Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RoRo Your Boats

Reader Scott writes:

ECR - I was taking the dog for a walk on the West Cliff this morning and spotted both the TEF Larkspur and the new LD/TEF Ostend Spirit in port. I thought you might like this snap I took with my mobile phone. Keep up the good work. Scott.

Thanks Scott. As you can see, the Ostend Spirit in the background dwarfs the Larkspur. But both are put in the shade by our beloved council's Great Wheelie Bin Pile, which you can just see the tip of in the foreground.

Hopefully the port and the town will be busy over the forthcoming Easter break, although if the state of the Thanet Way is anything to go by most motorists will probably give up around Whitstable. Why it required resurfacing, lord knows. Perhaps some public sector accountant's spreadsheet needed balancing before the financial year end.

Anyway, it's yet another planning triumph for Kent Highways, the people who have so far blocked off Boredstares shopping streets for a total of one whole year since 2005!

That's The Wonder Of Woolworths

Joining one of my (recently, er, retired) banker chums for lunch in town yesterday, he reminded me of the new adage that you can tell how an area is doing by observing what its closed down Woolies has become. Adding, with what appeared to be a smirk, that in his locale it was now a 24 hour Waitrose.

That got me thinking. Here in the Ms' P we got a 99p shop. In Boredstares it's an Iceland. And in Margate, it's still empty. Hmm. He may have a point!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Top Of The Popes

with the Bishop of Thanet, The Right Reverend Harry Piehole

'Is the Pope a Catholic?' is a question I'm often asked, to which the answer has got to be 'Yes'. Although more recently the question has taken a slightly different form, with many of my flock asking me 'Is the Pope a paedophile?' To which the answer has almost certainly got to be 'No'.

Walking along one of our island's glorious beaches at the weekend, it was hard not to be reminded of Our Lord Godden's work. Empty buildings covered in graffiti, boarded up shops, and deserted amusement parks, peopled only by pit bulls and feckless youths sporting ugly tattoos.

In this Holy Week, let us pray that we soon find the courage to rectify these things, and that our once proud cities regain their status as the bustling seaside resorts of yesteryear, with the happy sound of laughing families pouring their ten pence pieces mindlessly into one-armed bandits, or attempting to mow down complete strangers on the 'dodge 'ems'.

It is true that Our Lord works in mysterious ways, and by providing us with jet propelled aeroplanes, he has given us the means with which we can warm our planet up, thus ensuring our climate here on the island becomes more like that of Benidorm so we won't need to go there any more.

Beer Me Up Scotty

Here's something that should leave a pleasant taste in the mouth! What better way to celebrate the true meaning of Easter than getting bladdered on Trussock's Old Jockstrap and 199 other splendid beers, ciders and perries at the 5th annual Thanet GuzzleFest? Well, I can't think of think of a better way, even if you can.

It all kicks off over at the Mike and Bernie Winter Gardens in Margate at noon on Friday. Stretchers at 10.30pm. Then you can do it all over again on Saturday. Admission £3 (£2 Saturday). Look out this year for a special number from Ramsgate's very own Gaddfather of Ale!

I've been a guest of horror the past four years, and apart from a slight attack of beer-à-rear on day two in 2007, which I put down to the council catering, I've had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Hats off to the organisers of what is pretty much the Ile de Thanet's cultural event of the year!

Click here for Feshtival website hic

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crappy Landings

It's all go Ramsgate! Not only have we had the Ostend Spirit superduperferry in our port this morning, but the Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 has been doing training circuits over the town all day in preparation for the start of the new Manston Edinburgh service in May. And so far it hasn't crashed, like other Dash 8s did here, here, here and here. Hurrah!

Dancing In The Street

Reader Steve writes:

I thought you might like this photo of the 'flash dance' that took place in Ramsgate town centre this morning. About 30 dancers dressed in pinnies with mops danced for about ten minutes as part of the Ramsgate Arts Take Art Take Pride series of events.

Well, thanks for that Steve. One question though. Was the town centre any cleaner afterwards?

Update: I see someone's now popped a video of this event on BoobTube:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ostend Spirit - First Ramsgate Photo

Reader Ken has sent me this photo which he took about an hour ago of the Ostend Spirit in Ramsgate. It should be chuffing back to Belgium about now, ready to return to Ramsgate with its first paying passengers tomorrow morning.

It may only be a conventional craft, but it got here a lot quicker than that blinkin' fast ferry!

Full Steam Ahead!

Belgian reader Frank writes:

LD Lines' Ostend Spirit is due in Ramsgate 1900 tonight, Friday, for berthing trials, with a Ramsgate pilot aboard. If all goes well she will sail at 2030 back to Ostend and go into service with an ETA Ramsgate 1100 Saturday.

Until dredging is completed her Ramsgate calls will be timed to occur around high water.

Council Tries To Ruin Local Business

Of course, it's a given round here that everything Thanet Council touches turns to rubble. You only have to look at MC Bookman's brilliant exposé of the rubbish job that was made of our crumbling East Cliff facade to know that.

But word has reached me today of an attempt by the council to boot out a business that can trace its roots in Ramsgate Harbour back more than 60 years. Alan Booth, boss of Marlec Marine Ltd, has emailed me in apoplexy over his treatment by The Duffers. He's refused to sign a new lease on his arch opposite the marina as they've removed his right of tenure. Now they've given him notice to quit.

Alan writes:

I am still in shock that TDC can treat us like this. Ron Cannon next door has been told he can keep his tenure because he has been a 'long term tenant'. I've been here 12 years and Marlec Marine has been here since 1992. Before that it was Walkers Marine which was incorporated in 1947. How long do you have to be in the harbour to be a 'long term tenant'?

We have been ringing and ringing the council but with no response. We are at our wits' end.

Well Alan, you have my utmost sympathy for what seems to be a typically senseless and incomprehensible move by our beloved council. I'm not surprised that you haven't had a response though. The Harbour Master is currently larging it up in Las Vegas!

Click here to go to Marlec Marine website

East Of The Wantsum

Hurrah! At last I think I've struck the perfect political balance with this week's East of the Wantsum (click on the pic to enlarge).

It refers, of course, to last week's pre-election hustings in Boredstares. Apparently Dr Ladybloke acquitted himself admirably, Laura Sandys didn't have a clue about anything, and the Lib Dem turned up 90 minutes late and nobody could remember his name!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thorley Thumb Mithtake?

Mooching through the latest edition of the Morning Advertiser (Officially The Pub Trade's Favourite), I came across a lengthy profile of Phil Thorley, our Frank's No 1 son.

The article ranges from Phil's views on Ramsgate ('You're going to think you're in Monaco', another line nabbed from yours truly!) to his views on Our Gordon Master ('The government is pathetic. It’s like the Licensing Act. They didn’t consult us about that. They just told us what they were going to do.')

Then there's this gem on customers: 'The good, the bad and the ugly - they’re the people you’ve got to know.' Hmm. Well I know what you mean Phil. There are certainly one or two Thorley Taverns round here where I just can't seem to get the music from the Star Wars bar out of my head whenever I walk in!

Click here to read full profile in the Morning Advertiser

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Thanet's New Leader!

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Political Editor Hugh Jeckspenses

Thanet Tories have elected a new leader, Councillor Bruce Bayford. But what do we know about Cllr Bobford? We've been digging into Cllr Baywatch's background and come up with a few surprises! [Get on with it - Ed]

1. Cllr Baytree was born in Africa and brought up by a Zulu tribe who weened him on lion's milk!

2. He moved to the UK when his parents formed a dance troupe, and has early memories of performing in Hair at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

3. His first job was as a baker's delivery boy in Notting Hill, where Charlie Drake was one of his customers.

4. He moved to Thanet in 1972 when he landed a prime role as a council deckchair attendant on Margate beach.

5. By the late 70s he had started his own carpet business, and was one of the first fitters in East Kent to introduce shagpile.

6. Cllr Boyband is married to hairdresser Rowena. They have 15 children, all named after England rugby players!

7. Although he is currently a Tory, Cllr Daynurse has also been a member of Thanet Labour, Thanet Libdems, Thanet UKIP and Thanet Wanderers.

8. His favourite food is blancmange, which he prefers served in a bowl.

9. Cllr Gaybar owns an iPod with every single song by Shirley Bassey on it.

10. His most treasured possession is his 1987 turquoise Bentley Mulsanne, with the personalised numberplate CAR 91T (but with the '9' turned round the other way - geddit!!???!!!)

[That's enough things we didn't know - Ed]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sandy, Sandy, Sandy? Out, Out, Out!

Bayford, Bayford, Bayford? In, in, in! Sandy? Out! Bayford? In! Tories, Tories, Tories? In out, in out, in out!

Er, quite. More here on Doc Biggles's blog. Damn! I'm going to have to think of a new nickname. Anyone for Botany Bayford?
Viva El Presidente!

Clean Streets Survey Clean Gone

Browsing round Waitrose earlier, I picked up the latest edition of Thanet Tatters. 'Free news from your council' it said on the stand. Well, how could I resist?

The Duffers claim to have saved £10,000 by not distributing this exotic material door-to-door. You can now only get it from the top shelf in, er, selected outlets. Following up the cover pic of the feather duster/heart, um, thing, I zoomed to page 6. 'We want you to tell us the problems in your area,' screamed the copy under the heading 'How clean is your street?' (Filthy, actually, since you ask.) 'We need your help to identify your priorities and we promise, in return, to use your feedback to hit the places hardest that most need it!' Alright, alright, already. I'm going to tell you. You don't have to waterboard me!

Apparently a survey will be coming through my door, or I can also fill it in online at I think that's 'Love Your Street', not 'Lovey Our Street', although both would suit me now I come to think of it.

So off I trots to Here, try it yourself.

See? Nothing. Nix. Nada. Completely sausageless. 'Sorry, the page you requested could not be found.'

Now, isn't Cllr/Dr Biggles in charge of the council's IT mullarkey? And isn't he always banging on about 'joined up thinking'? Judging by this faux pas, I'd be surprised if anyone at the council was capable of joined up writing!

Update: Cllr/Dr Biggles has now fixed this link quicker than you can say 'Page 404 - not found'! Next time my Delboy laptop bursts into flames, I know who to call!

Full Steam Astern?

Tucked away in the Giant Panda of the Exchequer's Boneless Budget Box just now was the announcement that ports involved in the fart farm industry will be getting 60m smackers! Hurrah!

Perhaps some of it will come Port Ramsgate's way, what with Thanet Offshore Wind and London Array being based here. It could even help offset some of the local population's increasingly expensive cider and ciggie habits!

Meanwhile reader Ian writes:

I have been following the story of the launch of the new LD Lines service to Ostend on your excellent blog. [Aw! Me blushin' Ian!] But I have heard that there needs to be more dredging done in Ramsgate to accommodate the Ostend Spirit and that the lorry park is still closed because of the potholes (I have attached a photo). I also gather that the manager in charge [Brian White, Director of Regeneration and Planning Services, and pro-tem Harbour Master] is away on holiday. With only three days to go to the start of the service this does not bode very well.

Er, well Ian, our beloved council does have a track record of killing the golden goose. But I'm sure everyone is crossing everything and that it'll all turn out OK in the end.

Meanwhile P&O announced today that they'll be sailing to Zeebrugge out of Dover from April. So it looks like the Belgian connection is hotting up!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Pig Of A Night

Reader John from the seedier west side of the Millionaires' Playground writes:

At 0330 this morning I was awoken from my stupor by car doors being opened and closed, and a man and woman chatting. Looking out of the window, I saw a police car and two officers checking the front and back of my car and others along the street. After my car and others being keyed and broken into of late, I thought it wise to enquire what was occurring.

Donning my dressing gown and slippers, I went outside and asked the officers what the issue was. 'That car has an illegal number plate and we are giving it a ticket,' came the response.

I did ask the officer if he was joking, to which he replied he wasn't.

Well John, you wouldn't expect them to be doing something useful like catching the vandals who've been spraying cars in Ramsgate and Broadstairs with paint stripper, would you? No, they're stuffing their faces in pie shops and fiddling with their Blackberries all day, followed by a spot of light ticketing in the wee small hours to earn the overtime to pay for the pies!

That's The Spirit!

I'm indebted to those splendid chaps at the Oostende (Ostend in old money) Ferries Forum for these glimpses of the Ostend Spirit, the new LD Lines superduperferry which is due to enter service between Ramsgate and Ostend this coming Saturday, 27 March.

I'm told it's hard to get any closer to the vessel, which is currently undergoing preparations in Ostend. But these pictures certainly give you a sense of the scale of the thing. It's several orders of magnitude larger than any of the current TransEuropa tubs, and probably at the very limit of what our lovely port can handle. Let's hope the dredging's been done properly!

Of course, in her previous incarnation as the Prins Filip she used to ply the Ostend Ramsgate route in the 90s, so we know she'll fit. It's just that, thanks to our beloved council, a lot less water has flowed under the bridge since then, if you get my drift!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Janet Sinks Her Teeth Into Thanet Earth

Lorks! I see my old chum Janet Street Porter has had a right go at Thanet Earth in today's Daily Wail. The begnashered one writes:

Last Saturday, I bought some tasty tomatoes in Tesco. On the packet it said they had been grown in Kent. I paid a visit to the 'farm' and discovered it was called Thanet Earth, situated on 220 acres of prime farmland overlooking the beautiful village of Minster and the beaches of Sandwich Bay.

There aren't any fields at Thanet Earth, just an enormous box, the largest greenhouse in the UK, the size of ten football pitches. The lights are on all night, and inside are growing millions and millions of tomatoes.

At the moment, the site is not complete - there are a handful of these enormous greenhouses growing strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and salad ingredients, but by this summer, there will be seven. It's larger than an airfield.

How on earth did Thanet Earth get past the local planners? Because they promised employment. For the sake of just 550 jobs, a piece of Kent the size of 80 football pitches has been obliterated by these monstrosities.

OK, they recycle their own water and are energy efficient, and my tomatoes only travelled ten miles, but they've been grown in an environment more like Mars than Margate, fed hydroponically with nutrient enriched water, under lights switched on and off by computer.

And as we now know, not even 550 Thanet jobs Janet! But Ms Street Porter, who lives up the road in Whitstable and has been spotted noshing in Ramsgate restaurants, is mainly exercised by the new Waitrose TV campaign starring Delia Smith and Bloomin' Hestenthal, whom she describes as the Eric and Ernie of TV cookery. I too have a beef about our local Waitrose. Arriving near to closing time the other day, I was confronted by this:

I duly did. And then the blasted thing shut! Kuh!

Ferry Excited!

My spies across the water tell me that preparations are well under way for the start of the LD Lines ferry service between Ramsgate and Oostende (Ostend in old money)! Ostender Frank writes:

As you might know the ex Prins Filip is now back home at the port of Oostende. She is getting a beauty treatment at this moment. She was the Norman Spirit of LD lines and now becomes the Ostend Spirit, she remains flying the British flag but has changed homeport.

Instead of Southampton it's now ...... RAMSGATE! She must be the biggest vessel ever with Ramsgate as homeport. Signs that things are improving in Ramsgate... lol

However Robert, another Ostender, sounds a small note of disappointment:

I see that the NEW passenger ferry are starting from Ramsgate this week! BUT only if you are in a vehicle, no foot passengers. LD Lines’ tourist fares on the Ramsgate - Ostend service will be available for cars and passengers, cars and caravans, motorhomes, motorcycles and for added on board passenger comfort facilities include cabins and sleeper seats. LD Lines’ launch offer starts from £24 single for a car and five passengers, subject to availability.

Well, let's hope everything's ready in our lovely port for the big ferry's big day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eddie Gilbert's 1, Harvey's 0

I see top food critic Jay Rayner has given Eddie Gilbert's on Ramsgate's 'King Street the thumbs up in today's Observer! His review is peppered (geddit?!!?!) with approbria such as 'impressive', 'expertly fried fish' and 'Oh my'.

Unfortunately, though, he doesn't much rate mad chef John Burton Race's effort on the front, Harvey's. Mr Rayner concludes:

It would be regarded as peevish of me to compare Eddie Gilbert's with another fish restaurant in the same town. That's not going to stop me doing so. Last year I gave a mediocre review to Harvey's, a new venture with the rancid John Burton Race as exec chef. Still, I held out the hope that it could improve. I was too kind, and as my job is to hand out recommendations, I'm going to do just that. Leave Harvey's in peace. If you want intriguing fish cookery in Ramsgate with lots of flair but no fannying around, go to Eddie Gilbert's. Simple as that.

No wonder, then, that I hear EG's is booked solid for a month of Sunday's, Saturday's, Friday's....

Update: Given the number of, er, rank reviews there have been for Harvey's I've sadly had to remove it from the list of 'Recommended Nosheries' in my sidebar. However, to keep up the Ramsgate contingent I've replaced it with Alexandra Ristorante, that nice Italian eatery on the harbour.

Click here to read Eddie Gilbert's review in the Observer
Click here to visit Eddie Gilbert's website

Rub-A-Dub Dub, Three Men And A Tub

The latest word on the Eurof*****s front is that they're running out of options for a vessel. Now that Fred Olsen have ruled out the use of this...

it's been suggested on the rumour mill that they might have to resort to using this...

Haha! No, it wasn't a serious suggestion. It was meant to be a joke. J-O-K-E. Lawyers do understand jokes, don't they?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'll Have What He's Having

Whatever drugs Our Glorious Leader Sandy Beach is on, I've got to get me some. Why? Well if you read his column in this week's Gazunder, the only possible conclusion you could come to is that he's sprinkling too many mandies on his Special K these days.

Nine tenths of the wordage is about Europe, the state of the pound, Gordon Brown and the Lib Dems. Quite what any of that has to do with keeping the public conveniences open or the 30% hole in Margate's retail sector is beyond me. But ah, at the very end we get two sentences which may be of relevance: 'We are not cutting our front line services and will see a tourism program (sic) to match that of last year. We also listen to you and are not closing, as speculated, a single toilet.'

After all that high fallutin' talk of sterling, forex, Standard and Poor's, and deficits, the last sentence would almost certainly qualify for the Bathos of the Year Award. But Sandy in his euphoric state seems to have forgotten the Great Khazi Stink of 2009, when our beloved council didn't close a single toilet, it closed loads of them. As for not cutting front line services, it's been a few years since that sweepy-uppy man used to tour the grimy back streets here on the East Cliff every week. Now he only comes if you ring the council on your mobile and complain that you can't open the door to get out of your car because the gutter's knee deep in empty Stella cans.

Now, of course I'm not seriously suggesting that the Tory leader of Thanet Council is a drug addict. No, that could get me into all kinds of trouble. But he is a man of a certain age, and I do worry about his memory. Even at the ripe old age of 29, I sometimes find my memory ain't what it used to be.

Even at the ripe old age of 29, I sometimes find my memory ain't what it used to be. But it's not only Sandy's long term memory that's shot. His short term memory's going too! A tourism 'program' to match that of last year? Er, turn to page 3 and you'll find only a few days ago he slashed every Visitor Information Centre bar Margate's (natch). Unless by 'program' he means the £££s of ££££s poured into Margate events, which seem to grow each year like dry rot on a dilapidated council asset.

With a memory like that, isn't it time the poor old fella handed in his cards?

Friday, March 19, 2010

East Of The Wantsum

Here's today's EotW, based on Thanet Community Safety Partnership's plan to 'name and shame' the local ne'er-do-wells. As you can see, nothing politically balanced this week! But all true, of course.

Meanwhile I gather there's been trouble at t'Gazunder Towers over an item in today's paper claiming that the new boss of Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport wants to fly 156m knackered old jumbos over Ramsgate every night. As I haven't seen the paper myself, being up in that London pitching my latest oeuvre (How Clean Are Your Celebrity Millionaire Neighbour's Embarrassing Genitals?) to Channel 4, I can't really comment. But I gather knickers were well and truly twisted!

Crate Expectations

In Memoriam
Matt Clarke
Back to New Zealand
After bossing Manston

So farewell
Then, Matt Clarke.

'6 million passengers'
That was your

I would say more
But nobody
Would hear me
Above the racket
Of knackered 747s
Loaded with
Dodgy yams.

E. C. Richard (29)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Balancing Act

After that last item I'm legally bound to make an equal mockery of all the other parties that are standing for election on our septic isle. So here's the latest from those amusing chaps at, based on the Tories' current 'I've never voted Tory before' poster campaign.

Click on the pic to go to the website and marvel at just how, with a little invention and humour, a multi-million pound campaign funded by a multi-millionaire tax condom can be rendered utterly worthless!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What's Dat Dair Den?

Here's a shot I just nabbed from Dr Steve Ladyman MP's embryonic Facebook campaign to, er, re-elect Steve Ladyman for South Thanet (173 members and counting).

But what's he got in his hands? Clearly not the keys to No 10. The keys to his Ferrari and two other sports cars perhaps? Or has he been plundering iPods off der kids in a civic minded anti-anti-social behaviour offensive on the buses? Answers on the usual postcard please!

Wither Margate?

Reader Dan from London writes:

I grew up in Thanet in the 80s but moved away when I went to uni. I now live and work in London as do most of my former Thanet friends, and my parents moved from Thanet to Devon in 1990. I saw your item about Google street view coming to Thanet last week and when I looked I was shocked to see so many derelict properties in Margate. The last time I was there, twenty years ago, it was a vibrant, colourful, fun, bustling seaside town.

I was so upset that I decided to come down on the train for a day at the weekend and take a look around. I can hardly express my feelings about what I saw. How on earth did this happen? I have attached some photos which you are welcome to use on your blog.

Kind regards,


Well Dan, there are enough theories around to write a PhD on the decline of Margate! It's not all bad news though. Next month there's an empty shops symposium, there's literally tens of millions being spent on arts regeneration, heritage theme park regeneration and a whole bunch of 'renewal' types beavering away. Last week another £4m was gifted for flood defences, and only today the council announced that Margate's Visitor Information Centre was the only one on the island that's going to remain open! Even Arlington House is going to get a facelift courtesy of Tesco, as long as the residents can cough up £17,000 each towards the cost of the makeover.

So the message is 'Don't get too despondent'! Any-old-hoo, I haven't been to Margate in the daylight for months, so let's take a look at wot you got:

Yep, murals on the boarded up shops. Keeps everything looking fine and dandy! Er, but not here though:

Or here:

Or, er, here:

And no, I haven't seen the Shell Ladies recently either. One or two Hell Ladies, but no Shell Ladies haha! Ooh, here's the Rice Bowl, my favourite Chinese restaurant in the Hole of Fannit!

Hang on. What's that sign in the window?

Oh well. At least you can still buy fags and your paper, can't you?

Nope. looks like Harbour News on the Piazza (Parade in old money) has scarpered too, along with the restaurant next door:

Flamin' Nora! This really is getting depressing. I could use a drink in one of them trendy new bars!

Oh yes, that place rather ironically caught fire a year or two ago. Never mind, I'll try up the high street.

Now, here's a place that's had millions spent on it. The Turner Contemporary Temporary:

Oh gawd! I see what you mean Dan. Pass the razor blade!

500 Local Jobs And A Visitor Centre? Oops!

Happy Paddy's Day! Er, that's actually got nothing to do with the next bit.

No, it's back to Thanet Earth with a bump. There's my old TV chum John Craven up there when he visited the 38m hectare greenhouse while it was under construction. Remember when this one slipped under the planning radar as an 'agricultural' (as opposed to industrial) development, we were promised 500 local jobs and a visitor centre? Well, as I exclusively revealed last week the visitor centre's on hold and the Ramsgate staffing agency detailed to hand out all those local jobs has shut.

Now intrepid yourfannitinnit reporter Tom Betts has followed up my scoop with a front page splash today on the types of people employed at the conservatory on the patio of the garden of England. And the best they could come up with? The majority of the 83 people working for the marketing department are British. Not Thanetian. British. Of the other 350 or so working there at any one time, it's a mix of Polish, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Slovakian, Lithuanian, Nigerian, Dutch and British.

My point here is not to reignite the recent argy-bargy about foreign workers. Apart from the light pollution, some queries over the water table, the fact that none of their produce actually touches Thanet earth and, er, the light pollution, I'm actually rather in favour of the place. And despite describing their tomatoes as 'watery pip bags' a while back, I'm currently munching my way through a delicious pack of their 'sunstream' red 'uns. Good luck to the lads and lasses of whatever nationality who work there I say! As Thanet Earth point out:
'To clarify a frequent misunderstanding, we wish to make clear that it would be unlawful for any of the employer-companies at Thanet Earth to discriminate either positively or negatively on grounds of nationality, just as it would be unlawful for us to do so on grounds of race, gender, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability.'

No, my argument is with our beloved council who, whenever someone applies for planning permission to dig up our lovely island soil to plonk a whopping great load of sheds on it, cry 'Jobs!' 'There are so many unemployed in Thanet,' they whine, 'that we should be bending over forwards to accommodate these nice people who are going to bring us all these lovely, lovely jobs'. Bull. It's a promise they simply can't make. Maybe some locals were employed fitting the office carpets. And some slum landlords will have rented out their hovels to the poor eastern European lads. A few shop keepers might benefit. But Thanet jobs for Thanet people? Pull the other one, it's got bell peppers on it!

Click here to read full story in yourfannitinnit

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

£20,000? I'll Eat My Hat! And His Too!

A little bird tells me that mARgaTe's mad hatter's sea party on Saturday (see item below) was bounteously funded from the public purse to the tune of 20 grand!

Well, er, probably not just that event, but the month long 'Dead Season Live Art Margate' project apparently rinsed that amount out of the Arts Council of the South East. And has mostly been attended by the artists and, er, other artists.

For 20K I certainly would expect more than a few boxes on heads. Surely if we'd handed out a fiver to the first 4,000 people to arrive at Margate station it would have attracted more visitors and done more for the town's economy?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone noticed the striking similarity between Tory Dr/Cllr Simon Moores' latest item on Thanet Life, where he compares the national debt to a credit card bill, and Labour MP Dr Steve Ladyman's latest article on his website, in which he compares the national debt to a credit card bill?

Are they by any chance related?

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone noticed the similarity between the recent Bignews Margate item entitled 'Blatant discrimination of British workers as non Polish speakers need not apply' here, and the article entitled 'Open doors EU policy gives British jobs to Polish workers' on the BNP website here?

Are they by any chance related?

Hurray For Fannywood!

Having been roused from my Buckfast in bed twice this morning by the sound of knackered old jumbos roaring feet over the old Kent pegs, I thought I'd see if there was anything on the internet telling me just what Infratil, the airport's owners, put back into the community in recompense for all this disturbance.

Nothing, nix, nada when it came to Manston. But in their home country of New Zealand they're planning to erect a 'Wellywood' sign near Wellington Airport to celebrate the Kiwis' burgeoning film industry. Infratil's website boasts:

Wellington Airport is a big supporter of the capital’s film industry. It’s a relationship that has steadily grown since the industry began to flourish around 17 years ago. The Airport is part of the film industry’s essential infrastructure.

Construction of the sign, which will measure 28m by 3,5m, is expected to be completed in June.

Now this got me thinking. What with an annual Fannit International Film Festival, two other film festivals run by those nice Beeping Bush people in Margate, another film festival rumoured for Ramsgate, and Medb Films down by our Royal Harbour, surely Infratil could treat us to our own 'Fannywood' sign here in the tip of Kent?

On second thoughts, though, we did have a very large, airport related sign round here recently, didn't we?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mad Hatter's Sea Party

Whitstable reader Liz writes:

Having read in yesterday's Guardian that the 'wonkiest art event of the week' was going to take place in Margate I was intrigued enough to drive the 20 minutes to find out more.

Although Harold Offeh's 'Margate's First Beaux Arts Ball' courtesy of the town's Limbo Arts did not seem very well attended it did seem more authentic than the Turner Contemporary's recent bogus walk around a swimming pool. Locals were invited to dress up as their favourite buildings in the town and a parade was held in the afternoon.

Quite why it needed two video cameramen to capture this small group for posterity was however beyond me. Surely whatever funding went into that element could have been better used on materials etc? I have sent you some photos please feel free to use them on your excellent website.

Pickwick Capers

Regular Ramsgate reader Steve writes:

Happy Mother's Day - NOT!

I go to bed early last night having prepared breakfast, put teabags in the pot for the morning, written card from my infant son - it was all ready for the big day today.

Imagine my, and my wife's, disappointment when we were awoken about 0230 this morning by the sound of a nearby car horn - which went on and on and on.......

After about 5 minutes of this, shouting and screaming could also be heard. Police were called, clothes donned and a walk to the end of the road to see what all the commotion was about.

What is it about carpet fitters and Thanet? One seems intent on ruining it right from the top, whilst the others seem to scrape around the bottom pissing everyone off in between. Pickwicks Carpets from Park Lane Ramsgate had picked up his very drunk girlfriend, had an argument whilst driving home, and decided to park up on the way and have a row which woke a whole neighbourhood up. She locked herself in the van, honked the horn for 15 minutes while her idiot carpet-fitter other half screamed abuse from the outside.

So, if you were woken up by this pr*ck this morning, please do what I am going to do - ring them tomorrow morning and ask them for a quote for fitting some shagpile. When asked how much you need, tell them you want enough to stuff in your ears so you can't hear their idiotic employees arguing at the end of your road at 2.30 in the morning.

Hmmm. Sounds like he was giving her a right carpeting Steve. Still, it's better than being woken up by a noisy shag! Or seagull. Er, no. I don't know what I'm talking about now either.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Little Change On The Eurof*****s Front

Loathe as I am to mention Eurof*****s for fear of being taken to the cleaners by their wolf pack of highly paid m'learneds, I think I can safely say that their latest deadline for launching a Ramsgate Boulogne service came and went a while ago. I gather they're now intending to start in April (possibly the 1st, as suggested in yesterday's Gazunder by my columnist chum Jane Wenham-Jones).

What is ever-so-slightly new is their website (click on pic to visit). Gone is the claim to be 'the leading fast ferry operator on the English Channel between Ramsgate and Boulogne' and in comes: 'Eurof*****s is a high speed ferry operator between the ports of Ramsgate and Boulogne.'

Also new for March is this promise: 'Should there be a delay to the launch of service and you are therefore unable to travel with us you will be informed & given a full refund.'

Meanwhile one rumour mill is even suggesting that Thanet Council's very own Director of Regeneration and Development Services Brian White is 'the guy they employed to deal with the coach traffic'. I'm sure our Brian, and the rest of the island, will be delighted to hear of his elevation!

Click here to visit previous version of Eurof*****s website

Friday, March 12, 2010

Vote For A Fair Change For All In Britain

So, the Lib Dems have a porn star standing for them (fnarr), and have announced their election slogan today: 'Change that works for you. Building a fairer Britain.' Hmm. Almost as snappy as a Daily Mail headline.

Of course, with the election only a few weeks off they're not the only major party to have sprinkled their bumf with Obama dust. The Tories have got 'Vote for Change'. However, Our Gordon Master and his gang have eschewed the C-word and gone for 'One eye's better than none.' Oh, no, er, sorry, 'A fairer future for all'. Speaking purely from a complexion point of view, with all this talk of 'fair' both the Lib Dem and Labour slogans could also be the BNP slogan if you think about it.

Locally, though, these rallying cries will need a bit of tweaking. Certainly 'Vote for change' would work well in Roger Gale's Norf Fannit manor, as 27 years of the old duffer is probably more than enough for anyone. Here in the sarf, the Tories could try 'Not all blondes are dumb'. Labour's Steve Ladyman, whose constant droning about the importance of the airport to the local economy has frankly given me the poojabs, should go with 'Red bull gives you wings'.

And how about the environmental lobby sexing themselves up and losing the bamboo sandals and hemp undercrackers image with 'Eat your Greens'? Finally, let us not forget UKIP commands a lot of support in these parts. Anyone for 'Still fighting WWII'?

East Of The Wantsum BOGOF!

Yes folks, it's Buy One Get One Free week in your super, soaraway Ricardus Eastcliffiensis! Not that any money changes hands for these things. Still, I like to think they're priceless. So here's this week's doodle, as featured in today's Isle of Thanet Gazunderer. Click on the pic to big it up.

And below is the first version, which the powers that be rejected on the grounds that it contained 'too much swearing'. Given that it was Mike Pearce's column in the very same Gazunder that started the whole Turner a*******s row, I think it's a bit rich, don't you? Or maybe they've been 'nobbled' by a 'very senior Thanet Council officer'!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Malice In Blunderland?

Hurrah! Now I don't even have to leave my cliff top mansion to explore the delights of those grimy back streets behind Ramsgate's trendy East Cliff!

With the launch of Google Street View in Thanet today, I can now fester in front of the computer, trusty bottle of Morrisons Morrinov vodka by my side, and stumble around the Millionaires' Playground without even lifting a foot. Plus my foot will now be less plastered in dog doo-doo from having to negotiate the festering pavements hereabouts! It's a win-win! Although Google will insist on labelling Ramsgate as Margate. Idiots.

Hang on. What if the local ne'er do wells get wind of this new service courtesy of California's billionaire internet boffins? They could case my cliff top mansion without even having to mooch around outside, looking suspicious. Nah. On second thoughts, they're all way too stupid. I've had a good sniff around our Sandy's gaff in Broadstairs though. Nice carpets!

Click here to read about Google Street View in Thanet

Ted's Pet Care Corner

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week our animal loving expert Ted solves your pet-related health problems!

Dear Ted, during the recent cold weather I thought Hammy my hamster looked a bit chilly, so I put my sun lamp next to his cage. Unfortunately I then went on holiday for two weeks and forgot to turn it off. Now that I've returned, he does not seem anywhere near as lively or playful as he was before. I enclose a picture. Is there anything I can do to restore him back to health? Would a new wheel reinvigorate him?

Hoping you can help. T.

Ted writes: Nah, he's a gonner. Chuck 'im outside.

Do you have a pet that's feeling poorly? Email your problem, preferably with a photograph, to