Thanet Star

The lights are still on

When I started Thanet Star my intention was to shine a light on the parts of Thanet where the media and the council did not want a light to shine.

Somewhere along the way, I forgot that. I forgot that through the efforts of Thanet Star and other blogs like it lies and corruption have been exposed. That the truth was given time in the spotlight instead of spin and deceit.

It was Thanet Star that broke the news that outgoing Chief Executive Richard Samuels Pocketed over 230,000 plus an inflated pension at a time when front line staff were taking pay cuts or losing their jobs altogether.

It feels in many ways now, that the lights are being switched off one by one right when we need them most.

When the last newspaper in Thanet seems content to back an agenda, not in our interest. An agenda that seems to mostly consist of selling out to the backer with the deepest pockets. The question must be asked - who will shine a light on the truth now?

When the news breaking blogs seem to be vanishing, who will ask the hard questions now?

When I started Thanet Star my intention was to shine a light where darkness was preferred. I had forgotten that. I'd lost track of the very reason for maintaining this blog in a maelstrom of other projects.

I cannot undo that those with a destructively negative attitude have chosen to put me through a crucible. What I can do is make a choice. I choose to stand back up.

I choose to shine a light.

I don't know if I can inspire others to do likewise. Maybe that's not my purpose. What I do know is that as long as I am able, I will ask the tough questions.

If the mainstream media will not hold our leaders to account then we must do it for them.

This light is still burning.

The lights are still on

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Disillusioned with the Thanet I love

I have a confession to make. I love Thanet and believe that it is worth far more effort than I have given it. Even so, I have become disillusioned.

In my lifetime, I have poured endless hours into community projects in Thanet. Sometimes as a supporter, sometimes as the one being supported. That's just who I am.

Sometimes my efforts have been met with joy, praise, and thanks. That's nice but it is not why I do what I do. I do it because it needs doing and I can help with the doing.

Sometimes, more often than I care to admit, I am met with indifference. I can cope with indifference - it is not nice but it is just a fact of life.

Sometimes, just occasionally, I am actively opposed. That's hard but I can live with that. It is just the way things have always been in Thanet. Especially in politics - I knew that going in.

Lately, however, I have been met with something I never expected - lies. Not the silly, school-yard lies wherein someone suggests that you are overly friendly with sheep or have two heads. No, these lies were created not to hurt but to inspire passionate hate.

I'd shrug it off if this was a political thing. I've had far worse said about me by one or two nasty Tories (now all UKIP, funnily enough). This isn't a politics thing.

This TDC level tribalism and hate is taking place in what should be a hobby - something done just for fun. Every now and then, while organising a party, a free event, or a poetry night I stumble upon a pocket of white-hot anger over... Over what? I really don't know. All I know is that someone (or a few someones) has been spreading poison.

I must admit that things have been quite for a while. There have been no fresh incidents for a month or two. Maybe this time it really is over. I thought that before only for someone I once admired to assault me with more verbal abuse than I would have thought possible from a mature human being.

Just to be safe, there are pubs and venues I dare not go to. Events I avoid. Not because I fear violence but because I simply could not face any more of this nonsense.

It is tiring in a way that goes beyond words. This BS has reached every blog, every club, and every charity I am involved with. It traces back to the same few names every time.

That's why I have not been writing for Thanet Star. It why there are groups on Facebook where I no longer actively contribute. Forums where I am never seen. And, as I mentioned, pubs I avoid.

This crap has soured things for me. I am disillusioned with the Thanet I love. After all, it is very hard to fearlessly and dedicatedly write about Thanet's issues when there is petty crap nipping at your heals all the time.

I don't write Thanet Star because I get paid to (I don't turn a profit from this blog); I write because I love Thanet.

It's one thing to disagree with me. Heck, I actively encourage you to express opinions that differ from mine. However, it is another thing to relentless attack me on a personal level.

For now, the bullies have won. But one day I shall return.

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Now somewhat mobile friendly

Yesterday, to no fanfare whatsoever, Thanet Star updated its design which includes a mobile friendly look.

The changes for Desktop users are fairly minimal. I've simplified the top area and moved the search bar. The bigger changes (and the ones that took the most time) are for tablets and mobiles.

I also found some older static pages (policy and so forth) that used a very, very old theme. I've updated those too.

I've tested our new design as much as I know how and it looks like even tiny screens should be able to have a much better experience. Let me know if anything looks off to you.

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Any copyright experts out there?

As you probably know Thanet Star has generally been a collaborative project and different writers produce posts for us at different times.

The understanding has always been that any posts are provided under a perpetual, world-wide (this is the web), non-transferable, license. In other words, once published, it stays published.

The problem is that one of the people who has written for us, I am not saying who that is, has turned into a giant sulky-pants over a completely unrelated issue. This person, let us call him TwitNoodle (because that is kind of funny), has decided to try and come at me from every conceivable direction. So far without any notable successes.

TwitNoodle has found cause to loudly and angrily object to pretty much every project I have ever been involved with. Ever. So far, folks appear to have mostly just laughed this angry little noodle off.

Now, however, they have decided that the articles they contributed are a breach of copyright. If your reaction is some variation of "WTF?" then you are not alone. I pretty much have been ignoring TwitNoodle's increasingly paranoid and rude emails, letters and general harassment.

If you have been wondering why I have not been posting like I once did, this has a lot to do with it. It is very hard to go wrestle with the tribalistic nature of local politics when you have a monkey like this on your back. If I am honest, it is getting me down.

Anyway, now it seems that TwitNoodle has been bombarding my ISP with emails and the legal department have had to get involved. I can prove that TwitNoodle freely offered the articles on this blog for publication, so that's not a problem. What I cannot prove is the nature of a verbal agreement nor of the implied agreement of permanent publication.

The articles themselves receive 0% of the site's traffic so there is no loss to us in this but as our policy has been to strongly oppose bullies I need a way to move forward.

Where does Thanet Star stand on the whole right to carry these articles issue? Do I have any choice but to bow to a bully and manually depublish ancient articles from the archives?Is there a defence here?

Any help or advice you can offer would be greatly appricated.

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Thanet Creative Writers Launch Website

Thanet Creative Writers quitely launched a new website a few months ago.

The site serves to host details of events run by the group along with advice on writing and other articles by local writers.

Thanet Creative Writers founder, Matthew Brown, said since the foundation of Thanet Creative Writers in 2013 we have always tried our best to support locals who feel that they have always wanted to write and yet, for different reasons, have never felt able. We believe that anyone, with the right support, can be a writer.

Thanet Creative Writers are open to outside contributors.

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Byte Sized

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.

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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