Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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Dead tree press finally catches up with Ipswich Blogosphere: it only took them five days!

Dead tree press finally catches up with local blogs

Dead tree press finally catches up with local blogs

If there was ever an example of how the traditional print media is not able to react as quickly to current news, it is the Morning Ipswich Star. The local rag for Ipswich and Felixstowe took five days to publish a story on three Conservative councillors walking out of an Ipswich Borough Council meeting. Considering thousands of their readers are represented by these three councillors it really is quite disgraceful they did not pick up the story and publish sooner.

As I reported here on Thursday and even quicker on Wednesday by Ipswich Spy, the blogosphere told the story of Tory councillor Nadia Cenci, former Council leader Cllr Liz Harsant and Bixley councillor Richard Pope walking out of a meeting of all elected councillors in Ipswich after Cllr Pope was on the receiving end of disability slur by Labour’s Economic Development chief Cllr Carole Jones.

Only today – Monday – did the Ipswich Star catch-up. Is it political bias, incompetence or the sheer time it takes to get from story to print compared to pixel? Although I can’t see why they couldn’t publish to pixel earlier – that’s what a website is for, surely?

Or is it more to do with the fact the Ipswich Star couldn’t be bothered to send their political correspondent to a meeting of all representatives of the town’s 80,000 electors?


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Ipswich Star plays catch-up to local blogosphere

BBC beeline: Graffiti and boarded-up shops in Upper Orwell Street

BBC beeline: Graffiti and boarded-up shops in Upper Orwell Street

The Morning Ipswich Star have finally woken up to the story about how the national broadcast media portrayed Ipswich as run-down and overwhelmed by immigrants in their prime-time news bulletins covering David Cameron’s immigration speech at University Campus Suffolk on Monday.

Today, their political editor, Paul Geater, has boasted on Twitter that the Morning Ipswich Star has three pages (although most of the space is taken up by photos) dedicated to the story that Ipswich Spy and Gavin Maclure’s Musings covered extensively yesterday. I suppose that’s the problem with the dead tree press media: they can’t help but play catch-up but the Morning Ipswich Star does have a semblance of a website now so it’s not much of an excuse really.

Like all newspapers, the Morning Ipswich Star failed to credit the Ipswich Spy or Gavin Maclure’s Musings blogs for developing the story preferring to scrape a few tweets off Twitter and then – in typical deluded Star-style – did a vox pop on how wonderful everything is in Ipswich and we are the third happiest place in the world (ok, just the UK!).  The same paper then has Mr Geater write about how Ipswich is suffering a deeper recession than other places! Go figure.

You’re either in front of the blogosphere, or behind…


Labour hike up Council Tax in Ipswich

Labour increase council tax

Labour increase council tax

As Ipswich Spy reported last night and in doing so scooped the dead tree press, aka the Morning Ipswich Star, Labour run Ipswich Borough Council have decided in the worse economic times since the Great Depression to put up your Council Tax in April.

Cynically, Labour are increasing it by 1.98% because if the council increased the tax at 2% or above they are forced by legislation to hold a referendum of local taxpayers.

More money please: Labour council leader David Ellesmere

More money please: Labour council leader David Ellesmere

Labour Council Leader David Ellesmere said:

“Government funding cuts, which are far greater than originally expected, have forced us to bring in this increase to protect services for the residents who rely on them.”

What a load of rot. This is the second budget Labour have controlled since winning back power of the borough in May 2011. Last year they accepted the Coalition Government’s offer of a grant to cover a council tax freeze. The government announced in October last year they would be extending this offer for a third year but Labour would rather raid the pockets of hard-working Ipswich residents than find savings at Grafton House and decrease money given to their vested interests partners.

Good housekeeping: Tory group leader Chris Stewart

Good housekeeping: Tory group leader Chris Stewart

New Conservative group leader at the borough told Ipswich Spy:

“The net benefit of the proposed rise in council tax of 1.98% is less than 1% because of the rejection of the tax refund from the treasury. Even after the savings claimed by the administration this sort of money could be saved by some careful housekeeping. Sound management would do more to protect services and jobs in the long run.”

In short, Labour cost you more money. At least Labour council chairmen of Area Committees with their beefed up allowances won’t go without whilst low-paid local residents have to stump up more cash to fund them.