mc-Donnell hands uo

People in Thanet could produce a local plan to revive their own area, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told a packed audience in Ramsgate on Tuesday 19 January.

Mr McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said: “We believe that local people have the knowledge and the know how to turn their areas round. So we’re saying to them, put together your plan, show us where you want to go and we will work with you to help you get there.”

He told the audience that areas like Thanet, one of the poorest parts of south east England, would have a special priority for the next Labour government.

The key, he said, would be investment in infrastructure and education, bringing well paid jobs based on new technologies. “A new Labour government will pick on areas to pilot new ideas for reviving a local economy – and Thanet would be exactly the sort of area to do this.”

Mr McDonnell was speaking at a meeting of the newly formed Momentum Thanet group, set up to campaign for the ideas and policies on which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was elected.

Momentum organiser Jackie Walker, who lives in Broadstairs, said: “It was a tremendously successful meeting. Hundreds more came than we were expecting and there was standing room only.”

She added: “The great reception John received shows the huge enthusiasm there is in this area for the new Labour opposition. Jeremy has had some bad publicity in recent months, but our meeting shows public support for him is high and getting higher.”

Momentum Thanet is planning more events for the future. Email for details.



old mole

duncan smithson

Fun-loving Dunc Smithson



Old Mole can hardly sleep in his hole for all this talk of the Newington by-election and Nigel Farage’s UKIP.

Back in May Thanet became nationally famous as the place our Nidge tried and failed to grab a seat in parliament.

Though the Crinkly One got some consolation when the Kippers won control of Thanet council – his party’s first such victory.

But since then of course it’s all gone giant-marrow-shaped for the Kippers.

Huge internal punch-ups over the party’s unfulfilled promise to reopen Manston Airport have led to numerous defections among its members and lost it control of the council.

That’s why the Newington by-election (caused by the emigration of UKIP’s sitting councillor to Thailand!) has got all the local politicos excited, with most seeing it as a critical two horse race between Labour and the Kippers.

So when a rumour reaches Thanet Watch Towers that not all Kippers are entirely thrilled to bits with the party’s choice of fun-loving Farage blue-eyed boy Duncan Smithson to fight the seat for them, we naturally whizz off an email to senior UKIP councillor and distinguished mayor of Ramsgate, Trevor Shonk.

What’s his view of Dunc as a candidate, we ask him?

We of course expect him to offer a glowing endorsement of Dunc’s talents.

So you can imagine how gob-smacked Moley was to receive not one word of approval from Trev for Dunc.

Instead we got the following – in Trev’s own delightful grammar and spelling:

“The best person will win whom ever wins this seat ,we at RTC [Ramsgate Town Council] will have to work with the elected councillor ,to much division in all parties so Ramsgate is the priority at all times

I will and always work with all political colours and that has been me from day one !!
Might upset a few ,the only way forward is working with each other for Thanet and all things local and we have so much stacked against us…”

Trev then, quite rightly, goes on to give as an example of what Thanet’s got stacked against it – the recent shocking closure of the Royal School for Deaf Children Margate.

But does he give us even one word in support of his close colleague Dunc Smithson in this vital election for his party?

Absolutely nothing.

Not believing its eyes, the Watch writes off to Trevor to double-check he’s got the point. We ask “Do you truthfully consider Duncan the best person to stand for Newington? Are you happy to canvass for him?”

Answer came there none.

But if Moley hears anything he’ll let you know…


We filmed Thanet Council leader Clive Hart – plus charming child – on Saturday and he spoke frankly about his hopes and fears for the Isle.

Clive said his biggest fear was for the future of the QEQM hospital. He was worried that a loss of services might lead to a downgrading of the hospital, and he said the council would fight to stop this happening.

An emergency public meeting has since been called to discuss threats to Thanet’s health services including the hospital, mental services and GP practices.

The meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday May 23rd at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs CT10 2BT. All welcome.