Friday, 17 December 2010

Dover County Council By-election

Dover Town Division, Kent CC. Lab gain from Con. Lab 1491 (43.7%, +14.3), Con 1348 (39.5%, -4.3), UKIP 404 (11.8%, +11.8), LD 170 (5%, -21.8). Swing of 9.3% from Con to Lab since 2009.

Fantastic result right in the heart of the south-east. The Conservative party lost support in this area, but most notable is the collapse of the Lib Dems who haemorrhage support to the sum of 21.8%! 

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Broadstairs Cinema

by Dr R. L. Symonds

Here in Broadstairs we have an excellent small independent cinema, with an enthusiastic film society, showing a weekly art or indie film. The cinema also shows the usual general release films the rest of the week. For the last two weeks however, we are unable to see our film society films, because the cinema proprietor is prevented from showing them by Warner Bros.

This multi-billion pound international company insists that when the cinema shows the latest of their 'Harry Potter
productions, they will show no other film, and of course the cinema has to comply because they fear retaliation when they next want to show a Warner Bros film.

It seems Warner Bros, who could buy up many small countries, without really noticing, resents losing even a few pounds income. I suspect that this practice is illegal, even though the proprietor admitted it was in his contract with Warner Bros - although it could be said that such a contract is hardly freely entered into. However, the law counts for nothing against the powerful.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The effects of cutting arts funding

The ConDem Government has committed itself to making £350 million worth of cuts to the arts. The above picture shows what the effects could be on the arts, made even the more poignant for Thanet because of all the investment made in the Turner centre in Margate.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Local Tory Leader's inadequacies go National

Bob Bayford's comments recently at a joint transportation board meeting have gone national. The gaffe whereby Bingo Bob claims that residents of Thanet 'don't know they are born' has been picked up by the Daily Mirror. Just goes to show that even the national media is noticing the problems at Thanet District Council with the Tories.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Has David Miliband committed treason?

by Dr R. L. Symonds

Reading today's news, helpfully provided by Wikileaks, it is fortunate that we did elect the right Milliband as our leader. David Milliband is revealed as conspiring with the Americans to conceal the presence of cluster bombs on British territory. To my mind this is a very serious offence indeed, and amounts to treason.

A future Labour government might consider revising the Treason Felony Act 1848, which is still in force today. Any member of Government, Parliament, or the Royal family who conspires with any foreign power in a matter without the knowledge of Parliament and against Parliament's expressed will on that matter, should be guilty of a serious offence, punishable by imprisonment and expulsion from public office.

This could extend to agencies acting on behalf of the government, for example, any envoy, a Royal representing the government or the Governor of the Bank of England (although the actions of the latter recently would fall short of this proposed offence.)

Monday, 29 November 2010

How the cuts are affecting young people

By Will Scobie / @willscobie

The ConDem Government has effectively decided that it does not care about young people any more. The claim by the Conservatives and the Lib Dems to be the parties of fairness is a false one as the cuts are completely unfair.

If the vote on the raising of tuition fees is successful then students will now be asked to pay £9000 a year in fees. This effectively means that to complete a three year degree it will cost students £27000 in fees and a further £9000 to pay for accommodation and bills.  That makes a staggering £36000 to get a degree. In the current job market you need a degree to keep up and so the ConDem Government is asking young people to take on a crippling amount of debt just to better themselves. The credit crunch was caused by people taking on too much personal debt, and yet this is exactly what the Government is asking students to do. Higher Education will also be hit by a whopping 80% cut over the next few years. Research and teaching budgets are going to be slashed putting more demand onto fewer resources.

The Government has also decided in its infinite wisdom to cut the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) fund. This has effectively created a two tier education system with regards to facilities as some schools are left crumbling while others have spanking new facilities. In Thanet schools like Chatham House and Laleham Gap are left with a lack of resources and second class buildings, while Dane Court and Charles Dickens have brand new buildings with state of the art technology. This is unfair and means that some students will not achieve the best of their ability. It is well documented that middle class parents generally have a better chance of getting their children into the best schools as they are able to move into the catchment areas. The abolition of BSF is another blow for aspiring students from poorer backgrounds. The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is also taking a hit, while support staff is also being cut in schools as budgets are squeezed meaning that more vulnerable children who are in need of extra help are left without the help they require.

The ConDem Government is also doing little to help deal with chronic youth unemployment that is now common amongst university graduates. I am currently carrying on my studies, but I have several friends who are finding it very difficult to get anywhere in the job market and there is no help for them. The decision to cut the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) (p3) epitomises the Government’s attitude towards young people. FJF helped a lot of young people gain valuable experience and links in the job market, and helped to get people off their backsides and working. By deciding to cut it the Government is saying that it does not have a plan to get young people back in work.

George Osborne claimed that his emergency budget was fair, but it was anything but fair. Tripling tuition fees, slashing higher education budgets by 80% and reducing help for young unemployed are going to leave young people with little decision but to go onto benefits. By increasing tuition fees the ConDem Government is saying that poor people shouldn’t go to university and that admission should be based on wealth not ability. Cuts to the schools budgets, BSF and EMA are also a clear indicator of how the Government is treating young people, and I think we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. In a time of economic worry we should be encouraging young people to better themselves and go into the job market and work. Instead the Government has slammed the door in the face of youth. The signs of a generation lost to the dole are looming.