blogs and bloggers

UKIP and a little local difficulty over Nigel Farage

by Paul on Politics, by political editor Paul Francis Monday, August 11 2014

An unguarded remark from an UKIP constituency official in Thanet South set off another round of speculation about  Nigel Farage and his interest in standing in the target seat of Thanet South in 2015.

But no-one seems any the wiser about whether he will apply for the seat - or has already - despite the assertion, reported in the Financial Times, that it was "the worst kept secret" in Thanet.

Separating fact from fiction is rather tricky and UKIP has not helped itself by the ambiguity of statements hurriedly put out at the end of last week.

The local UKIP association had been expected to announce a shortlist of would-be candidates on Friday.

It didn't and offered as explanation that it had received a number of late applications for the candidacy that meant it would now have to carry out a fuller shortlisting exercise, whittling them down for a final hustings meeting on August 26.

In answer to the question about whether Nigel Farage had thrown his hat in the ring, UKIP evaded a direct response by saying that nominations had continued to come in and the selection process was continuing. In the absence of a straight "yes he has" or "no he hasn't" you can understand the subsequent confusion.

What does seem rather odd is that the local party had a plan to reveal its shortlist on Friday but seemed  to have been steered away from doing so by the national party, which was possibly concerned that if, as predicted, Nigel Farage is to apply the selection would become a coronation rather than a contest.

That, of course, is still the likely outcome: it is stretching the imagination to conceive a situation where party members faced with a shortlist that includes the party leader would opt for someone else. It makes the claim that there had been a late flurry of applications less credible - given the steady drip drip of hints and speculation about the leader's intentions.

Even if you subscribe to the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity, this rather messy turn of events has not been UKIP's finest hour.

Although I doubt local actvivists and party members will mind terribly if, come August 26, Nigel Farage is confirmed as the prospective candidate for Thanet South.

But we will have to wait until then to find out.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Politics | Urban Gravesham

To Blog Or Not Blog.

by Down and out in Dover and district, with Len Oldfeep Sunday, January 5 2014

To Blog Or Not To Blog.

 

That is the question I have been wrestling with for quite some time. I have been advised by friends, acquaintances and professionals that if you want to get involved in journalism or writing in today’s highly competitive market, this is the best way to get things moving.

They say blogging is the first rung of the ladder for budding writers and journalists’ nowadays. Names have been made and carers launched from a single post and if you don’t have one then you are denying yourself the opportunity of an audience and having your work read.

The thing which has prevented me from starting my own blog until now has always been the suspicion that people don’t read them. Somebody somewhere is probably not reading this right now. Unless you are a celebrity of some distinction, established writer, critic or leading authority on a subject, why would people be interested in the opinions and feelings of a complete unknown? The reason you read a particular individuals blog is because you are interested in that person first and foremost and by reading their ponderings or rants you hope to learn something about them, thus becoming closer to that person by the end of the post.

Without a brand or public profile your blog has no clout and surely your voice would just get lost and shouted over by the progenitors and settlers of the blogging world.

The same reason I don’t talk to girls, the same reason I don’t blog. Rejection, the fear of nobody caring. My advances spurned forever.

Another problem I have with blogging is the ease with which you can start one and give yourself the title: ‘blogger’. Blogging is part of the instant gratification culture we are now all accustom to, where no thought or transgression can go unpublished or contested before being thrust upon us forever and ever. While technology affords me the privilege to be writing this today it also means there is no standard. For every one cute or funny YouTube clip there are a thousand terrible ones waiting in the margins to waste your time. I am truly sorry if this is wasting your time.

 Having said all that, I too am about to throw my hat into the ring. Uninvited and somewhat apologetic, clogging up the internet’s arteries with my nicotine thoughts. However, I assure you unlike your work colleague Cassandra who’s ‘friend request’ you politely accepted on facebook, I know you probably don’t care what I have to say; and with good reason. After all who am I?

Despite this, over the coming months in 2014 I hope to win some of you over - especially those who are also thinking about starting a blog. I’m probably under qualified to be a blogger. I have no real speciality; I have no on-line presence, I don’t bake, upload pictures of food or enjoy gossiping; I don’t even have an opinion on everything and am often spectacularly uncontroversial- but might that be refreshing in2014? Perhaps I’ve hit upon my niche. Of course you should always write about what you know or from experience and I know about Dover, Deal and the district as I have lived in the area all my life. I have no real plan just now, except to try and write as often as I can and loosely base it around news events happening in Kent, while also revealing a little about myself along the way. I hope you will join me in 2014. Happy New Year.

Thanks, Len.

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SALT OR SWEET MOVIE REVIEW # 1 - The Hangover: Part III *SPOILER ALERT*

by Dan Millen Reviews Sunday, May 26 2013

So I went to see The Hangover: Part III today with mixed expectations. The first one broke new ground in the movie arena, bringing a fresh concept to a party style movie with the twist of what happens when the sun comes up the next today. I laughed so much that when the second part was announced, I found myself itching to get in the cinema to watch it. (That was 6 months before its release!) Unfortunately, aside from the hilarious scene in a Bangkok Strip Club, I felt that Todd Phillips and the gang were just reproducing the first outing in a different location. The fans wanted more.

And boy oh boy, in Part III, Todd Philips has shown why he had to make the trilogy and answer his critics (myself included) following the second outing.

First thing you need to know is there is no-one getting married, hence no stag do (batchelor party), no mayhem… yeah right!

The film opens in Thailand where Mr Chow escapes his prison cell, worthy of Andy Dufresne might I add, during a riot. A chase through the sewers leads him to jump from a cliff edge, plunging into the Gulf of Thailand.

Alan has not changed since we left him. He is still immature, brainless and damn right funny. His parents are sick of him because he is a constant disappointment, and when it all becomes too much for his father (quite emotional but funny at the same time), it’s decided by his mom, sister and the Wolf Pack that he needs to go to Arizona Institution for an ‘intervention’.

ROAD TRIP! Phil, Stu, Doug and Alan hit the open road but are quickly side tracked, and rammed off the road, by Marshall, a gangster trying to track down 40 odd million dollars’ worth of gold bullion from Mr Chow. We then find out that subtle little hints have been dropped into the previous two movies to build up to this moment.

Always given the short straw, Doug is held hostage until the three amigos can track down Mr Chow, retrieve the gold and return it to Marshall before the sunrises 3 days later.

Cue the ‘hangover’. What follows is pure genius, with a bit of long windiness to prolong the Wolf Pack’s agony. I don’t want to give too much more away but you’ll be treated to a trip to Tijuana, old faces reappearing, seductive lollipop sucking in a pawn shop, abseiling down Caesar’s Palace and finally the finale just outside of Vegas. Oh, and a happy ending too.

All in all, enough to make you feel as though you’re the one with a hangover.

I am pleased to say that this movie is a good one to see, but do take it with a pinch of salt because after all, it is a comedy and therefore, not meant to be judged on anything more than whether it can make you laugh or not.

Salt or Sweet? Definitely Sweet.  

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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Entertainment | Film | General | Humour | Just Life | Leisure | Media | People of Kent

Small talk!

by The Odd One Out, with Dan Millen Saturday, March 2 2013

So I was sitting discussing with my colleague (JS) various different topics when we stumbled across old films we used to watch as children. There is not a significant age gap between us, only 5 years, but our choices in favourite films does differ quite considerably.

Once we had finished listing our favourite films, JS touched on the main actor in one of her films (The Indian in the Cupboard) and how she used to have a crush on him when she was 3 years old! I was more shocked at the age of her first crush then the fact she had a crush on Henri from the film.

After controlling my laughter, JS added fuel to the fire by declaring two further crushes: the first, Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone and the second, Buzz McCallister from Home Alone. This send me into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, some of the others joined me. JS literally smiled and joined in with us.

The dreaded question fell on me when on of the girls asked me who I had a crush on when I was younger? I could honestly say I went blank and could not think of a single crush at such a young age.

So now I've had time to think about it, I think it only fair I declare my crushes from childhood films:

1. Allie from The Karate Kid Part I (She also appeared in Back to the Future)

2. Andy from The Goonies

3. Jessica from The Karate Kid Part III

So there you have it, my three choice.

Keep reading and I'll keep you posted on my life as The Odd One Out.

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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Entertainment | Family Life | Film | Leisure | Moaning | Moans and groans | Work

MSN - Male Stalking Network

by The Odd One Out, with Dan Millen Tuesday, January 8 2013

 



Well when you work with a group of women, anything can happen. Everyday brings a new adventure, sometimes a challenge, and as always I am at some point left scratching my head at something one of them has said to the group during the working day... hence this latest post.

Well at the time I was writing this, I was sitting on a leather couch in the suburbs of San Jose, California drinking juice and looking at my notes from previous weeks. I was literally another world away from where I usually am when I encounter my issues as 'The Odd One Out.'

Today's weird and wonderful post is surrounding the inner workings of a colleague of mine when she uses MSN Messenger. (MSN Messenger, for the computer illiterate, is principally an instant messaging service that allows contacts to talk to each other - a sort of text messaging service that is online).

So the women and I were discussing things that annoy us about Facebook when one of them suddenly said 'Do you remember MSN Messenger? We all responded with a unitary nod. 

MSN was great when I first used it, in fact it's how I first began talking with my soon to be wife (She is American and lives in San Jose), but after 4 years we grew tired of the breakages in connection and service and chose to move to Gmail. (Google Mail is awesome).

Anyway... my colleague then proceeded to say aloud to the rest of us "Yeah, did you ever do the sign in, sign out thing?"

I was confused and raised my eyebrow. What shocked me more was that my other colleague said "Oh yeah, I used to do that."

I continued to stay quiet, trying to focus on the invoice I was processing. I didnt want to get drawn into another strange discussion. One a week is enough for me!

Then came another comment "I used to love MSN, I've had some great conversations on there."

The conversation continued, going back and forth across our pod desks. Different pros and cons were listed and they also discussed all the features they enjoyed using. (I can say now, I hated the 'nudges', which shook your computer screen when people wanted to talk to you when you had been idle for 5 minutes or so).

I couldn't take it anymore, I had to interject otherwise I would just look ignorant or worse still, they would draw me into the conversation at a point where it would become uncomfortable for me to back out and they would tease me about it.

"Yes, Jess and I first began chatting on MSN after my holiday to San Francisco in 2007." I said. "But what the hell is the 'Signing in and signing out' thing?" 

Curiosity got the better of me.

The two girls laughed, knowing it would send me into a frenzied rant, as most things do. The others in our group sat silently, waiting to hear.

"Come on what is it?" I persisted.

"The 'Signing in and signing out' thing is where you're already signed in, chatting to other people and you see a guy you like come online. He will obviously look down his contact list and see who is online and talk to who he wants. What I did was to sign out of messenger and then sign back in again." [Cue my long pause and thought] - What the hell for, I thought? "That way, he will see the little notification box that pops up in the bottom right hand corner, signally that I have just come online. That way he is more likely to talk to me."

To say I was thinking of the movies 'Fatal Attraction', 'Obsession' & 'Misery' while she was explaining would be pretty harsh. I was a little disturbed originally but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that this was a pretty clever tactic to get a guy to notice you. In fact, it was bordering on genius.

The good thing to add to that is that my colleague appears to know where the line is and is not hovering over it, ready to hop into the weirdo territory. As long as she stays behind it, I am happy to continue sitting next to her.

So that's the latest from me - keep checking in to see my posts and remember, if your on MSN, either remain invisible or sign out first and stay offline before JS sees you. 



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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Business | Employment | Entertainment | Environment | Humour | Just Life | Leisure | Moaning | Moans and groans | People of Kent | Work

Ticket woes aren't limited to the Olympics

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Wednesday, August 1 2012

Tickets – they seem to cause more problems than they are worth sometimes.

London 2012 Games organisers have had to admit that 67,000 seats a day have been left empty at the Olympics – equivalent to one in 10 tickets sold.

Consequently, there was a rush by LOCOG to get tickets on sale on Monday, putting another 3,800 back on the market, with a promise more will become available day by day.

Disappointingly, after taking a quick look on the Games’ ticket website today, the process to buy more tickets seems as complicated as ever. Also, many have been angered there are no box office numbers to call and that tickets can only be bought online.

Yes, tickets can be a pain, as organisers at Lounge on the Farm have found this week.

The festival at Merton Farm, near Canterbury, announced on Tuesday, July 24 that a “very limited” number of early bird tickets would become available on Friday, July 27.

Yet, six days later, they are still sending out tweets saying the £79 passes are still on sale for LOTF 2013.

Granted, these are difficult times. Everyone wants to spend their money on those extra Olympic tickets going on sale this week. Plus, we are all generally a bit skint in these times of double-dip recession.

Yet this must be a bit of a blow for the festival, which must be hoping to get as much money in the bank as possible after a relatively poorly attended event this year.

Perhaps the memories of the rain and mud has put off a number of people off for now. It’s still a bit too raw in the memory.

But if Kent music-lovers want a great festival to keep afloat in these tough times, maybe snapping up those early bird tickets might be a good idea.

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Talking of tickets, I have some pretty amazing ones for a certain show tonight.

I am not allowed to talk about it really. In honesty, I am not allowed to be there either. But the excitement is too much to not even drop a little hint.

Once a certain closing event of a certain rather big occasion has occurred, I’ll be able to write all about it.

But for now, just know that I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ll be bursting at the seams for a couple of weeks, waiting to get behind a keyboard and blurt everything out.

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A couple of weeks back, we ran a nice little piece on page three of What’s On, talking about the Red Bull Pro Nationals motorcross up at Canada Heights, near Swanley.

Thanks to our monsoon like summer, the final day had to be cancelled, as the track had become a quagmire.

Following more problems with wet weather – this time at a venue in North Yorkshire – the promoters have decided to return to Canada Heights, for a second attempt.

The racing, bouncy castles, zorbing and even Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder, arrive on Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5. Details at www.redbullpronationals.com.

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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Entertainment | Media | music | Olympics | Showbiz

The shameful Amy Winehouse haters

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Monday, July 25 2011

Not often does a life as short as Amy Winehouse's erupt such a spilling of emotion.

Like many I was not surprised but still shocked when the news broke that the 27-year-old singer had been found dead at her Camden home on Saturday afternoon.

Her later life was plagued by that very cruel "disease of addiction" described by comedian and actor Russell Brand, himself a former drug addict.

Yet I was saddened to find myself also not surprised but still shocked by the wave of comments that have been posted on the KentOnline story about the Rehab singer's demise.

"Vastly over-rated and her demise is entirely self-inflicted" read a comment from Hardly News.

"Beats me how someone with half as much talent as an everyday female pub singer got so famous" were the views of Maureen.

Someone leaving their name as Lord Sir Barry, the Pride of Kent - no doubt believing himself to be hugely funny - wrote: "The most pertinent question is thus: what has the death of a talentless, thick, smelly junkie singer, from London (albeit fake American) got to do with Kent?

"I couldn't care less about this waster popping her clogs. KoL should stick to stories about car crashes, lost cats and non-league football!"

How a fragile woman who has only just passed away in what strongly looks like hopelessly tragic circumstances can be subjected to this kind of comment is brutal.

To clear one point up, her Kent connection is admittedly not hugely strong - her London cabbie father Mitch lives in Greenhithe. Yet many people in Kent will know him and this is a story that has connected with thousands of people who live in the county, proved by the high number of comments on the story.

Yes everyone accepts that she fell into the trap of drink and drugs. It is not clever to point out that she was a recovering drug addict. It is heartless to imply that she somehow deserved death.

On the talent front, inevitably her second album Back to Black is going to become one of 'those' albums now. She had the ability to perform in the classic style of soul, R&B and even jazz but not lose that "what you looking at?" swagger of her Southgate upbringing.

The woman won five Grammys. Not the actions of "an everyday female pub singer" or someone who was "vastly over-rated."

Clearly these self-righteous, downright uncalled-for twitterings are not limited to KentOnline. Most people's views on their place in society is also widespread. Many of the comments left were respectful, which should be acknowleged.

That Amy has joined the fateful 27 Club - which includes the likes of Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin - will no doubt automatically propel her into the category of legend.

But it is nothing less than deserved. She was a huge talent who never fully reached her potential and that - regardless of how she lived her life and what contributed to her death - is a tragedy in itself.

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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Celebrities | Entertainment | Media | Showbiz | Tweeters

Local music in Kent comes under fire

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Monday, March 28 2011

A survey released today has fuelled my suspicions that people in Kent are not happy about the quality of music in the county.

According to research conducted by PRS for Music, 56 per cent of people in Kent do not believe there are enough local gigs in their area.

That puts Kent fourth on the nation's "unsatisfied" list, with only people in Derbyshire (71 per cent), Somerset (65 per cent) and Yorkshire (59 per cent) expressing more disappointment at the amount of local talent on show.

The poll of 3,000 people suggested Manchester (77 per cent) was where most people were happy with the amount of acts gigging nearby.

Perhaps this is because of its city status. Many Kent gig-goers (myself included) will admit they often jump on the train to London to catch a new band they have heard about or see a major show at the O2 Arena or Brixton Academy.

Yet even London (68 per cent) only managed fifth on the satisfaction list, behind Newcastle (77 per cent), Nottingham (73 per cent) and Lancashire (70 per cent).

At a time of year when headliners are being announced for summer festivals left right and centre, this alarm about Kent's music scene might seem unwarranted.

Yet the reality is the vast number of the major acts performing in the Garden of England each year do so on two successive weekends at the Hop Farm Music Festival and Lounge On The Farm in July.

Granted Kent has other music festivals dotted throughout the summer. Music On The Hill will host the likes of Katherine Jenkins and McFly, Bedgebury will host Simple Minds, Erasure and Sophie Ellis Bextor, while Rochester Castle will entertain Peter Andre and N-Dubz.

But aside from the festival season, visits from major music acts are generally few and far between. Looking ahead to Easter, the only major act performing is Olly Murs at Margate's Winter Gardens, who is hardly a pillar of musical innovation.

Local talent is not getting through to the major labels consistently enough, which might be making the county seem like a less attractive prospect for tour organisers.

This could be because Kent artists are not shouting about themselves enough, the quality is not there (I'm not having that) or because there are not enough adequate venues to pull in the A&R scouts from the Big Smoke.

Whatever the reason, it sounds like most of Kent's music fans are not happy bunnies.

  • Check out this week's What's On for our guide to this summer's music festival in Kent, inside your local KM Group paid-for newspaper. 

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In other exciting news, I have just joined Twitter. For anyone interested in my earth-shattering ramblings, you can follow me on @TheChrisPrice. If you are not already following What's On then a) you should be, b) you can rectify this by clicking "follow" on @kmwhatson.

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Categories: blogs and bloggers | Entertainment | Showbiz

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