Monday, 9 February 2015

“Are you being served?” UKIP to get a bigger shop in Ramsgate, Lord Ashcroft and the Polls-up, and still time to have a punt on Scobie Do, Radar at Manston and other ramblings

There seems to be a bit of retail competition amongst the political parties in Ramsgate, first Labour open up a substantial shop overlooking the harbour which appears to be selling Will Scobie and now UKIP seem to be working up to a shop at each end of King Street, which presumably will be selling Nigel Farage. I am waiting with interest to see what the response to this will be from the other parties, will the Conservatives counter with a small supermarket selling Craig Mackinlay, will the Greens open up between the two greengrocers, or perhaps all the smaller political parties will club together for an indoor market, will Al Murray open a pub?    

There seems to have seems a bit of a mix up with the polls and the corrected results look like this anyway in view of the polls showing CON 33%, UKIP 32%, LAB 26%, LIB DEM 4%, GRN 3% and with Ladbrokes offering UKIP 4/7 Conservatives 2/1 Labour 8/1 The Pub Landlord 66/1 Liberal Democrats 100/1 Greens 200/1 it may be time to have a bit of a flutter.

If you support UKIP or the Conservatives I particularly recommend putting £100 on Labour as if Will Scobie wins you will win £800 and won’t feel so bad about it.

Anyway I mentioned all this the other day and now it seems the reason is out and it won’t be long before bookies catch up with the polls.

The word on the street is that Nigel Ferage said at a book signing the other day in Broadstairs Pav that he wouldn’t be moving to Thanet if he won, but would leave the constancy in the hands of the UKIP councillors.

A shelf is a long way in politics, perhaps he intends to run Thanet South from his shop, with book signing sessions to compete with my bookshop. 

My take on this is that not everyone would want to deal with their MP via the old guard of the North Thanet Tories.  

The last of the Manston radars is to go see this is the one on The Northern Grass and does open the way for development there, before there would have been a nominal chance of being microwaved.

The Northern Grass is the part of the airport site that hasn’t been used for years (the bit on the other side of the road that used to have the barriers at each end in R.A.F. days. Various airport operators had plans for mixed developments there but they never got off the ground. 

There has been another whole raft of documents submitted to the transport committee that relate to Manston published today and I have added the links to them to this post:


I have been working away on the art front, with a general movement towards making the people in my local sketches recognisable. I think the next stage is to introduce some colour, as you see the initial results are not so good.  

Well apart from, did you overdo the sunray lamp? And by way of explanation, at the moment I am doing virtually all of my sketches in pen, this is a XS size Pitt pen, basically a very fine indelible black felt tip. The main idea of this is to give me no way back because obviously it can’t be rubbed out. This fits very well with the limited amount of time I get sketching out and about, it also doesn’t smudge and the end results seem to photograph better than pencil does for publishing online.

I have been doing a fair amount of practice sketching from photos, which isn’t ideal, but seems to be working in the right direction. I am now finding that if I have been with the – for want of a better word victims – and have taken a few photos of them, providing there isn’t too much of a time lapse, I am beginning to be able to strike a reasonable likeness with head sizes in the 1p to 2p coin size range. Victim feedback has been encouraging, and I am starting to look towards colour. You would think that having sketched a face in pen, dotting the eyes the right colour doing the lips red and going over the rest with pink while trying to miss the eyeballs would suffice, but this doesn’t seem to be the case and there is a considerable amount of blue involved. Looking a the veins on the back of my hand, which are bluish and considering that blood is red I can see there is a lot to learn.        


  1. Who knows but either the 99p shop or the Poundland shop could become available in Ramsgate. The 99p group has accepted an offer of £55 millions from Poundland and its a done deal provided it passes the regulator. 99p store will be converted to Poundland format but I guesss they wont operate both were they are close together.

  2. Michael, I'm not sure that the CAA document has any specific impact on the radars at Manston.

    The TMZ was just an area of airspace where any aircraft wishing to use it would need to be equipped with an appropriate transponder.

    The intent was to differentiate genuine aircraft from reflections from the turbines.

  3. 5.57 my take is that the last commissioned and running aviation equipment at Manston is the radar on the Northern Grass which was used to provide safe cover for plane movements at Manston without interference from the wind farm. My guess is that in view of this document it will now be decommissioned and eventually removed.

  4. Michael 5.57 again.

    I take your point; without the TMZ and with no air traffic movements the radar at Manston would appear to be superfluous.

    The radar was still turning a week or so back when I last drove past, it seems strange that it would still be operating if it serves no purpose.

    Did I read somewhere that the radar hadn't been paid for, or was that just part of the general Manston disinformation that seems to be so common?

  5. Michael which of your drawings is Will Scobie? I recognised Ian Driver.

  6. See what you mean Don, but none of them have anything to do with local politics and none of them is meant to be Will.

  7. Michael, new submissions to the Select Committee's website:

    More from RiverOak and Coastal Airports / Winbourne Martin French / Pell Frischmann, and a submission from TG Aviation confirming that they were one of the three aviation tenants in rent arrears in the period before Manston's closure.

  8. Michael, sadly your word on the street is pure rumour.
    What he actually said was that like other party leaders he would have commitments during the election campaign outside the constituency, and then stressed he left a team behind him on such occasions, as does Milliband, Cameron, and Clegg.

    Slightly different to the rumours, I think you would agree.

  9. Oh and it was not a book signing, it was the 5th in a series of ward based public meetings, attended by more than 250 people. Over the 5 meetings we have had more than 800 attendees. Nigel offered to sign books as people left.

  10. Michael, fair enough you want to promote Scobie the Younger
    but can you tell us what he's done and what his polices are?

    I'm not aware of anything at all he#s done or will do.

    To be fair he seems as vacuous as most of the other candidates.

    His effortless rise to potential MP as TDC and KCC and Mayor seems largely due to Scobie the Elder marshalling party votes for the youngster?

    Or do you know different?

  11. The Manston radar was put in by Infratil (after opposing the windfarm as a hazard to their one flight a day) but they didn't pay the bills is my understanding.

    Not dissimilar to removing the pollution monitors with TDC.

    It may be turning if the electricity isn't switched off (although there are no air traffic controllers interpreting any data) but closing it down means of course the end of manston as an airport.

    Sainsburys has a car park and warehouses so maybe that should be classed as an airport?

  12. 5:57 doesn't make much sense: the aircraft needed a transponder? So how did Manston work before the radar was put in then?

    A pair of binoculars and a mobile phone call?

  13. The Poundland and 99p store merger will obviously result in the 50p store. Michaels' 10p book section may face stiffer competition

    While Farage may become a 50p Powell...

  14. Chris Wells dissembles for his new team colours.

    The 5th ward meeting: who knew?

    And Farage has other commitments and will leave it to his team: err that's what Michael said.

    Fargate will be (more) invisible and won't even deport any black people.

    What's the point?

    Farage and Latchford to reopen Manston they say?

  15. Thanks 7.36 I have put the links in the post.

    Chris I would say if you want these things accurately reported you need to send me the information. However the point that concerns me is that he isn’t Cameron Milliband or Clegg and my concern is about having a MP for Thanet South who will take an interest in Thanet South.

    Perhaps next time the UKIP crowd are going past the bookshop they would like to pop in for a chat.

    8.21 I don’t think you understood or perhaps you didn’t read the post, what he has done for me is to be very good betting odds due to a polling error.

    I am not a Labour supporter so you are looking in the wrong place for a party political broadcast on behalf of… I am as ever a floating voter who at the moment is going with Will but may change my mind as the run up to the election proceeds.

  16. Anon, 8.34

    I'm not sure when radar was first installed at Manston - possibly by the USAF in the early 1950's - but before then air traffic control at the airfield probably did involve binoculars, radio, and if all else failed a red flare!

    Perhaps Michael has published, or has in stock, a book which could answer your question?

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. Sorry anon zapped your comment in error, will do a post about this soon.
    8:58 PM (22 minutes ago)

    to me
    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "“Are you being served?” UKIP to get a bigger shop ...":

    Thanet Gazette reports TDC discussing a watersports hub for Ramsgate

    Sounds like a positive move...

  19. Michael, You are Labour to the core and I do wish you would stop pretending otherwise. Your political analysis, such as it is, is not now nor has it ever been impartial.

  20. Oh very funny Anon 10.10 am I to take it that anonymous are not Labour, as always I will vote for whoever I think will produce the best outcome for Ramsgate.

    I suppose from the voters point of view, this time around the issues are, which parties do the candidates actually stand for, particularly relevant with the ones who have changed their elegancies and what will be the effect of voting for someone other than a Labour or Conservative candidate. For example would voting UKIP in the parliamentary election be more likely to give us a Conservative or Labour MP or government?

  21. I agree Michael is pretending to be a floating voter rather than Labour supporter but either way why doesn't he explain what makes Young Scobie his preferred choice for MP?

    The young lad has done nothing.

    And - as with Young Scobie - the electoral issue seems to be why we have so many candidates not from the area and without any policies?

    Anybody know what Mackinlay or Wauchope UKIP will do if elected? Both of them are actually councillors from other districts(!) which does rather make a mockery of the whole process.

    And is there a Labour MP candidate for Margate or Tory councillor candidates fro Ramsgate?

    And is the Cunningham LibDem candidate illegally standing as a civil servant?

    An interesting point would be if Farage did not get elected he would lose his UKIP Leader role too.

  22. 8:51 if there was a USAF radar in the 1950's why did Infratil install another one c. 3 years ago?

    They weren't landing 747's over Thanet with either just binoculars and a handkerchief, or 1950's radar were they?

  23. More eyesore pylons for Thanet: why aren't these buried as a matter of course?

  24. If Chris Wells is a sudden convert to UKIP then how does he feel about the Old Tories also converting to UKIP?

    Presumably it would be more of the same so he should convert back to the Tories?

    And if not how doe she feel about Racist Rozanne or NF Heale etc?

    He seems to have shot himself in the foot in a desperate scrabble to be re-elected.

    One to avoid at he ballot box especially after the Broadstairs Community Centre multimillion stupidity. What happened with that and the costs?

  25. If the UKIPers do pop into your bookshop Michael I hope the elderly boot boys don't start segregating your books or burning them!

  26. If it is Are You Being Served where is Young Mr Grace our very own Roger Latchford?

    He may have survived the winter but is awfully quiet in supporting Farage and KCC UKIP policies and even Manston?

    Has he been gagged as a potential embarrassment?

    5th floor County Hall - but going down!

    As with the other Roger, our own Captain Peacock, it looks like the end...

  27. 6.14 are you agreeing with yourself or is this another commentator agreeing with you?

    The young Scobie made me laugh, if he gets in he will be around thirty at the end of his term in office.

    At the moment I am going with Scobie as the other two possibles are both non-Thanet residents and want to get us out of Europe, being in business and wanting to still be there in five years time, with nearly all of our trading partners being European, well you know how it is?

    8.51 windfarm radar clutter, to ensure the planes landed on the runway the windfarm wasn’t there in the 1950s and I doubt a 50s radar would be much use in the modern world.

    6.18 this is just down to the cost and how much extra you and me are prepared to pay for electricity.

    7.26 where do you feel some of the other councillors fit in the Grace Brothers analogy?

  28. Amazing Grace isn't performing there. But Grace and Favour are always on the support acts with Grace R Palms. Dis Grace has been away in nick after a carpeting.

  29. You're mincing around the Young Scobie issue like John Inman's Mr Humphries Michael.

    Jiggling his age to the end of any possible term is desperate.

    The lad is in his early 20's fresh out of university with a politics degree and has done nothing except the TDC political roles pushed his way by his dad.

    And has been noticeably silent on TDC corruption and Pleasurama etc.

    But tell us one thing he has done.

  30. I find the Are You Being served analogies unpleasant. That's why Madeline Homer as Mrs Slocombe must never have her pussy considered for valuation as a public property. And I am unanimous in that!


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