Saturday, 28 February 2009


Work takes me to the Progress (Labour Think Tank) Conference Labour 2.0: Campaigning for the net generation. Key speakers are Douglas Alexander and Joe Rospars, Barack Obama's New Media Director.

The striking thing though is the audience. They are all listening attentively, more so than I sometimes see at Thanet Council meetings.

There is the quiet noise of modernity as a backdrop. Almost every other person has a Blackberry or another smartphone, and like myself they are taking notes or blogging. Those using pen and paper are in a minority. Some have laptops open and with free wifi (what I would like next in Thanet's Council Chamber) they are posting blogs or surfing the web.

I can just imagine some of my fellow Tory councillors if they were here. They would be harrumphing that this is bad form. They would be irritated by the minor background noise of keypads being depressed and find it distracting. They would march out deeply offended that a Cabinet Minister has an open shirt and a roll neck jumper on. No respect young man (after all he is 39).

What do these people think of David Cameron when so often he goes without a tie? Probably if only more people had taken Roger GaleMP's advice and voted for David Davis.

What do Thanet Tories want? Shirts, suits and ties. When do they want them? Forever.

Yet everyone here sees what people say as far more important than how they look. It is normal in the 21st century to use technology for best effect, not to try and hold it back with scare stories about the cost. They understand that you invest to make things more efficient. It is good business, good democracy.They embrace the future not fight it.

Oh my, one of the platform speakers is using a laptop for his presentation. How dare he, the sound of the keypad is so distracting, would be the response of some of my Conservative colleagues. They would complain to their neighbour and ignore what is being said or shown.

Modern leaders expect to have wifi available so they can follow up necessary action immediately. Why not at Thanet Town Hall?

There are lots of younger women too and a surprising number of older representatives. My old friend Jimi Adefiranye a former Lewisham councillor who is approaching his eighth decade on this earth is here. He's revelling in learning new things as he always has done.

Perhaps I could persuade him to come down to Thanet and do some training to some of my colleagues? Provisional title, the Future don't be afraid of it.


  1. Anonymous for now -

    We want to out the Freemasons that run TDC.
    Ex-wives, mistresses, blown business relationships, disillusioned ex-masons etc.

    Have you got the balls to out this gang or not?

  2. Anon 4.07 Is that you Tim? I've no idea who the ex-wives you refer to are and I didn't know you could become an ex-mason, isn't it for life? Give some detail because I do not recognise this description, and your name if you want your assertions be taken seriously.

  3. I think that the electorate want their councillors to represent their (the electorate's) interests, to follow ethical standards of behaviour, and to promte the well-being and future of the local area.

    I do not think they want their councillors to practice intellectual snobbery, to constantly promote themselves and their personal interests and accomplishments, and to make an issue out of the standard of dress of fellow council members.

    It seems to me that marks the difference between you and the Tory councillor - Moores - who has decided to become your critic, Councillor Nottingham. My own view is that you are focussed on the right issues.