Month: April 2013


UKIP election candidate Roger Latchford calls in the police after a confrontation with a local councillor

The trouble arose after councillor Bernard La Roche stood holding a placard with a Nazi swastika in front of Latchford’s stall.

Latchford was until recently in the Tory party and previously the deputy leader of Thanet Council.

He was a close colleague and friend of the ex-leader of the council, currently serving 18 months in prison for misconduct in public office.

For more about the politics and murky goings on in Thanet, East Kent see the new issue of Thanet Watch magazine in newsagents now, or if you have trouble getting a copy, ring Thanet Watch on 07989 070843.


A THANET WATCH REPORT. On April 23rd the Overview and Scrutiny Panel of Thanet Council met to discuss Ramsgate seafront and missing art from council buildings. The chair, Ian Driver, had said he would welcome filming from local journalists. But when we set up to film, the councillors and the council official present objected. This film is of highlights of the debate before we were asked to stop filming. Full report in Thanet Watch magazine


We asked Martyn Heale of UKIP tobe interviewed about his past membership of other parties, including the National Front. Here is his reply.

Thank you for your email.

Dear Mr Thomas,

Martyn is not giving interviews, however, a copy of a recent press statement follows.



I can confirm that I was an active  member of the National Front over 34 years ago in London. I have said on many occasions that I regret that youthful, and as it turned out unwise decision to join. After I left the NF I had a short daliance with New Britain before becoming a candidate in a by election in Fulham  in 1979 for the multi-racial Progress Party which my wife and I had joined. I was after that a member of the Conservative Party in West Ham, Fulham and finally South Thanet for over 15 years. While in the Conservative Party I was Chairman of Northwood Ward for seven years and Chairman of Ramsgate Conservtives for one year, at the same time  Major John Thomas was Chairman of the Association. I stood for them in Northwood Ward in the local elections, twice, and also in the Northwood and Eastcliff KCC Division. I confirmed my previous NF membership to the selection committee and was endorsed by both local Party and Jonathan Aitken.

I left the Tory Party in 2000 to develop my business, and in 2003 stood with my good friend Bernie Baldwin in Ramsgate as an Independent Candidate after disagreeing with the replacement candidate for Aitken, Mark Mcgregor and John Kirby’s view of Ramsgate’s future, particularly the sea front. I met UKIP members at the count and then in August 2003 joined UKIP declaring my past history as an activist with the NF on my application form

I categorically state that my NF membership was a bad decision,, and one that I sincerely regret. I denounce racism in any form, which is evidenced by me marrying the woman I loved,  who is Egyptian. We were married for 15 years and have a family, my 30-year old son from that marriage also lives in Broadstairs.

I am standing in the Ramsgate Division for Kent County Council with the full support of my branch. I stood down as Chairman of the local branch for the duration of the election to enable me to concentrate on the campaign in which  I am not only a candidate, but the Agent for five others standing in  both County and a TDC by election.


I will not be giving any interviews, or making further comment.

Kindest regards

Martyn Heale 



Campaigning for UKIP in Ramsgate for the Kent County council elections, Trevor Shonk answers questions about the ex-chair of Thanet UKIP party, Martyn Heale, who was in the past an organiser for the National Front. UKIP has a rule not to allow membership to people who have been members of far right parties such as the National Front and the British National Party.




What kind of people are we that we consistently throw up and admire that kind of leadership? Care for no one but yourself. She was the first one to strike a serious blow against the trade union movement, started the privatisation of our state utilities, started the dismantling of our communities, a self aggrandising war against Argentina, leading ultimately to the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and then the banking collapse. The ‘triumph’ of greed. And now….. GOOD RIDDANCE I say.

Any funeral should be based on standard precedent for her position. If as a Baroness, a state funeral is standard, or if as a former PM it’s standard, then yes.

If it isn’t standard, then NO.

It’s a bit like the argument about flying the Union Flag in Belfast, the argument for it being flown continually was at odds to the precedent set in the rest of the UK i.e. it is only flown on certain occasions and the democratic vote was to change to match the rest of the UK and yet there were riots by supposed Unionists against a democratic and standard decision.

Personally I think this is the best way to handle anything to do with either Margaret Thatcher and Arthur Scargill as neither were entirely wrong, but nor were either entirely right….

There’ll be a lot of street parties oop norf.

My favourite tweet so far on the subject is this: “There’s no such thing as society.” – Margaret Thatcher. “There’s no such thing as Margaret Thatcher.” – Society.

No state funeral thank you!

Whilst not agreeing with her policies, she was elected by the people in a democratic way, but as far as a state funeral, No, this could encourage others to follow her Right wing views, or even a snap general election.

When ego goes out of control – a history lesson that’s never learnt!

I remember being very excited that a woman became prime minister – we’d had strong women in politics – Barbara Castle, Shirley Williams, Golda Meir etc. But a woman PM – amazing!

She put UK on the map in international politics, gave people the right to buy their own home, created aspirations for all. Maybe a feeling of equality for all – that we have a right to aspire to more if we work hard? But, I believe at great cost to us. The demise of community, society as we knew it. A time of prosperity as the family treasurers were sold off. In some respects there was a case to give them to the private sector to run, the public sector doesn’t have much success with running our property. Greed is good was the war cry of the time (sink the Belgrano was the other one). What have we inherited? Aspirations greater than our ability to earn, debt, austerity, lack of savings, breakdown in community.

Margaret Thatcher was our elected Prime Minister, and for that alone, I believe that she should be honoured in her death in some form. A state funeral is not necessary, apparently she didn’t think so either.

Spare a thought for the thousands of elderly people in the UK suffering with dementia who aren’t lucky enough to end their days being cared for round the clock in The Ritz.

“Thatcher’s whole philosophy was that she measured the price of everything and the value of nothing, and we have to replace that…for 10 years it is the bad that has been promoted and the good that has been denounced as lunatic, out-of-touch, cloud cuckoo land and extremist” – Tony Benn, 1990

When Margaret Thatcher first became Prime Minister, I was thrilled. I thought she was “the best thing since sliced bread” because she stood up to the pompous idiots who had previously run parliament, allegedly on our behalf, and particularly stood up for us in Europe. However, and this is where I think the rules let us down, she was elected for a third term, following the success in the Falklands (incidentally, throughout history – you know I’m an historian? – no Argentinean has ever lived on the Falkland Islands) and that was a BIG mistake. It also happened with the idiot Tony Blair. Any Prime Minister elected to a third term believes they have carte blanche to do as they please, which is exactly what they both did.

The worst, and most horrific, part of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy was to sell off our essential services. We are now paying through the nose, with money we can ill-afford or just don’t have, for our gas, electricity and water supplies. In this 21st century, we cannot live without any of them, but especially water. Why on earth did anyone think it just that we should pay extortionate salaries and bonuses to thousands of employees, prices that incorporate the costs of dozens of different companies’ business premises, equipment, vehicles, etc, and ridiculous dividends to shareholders who bleed us dry (literally) for profits on their investments? There are people dying because they can’t afford to pay for this stupidity – for things to which we should all be entitled! It is a national disgrace and will remain, in my mind, Margaret Thatcher’s legacy.

I feel sad hearing of the death of Margaret Thatcher, she certainly was a strong woman and did a lot of good for the country. Our people were starting to dictate to the government of what they wanted, such as, more money less hours to work, this would not be accepted by any Government . This attitude from the people began to ruin our country, our car manufacturers started moving to other countries. Margaret Thatcher closed the pits which did cause problem to many, but the pits were not paying for them selves and wasting money. I didn’t agree with the selling of council houses, this is now proving to have been a bad idea. Arthur Scargill was a big thorn in her side and his continual threats of strikes and inciting the crowds to violence, brought the country to it’s knees, but she still held on, what a strong woman.

The country would have been in a worse state today, if we hadn’t been through the Thatcher years. At least our people in the Thatcher years took any job available, just look at our unemployed today. This is the legacy left from Blair.

“It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.”
This was Thatcher’s belief; if the country as a whole still abided by this we would not have the financial and social problems from which we now suffer.

Yes indeed, Margaret Thatcher should have a state funeral.

The funeral should be put out to tender and given to the lowest bidder!


A THANET WATCH REPORT. Extracts from a Question Time format meeting in Broadstairs about political corruption in Thanet. Following the imprisonment of former Conservative council leader Sandy Ezekiel residents discuss the possible safeguards against corruption. On the panel: Louise Oldfield, citizen journalist, Ian Driver, independent councillor on Thanet district council and Norman Thomas, editor Thanet Watch magazine. More in Thanet Watch magazine for April.