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.
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.