Saturday, January 26, 2008


Just back from the Croisette here in the Cannes of Kent, and there was a vicious rumour circulating among the millionaires down there that our local rag has been 'got at' by the ruling Blue Rinsers.

Nothing as laughable as the suggestion that the paper's blue masthead is subliminally inducing us to vote Conservative, or that now it's part of the Daily Mail's Northcliffe Media it'll be campaigning to re-animate that mad bat from the 80s. No, the word is that one of the Tories' Captain Mainwarings has threatened to cut down on TDC advertising if the paper doesn't cut back on the anti-council stories.

Of course I dismissed this theory as idle gossip and tittle-tattle, but then, after a few pints of the Gaddfather's finest, I got to thinking. There was no follow-up to the Stalag Broadstairs story this week. And the ongoing saga of our undredged harbour was relegated to page 16. What's more, the recent advent of competition in the shape of YawnThanet would make a threat to take council advertising elsewhere plausible.

So to test the theory I've instigated a new feature in the old sidebar on the right which I'm calling GazunderWatch. The idea is to keep a running tally each week of pro- and anti- council stories in our island's leading newspaper. Anodyne announcements, letters and opinion pieces don't count, it's purely the nitty-gritty news I'm interested in. I'm sure that after a few weeks scrutiny I can scotch this nonsense once and for all!


Anonymous said...

What a good idea, but to be fair wouldnt it be an idea to include the performance of the competition ie Your Thanet and Thanet Extra as well?

Eastcliff Richard said...

Possibly, but we don't get Thanet Extra in these parts, and yourthanet is usually buried under ten tons of sugary rubble at the local Costcutter and I'm buggered if I'm going to spend half an hour rooting around there.

Besides, the allegation concerned the Gazunder, so for the time being at least GazunderWatch it is!

Anonymous said...

Keeping the papers honest is something blogs and bloggers are very good at. It's the nature of the "people's media".

Anonymous said...

Re the gazunder having no teeth, you might like to ask why they didn't run the 'development' story in relation to the Cliff Terrace saga in cliftonville? Woodward and Bernstrin it is not.

Eastcliff Richard said...

I'll set my team of crack investigative journalists onto it immediately!

While we're at it, does anybody have any other stories they feel have been conspicuous by their absence?

Anonymous said...

" I'm sure that after a few weeks scrutiny I can scotch this nonsense once and for all! "

or not as the case may be !!

heres one for you,,
front page and most of page 5 taken up by a story about cctv in Westgate, ( we all know who lives there ) then a small snippet at the bottom of the side colum on page 8 about cctv being installed in Newington, now call me a cynic but Westgate is a solid Tory area and Newington is not, as yet a certain blogging Councillor hasnt claimed credit for this but I am sure that in time it will become one of his 'triumphs'.
The similarities between the two projects are both sets of Residents contributed to their respective schemes but in Newington the Ward Councillors have also put money in as have the Police and the local PACT but of course Newington is not Tory heartland so is not considered newsworthy.

Cllr Mike Harrison.

Anonymous said...

According to the advertising on many bus shelters Mecca is coming to Westwood Cross,makes sense really,with so many muslims now taking up residence here it will mean that they will not have so far to travel to embrace their new god(the great English pound)although they may have to pray in a slightly different direction.

steve said...

take a walk/bike ride around the coast of thanet, check out the graffiti. Check out the victorian splendour left to rot. check out the abandoned lido at Margate, the ruined pavillion in Ramsgate.
The coast is what draws people here, and its been abused.

If the paper really was a local voice of the people, it would be shaming this council every week. Front page pictures of all the filth around. Provoke them into action.

Kathy said...

glad to hear Newington now has its cameras. Hopefully this will help people feel safer.
By the way how did the dedication service (bench, garden etc) go at the community centre?

Anonymous said...

As an esteemed newspaper owner and editor yourself you must know that "bad" news will always take precedent over "good" news.
Bad news sells papers,no-one except those who are being written about wants to read about a bench dedication or a christening, a good murder or accident headline will sell more papers than "Baby born in taxi"
The one headline that we are all waitng for is-

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,

Hope the new job is going well and you are making an impact down there !

The dedication went well and we actually had TWO press photographers there although it was an 'orrible day weather wise, sadly I havnt seen the pics or a report in either of the local rags.

The complete cctv system should be complete by the end of March.

Anon 3.28
Bad news will sell national papers but local papers should concentrate on covering local news and like it or not local people like to read about things that have happened in their community, and if you really think that Town Councils are the answer take a hard look at the Parish Councils we have in Thanet, inneffective, incompetent impotent bodies consisting of people who have very narrow agendas and no concept of what being a Councillor is about.

Cllr Mike Harrison.

Anonymous said...

They only run good news stories about the airport and ignore the bad effect it is having on Ramsgate.

Anonymous said...

Well I think that Broadstairs Town Council are a good bunch,they seem to run Broadstairs,St Peter's and Westwood Cross well enough.Shame they got let down by T.D.C and K.C.C over the road system,what we will get there is too little too late.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Mike, Ineffective, incompetent impotent bodies consisting of people who have very narrow agendas sound pretty much like Thanet Council to me.

Anonymous said...

4.54, let me try and change your view of Broadstairs TC. The grapevine has it that THEY and its Town Clerk are the ones who decided where the industrial estate fencing that appeared in Stalag Culmers land was to be put. It might just be that TDC is passing the 'buck' very quickly to its inferior council as Cllr Harrison views them! The last Cllr to get pompous about KCC/TDC/Parish was over on the Northside; good to see that Labour Cllrs (because TDC is the next rung up) have the same pompous disdain of Parish Councils.

chris wells said...

As usual the grapevine is wrong. The Town Council may have been consulted about the principle, and agreed, the height, placement are all decisions taken elsewhere.