If I had a pound for every time a customer asked me "are you busy tonight". If you've ever done it, don't be embarrassed, its the ice breaker for your conversation with the driver. I am truly in a privileged position as a taxi driver, talking is a big a part of the job as driving. Most of the time the conversation subject is chosen by the customer, thus giving a true insight to which current affairs are more important to them at any given time. Given the huge range of people who use taxi's (age,gender,class and race), surely the taxi customer would be a useful barometer for current affairs.
If you collected a random sample of posts by Thanet blogger's over the last few months, you could be forgiven for believing that Chinagate is a somewhat important issue for local people. However the proposed business park in Manston appears not to be important (to taxi customers), apart from the growing amount of restaurants appearing and the Olympics, the Chinese are not flavour of the month.
So you may wonder (or not), what is flavour of the month? Well at the moment national issues are prevalent, price increases and the credit crunch fill most conversations during the drive across Thanet. With gas and electric price's increasing by approximately 30% over the last 9 months, you can see the genuine concern on some oap's faces, as they talk about wearing an extra cardigan this winter, because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly. The families who have already seen their shopping budgets slashed by mortgage increases, also see the contents of their baskets shrink due to grocery price increases. These are the talked about issues currently and appear to be more of a major concern than Chinagate.
It could be argued that Thanet bloggers should concentrate on local issues like Chinagate , as the national media gives extensive coverage to issues like the credit crunch. Whilst understanding that most blogs are a personal account of the bloggers life and thoughts, some blogs in Thanet appear to be in a popularity contest using promoted issues, which in reality is a thinly veiled disguise at council/councillor bashing. However these bloggers risk alienating their readers by promoting issues like Chinagate, ahead of issues that the reader considers to be more important.
Sad:- News tonight (Saturday) about a serious stabbing near Manston riding school. The victim a male in his mid 40's was assisted by a fellow cab driver, until the emergency services arrived.
Funny:- Sunday Peering over a Garden fence in Park rd, Broadstairs (because nobody answered the bell), to be confronted with the sight of a large hairy naked male cooking on the BBQ (I hope the food didn't spit hot fat).