Thanet District Council “dysfunctional” and ‘corrupt’

An independent standards committee has just published a damning report on Thanet District Council, stating that councillors have repeatedly made personal threats and attacks against colleagues and members of the public, as reported here.

The report also highlights an apparent disconnect between the actions of TDC councillors and the best interests of the people they are supposed to serve, as well as pointing to the atmosphere of secrecy councillors try to foster, such as the oft-reported ban on filming by TDC which goes against government recommendations about transparency at council meetings.

Typically and unsurprisingly, “John Hamilton” is trying to sweep all this under the carpet and obfuscate matters with yet another stream of vitriolic and unwarranted attacks. No doubt in his mind, no member of the electorate should ever be allowed to hold their representatives to account and if insulted by their councillors the ‘peons’ (as he would call them) should be honoured their Lords and Masters have even deigned to recognise their existence.

It’s likely that all local residents (that excludes “John” then…) are watching to see what happens when the dust settles. Hopefully any evidence of wrongdoing will be brought out into the open for a healthy, democratic debate and examination of the facts.


52 thoughts on “Thanet District Council “dysfunctional” and ‘corrupt’

  1. On ThanetOnline:-
    Paul Abela commented on thanet district council independent: “Hamilton stop trolling this blog you are getting tedious”
    Who is Paul Abela?

  2. Interesting post Geoff. Thanet has a history of people who use false names to target blogs and Facebook pages so it would be interesting if a way could be found to identify them.

    • Thanks Barry. It’s a shame that so many are so cowardly that they try to hide behind false identities; and it is perhaps unsurprising that such people are those who seem to have no interest in Thanet District Council being more transparent and open. Given enough time and effort, it is always possible to uncover the true identities behind such personae. Although it’s obviously easier if you can get some kind of police involvement, as ISPs and similar definitely pay more attention to a police request backed up by court order!

  3. I see hamilton is again copy/pasting from No to Tesco onto Yes to Tesco. they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    • Well, seeing as he’s not actually in the country he has to rely on skimming content from other people.

      I also note that there is yet another comment from someone wanting Arlington House destroyed:

      Graham Dennis “Please blow it up”

      No doubt any resident fears that this might actually spark an idea in someone’s head will be completely dismissed by the likes of William Epps as a complete irrelevance. I find it interesting that he tells people to stop living in the past and said that your comment about Arizona being populated by rednecks was ‘racist’, yet he persists in calling Zimbabwe ‘Rhodesia’. Seems he likes to live in the past and has no respect for the wishes of Zimbabweans by constantly referring to their country by its old name. But then, he strikes me as the sort of person who rues the time Britain lost her Empire and could no longer keep so many different people beneath the yoke of colonial servitude…

      • Geoffrey, I thought we had agreed to differ and I would not comment on your blog again. You, however, seem to think it OK to make inaccurate assessments about me, so I might as well reply.

        I do not lament the passing of empire as you imply, but I do rue what has happened in some of our former colonies and the suffering their peoples have had to endure as a result. On names, I tend to refer to it as Rhodesia when it was known as that, since April 1980 it has been Zimbabwe, prior to Rhodesia it was Southern Rhodesia and before that a group of tribal kingdoms, principally Matebeleland, Mashonaland and Manicaland. Who knows, even the UK may not be the UK much longer, but I bet people who lived in it will still refer to it as such in retrospect.

        You talk of racism, well try Zimbabwe. Not only has Mugabe discriminated against and victimised whites and Asians, but he also committed an act of genocide against the Matabele people who supported his opponent, Joshua Nkomo. Perhaps, with you, black on black is OK? There are many Zimbabweans whose wishes are totally ignored by Mugabe.

        Clearly you do not like me and I am sure that I would not count you as a choice of acquaintance from what I have read. May I suggest therefore that we ignore each other, I will not comment here, or anywhere else about you, and you refrain from speculating about what I believe.

      • William (Epps), my comments were made precisely because you felt it was alright to have a go at me and others on Thanet Online. I found your language and your tone to be dismissive and condescending, as well as downright insulting and inaccurate (as it portrayed only your side of events).

        I genuinely fail to see how the actions of Mugabe in any way reflects on your choice to insist on calling Zimbabwe “Rhodesia”. My point was that you denigrate others for wanting to live in the past, yet continue to use an outdated name for a country. Further to that, you said that “rednecks” was racist and I contended that to continue to call Zimbabwe by its old colonial name was just as insulting and racist. That you try to deflect that by talking about the repugnant actions of Mugabe and others in Zimbabwe is interesting. I was also making an oblique reference to your comment about racism:

        “As for the racism matter, a name directed at someone is racist if that person perceives it as such This puts any name applied to people by race or nation potentially racist if offence is given.”

        Therefore, if Zimbabweans find it offensive to continue to call their country “Rhodesia” (and I’ll bet a great many do) then by your definition it is racist.

        For the record, I do not condone the actions of Mugabe and think that his land-grab from the settled white farmers was nothing more than pure political machination; after all, almost all of the farms have been handed over to his lackeys and turned into private estates and golf courses – hardly giving power to the people. And the runaway inflation rivals the Weimar Republic for inept economic mishandling. I also completely agree that Mugabe is racist in much of what he does.

        To be honest, William, I don’t dislike you. I am able to separate out dislking the words someone uses from the person themselves. I do dislike your apparent sense of superiority which screams through a lot of your comments and your off-hand attitude towards people campaigning on local issues, like when you insult them as ‘NIMBYs’, which implies that you think that they have no valid concerns.

      • William you make some very valid comments about Racism and I totally agree with black on asian being a very underrated problem in the UK. Racism takes many forms however at the end of the day it is all about power (power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely)
        In Geoff’s defense I think your comment about rednecks was a little out of order especially in the way the comment was made however I am aware from other posts you sometimes provoke.
        In the case above about blowing up Arlington Towers were I admin it would have been deleted but in hammy’s case he doesn’t care about Margate, Ramsgate, or Broadstairs he just wants to stir up tensions.
        A reasoned debate is just that reasoned it doesn’t need put downs, sarcasm nor in the words of Bob Bayford “Robust debate”
        Every discussion has good points and bad points, good debaters do not need hammy’s debating style

  4. It’s not just the trolls who have their heads buried in the sand it seems like the Labour party have copied the Tory policy of pretending that the council is fully functional. Which has left the Tory party the only option of agreeing with the report. Odd times in Thanet politics.

    • strange times indeed Matt!
      Still it is about time someone started telling the ruling Cabinet they are a bunch of pratts.
      When the cabinet starts using Thanet Council as an adjunct to the National Labour party and not dealing with local issues its time to stick a rocket up someones jacksy

  5. Barry, firstly the comment about blowing up Arlington House was not mine. Over the years I have read many comments about that building being an eyesore, how did it ever get planning consent, it should be demolished etc., but I am quite sure that people did not mean with the residents in situ.

    As for the rednecks, again I suggested that, in our PC world, to refer to people of a place by a nickname some would regard as offensive is potentially racist. We can be racist about people of the same colour as has been established in the courts. The term ‘rednecks’ is not dissimilar to the ‘rawnecks’ used by white Afrikaners to describe English descent white South Africans and that is generally regarded as offensive.

    My comment about black on white and Asian racism was applying to Zimbabwe, but you are right that similar problems exist in the UK. I still think Geoffrey’s comments about my hankering after Empire based on the fact that I have referred to Rhodesia, a country in which I lived for a number of years, as being totally uncalled for, especially as I had made no comment, provocative or otherwise, on this post.

    • William I most certainly did not say that comment about blowing up Arlington was attributable to you however as an admin I would have deleted it and condemned it as it is inciting those less intelligent to act.
      Also William there are a number of websites in Arizona dealing with the redneck issue some for some against. So the use of the word could at worst be described as ambivalent.
      Allowing hateful commentary anywhere really should not be allowed as it allows a platform for hatred to forment.

      • Not disagreeing with you, Barry, but it still does not explain why Geoffrey should suddenly choose to attack me out of the blue when I had made no comment on this post. I consider accusing me of hankering after colonial servitude days pretty hateful as well as showing a complete lack of knowledge of what many colonies were actually like. Anyway, this fight was not of my choosing and I have no wish to continue it.

      • One could ask why you chose to attack me out of the blue on ThanetOnline, William, seeing as it is a blog I have never commented on.

        I’ve addressed why I made the comment. I am well aware of what colonies were like, both those under British rule and other European states, as well as those by other Imperial powers, such as China and Japan. I have a keen interest in history and perhaps because my preference is for the first half of the 20th Century as a period to study, that also includes the imperialism and colonialism during and preceding that time (as well as the eventual withdrawal those colonial powers following the Second World War).

        Forgive me William, but your continued use of “Rhodesia”, followed by your justification for using such a term, combined with the comments you make on ‘John Hamilton’s’ blog and others painted a picture of an intolerant person, who does not respect the complaints of local residents (by dismissing them as NIMBYs) and of one who retains an odd fondness for a time when the British Empire ruled other lands.

        Based on what you have said here, I am firmly of the belief that my initial comment against you was too harsh and I apologise unreservedly for making it.

  6. Thank you, Geoffrey for your comments and apology. You are right in a way that I retain a fondness for former colonies, but that has nothing to do with ruling them. I was lucky enough to serve in the armed forces during the declining years of Empire and got to many of those places, often in a peace keeping or counter insurgency role in the run up to, and sometimes for a time after. independence.

    There was a big difference in both the social structure and degree of participatio9n in colonial government between places like Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus and the African colonies whilst places like the Malay peninsula and Singapore had cosmopolitan multi racial societies long before full independence. What I find sad is that some of those countries I loved and in which I formed friendships, particularly Cyprus and Zimbabwe, should suffer so badly under their own governments. Cyprus has had UN peacekeepers sitting in the buffer zone now since the 1970s and remains divided, whilst Zimbabwe has never had a truly democratic election, not even the first one in 1980 when I, along with many others, tried unsuccessfully to protect the electorate from intimidation.

    On Rhodesia, my wife was born there as a fourth generation white African. She had a Rhodesian passport, but, after independence, was given a short term Zimbabwe one on which she travelled to England. When her passport came up for renewal, Zimbabwe House refused her a new one, despite that being the land of her birth and, still at that time, where her parental home was located. For several years she was stateless, unable to travel anywhere, until finally qualifying for British citizenship by residence. The only reason she did not get a passport was because of the colour of her skin, for black Zimbabweans living in this country do not have the same problem. That is racism.

  7. Has “Hamilton” finally been banned from Thanet Online? After an insane posting spree he seems to have gone quiet on there. With any luck he fell into the Grand Canyon

  8. OK Hammy Hunters, where’s he hiding? Can’t believe he hasn’t surfaced since the Arlington Tesco decision. At least it confirms what I’ve always said though, that there’s only one administrator for the “Yes” page (unless the others also live abroad!).

    • Mr. Checksfield it has been obvious for some time that hamilton had lost the other admin on the yes page. I would think they (the other admin) saw the error in supporting a known Troll and ran before the authorities caught up with them. My understanding is that the police had been informed about the abuse on there but as I am not party to the investigation I have no idea how far they have got with FB and even whether both admins can be traced

      • You really believe there was another admin? I never saw any evidence of that when I was on there (and no, I wasn’t one in case anyone asks).

      • Peter I had an encounter on the yes page that wasn’t hammy so yes there certainly was 2 admins

  9. He’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character, so I wouldn’t be so sure. When he loses the hate he can be a good debater.

  10. I read it by clicking on the link. Try it….

    If you’re blocked by the page then you should be able to read it by login out of FB.

    An educated guess. Certainly more likely than another admin who also doesn’t live in this country (or took several days to hear the “yes” news, despite running a FB page).

    • Peter I haven’t any interest in viewing anything hammy puts up I leave that to others. I just didn’t understand how you knew anything had been posted as you had said you were no longer on FB so I am presuming someone sent you the link.
      Certainly the words used do not sound like hammy as he would have been crowing ad nauseum.

    • Don’t know what those numbers are (link still works though).

      Incidentally, I’m guessing that’s the REAL Hammy (or Paul or whoever he is). The more aggressive version is just a role he plays, just like “Eastcliffe Richard” used to also blog as “Lucy Mail”. He’s probably more Charles Hawtrey than Charles Bronson in real life.

    • simple really Peter others have seen it and told me what was posted and IMHO it doesnt have the anger and aggression of hammy’s usual posting and strangely nothing on thanetonline which has been pleasant the last few days

      • Let me know how you get on using Google. Surprised you didn’t know about internet search engines, they’ve been around for years.

    • I sure they are peter but then I don’t spend time googling whether he posts on a FB page just surprised you would bother

      • Why on earth wouldn’t I be interested in what others are saying about the successful climax of a campaign that I’ve spent the best part of 2 years fighting? What a strange question.

  11. So Barry, you can tell whether or not it’s Hammy posting on the “Yes” page without even looking at it, but you haven’t a clue who posted this anonymous comment in your defence on thanetonline last night:

    “Peter when did you decide that you should be a spokesperson for an anon, and use it as an opportunity to show your sarcastic side. grow up Peter”

    (The message above was posted in response to my comment: “Baz = Barry, a man who learnt a couple of things from me today (ie that you can see a Facebook page without being a Facebook subscriber, and that you can find Facebook pages on Google).”)…

    Seems like your detective skills are starting to slip Barry!

    • what on earth is the matter with you Peter how on earth can anyone tell who an anon is? Or are you thinking that I wrote that comment? so am I to believe then the comments by an anon about boots and trousers were written by you, after all you are as likely using your logic to have written the other comments.
      I can quite see why certain bloggers do not like your comments on their blogs. Pedantic is one word.

  12. I’m not accusing you of writing the comment, I’m asking you why you said to me directly afterwards “Peter why are you interacting with Garbled speech from an anon”. It’s a simple enough question.

    • Peter having read the posts on here and on Thanetonline I can certainly see what Barry is saying. You seem to have got upset over the lack of recognition over your promotion of Tesco in Margate. The fact that hamilton didn’t appear to join in the debate is something to be applauded. hopefully he has gone for good but I doubt his ego will let him stay away.
      I suspect Barry’s remark was more that you were interacting with an anonymous troll which is pretty silly as all it will do is encourage them.

      • I’m not upset over any lack of recognition as you put it. I campaigned to get a Tesco at Arlington, not for personal glory (I leave it to Oldfield and co to use campaigns for their self-promotion).

        Again, “Hamilton” is on the “Yes” page, but if you Inspector Clouseau wannabe’s believe different then go ahead.

  13. As for Barry, it is clear to everyone that he comments anonymously sometimes. I have nothing against that, it’s the lying about it that I’m not so keen on. Still, I won’t lose too much sleep over it as I’m sure I have far more fun in my life than he seems to.

    • Peter you need
      1. get your facts right
      2. grow up

      it may be clear to you but making unfounded allegations is stupid and for your information I do not lie. As I said once before I am not surprised you have been banned by bloggers if this is the sort of stupid behaviour you get up to.

      • If this is your level of “debate” then it’s clearly you who need to grow up young man.

        And William, as for me “interacting with an anonymous troll”, if you read the thread you’ll see I was replying to the person who asked who “Baz” was, not the person doing the name calling. Of course Barry knows this, and he’s trying to wiggle his way out of being caught posting anoynymously (still, I do admire his ability to tell who writes posts on FB just by someone describing them).

      • And quite obviously your level of detective skills need looking at if you think I am a young man. You won a campaign oh how droll Peter

      • I genuinely don’t have a clue how old you are Barry (not that I’ve done any investigating). How old are you then?

        For some reason I tend to pretty much automatically assume that most people who post on blogs are in their 30s and 40s (younger than me), unless they’re local councillors then I think of them as being in their 60s and 70s (and I’m usually right!).

  14. PS. Barry, if you want tips on how to WIN a campaign then just ask. Seriously, you might learn a thing or two.

    Right, I’m off to have a cup of ovaltine and watch some smut. G’night peeps!

  15. PS. I see that panto season has already started on the “No” page. After all the fights against a “seafront Tesco”, the administrator has now said “The seafront will still be boarded up. The Tesco is proposed behind Arlington House where the car park is.” Hilarious!

    And on that note, Merry effing Christmas Everyone! : )

  16. a little bird tells me No. 1 suspect was spoken to by police. he denied everything but has now stopped posting. lets all wish it is permanent

    • This (more or less) confirms my suspicions that it’s him on the “yes” page rather than another admin who took several days to hear the news. He’s merely curbed his nastiness rather than stopped posting. Anyway, I agree that this is a good thing.

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