and council bosses, well you know the score, as for Clive Hart who cares.

Things that need addressing in Thanet are the always declining economy, increasing crime, social deprivation and in recent years the increasing burden of a transient population in Margate, can Labour do anything not likely on past evidence.


  1. I guess the other difficulty is that the Conservatives didn’t seem to be able to do much about the problems you outline during the eight years they were in control. Nor do they seem to coming up with much on the alternative strategy front at the moment. The word on the street is that you are a Conservative councillor having an initial go at communicating with us electorate types, if so I applaud you.

    Working in a shop as I do, which means I can’t avoid what the locals say. Most people seem to think Cllr Driver has got the right idea, in terms of going about the councilloring lark, listening to what people say and then making a fuss and doing something about it, that is. Granted he seems to have made a few mistakes like pizzagate but he seems to be learning fast.

  2. Drivers no novice, Michael worth a Google

  3. Ah Southwark and the Socialist Labour Party though I guess nothing much would prepare one for TDC, or the BBC looking for a soundbite about the locals at war with the DFLs.

    Trouble is the Thanet economy has been partly reliant on DFLs since the first steamboat got to Margate in about 1815, if you are sure about the date you haven’t read all the sources.

    Anyway I don’t need to Google Driver having posted about him when he repeated what he did in splitting from New Labour and the spin, (but then didn’t Simon Moores) and split from Thanet Labour and the shtum.

    Anyway do I take it that you agree with the rest of what I said, by default? And since you have started to talk to us lot in a public forum, any ides, sorry wrong word, it isn’t the 13th and I would be wanting to stab you in back, ideas on where the Conservative group are going?

    1. Michael, as ever you seek to deflect attention from the present TDC administration's failings by questioning what the Conservatives are doing. It hardly matters although elements within the Conservatives council group seem capable of some effective opposition. If you attended meetings you would be aware that Cllr Wells remains the most knowledgeable and accomplished speaker.

      The fact is that Labour, chosen by far fewer people than voted Conservatives in 2011, are theoretically in charge though at the sale of their souls to the TIG, are again spending our money like it grows on trees and are making no improvements on the issues they so criticised the council on when in opposition.

      As for Driver, my own view is that it is all about his profile, but some of his campaigns strike a chord. My objection to him would be that he used the Labour machine and money to get elected and then very promptly resigned from the party. Dishonest and, if he was a man of real conviction, he would put himself up for re-election in his ward.

  4. Tom, hands up here, I have to admit like most businessmen in East Kent, running a small business is only a cover, and I am actually a Marxist Leninist sleeper.

    I believe one day we get the signal and I’m ‘fraid to say its Conservative Councillors up against the wall first.

    1. Now you are being silly, Michael. Your mate Driver might be a Marxist Leninist front man, but you are far too noisy for a sleeper role. I'd settle for a bookshop proprietor with a left of centre bias and a strange aversion to airfields. Maybe it's a hay fever thing?

    2. Tom I had been suspecting you may have a sense of humour for some time, I guess the Hay fever wraps it up.

      Surviving as an independent retailer is a tricky business these days, I guess voting in the locals, situated where I am, it’s what the county, district and town council will do about the imitate area that is my consideration.

      Parking, state of the road and footpaths, the noisy drunks all night stopping us from sleeping properly, the lowlifes hanging about and putting some of my customers off, Pleasurama, pavillion this sort of thing.

      Frankly I think Cllr Driver may make a difference and I am not at all concerned as to his motives. It’s the talking to the people and making a public fuss that I think is needed within the bounds of the present situation.

    3. Fair point, Michael, and I guess different people have different ways of going about it. Several councillors on the north side are pretty active in their communities, of both parties, without seeking the high profile of Driver.

      In Broadstairs there seems to be good communication between councillors and the various other bodies that make up a fairly well run little town. On Ramsgate I am not really qualified to speak being only an occassional shopper and social visitor. I can see, however, it is not the town of my schoolboy days, but the harbour area remains impressive.

      Some of the issues you raise seem outside the control of our local authority, indeed, the dumping of undesirables has oft been the subject of Thanet Life. What megaphone politics can do about that I am not sure for it is the London boroughs end that needs sorting.

      Had a haircut in Broadstairs today and got a right ear bashing about the injustice of the parking costs in the town compared with Birchington and Westgate. Chris Wells has already tried on that battle to not much avail and it does seemingly highlight the perception that the management of Thanet as a whole is not even handed.

  5. good blog site. shame it finished