Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bananas - I'm Alright Jack

Its finally happened, a predictable coup worthy of a small banana republic.

This afternoon, the Birchington Independendent Councillor Jack Cohen announced that he was leaving Tom King's Independent Party to join 'El Presidente' Cllr John Worrow's Thanet Independent Party, where he feels more politically comfortable and can perhaps better support his new leader in a bid to find the council funds needed to host this summer's 'Minnis Bay Pride Diversity Weekend.'

So what does this mean to the good people of Thanet? Very simply, with the Conservative, Brian Goodwin, recovering in hospital from a serious operation, El Presidente', Driver and 'Sober' Jack now hold the balance of power on the island. Much like the video clip you see below, they can now introduce any daft or irrelevant motion or policy they may wish, because Labour's Clive Hart, now finds himself in the unhappy position of being bent over a political barrel; reduced to being an extra in a Woody Allen movie.



Some people may laugh at this, having lost any faith in local politics a long time ago but others, realising the awful implications of placing these three playground actors in positions of any responsibility, will understand that Thanet now finds itself in a very unhappy political place with real consequences for all of us living here.

Of equal seriousness is the issue of who controls and chairs the most important committees on the council from next May. Normally, these would go to the best qualified and experienced in any political group but this is unlikely to be the case in future, as the largest special responsibility allowances are suddenly available to those who would never have had even the most remote chance of claiming one of these positions on merit. Dr. Cohen was quite likely to have lost his well remunerated planning role, if he had stayed put and so the popular expression that first springs to any suspicious political mind, is of course 'Follow the money.'

Up and until Christmas, I was optimistic that under the last administration - and of course I'm biased - we had finally buried the grubby seventies monument to narrow ambition that defined Thanet politics in the minds of so many people.

Perhaps I was simply naive! I know the Conservative group and Tom King's remaining Independents (he and Bob Grove) are keen to explore any sensible way forward, working with Clive's Labour group to find consensus to prevent Thanet's political scene and its future, being dominated by three councillors with their own very personal agendas.

64 comments:

Tom Clarke said...

What very strange bedfellows and, indeed, a sad day for local democracy when single issue campaigners pull the strings. Mind you, I think we both know Cllr Driver's real agenda and you have to wonder how long the other two will go along with that.

I cannot wait to see John Worrow go fall circle and stand in Birchington High Street with his Socialist Workers banner.

Tim Clark said...

Gawd 'elp us all. It should really be called the Turncoats Party - Sober Jack was originally a Conservative

Michael Child said...

Simon you don’t think the eight years of the previous Conservative administration, most of which was during a period of boom with masses of available grant funding, has anything to do with the predicament the council now finds itself in do you?

As far as I can see looking at the national election voting figures, the council, at the moment, should have a healthy Conservative majority. You don’t think perhaps some introspection on the part of the local Conservative group would be a better course at the moment do you?

Possibly even considering that alienating the independents may not in fact be serving your best interests.

I short, as local voter I am asking you what plan it is that the local Conservatives have that would make me consider voting for them? I can understand die hard Conservatives supporting a policy of rubbishing all of the opposition, but in the cut a thrust of local politics it really is the floating voters like me that you have to convince.

Tim Clark said...

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Think on Michael and if you want another Edmund Burke quotation try "The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts." Now you tell be what this triumverate want, because it sure as Hell isn't the best for Thanet

Michael Child said...

Tim I live in a town where at the end of a period of excessive government spending virtually every prominent district council owned site is either empty or derelict and empty.

Now while I have considerable reservations about the excess government spending during that period, I do feel that the local conservative administration perhaps could have done something.

I have observed with some interest the recent arguments against the motives of the Thanet independence party, particularly with respect the same sex marriage issue.

While I concede that it was probably a mistake for the national government to tell local councils and not specifically county councils to debate this issue, they have told them to do so and haven’t withdrawn this advice.

So that holding the debate is a proper course of action recommended and sanctioned by the national government, this makes those supporting doing so in the right, the alternative is that local government ignores the advice of national government, which I don’t think it should do within the present constitution.

This was then followed by an argument against the introduction of same sex marriage based on reformation modifications to the marriage rite, to me this argument didn’t make sense. I think it was supposed to an argument based on religious grounds and I can see ways that arguments, both for and against same sex marriage, could be based on theological grounds could be developed. Though I don’t think any of these could be based on New Testament theology. Frankly Old Testament theology opens up a moral chasm that I don’t think the council would wish to fall into.

What has failed to happen here is any attempt to consider some positive way that councillors could debate the issue that would be in any way beneficial, by this I mean the way in which the council is involved in local peoples partnerships, possibly housing and leisure.

Rather like the council owned buildings in Ramsgate what I would like to see is a Conservative position that takes advantage of a difficult and imposed position, rather than behaving in a way that benefits no one and wouldn’t want me want to support them in an election.

Whether the various local independent groups are doing damage to Thanet rather remains to be seen, there existence is the result of our system of local government one of the things the previous administration was supposed to consult on, debate and resolve. I am not you understand complaining about the result of this but the way in which it was done.

simon moores said...

No it's not Michael.. please read the guidance. TDC has no clear remit and Government is not suggesting any form of debate. It's a KCC issue as they control the registrars and this is a complete waste of council time.

Mind you, as one who as a hobby, frequently wastes inordinate amounts of council time at the taxpayer's expense, I'm sure you won't object.

Gordon Bennett said...

Simon, this is all very sad reading. If it wasn't so serious I would say it is good to have all the rotten eggs in one basket. There are some very good councillors on both Conservative and Labour sides who are being sidelined by this trivial, vindictive trio. Labour must surely see now that they need to work with the Conservatives to restore democracy and stop these three from holding the power. No matter what they want now, they will get - I have never seen such a shameful state. As a resident of Thanet I ask Clive Hart to get off his political soapbox and start thinking of the good of Thanet - and the same goes for Cllr Bayford. You need the likes of Iris Johnson, Alasdair Bruce, Richard Nicholson and yourself to start working together to persuade your leaders that conservative and Labour need each other - for now at least.

Readit said...

Let this be a lesson Simon, you have to work with Labour now, for the good of Thanet.

Michael, forget the floating voter, the water is freezing, man the lifeboats, Titanic sailed today.

Anonymous said...

Get real Simon, its not as if they are going to start flying the Rainbow flag over the council offices!

Tim Clark said...

Gordon. How right you are. As a matter of urgency Clive Hart and Bob Bayford must get together to put a stop to this railroading of the Council. Surely they must both see how awful the alternative must be.

Anonymous said...

What a joke! It is time for Hart to stand up and be the man he is supposed to be - it is also time for Tom King and Bob Groves to realise that voting with the " the 3 from T.I.P) very appropriate as that spells rubbish to me, will be of no benefit to the people of Thanet.

Disgusted from Birchington said...

9:45 well said, this is the time for the Labour Conservatives and Tom Kings "true" independents to work together and to cast the three "turncoats" into the Political wilderness. I am truly dissapointed that a professional man, Cllr Cohen, has been "led by the nose" into the Worrow's "Independent" Party.I think everyone who know's him will be saddened indeed shocked by this decision.
Clive you Bob and Tom have now got to get together, reorganise the Committees, get Cllr's who merit the position and let us all move Thanet forward, after all that is what you were elected for.The self interest and dogma displayed by the "gang of three" has no place in Thanet at this critical time, do not be a hostage to these "political opportunists" caste them out into the wilderness and display true Leadership.
You now have a chance to show that you too believe that your role is to work in Thanet's best interests

Tom Clarke said...

One has to remember that Driver comes from that political extremity where they are schooled in minorities seizing power. Look at some unions or the way Ken Livingstone staged his coup with the old GLC.

Driver used Labour to gain office and then, with the Worrow defection, saw an opportunity to create a kingmaker group and start wielding the reins.

All of you who call for the sensible councillors of all parties to unite to regain control are right. However, I also wonder how the Driver group, having such diverse political backgrounds, will hold together.

Finally, must comment on the best laugh of the week so far. Michael is a floating voter!

Michael Child said...

Simon the document I have seen ISBN: 978-1-84987-706-0 says the consultation is aimed at:

“• members of the public – particularly those currently in a marriage or civil partnership
or those wishing to legally register their relationship in future;
• lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organisations;
• religious organisations;
• local authorities, including registrars who are responsible for conducting civil marriage
ceremonies;
• organisations with an interest in families and relationships
• comments from all other interested parties are also welcome.”

Have you seen a different document where the government has changed the wording to county councils, or are you supporting your argument with the hypothesis that TDC is not a local authority?

Tom Clarke said...

Could equally argue that the government calls for consultation, not debate. Similarly, it could be argued that as the authorities are within the same group as the registrars, then it could be construed as meaning those also with civil marriage resposibilities. The word 'county' does not come into it save that in this area it is the county council that has marriage authority.

All of this, however, does not change the fact that it is an unnecessary debate and TDC could consult, or offer a contribution if they so wish, without one. It is also most unlikely that any vote in the council would reflect the views of the majority of people in Thanet so what is the purpose.

Michael, if you cannot see that this is beyond the remit of TDC and, thus, a waste of our money for them to debate it, and simply another platform from which Worrow and Driver can shout their minority politics, you have my sympathies.

Afghan Dave said...

I'm in a country where democracy is a veneer for corruption and selfish agendas. Some of the people I see playing at politics couldn't run a car let a lone a council. Land fit for morons.

Tim Clark said...

OMG semantics at a time like this! If I close my eyes I can hear the sound of a violin and there's a distinct smell of burning imperial city.
If the two main parties claim to have the best interests of Thanet at heart then they have no choice but to form a coalition. I realise that to some (Mike Harrison maybe) that would be anathema but to do anything else would be seen as indecisive at the very least. Its only 3 years to the next elections and wards have to select candidates before then - Birchington North and South are, I'm sure, going to be very careful who they select. The same will go for every other ward and if nothing is done now I have no doubt that those that wavered at this time will regret it in 2015

simon moores said...

This has been discussed at some length this morning. The Government seeks consultation and not debate or at least this is how it's framed and everyone I know outside the terrible two, appear satisfied that this is quite irrelevant for TDC

Anonymous said...

To Michael Child. If you have the document please refer to Para 2.8 which states: "this consultation is about how we best remove the ban on same sex couples having a civil marriage, not on whether this should or should not happen."
Pretty clearly not asking for a debate on the merits of same sex marriage but in its implementation. Sorted. Driver and Worrow are proposing this motion in ignorance or mischief.

Tim Clark said...

I didn't realise there was a ban - what are civil partnerships then?
1045 is quite right; the consultation is about implementation and this is beyond the remit of TDC.
I hope this mornings lengthy discussions also included a strategy to deal with ther TIP.

Anonymous said...

i believe that there is no big event this year,as this is for everyone then i hope that events for minorities are also refused funding,what's good for the goose,etc.

Michael Child said...

Simon lets be clear here, any corrections if I am wrong please.

The government isn’t asking local authorities to hold consultations.

The government is seeking local authority responses to the government consultation.

In order to respond to the consultation the council would need to debate the issue.

You couldn’t for instance just get one councillor to fill in the form or one of the political groups to respond giving their opinion, in fact I doubt you would want this.

So what is it you want to happen?

The council not to adhere to the government request and not respond to the consultation?

The council to respond to the request but not allow members to debate the issue first?

Are you suggesting that had a Conservative lead council been aware the Conservative lead government was seeking this consultation, they would have either subverted the democratic process by responding to it without debating the issue, or have put the consultation form in the bin?

That said what I am really asking you and the other members of the Conservative group to do is to review the way they are handling the situation of a hung council, which at the moment when viewed from outside seems to lack both plan and purpose apart from slating all opposition.

simon moores said...

Michael

There is no requirement to debate the matter. It is outside the remit of TDC. period.!

Also note the earlier comment directed at you

Para 2.8 which states: "this consultation is about how we best remove the ban on same sex couples having a civil marriage, not on whether this should or should not happen."

Pretty clearly not asking for a debate on the merits of same sex marriage but in its implementation. Sorted. Driver and Worrow are proposing this motion in ignorance or mischief.

Tim Clark said...

Michael
Not having a good day on the reading front are you? 1045 has laid it out in black and white. "This consultation is about how we best remove the ban on same sex couples having a civil marriage, not on whether this should or should not happen." I can't see how TDC can respond to this except to say that it is not within their remit. The whole point of the TIP motion is to be able to label everyone on the Council who does not agree with them as homophobes or worse; why they want to do this is beyond me but I doubt that it for the sort of reasons that will ultimately be good for the Isle of Thanet. Cllr Driver is even talking about having a vote on the Motion, presumably so that he will be able to publish lists of Counsil homophobes.
If this debate goes ahead I can see no alternative for those that disagree with TIP than a walkout. If they try and debate they will be labelled and will be playing into Driver's hands. Fence sitting and semantics are only playing into the hands of this anarchist.

Anonymous said...

Who's funding the Minnis Bay Gay Day?

Michael Child said...

Simon below are the questions that the government is asking the council to answer:

Question 1: Do you agree or disagree with enabling all couples, regardless of their gender to have a
civil marriage ceremony?
Question 2: Please explain the reasons for your answer. Please respond within 1,225 characters
(approx. 200 words).
Question 3: If you identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual would you wish to have a civil
marriage ceremony?
Question 4: If you represent a group of individuals who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or
transsexual would those you represent wish to have a civil marriage ceremony?

I think it is mainly questions one and two that relate to the council, you seem to be suggesting that the council should somehow debate the enabling aspect without touching on the actual issue. Then further explain their answer without doing so.

So for instance you could disagree with allowing same sex marriages while agreeing with enabling them. The explain that you had done so because you were being obtuse.

However once again I ask you to review the way the Conservative group are handling opposition, you weren’t elected to split infinites or debate semantics but you were elected to democratically represent the people of Thanet.

You could of course vote not to discuss the issue, but then it would preclude you from responding to the government that the issue is outside the council’s remit.

simon moores said...

KCC is responsible for marriages, births and deaths in this part of the world so let them deal with it in their chamber time and not TDC.

The Conservative Group is handling opposition as best it can in rather challenging circumstances as I'm sure you will agree!

Tim Clark said...

I see all four of those questions as personal ones. I also note that the Government want reasons in what is the eqivalent of ten tweets so they're not looking for deep philosophy.
So, given that this is outwith TDC remit and given that, like it or not Michael and the TIPs are going to insist on this pointless discussion might I suggest that the response be;

1) as a council we do not have a view one way or the other.
2) since we have no view we have nothing to explain.

simon moores said...

Tim

I rather like this and might well use it on the big night!

Thanks!

Michael Child said...

Simon you have to appreciate that my view of the way the various groups that make up the elected council is an outsiders view.

I see the badly and expensively hosted videos of the council meetings, which could be put on youtube for nothing.

I also see the odd contribution to the local papers made by councillors.

I as have in what is a very difficult street been recently been visited by most of the Labour cabinet asking us locals what we think would help to improve the situation, but mostly and this is important visiting the place for themselves so they can see the problems.

Most of all I see the internet presence of the various councillors and groups, predominantly, emails, the blogs, press releases and facebook.

I think in honesty the Conservative group could do considerably better, perhaps if you take the trouble to Google “Thanet Conservatives” it may help you to understand what I mean.

Perhaps consider the support the Conservative are giving to resolving local issues, at the moment, here in Ramsgate getting the maritime museum open and finding a solution to the Royal Sands, are of interest. Being in Ramsgate I talk to the people involved in these issues. In the other Thanet towns there will be other issues both current and longer term.

I think that it is fairly probable that come the next local elections a long period of Conservative national government would result in a swing to Labour. So there is a reasonable chance that you will remain in opposition for the next seven years.

I think it highly unlikely that the good working majority that the Conservatives enjoyed during their eight year reign, will return during the useful political lives of most of the existing Conservative councillors.

I am not trying to be hostile here, just trying to get you to take a realistic view of the situation and decide on a better and more positive way to address it.

Tim Clark said...

Happy to oblige!

The over-riding consideration is not to be drawn into a battle about the rights or wrongs of equal marriage - whether we like it or not that matter has apparently been decided for us by the Coalition. The TIGs want you to argue about the rights and wrongs; you should politely say that the consultation is about implementation.

James Maskell has a good point when he says that there should be a cast iron, legally enforceable guarantee that religious organisations should be exempt from the requirement to conduct same-sex marriages; on this you would have the backing of the European Court of Human Rights. However, that's one for County councillors

simon moores said...

Michael.. we have had these exchanges over the years.. ad nauseam.

Just because you want to drive a coach and horses through local government processes (YouTube being a good example) Doesn't mean it's going to happen.

Everyone could do better but I'm afraid a generation of local politicians will pass before Thanet moves away from its old ways of working in any radical sense. That's probably true of most councils.

Tom Clarke said...

Michael, consistently critices the council, but in particular the Conservatives, despite his protestations otherwise. So let us have a look at how well he does his job.

Back in the summer of 2008, my daughter had just got her place at university confirmed, promptly down loaded her reading list and off we went to Michael's bookshop.

On arrival she showed him her list and he went into a long diatribe about how she was too late and other students had been cleaning him out for weeks beforehand. This despite the fact that they could not possibly have known they had got their places by then.

Somewhat demotivated, she searched the shelves and found one of the about thirty books she wanted. On paying for it she was again reminded she had left it too late.

Then, off to Broadstairs and in the two bookshops in Albion Street she got all but three of the remaining books she needed. The shopkeepers there even helped her find them and no lecture about being too late!

Where does she look first now when she wants a book. Why, Albion Street, Broadstairs of course. Where does she never look. Well no prizes for guessing that one.

The council are not the only ones who need to look inward sometimes, but maybe all his Labour visitors will help him improve.

simon moores said...

Hot off the press from Cllr Ian Driver this evening and I'm getting it from several sources.

What mystifies me is who are 'outraged' and how many as I see much the opposite in public opinion around here!

Sure the BBC luvvies will appreciate it though!

From: Ian Driver



MPs anti-Gay Marriage Comments Provoke Outrage

MP Roger Gale’s, comments that Equal Marriage is being forced on society by “militant homosexuals”and that the works of Shakespeare might have references to husband and wife redacted , have provoked outrage in his Thanet constituency .

A public meeting has now been called to allow “fair-minded people to register their disgust at Gale’s offensive remarks” and to unite the Thanet community against “discrimination and hate”

Meeting organiser and Independent Councillor , Ian Driver, said “ I have been contacted by many local people from all sorts of backgrounds who think Gale’s comments are both stupid and provocative and could be the cause of tension in the community. That’s why I have agreed to Chair the meeting. It’s time to make it clear that there is no place for bigotry and prejudice in Thanet especially from Members of Parliament. ”

He went to say “Gale’s comments have been deliberately timed to coincide with a meeting ofThanet Council on 19 April at which the local authority is likely to become the first in England to vote in support Equal Marriage.

The protest meeting is being held tomorrow at 7pm, 12 April, the Margate Media Centre, King Street, Margate.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender campaign group Stonewall have been invited to attend the meeting.

For more information contact Cllr Ian Driver on 07866588766

Gale’s comments can be seen at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-17543643

Tim Clark said...

I notice that the Council is going to vote in support of equal marriage; interesting since that is not what you are supposed to be talking about. Not even sure if you are required to vote. Maybe 55 abstensions would be a powerful signal! I think it gives a pretty good idea of what the TIGs intend to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Have been down the pub tonight to test local opinion on Worrow/Driver Campaign and the locals think to a man and woman it is a complete waste of time and denigrating for he TDC to even considering a debate on the matter. The fact that the whole Council is in hock to these three daft individuals is beyond belief of the general public at large -and the leaders of the main groups Labour and conservative should consider their future as soon as possible and throw up these malcontents (excluding Tom King and Bob Groves) into the Political Wilderness where they rightly belong - they do not represent anybody but a tiny minority. Do not give them any credibility -because they have none - apart from their own inflated ideas of importance

Anonymous said...

Michael Child has selected 4 out of 16 questions, none of which are applicable to councils, institutions or individuals which do not have direct responsibility or interest in conducting or participating in marriage ceremonies. The first is quite obviously the contextual question. Ie. it is asked so that analysts can determine whether there are differences in the following answers depending upon the initial outlook of the respondent. And thank heavens he clarified in an earlier post that he is a floating voter, otherwise I may have suspected him of a slight bias!

Michael Child said...

Tom secondhand booksellers in England are famed the world over for devising means of avoiding actually selling books, making their shops look closed and generally trying to accumulate books for themselves, so I glad I lived up to expectations.

Anonymous said...

Are you attending tomorrow evening's meeting Simon?

Michael Child said...

Sorry 7.09 never try to copy and paste from a gov doc here is the link to whole document http://www.parliament.uk/deposits/depositedpapers/2012/DEP2012-0483.pdf

simon moores said...

I make a point of never attending my own lynching!

Anonymous said...

I like to think that i am fair-minded and i think that Gale's personal opinion matches my own,so what do you think that makes me?.
In worrows mind only fair-minded people will back the proposal and anyone else is homophobic or a bigot,that cannot be the case.
If we had a meeting to oppose the proposal would it be allowed or would it be banned as a homophobic rally?
Perhaps it is about time to have a referendum on this issue to see wether or not the people want see this gay marriage proposal made law or not.

Anonymous said...

SELFLESSNESS
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

If this is one of the rules which govern councillors then worrow must withdraw his support as if this gay marriage consultation becomes law he would upon marrying obtain financial gain through the married couple tax allowance and would gain extra points should he ever need council accomodation.
As he is gay with many gay mates this just adds weight to the fact that he cannot and must not be involved in this debate.

simon moores said...

I don't believe that Cllr Worrow has ever publicly claimed to be gay and if he is concerned by this allegation he should please let me know and I will remove the previous comment.

Anonymous said...

Well he has claimed that people have been homophobic towards him, so if he isn't gay then surely that's not possible?

Anonymous said...

He would, I imagine, find it difficult to argue that being called gay is an insult, which of course it is not. That would be homophobic surely?!

Peter Checksfield said...

Though he did get his knickers in a twist (metaphorically speaking) when someone jokingly implied that he & Will were having a relationship, something that Will to his credit accepted as a joke.

tony flaig bignews said...

Just for information Simon I've recently heard a rumour that some rather excitable elements in local politics have apparently reported local bloggers for "Hate Crimes!".

Not sure you come into that category however having had repeated comments by Ian Driver that I had "allowed" homophobic comments, I felt it necessary to offer my mobile phone number to Ian Driver since he has been quite excited by crass jokes/comments on my blog by my readers, since I work shifts work long hours I often dont get the time to read through comments, but so he in particular cannot continue to accuse me of "allowing" homophobia etc I thought it prudent to do as much as is reasonable, and it is an offer I give to anyone who wishes to contact me at tonyflaig@gmail.com. Although I apologised for offensive comments made not by me, but others, who for all I know might actually have been agent provocateur's working for enemies of freedom, my apology was not enough.

tony flaig bignews said...

Sorry Simon my earlier comment omitted the crucial point that I gave Ian Driver my mobile number so he can instantly alert me to offensive commentsm an offer open to anyone who emails me tonyflaig@gmail.com

Tim Clark said...

Offending politicians since April 2006??

Tom Clarke said...

Interestingly, Tony Flaig put up a posting about freedom and people being able to exercise their right to free expression on his blogsite. A day later he put a block on it as, in his opinion, the debate was leading no where.

Is that freedom or censorship?

Mrs Tara Plumbing said...

Every one is entitled to voice there views - thank goodness.
I really believe that most views expressed here are a long way out of line with what most people in Thanet think. OK, you know I'm not religious and I'm not a Conservative voter, but I know lots of people who are.
And in my experience very few would be against same sex marriage, some are indifferent and many for it.
Should TDC be discussing it? From what I've read of the govnt website I agree with my local Bookshop Owner.
As for a waste of TDC time & Money - it shouldn't be. i think the whole thing could be done a dusted in a few minutes. Thanet support it, with a few against and abstaining.
I can't see why it should be more complicated. On the whole TDC should be working for and welcoming for local residents and tourists and business - so there can only be one result in my mind - that means supporting lesbian and gay equality.

Ultimately, attracting & keeping the PINK in Thanet is good for many of us. But those £££ could go to Brighton, Blackpool or Hastings... instead

simon moores said...

Dear Mrs Tara.. you have missed the main argument. It's not about whether gay marriage is OK.. that's for Parliament and not local councillors to decide. This is about a consultation on implementation, which falls under KCC and not TDC.

Thus, Cllr Driver or Cllr Worrow might just as well call for a debate on the diameter and shape of plumbing fittings under EU legislation, equally wasting council time on a matter which is nothing to do with councillors.

Anthony said...

Any News on Cllr Drivers meeting at the Media centre last night?

Tom Clarke said...

Mrs Tara, I do not think you can claim to know the views of most people in Thanet on this, or any other issue. I am a Conservative, but, through an organisation I am a member of, I know many people who normally vote Labour. In the over a beer chats with them, the overwhelming number seem to feel marriage should be left to men and women whilst same sex unions are protected in civil partnerships.

Nonetheless, I would not claim this as a majority of people in Thanet, only a majority within the circle of people I know and mix with from time to time. Short of holding a referendum, which would be an appalling waste of public money, we will never know.

Perhaps what is significant though is the online petition by the 'Coalition Against Gay Marriage' which has been one of the fastest growing and most supported since these government petition sites were introduced.

At the end of the day though, the TDC vote covering a mere handful of councillors will indicate nothing. More significantly it looks as though the government are going to press ahead with same sex marriage, regardless of what you or I think.

So much for democracy.

Peter Checksfield said...

Tom & Mrs Tara, I disagree with both of you: In my experience the vast majority of local people really couldn't care less, & that includes my lesbian & gay friends. In fact I'm helping a gay (male) friend prepare for a civil partnership with his (male) partner, & will probably photograph the ceremony - yet even they really can't see the big deal over whether it's called a "partnership" or "marriage".

simon moores said...

I'm beginning to think that this debate surrounds both education, culture and history.

There are those in society who understand the intrinsic value of words, particularly those familiar with history, Latin and classics and those who simply see words as a transitory convenience of expression which can change their meaning over time; 'gay' being a prime example.

I'm sure that someone could write a thesis on this if it hasn't happened already.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Yes the point seems to be being missed across all parts of the political sphere here in sunny Thanet.

"Implementation", how can it be best facilitated not whether it is "right or wrong" in peoples eyes. So... what can TDC do to facilitate the implementation? Not much, meanwhile what they can do about other issues is what should be going on in the Council chamber.

Is it just me or is there deathly silence from TDC leadership on this subject?

Anonymous said...

There is a deathly silence from TDC leadership period. Too busy gazing lovingly at the 'Leader' sign on the door or touching up his hair piece.

Peter Checksfield said...

Even the word "gay" is changing. To many young people, when something is "gay" it means it's not very good, not that it's jolly or in any way homosexual.

janewj said...

I am usually of the never complain, never explain school, but I must take issue with you Tim Clarke at 2.07pm. Please quote what I said that that suggests I am in any way homophobic? If you knew me at all you would know how laughable that is! You clearly didn't read my Plain Jane column very thoroughly or you would have seen that I am all for gay marriage. I was merely making the point that what TDC thinks won't make any difference. I am used to being insulted but I really object to your making comments like this on a blog that many other people read, and might believe. Next time, please lend your abuse a little accuracy! all best jane

Tim Clark said...

Dear Jane. If you had bothered to read the other comments you would have seen that people such as Simon, Tom Clark and I, who have long objected to this unnecessary debate within this forum, have been labelled homophobes by the Diversity team. Since in this week's Plain Jane you too said that you thought the debate was unnecessary I saved them the bother of labelling you this way.
You are no more a homophobe than I am, and I am not a homophobe. However, you don't do irony. You also confused me by putting your comment in an old entry so I have repeated this comment in the most up-to-date one as well.

janewj said...

Ok OK :-) apologise. You are right I didn't properly read all the comments and so yes, missed the irony (that comment gave me a wry smile as it's exactly what I accused the trolls of in a recent column, as you may know :-/) Sorry. Somebody else alerted me to your comment and sent me the link and I skimmed the discussion as I was on the move and only had a few minutes to look. A lesson for me next time....
all best

Tim Clark said...

Consider yourself forgiven! I had a feeling that you were suffering from "well-meaning frienditis".
Usually enjoy your column and find myself agreeing with almost everything that both you and Mike say, although you and I are never going to agree on night flights I'm afraid.
Keep up the good work :-)