Friday, 19 April 2013


Last night  I had the misfortune of attending  the worst meeting of Thanet Council I have ever been to. That's quite an achievement because most meetings of Thanet Council are pretty terrible by anyone's standards! 

One of the main issues on the agenda was a petition about the  Ramsgate Pleasurama development. Organised  by local people who are worried about the lack progress with the development and the decade long blight of our seafront, the petition had gathered almost 2,000 signatures which by Thanet Council standards is a very big petition.

So what happened? Well instead of  a constructive  debate  about how to deal with the stalled  Pleasurama project and the potential sale of  a large chunk of prestigious  publically owned seafront to a developer who has failed to develop anything in a decade, councillors decided instead to indulge in a pathetically  juvenile  and increasingly vitriolic game of party political blame apportionment. Tempers became frayed, insults became more and more personal.

With the honourable exception of Councillors Jo Gideon, Julie Marson and Chris Wells and an intervention from yours truly, who all tried to steer the debate in  a sensible practical direction of doing something about the problem. Everyone else who spoke was determined to score points and lay the blame for the Pleasurama debacle at the feet of the opposite party. Even though the truth is that Thanet's Labour and Tory Parties are equally as guilty of visiting the Pleasurama disaster upon the unsuspecting residents of Ramsgate.

Well as temperatures and tempers go hotter something had to give and it did. Councillor Rick Everitt suggest that gaoled ex-Tory leader Sandy  Eziekiel was entirely responsible for the Pleasurama disaster. This outrageously ridiculous claim  provoked howls of anger from the massed ranks of Tory Councillors, one of whom made a personal comment about Everitt.

At this point the meeting collapsed into pandemonium. Raised voices, insults and threats were rife. A journalists in the public gallery, Christine Tongue, got out her video camera and  started recording the incredible scene which was unfolding before our eyes. I took out my camera and began to snap away . Cllr Everitt rushed across the chamber and appeared to square up to a seated Cllr Tomlinson. Cllr Mrs Tomlinson quickly placed herself between the two. I managed to snap what I thought was going to become a fist fight.

In the meantime Christine Tounge was ejected from the Council Chamber for having the temerity to try to record  how Thanet's most senior politicians conduct themselves. Christine was absolutely right to film what went on. The people of Thanet have a democratic right to see how their elected representatives behave.

Once things had calmed down the meeting was resumed. I was asked by the Chairman of the meeting if I would give an undertaking not to take any more photos. I said in view of appalling behaviour of councillors I would not give such an undertaking and reserved the right to take more photos. Councillors then voted to have me have me removed from the meeting.

So good people of Ramsgate - there you have it. Instead of discussing an issue of major public interest - Pleasurama and the blight of our seafront like grown ups, your elected representatives decided instead to play a blame game with lots of name calling and almost a fight thrown in for good measure.

Not only was this horribly pathetic, but most importantly of all it was an insult to the people (of all political persuasions) who are  so concerned about developments in their town that they got off their backsides to try to do something.

Yesterday evening any remaining vestiges of local democracy in Thanet were ground underfoot by senior politicians of both  parties who arrogantly dismissed the very serious concerns of a large number of local people, in favour of arrogant political self-indulgence  of jaw-dropping  proportions.

If ever there was a good reason to vote Independent on 2 May surely this must be it! 

If ever there was a reason to begin building an independent movement in Thanet which can restore serious democracy this must be it.

the words "public office" and "not fit for" come to mind.

Vote Ian Driver Ramsgate's Independent Voice
For more information about my policies follow this link

 I am fighting this election on my own against the Big Party machines. I need all the help I can get. So If you want to help me by delivering leaflets, displaying a poster, or perhaps a small donation towards my election expenses please contact me at 


  1. Bugger. I missed the bun fight. And there was nothing on TV either. What an appalling state of affairs.

  2. I expect many from Margate will recognise our Shirl's bum. It is about time she got back on her bike again.

  3. It was quite dreadful behaviour from our elected representatives.

  4. TDC is a disgrace. It isn't fit for purpose because many of the people who have been elected to serve on the council aren't capable of discussing issues and reaching conclusions based on what is in the best interests of local people. I blame the parties. They have consistently avoided selecting candidates who might rock the boat and, as a result, we have a council full of small-minded yes-men (and women). Now they are faced with an issue of major significance they are wholly incapable of facing up to it and resort to hurling insults at each other. It is up to the people of Thanet to stop voting for brain-dead candidates, who believe that their role on the council is to support their party, come what may. There are people of real substance and stature in our community and they must be persuaded to stand for election. That's the only way to save the Isle.

    P.S. I heard a rumour that a large proportion of the 1200 houses being built at Westwood have already been bought up by a London council. I would be interested to hear if anybody had more information on this. For example, is the rumour true and, if so, what does the London council intend doing with those properties?

    1. As a socialist I believe it's better to have houses bought by a council rather than privately.

  5. Is draw dropping rife at TDC then? And just who is dropping their draws? I think we should be told!

  6. Hi Anon Heaven forbid! An outbreak of people dropping their draws at TDC! Whatever next? I think the truth is that I need to improve my spelling and pretty quickly too! But please continue to correct me when I get I get it wrong.

  7. "As a socialist I believe it's better to have houses bought by a council rather than privately."

    Is this socialism then? Are people allowed to buy anything or does the council have to buy everything for them?