Thanet Star

Dreamland Remembered

I found this book while having a butchers arround Amazon the other day and thought it worth a mention.

It appears to be 128 pages of mostly photographs of our once proud amusment park.

I'm not sure what the pricing was about though as there were offered 2 new from 15.99 but a used copy at 41.88!

Inside this book you should find images of the Scenic Railway which was built in the 1920's and is still in use when the original edition came out in 2003. Talking of the original edition it was called "Dreamland Remembered: The Story of Margate's Amusement Park - Includes the Lido, Cliftonville" so I'm guessing that the Lido gets a look in to.

If you want to know what it once was like here in Thanet this could be the book for you.

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Could TDCs problems be bad fact finding?

A recent TDC survey polled 400 people about their opinions but was the survey unduely biased? I think it was.

I was recently forwarded a press release which appears to have come from Thanet District Council (TDC) announcing that Operation Clean Sweep was universally popular. While I have no fixed opinion on the subject I do object to the way in which the data was collected.

Why do I object to this survey so much?

1. This press release came out at the begining of November but the survey runs until the 18th of December. Rule number one in statistical sampling never tell the target population what everyone else has been saying if you want them to tell you their opinion and not shift it to fit with the "popular" view of things. This press release undermines the value of the final findings by biasing the whole survey towards the early results.

2. This data collected came from 400 out of about 125,000 people a statistically insignificant sample size. That is just 0.32% of the population of Thanet. A bigger number than that vote BNP and we do not consider them a significant reflection of the area's opinion.

3. Thanet Community Safety Partnership spent a week getting 400 people's opinion from sites around Thanet that ammounts to 80 a day which must be taken to roughly equal 80 per point in Thanet visited. again this sample rate is too low. Furthermore these people were being asked if they supported or liked something that the question asker was part of promoting. Hardly a nutuural assesment.

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» Continue Reading: Could TDCs problems be bad fact finding?

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Remembering the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster

In August 2007, Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death, simply for dressing differently. Two years on, and in tribute to the outgoing, bubbly girl who was denied the chance to live life her way, cult new British make-up brand Illamasqua has commissioned a short film by award-winning French director, Fursy Teyssier.

Produced by creative agency Propaganda, in association with iconic British band, Portishead, Dark Angel is a beautifully haunting rendition of Sophies story.

The aim of the film is to raise awareness of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and generate money which will be used to help educate young people about tolerance. There was no sane reason for the murder that night and the impact on people around the world is still being felt.

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» Continue Reading: Remembering the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster

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Council fail to convince on cliff face safety

Ramsgate resident and businessman Michael Child is worried about the Royal Sands Development and the state of maintenance of the cliff face. However the council insists that everything is safe and fine. Michael is not convinced.

read more.

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UK Laws Unfair to UK Bloggers

Following on from my last post on the subject of blogging and liability Euroferries are made of green jam and the very good comments that have been added I have taken a deeper look at the state of British law.

Saying our laws on the subject of libel are out of date and dangerous is an understatement. They have been publicly recognised as out of date and in dire need of reform for the last ten years or more.

Back in 2002 ISPs and libel laws were under review with the opinion that the law needs to change. seven years later and things remain as ever they have done.

The problem appears to be that back in May 1998 physicist Laurence Godfrey used a fraudulent e-mail post that contained obscene and defamatory material about him to sue Demon Internet U.K. for libel. Demon for some reason simply settle out of court and set a president that disfavours all ISPs.

The BBC reported recently that Index on Censorship have said that the strict laws are used by wealthy foreign individuals to "bully people who try to hold them to account". Not a good sign for our brave bloggers trying to hold our local councillors and businesses to account.

The BBC goes on to quote John Kampfner, chief executive of Index on Censorship, saying There are US States who view English libel law as so damaging to free speech they have passed laws to effectively block the decisions of English judges.

Recommendations include Making some internet comments exempt as part of efforts to reflect the arrival of the world wide web. Something we have seen the need of first hand.

No wonder ECR blogs without his real name.

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Euroferries are made of green jam.

Ignorance of their rights may be causeing Thanet bloggers to be unnecesserily pushed arround by big business. The big business attempting to censor or manipulate blogs this time is Euroferries.

Two bloggers Adem and the psudo-anonymous Eastcliff Richard have both published what look like solicitor written statements. These both published with uncharacteristic closed comments.

Leading to such posts as "Libel to Kill" where leading bloggers in the Thanet niche are announcing that all comments will be heavily moderated and fact checked prior to publication.

Now excuse and correct me if I am in any way wrong but with libal it is the person who wrote the offending text. Otherwise it would be libellous to cite the offending text in order to prosecute or report it.

So unless a legal expert (which I am not) can say otherwise I am outright telling you that Euroferries have gone too far. Thanet Star will not ever yield to bully companies that feel that they can (ab)use the law (or rather solicitors) to force their will on bloggers when there are better methods available.

Keep reading to find out what can and should be done.

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» Continue Reading: Euroferries are made of green jam.

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Euroferries a threat to Thanet

Euroferries threats to leading bloggers are, in my opinion, a threat to everyone in Thanet. Thanet still endures under a culture of fear and hostility where most bloggers do not dare to name themselves. The Euroferries threats that Eastcliff Richard (ECR) has clearly been dealt serve only to undermine the privacy we crave in order to question the politics here.

The simple fact is that ECR was reporting factually on comments made on another blog. Euroferries would not have had a hope in hell (in my opinion) of getting anything other than the right to pay ECRs costs. However they would have spoiled a good thing by unmasking a man many of us would rather not see unmasked.

ECR takes the role of the all licensed fool and as such while wearing that mask (whoever he is) is free to say things no one else is brave enough to voice. The only effect Euroferries could have had would be to have cost Adem and ECR a lot of pain and then gone after the "anon" commenter. The people that suffer would have been all of us and just so Euroferries could prove they had not gone bust something so self evidently true that it makes the entire thing laughable if not for the serious nature of the damage all Thanet bloggers would have taken.

Their strong arm tactics are, in my eyes, an attack on all of us and if on all of us on me. I take the actions of Euroferries personally as Thanet Star works only because it is park of a bigger picture. To this I will respond.

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Policy update

I have updated my comment policy to try and be clearer about how and why I do things (like when I feel a comment should be removed). It can still be found on the site policies page.

In a nut shell I've clarified that being spamming is a no go and that I like to think disagreeing with me is fine. I've also covered SEO (and it's abuse) as well as the legal question of comment authorship and therefore ownership. I also mention freedom of speech issues.

As always - feel free to say something related tot he topic of the post.

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Who else wants to live in fear?

When enforcing the law of the land becomes a war on the innocent something must be done.

Locally we have a history of significant crimes (of which a large number are fires) going unsolved but of minor offences being prosecuted as if they were international crimes. We see councils using anti terror laws to push non terror related agendas and we see situations such as one single real police officer to deal with all of Millmead, Dane Valley and Palm Bay.

These crimes cost us all and make Thanet less attractive to investors and scare away what scant tourism we might have left. There is, therefore, not a single one of us that does not pay directly and indirectly for this failure of the police to do the one thing they are paid to do - their job.

We do not pay police to help the council fine people, we do not pay them to keep huge databases on people with a political opinion we pay them to make sure that cars are not stolen that people are not murdered and that buildings are not burned down. We expect them to arrest currupt politicians, judges and abusive officers in thier own ranks but what we get is a lot of highly paid office clerks filling out forms or beating up on bystanders.

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» Continue Reading: Who else wants to live in fear?

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Revamping the ellection battle.

Thinking of the Ellections in Dane Valley (bits of Dane Park and Millmead in old money) it is clear that both the Conservatives and Labour have set themselves up with such epic lack of a snow-balls-chance-in-hell that I figure they might need some help.

What follows is approximately ten thousand times better than anything Labour and Conservative normally spout and a whole lot more logical. Now they have no excuse for making an interesting election with an actual attempt of the impossible (getting anyone to stop laughing long enough to vote).


Dear Voters. Leading Tory councillors have sugar in their coffee, Hitler took sugar, therefore do not vote Tory or it would be like voting for Hitler and we wouldn't want that would we. Love the Labour party (rightful rulers of Millmead).


A message from the conservatives: A Conservative Councillor is better than Nothing. Nothing is better than a perfect councillor. Therefore a Conservative councillor would be better than a perfect councillor. Clearly it is in your interest to vote for us.


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» Continue Reading: Revamping the ellection battle.

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A few more thoughts on the Dane Valley By-Election

Following up on Tony's post here are a few more thoughts on the Dane valley By-Election.

Both main parties are going to be hard pressed to win much of the vote and should be working flat out to see off any chance of some fringe nutters (like the BNP) from grabbing a seat. Sadly this does not seem to be the case. According to my Labour party source the Labour councillors that had the opportunity to do exactly nothing for Dane valley prior to the last ellections were all doing one last stint before retirement in a "traditional Labour ward".

In other words Dane Valley was seen as an area where Labour would always get in and so needed to do nothing. While it is true that Dane Valley is a hot spot for Labour voters it is a race of two parts.

Prior to some rather pointless looking boundry changes what we call Dane valley was made up of Millmead estate and Dane Park. Strong Labour and Conservative respectively. The resultant ward is one of 13 places in the whole of the UK where the number of children from families that claim out of work benefits is twice the national average (so is Newigton by the way). To be sure of a win a councillor must not only court the attention of the home owners that largely consider themselves to be "Dane Park" but also the disenfranchised Millmead crew who are likely to tell you voting is pointless because they are all the same anyway.

With a low publicity election a councillor might slip in on Dane Park votes but should be careful because anyone able to muster even a fraction of the Millmead vote will soon find they have a strong majority. Right now, however the Millmead voter is facing unemployment and the political force behind that appears to be the Labour party. Thanet Labour are going to have to work like stink to get a seat and then keep working like the end of the world right up and through the next election. Right now however they are being sufficiently "safe" to safely get no seats at all.

Unless the lib-dems can pull something out of the bag we could be stuck with another four years of Sandy Ezekiel selling carpets to China instead of real care for the district.

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Byte Sized

Mentions

We got a mention in 5 ways to blog from Thanet now.

Blogs
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Creatives

Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Blogs
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Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Blogs
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Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

Blogs
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Hyper-localism

For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

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