Thanet Star

Ezekiel's case and sub judice - what bloggers can cover safely

Sandy "up on charges" Ezekiel and what we can or cannot say

After Thanet Waves removed it's article about Sandy Ezekiel for fear of the law I took the time to find out what this law actually says.

Simon and friends have been recorded as suggesting that discussion of Sandy's arrest and trial on social media, forums and blogs would land people in hot water. This is a little cynical in my opinion as they are painting with overly broad strokes.

That we cannot discuss the case is, for the most part, utter hogs wash. The particular lie is that talking about Sandy would damage his trial and get us all arrested due to a 2009 law called sub judice. This law does two things prevents http://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/sub-judice/Parliment from talking about live cases and media from publishing sensitive information that could damage the outcome of an otherwise fair trial.

Keep reading as I show you the over-reaction over this.

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» Continue Reading: Ezekiel's case and sub judice - what bloggers can cover safely

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Trains stopped between Ramsgate and Margate

Thieves have stolen copper cable from the railway knocking out signals and stopping trains.

Apparently the cabling was cut with a full electric current running through it. This has caused delay (and not just a little confusion) as the powers that be tried to figure out if they can safely run trains along that stretch.

The expectation is that the cable should be replaced by the end of this evening.

There is a rail replacement bus currently running from Ramsgate to Margate.

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I was right about the water too

Thanet's Water is still fine three and a half years later

Back in September 2008 when the whole world seemed worried that the China Gateway or some other bad idea would ruin our water. I said Thanet's water will be fine and I was right.

Back in January 2010 I started talking about the swing from Conservative to Labour. No one believed me but that did not change the fact that I was right. I also said that we need a Coalition Council and if the Labour party wants to stop kissing backside then it might want to make friends with forming a proper Coalition Council maybe one headed by a mayor. Back in 2009 I pointed out that Thanet District Council was not democratically elected! and this is still true. To fix this we must see change.

I called the chief exec for trousering massive amount of money. I was called names by the Tory party and yet it was shown to be factual when the accounts were published.

I questioned the Broadstairs "Community Centre" building that a certain Tory was championing when it was not a popular news story. Now the Labour party have effectively spiked the project. I had been tempted to say that this one would never get off the ground and if I had I would have been right again.

I was the only one who saw through the night flights issue and outlined how it was a last ditch push to raise the price of the airport for sale.

Is there any reason to doubt that I am right on the money yet again when I say that we need a Directly Elected Mayor of Thanet to lead the council and we need a Margate Parish council just as urgently?

I am outright telling you that on form alone you should trust me on this.

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Go on then: Sandy Ezekiel - Guilty or Innocent?

Is Sandy about to do some bird?

Thanet Star has never exactly shied away from the glaringly obvious fact that Sandy was never the right man to lead our council but now that he is back in the spotlight again we ask: Will the old bird do some bird?

Please ignore the fact that the charges would most likely lead to (at worst) some fines. After all it's not like he's been beating up old grannies, failing to act properly or being raciest or anything like that. Ignoring the inconvenient facts of the story (that isn't news)

Not Happy With Sandy!

In short let's discuss some non news and tell the world if you think Sandy will be found guilty and sent down or found innocent and set free?

Actually let's discuss this privately. Asking questions is one thing but answering them while the case is under-way turns out to be another.

I've been calling the Thanet Conservatives bent for years so it's still not news Peter. (lately I have acknowledged that some are jolly nice people, this might be news)

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Five things that are not the news (but we think are)

Sandy Ezekiel, Blue Flags, Independent Dominated Council and McFood are non-news.

Now, obviously I don't completely believe that but I'd like to take a leaf out of the book of certain local political types and justify why I have not had anything to say when the council's one time leader is being charged with corruption, Jimmy (I didn't start that fire) Godden's death, the change in local blue flags and the fact that the unaligned members are ruling the roost... and so on and so forth.

Peter C rightly accused me of running a boring blog. TDC being hijacked by independents, Sandy being charged with bribary, Theatre Royal in trouble (& rescued), blue flags returning to our beaches... & you're reviewing the service at McDonalds.

Peter is right but just admitting that would be boring. This has nothing to do with "other commitments" such as earning a living so let us see if I can do the political shuffle - here's an alternative argument why these things are phooy.

Sandy is not news


To some Sandy Ezekiel has been guilty since 2009 (or before). I reported this for Thanet News Network months ago. December of last year in fact.

The only real news is how much Chris Wells jumped up and down and threw his toys out of the pram. Chris, having less of a grasp of the role of media and news than say he has of the finer points of C++ Compiler Optimisations declared ...it must be asked with malicious intent when I asked facebook readers if they thought the old codger was guilty.

Over 66% of my straw poll pronounced him guilty.

No-one is, therefore, the least bit surprised that the slimy wat-not has been charged with something. To be honest most of us are supprised it did not happen sooner. (Standards board hearings in 2009 aside).

Sandy is not news.

Keep reading to find out what else is not the news

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» Continue Reading: Five things that are not the news (but we think are)

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Review: Westwood Cross MacDonalds.

I recently lowered my standards and had a McDonalds. This is my experience of the McDonald's (drive through) in thanet near Westwood Cross.

For reasons I'd rather not go into I found myself at Westwood Cross in an entirely unsuccessful quest to find a solution to a household requirement. Having had a light breakfast and it being well into the afternoon I caved into temptation and had a quaterpounder.

The drive though was supprisingly full and despite the dirty nature of the carpark that surrounded it was reasonably clean. The staff were about all you could expect from people that are paid basic minimum and I personally witnessed a large number of freshly cooked fries encounter the floor. This was swept inefficiently and slowly away but to their credit this was done almost right away.

The staff member that sureved me had all the freildiness and warmth of an indifferent rattlesnake and it was clear that I was one more demanding irritation between her and knocking off time. My food was swiftly dumped upon a try and handed to me and it was made clear that I was no in the way and goin to get no more attention.

So bereft of a member of staff I was forced to that age old trick of using my eyes to find the source of straws. This took a small amount of time and left me standing there feeling like a twit.

A straws, ketchup and so forth located I retreated outside to eat.

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» Continue Reading: Review: Westwood Cross MacDonalds.

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Rogue cash-for-goods shop(s) in Thanet?

Here's a story that perhaps you can help to round out.

I have just been chatting with a young lady who has had rather an unhappy experience with what appears to be borderline illegal actions of a shop when she tried to sell her phone.

Her story was that she took her phone to a Cliftonville shop in order to raise some cash. This is an increasingly common activity as cash is a touch hard to come by presently.

However when she did not agree to the price offered by the shop for her phone things became less than friendly. She tells me that the man in the shop refused to return her property and insisted it was too late for her to change her mind. Given the phone model in question and the offered amount I would have said no thanks too.

I have no reason to doubt the young lady in question.

What I would like to figure out is was her experience with this rogue traders a one off? Or have other people had similar experiences with cash-trade-in shops?

Did the man in the shop simply get over excited at the prospect of making what must have seemed like some easy money or does one or more shops have a policy of not giving people their good back if they say no?

Having only ever sold some scrap gold to a trader I know and trust I have no experience to bring to this story. Certainly if there is a shop owner being this rude and questionably lawful I would rather see something done. On the other hand if there is nothing in this I'd like to know that too. But as I said I have no reason to doubt the young lady (who was very cross).

cliftonville phone trade in concerns

Her story it seems is a topic of discussion on certain social networks as this screen clipping shows.

I also found a review of a trade inn station on Google maps which said the man took my phone, put it under the counter ... i had to get the police involved in order to retrieve my phone. I'm quite keen to chat to the shop owner in question if he would like to put his side of the story here in comments or by private email. (It's a bit late to try phoning right now).

I would like to ask if he remembers the exchange mentioned in the review and if he feels his actions were completely correct.

Obviously there will always be those in every walk of life that count on people being to embarrassed to go to the police over what they have experienced but it would be nice to think that we are largely safe.

If this or something like it should ever happen to you (I hope it does not) please do talk to the police as soon as it is safe to do so. If someone has your property refusing to give it back is not acceptable. You might also like to speak with trading standards (08454 04 05 06).

With such large demand for cash-for-goods services are there those that take advantage of the desperate and vulnerable operating in Thanet? If how can we identify such rogue traders? What can be done to bring the bad guy to justice and what can we do to protect ourselves from being taken advantage of?

Has the industry become this aggressive, always been this aggressive or... ? I'm not sure what to make of it all.

Is this rather poor treatment of customers a big problem? I don't know? Was the young lady I spoke to alone in what happened to her?

If you have been subject to highly aggressive tactics by cash-for-goods shops I'd like to hear from you.

Stay safe.

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Mentions

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

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Creatives

Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

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Local Art

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

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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.

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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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