Thanet Star

Thanet Star's Other Stuff

I have just spent the last three and a half minutes (an age, I know) setting up a TumblR account for Thanet Star.

There I will be taking a lighter look at Thanet Stuff. But also you will be able to post questions to me and, very important methinks, share links, photo's and articles that might end up here at Thanet Star HQ or at least on Thanet Star's Other Stuff.


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No right to wear cross at work claims Telegraph

It's time to open an even bigger can of worms than last time.

Apparently (says the Telegraph) the government is to fight for the right to ban crosses at work. Your thoughts?

Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government - Telegraph

A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.

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Why Thanet Labour was right (for once)

Boeing 747 N309TD
I argue in defence of Labour's unpopular stance on Manston.

Very often I agree to at least to some extent with Tony Flaig of Big News Margate but today I am going to roundly disagree with his view on Labours Manston policy.

At the risk of loosing my Lib-Dem card I am going to try and show why Clive's Labour team made the right choice even though it may have been an expensive one. I am also going to point out the fairly obvious.

As Michael Child points out Tony (fellow Liberal Democrat) and Simon Moores (fellow verbal sparring partner and Conservative) both blame Labour for what is happening at Manston. However the fairly obvious point here is that both are members of opposing factions and almost honour-bound to attack Labour's actions.

The other fairly obvious factor is that Infratil have yet to turn a profit with any European Airport so the odds of their success here were limited from the start. In fact Infratil are also selling Prestwick airport - which can no-way be linked to Thanet's Labour even if you really want to.

When the banks stuffed up through greed they turned to the government and said give us money or it will go badly for the people as a result of our poor planning. In effect they held the economy to ransom and the government paid up. I do not believe this was the right thing to do but it was perhaps the least expensive thing to do.

Likewise Manston is up for sale as Infratil (the airport operators) have been saying to our council "let us out of our very limited flights agreement because it terns out that we don't know how to operate a profitable airport without it. Also: jobs. Oh look pink elephants!"

Boeing 747
As Infratil's entire plan hinged on blackmailing us into letting them have whatever they wanted then they deserved to fail from the get go.

Infratil's promises of jobs while a shiny bauble that easily distracts those of us in Thanet was, according to an outside report, only so much guff. The truth is our airport is being run by a company with too little expert knowledge to actually run the airport at a profit.

The elephant in the room here is that Infratil simply are not able to deliver the jobs, infrastructure and the magic smoke needed to get Thanet on the road to recovery. Clive was simply taking the unpleasant, yet necessary step of recognising their lies. It stings in much the same way that ripping a sticky plaster from a hairy leg might but at the end of the day the old dirty bandage has to come off to stop the infection spreading.

Infratil was, in short, a false hope.

Of course doing the right thing might cost Labour some voter sympathy and give the rest of us some ammunition to attack him and his party but the truth is we needed Labour to say no to Infratil if only so the stigma of doing so was kept off of the rest of us.

This time, at least, Labour was right.


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The towers come down

See the towers come down on Thanet News Network.

Thanet News Network » Your Video: Richborough Towers Demolition

This morning (a little earlier than announced) the towers finally came down.

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Council of war: The reason for tension

Cole Runnalls Vs Sonny Sen
With all the little spats involving local politicians showing up of late I wonder if there is an underlying cause.

On the one hand Chris Wells has upset another blogger (you might remember the rounds of name calling he threw in my direction last year) and on the other hand Ian Driver and Mike Harrison have had a falling out too.

What is going on here and is it good for the people of Thanet?

While on the surface it might seem like our local council members are aggressive, rude and out of control and on some levels this might be true I think that the blame here has very little to do with the actual councillors involved.

Yes that's right. Abrasive as he is Mr Wells along with (Mr Driver and Mr Harrison) are simply products of the system no more able to recognise the faults that cause them to act as they do as a fish is able to change the nature of the water in which it swims.

When we elected our council we foolishly believed it was to nominate the men and women that would help run local matters and wisely spend our taxes. Yet somewhere along the way it was declared that this was actually a Royal Rumble where the last man standing wins.

Fight Club
Chris Wells in attacking bloggers and council members alike is simply doing what he has been conditioned to do. Consider a dog trained to fight - when that dog enters a tense situation conditioning takes over and it goes for the kill.

It would not be right to blame the dog but rather we look to the trainer. The trainer who should have known better. The trainer who would, if we could find him (or her) get a large fine and a ban from dog owning.

So who holds the leash on Wells, Driver and Harrison?

The answer is the nobody does. The dogs are off the leash and in the fight. Our council has become a killing zone.

I am sure you were expecting me to say that the likes of Clive Hart and whoever the nominal current conservative leader happens to be today are the ones directing the dogs but these guys are no more able to control their respective gangs than we are. The best they can hope to do is marshal the aggression and try not to notice anything that they might have to react to.

But the intense inter-gang warfare we see between those in the red corner and those in the blue did not spring up by itself. These two local parties behave according to the internal culture that drives them.

We saw when Mark Nottingham was deselected by labour that inside what should be a bastion of respectable order is actually a tense and deadly game of the quick and the dead. The same warfare we see in council takes place inside each party.

When that happens you can be sure that two or more powerful factions are trying to rule the roost. Nottingham was simply a casualty of war. This war does not respect party boundaries, personal boundaries or ethical. It is fought where-ever there is a person to fight. Blogger, party member, leader or subordinate - it is all the same here.

Why else do we see apparently independent members who while self-funded still side as a group with one team or the other?

The tension is caused not by a challenging or difficult issue but an inbred and cultural need to win. The problem being that the competitors have forgotten what winning is and have set in on each other in the hope to "get them before they get me".

Until we see the winds of change bring a fundamental shift in Thanet's political arena these wars will be fought and the losers will sometimes be red, sometimes blue and all time us.

The only question is who in Thanet has the brass ones big enough to bring such change.

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Infographic: 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

For those that find it hard to remember the difference between affect and effect and you're and your this handy info-graphic comes to the rescue.

Now, if only there was a handy way to make this stick in my head...

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

An entertaining inforgraphic looking at 15 really common mistakes that can make you look daft.

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Byte Sized


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

Byte Sized


Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Byte Sized

Local Art

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

Byte Sized

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.

Byte Sized


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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