There’s definitely something in the water …

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I’ve just been alerted to this article in the USA Today … doesn’t surprise me in the least. Write a review on TripAdvisor – get banned from Blackpool. Write a review on a magic convention – get banned from Blackpool. I wonder if the Golden Beach Hotel is one of the Blackpool magic convention’s official hotels ?

Hotel ousts couple after accusing them of writing negative TripAdvisor review

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

A British couple says they were kicked out of their hotel after the hotel manager accused them of writing a negative review on TripAdvisor and called the police.

Adrian Healey, 33, tells the Blackpool Gazette that earlier this month, he’d booked a room a hotel in the seaside resort of Blackpool, England, to take his first vacation with his girlfriend Sherrie Andrews, 33, since being diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago.

But the Golden Beach Hotel’s manager asked them to leave two days into their paid, three-night stay, they told the Gazette, adding that the manager stormed into their room, accused them of writing an online review and called the police.

TripAdvisor, by the way, says that 59% of its 167 online reviewers “do not recommend” this hotel.

“We had been there a day when they said we couldn’t get back in our rooms because they were re-carpeting, and we didn’t complain. All we asked was if we could have an extra towel,” Healey tells the paper.

“Then, on our second evening, he banged on the door and told us to get out, accusing us of writing a review on Trip Advisor, and said he would call the police,” Healey says.

“I was shocked when the police arrived, and we just agreed to leave,” Healey tells the Gazette. “We asked for a refund but the hotel refused. I think it is shocking and people need to know about this.”

Hotel management declined to comment when contacted by paper.

Blackpool police confirmed that they had been called to the Golden Beach Hotel to remove a man who had not committed a crime.

“No offence had been committed by the couple, but the manager had requested them to leave the property,” the paper quotes a police official as saying. “We advised the couple how to go about getting a refund. This is a civil matter.”

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Blackpool Ballroom Declared Unsafe

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Latest news:

Rock group, Enter Shikari, had to cancel a performance at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool on Saturday (Feb 6) due to health and safety officials deeming the venue unsafe. During the band’s soundcheck in the afternoon the officers, examining structural issues with the building, made the decision to pull the gig after pieces of the ceiling fell to the ballroom floor during a soundcheck.

Future events at Blackpool’s historic Empress Ballroom could now be in doubt following this.

Michael Williams, operations director of venue owners Leisure Parcs, said: ““We will now arrange a full structural inspection and in the meantime to avoid further disruption to clients and ticket holders, shows will be transferred to other venues.”

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Another prestigious award for Blackpool

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dhHeader Thanks to an eagle eyed reader for alerting me to another prestigious award … Europe’s dirtiest hotel goes to Blackpool ! Big congratulations … I wonder if the Grosvenor Hotel will be one of the 5 star establishments I keep hearing so much about ;-)

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Gifts !

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Custom Clothing You just have to love Xmas … some dear reader – who clearly is a great fan of Blackpool – sent me a custom made jacket ! Click to see  the enlarged pic.

I intend to wear it with pride !

And believe it or not – our little Blackpool bannings even made the official 2009 Year in Review report by Dustin Stinett … earning Mr Lever the title of  The “Neener, Neener, Neener” School of Convention Organization ;-)

2010 is already looking to be a great year …

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More entertainment

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It was all just a ‘misunderstanding’ …

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You may recall that Mr Lever announced the “FISM World Championships of Childrens Entertainers” ( without the knowledge of anyone in the FISM General Assembly )

It has now been officially confirmed ( as expected ) that no such competition exists, that there is no new ‘childrens magic’ category at FISM nor is there likely to be in the near future.

It was all just a terrible ‘misunderstanding’ on the part of Mr Lever.

Fascinating that we have so many ‘misunderstandings’ regarding so many things . . . how is it possible to create a whole new FISM contest by ‘mistake’ ?

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An impassioned plea

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It turns out someone agrees with Mr Lever’s conduct. Stephen on the Genii Forum makes an impassioned plea in Mr Lever’s defence – this time deciding to paint Mr Lever as the unwitting victim … interesting choice of strategy.

“PAUL DANIELS
As of this date, Paul is very welcome to attend FISM and all Blackpool Conventions.”

Not true. Mr Lever states: “He is not welcome in Blackpool and we will not be inviting him.We don’t want him in Blackpool, he is a has-been.”
Has this changed ? Has Derek retracted this ?

“BAN LIST
There are also numerous others who would not be welcome at the event due to their attacks against the society and its many members.”

Please explain why Alan Chester’s daughter, wife and all his staff and business associates are all banned from attending the Convention ?

“…all involved with their creation will not be issued a ticket until those websites and videos are removed. You have three years however to shut down those sites upon which you can happily purchase a ticket on the door should you wish”

Freedom of speech is protected. You may not agree with what I have to say, but I have the right to say it. Demanding censorship of the media is a slippery slope. If you have specific issue with something – you should take it up with the relevant author. Censoring any criticism or complaint of Mr Lever’s conduct seems to be a popular trend in the UK.

“all you guys have done is moan about how life is so unfair to you…”

On the contrary – we have merely exposed the practices which have been on-going in Blackpool for many years and helped ensure that they didn’t continue. If there is service to magic – that has to be it. We all seem to conveniently forget Mr Lever was well on his way to ensuring that none of his merry men on the banned list made it to Blackpool … all because he didn’t like them.

“Derek has never done that. He has never come here or posted on any internet room.”

That is quite revealing.

“He simply does his job, even while being abused.”

You make him sound like the victim here ? Shame, what a horrible experience. Where there is smoke there is fire.

“He does what he can for the benefit of magic.”

If only his motives were so pure.

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The trilogy continues …

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Just as I was beginning to think that the acclaimed FISM filmmaker had finished - up pops a surprise. There is an Episode 3 !

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The Silence is Broken

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tmnA response was finally received from Mr Lever and posted on The Magic Newswire.

Let’s specifically extract a key section:

“People banned from Blackpool will not automatically be banned from F.I.S.M. There are only about 7 people who are banned from Blackpool and these are for serious reasons such as shoplifting, abusive behaviour/drunkenness, obscenity and fly pitching.Colin Richardson was banned (since lifted) not because he was running a convention but because he posted a Carl De Rome e.mail on their forum saying that all Blackpool Magicians Club competitions were fixed. Colin refused to delete it and only removed it after receiving a letter from my solicitor. Nobody has been banned because of personal differences.Despite press headlines I did not say that Paul Daniels was banned. I said that we had not invited him for the past 15 years and we did not intend to invite him for 2012. If he wants to come and buys a registration he is quite welcome.”

Unfortunately Mr Lever is somewhat liberal with the truth.

“There are only about 7 people who are banned from Blackpool”

Not so.

“You, ***, ***, all staff and business associates of yours are all banned from attending the Convention”

The family, staff & employees of just this one person are well more than seven.It is possible that so many people have been banned that Mr Lever has lost track … but I am fairly certain tha all the family members, staff and business associates have not all been drunk, shoplifting or obscene.

“…these are for serious reasons such as shoplifting, abusive behaviour/drunkenness, obscenity and fly pitching.”

Serious reasons also include publishing a contrary opinion on The Genii Forum / Magic Newswire … despite the statement “Nobody has been banned because of personal differences.”

**”Colin Richardson was banned (since lifted)”

Not so. Colin’s ban will only be lifted if he complies with certain conditions ( which if he chooses to make them public are onerous )

“If he ( Paul Daniels ) wants to come and buys a registration he is quite welcome.”

Mr Lever stated: “He is not welcome in Blackpool …” “We don’t want him in Blackpool, he is a has-been.”

I do believe the record speaks for itself – and no amount of spin can erase the truth.

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Poof – all discussion is gone!

They certainly do things differently in the UK … a 6 page thread concerning the FISM bans & Derek Lever was mysteriously erased from the MB forum.  The reason stated:

“I am aware that one recent particular thread in this forum has become a prolonged and vindictive attack on one named specific individual – someone who is well known and holds high rank in the magic community but someone who is not a member of this site.

Although I do not wish to lend support to the actions of this individual in the petty banning and unbanning of a number of different magicians from major national conventions…”

The thread had in fact been active for a good period of time ( I must thus assume that the moderators were happy with the discussion ) and then suddenly the *entire* thread is removed because it is now considered ‘libellous’.

What is fascinating about the censorship of the thread on MB – is that rather than just ‘edit’ or remove the offending post ( which they had been doing previously as a good moderator should in order to ensure open discussion ) they erased ALL discussion on the matter as if it never happened … which I am sure is exactly what Mr Lever was hoping for. To erase any possible record of his long list of adventures. In fact – nearly every discussion concerning the issue of bannings / FISM / Blackpool on the MB website tends to get removed or shut down. Why is that ?
 
 Lest we forget – Mr Lever attempted to have Dodd Vickers censor his Magic Newswire website because he did not agree with the contents … so it seems to be a developing trend.
The mention of Mr Lever’s ‘high rank’ in the explanation may explain his militant outlook to magic ;-)
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