Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Council Appoints Blog Snooper

Holy witch hunts! According to the front page of today's excellent yourfannitinnit (available free in the corner of all your favourite local stores, usually behind the twelve boxes of Haribo etc.) the isle's fervent blogging scene is 'ruffling feathers at Thanet Council'.

Apparently the Uranians have now assigned a 'monitoring officer' to snoop on blogs, and hints have been dropped that they are hunting down a mole within their walls. There then follows a quote from yours truly which I won't bore you with here.

What seems to have upset the politburo over in Cecil Street is that, through the medium of blogs, people get to find out all sorts of things that the powers-that-be would rather keep to themselves. The council's newly-appointed blog snooper is quoted as moaning that 'Unlike the Press, blog sites are not accountable to the Press Complaints Commission'. Too flaming right! Could that possibly be because blogs are more a forum for gossip, rumour and opinion? Would anyone mistake the endless stream of drivel I pour out most days for a reputable news source that should be accountable to the PCC, Ofcom or some Director-General of the British Blogcasting Corporation? I think not.

Besides, as Blogger is hosted in the US, where freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, it'll be a very long time before they'll be allowing Thanet Council some kind of say in what gets written on these electronic pages. God bless Mom, apple pie and the American way! (And that's about the only time you'll ever hear me say that.)

As a footnote, I see the Tory councillor host of Thanet's 'Popular but beseiged™' weblog gets his two pennorth in by once again perpetuating the myth of 'defamatory and libellous comments by anonymous people'. C'mon Doc, p-l-ease! Isn't it about time you changed that particular record!

Click here to read full story in yourfannitinnit


Royston Robertson said...

The big question that always strikes me every time I see the cover of Yourfannitinnit, is why does the splash headline always feature a serif letter "i" amid an otherwise sans serif typeface?

Yes, I know this is not normal behaviour and I am seeking help ...

Keep up the good work!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Hmmm. I know a chap who can help you with that. Until I started seeing him, that was exactly what used to go through my mind every Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

We must find out how much this snooper is getting paid!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like TDC and the Speaker of the house of commons aka Labour government have one thing in common - don't want the opposition to know the truth only the "spun" truth.

Anonymous said...

We must find out how much this snooper is getting paid!
Why? I am a civil servant but I'm damned if I'm going to tell you how much I get paid. Anyway you can be sure it will be some clerical officer reporting to a manager.

Anonymous said...

Good article in Your Thanet - please also pay attention to the picture story below the main headline about the Dreamland limited edition calendar printed by Thanet Press in Margate. Those calendar are rather special and need to sell!

Anonymous said...

You will be please with this in todaqys Queen's (Gordon's) speech.

"Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill

This bill applies mainly to England, with some parts applying to Wales and very little to Scotland and Northern Ireland. It places a duty on councils to "promote democracy" and monitor local economic conditions; makes it a legal duty for them to respond to petitions; and demands the setting-up of a National Tenant Voice to ensure tenants' views are "central" to housing decision-making."

So all you need to do is get up a petition to preserve the rights of Thanet Bloggers. (maybe not all of them)

Nige said...

Well if it's a new position, shouldn't it have been advertised in all the normal places? I could have been getting paid for doing my normal round of blog reading!


Nige said...

Just perusing the Yourfannitinnit I see there will be flights to Jersey in 2009. One way for less than £75 with Flybe, I know the buggers will be flying right over my house but it still sounds good to me.


Jack said...

As I understand it every council has a 'Monitoring Officer' and it's always tacked onto someone's other work. It's not a post in itself (Head of IT and Monitoring Officer / Director of Regneration and Monitoring Officer etc). It used to be Paul Moore's job before he left a couple of months ago so it's obviously been handed to (dumped on?) somebody else since then. It's usually a senior role but I don't know who's doing it now. Councillors will know; Ken, David, Chris, any help?

Peter Checksfield said...

I'm slightly peeved that my own blog doesn't seem to be ruffling more feathers (one senior councillor even suggested that I take some "arty" pics at the Turner / Rendezvous site!).

Keep up the good work ECR, Bertie, Tony & Michael!!!

Anonymous said...

Acting Monitoring Officer is Miles Smith for anyone interested.

DrMoores said...

Strangely enough I was commenting on Blogs in general. Our strong defamation and libel laws remain a real financial risk to anonymous bloggers who might stray beyond the boundaries of fair comment but doesn't appear to act as a deterrent. Anyway, I'm sure you know the law as well as I do!

A. Mole said...

Anon, 11:08

Just over £29 k per year.

Anonymous said...

And his only real job at present is to sift the drivel (complaints) that come mainly from the Labour group at TDC, and misfits at Cliffsend. So the squabbling amongst the idiot councillors costs you and a good proportion of what could be spent on the museums. Thanks Iris.

Rick said...

But surely Dr Moores if you state that a blog is defammatory and libellous then you have just established yourself as evidence it is neither.

(To be libel it must be believed by reasonable people. If a reasonable person thinks it is libel then it isn't)

Jack I have posted a bit more about what you called "Mail tampering at the council". I have also posted some documents and related comment on the subject of the 6th Thanet Gun range.

Sericol, due to my FOI application, was exposed over the cyclohexanone aquifer contamination.

Thor is exposed as also having a remediation project.

I await an FOI response from TDC about the matter of Cllr George Maison being taken before Chief Executive over the mail tampering matter and admitting it. (My source is the cllr who reported him and was present at the hearing before Chief Executive)

I have laid a Common Law information on the subject of Chief constable and refusals of crime complaints of sabotage at Petbow Cummins.

I am in correspondence with the Independent Police Complaints Commission about whether a parallel track application for Judicial Review should be pursued.

This is because saboatge of emergency generators represents an indiscriminate threat to life. The overriding Common Law Obligation on a Constable is the protection of life. Since the European Convention of Human Rights was introduced to our law there must also be an Article 2 duty upon the Chief constable.

I know the instinct is to protect a Chief constable to maintain the ill deserved public confidence in police. To do that the law and constitution are the victims.

Here is your link to the Damian Green FB. Anti terror police raid MP without even a Judicial warrant Heil New Labour

Anonymous said...

It has to be somneone who sits on their *rse all day surfing the net. Where on earth would TDC find such a person?

Anonymous said...

Does make you wonder what Eze-kill and the Latchkey kid have to be so scared of? What do they not want being made public?

Perhaps they should listen to their new bestest buddy Sime's. He's the expert, and now seems inseperable from his glorious leader.

DrMoores said...

It's when you read the likes of 7:02 you'll understand the problems of Blogs being used to deliver misinformation or as a convenient platform from which to pursue a personal agenda.

A Blog can be as reliable as The Times or as truthful and accurate as the Daily Star and here in Thanet we have a wide choice of truths and opinions to enjoy.

Eastcliff Richard said...

I quite agree. As for being 'reliable, truthful and accurate', despite some commentators mistaking the tagline 'Waxing the bikini line of Thanet News since January 2006' as a guarantee of unbiased, independent reporting, I can assure you that my daily mumblings remain firmly in the realm of rumour, gossip and general drivel.

As the disclaimer at the bottom says:

Eastcliff Richard is a humour/satire/local gossip blog based on the Isle of Thanet in Kent. Opinions expressed on this site may not be suitable for minors, wilting flowers, or duffers.

I also retain the right to pan politicians mercilessly on the merest whim!

Anonymous said...

There is so much green eye going on on your site ECR that it onfirms my suspicion tht you host more losers per square inch than all the other blog sites on the planet put together.

If you can't bob and weave to earn yourselves a decent crust mateys -
crawl back up your own backsides and fester there until you get a life.

Fed up with mud slingers said...

Get a life 10.37pm - you obviously read ECR's blog too so you must be "one of us" - it is never a good thing to generalise about characteristics of readers or bloggers because you will nearly always be wrong - ECR may have his own unique style but he does highlight some very important local issues that we all need to consider - so stop tarring us all with the same brush!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Your relentless references to things crawling up backsides makes me wonder if it's not time for you to consult a proctologist, 10:37!

Anonymous said...

I would hazard a guess 10:37 that you are speaking from Uranus (as ECR would say).

Anonymous said...

Wonder why DrMoores decided to pick up on 7.02' comment? Is he the Sime's refered too?

If so, to be fair; publicity pics for Ezekeil at Quad bike event courtesy of DrM. Publicity pics of Ezekiel at State opening of xmas lights courtesy of DrM.

We know that DrM does not believe in stealing pics for sites, so we assume he is the Leaders publicist!

Why therefore is the comment disinformation?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.42
I meant it as a sort of joke thing. You know, leak about snoopers pay?...Oh never mind.

Matt B said...

It's not so much that the council has "a" mole as the security at the meat level doesn't exist.