Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blowing A Gale Part Deux

Here's the next, um, thrilling instalment of that Roger Gale email! After banging on about 'probity' and responsible journalism (see item below - I mean, how dare a journalist be so impudent as to question a member's expenses!), Rodge regurgitates the email he has received from the Gazunder hack asking for clarification on some of the items he's claimed for. Here it is:

To: GALE, Roger
Subject: Expenses

Following parliament publishing MPs expenses last week we have trawled through MPs expenses and wondered if you could explain your reasons for purchasing the following items/services:

What were the 4,000 A4 posters in March 2005 for?
Is £358 a year for your website worth the money?
Why did you spend £97 on 100 Regal pens and 100 gift boxes?

Taxpayers might be interested in your reasons for spending money on the following items…

£365 on a dictation machine then following year spent £104 on cassettes
£695 on bedroom furniture
£125 on towels and bedding
£509 on decorators
£875 on a new computer system
Books - The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd , Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd, Russka by Edward Rutherfurd - 7.99 each
Oxford dictionary £36
£129.99 on a silver Olympus camera + £34.99 on a memory card
£63 in 2006 on curtains re-tailored
£549.99 on a 26" Phillips TV
£1,700 for plumbing, electrical, redecoration and installation of handrail September 2007
£50 to become a friend of the Herne Bay festival

I wondered why you went for a tape Dictaphone over a hard-drive based one? As it means extra expense on tapes?
Did you need the new bedroom furniture as your home was empty?
Why did you claim for the books you purchased?
Why did you become a friend of the Herne Bay festival and then claim it back?
How do you go about getting the best value when it comes to technology, for example £550 for a TV, £875 on a computer?

We’re running the story in this week’s
Gazette.

Isle of Thanet Gazette, Thanet Times and Thanet Adscene
Suite 1, Third Floor, Mill Lane House, Mill Lane, Margate, Kent.
CT9 1JU
Phone- 01843 578152


Tomorrow - what Roger said next!

Gale Blasts Gazunder Over Expenses Story

Holy claim sheets! It appears our Tory MP for Norf Fannit has got the right royal hump with the Gazunder over its MPs' expenses story last week. A Sarf Fannit reader who wishes to remain anonymous has sent me an email that Rodge seems to be circulating. It begins:

I have received, from a reporter acting on behalf of the editor of the Isle of Thanet Gazette, the following e-mail. My response is published beneath the e-mail and I leave it to my constituents to judge both the probity of my own actions and the probity and motives of what has hitherto been regarded as a responsible local newspaper.

For my own part I am saddened by both the tone of this approach and by the fact that the newspaper has failed to properly check its questions and assertions against facts that are in the public domain.

I regard with disdain the threat implied in the statement: 'We`re running the story in this week's
Gazette'.

Roger Gale MP
House of Commons,
25th June 2009


There's loads more, including a long list of queried expenses from the Gazunder, and Sir Roger Wind's blustery riposte. But rather than bore you to distraction in one go, I'll publish it as a partwork over the next day or two. Once you've collected all of them, there's a free duck island on offer!

Mysterious Banging

Reader Tom of Westgate writes:

Have you noticed a loud banging in the air lately? I was kept awake by it last night from about 11pm, when I first noticed it, to about 2.30am, when it seemed to stop. It was a distant thud, almost like a huge gun firing every two seconds. I tried to record it on camcorder and dictaphone but it didn’t register at all. When I first heard it it sounded like the steady beat of dance music but after a bit I noticed it hadn’t changed.

I opened the window and listened and it was like the very ground was shaking with each strike, shuddering like the T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park. I am totally perplexed. The only thing I could think it might be was the boats that are doing the wind farm, doing the foundations. It seemed to be emanating from the direction of the sea but then again, would they do all that late at night? Perhaps it’s just a phenomenon up on the north side of the isle.

Any ideas? It was driving me to distraction last night and I want to know if anyone else heard it. I asked my flatmates this morning but they looked at me like I was mad. They probably don’t have trouble sleeping like me.


Hmmm. A mysterious, regular nighttime banging that shakes the whole room. What on earth could it be? Over to you luvvly readers!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Get Carter!

News that the ruddy-faced leader of Kent County Council couldn't even be bothered to turn up to Friday's airport meeting just goes to demonstrate the contempt and ignorance the Maidstone Tories have when it comes to our septic isle.

This is the man whose grasp of his county's geography is so good that his fondest quote is that planes from Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport 'fly straight out to sea'. The meeting had been specially arranged around his diary, and around 150 people attended, most of whom were relishing the opportunity to point out that there is a splendid Victorian seaside town of 40,000 right under the flightpath. And maybe question why he had voted himself an 8% increase in his expenses the day before. Admittedly there was the odd lunatic fringe member, like Ramsgate First's Gerry O'Donnell who seems to think a jumbo flying a few hundred feet every five minutes over his East Cliff kiosk would be good for business. Oh, and the Thanet Tories' Labour poodle, Mike Harrison, head of the Airport Working Group, who by his own admission is 'not the brightest person' (why do you think you got the job, Mike?). But they were heavily outnumbered.

Fortunately a motion was carried to report the Tory twonk to the Standards people. One man, Ron Blay, unfurled a banner saying 'No night flights, no training flights', and several people seemed to be having stand up rows with the airport's Kiwi boss Matt Clarke. Oh I do like a bunfight!

Carter the farter in yourfannitinnit
Sign the petition against night flights

Sunday, June 28, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's East of the Wantsum (click on image to enlarge). Given the scorchio weather this weekend, and another massive fire in Margate, it's pretty timely if you ask me! It was like the Costa del Ramsgate here on the beach yesterday, with our clapped out Royal Pavilion and miles of Pleasurama hoarding gleaming in the sun, and giving the whole place a positively Monte Carlo air!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Forecaster Gets It Right For A Change

In amongst all the Wacko Deado media frenzy of the last twelve hours, you may have missed Radio 4 weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker forecasting 'muddy shite' for Glastonbury today. If so, here it is again in all its glory:

Sandy Talks Out Of His Binhole

Our beloved leader Sandy Beach is spouting off about the deplorable state of our streets in today's Isle of Thanet Gazunder. Not that in his blinkered, cosy little wall-to-wall-carpeted world he could possibly imagine anything's wrong. No. Not our Sandy.

Following last week's front page headline 'Rubbish Ghettos', Sandy says: 'I thought it was one of the most negative and inaccurate (headlines) I have ever read'. The Tory Commissar then dons his rose-tinted D&Gs and spouts forth about how everything 'looked great' when he toured the isle with Gazunder reporter Saul Leese this week. Really Sandy? Everything 'looks great' does it?

Well tell that to the frail little old ladies who I witnessed trying to negotiate the landfill of crap that is Augusta Road, while I was on my way to buy this week's paper. One of them, sporting (if that's the right word) a zimmer frame, was discussing with her friend how best to get past the mountain of dirty nappies, Stella cans and food waste that was spewed all over the pavement. Evidently they were on their way from the sheltered flats on the corner of Wellington Crescent and Disgusta Road into town to do some shopping. Eventually they gingerly stepped into the road where they were narrowly missed by a car. I could publish a picture of the mess, but to be honest it would be the same as the one I published more than two years ago. Since when you've done cock-all about the problem, presumably because there are no Tory votes in this area.

So, Sandy, instead of blaming the seagulls, or the residents who pay your ludicrous expenses, why not look at your administration and see where it is failing? There are thousands of wheelie bins lying idle down at the port. People are quoted in this week's paper as saying they'd even pay for wheelie bins. And if some areas aren't suitable for wheelies, then introduce continental style communal bins at the end of each street. If not, perhaps you could give us one good reason why we shouldn't bag you up and put you out for the birds!

Thriller Iller Than Previously Thought

In Memoriam
Michael Jackson
Black (and white) minstrel


So farewell
Then, Michael Jackson.

You were a fan
Of plastic surgery
Chimps and
Small children.

They called you
'Wacko Jacko'.
And you were
Famous for
Doing the moonwalk.
But not in a
Neil Armstrong
Kind of way.

Still, death comes
To us all.
And not even you
Could beat it.

E. C. Richard (29)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Night Flights? No Thanks!

I’m not one of those lentil-munching, boggle-eyed green types who go around in their hand-loomed, organic hemp undercrackers protesting against anything with an exhaust pipe. But I do take offence at the Cecil Square duffers paving the way for Manston's Kiwi owners to fly crappy old freight planes over my bonce every hour of the day or night.

Tomorrow night Paul Carter, that ruddy-faced Tory who heads up Kent County Council, will be over at Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport, meeting the airport consultative committee. This is the man who thinks planes from Manston 'fly straight out over the sea'. For the head of Kent County Council he shows a woeful ignorance of his county's geography, and Ramsgate's position therein. He's also fond of saying Manston has the lonegest runway in the UK. Wrong again, beetroot head! It's the 14th longest.

Now, this is going to be a public meeting and it'll be well worth attending, if only to witness the hypocrisy of airport-loving Bignews Tony bowling girlie underarms to a man that he bodylines most days. But the main thing is, if you don't want gaffer-taped old Ghanaian 747s full of rotting bananas stuffed with hookie ciggies blasting the tiles off your roof at 3am as they creak and groan their way into what could well be their final resting place, get along to the meeting and make your views known. It's at 7pm tomorrow (Friday) evening, in the airport departure lounge.

And to all those (three or maybe four) people who think flying planes at night over a Victorian seaside town with more listed buildings than Bath is a really, really good idea, I have this to say. 95 people have so far signed the petition against night flights. But before you crap on about how miniscule you think that number is, do take a look at the Downing Street website. There you'll find a petition imploring Our Gordon Master to expand the airport, created by one Connor Gower. Connor, it would appear, is in Year 9 at Sir Roger Manwood's school in Sandwich. His petition ran for six months. Six months in which all the hundreds of thousands of people who supposedly support an expanded airport could have stopped being the joystick jockeys' 'silent majority' and put their hand up to be counted. And how many signatures did Connor collect?

Eight. Including his own.

Sign the petition against night flights
Only eight people voted for Manston expansion
Manston expansionist competes in schools maths competition
Bignews Margate blasts KCC redhead

Thought For Food

Despite what many were clearly hoping (if the emails are to be believed) I was not the poor soul who went over the cliff at Wellington Crescent the other night. I am still among you. It's nice to know I have so many, er, ill-wishers though.

Sticking with the subject of the last item - grub - I've received a request from the owner of the new caff on Margate's Harbour Arm (or 'pier' in old money) to be added to the list of recommended nosheries in my sidebar on the right. Jean writes:

Dear Eastcliff Richard,

Can I join the listings for your café/eating section? How do I go about it?

I have opened a small café on the Harbour Arm in Margate called BeBeached and have attached a copy of the menu herewith – this is an all day brunch menu and I also always have specials running – things like pies, macaroni cheese, stuffed aubergines, beef hash, boston baked beans with potato cakes, and on Sundays we have meat from Quex farm, nut roast, and other vegetarian options.

Hope to hear back,

Jean


Well that all sounds very yummy Jean! And the menu looks fantastic, although you might want to cut back slightly on the drizzleds, sprinkleds and, um, 'trickled's. However, before it can be recommended by Thanet's premier blog, I need some feedback. So if any of you luvvly readers out there can vouch for BeBeached, do let me know!

BeBeached website

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dine And Whine

Regular contributor Samantha writes:

We went to Harveys Fish Market, the new restaurant on Ramsgate Harbour last night. It's beautifully kitted out but a bit pricey for Ramsgate I feel. It was interesting to see the rather posh barman (he's their wine-buyer, apparently) turning away drinkers with a polite 'We're a restaurant not a pub'. The finish of the venue looks good but will Thanet folk pay £13 (minimum) for a main course with at least £3 for any side orders? My risotto, whilst nice, was literally three dessert spoonfuls with two lettuce leaves.

If Ramsgate is the 'new millionaires' playground'
[Yes it is - Ed] perhaps it'll succeed but at the moment... Mind you, it's owned by the same guy who owns the Blazing Donkey where the lunch bill for a very modest meal was so ridiculous we never went back!! I asked for a starter to be a main and you should have seen the size of the portion - you needed a magnifying glass to spot it!!

If you give it a whirl do let me know. I want these new places to succeed otherwise it'll only be Thorley's that'll be left.

PS: Didn't realise the place on the harbour had gone as the advertising boards are still in situ but there seems to be a 'for sale' sign on the building. Didn't walk the whole way as it looked empty.


Well, that's one review of the new plaice place. I'll hang fire for further reports before I consider it for my Recommended Thanet Nosheries in the sidebar on the right. And yes, the caff at the end of the east pier is no more. It was called the Harbour Lights, but they went out a few months back I gather.

Plaque Remover

Nothing to do with the old Eastcliff gnashers this. No, toddling along the front during my constitutional this morning, I noticed this empty space where there used to be a commemorative plaque on the East Cliff chine. I seem to recall it was dated 1926, which was presumably when the decorative rocks were erected that give the place its oh-so-Dorset feel.

I'd like to think that the Borough's Director of Works has removed it for restoration, but that's just me and my little fantasy island that I live in. It's much more likely that the skinny bloke in the white van who goes around nicking any piece of spare metal from people's gardens has half-inched the thing, and that it's being melted down at this very moment to make the bronze medals that our plucky British sportsmen and women will be hoovering up in 2012!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

£38,786.29 The Pair!

And a right pair they are too, if you ask me. Yes, £38,786.29 is the amount claimed by Sandy Beach and Deputy Rodge from the council in expenses last year. Just imagine how many wheelie bins we could have had for that. And the wheelie bins would almost certainly have done a better job!

It's quite incredible that the Tory leader and deputy leader could rack up nearly £40K in the pursuit of pottering around our lovely island (because, of course, as we all know following last year's Tesco bag revelations, their sightseeing jaunts to more exotic climes like China tend to be freebies from local developers). But there it is.

Our councillor's expenses were published by TDC in the Thanet Extra classifieds last week, but not in any other papers I clapped my minces on. So in the interest of public interest, here's the list in full (click the image to enlarge):

Monday, June 22, 2009

Poop Deck

Avast behind! Or at least it must have been a pretty substantial botty that produced this eurgh that's floating around our magnificent Royal Harbour here in the Millionaires' Playground. It's enough to make me hang up my brass-buttoned blazer and captain's cap. Yep, I've decided. The deck shoes are going back in the wardrobe, and I'll be returning my Rolex Oyster (Whitstable Edition) to Hiltons toute de suite!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ramsgate's Bog Event

I'm referring, of course, to yet another public khazi closed due to cutbacks by our incompetent council. This now-inconvenient convenience stands at the eastern end of the, er, leisure facility known as the Never-Ending Pleasurama Eyesore, just before you get to the Car Park Of Fun. Further along, you can marvel at the Demolished Grade II Listed Marina Restaurant, and then proceed to the EU-Funded Dogging Facility That Used To Be A Magnificent Swimming Pool. I'll add this one to the definitive done-for dunnie list I'm compiling, which I'll publish next week.

Meanwhile it's heartwarming to know that an estimated £100,000 of your hard-earned sovs have been spent this weekend staging an exhibition of joystick jockeys flying round in circles over at Palm Bay. Margate's Big Event has had the presumably unintended consequence of dragging most of the people who would have been spending dosh on the island's towns and beaches to a windswept, roped off area of clifftop grassland. Where they will instead spend their money with burger vendors from Neasden and hot cock roll sellers from Sevenoaks.

Of course, I much prefer the thrill of seeing a Lancaster circling our island, or the sight of a Typhoon at full throttle, to the usual knackered old crates that blight the place. And presumably some cash will have been generated through landing fees at Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport, unless they used Sarfend. Which fees will naturally return to the local economy... of Wellington, New Zealand!

Friday, June 19, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's East of the Wantsum. Click on it to get the bigger picture.

Now, last week I had some unsolicited advice and crappy comments from various anonymous numbskulls, the most laughable being 'Stick to what you're good at'. Really, how would you know what I'm good at? And how would we know that you're good at anything whatsoever? Anyhow, it all got a bit messy.

I'm nipping out now for a few glasses of Krug with one of my millionaire chums, so do play nicely. I don't want to have to throw my toys out of the pram again when I get back!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

News Rubble

Four piles of news to report:

BONG! It seems our beloved council's planning department has actually refused Auclair Properties permission to rebuild our Grade II listed Marina Restaurant, which they so carelessly demolished 500 days ago.

At the time there were mutterings about prosecuting them unless they put it back together brick by brick. But due to the current state of the property market Auclair claimed that would be uneconomical without an 'enabling development', viz a carbuncle of 'luxury flats' welded to the side. According to my chum Bertie Biggles, the council has now grown a shiny set of Gordon Ramsay style testicles and told them to stick their carbuncle where the sun don't shine! Hurrah!

BONG! The super-duper, 800mph trains that will whisk Londoners to and from the Millionaires' Playground in under 15 minutes have begun regular services between Ashford and St Pancras. The limited service is in preparation for the real deal - Ramsgate to St Pancras - in December. No wonder fine restaurants and snazzy boutiques are opening up daily here in the Cannes of Kent! Here's a glimpse of one of the 3000mph trains on a test run out of Ramsgate:


BONG! The Met Office forecasts our lovely tip of Kent could well be a sizzling 56 degrees centigrade by summer 2080 due to global warming. By then it'll definitely be time to break out the parasols and pinas, as Ramsgate basks in Mediterranean sun while Marbella burns to a crisp! Mind you, I'm not sure Kaddy Tea-Pot and the rest of the weather chaps have perfected the five day forecast yet, let alone the 72 year one!

BONG! And finally, who's this doing a Judith Chalmers impersonation on behalf of Thanet Council?


And there was me thinking Smell the Profit was a stinker! 'Ramsgate is easily accessible by car, boat train or plane. European flights are available into Thanet's own Manston Airport.' Actually it was only Jersey the last time I looked, luv!

More Drama!

News that there may be some sort of film crew on the island has made the old Eastcliff lugholes prick up! Apparently ITV1 [What that? - Ed.] are shooting a drama over on the seedy north side. Grubby north island inhabitant Gerry writes:

Dear Dick,

I was out on my velocipede this morning cycling along the promenade at Westgate-sur-Mere (home of all good local politicians) and noticed a number of film unit type people hanging around in groups. I thought at first they were drug addicts or on day release from prison, it's so hard to spot the difference.

Anyhow I thought since you prefer to imagine the north side doesn't even exist I'd take a look at the Doc's blog as he prefers to imagine the south side doesn't exist. Brilliant, something there but it only left me confused as in the comments he refers to 'the earlier story below about the production' - errrrrrr where? I'm confused as much about that as I am with Tory party policy.

One of the trailers where the stars live between scenes (you must have your own I'd imagine) had the name Louise Pennell on it. Who? And does she put out?

PS: I have come home to get my beret, sunglasses and packet of jazz cigarettes to return to the 'set' and see if I can break into the industry. Tally ho.

Er, good luck with that Gerry. Apparently this is all something to do with Lynda La Plante (see linkie below). And Louise? Well I'm not normally one to kiss and tell, but I did do it doggy style with her round the back of the 007 stage at Pinewood a few years back, during which, I might modestly add, she squealed like a stuck pig. Hmm. Maybe I should trot over to Westgate and, er, reintroduce myself!

Simes on Lynda La Plante

Simes on Westgate 'like the south of France' (as if!)

Expenses

Sitting here diddling filling out my expenses for Smell the Profit, I thought I'd see if I could pick up any tips from my local MPs. As you probably know, our democratic representatives' claims were published online today, but with all the juicy bits censored.

Now, this is not meant in any way to be a slur on Dr Ladyman or Sir Roger, both of whom are generally regarded as good constituency MPs. Yes, Roger does have some bonkers idea about building a train station at Manston to serve fewer than 12,000 passengers a year. And then there was that iffy £25K donation from the China Gateway people to Ladychap's South Thanet Labour lot. But nobody's perfect (present company excepted).

A quick trawl through the Gale books elicited piles of bills for BT, Vodafone, postage, food... all the usual stuff really. I'm not sure I'd be able to get away with fitted bedroom wardrobes, though, or nearly £3,000 for a website. Let alone £300 for the annual use of Birchington Methodist Church's car park and £60 for advertising in the local parish magazine. And £340 for a bust dunnie. Still, it's my £137,337 and he can do what he likes with it I suppose.

Moving on to Our Steve, he frequently tells us he publishes his expenses on his website, although I'm buggered if I could find them there earlier. His 2007-8 claims also cover the normal-for-an-MP costs like, er, mortgage, utilities, council tax, insurance and publicity, including £300 for a half page appearance in Ramsgate FC's footie programmes. Indeed, he seems to have spent a remarkably similar amount to Roger - £137,559. If I was a cynical sort, I might even imagine these MP chaps were putting in claims based on some kind of mythical annual 'allowance' rather than actual expenditure. A monthly claim for precisely 250 quidsworth of petty cash from Steve does nothing to dispel that notion.

Hmm. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to stiff the Polish Cheese Board with any of that lot. But then the old Eastcliff fridge is currently stocked to the rafters with Oscypek so there's always a silver, if somewhat whiffy, lining!

Roger's expenses
Steve's expenses

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Who Is The Tallest Celebrity Of Them All?

I'm indebted to the Gazunder's intrepid, investigative reporter Thom Morris for pointing me in the direction of the Drinkstuff website, where he wanted me to purchase a lifesize replica of a Tyrannosuarus Rex for him. A mere snip at £28,950.63. Sorry Thom, I'm a bit short of folding at the moment, having spent most of my capital on my latest blockbuster - Smell the Profit for the Polish Cheese Board.

It's an interesting site, though, where you can buy everything from a set of Homer Simpson fairy lights for your PC, to a 'Moaner Lisa' Orgasmic Bottle Opener. As a sleb of some standing, who spends many a happy hour staring at his own reflection, the Who Tall Are You? Mirror particularly caught my eye, as did the chirpy salesmanship of the blurb:

If standard mirrors are looking a bit stale to you these days [Um...] and the simple image of your reflection has lost the fun factor, [Can't say it has, actually] then get your home equipped with something a little bit more fun! [Er, righto!]

Exactly who tall are you? Which celebrities do you measure up to? This portrait mirror from Suck UK features 120 famous names for you to measure yourself against! With names as varied as Jennifer Lopez, Mother Teresa, David Hasslehoff and Gary Coleman, you will have hours of fun measuring your friends and family to see who matches who!
[And presumably if you don't have any friends or family, you could just bend your knees up and down a bit, thrilling at the sight of being diddy Bruce Lee one moment, and Amazonian Anne Donovan the next.]

Er, yes. Hours and hours and hours of, um, fun. As you can see from the photo, the luvvly lady standing in the graffitied public khazi, who is clearly coming towards the, er, end of her hours of fun, has discovered to her evident delight that she is the same height as Tom Baker, who in turn is the same height as Snoop Dogg. Six foot three. Yes. Hours of fun, that.

Celeb-o-mirror
Lifesize T Rex

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Anonymous Blogger Outed By High Court

Yikes! I see an anonymous blogger has been unmasked following the failure of the High Court to uphold his plea that his anonymity be preserved as a matter of 'public interest'. Lawyers for The Times argued that it was more publicly interesting to name him as Det Con Richard Horton.

His blog, Night Jack - An English Detective, was meant to be an insight into Her Majesty's Lancashire Testicle Jugglers, but once named and shamed they disciplined him. Leading the defence, his brief said: 'Thousands of people who communicated via the internet under a cloak of anonymity would be 'horrified' to think the law would do nothing to protect their identities if someone carried out the necessary detective work to unmask them.'

But Lord Justice Cocklecarrot, presiding, countered with: 'When making a judgement as to the value of comments made about police affairs by 'insiders', it may sometimes help to know how experienced or senior the commentator is.'

Given that many people in Thanet (step forward Cllr/Dr Biggles) have tried to hunt me down like a dog over the past three or more years, it's a sobering thought. Which is why I've written this as a precaution for later tonight, after I've had yet another skinful of the Gaddfather's finest!

Anonymous blogger no longer anonymous
Anonymous blogger no longer blogging

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tiny Council Gets Big Mayor


Yes, it's official! The new Mayor of Ramsgate is [drum roll]..... car-crushing, caff-crushing councillor Dave Green! [Applause, cheers, general adulation]. I know this because it's in the excellent yourfannitinnit. Ralph 'Mr Ramsgate' Hoult was elected deputy, meaning the Tories were totally hung out to dry. Hurrah!

However, I was cavorting in the VIP pen with the stars of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at the Odeon Leicester Square when the white smoke rose from Albion House. Boy, what a movie! But why were we made to tread blue carpet rather than red? Methinks the Brent Carpet Company tripped up, so I had a word and I wouldn't like to say anything but I rather expect somebody in Northdown Road to be getting a call in the morning if you catch my drift!

More mayor news in yourfannitinnit

Transformers 2 trailer on BoobTube

Ferry Sad News

Time to bid goodbye to the sight of this ferry plying our waters, I'm afraid. My spy writes:

Just to inform you that TEF's ferry the Primrose has received a sternramp for her charter between Spain and Morroco. She will be chartered for 3 months and is expected to do her first sailing for a company called COMARIT on 22 June. She also recieved additional cabins and Pullman seats.

Its highly unlikely she will ever return to Ramsgate. Her first appearance was in 1994 when she was chartered to Sally Line for the Dunkirk route due to a fire on board the Sally Star. She then operated for Ostend lines as a spare vessel. In 1998 she was sold to Denval marine and chartered to their ferry division, TEF.


So, one down and, what, five to go? Meanwhile, six months after our MP trumpeted the thing, there's still no real indication that the new Euroferries fast cat is doing anything other than stalking the Canaries!

Dated Primrose info on Wikipedia

Sunday, June 14, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Yet again I'm late putting up this week's East of the Wantsum (click on the image to enlarge). But then I have an excuse. The promotional epic I'm currently working on - Smell the Profit for the Polish Cheese Board - is not going well. Despite pulling an all-nighter in the edit suite, it still sounds like their president is admonishing the viewers to treat their gussets by handing round the cheesy Polish nipples.

I have a horrible feeling that, no matter how much I polish this Polish turd, the stench is going to haunt me for the rest of my life.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Council's Load Of Rubbish

Reader Ernie from Newington writes:

Hello. On Wednesday after leaving the doctors in Dumpton Park Drive I thought it would be nice to walk down to the sea front via Bellevue Rd. As I got to Arklow Square the druggies were waiting for their supplier to arrive (nothing new there), it was then that I noticed the mess that was strewn across the road. Almost without exception every bin bag had been SEAGULLED.

When I then looked along Augusta Road it was just the same. Good job the B&Bs have gone. I had to return to the doc's at tea time, got off the bus in Plains of Waterloo. Yes the bin bags had gone but the CRAP was still all over the road and pavements. I live on the Newington Estate and the road sweepers follow the bin men. Yes we do have wheelie bins but the spillage is cleaned up.

I thought you would like to know that us from up here in the 'jungle' do notice things, and I did call TDC. And I like to read your blog. Regards, Ernie.


Well Ernie, I can vouch for the fact that the East Cliff is looking decidedly grimy these days, following the decision by numb-nuts at the council to withdraw weekly sweeping, and to refuse wheelie bins for the refuse. You might like to know, however, that not all the B&Bs have gone. In fact the Glendevon in Truro Road is rated the best B&B on the island according to TripAdvisor! Quite what visitors make of the soiled nappies and crushed Stella cans lining the street, heaven knows.

As an illustration of just how crap the, er, crap looks, I've plucked this snap off the excellent FixMyStreet website, where you can complain to TDC to your heart's content!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't Call Me Shirley

Lorks! What with Councillor/Doctor Biggles' recent obsession with Romans and gladiators, and his ongoing interest in flying, I'm beginning to wonder whether he's not positioning himself for the part of Captain Clarence Oveur in some putative remake of Airplane!

Update: Our Simes now appears to have a bee in his helmet about something in today's Gazunder, and is threatening to do a tug over the paper's offices if they don't print the truth. Hold the inside middle page!

Ramsgate Rated As Staycation Destination

As we all know, staying in the UK is the new going abroad this year, so I was chuffed to see the Millionaires' Playground given a rave review on the influential Have A Lovely Time blog this week.

The blog describes itself as encompassing 'holiday and activity reports - by parents for parents', and their correspondent Alice Castle, taking her cue from me (natch), dubs our island 'the new Riviera'. Staying in a rented cottage in Ramsgate for four days with her two girls, Alice waxes lyrical about being only two minutes from Waitrose, the 'pretty town centre' and Peter's Fish Factory. Unfortunately she then takes a wrong turn and ends up going to the Dickens House Museum and Morellis in 'Margate', but then it's an easy mistake to make.

So the next time our council duffers tell you the bucket and spade holiday is dead, and that we must now make our way in the world by assembling Chinese tut and disassembling dumped old DC10s, point them in Alice's direction. And as a little reminder of just how your council has let you down in the last 20 years, here's a montage from the Jolly Boy's Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses, filmed in Margate in 1989. Watch it, count all the things that have been bulldozed or burnt down, and weep!

Madeira Fake?

Reader Frank from Ramsgate writes:

I see that our 'Mediterranean style Madeira Falls' are back in action. As you reported last month, the council put up a notice saying that 'work was being undertaken to infill any cracks in the pulhamite rocks with specialist sands and material to match the original render provided in the 19th Century.'

True to their word, the work has been carried out in the timescale they mentioned, but am I the only one who thinks they may have used fibreglass rather than 'specialist sands and material to match the original render provided in the 19th Century'? It may be that the work needs to age into its setting, but it certainly doesn't match the original pulhamite at the moment and looks very yellow. I will disobey orders one night soon and investigate. Will let you know the upshot.


Well Frank, I have indeed noticed that the feature looks very different, and look forward to hearing the results of your investigation. Meanwhile, the Festival of Britain fountain on our trendy East Cliff is still as dry as the Kalahari, as it has been for months!

Festival of Britain fountain: dry as a nun's nasty

Tomato Catch-Up

I take it all back. Sitting here in one of Soho's finest edit facilities, slaving over my latest directorial masterpiece (Smell The Profit for the Polish Cheese Board), I ordered my usual lunch of tricolore salad from Ed the runner. Afterwards I commented how tasty his toms were.

'They're from your part of the world,' he replied. And sure enough, he whipped out the above packet from the kitchen area. I must say, every bite was like a little burst of Thanet sunshine exploding in the old Eastcliff bouche! Never again will I moan about 'watery toms' and 'battery-farmed vegetables'.

Still, I did make sure Ed had washed them throughly before preparing lunch. After all, you never know who might have picked them!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Politics And Bad Eggs


The news that racist scumbag Nick Griffin, the British Nazi Party leader, was pelted with eggs outside parliament today warmed the old Eastcliff cockles. However, I see Dr Biggles has leapt to his defence over on his 'Popular But Beseiged™' blog Thanet Life. Comparing the incident to the Roman Empire or something, Cllr Moores writes:

Nick Griffin should be allowed to speak unhindered by egg-throwing and placard wielding demonstrators from the UAF. After all, he will argue that we allow other small extremist groups to march unhindered through our streets, calling for the murder of our own soldiers or Holocaust Denial. By preventing his democratic rights as an elected MEP - no matter our own personal thoughts - we risk provoking the growth of the very extremism that politicians of all parties and their supporters should be working tirelessly to avoid.

Well excuse me, Dr M, but we're talking here about the Nick Griffin who, at his 1998 trial for inciting racial hatred, uttered this in his defence:

I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that six million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also once held that the world is flat ... I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria.

So I really think he does deserve to be called names and have eggs thrown at him at every opportunity. And, y'know, when John Prescott had an egg hurled at him during the 2001 election campaign, I'm willing to bet the good Tory doctor didn't start banging on about 'Roman Tribunes' and 'democratic rights'! No, he probably had a jolly good laugh like the rest of us. Oh the hypocrisy!

Local councillor defends BNP's 'democratic rights'
John Prescott gets egg on face

I Won't Be Back

Seeing as the rash is clearing up nicely, I thought I'd risk an outing in the G-Wiz to Westwood Vue last night. Given all the publicity surrounding Christian Bale's luvvyfit during the making of the film, I assumed there'd be some top method acting, characterisation, plot, story... y'know, all the things that go to make up a good movie.

Sadly I was very much mistaken. Despite some effective sci-fi action sequences, the whole edifice deteriorates into a 'what shall we do now?' shambles of bullets and explosions, culminating in a fleeting glimpse of the Governor of California, topped off by a truly desperate attempt to justify a sequel. There's nothing in this sorry effort that even echoes the novelty, wit and suspense of the original Terminator series.

So honestly, do not risk permanent hearing impairment by seeing this film. Despite inserting the F1 grade earplugs I wear for outings on the old throbber, I'm still deaf this morning. Worse still, Westwood Vue managed to cock up the first five minutes of the film, resulting in sound but no picture. When they finally managed to restart it, they didn't start it at the beginning. Oh no, they started it about five minutes in, missing out one of the few key plot moments. In the words of Bale himself: 'What the f*ck are you doing? Are you professional or what?!!!?' Hasta la vista, baby!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Bangers And Rash

To the excellent Bucket and Spade Run this afternoon, which was held on Government Acre here in the Millionaires' Playground. The B&S is an annual ghost of Ramsgate's proud motoring heritage, which more or less finally carked it when the Motor Museum closed a few years ago. Indeed, if one were to delve further back into the mists of time, you'd find tales of speed trials being held on the Western Undercliff. Yep, thems were the days.

Forutnately the sun shone on the petrolheads and a splendid time was had by all. Congrats to the Ramsgate Old Motor and Cycle Club who put on the event.

Of course, I exhibited the new G-Wiz. But I have to say there wasn't a lot of interest. And now I find the rather cheap plastic seats in the thing have brought the old Eastcliff derriere out in a plague of pimples. Fortunately I'm smarter than the average Thanetian and can therefore find my arse with both, or if push comes to shove, one hand. So while I go and rub on the ointment, here are some more piccies of marvellous old jalopies.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Lumme! In all that election kerfuffle yesterday I clean forgot to put up East of the Wantsum. A particularly topical number this week, if I say so myself. Which I do. As ever, click on the image to read the small print.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Blue Is The Colour

In the county council elections, that is. The duffers will be running the county for another four years. I'm off to open a vein.

Update: Green (LAB) and Kirby (CON) elected to KCC in Ramsgate. Biggest loser was the racist from the BNP, with Gerry O'Ramsgate second last.

Update: Ramsgate's teeny-tiny council has no single party in control. 7 CON, 7 LAB (including car-crushing councillor Dave Green, hurrah!), and two independents - Ralph 'Mr Ramsgate' Hoult and Gerry 'Ramsgate First' O'Donnell. Click here for full results.

Click here for KCC's results map. However it crashed under the strain this afternoon. Piss-ups, breweries, etc etc

Thanet Earth Leaves Bad Taste In Mouth

This new G-Swiz I'm 'driving' isn't a patch on the old Toyota Priapus! It seems to spend most of its time plugged into the mains. Which is why I was forced to run the gauntlet of the Thanet Loop earlier on a trip to the quack.

Adhering to the half gallon of sticky stuff that some kind soul had redecorated the floor of the bus with was today's Daily Wail. Now ordinarily I wouldn't even use the thing to wipe the Eastcliff derriere, but a headline caught my eye: The Franken Veg Factory - UK Scientists Will Soon Be Artificially Growing Millions Of Lettuces That'll Never See The Sun, Rain Or Soil. A typically snappy Wail headline, as I'm sure you'll agree, but at least it wasn't the usual claim that monkey toenails are the new wonder cure for cancer, or that lip balm can give you Alzheimers.

Quick as a flash, the Eastcliff braincells pondered: 'I wonder if they're talking about those delicious, juicy toms and tasty green peppers from Thanet Earth that our local rags are constantly telling us about?' So I scraped the paper off the floor, and there among the talk of 'factory farms', 'nightmares' and 'grown in Rockwool' was, indeed, Thanet Earth! How dare they put the wind up us with their tales of 'huge mountains of almost-impossible-to-recycle waste', their 'massive drain... on local water resources' and their 'huge carbon footprints'. Kuh! Scaremongering Tory bastards!

Oh well, the quack says it should clear up if I keep applying the lip balm. If only I could remember where I put it. About half past one, seeing as you ask.

We've created a monster! in Daily Mail
Curry may fight dementia

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Did You Know?

Matt Clarke, the fresh-faced Kiwi boss of Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport, is also the editor of the Marlowe Academy's teenzine Oi!

Oi!
Oirport!

Green Day

Now that the beer-à-rear's finally cleared up after Tuesday night's garglethon, I suppose I ought to be making my mind up (as Thanet's newest celeb would say) about who to vote for in today's electoral bunfight.

As you know, we're blessed with three elections in one day here in the Millionaires' Playground - Euro, county and for the first time ever, teeny-tiny town council. Now, any unfortunate who has studied this outpouring of unadulterated drivel since its inception way back in 2006 will know that I'm naturally of a Libdem bent. But there's no Libdem action in these parts to speak of, and I'd rather stick pins in my willy than vote Conservative. Which is why my ballot paper will be green all the way. That is - caff-crushing, car-crushing Councillor David Green (Lab) for the teeny-tiny council; Mrs caff-crushing, car-crushing Councillor Elizabeth Green (Lab) for the county council; and the lovely Caroline Lucas (Green) for the Euro nonsense.

Why? Well all three seem prepared to stick up for the rights of individuals over international conglomerates like Infratil who want to fly knackered old 747s over my head all night every night, that's why. Yes, I know there are other candidates who have similar views, but frankly they are jokes. At the local level, both Lord and Lady Green have been councillors in these parts for yonks. And in my opinion they do a pretty good job. Yes, I know they belong to a party whose leader is about as much use as a chocolate teapot and whose cabinet appears to be even shakier than the one my Aunt Mavis bought from the late, lamented MFI last year. But local is what counts in these elections, and they're the best people for the job in my humble opinion.

This may seem rather disloyal to the man responsible for gaining us a town council in the first place, Ramsgate First's One and Only Gerry O'Donnell, who is also standing in the East Cliff ward for both county and town councils. And it's true, he's a nice enough fellow, and his teeny-tiny ice cream kiosk is a real asset to the area. His heart is definitely in the right place - Ramsgate - but on a broader political front he has some rather, er, quaint ideas which don't chime in with my showbiz liberal streak. He really does appear to have dropped an enormous political bollock by telling SmegHead Steve Higgins that he has no right to complain about the airport because he hasn't lived here long enough. Not very inclusive of the DFLs (comme moi) who are the town's lifeblood there, eh Gerry?

Still, whoever you're voting for, the main thing is - make sure you vote!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ramsgate BNP Candidate Offered Kent Journalist £5000 To 'Go Home'

Now you might think the best way to treat the BNP would be to ignore them. And ordinarily I'd do just that. But Dennis Whiting, their county council candidate for Ramsgate, deserves an outing.

The 75 year old former librarian, who hails not from Ramsgate but Whitstable, offered Whitstable Times reporter Constance Lee £5000 during an interview in 2006 to return to her parents' homeland of Malaysia. Remember, this is the party that claims it's not racist. Dennis the Pennis told Lee, who was born in Kent: 'People from the Far East, Asia and Africa are less capable of being able to assimilate because different racial characteristics lead to different cultural characteristics. We don't think it's a good thing that the whole world should end up coffee-coloured.'

Tell that to the Gurkhas, Dennis. Among his other electoral gems, the prospective county (without the 'O') councillor calls Ramsgate 'run down', says he plans to fine any company that employs foreign workers, and lauds St Augustine for landing in Cliffsend to 'evangelise the Anglo-Saxons' so 'we became a great Christian nation'. Hmm, for a former librarian, he ain't got much of a handle on history, has he? Last time I looked, St Augustine was an Italian immigrant, and Jesus Christ was from Judea. Using Dennis's twisted logic, they should both have been banned, surely?

Dennis the Racist story in Press Gazette
Full list of candidates in Ramsgate

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I'm indebted to regular contributor Walter for pointing me towards the Natural History Museum's Postcode Plants Database. The idea's simple. You just pop in the first part of your postcode et voila! All the native flora recorded in your area is listed!

So having entered CT11, I found an extensive list of everything from Annual Beard Grass (something you see a lot down the Belgian Bar), to Black Bog-rush (the morning after a night in the Belgian Bar). Yep, from Nipplewort to Rough Chervil, from Stinking Goosefoot to Man Orchid, it's all there. It even gives Latin names, lists everything under type (e.g annual, biennial, perennial, creeper etc), has photos of many of the plants, and recommends which would be suitable for the garden here at the old cliff top mansion.

Right! I'm off down the garden centre toute de suite to grab myself a Stinking Iris!

Postcode flora at Natural History Museum

Monday, June 01, 2009

From Drags To Riches

In Memoriam
Danny La Rue
Cross-dressing entertainer


So farewell
Then, Danny La Rue.

You were sort of
A former-day
Eddie Izzard.
But with
More songs.

Like many of the
Old timers
You lived
In these parts.
My dad
Once worked
With you at
The Winter Gardens.

Dad died
On that
Occasion.
Now you have
Too.

E. C. Richard (29)

PS: Mr Eastcliff Senior was invited to a celebrity wedding in Great Yarmouth in 1977. D La R was giving away some old tug from Corrie or Crossroads or some such. Pater took along his super 8 camera, so here's a short clip from the Eastcliff home movie archive. It's silent. And, er, a bit shaky. But then showbiz and the DTs tend to go hand in hand like that. Danny's the one in the beige suit, not the orange dress, in case you're wondering.

video