Tough on Crime

Ratty’s mind was put at rest when a copy of “Policing Kent” dropped onto his doormat yesterday. It explains at length how our brave men and women in blue are making Kent a safer place by cracking down on drink, drugs and other small pleasures. The banner at the top of the front page shows the accompanying reassuring image of community policing in action.

Imperial Stormtrooper Dave Bludgeon visits the home of Ethel Hogslop (93), suspected of contemplating crossing the road before the green man lit up.

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You Read it Here First

On this occasion Ratty is sad to be proved right but loyal readers will remember that he warned right back at the beginning of July that A&E was likely to be moved from QEQM hospital in Margate to William Harvey hospital in Ashford, instantly adding an hour or so to any emergency trip needed by Thanet’s 130,000 residents. The news has only just reached the pages of the Thanet Gazette – better late than never perhaps although possibly the same can’t be said for those needing urgent medical attention in the future.

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Ezekiel Arrested – What About the Rest?

Ratty is pleased to hear that Sandy Ezekiel has been arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office, although that’s putting it mildly in Ratty’s opinion. Cynically he expects that the Thanet kleptocracy will close ranks in order to sweep this under the carpet. Equally, he hopes that this is just the beginning of justice for the nasty, stupid, grasping pond life that have run, and ruined, Thanet for so many years. Sandy “Left my Reading Glasses at Home” Ezekiel is an illiterate buffoon who disgraced Thanet every time he opened his shite-filled gob. Ratty marvels that any conscious human being could walk into a polling booth and make their mark against the name of such an ignorant, malicious twat.

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Thanet’s Secret Economic Weapon

Ratty has scanned the latest news on the economy for any glimmer of hope for Thanet and thinks he may have found one.

On a day when unemployment figures have surged upwards, the Bank of England has slashed its growth forecast, the euro has tanked and Spanish and French bond rates have risen to alarming levels we still have inflation creeping ever upwards and fuel prices soaring and it might seem that the outlook is bleak indeed. But remember Thanet’s secret weapon! Even in these grim times TDC’s policies continue to ensure that Thanet scrapes along the bottom way behind nearly every other part of the county by almost any measure you care to name. That means we can’t be hurt by a eurozone crash, a full-blown depression, hyper-inflation or the end of oil because none of those things are nearly as bad as what TDC does tirelessly day in, day out to drag the area down and keep it there.

Ratty did say it was only a glimmer of hope, didn’t he?

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Bob the Leader, Can he Fix It?

Finding himself at a loose end in Ramsgate on Friday night Ratty decided to take himself off to that noted social venue, the Kent International Airport Consultative Committee. Things got off to a fiery start as a member of the public leapt to his feet just as the meeting began and launched an uncontrolled tirade of anger and frustration at Charles Buchanan and Bob Bayford. As he complained about the impact of low-flying aircraft on his home and family some of the nastier members of the audience loudly advised him to move house, clearly believing that driving people from their house and home was an entirely normal and proper function of a local airport.

Charles Buchanan admitted that the airport was still losing colossal amounts of money. Bob Bayford told the public that he was doing them a huge favour by having a consultation on night flights at all then went on to explain exactly how it would be fixed to get the outcome he wanted. At several points and later when asked detailed questions about planning and other issues Bayford was at pains to explain that he knew nothing about anything whatsoever, indeed he seemed to cherish his all-encompassing ignorance as a kind of beacon of democracy. He was clear that the process will lead to a democratic outcome that would definitely make lots of people unhappy. Reading between the lines it seems that the public consultation will be asking questions along the lines of “do you think the airport is good for Thanet’s economy?” as if the answer to this could be arrived at by asking 1,000 people in the street what they reckon and which in any case has nothing to do with the question of night flights. A bit like forecasting the weather by asking 1,000 people on the street what they reckon it will be like tomorrow – their opinion, unless by chance you happen to pick 1,000 meteorologists, is entirely irrelevant to the actual facts.

During public questions the anti night flight crowd made well-informed criticisms of both night flying and the consultation process described by Bayford, including an alarming report of a study from the US linking airports and childhood leukemia. Pro night flight buffoons endlessly intoned their cry of “Jobs! Jobs!” but failed to quote any evidence whatsoever. Combining stupidity, malice and obsequiousness, Ramsgate’s leading fuckwit Gerry O’Donnell praised the airport for all the miracles it had wrought in Thanet and begged them to introduce night flights as soon as possible. Presumably he will equally welcome the childhood leukemia, the flight of tourists from Ramsgate (how will that affect business at his wretched ice cream kiosk?) and all the other dismal consequences.

Bayford explained that while it was true that the people of Ramsgate would have to give up their sleep, they should consider it a worthwhile sacrifice because the enormous number of jobs that would follow would mean that people who currently couldn’t sleep because they were unemployed would at last be able to get a good night’s rest. Yes, he really said that. For the record the unemployed in Thanet number around 5,500 (and for this argument we should exclude those who live under the flight path, not to mention those who happen to get a perfectly good night’s sleep despite being unemployed). Night flights will directly affect around 30,000 people. The most extravagant claims made by the airport are that around 3,000 jobs will be created.

Charles Buchanan and his goonish supporters continued to conflate night flights with expansion of the airport, his favourite tactic of late. He amused parts of the audience by claiming that he would be boosting Thanet’s tourist trade by flying in tourists. It also transpired that he will probably lose the Belfast route leaving Edinburgh as the only scheduled service, currently running at about 50% capacity.

After the dreary mumblings of the bumbling halfwits representing the pro night flight lobby had dried up resolute anti night flight battler Sue Kennedy pulled the rug out from under their feet by dragging the discussion away from airport expansion and back to night flights, pointing out that that was the only issue on the table and that the various reports and consultations should deal with that subject and that subject alone. If that comes to pass Ratty will eat his tiny hat – it looks like the precise opposite is the plan for Charles Buchanan and his faithful lackey Bob Bayford. Can he fix it? He’ll certainly do his best.

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The Leader is not Dead. Probably.

Ratty recalls with a certain fondness the good old days of the cold war when Russian leaders were possessed of a sense of duty so strong that mere death was considered far too trivial to stand in the way of attendance at important meetings. Ratty was reminded of this by the accompanying photograph, showing as it does, Bob Bayford, leader of Thanet Dumbarse Council. Here we see him in a meeting at the Turner Contemporary with a government minister and various local bigwigs, enthusiastically throwing himself into the debate with his characteristic sparkling wit and matchless erudition. Ratty can’t imagine just how impressed the minister must have been.

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A Routine Procedure

2am on a quiet Thursday night. An unmarked car pulls up outside the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital. Outside the Spencer Wing to be specific, the discrete private wing that is in fact the raison d’etre of the despised public hospital. Despised, that is, by private patients such as the one waiting in the unmarked car, who shudders at the thought of all the dirty, working class people being looked after at the tax payer’s expense only a few dozen yards away. As it happens this particular patient is a Tory councillor, excitedly awaiting the procedure that will guarantee him a lifetime place on the district council. After only a few moments the door of the car is opened for him and he is ushered into the building.

Some time later our patient is wheeled unconscious into an operating theatre, normally closed down for the night but opened this night for just one patient. After some preliminary work with a saw part of the patient’s brain is visible. The surgeon, one of the country’s finest, and very much in demand these days for this, his signature procedure, with extreme care and precision uses exquisitely engineered instruments to remove a tiny piece of tissue which he discards into a waiting dish with something approaching contempt. It is, or was, the seat of compassion within the patient’s brain, something he will no longer be needing. Following a strict set of procedures the troublesome organ is swiftly transported to the hospital incinerator where it is disposed of quickly and completely. But the operation is not yet over. Small sections of flexible plastic membrane are implanted in strategic locations within the exposed brain, one at a time and joined together in places. These will serve to render decision making areas of the brain impervious to facts or reason. His work complete the surgeon smiles grimly and retires, leaving a trainee to finish the job.

Only three days later the councillor sits at his desk with a map. Using a blue crayon he has plotted a line through a clinic, an orphanage, an historic church, a park and two schools and is happily discussing his plan for a link road from the motorway leading to a new retail park. The operation has been a complete success.

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