Month: November 2016

THREE URGENT QUESTIONS FOR CRAIG MACKINLAY

macca-mug-shot2

Jackie Walker of Momentum Thanet has written to Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, asking him to answer three questions which, she says, are of urgent concern to his constituents.

The questions relate to Mr Mackinlay’s decision to hire Sam Armstrong as his chief of staff. Mr Armstrong was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in Mr Mackinlay’s Westminster office in October and is currently on bail until January.

In her letter Ms Walker asks:

– Why Mr Mackinlay employed Sam Armstrong as his chief of staff six months after he was banned from the 2015 Conservative Party conference?

– Whether when he hired him he was aware of Sam Armstrong’s close association with Mark Clarke, who following an internal inquiry into alleged bullying and harassment in the Conservative Party was banned for life from the party?

– If he asked Sam Armstrong to investigate the social media of a number of his constituents, including Ms Walker, with a view to attacking them publicly?

Ms Walker said: “Mr Mackinlay has behaved outrageously in publicly attacking a number of his constituents, including myself, without contacting them first, and we need him to explain why he did this.   He actually wrote to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to ban four of us from his rally in Ramsgate and then tweeted this to his followers. This was incredibly upsetting for all of us.”

She added: “We also need to know why he employed Sam Armstrong as his chief of staff knowing full well Armstrong’s background and record in the Conservative Party. Unless he does come up with satisfactory answers to these questions, both Mr Mackinlay’s integrity and judgement as our MP must be in serious question and he will find it increasingly difficult to operate as an effective constituency MP.”

THE LETTER JACKIE SENT TO CRAIG MACKINLAY

Dear Craig Mackinlay,

URGENT QUESTIONS TO ANSWER

In October your chief of staff Sam Armstrong was arrested by police on suspicion of raping a woman in your Westminster office. He’s now on bail pending police enquiries and of course it’s not possible talk about his case at this time.

But I want to ask you three questions about your employment of this man which are of urgent concern to your constituents, of which I am one.

Why did you employ Sam Armstrong as your chief of staff approximately six months after he was banned from the 2015 Conservative Party conference?

Were you aware, when you hired him, of Sam Armstrong’s close association with Mark Clarke who, following an internal inquiry into alleged bullying and harassment in the Conservative Party, was banned for life from the party.

Did you ask Sam Armstrong to investigate the social media of a number of your constituents, including myself, with a view to attacking them publicly – or was this his own initiative?

I feel you must answer these questions with the utmost urgency to reassure us, your constituents, of your judgement and integrity as our MP.

Jacqueline Walker

Organiser, Momentum Thanet

KING KONG COMES TO BROADSTAIRS!

king-kong

Lock up your partners, ground your aeroplanes, hide your high rise buildings. King Kong is coming to Broadstairs.

But no, it isn’t the legendary giant monkey – it’s the story of an extraordinary musical about a boxer called King Kong which electrified apartheid-bound South Africa in the 1950s.

“Todd Magic Geezer” by Ace Books, tells the story of how the musical was made. And it gets its world premiere in the Sarah Thorne Theatre in Broadstairs this November.

The man who wrote King Kong, the musical, was a journalist called Todd Matshikiza and by a great coincidence the man playing  the musical hero  is also Todd – Steven Todd, one of Thanet’s best known actors, who’s played everything from murder mysteries to Shakespeare.

“It certainly is a coincidence that I’m playing Todd.” says Steven “When we started work on the show I didn’t think I was even going to be in it!”

The part, he feels, is particularly special because he’s playing the star of a show which got made despite impossible odds.

Steven says: “Todd Matshikiza was black, his lyricist was white – and in 1950s South Africa it was actually a criminal offence for whites and blacks to associate. Despite this and despite every other conceivable hindrance and hardship they got the show staged in South Africa and it was a huge hit. Nelson Mandela – before they threw him in jail – attended the first night.”

“King Kong” transferred to London’s West End where its portrayal of “the life, colour and effervescence –as well as the poignancy and sadness – of township life” electrified huge multiracial audiences.

“How “King Kong” was created is a fantastic story,” Steven says, “and we try to tell it with humour, heart – and, of course, songs.”

The play has been produced for Broadstairs Dickens Players in association with Hags Ahoy.

“Todd Magic Geezer” is on Friday 11 November and Saturday 12 November at 7.30pm and Sunday 13 November at 2.30pm at the Sarah Thorne Theatre Company, Hilderstone, Broadstairs. Ring 01843 863701, www.sarahthorne-theatrecompany.co.uk.

CORBYN CALLS FOR CAMPAIGN FOR NHS

Jeremy Corbyn has told supporters the Labour Party is planning a “massive campaign day” for the NHS on Saturday 26 November. Jeremy says: “Under Theresa May’s Government, our NHS is in crisis. In November we’ll be coming together as a party to show the Tories that we won’t stand by while they destroy our NHS, and to let people know that Labour will always give the NHS the money it needs.” More details of local and national events will be available soon.

CORBYNISTAS SURGE FORWARD IN NORTH THANET

jeremy-corbyn-in-margate

Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Margate

Things are on the move in North Thanet Labour Party.

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have won all the key offices in the constituency which includes Margate and Herne Bay.

Barry Lewis is now secretary, John Gibson chair, Jon Worrow treasurer and Pauline Farrance women’s officer.

Membership has trebled, and new members are being converted on the doorstep, while ambitious plans for canvassing the area have been launched.

One of the prime movers behind the changes is Barry Lewis, who was once a councillor in Thanet.  He was famed for his stand against Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax back in 1990 and his clashes with Tory MP Roger Gale.

One insider told the Watch: “After years of inactivity, North Thanet Labour is going places. Watch this space.”