Tuesday, 14 July 2009


What a nice storm in the proverbial tea-cup! A report on Mark Nottingham's blog attracts some hilarious comments that contain more than a grain of truth, according to Bertie's sources and before you can say 'Standards Board of England', a complaint (since withdrawn) is made by Cllr Worrow about Cllr Nottingham!
What I find extraordinary is that we have since had huffing and puffing over on BigNewsMargate from Cllr Worrow about 'cyber-bullying' and even a veiled but awfully well informed 'TDC type' comment on ECR about Cllr Nottingham's desire not to waste his valuable time attending TDC's training for Cllrs on respect and standards etc! (Forgive me, but I would have thought of all our Cllrs, Mark Nottingham is probably the most trained in these issues, by bigger organisations than TDC!).
Having been a keen observer of the Thanet Blog Scene for three years, I am amazed at the short memory some seem to have! I can remember some hilarious and quite nasty posts on Thanet Life concerning the demise of 'The Greys' in Birchington and the sudden change of allegiance in respect of Cllr Worrow, or to follow the precedent set then, Parish Cllr Worrow.
Readers must appreciate that these distinctions are important in the world inhabited by Councillors. A Parish Councillor is meant to know his place. He should look up to District Councillors like Simon Moores, who as a District Councillor and now Cabinet member can look down on Parish Councillor Worrow. Parish Councillor Worrow aspires to be a District Councillor for the Conservatives, despite his odd posture some time ago when flirting with The North Thanet Labour Party, who sussed him at the time as a closet Conservative despite his 'Grey' credentials!
But I am afraid, that both Parish and District Councillors need to know their place, when it comes to that exalted being, The County Councillor. Many District Councillors aspire to being a County Councillor, so they can look down from their lofty position at County Hall on mere District Councillors; lowly forms of Parish Councillors are barely acknowledged by these Councillors.
Well, poor Parish Councillor Worrow, can complain about cyber-bullying as much as he likes, but will have to wait until 2011, to get the chance to rise above his lowly position. He, like Ronnie Corbett, must 'know his place'.
All those who run a blog, need to be wary about what they say and more importantly, what some 'creatures of the night' are likely to post! Councillors , running their own blogs certainly need to be cautious, but I am concerned that there has been a recent shift at TDC that is attempting to curtail open and free comment on blogs administered by Councillors, in particular Labour Councillors! As a simple observer, I can read more personal and outrageous attacks on public figures in national papers and magazines than I have ever seen on local Thanet Blogs.
So, Cllr Worrow, if you want to get on with the climbing from the lowly position of a Parish Councillor and aspire to the giddy heights of a Conservative District Councillor for Birchington, and in due course , elevation to Cabinet or even those giddier heights at County, develop a thick skin; sublimate your ego and get on with serving your future electorate, as I am sure you are doing and ignore most of the flak! Take the example of Cllr Bill Hayton's relaxed approach to a posting that appeared on a fellow Conservative Councillor's Blog earlier this year!
As a late night observation, could we have more sophistication from 'Anon' comments on Big News Margate please from a certain 'Anon'. I find it fascinating that there is a string of 'pro Worrow' and 'Anti- Nottingham'Anon' comments on "Press Release from John Worrow" on 13 July: 09:38, 09:48, 10:08, 10:23, 10:54, 11:39 and 11:52. The pattern repeats on 14th July: 09:12, 09:20, 09:45 and 10:55! This is contrary to all observed comment patterns on any Thanet Blog in the past 3 years, so I would suggest that the 'Anon' doing a John Worrow 'glee club' act, avoids being so obvious!


Anonymous said...

Nice one Bertie - you have hit the nail squarely on the head again.

Anonymous said...

John Worrow is not just an ordinary Parish Councillor he is a moon walking CHAIRMAN of the Parish Council.

tony flaig bignews said...

First I'd like to thank you for a well considered summary.

I actually feel a tad used!

Freedom of Speech is a Hot Button with me and I'm sure that TDC officers are attempting to corral what cllrs are allowed to say, therefore I naturally did a post on John Worrow's Standards Board Complaint.

John Worrow was clearly offended by Mark Nottingham and again peoples well being happens to be another issue with me, so I was only too happy to put his side, not that I actually hold with his suggestions re bullying.

The comments made on my site are fairly shallow and since bully is apparently the accusation levelled at Mark Nottingham it appears ironic that a few comments made are bullying in nature.

I have a liberal policy on comments but will generally remove a comment if requested.

Bertie Biggles said...

Oops,09:27! My apologies to Cllr Worrow for failing to mention that he is Chair of Birchington Parish Council.

Tony, thanks for that. Most blog administrators are reasonable about comments, particularly if not moderating. The problem for Councillors is that they really need to moderate as a nasty comment not noticed will land them in hot water!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone be elected Chairman of a Parish Council then! Doesn't give local residents much confidence.

Bertie Biggles said...

The Birchington parish cllrs are free to select their own chair and this is right and proper, 12.30.

Whilst the choice might surprise you, as long as Cllr Worrow is doing a good job in Birchington on Parish Council matters on behalf of residents, then give him credit where due. It seems to me that Parish Cllrs are the great unpaid stalwarts at local level!

Anonymous said...

bertie sorry to say you have got it wrong Parish Cllr Worrow is not the Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Brian White is, I agree with your 13.22 comments Parish Councillors are stalwarts but many of them also have responsible positions in the District Council as well.

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks for that 13:51! My apologies to Cllr Brian White of BPC! (09:27 please note?)

Anonymous said...

Nothing surprises me with the type of Conservative candidates standing for district council election.Last election time they were pretty desperate. This time the selectors will have a wider circle to draw from!(if the Cameron effect has hit Thanet - not very visible at the moment! with a few notable exceptions!)
cuddley feeley types who are there for the greater good. Not those who aspire to the current cabinet bunch!John Worrow appearing from what i read to be of the latter type? would i be right?

Anonymous said...

Dear Cllr Hart

I strongly object to your superior attitude towards me in your letter dated
14/07/2009, that you sent to the 'Big News Margate'
My letter was sent to all three group leaders, and you are the only one that chose to be offended.

YOU DO have a moral responsibility to stop your members from cyber bullying.

My letter would of given you the opportunity to deal with this cyber bulling issue, once and for all, yet you decided to use your reply to score political points.

As a tax payer I pay your wages and I expect a little more respect.

The June 4th election result should have been a wake up call for you; it appears that you have lost the confidence of the people of Margate and Cliftonville, and if your continue to disregard the feelings of unpaid community volunteers that write you for help, I could see you loosing your care taker position as leader of the Socialist group.

John Worrow
Tax payer and community volunteer

Bertie Biggles said...

Annon of 22.27, I have allowed this comment on the basis that it is a reply to comments on another blog and trust that Cllr Worrow is happy for it to be posted. If I remember, Cllr Worrow has a blogger identity, and I would prefer him to use it himself to post his letters to other Cllrs!

I am not entirely convinced of this cyber-bullying argument! We are talking about grown men involved in the political cut and thrust and a thick skin is needed if you are to engage in it.

I am beginning to wonder if Cllr Worrow has been 'encouraged' to go down this path by others? Perhaps, his mentor Cllr Latchford and the new Cabinet member Cllr Moores, have been playing a role in monitoring and acting against Thanet Labour blogs and Mark Nottingham's in particular? Since May, I have noticed a very robust and pro-active campaign being waged in the blogsphere by pro TDC bloggers! This is healthy and long over due but the Standards path and accusations of cyber-bullying seems unnecessarily OTT and risible.

Martin said...

It would seem that the post of 22.27 appeared first on BigNews from Mr Worrow himself - it has now spread like swine flu to all blogs. Like sine flu it makes me feel sick that grown men who wish to govern Thanet behave in such a manner.

DrM. said...


"Monitoring and acting against Labour Blogs"!!

Absolute and complete rubbish!!!
Quite the contrary in fact, as I have been urging intelligent restraint and political common sense to both sides.

There is no 'Acting' against Labour Blogs, rather, I would suggest that some members of the Labour Group share my views on the value of maintaining a level of professional courtesy when other councilors involved. This has nothing to do with censorship but rather a standard of behaviour which should be expected from your political representatives.

Anonymous said...

The alleged posting from John Worrow refers to paying Cllr. Hart's 'wages'. Now you and I and anyone else with any knowledge of local politics are aware that councillors don't get 'wages' but an allowance so I feel this is a put-up job by someone else for their own ends.

Clive Hart had said on Big News Margate that he was unhappy John Worrow had gone public with his e-mail as Clive had sent it as a private message so tit-for-tat would be the name of the game here but this I doubt.

I checked on the Birchington Parish Council website and the Chair of the Council is Brian White. The same one who is the Planning supremo? Surely not.

Peter Checksfield said...

I did sympathise with both sides but now it's all just getting very silly...

As I said on Tony's blog a few days back, we'd all admire both Mark & John a lot more if they settled their differences like gentlemen over a cup of tea or a pint.

Anonymous said...

Politicians, including local councillors (of whichever Party), who start blogging, do so entirely, or in part, to promote their political message, viewpoint and beliefs.

People will oppose them, often stridently. This is their right and, given we are all encouraged to call our elected representatives to account, arguably their duty.

It has become a common bleat - mostly from local Tory bloggers - that opposition and challenge = bullying. The loudest bleat came from Councillor Moores about 18 months ago, when he even extended to making threats of legal action against his opponents.

The solution is simple. Don't blog.

Bertie Biggles said...

My apologies for putting up comments late but have had a busy day!
Lots of common sense from Dr M, onwards this morning! All good points and thank you. I tend to agree with Peter on how to resolve this spat sensibly and 17:33 makes a valid point about getting out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat!

Anonymous said...

People are making allegations against me left right and centre - but they forget that I am the person that has been targeted by an MEP's right hand man following a standards vote!


Worrow's World report www.minnisbay.com

Anonymous said...

Referring to Cllr Nottinghams desire not to waste his valuable time attending TDC's training, doesn't surprise me, I feel many of Thanet's Local Councillors need training as only a few work and earn their £4.800 a year our tax payers give them.
I would like to know just how many people living in Thanet, actually know who their ward Councillors are, how many have actually met them, just how many residents contact their Councillors and receive a reply or are helped with their problems.
I feel we could save £1000's a year by getting rid of the leeches who are sitting with the rest of the Councillors who do absolutely nothing or don't even live in this Country.
What is happening to Thanet? is everyone corrupt at the top, are we the only honest people left in this area?
How the hell did this lot get re-elected into Council?
I don't know about you, but I am fed up to the teeth with paying all my taxes, seeing them reap the cream off the top and for doing absolutely nothing for us to make a better future for Thanet.
How many more times have we to witness Ezekiel selling land or property he has no rights to sell. This is costing US tax payers a collossal amount of legal fees to stop him, Ezekiel is completely incompetent to run this Council, we are the ones who are suff.ring

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 15th July
Quite agree with you concerning the awful people now wearing a Blue Rosette.
I couldn't believe it last weekend at Peter Miles 's BBQ he an ex Tory councillor, who I might add was thrown out of the Tory Party. Here he was, a disgraced member of the Tories talking very intimately with Laura Sandy's MP accompainied by her husband Randolf.
What surprised me, was only a couple of weeks ago, this same MP knowing Peter Miles wanted to get back into the Tory Party was saying she would never allow this to happen as he caused too much trouble in the past causing his removal from the Party.
What has happened to make the Tory Party so desparate, to fraternise with the enemy and even consider his application to be taken back! are the Tories that hard up?

Anonymous said...

Have I missed something here?

Two posts to consider.

1) When was the 'Standards vote', please, referred to by John Worrow and

2) when did Laura Sandys become an MP?

3) Isn't her husband 'Randolph'?

This is still July 2009 isn't it or have I been asleep and missed some of my life?

Bertie Biggles said...

My apologies again for delay in putting comments up; an excellent time had by Bertie with friends and liver is still in recovery mode.

Glad to see a posting drawing reader's attention to Parish Cllr Worrow's, web-site. Go and pay it a visit. We now have Mark Nottingham labelled as Pinochio? Seems to me that Parish Cllr Worrow is a glutton for punishment and it will be interesting to see if this spat will conclude soon.

14.40, you were either a guest of Mr Miles and your comment does you no credit if that is the case or details have been reported to you.

Could I urge you to look back more than 20 years to what the then Cllr Miles was trying to do in cleaning up the Conservative Party and some serious scandals that rocked The Isle at the time. I may have the wrong perception, but he seemed to me at the time to be the 'guy' in the white hat! I have heard some very positive bits and pieces about STCA and that they would appear to be much more principled than some at NTCA. I think it is a positive sign that Mr Miles is involved in STCA and we must beg to disagree.