I wanted to write to complain in the strongest terms about your feeble General Election and nonexistent Town Council/District coverage for South Thanet and North Thanet.
As you know I am standing as an Independent Green to “Stop the Pollution. Stop the Corruption. Stop the Construction.” as South Thanet MP and Ramsgate directly elected Mayor.
I supplied – at your request – a 100 word summary of details of my manifesto eg close Manston, Police investigation into the removal of Manston monitors by Infratil and TDC and KCC, Thor mercury contamination etc etc.
These are also detailed in full at my website www.votegarbutt.co.uk and Twitter @timg33 and campaign leaflets – all of which I have provided to you.
I was horrified to then see in last week’s Gazette your bizarre bowdlerised version of my manifesto rewritten as:
“Key Pledge: seeking to launch investigations into various incidents of what he sees as corruption on the isle by representatives of the local authorities.”
I distance myself completely from this tripe.
Can you explain this please, as criticising or not a manifesto is part of free speech and a free press, but rewriting the thing to this vague twaddle seems to veer down the path of Pravda or Signal.
The Gazette is in danger of being a toothless tiger simply hyping the latest nonsense from TDC or the declining main parties, and the only marker of the TDC corruption being the trail of forced resignations from the Gang of Four etc, and contamination marked in the line of cancer victims and tumour sufferers at the hospital.
Some newspapers would be active in exposing these crimes. Maybe the Gazette reporters are breathing different air or drinking and bathing in different water from the rest of their readers?
It’s worth noting that TDC is highlighted as one of the worst councils in Britain by the government itself, so why you should choose to downplay the horrific corruption such as the 0% fraud of Messrs Moores and Macgonigal (the latter would even have counted the votes in the election), Pleasurama tax haven and Port £3M secrecy, or appalling Manston corporate manslaughter affecting your readers by Infratil seems unbelievable.
It’s also worth noting that I have written to you before pointing out that election coverage should cover all the candidates and fairly equally. So far we have had almost no mention of the smaller parties and full page articles only for the larger parties. All parties are equal until May 7th especially in an era of massively low turnout and tiny party memberships.
You even mention outrageous guff such as Roger Gale: “a vastly experienced MP and..something of a high flier” rather than an elderly party hack with 30 years of failure for Thanet, or even George Cunningham who is a civil servant and therefore ineligible as MP, or why our parachute candidates are now drawn to Thanet despite being Medway or Tunbridge councillors/residents?
And you refuse to question the candidates as to why Manston should reopen given its repeated failures and position on the polluted drinking water supply.
Is this an East Kent or an East German election as your reporting seems geared towards the latter?
I’ve forwarded a copy of this letter to the Press Complaint Commission and for the sake of better and more balanced coverage during a British General Election, that only happens every 5 years, politely request it could also be printed in the Gazette with an apology and my correct manifesto.
This letter is also placed on my website at www.votegarbutt.co.uk for the public to make up their own mind on my policies (they still have to wait for any of the other parties to issue their manifestos even just 30 days before the election) and your election coverage.
Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate