Wednesday, December 31, 2008


My Fellow Thanetians,

Since thawing out from cryogenic suspension in a warehouse at Port Ramsgate in 2006, courtesy of the intermittent nature of your French power supply, I have moved among you as the man you have grown to love and trust, Mr Richard Eastcliff.

Now, with the new year approaching, the time has come for me to address you directly about the year that has passed, and the year to come. [Applause.]

2008 has been a year of massive developments. China Gateway, Thanet Earth, and the expansion of Chas 'n' Dave International Airport are just some of the achievements we can be rightly proud of. Thanks to my ground-breaking visit to China in 1972, a cucumber grown in Thanet, using no natural light or soil whatsoever, can now be whisked in luxury to Beijing in less time than it takes to grow it, allowing our Chinese friends to enjoy the true taste of Thanetian democracy with their wan ton soup. I feel certain that they will soon be voting with their feet, as they will be too busy with their hands, tucking into our delicious watery toms. [Applause.] Ha, ha, er, no, that was just my little joke there. [Laughter.]

Over the past twelve months, neglect, corruption and incompetence have grown. Yet there are many other improvements still to be made. I have personally witnessed people questioning authority, and leaking confidential tapes and documents to the press [gasps of shock and disbelief], and there are still far too many beautiful coastal areas which would benefit from a Watergate [surely 'waterfront'? - Ed.] style development. [Cries of 'Here, here'.]

Sadly many of you will, however, be facing difficult times in 2009. Your jobs will be repossessed and your homes handed over to Martian investors. The few remaining shops in your high street will almost certainly close. That is why I have taken strong measures during the year to stimulate the economy and ensure that, no matter how bad things become, no Thanetian called Richard need suffer. [Three choruses of: 'Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow!']

I feel certain that you will agree when I say that the continuing prospect of a Thanet with a tremendous great Dick in charge will give great comfort to the populace. To that end, I will be keeping my albeit rather trembly finger poised on that big red button in my office in Margate. [Rapturous applause followed by cries of '90 more years!!']

By the grace of God, and with your support, I am confident that my trusted policies of ignoring your problems, ruining your life, and destroying your future will guarantee my place in history.

May God continue to bless the United States of Thanetia.

Richard M Nixon, President

Monday, December 29, 2008

The 12 Days Of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my council gave to me:
A business park from CGP

On the second day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the third day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the fourth day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the fifth day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the sixth day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Six burnt out buildings
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the seventh day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Seven jobs at Manston
Six burnt out buildings
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the eighth day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Eight 'fucking tossers!'
Seven jobs at Manston
Six burnt out buildings
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the ninth day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Nine knackered jumbos
Eight 'fucking tossers!'
Seven jobs at Manston
Six burnt out buildings
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the tenth day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Ten greenhouses glowing
Nine knackered jumbos
Eight 'fucking tossers!'
Seven jobs at Manston
Six burnt out buildings
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the eleventh day of Christmas my council gave to me:
Eleven closed museums
Ten greenhouses glowing
Nine knackered jumbos
Eight 'fucking tossers!'
Seven jobs at Manston
Six burnt out buildings
Five gold ASBOs
Four empty eyesores
Three French markets
Two old duffers
And a business park from CGP

On the twelfth day of Christmas I moved to Brighton.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The ECR Christmas Quiz

Yes, it's that time of year again! When Thanetians settle down after scoffing the Christmas pud, skin up a Camberwell carrot and roast their nuts in front of a blazing rollercoaster with a huge helping of ECR Christmas quizzing, a tradition which has spread joy around the Ile de Thanet ever since 2006.

As usual I've based my questions on the events and people that have shaped Kent's Ramsgate Peninsula during the past year. So throw another heritage ride on the yuletide blaze, pull up some deckchairs and settle down to test your noddle with my Thanet brainteasers!



Work began on improving the streets and pavements around Margate old town. It was due to be completed 'in time for the summer season', but when did it finally get done?

A: In time for Easter
B: It ran over a bit into the summer
C: They're still working on it now

Answer: C - Get down there and grab yourself a cone hat for Christmas!


In the space of only a few hours, a developer converted this Grade II listed building in Ramsgate:


Into this:


What was the developer's name?

A: Auclair Properties
B: Bodgem and Scarper Ltd
C: Barney Rubble (Builders) Ltd

Answer: A - they have since had plans to rebuild the Marina Restaurant and add a ghastly modern block of flats round the side rejected by our beloved council (hurrah!).



An arcade burnt down on Margate seafront (natch). What was it called?

A: The Golden Arsonist
B: The Tivoli
C: Jim'll Fix Its

Answer: B - Apparently half a million quids worth of slots went up in smoke.


Take a shufti at this short clip from BoobTube:

Another Grade II listed structure, Dreamland's Scenic Railway, burning in Margate (natch). When did Kent's finest arrest the arsonists who set fire to the ride?

A: Blazing June
B: Long arm of October
C: They still haven't got a clue

Answer: C - Thus teaching property developers everywhere a very valuable lesson.



Oxford boffin turned Thanet property developer Dr Fiona Sherriff started tarting up Margate's harbour arm this month. What significant event occurred on its opening day later in the year?

A: Dr Sherriff's house was burgled and 20 Gs in cash was nicked
B: Scottish songstress Lulu was spotted shopping in one of the galleries
C: It burnt down

Answer: A - proving that you can have all the qualifications in the world, but you can still leave your wad at home on a day when you've told the whole world you're going to be somewhere else.



Our rugged council leader Sandy Beach was caught tussling again - this time in front of startled shoppers at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill outlet on Margate High Street. The contretemps was with Labour councillor Irish Johnston, but what was it over?

A: A kilt
B: A petition against the redeployment of community wardens
C: A pair of particularly natty tartan undercrackers

Answer: B - 1500 people had signed the petition which was allegedly all over the shop floor following, er, judicious democratic intervention by Our Sand and Deputy Rodge.



The 'temporary' Heras fencing finally disappeared from the cliff top here in Ramsgate's trendy East Cliff. How long had it been there?

A: Three days
B: Three months
C: Three years

Answer: A+B+C - Three years, three months and three days, to be precise.



A Tesco bag full of documents relating to the China Gateway project was discovered which suggested, contrary to what had been said publicly, that a council jolly to China had been funded by the developer rather than the Chinese. But what gifts did our Jurassic junta discuss giving their Chinese hosts?

A: TDC cufflinks
B: Glass paperweights with Thanet scene at bottom
C: Turner picture enlarged as a scroll of Margate seafront

Answer: A, B and C - other goodies in the bag included a quote for 'Shogun' or 'primo' carpets from a local shagpile emporium and a proposal to 'erect signs as you enter Thanet (saying): Welcome to Thanet, the home of Chinese Globalisation, in English and Chinese'.



Our lovely Maritime Museum here in the Ms' P was set for closure, following the withdrawal of £100,000 in grants from Thanet Council, and the failure of East Kent Maritime Trust, which ran the museum, to deliver any accounts for three years. What other use was it rumoured to be slated for?

A: Fish restaurant
B: Chinese restaurant
C: Carpet shop

Answer: A - although the rumour now is that it might be saved as a museum for the Thanet nation after all. Or that it might become a museum cum, er, fish restaurant.



At least 470 tonnes of the chemical cyclohexanone was reported to have seeped into the local water table following a leak at Fujifilm's Sericol printing ink factory. Whose FOI request outed this previously hushed-up information?

A: Bibliobloke Michael Child
B: Irritating Bloke Rick Card
C: Super-duper, all round smashing bloke Eastcliff Richard

Answer: B - thus proving the old adage that it takes a bit of irritation to produce a pearl.



Former Boomtown Rat Bob Geldof (behind the bouncer in our picture) turned on Margate's Christmas lights as penance for having called the place a dump earlier in the year. Which shop did he say they'd bought the lights from?

A: Woolies
B: Selfridges
C: Harrods

Answer: A - although plans to return them after Christmas for a refund may now require a rethink.



The lovely Brenda Blethyn was voted our Greatest Living Thanetian following the death of the former incumbent. Who was our previous GLT?

A: Counterfeiting councillor Cyril Hoser
B: Ear-lopping dauber Vincent van Gogh
C: Clanger-creating animator Oliver Postgate

Answer: C - sadly he ceased to be animated earlier in the month.

So how did you do?

0 - 4 correct answers - Gary Glitter's just moved in next door
5 - 8 correct answers - Sandy Beach does your carpets
9 - 12 correct answers - Krug and canapes at my cliff top mansion!

Right, I'm off to wrap the prezzies - Bertie the Burmese is getting a tinkly ball and a squeaky mouse this year! And may I just take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and the best of British for 2009 (you'll need it). And to those I've offended during the course of 2008 may I also say from the very bottom of my heart - tough titty. Pip pip!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Strictly Left Footed

Here's a Brucie Bonus for Christmas! Councillor Clive Hart has sent me this all-singing, all-dancing Christmas card from the Thanet Labourites! Cllr Hart says:

It's the Strictly Cliftonville West & Margate Central Formation Dance Team Christmas Special. Cllrs. Aldred, Clark, Hart, Johnston & Watkins wish all our friends over in Ramsgate a very merry Christmas!

PS: It takes a few seconds to load but it's worth the wait.

Hmmm. I wonder what I'll get from the Blue Rinsers? Dunno though. Our Sandy's handier at shaking a fist than shaking a leg!

Click here to watch Strictly Councillors Dancing

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're On The Road To Nowhere

Holy cartography! Preparing the old Priapus for a drive up the smoke yesterday, I thought I'd check the Highways Agency traffic info website for delays on the M2.

However I was rather shocked, on closer inspection, to discover that our very own, super-duper A299 doesn't get a guernsey. After all, it can't be that long since they spent squillions on dualling the Thanet Way, in preparation for the hoards of tourists using our lovely port and marina here in the Millionaires' Playground. What's worse is the A249, which goes to the Isle of Sheppey and can therefore, I presume, only be used by people with two heads driving donkey carts full of turnips to their council estates, is there in glorious Technicolor!

I was so incensed at this outrage that I immediately emailed the Highways Agency to complain. This is their response:

Dear Mr Eastcliff.

Thank you for your email to the Highways Agency. The Highways Agency is responsible for the maintenance and stewardship of motorways and trunk roads in England. A trunk road is defined as a strategic link road between two centres of significant economic importance: such as cities, ports and airports.

It has been decided that the A299 does not meet the criteria above and for this reason the A299 does not fall into our area of responsibility.

Yours sincerely.

Iain Ross, HAIL Advisor, ID External Delivery Division.

Kuh! What a diabolical liberty. It's nothing short of highway robbery!

Click here to go to Highways Agency website

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bottle And Throttle

The lovely Mrs Gaddfather of Ale has emailed me with last minute details of the Gadds brewery bash tonight. It kicks off at 7pm and includes a tour of the brewery, nibbles, a quiz and beer (natch), all for £5 a head (no charge for designated drivers). All are welcome and details of how to get to the Gadds Brewery are on their website here.

And the equally lovely Cheryl from our beloved council's press office has penned this note:

Sorry to spring this one on you guys so last minute, but anything you can do to help promote this meeting which takes place tonight would be wonderful. It's not our meeting, but it's come to our attention that there's been very little publicity of it, so we're trying to do what we can to help!

'On Friday 19 December at 6.00 pm, Matt Clarke the Chief Executive at Kent Interview
(I think they mean 'International' - Ed.) Airport is giving a public presentation about the Draft Masterplan for the airport at Newington Community Centre. All local residents are invited.

'The Draft Masterplan sets out Infratil's proposals to expand business at the airport by increasing the number of both cargo and passenger flights. After a presentation about the Masterplan contents, residents will have their questions answered about how airport growth could affect them.

'The views of the public are important. New jobs will be created, but there will be some environmental impacts. In fact the Masterplan outlines how the Airport owners will seek to control noise and manage the increase in road traffic around the airport.

'Matt Clarke said: 'It is especially useful to hear from residents living in neighbourhoods close to the airport. The meetings we have held so far in parishes and at Nethercourt were all popular and we learned a lot from the feedback.'

Many thanks for any help you can give us with this!


Quite why my council tax is being spent on publicising a meeting being held for the benefit of a private company is beyond me. Oh well, I know which bash I'll be going to! Hic!

Old Eastcliff's Thanet Almanac

Yes, it's that time of year again when I stare into my uncannily accurate crystal balls! Last year I predicted museum closures, non-spontaneous combustion in Margate, and the renaming of the island 'Hong Kong' in honour of its new Chinese owners. Pretty much a 100% hit rate! Here's what 2009 holds:

The new year will bring great gusts to the island. Thanetians will be grateful, however, as a man from the north wearing a comedy tie will create wind-related jobs in Ramsgate.

February will be a short month, and may even end after just 28 days. A former millionaire celebrity from the beautiful south of the Ile, who would ordinarily be relaxing in the Caribbean as a guest of Sir Richard Branston at this time of year, will be seen collecting barkers' nests for the fire.

Following the success of last year's Closing of The Museums, Thanetians will celebrate a new festival - The Nailing Up of the Khazis. A well known developer will accidentally-on-purpose burn down and/or demolish a listed building.

This will be the fourth month of the year. A magnificent beer festival will be held in the north of the island, bringing great wealth to local stockists of Neurofen. A fat man with grey hair and glasses will be seen campaigning for election to Ramsgate's teeny-tiny council.

A Tesco bag will be found in the wild west of the island containing three pairs of underpants, a signed photograph of Rhydian, and a quote for 3000 sq ft of shagpile.

Victorian bathing costumes will be all the rage in Broadstairs. (What's new? - Ed.)

Scheduled services to Rockall will begin from RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport.

Millions of cash-strapped British tourists will descend on Margate for their annual holidays, only to find it's been closed for the past ten years.

Thanet's foremost citizen will be celebrating his birthday by shopping at Poundstretcher this year. Please send your gift or food parcel in advance to: Richard Eastcliff, Cliff Top Mansion, Victoria Parade, Ramsgate, Kent.

Westerly autumn gales will cause a great drift of empty White Lightning, Stella and Strongbow cans to wash up on the shores of Belgium.

The island's water table will be discovered to have been polluted by a spillage of crystal meth in Cliftonville, leading to many islanders being hospitalised after becoming Barrymored. A large pall of intoxicating smoke will also hang over Ramsgate.

New, fast trains will whisk Ramsgatonians to London in less than 30 minutes. A wise but impecunious man will write another load of old cods like this. The birth of cheeses will be celebrated on the 25th.

Phew! That's enough almanac, pass the Aldi Shampagne!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OWLS About That Then?

My new chum, lovely Boredstares author Plain Jane Double-Barrelled, has sent me an invite to Murder at Christmas this Saturday.

The performance is in aid of Thanet OWLS. Nothing to do with hooters, OWLS run a volunteer staffed phone line for people who need support or someone to talk to at difficult times of their lives. As they say on their website:

Our service is completely confidential. Volunteers are available to receive telephone calls every evening from 7.00pm until 10.00pm. Callers who leave messages on our answerphone at other times will be contacted that evening by a Thanet OWLS volunteer.

We are pleased to listen to any kind of worry or problem and never consider any anxiety too large or too small, complicated or trivial.

A splendid cause then, and well worth supporting at this time of year when many of us Thanetians will be all alone in their cliff top mansions, with nothing but a Blu-Ray DVD player and 42 inch flat screen Sony for company. It's only 15 quid, so call the ticket line now: 07880 627211!

Click here to go to OWLS website
OWLS helpline: 01843 299999

Count Your Blethyns

Congratulations to the lovely Brenda Blethyn, who's topped my poll to find our Greatest Living Thanetian following the sad death of Oliver Postgate. The Golden Globe winning actress and author comes (of course) from Ramsgate, and can often be seen at local events, or just shopping for gloves, here in the Millionaires' Playground.

Brenda came in well ahead of the equally lovely Dame Tracey Emin, who would have been my choice if she wasn't from Margate. Apart from me, that is. After a record breaking 89 votes, here's how it all ended up:

Question: Who's our Greatest Living Thanetian now that Oliver Postgate has passed away?

Actress Brenda Blethyn: 31% (28 votes)
Artist Dame Tracey Emin: 24% (22 votes)
Millionaire Richard Eastcliff: 15% (14 votes)
Squillionaire Ken Wills: 10% (9 votes)
Withnail creator Bruce Robinson: 5% (5 votes)
Fat bloke Buster Bloodvessel: 5% (5 votes)
Writing genius Iain Aitch: 3% (3 votes)
Hollywood star Tom Hanks: 3% (3 votes)

Click here to find out more about Brenda Blethyn at IMDb

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pee'd Off Isle

I see the net curtains are twitching over on the seedy north of the island at the news that Gary Glitter has been spotted by a Margate bus driver. The convicted child molester was apparently looking for a flat in Cliftonville.

Still, let's face it Margate's a dump, and Dreamland's a dead, charred dog. So how much worse could it be having the world's most notorious kiddie fiddler living in the area? After all, it was actually council policy in the 80s and 90s to attract ne'er-do-wells to Thanet with its marvellous, forward thinking 'Dole by the Sea' campaign. This is nothing more than the logical conclusion!

Click here to read full story on Gazunder website
Click here to see curtains twitching

When The Boot Goes In

In my capacity as Chief Churner Out of Crap at the Ministry of Misinformation, I'm duty bound to report the latest rumour regarding the East Kent Maritime Trust, the charity that used to run our lovely museums (RIP).

If you recall, our beloved council stopped all their divvies and scuppered them after they failed to produce accounts for three years, and the question of what to do with all the artifacts, and who technically owns them, has been doing the rounds for several months, including a threat from the Preston Steam Museum to sue for the dreadful neglect to the steam tug Cervix, er, Cervia which the steam museum had placed in EKMT's 'care'. Now reader Walter of Ramsgate reports:

The rumour is EKMT has now given up and handed over all their assets to the Preston Steam Museum lot including the Sundowner (one of the Dunkirk little ships moored in the inner basin). If this is true we should be told. I have been reliably informed that a TDC solicitor was present when the dirty deed was done in London this week.

If the Preston lot take over they have not got Charity status, but I bet negotiations are taking place with TDC and the Charity Commission to apply for it. I hear that a sum of £80k goes with the settlement to the Preston three. Let's hope whatever happens that the Museum stays and the Cervia is removed, so the lock gate can be put back on Smeatons dry dock and it can be used again for what it was built for, 'repairing and building ships'.

My feelings are that the EKMT trustees knew from the start what way this was going and that they were personally liable, so did TDC.

Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser. We await the full SP with bated breath. In the meantime, here's an example of how not to preserve a piece of maritime heritage:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ramsgate Restaurant Receives Rave Review

Eat your heart out Wossie! (Whatever happened to him? - Ed.) Reader Frances has pointed me in the direction of yesterday's Sunday Torygraph and yet more proof of what I have always known, that Ramsgate is the isle's premier town. Reviewer Zoe Williams describes our very own Age and Sons as 'brilliant'! Zoe, who clearly has excellent taste, writes:

I should warn you before I start that, when a new restaurant opens in a town you visit often, in which hitherto the best boast of the restaurant circuit was 'all you can eat', you arrive with a certain intoxicated delight that nothing short of being served dog on toast is going to shift.

In the back alleys of Ramsgate is an old wine warehouse that in east London would house 75 ad execs and a clan of rats, but here has been turned into a lovely, large, inviting establishment – downstairs a bar decked out in bleached wood, upstairs a swankier restaurant, with directional halogen lighting, exposed brick, enough of a sense of quirk to have kept the building's Victorian atmosphere, but an overriding sense of hospitality. It says, 'Come in! Stay as long as you like!' Maybe you think all restaurants say that. Not in London, chum.

Quite. Another triumph for the Millionaires' Playground!

Click here to read full review in Sunday Torygraph
Click here for details of Age and Sons


What with my Twankey being cancelled this year, I must say I'm finding it hard to get into the spirit of Christmas. Still, I've put the deccies up (see profile pic). I didn't want to overdo it. After all, one doesn't want to look like a council house.

In the meantime, if you're already fed up with turkey and tinsel, here's a little antidote (it's a shoot 'em up game by the way... the clue is down the bottom there where it says: 'Play Game'):

Update: I've taken that bastard thing off as the blessed music was getting on my wick! If you're missing the crappy Christmas shoot 'em up you can still play it here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Poll Position

Yes Fannit fans! After 69 votes it's still all to play for in my ballot to see who's our Greatest Living Thanetian! With only a couple of days to run, lovely Brenda Blethyn is on top of my poll, next to Dame Tracey Emin, who's just above yours truly. So keep those votes trickling in!

And with that image firmly emblazoned in my mind's eye, I'm off to, er, father a few knuckle children.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Local Blogger Wins Lottery

Like most people reduced to an impecunious state, I'm now doing the Lotto. And so far it's paying off! For a two quid stake, I've just won £10! That's eight more pairs of Tesco bloomers! Ironically, my win was courtesy of two matched knackered old jumbos on a Quantum of Solace scratch card. I'll never complain about those blessed training flights again.

Talking of which, did anyone else spot the quote of the week in today's Gazunder? That nice young Kiwi Matt Clarke, who heads up RAF London Kent etc etc, apparently told a meeting of St Lawrence residents: 'Newer planes use less fuel and therefore omit (sic) less noise.' If that's the case, bring back the old Oasis Hong Kong gas guzzlers toute de suite, Matt! Oops, sorry, there I go again.


Being a much impoverished millionaire these days, I've had to cut down on a few things.

So recently I found myself in Wilkinsons (the horror!) buying two pairs of socks for something like 50p. I say 'socks', as that's how they were described on the pack. I think a more accurate description might have been 'foot tubes' as they lacked any sort of shape that even approximated the aforementioned epithet. Still, they did leave a two inch layer of fluff all over the old Eastcliff plates when I took them off, thus leaving the tootsies nice and warm in bed.

A much better buy were the three pairs of Tesco undercrackers I got for three quid the other day. Well elasticated, quality gusset, a snip! Well known underwear activist Jeremy Paxman should get straight over there, given his recent grumblings about M&S Grundies. Not only that, but during a telephone conversation with another Thanet blogger, it transpired he was wearing Tesco kecks too! Can you guess who it was?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Plenty Of Whine At Gazunder Xmas Party

Spare a thought for the score or so of hacks and ad execs who turned up for the Isle of Thanet Gazunder's Christmas party at the No 6 brasserie in Margate's old town this lunchtime. I'm told the poor loves had to pay for the bash themselves. 'The company wouldn't even fork out for a couple of bottles of wine,' bleated one poor staffer.

This despite the fact that the Gazunder is now owned by the Daily Mail, which specialises in rabble-rousing 'Christmas to be replaced by Winterval' stories like this:

Christmas should be downgraded in favour of festivals from other religions to improve race relations, says an explosive report. Labour's favourite think-tank says that because it would be hard to 'expunge' Christmas from the national calendar, 'even-handedness' means public organisations must start giving other religions equal footing blah blah swamped by Muslims blah

Hmm. Looks like they're doing a pretty good job of downgrading Christmas themselves, if you ask me. Profit at the Daily Mail Group Northcliffe Media division last year: £33.8m.

Going Environmental

A big, Dickie 'mwah' to all of you who've sent cards, bouquets and choccies to the old cliff top mansion during my recent infirmity. I can now assure all my fans that I'm on the mend, as evidenced by the fact that I've been sitting up and telling jokes to the nurses.

Unfortunately, though, I won't be well enough to attend tomorrow's open meeting hosted by the Campaign to Protect Rural England to discuss such threats to our Thanetian environment as RAF London Kent etc's Daft Bastard Plan, China Gateway, Thanet Earth Watery Tomato Factory and Phase 2 of the East Kent Access Road. The meeting kicks off at 7.30pm in St George's Hall in Broad Street and speakers will include Dr Caroline Lucas (Green MEP for the South East), John Stewart (Chair of AirportWatch) and Dr Hilary Newport (Director of CPRE Kent).

This meeting has already been heavily poo-pooed by a well known Tory, aviation-fuel-loving element of the Thanet blogosphere (can't think who I mean!). So it's got to be worth a look-in, surely?

Eminent Citizens

Following on from the current hunt for our Greatest Living Thanetian, regular contributor Mr Dickens of Broadstairs writes:

With Tracey Emin a candidate to replace Oliver Postgate as the GLT, has anyone else noticed the similarity between the Margate artist and one of Mr Postgate's finest creations, the Soup Dragon from the Clangers? Are they by any chance related?



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who's Our GLT?

Thanks for all your suggestions as to who is to replace the late, great, dearly departed Oliver Postgate as our Greatest Living Thanetian. As promised, I've popped another of my 7 day polls in the sidebar on the right, so get voting!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Greatest Living Thanetian Dies

How sad to hear this morning that Our Greatest Living Thanetian has passed away. Oliver Postgate, creator of Noggin The Nog, Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss and The Clangers, all filmed in a converted cow shed somewhere near Canterbury, lived in Boredstares.

The search is now on for a replacement GLT. Ken Wills, Simon Moores, Dame Tracey Emin anyone? If you'd care to make some suggestions, I'll pop one of my seven day polls in the sidebar later today. If I can get enough Lemsip Max/single malt down me, that is.

Click here to read Oliver Postgate obit on BBC website.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bad Cod

I seed to hab cud down wid a hebby cod. Add de last ding I wad do do ad de bobent is blog. Abologies do all by fans. I'll be bad as sood as I cad ged de snod oud ob by keyboard.

Id de beadtide here is someding fuddy aboud bed wid cods frod BoobTube.

Friday, December 05, 2008

100 Holes In Lancaster Gardens, Birchingtonshire

Holy holes! Here's one for Kent Highways! Following an alert from the excellent FixMyStreet website, where ordinary, council tax paying mugs like you and me can report problems to our local and county councils, I see a Mr Gavin Coles has just grumbled about well over 100 'repaired' pot holes in Lancaster Gardens on the seedy north side of the island. Mr Holes continues:

The council is constantly coming back to refill these 'repairs'. It is about time that they did the decent thing by skimming and resurfacing the entire street. Either that or they should learn how to properly repair a pothole.

Too right Mr Moles! They've probably used enough tarmac to fill the Albert Hall by now!

Click here to look into Birchington's holes on FixMyStreet

Think Of A Link

Most of us luvverly Fannit bloggers are now running a 'news feed' in the sidebar on the right of our blogs. This means that you, the reader, can bounce around the blogosphere to your heart's content, hoovering up all the latest news and gossip about Kent's Ramsgate Peninsula. It's probably the kind of joined up thinking that's got our beloved council going all trembly at the knees and appointing a Blogsniffer General.

However, some of the blogs out there aren't playing ball. I won't name names, but Thanet Life, Thanet Strife, Promote Thanet, Tim Garbutt's Blog, The Gaddfather of Ale, Maisiegrace's Weblog, and Mrs Tara Plumbing are just seven missing links that spring to mind. Now, I realise that some (Thanet Life) are just too important to muck in with the rest of us. However, others (Thanet Strife) may just be lacking the technical confidence. To whom I'd say it really is terribly easy. And if you'd like a few tips just email me. I'm not necessarily suggesting a news feed, as that may not fit in with the aesthetic qualities of your jottings. But a link to other Thanet bloggers ensures that you're not, as we say in the blogging trade, a dead end!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Santa Gord

Ordinarily at this time of year I would, of course, be rehearsing for my Big Down Under tour, or preparing to pull off my festive Twankey at the Neasden Hippodrome. Alas, however, despite many a meeting with casting directors and agents, the only shouts of 'It's behind you!' appear to be referring to my career. Yes, I'm afraid it's true dear reader. What with that, my shrunken assets, and my credit all crunched, I stand before you a much impoverished millionaire. More like a half millionaire. Or perhaps a quarter millionaire. In Zimbabwean dollars. The old ones. Before they revalued. Sniff. Er, anyhow...

So words are not enough to thank our lovely Labour government for the sackful of goodies they gave away in the Queen's speech yesterday! I need no longer worry about my cliff top mansion being repossessed, and they'll provide me with all the Krug and caviar I can quaff. All I have to do is ask! Praise the Gord! Here's what else is on the list I just posted to 'Santa, c/o 10 Downing Street':

1. Bentley Continental Flying Toss (silver)
2. Beach house in Malibu (for hob-nobbing with other celebs)
3. Mont Blanc pen to replace the one I lost in Joss Bay two years ago
4. Two hours of private shopping in Harrods
5. Perpetual free pass to the Ivy

Hurrah! I just know this is going to be the best Christmas ever!

VAT Chance Of A Xmas Prezzie From TDC?

Holy VAT inspectors! Reader Mikey has sent me a cutting from a recent edition of the Northern Echo headlined: Councils Urged To Cut Parking Fees. The story kicks off thus:

Local authorities must pass on the VAT cut announced in last week's Pre-Budget Report to help sustain small businesses and the local economy over Christmas, a business support organisation has said. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it is concerned by reports that many local authorities are not intending to pass on the 2.5 per cent VAT reduction on their parking charges.

Mikey says: 'This got me wondering whether your own beloved local authority had passed on Chancellor Darling's VAT reduction which came into force on Monday?' Hmm. Good question Mikey! A quick snoop around the Uranians' website revealed no such festive, tax-related announcement. And a check on their fees and charges showed they're still implementing 2008-9's tariff for car park season tickets, with a rather nebulous 'Charges include VAT', but no mention of a percentage. A similar perusal of CIPFA's (the leading public sector accountancy body's) website elicited little guidance for councils, in fact not much more than an announcement that the rate had dropped.

Still, I guess we have to trust that the CIPFA brains at Thanet Council know what they're doing! Meanwhile, to get us all in the spirit, here's a rather fetching festive photo of the Chancellor:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jet Set

Following last night's open meeting of the RAF London Kent Manston etc etc 'consultative' committee (where it was also announced that Flybe will running a scheduled service to the, er, exotic destination of Jersey next year), reader Steve has copied me in on this open letter to the residents of Ramsgate:

Dear Residents,

I write to you with information from the Manston Airport Consultative Committee public meeting on Tuesday 2nd December 6:30pm. The meeting I felt was key to attend, specifically as I live on the Ramsgate flight approach path and I'm very interested in developments at the airport suggested in its Draft Masterplan, published on 8th October.

For those not familiar with its content, the Masterplan predicts growth, and sets out plans to accommodate 1.2 million passengers by 2010, 2 million passengers by 2013, and eventually rising to 6 million passengers by 2033. The Masterplan also details how this will be achieved, and touches on the effect this will have on the surrounding environment. The full plan is available on the Manston Airport website.

Many facts and figures were discussed, but the points important to me and every other Ramsgate resident are obvious - increases in flights over our town will have a detrimental effect on our lives through continuous noise pollution. Flights will arrive for 70% of the time over Ramsgate, with planes only at 500ft creating noise levels of over 100 decibels for the noisiest aircraft, with the average maximum at 85 decibels. Night flights, which have increased by 518% since the current owners took ownership, will wake you from your sleep on occasions. Ramsgate Main Sands, the town centre and harbour will all suffer from increased noise levels.

This will only work to discourage visitors and new business from coming to Ramsgate. House prices will depress at a greater rate verses other parts of Thanet that are not under the flight path.

Only two members of the public attended the meeting last night. The public has until 19th December to officially respond to the Masterplan. The next step for the Masterplan is to submit a full planning application to the council, who fervently support all development up to 10 million passengers a year at Manston.

You can voice your opinion in many ways; by electronic feeback on the Manston Airport website; by writing to your local councillor (details available on TDC's website); or by writing to your local MP, Stephen Ladyman. If you think airport expansion is a bad thing for Ramsgate, you have to make your voice heard before its too late.

Kind Regards, Steve Higgins

So, if you're at all concerned, do use the links in my sidebar on the right to make your feelings known.

Click here to read Flybe story in yourfannitinnit

So Who Is The Council Blog Snooper?

Answers on an email to the address in the sidebar.

Council Appoints Blog Snooper

Holy witch hunts! According to the front page of today's excellent yourfannitinnit (available free in the corner of all your favourite local stores, usually behind the twelve boxes of Haribo etc.) the isle's fervent blogging scene is 'ruffling feathers at Thanet Council'.

Apparently the Uranians have now assigned a 'monitoring officer' to snoop on blogs, and hints have been dropped that they are hunting down a mole within their walls. There then follows a quote from yours truly which I won't bore you with here.

What seems to have upset the politburo over in Cecil Street is that, through the medium of blogs, people get to find out all sorts of things that the powers-that-be would rather keep to themselves. The council's newly-appointed blog snooper is quoted as moaning that 'Unlike the Press, blog sites are not accountable to the Press Complaints Commission'. Too flaming right! Could that possibly be because blogs are more a forum for gossip, rumour and opinion? Would anyone mistake the endless stream of drivel I pour out most days for a reputable news source that should be accountable to the PCC, Ofcom or some Director-General of the British Blogcasting Corporation? I think not.

Besides, as Blogger is hosted in the US, where freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, it'll be a very long time before they'll be allowing Thanet Council some kind of say in what gets written on these electronic pages. God bless Mom, apple pie and the American way! (And that's about the only time you'll ever hear me say that.)

As a footnote, I see the Tory councillor host of Thanet's 'Popular but beseiged™' weblog gets his two pennorth in by once again perpetuating the myth of 'defamatory and libellous comments by anonymous people'. C'mon Doc, p-l-ease! Isn't it about time you changed that particular record!

Click here to read full story in yourfannitinnit

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Final Cut?

Of no interest to hairy Sir Bob, of course, but the question of where to get the old Eastcliff barnet trimmed has yet again raised its ugly, hirsute head.

Regular readers will know that I've consistently eschewed Sweeney Todd's, next to the pie shop down the road, and initially frequented Jamie, the Harbour Barber in Margate's old town. But he packed up some time ago. More recently I discovered New Image in Ramsgate High Street, just up from the NatWest. Run by a couple of enterprising Turkish lads who relocated from Norf Lundun, they offered cut throat shaves, singeing, threading, pattern design work and all the, er, trimmings. But now they appear to have given it the chop and re-relocated back to Norf Lundun.

I guess with all this talk of credit being crunched and assets squeezed, we're likely to find our high street options ever more limited here on Kent's Ramsgate Peninsula. What with Woolies pointing its nipples skywards, the Currys/PC World/Dixons lot reporting losses, and Wilkinsons looking to shed jobs, it won't be long before there are more 'To Let' signs than shop fronts. I hear even the Build Center over at Westwood Chaos has upped sticks and scarpered.

Still, there are some optimistic souls who are starting new ventures, even in this chilly economic climate. There's a new 'girly' shop, for example, on the Margate harbour arm, and 'Mr Ferrari' is opening another branch of his successful Ramsgate caff Rokko in Margate. In fact there seem to be almost as many places opening in the Arsonists' Playground as there are closing. Perhaps with all the fires, the climate's not so chilly over there after all!