Thanet Star

Is John Hamilton secretly a Tory Shill?

The question has been asked of me many times of late Who is this annoying Hamilton fellow? To which it has been often postulated that he or she is in fact just a thinly disguised Tory shill. A proposition we shall now examine in greater detail.

Just to be clear a shill is a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty. Is this John Hamilton identity attempting to do this for Tory (conservative) self-interest?

Given the number of times that the Conservative (Tory) councillors have been made to look less than stellar by bloggers it would seem reasonable that they might try a new way of "getting a handle" on us. After all, screaming liar,liar when Thanet Star published that the chief exec was going to pocket Ј230,000 did not work out too well, especially when the published accounts finally backed me up to the penny.

Whatever the John Hamilton identity might or might not be according to the Thanet Star policies and general netiquette (which I suggest this person lacks) his comments make this user a troll. That is a person who makes inflammatory comments to provoke a strong reaction. Trolls are often lonely and pathetic people, lacking in any perception of power over their lives which they make up for by using the pseudo-anonymity of the web to manipulate the feelings of others.

But is this troll also a shill?

...

» Continue Reading: Is John Hamilton secretly a Tory Shill?

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Coming soon

Coming up this week:An interview with the Thanet Dragons (sorry I've taken my time over this guys), a new design, a new feature, Thanet's crime stats and more.

In the meantime here is a cat.

cat

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Gale would like a nice large pay rise please

Roger Gale, MP for half of Thanet has put forward an argument that he should be allowed a pay increase on the grounds that some (other) MPs work such long hours that they can't afford a second job. Apparently taking a pay cut in exchange for a safe seat and a knighthood is a sob story and he needs all that extra cash.

Gale argues that unless they pay MPs enough then they will not attract the best candidates. The same can be said for Nurses, Firefighters and School teachers. But "we're all in this together" apart from the Tory's who feel that they should get a pay rise while others get a pay cap.

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Disturbance in Cliftonville

We're receiving reports of significant disturbances in Cliftonville last night. One could almost be forgiven for thinking half the force in Kent were in Northdown road until the early hours of the morning.

First there was a lad hit by a car causing road closures untill 9pm. However after that there are reports on facebook of further disturbances.

A Facebook user reported that just after 9pm she heard a loud smash, lots if screaming and then a mans voice saying "get out" called the police and they had already been made aware and told me to shut windows and lock doors.

Reports include a very large police presence and the user of police dogs. One person reported seeing a person carried away restrained hand and foot after hurting two officers.

One Facebook user reported that there was a lot of screaming, shouting, people getting hit, windows being smashed (I ended up with all the glass in my back garden). At around midnight another said theres loads of police on northdown road tonight with torches they seem to be looking for something so god knows whats happened i heard alot of people kicking off along here a lil while back tho so maybe its to do with that.

Another said: there has been alot of shouting on northdown now

Yet another reported that on Northdown Road they heard loads kicking off and a group of people walking along the road starting on people

One person summed up the night as follows: Car crash, major arrests and a girl been bottled all in one night. Its appalling

I should point out that while I can't verify everything yet last night was not a good night for the law abiding majority in Cliftonville. However it does seem that things have continued to be upset with another report that theres already been an assault this morning round the back of northdown road police were there within minutes for once!

What's going on lately?

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Should they stay or should they go?

Signs have appeared along Dumpton Park Drive demanding the resignation of Thanet councillors Michelle Fenner and Alan Poole.

Keep calm and refuse to resign
According to the Thanet Gazette Michelle Fenner and Alan Poole have been targeted over cuts to the housing benefits budget.

Calls for the resignation of Alan Poole were also made recently over the slow progress if the Pleasurama site which is located on Ramsgate seafront.

What do you think should they stay or should they go?

I put this issue to the Thanet Star fans on Facebook. I had previously asked fans if they trusted our councils and the overwhelming and unanimous response was not at all so I was unsurprised that many readers were indifferent on the subject of Alan Poole as the feeling was that all councillors are equally useless.

One fan was, however, quite vocal and said Its an issue of competence. Its not a time for well meaning amateurs. If Alan continues, he could do the area damage. He is the man we are putting into bat against some heavy hitters. I think he should step down for the good of thanet. If he doesn't, he could do serious damage to the Isle for the next twenty years.

Do you agree with him?

Should Alan Poole go?

What about Michelle Fenner?

Are these really the best people for the job?

Could you do better?

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Who exactly around here gets over Ј500 a week?

As the benefits cap starts to kick in many people are asking why are these folk getting so much cash and why can't I have some? Let's find out.

On the face of it this seems like a good question but what is the real answer? I have no doubt, some of the way this cap was introduced was to help people start blaming the out of work for a problem that the banks made for us. But the real villain is still laughing all the way to the selfsame bank

What is the cap?

Couples and lone parents will now not receive more than Ј500 a week, while a Ј350 limit applies to single people. (Says the BBC).

The way this is written makes it sound like single people on benefits are getting bucket loads of cash. The truth is a whole other world.

...

» Continue Reading: Who exactly around here gets over Ј500 a week?

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0.02% is success say Tory leaders

The Government is crowing about getting 12,000 people into work with threats of cuts and it sound so much until you realise it's sluightly over a hundredth of a percent of the population (0.019%).

Well done to the Tory led coalition for finding ways to make their cuts slightly more pointless. A tiny, tiny portion of people (less than one in five thousand) have realised that if they can claim to be working, even a part time job, then the benefit cap does not apply to them. That's like saying 13 people from Thanet...

We're all saved! Oh, wait, no we're not.

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"We're not telling" says DWP

It seems that the DWP is feeling the heat over the deaths of benefits claimants - they've stopped collecting that particular statistic and many have been left wondering why.

The last update on the deaths of benefits claiments was released last year and covered up to 2011. However this does not cover the period of significantly harsher measures when many are claiming that the number of deaths are on the rise.

Canadian Blogger Samuel Miller has been writing since 2011 on the subject of disability generally. Miller wrote to The Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith (who as we all know is the current Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DWP)) and asked when something a bit more up to date would be available.

Miller says Mr. Goff's November 16, 2012 response left me with the impression that the requested mortality data was being compiled and that only further patience on my part was required.

Miller felt perplexed when halfway through June he finally got a response regarding the figures which said that they had no intention whatsoever of collecting that information and Miller sure as hell was not going to see it. Or more precisely: The publication you refer to was released on Department's website as an ad-hoc statistical analysis publication. As such there is no intention of releasing an updated version of these statistics.

Why not?

Miller says that he plans to file a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office regarding the transparency of the DWP unless things improve. Or in other words, perhaps, what are you slimey British thugs up to?

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Feeling hot?

With the current temperatures we are enjoying how are you coping?

Me, I don't much like it being too hot but one has to do what one can to stay cool (in more ways than one). The BBC have a page featuring effective low tech ways to stay cool

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Westwood Cross Revisited

Westwood Cross is a shopping centre at Westwood here in Thanet, Kent. Westwood Cross shopping centre is owned by Land Securities who fancy Westwood Cross as the new Town Centre for all of Thanet [link]. According to some souces the Conservative led Thanet District Council was (in 2009) on board with this idea.

Westwood Cross which was built by Carillion and opened in June 2005 is technically in Broadstairs but is just as close to Margate and Ramsgate and easier to get to by bus from these locations. This sometimes confuses people from outside of the area. A few times I have spoken to visitors who expected to be able to visit Broadstairs while they were at Westwood Cross.

...

» Continue Reading: Westwood Cross Revisited

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Did a burger really cost Ј7.50?

Last week I went to the air show. Knowing that these things charge the earth for food I took my own but were there really stands charging Ј7.50 for a burger?

South East Air Show

Like a lot of people in Thanet I went to the air show last weekend. Some people are reporting that the traffic was so bad in places that ticket holders could not get in. If both sets of apparently contradictory Gazette figures are correct 15,000 people failed to get in.

What was your experience of the South East Air Show at Manston like?

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Around Thanet (Blogs)

This month could be very warm but is the local news as hot as the local air?

A law student and a caseworker at a criminal law firm, Kent Defence by the name of Gemma writes on her blog about the impact of legal aid cuts in Thanet and East Kent. She reports that The reality is that it is unlikely that suspects or defendants from Margate or Ramsgate will have a solicitor within 30-40 miles. and that the proposals have been thrown together in a extraordinary rush.

Promote Thanet recently visited Preston Steam Rally and has plenty of pictures to show for it.

David Cameron could be visiting according to the Thanet Gazette. Angry protest plans abound. They alleged that there is a protest group on Facebook but I could not find it.

Tony Flaig is writing on the topic of Thanet Council's ongoing press unfairness with side mentions to the weakness of mainstream political reporting (which could be a whole lot better).

Das Krapital reports on an anti-fascist meeting and the anti-anti-fascists that disrupted it earlier this month in Broadstairs.

Zumiweb has expanded from just Thanet having escaped to Folkstone.

The BBC report that the air show organisers are offering free tickets or refunds to those who were left stuck in traffic. About 15,000 people reading between the discrepancies in the Gazette.

Thanet Watch is still considering the John Worrow temper tantrum which Thanet Star first addressed a month or so ago. To their credit they do have a copy of the video of Worrow's tantrum which was so hastily taken down hours after it was discovered.

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Driver's Revisionist History

Ian Driver is taking a revisionist approach to local history in his latest blog post. Driver's concern is that the charity now called SCOPE was called the Spastics Society back when they donated Ј1,500. Given the age of the commemorative plaque this was quite likely a considerable sum which was used to good effect.

Driver's primary concern is that the word spastic can be used in a pejorative context and therefore should not be seen at all. Driver would like to revise history to deny that SCOPE ever had a different name. "Rip it down because I don't like that historically accurate word" is hardly the cry of an insightful leader. Indeed revisionism, like holocaust denial (for example), does no-one any good.

...

» Continue Reading: Driver's Revisionist History

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Big Issues in Gazette Reporting

One week ago Thanet Star Published pictures from the air show. The Isle of Thanet Gazette published numbers. But those numbers did not add up.

On Page 6 Thomas Brown's article (Gazette, Friday, June 28, 2013) quotes Mrs Sutton (a former RAF officer) as saying: We pre-sold 15,000 tickets and expected about another 5,000 more. In reality we had almost 30,000 people get through the gate and enjoy a great day out.

On page 7 in the "Big Issues" sidebar under the heading "Ticket prices/availability" the Gazette writes The event received significant media coverage in the week before, which meant that the anticipated 5,000 walk-up attendees was nearer to 45,000.

So which was it, Gazette, 45,000 or 30,000?

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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.

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.

General
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Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

Facts
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Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

Facts
 
 

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