Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas Comes

With so many people to send Christmas cards, there's always a danger I will overlook someone, Family, friends, colleagues or readers of this weblog. So I'm putting-up my virtual Christmas wishes early, wishing everyone a happy holiday to come, while I get down to writing all the real world cards and sending them off in different directions.

There's a great deal happening this week on the political front, most of which would not be appropriate for me to comment on in advance of next Thursday's council meeting.

I would comment on the quite remarkable level of misinformation being peddled freely across the internet by those with their own ambitions and perhaps unorthodox political agenda and the old expression that 'A week is a long time in politics' rings true.

I'll give you one example of a headline being peddled on the local Labour-leaning blog scene today: "Thanet District Council and Freshwater had planned to evict residents of Arlington House."

This statement is completely untrue like so many others I see on a regular basis and yet it's presented as outraged fact without any regard to the evidence. Much like Cllr Alan Poole's letter in the Thanet Gazette this morning, which attacks Thanet's 'Low recycling rate', following on from the somewhat skewed report by the paper's Thomas Brown, the previous week, which rather importantly, failed to take account of the tens of thousands of blue wheelie bins in households across the island and counts the remaining black bag collections instead.

The earlier Gazette article and Cllr Poole's letter pointed out how low Thanet’s recycling rate was, with Alan Poole being outraged that Thanet - with it's Tory-led council - "is 9th out of 12 Kent Districts" but in fact if you add in the inconvenient bigger picture - Sorry Alan - Thanet’s actually the best in Kent for this. Equally, our dry recycling rate, which excludes food and garden waste, is the third best in the county, so credit to our residents where credit is due for doing their bit and using the blue-bin recycling service provided

These are just two examples of how local news is being regularly biased, manipulated and exaggerated and my advice then, is to take everything you might read with a large pinch of salt and perhaps ask what's best for the future of Thanet as we move quickly towards 2012.

A few thoughts on this week's strike before I go.

When I joined the Cabinet Office in 2000 there was an objective of taking 80,000 jobs out of the public sector through the introduction of online Government efficiences. Instead, what happened as Brown replaced Blair is that over 300,000 more jobs were added, with all the pension commitments and more besides across a rapidly ageing population demographic.

Most people will understand a Ponzi or Pyramid wealth scheme; they appear on a regular basis. It's the trap that socialist governments all over the world have fallen into, borrowing huge amounts to build-up a public sector, while allowing the private sector, which actually creates the national wealth, to waste away or in the case of western economies, being outsourced and automated away to the Far-east.

If a country isn't going to drown under its weight of public debt like Greece, then you need enough private sector jobs to balance the cost of providing a generous, public sector welfare state, with the pensions that go with it. However, as a nation, we fell behind years ago are almost completely reliant on our North Sea oil and city finance revenues to prop up the loss in manufacturing and have been using the credit card game to pay the bills ever since.

It may not be fair for any government of any party to introduce austerity measures but it's inevitable. I watched a very clever economist on Sky News deconstruct the argument of a Unison spokesperson the other evening and with the Euro, now close to collapse, the Trades Unions really need to wake-up to the reality rather than the rhetoric of the financial crisis. Sadly, here in Thanet, I see the same rhetoric on a regular basis across our own political divide, which lies at total odds with our share of the economic crisis and the common-sense decisions required to take us through it over the coming four years.

Photo, Karl Marx with his daughter in Margate 1866

28 comments:

Margate Architecture said...

Simon, You don't state why my blog post ""Thanet Distict Council and Freshwater had planned to evict residents of Arlington House." is untrue. And also why you think my blog is a Labour blog. I suggest you read the documents held in the file at The Gateway and see for yourself. If you have a more up to date S106 draft to share with the public, we'd be glad to see it, please.

DrM. said...

I suggest that if you move any further to the left you will fall off the Margate Harbour Arm.

Even the Thanet Gazette qualifies the story as "the draft suggestions were thrown out by TDC planners as unworkable'

These were dismissed so quickly that they never even passed my desk so lets be clear, the council didn't PLAN anything. This was a suggestion by one party quickly and properly dismissed!

Michael Child said...

Goodness me Simon a bit of a grey Christmas card, I know the TC is a bit grey but Father Christmas, shouldn’t he be red. Possibly red enough to fall off the harbour arm.

DrM. said...

Good point Michael

I thought i was being arty so i will see if I can work in some red

Peter Checksfield said...

Come on Louise (Margate Architecture), any blog that prints such biased rubbish as this without also trying to give a balanced view from the other side (as someone like Michael Child would do) is a Labour blog. A shame, because until recently this was one of the few blogs that didn't show any real political bias. .

Michael Child said...

I though it was ADC digital imaging being arty, when it comes to art you would be probably be better off with a chimp than a computer program.

The first computer project I was involved in 1968, I think was called The Minerva Project, the computer was about the size to four double decker busses, some of the most innovative minds in computing were involved, the plan was to construct a computer that learned.

When we discovered it was actually learning we knew that we had made an incredible software breakthrough, it was only when we discovered that the computer was learning from the fluorescent lights in the lab, that we put the 5,000 page learned journal we had produced through the shredder

DrM. said...

I've changed my card to a more colourful one which reflects what I do. Hopefully when Santa gets fed-up with the Reindeer, he will use something with a bit more horsepower like the Stearman, that's if he can afford the fuel!

Michael Child said...

I’ll let you know if I find one up the chimney, much jollier picture, happy Christmas.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Nice card, I've got a gift of a flight in the Stearman that I haven't used yet and I'm waiting for the weather to warm up a bit first....

Margate Architecture said...

I'm afraid, Simon, the line "the draft suggestions were thrown out by TDC planners as unworkable' in the Thanet Gazette article was not a quote from TDC and not substantiated with any evidence. TDC gave no quote or comment when asked about the draft S106 agreement. They were given ample opportunity to comment but chose not to. The line in the Gazette came from Freshwater's agent. The date on the document speaks for itself. May 6th. There is no evidence of a discussion between the Planning Officers Simon Thomas or Cherry Aplin in the file. The file runs until this Nov. There are ample re-workings of other conditions and items discussed as better off in the S106, but this was not rebuked by TDC. It is likely it is unworkable on a legal basis, but not unthinkable. As I publish further extracts from the file, perhaps you will see what I mean.

DrM. said...

You can think what you like but as this 'so-called' suggestion didn't merit a comment from TDC you can draw your own conclusions to its merit.

I doubt the council would comment on the validity of intelligent design or the moon being made of green cheese either.

So best return to socialist cloud-cuckoo land and come-up with something a little more original to frighten people with!

Margate Architecture said...

Simon, there is a draft S106 Heads of Terms document within the planning appeal file documents sent from the developer to the Planning Inspectorate. The document was sent by Philip Robin to TDC when they were King Sturge. There is no later amended document in the file, nor is there a record of a discussion of this item. There are later discussions of other issues that are suggested to be deleted from proposed conditions and moving them into the S106. I don't think this is a party political issue. I haven't invented this document. It is fact. Will TDC be making available all the correspondence regarding the S106 discussions as part of the appeal process like King Sturge have done?
Again I don't belong to a political party and am confused why you suggest I am. I've read the entire file. Have you?

DrM. said...

Whether you are a card carrying member of the Party or not is irrelevant. I think Peter Checksfield summed it up neatly and if anyone has any doubts they can look for themselves.

I'm not going to speak for TDC here as it's not the place. If you wish to indulge in your fantasies and conspiracy theories then fine but don't present what is clearly speculation as fact.

I'm not prepared to comment any further.

Margate Architecture said...

I have only reported the existence of these documents. They came to light because they were submitted by Freshwater as part of the public inquiry. Any suggestion that TDC threw these suggestions out is at the moment unsubstantiated. Therefore, one has to ask, who is talking fantasy and who is talking about facts. We will obviously see TDC's position on this issue at the public inquiry. Emotive accusations about someone's political affiliations are not helpful or relevant. This is about a leaseholder, Freshwater who is in breach of many of their covenants proposing to the freeholder and Local Planning Authority, that they should exercise their position as freeholder to evict tenants if they do not accept their proposals. Again, have you read the file?

john moss said...

This is the first and last time that I have read this blog and I am shocked and amazed that anyone submitting a view that does not concur with Moores right wing stance is automatically branded a member of the far left ! How very sad - and dare I say it - politically incorrect in every possible sense.

I was referred to this blog in the light of the comments in respect of the proposal that the Council should compulsory purchase the flats of any Arlington House resident that failed to have their windows changed. The facts of the matter are that the Council has chosen to place the document in question in the public domain. There is no document in the public domain that rejects the proposal.

One can therefore only draw ones own conclusions . . .

I can only make my own judgements on the basis of the evidence - not heresay. Moores statement reads "These were dismissed so quickly that they never even passed my desk so lets be clear, the council didn't PLAN anything. This was a suggestion by one party quickly and properly dismissed!" So who dismissed them and when ? Please produce the evidence to give some weight to your statement.

DrM. said...

John, I've already commented that I don't intend to remark any further here on a matter that the local paper has reported as "the draft suggestions were thrown out by TDC planners as unworkable'

As for the crude political bias of 'Thanet Architecture', I will let others draw their own conclusions and you will note that I'm as free to express an opinion as you are!

So.. move on and find another conspiracy theory. David Icke is good fun I suggest!

Margate Architecture said...

So you are asking people to believe in a single unattributed sentence from a local newspaper over the documentary evidence in a file held at the council?

But, as you say, Simon, let's move on. We're now discussing what the seafront will look like if you allow the demolition of the frontage to Arlington with no interest from a hotel operator in place.

Discuss:

http://arlingtonhousemargate.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/no-interest-in-hotel-site/

Peter Checksfield said...

*Could* take years, or it could be very soon afterwards... Either way, a thriving & busy newly built superstore will look a damn site better than the boarded up shops & 6 ft high weeds that are there at the moment.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Dr M has resorted to abuse speaks volumes as to the truth behind Louises' s arguments

DrM. said...

Ha Ha, a comedian and our familiar troll. When I start throwing insults you will know about it but for now you will have to settle for acerbic remarks!

mingles4all said...

QED

DrM. said...

Don't you get bored with trolling? All those mutiple identities must be hard to juggle but the introverted style is unmistakable.

mingles4all said...

Expand on your hypothesis

DrM. said...

Mingles4All there's a certain satisfaction in seeing you bouncing back and forth looking for a reply as you hide behind your psudeonym.

Short of a jaded few who congregate around the the weblogs, constantly swapping comments and quips into the early hours, most people have real lives and interests. You may wish to consider joining the rest of us before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

SO WHAT DOES THE FINAL 106 DOCUMENT SAY IF THE ONE IN THE FILE WAS THROWN OUT BECAUSE I CANT FIND IT

Margate Architecture said...

Cllr Moores, I was instructed yesterday by some of your colleagues in the Cabinet that you are the man to speak to for the location of the infamous S106 notice for Arlington.

It is a legal requirement for the Public Inquiry document disclosure that this document be in there. TDC's disclosed documents at The Gateway do not contain the S106, the conditions they would wish to enforce if permission is granted or correspondence to match that of Freshwater's disclosure file. Please advise why this is so.

DrM. said...

Louise

If you wish to correspond with me on an official basis please use the proper channel; ie my council address as a weblog is not the place your argument in regard to the S106 at Arlington.

Follow this process and I will be happy to correspond with an official TDC hat on but here is not appropriate.

DrM. said...

Louise, monitoring the conversation from Amsterdam, I can see that you have made an official inquiry and have received a formal answer from TDC