Month: February 2016

PROTEST AGAINST “CRUEL” SANCTIONS

no sanctions
There’s going to be a Thanet Day of Action against Sanctions on Wednesday 9 March.
Job centres in Ramsgate and Margate will be picketed as part of a national demonstration against the way sanctions are applied against the unemployed.
The event has been organised by Unite the Union.
Says a spokesperson for Unite: “More and more people are facing benefit sanctions. Half a million people have had their benefits suddenly stopped by sanctions in the last 12 months.
“That’s half a million people, many of whom have been plunged into poverty, unable to heat their homes or even eat. How is this meant to help prepare people for work?”
The spokesperson added: “These sanctions are cruel and handed out for ridiculous reasons such as arriving minutes late to a meeting and not applying for jobs when waiting to start a new job. This has to stop!”
In Thanet the day of action is supported by a wide range of groups including Thanet Families In Need, Momentum Thanet, the Labour and Green parties.
The Ramsgate picket will begin at 9.30am, outside Ramsgate job centre,Queens House, Queen St, Ramsgate CT11 9EW.
Details of the Margate picket will be posted soon.
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TELL JEREMY CORBYN WHAT THANET NEEDS

 

jeremy corbyn cu

HELP CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC PLAN FOR THANET

Do you have an idea which you think may help restore Thanet’s economic fortunes?

Now’s your chance to put it to Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party.

Jeremy’s support group Momentum Thanet is putting together an alternative local plan for the Isle and is inviting anyone who has ideas to contribute to get in touch.

The emphasis will be on initiatives that create new jobs in Thanet, but they will have to be based on sound practical experience, be environmentally sustainable and provide employment at a rate above the living wage.

Momentum organiser Jackie Walker says that the idea was triggered by the visit of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to Thanet in January when he spoke in the Kings Theatre in Ramsgate.

Jackie said: “John mentioned the idea of local people in poorer areas like Thanet being encouraged to put forward their own economic plan for their area — so we decided to take him up on it.”

“I said, how about if people in Thanet put together their own economic plan and we present it to you. He said: why not come up to Westminster and present it to me and the entire Shadow Treasury Team!”

Momentum Thanet is inviting all people who live on the Isle to put forward their ideas and will be holding a series of meetings to discuss them.

And contributing to the plan is definitely NOT confined to members of the Labour Party.

“Our invitation is open to people of all parties and none,” Jackie said. “What we’re after are good, practical ideas based on people’s experience of living and working on the Isle.”

But, she added, priority will be given to ideas that are good for the environment, provide high quality employment and benefit the community as a whole.

“Too long people in Thanet have been told what is good for them. For too long we’ve hoped for big businesses or “entrepreneurs” – many of them extremely dodgy characters – to come and bring their money to the Isle.

“Little of what they’ve done has brought lasting benefit to the area.  We want the people who live here to propose things which will set Thanet on its feet again.”

Following rigorous examination and discussion the ideas, Jackie said, will be fed into a carefully worked out economic plan .

“When we’ve put together our plan,” she says, “we will present it to John McDonnell and the rest of the Shadow Treasury Team and seek the commitment of a future Labour government to help us put it into practice.”

The plan, which is part of the Poverty is a Crime Campaign organised by Momentum Thanet, will be launched at a public meeting on Wednesday 9 March at 7pm at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs CT10 2BT.

At the launch there will be a special screening of a film illustrating the impact of deprivation and joblessness on Thanet and this will be followed by a discussion. Anyone who wants to contribute their ideas in advance of the meeting can email Jackie Walker on  momentumthanet@googlemail.com

HAVE A WORD WITH DAVE, YOUR MADGE

OLD MOLE’S ONLINE DIARY

QUEEN AND PM

Uh-oh. Some public-spirited Thanet folk are lining up to sign up to “Clean for The Queen”.

Careful guys.

This campaign, championed by the Daily Mail and supported by McDonald’s, aims “to clear up Britain” in time for Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday in June 2016.

I wonder if anyone’s asked Her Madge if she’s actually in favour of this strangely feudal project.

I don’t think they have, because I’m sure straightaway she’d have got onto her prime minister, David Cameron.

“Hey, Dave, my man,” she’d say, “vis a vis getting’ these ’ere streets clean, wouldn’t they be a lot jolly cleaner if you government chappies hadn’t been cutting local authority budgets by  £18 billion in real terms since 2010, like wot it says in my Financial Times?”

And Her Madge would be dead right because just look what’s been happening in Thanet.

Our street cleaners have been cut by a third in the four years up to 2014.

In that time Margate’s cleaners fell from 14 to 9, Ramsgate’s from 13 to ten.

Poor old Broadstairs got the worst of it – losing 60 per cent of its cleaners – meaning it ended up with just two cleaners.

Our streets have been getting dirtier because there are fewer street cleaners to clean them.

And it’s getting worse

In fact, if cuts to our street cleaners go on at their current rate, blogger Matt Brown has worked out,  that by 2021 we will have no cleaners at all.

So please Queenie, or any peasants out there good-heartedly thinking of signing up to the campaign in her name – if you want to get our streets clean, ask Dave to stop cutting the money going to our councils.

Then not only could we have cleaner streets, we could have a few more jobs around here, too.

WHY ARE WE AT WAR?

LINDSEY GERMAN

LINDSEY GERMAN

A meeting’s been called on Wednesday 3 February to discuss why Britain’s at war – and why Thanet should care.

Lindsey German, national convenor of the Stop The War campaign group, will be speaking in a public meeting in Broadstairs.

She will be joined by Aram Rawf, who came to Britain from Iraq as an asylum seeker almost 20 years ago, to discuss the bombing of Syria.

A spokesperson for Thanet Left Forum who have organised the meeting said: “Britain is bombing Syria. It’s supplying weapons and advisors to Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen. This is a chance to question why we’re doing this.”

He added: “Are we really doing this in self-defence? And wouldn’t the money be better spent helping poor areas like Thanet.

The meeting will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 3 February at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs CT10 2BT.

aram rawf

ARAM RAWF

REFUGEES: THANET HAS MORE COMPASSION

Thanet District Council will only take eight families of Syrian refugees, UKIP council leader Chris Wells said in an interview recently (see https://thanetwatch.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/why-thanet-will-only-take-8-syrian-families/)

Here Karen Constantine, newly elected councillor for Thanet’s Newington ward, replies:

I think Cllr Wells is completely out of step with what people of Thanet want and feel. We may have an impoverished economy locally but we have high compassion. People of Thanet would welcome and support people who are seeking refuge. No one with a heart can bear to see some of the images we are seeing on our TVs of people drowning and not respond accordingly. Cllr Wells is out of touch with the people of Thanet.