Bit of a gear change, as we say in the trade, but rumours are rife over on the seedy north side of the island that last week's arson attack on the Tivoli Arcade was not a random occurrence.
Her Majesty's Rozzers have confirmed that two men were seen dowsing the seafront slot palace with petrol, before setting fire to it and scarpering in a blue, D-reg Volvo, which was later found burnt out a few hundred yards away in Grosvenor Place. Ten people who were in the arcade at the time escaped with their lives, and £500,000 worth of damage was caused to gaming machines.
According to today's Thanet Times, the arcade is owned by the same firm that runs the DV8 nightclub next door. And we know that David O'Leary, the businessman who was shot dead at his home in Lydden, just outside Margate, eight weeks ago was 'known to the police' and had been involved in an altercation at DV8 that very evening. Now the local Morses are putting two and two together and coming up with 'turf wars'. Or, according to another suggestion, it could even be 'Turk wars', as rival Turkish gangs slug it out over the Margate seafront patch.
Of course, there's nothing to substantiate any of this wild speculation, and the cops have specifically denied making any link between the O'Leary shooting and the Tivoli fire. But I can't help feeling that the biggest loser in all this is poor old Margate. Already on its knees, it surely doesn't deserve to be shot in the back of the head. Then set fire to. Then pissed on to put it out. Does it?