Friday, January 23, 2009

Bignews Goes Ballistic!

Cripes! Tony Flaig, keeper of Margate's premier blog, has written to every KCC councillor following a shocking lack of response from Tory leader Ruddy-Faced Man to his complaint about a KCC contractor's ham-fisted attempt to shut him up!

Tony, aka Sausage Man, recently called a halt to his Bignews Margate blog in protest at the resounding silence from R-FM concerning a legally threatening letter from Sir Bob Geldoff's Kent TV. So far our lovely county council has spent around £2m of our money on Kent TV, and our Tone, quite rightly in my opinion, feels he has a democratic right to criticise the channel's output. But apparently not according to Ten Alps, the Bob-backed company which makes it.

Anyway, here's the text of Tony's council-wide email:

Dear councillor,

I am a local blogger, I write about local issues predominantly concerning Kent and generally more specifically Thanet.

I frequently write about policy issues concerning Kent Council. Naturally Kent council's high profile project Kent TV is one of those issues I considered worth referring to, since broadcast media would appear to many people a departure from the normal services taxpayers expect from their local authority.

At the end of June last year, I received a letter from a Kent County council contractor taking exception to comments I had made about Kent TV, the first line of their letter being 'I am responding to the comments posted on your blog regarding Kent TV'. This letter appeared to carry an implied threat that should I make further comments, they might well sue me.

At the time, I contacted the company concerned, asking the author of the letter whether there were any statements etc. that they wished me to withdraw, and at no point was I asked withdraw any statements.

Also at around the same time I contacted both Paul Carter, and then Peter Gilroy
(KCC's £230,000 a year chief executive - Ed.) concerning this matter. Both subsequently wrote to me, apparently both supporting the contractor's rights, but neither appeared to acknowledge my right to express a valid opinion on the wisdom of a public authority wasting taxpayers' money on a questionable enterprise.

At no time do I feel that I have criticised the professionalism or competence of any contractor, although I have certainly questioned the output of Kent TV and its purpose.

I would like Kent Council to make a clear statement to the effect that Kent residents are entitled to make reasonable comments as they see fit about political issues in line with those rights guaranteed under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. If Kent Council don't make a clear commitment to residents' rights to free speech, then what's next? Contractors to other departments sending out letters, when say a resident complains about Kent Highways? Maybe suppliers of cones, tarmac or even advertising might send letters offering legal action?

I have currently suspended posts to my blog site, until such time as Paul Carter responds to the email I sent him on the 13th of January 2009. All I want is a clear statement from KCC making it clear they support free speech even if its critical.

Regards Tony Flaig
Bignews Margate


Peter Checksfield said...

I pretty much answered Tony on my own blog this evening, but I'll repeat it here:

"Tony, as long as (a) You're telling the truth, & / or (b) You make things clear that it is YOUR OPINION, then I don't see what the problem is (the only exception to this is perhaps if we blog about our place of employment, which can understandbly put us in an awkward position).

I occasionally receive threats of legal action (see link below), but I just either ignore them or tell them to go ahead! The resulting publicity would more than likely hurt them far more than my blog can."

Anonymous said...


Eastcliff Richard said...

Um, I think your PC may have acquired that new Tourettes virus that's going around, 7:16.

Anonymous said...

One of the aims of the Kent TV board of governors is to arbitrating on complaints from visitors, in the last resort, if the complainant is not satisfied with the response from the Kent TV production team. (from kent tv web site)

So I suggest that Tony should also write to the Board asking for them to see why Kent TV wrote to him when it was KCC wasting money that he was criticising.

However judging by the attendances at the last few meetings (mins available to 18 dec 08 on the KCC web site) the attendance is a bit sparse. And where are the two members of the public that were promised 6 months back?

Anonymous said...


I am the PC owned by "Anon 7.16". As such I am duty bound to process what the stenchwank throbber taps into my keyboard.

Anonymous said...

I have searched Sky-Freeview-Freesat and all other television providers and i cannot find Kent TV anywhere,is u-tube a tv station?
Kent TV is a website not a TV station and i or richard could do what they do at home for nothing,what a complete rip-off the whole thing is,jobs for the boys and money for old rope is what it is,go for the throat tony.

tony flaig bignews said...

Thanks for passing this on, I feel that Kent Council have created a monster, which had the used some intelligence could have been set up for a fraction of the cost.

I spoke to Trudy Dean one of Kent's Liberal County Councillors, a week or so back since she appeared on the same BBC news item as I did, for some reason despite discussing the letter I received from Ten Alps the BBC decided not show that part of the interview, however they did transmit Trudy Dean's comment that "the majority of the stuff they do cover to do with the county council is interviewing just the conservative" thankfully she was not in receipt of letter hinting at legal proceedings, hopefully that is a change of heart for ten alps or maybe the thought that an elected councillor might just take exception as I have done.

I spoke to Paul Siegert, a while after the broadcast and asked why they didn't use the letter despite filming me reading the bloody thing at every angle, I understood him to say something to the effect that the public would not be too worried about me! and he probably hss a point.

Which I found to be a relief since I thought they may well be pussy footing around the subject not wishing to upset Ten Alps or Kent's four star top knobs!

Anonymous said...

The trouble is Tony, the KCC contractors are trying to introduce a new means of distributing information to the good folk of Kent about what Kent are doing on behalf of all of us, and all they get from you is a load of kak for their efforts.

The government are very keen that councils are inclusive and lovey to all the peasants, and so KCC are really just fulfilling Gordon's work for him.

You don't like it when people slag you off on your blog site, so why should they be any different?

KCC generally put out a fairly balanced (but probably too establishment view to your liking), and you go over the top the other way because you are not very clever and don't know how to do constructive criticism. Much like ECR, Bookshop Mikey, dickhead Malcolm, Bertie, Ken and David "every Tory is a tosser" Green.

So personally I welcome them squashing the odd knob like you because it puts the working classes back where they belong, and gives the Tory lawyers a few quid extra of taxpayers money.

And apart from that it is great sport for the rest of us to watch a loud mouth big head twat get taken to the cleaners by the Tory bastard middle classes, when for the last God knows how many years we have had to eat shit from socialist low lifes like you.

Anonymous said...

Nurse! Lady T's out of her bed and running around again!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.15

You appear to miss the humour in the situation.

(1) A publicly funded broadcaster issues a bluffy communication with a view to shutting up a critic.

(2) The critic co-operates by shutting up. Then challenges the broadcaster to tell him all is safe over the horizon for him to squeak up again.

(3) Not surprisingly the broadcaster gleefully refuses to reply since their silence on the subject now seems a suitable tactic to ensure the critic's silence

(4) Thanet blogland is regaled with a totally bogus claim that Tony is championing the cause of free speech.

(5) I wonder why it is not self evident that the way to champion free speech is to ? Speak freely.

(6) Very funny though. Championing the cause of free speech ! How self aggrandizing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.15

"So personally I welcome" ? And you expect us to infer you benefitted from a Middle Class education.

Tee hee.

Peter Checksfield said...

It makes me laugh when people champion free speech - anonymously!

Anonymous said...

6.55 Of course I get the humour. That's why I enjoy watching Tony getting shafted.

He who lives by the sword, etc..

Steve said...

12.15am. I think the issue here is tony and others comment on our own time. Kent tv, we all pay for.

Kent council annoy me enough in the written press without subjecting myself to moving images of them pissing my money up the wall.

Assuming you step outside from time to time, remember that talking to people as you have commented here would usually end up with a hospital visit.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Self-evidently 12:15am is a creature of the night, Steve.

Presumably no mirrors at his/her/its place. Not on the walls at least.

Anonymous said...

Did someone say that Lady T has escaped and is in circulation again? O h M y G o d.

The heavy white make-up, creating the image of a premature death mask, the flaking powder, the slow stroked voice. Arrrgh.

Someone needs to fashion a piece of that washed-up wood into a stake to ensure the final outcome!

Anonymous said...

I am sure there are a million different things that both local and national governments and their various quangos spend money on that most of us do not like.

The point is that most commentators on this blog are clearly anti Tory and express their views freely to that effect.

I have no doubt that the Tory KCC would prefer to spend the communications budget more usefully e.g. social services projects and new tarmac. But as they are judged by government on how well they communicate, they have to find ways of creatively spending it.

I am sure the detractors know that, but are using the issue for cheap political posturing.

And as for corresponding with you in the manner that I do, when you engage in balanced and honest debate, then so will I, but I know it will never happen.

And as for being anonymous, the publisher of this blog is anonymous.

If you really want to engage on the issue of the day, then question how it is that failures of regulation by Gordon Brown's government has created the scenario where unemployment is heading towards 3m+ and all the other financial indicators are at rock bottom.

Anonymous said...

I think you miss the point 9:29.

I am sure Tony would have commented on Kent TV being a waste of taxpayers money whether it had been Tories, Labour or Lib Dems instigating it.

If it has been such a success, why has no other authority rolled out a similar service?

Also, why is it only mainly Tories appearing on Kent TV? It seems rather unbalanced from what I have seen of it.

And at least here people are free to comment and will normally only have their comments - be they pro or anti - removed if they are way over the top. Kent TV does not even seem to accept comments or criticism.

And taxpayers don't pay for blogs either so really if you don't like them you don't really have any kind of right to criticise them.

So all in all it smacks of a £2m Pravda, run by Tories to disemminate Tory propoganda.

Anonymous said...

9.29am, I've voted tory all my life. I will never support TDC or KCC with the current incompetent leaders.

You may find it hard to believe, but people will actually come out against politicians regardless of party allegiance, if they are as shit as the shower we have in charge.

steve said...

and the last comment was from me

Mary Nebelwerfer (Mrs) said...

Steve hits the nail on the head for me.

Beg the question; "Why are some local and politically active souls so keenly trying to claim victim status?"

Plenty of both of the main parties and their members do try this, and with a gathering pace. Is the sympathy vote really that powerful?

Or is it a touch of the Paul Daniels, classic misdirection?