Monday, March 17, 2008

Top Thanet Blog Now Open To All

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Internet Correspondent Anne Onymous

Eastcliff Richard, the island's most popular and best written blog ever, has reopened its doors to the world. At a glittering function attended by some of the UK's top millionaires and celebrities its owner Mr Richard Eastcliff, 29, welcomed readers old and new back to the fold.

'It's going to be bigger and better than ever,' Mr Eastcliff told the Gazunder. 'I've got a whole new approach. I've ditched the mocking tone and converted to the Church of Responsible Blogging. Plus I'll be handing out cash prizes - for example I've got a million for my millionth visitor!'

Pressed for details of his 'Million for a Million' giveaway, Mr Eastcliff confirmed that he had already placed a million Zimbabwe Dollars in a trust fund at a Swiss bank, and expected the prize to be claimed some time in 2046.

Eastcliff Richard has won a hatful of top comedy awards and prizes, including the Isle of Thanet Gazunder's coveted Golden Barker's Nest of Dumpton Gap two years in a row.

Richard Eastcliff is 29.

Click here to go to Eastcliff Richard blog

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More Chiefs, Fewer Indians

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Local Government Correspondent Wynan Dinem

Thanet Council is set to create two new Deputy Chief Executive posts, whilst axing other essential jobs throughout the organisation.

The news comes in a consultation letter to staff from Chief Executive Richard Samuel, which has been seen by the Gazunder. Recently the council reduced the number of senior officers from three to two, following what was rumoured to be a six figure pay-off after an embarrassing and highly publicised 'chocolate fountain debacle'. Now the two remaining senior officers look set to be rewarded for such successes as the Thanet Gateway One Stop Benefits Library in Cecil Square, and the creation of new Blue Flag beaches in Ramsgate Harbour.

The council also proposes to give Heads of Services the opportunity to enhance their salaries by being promoted to a new 'Chief Executive's Group', providing they meet certain service level criteria.

One insider commented: 'These proposals look like rewarding failure if you ask me. The council was recently rated a poor 'fair', with financial services given a 'weak'. Yet fewer than 1% of the council's 750 staff were awarded a less than 'satisfactory' appraisal last year, and now senior staff look set to get pay rises. Does that really reflect local people's experience of dealing with TDC?'

Last month Thanet announced an inflation busting 4.5% hike in council tax.

Note to subs: Should put balancing comment from council here but council chief on sick leave so went down pub instead - Wynan

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Amnesty Puts Chinese on the Menu

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Human Rights Correspondent C.I.A. Waterboard

Local Amnesty International campaigners will be ordering a large helping of Chinese in Broadstairs tomorrow night - by discussing ways of campaigning against the country's appalling human rights track record.

Members will be welcoming top Amnesty organiser Nora Cranston, who will be running a workshop on campaigning in China ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Plans by local millionaire Ken Wills to build a 3m sq. ft. Chinese business park at Manston are also likely to be on the menu.

The Chinese government is well known for its human rights abuses, which include persecuting freedom of speech. News coverage in China is required to be 80% positive and 20% negative, just like here in Thanet (Shurely shome mishtake? - Ed.)

The Amnesty meeting starts at 7.30pm and is being held at the Quaker Meeting House, St Peter's Park Road, Broadstairs.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Bloggers Hail Victory For Freedom Of Speech

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Legal Correspondent Judith Prudence

Anonymous bloggers across the island are celebrating after Thanet Life author Dr Simon Moores admitted an embarrassing defeat at the hands of internet giant Google.

Conservative councillor Moores claims that Google effectively sent him away with the proverbial flea in his ear after he demanded allegedly defamatory material be removed from Blogger, which is owned by the US firm. Writing in the online journal he says:

I asked Google to remove the offending material. Google, which is also a UK limited company, answered: and are US sites regulated by US law. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages. We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints.

Given these facts, and pursuant with section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, Blogger does not remove allegedly defamatory, libellous or slanderous material from or

Moores claims he had received a 'constant flow of insults and defamation' and that his family had been abused in the street 'by complete strangers'. He continues:

I am told that even a court order from a British judge is not sufficient for Google to change its mind. So we now appear to have a situation in the UK where our own laws governing defamation, decency, libel and the simple test and protection of truth are governed by the more generous interpretation provided by the US legal system.

So if I made defamatory, racist or homophobic remarks about an MP on, I could be sued. But if I'm an anonymous blogger, it is acceptable because I'm apparently protected by US rather than UK law.

One anonymous blogger who did not wish to be named told the Gazunder: 'We have yet to be provided with any proof or corroboration by Councillor Moores of the defamation he alleges, or that he has served any papers on anyone, either through a court of law, or via Google. He has not even had the courtesy to name any anonymous blog sites he believes he has a problem with. It appears, however, that Google has taken a sensible view and stood up for good old-fashioned values of freedom of speech.'

Another anonymous Thanet blogger added: 'On a purely common sense basis, if Moores had a problem with anything that had been said he could ask for an apology, which has been the way these things have been sorted out in the past, or posted a defence on his own blog. By not even naming names he appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to clamp down on all Thanet bloggers. Google seem to have realised that healthy criticism of a local councillor and his policies amounts to fair comment and that 'fishing expeditions' to uncover the identity of an anonymous blogger or remove material under unproven allegations of defamation should be treated with the contempt they deserve.'

Click here for full text of Dr Simon Moores article on
Click here for Blogger policy on alleged defamation

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

'Blog War' Spreads To Online Encyclopedia

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Internet Correspondent Ricky Pedia

Thanet's 'blog war' is spreading across the internet, with Wikipedia becoming the latest casualty.

Westgate councillor and former Thanet blogger Simon Moores' Wiki entry has been 'flagged up' as possibly not conforming to the online encyclopedia's 'Neutral Point of View' policy. Popular Thanet Star blogger Lord Matt has queried Moores' entry because it was extensively written by the Tory councillor himself. Lord Matt has also removed some links, saying: 'One appeared to me to be an advert.'

Wikipedia allows anyone to edit any of its entries, and the revisions are now the subject of a bitter exchange of words between the two Thanetians, with Cllr Moores claiming: 'Unfortunately, Lord Matt has a distinct and very personal and political local agenda of his own. As a consequence his opinions might be best ignored as simply mischevious. At worst, they may be considered prejudicial. It is interesting to see that he has removed a reference to a weblog which has opinions that he has been vociferous in challenging.'

The councillor's latest addition to the debate, dated 3 March 2008, says: 'And who would you like to see confirm this Matt? A past colleague from the Cabinet Office, The Shadow Home Secretary, the head of the Serious & Organised Crime Agency, our local MP? Let's be clear about your local political agenda in this matter.'

Click here for Simon Moores Wikipedia entry
Click here for Wikipedia discussion of changes to Simon Moores entry

Monday, March 03, 2008

Thanet Blogger Apologises To Politician

By Isle of Thanet Gazunder Legal Correspondent Barry Star

A top Thanet blogger has apologised to one of the UK's best known politicians. In an uncharacteristic climbdown, Corporate Presenter blog author Jeremy Jacobs has retracted a statement in which he referred to George Galloway MP as 'anti-semitic'. In his apology Mr Jacobs, who originally hails from Margate but now blogs in North London, says:

I retract that statement entirely as it is untrue and unfounded. I apologise to Mr Galloway and accept that (he has) fought all types of racism all his political life.

Commenting on the move, another top Thanet blogger told the Gazunder: 'If a very well known politician like George Galloway, who is renowned for being fiercely protective of his reputation, can be satisfied with an apology from a blog, why are comparatively minor Thanet politicians going to all the trouble of a well-publicised witch hunt which has had the effect of closing down some of the most popular blogs on the island?' The blogger, who did not want to be named, added: 'I think we should be told'.

None of Thanet's comparatively minor politicians were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Jeremy Jacobs' blog currently ranks 53,143rd in the world according to Technorati, the popular blog ranking site.

Click here for full text of Jeremy Jacobs apology