Thanet Star

Election Aftermath

Some months ago the country was gripped with election fever, and a lot of focus was placed on South Thanet. After all, the leader of UKIP was standing as a parliamentary candidate in the constituency. As ever, opinions were divided in Thanet between whether to vote for or against Nigel Farage. The alternatives, however, were not ideal.

The Labour candidate, Will Scobie, created quite a stir and led a good campaign; however the voting public chose not to back him. This could well be due to his age and lack of experience, as many commented that while he was positive and appeared to have good intentions he hadn't held a proper, paying job. He did complete an internship, then became Mayor of Margate and progressed to local Councillor, so perhaps people felt he was attempting a career in politics rather than trying to actually make a difference. He said all the right things, though, and did well, considering the hurdles he had to climb.

Other candidates who received a very small share of the votes included the Liberal Democrat representative Russell Timpson, along with Ian Driver, who seems to change political parties more than most people change TV channels, something which probably worked against him when running on behalf of the Green Party. There were the independent candidates who all put up a good fight but were left trailing in the aftermath of the main three; Tory, Labour and UKIP. Then there were the alternative options such as Al Murray in full pub landlord mode and the Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog.

The real decision was between Farage and the Conservative candidate, Craig Mackinlay. Either you voted for UKIP or you chose the one candidate who had a real chance of beating him. As it turns out, after over 70% of the constituency voted, the Tories won.

On the one hand, choosing to vote against UKIP was probably a very smart move. Nigel Farage publicly stated he would only serve the community part-time, instead focusing on his national UKIP work. Who wants an MP that doesnít actually represent the people? Plus, for a lot of people, there was the entire UKIP policy to worry about, along with Farage taking credit for things like the HS2 that he had nothing to do with. Oh, and some casual racism.

On the other hand, Craig Mackinlay seemed to be the best option only because he had the biggest chance of winning. His campaign was vague at best, picking up on local issues without really understanding them, only moving to the area shortly before the election, and hiring a campaign manager from the Medway area. You would have assumed that he would hire local people, and he did, but not enough of them.

Ultimately we are now left with an MP that was really only voted in to prevent Farage taking the seat. The real challenge for Craig Mackinlay is to win over the local population.

It doesnít matter what party he is aligned to, or whether you voted for him, we have to make the best of the choice we democratically made as a constituency. This man is representing us in government. The trouble is it doesnít feel like heís done enough to keep us on his side. If anything he has turned some people against him; from fracking to fox hunting, condescending replies to comments on social media, not having a clear and publicly visible point of contact as he has moved offices without telling anyone. Itís a shame.

The trick to public office is to represent the people. In the last few months since winning his seat, what exactly has Craig Mackinlay done? Thatís not a rhetorical question. Admittedly itís easy to criticise when the writer is not in the same situation as the subject of the article, so instead letís end on a positive note.

Craig Mackinlay is our Member of Parliament, and has a fantastic opportunity to continue the progression that South Thanet has already seen in recent years. There are many issues that need to be addressed; considerably more than Manston airport, which seems to be the sole media focus. Now is the time for Craig Mackinlay to rise to the occasion and show us we made a sensible choice. Will he do it?

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at
Have your say (there are No Public Comments Yet ) · read more items categorised Politics · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Who was Cllr Munday?

Cllr Munday may well have been ready to leave before he ever stood as a UKIP candidate.

While it is not clear who said what exactly it is clear that there were rumours of Munday's exit before we even went to the polls.

Of course there were the usual denials and Munday was appionted chairman of Governance and Audit. A role that comes with additional money and, usually, a commitment to being invested in Thanet.

A handful of months later and:

Yes, in case you were wondering this is the same person who was one half of the couple on the receving end of UKIP racial abuse.

No news on a by-election date yet.

Have your say (there are No Public Comments Yet ) · read more items categorised Politics · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

So when is the by-election?

After the news that another UKIP councillor has abandoned the party (and their post) we are all left wondering what happens next.

Vince Munday is (or should I say was) a councillor for Newington. He was elected back in May this year and five months later he's leaving the country.

This raises two questions:

1. Surely he knew he was not likely to be here back at election time (so why did he stand)?

2. When is the by-election taking place?

Two questions only Vince Munday can actually answer. Unless he actually resigns from the council Vince is legally entitled to claim public money for "being" a councillor for up to six months from the time of his last meeting.

Assuming he chooses to soak up as much free cash as possible that means he will not be removed from the council until December. Which would place the by-election sometime early next year.

That's assuming he does not decide to pop back twice a year to keep the free cash flowing.

Have your say (there are No Public Comments Yet ) · read more items categorised Politics · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Is this council a bad joke?

What do you get when you let a man who went bankrupt for non-payment of council tax run the council?

That sounds like the start of a bad joke and the current TDC administration most certainly is. An administration full of whoever UKIP could press-gang into standing led by a bankrupt, ex-tory, backbencher. All without the slightest apparent support or advice of their national party or any real leadership from the local "leader".

Wells' dictatorial behaviour shows exactly why he failed in his bid to become the leader of the Thanet Tories. One has to wonder whether Wells left the Conservatives or was kicked out? Although, I have to admit that his insufficient and non explanatory statements in response to a crisis in the ranks are exactly the same as jail-bird Sandy Ezekiel, who Wells used to kiss up to back in his Tory days.

As for UKIP's Thanet "leader", well, Wells is anything but a team player. Wells, the lazeiest councillor in Kent (2013), back in 2008 actually got himself a KCC cabinet post and then quit months later, perhaps because real work was too hard for him?

In 2011 Wells accused Thanet Star of publishing an unctious fantasy when repeating what Wells' fellow Tory had said. Wells also insisted that we were full of lies when we published the £300k pay-off that the chief exec was getting. Facts that were actually available to Wells but were leaked to us.

Wells' total lack of leadership ability is showing as the loose coalition of bargan basement councillors waving the purple flag crumbles over their only election promise. That's what you get for voting for a "single issue party" - a group of has-been and want-to-be councillors with more interpersonal issues than actual policy ideas.

But then again, what can we actually expect from an admistration that continues the Labour policy of allowing the council to take bribes?

Perhaps it is time to back a party able to offer a true alternative to the old-boys-club mentality that we've seen for so long?

Have your say (there are 1 Public Comment) · read more items categorised Politics · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Why are TDC councillors still allowed to take bribes?

They call them gifts and hospitality but that does not hide the fact that councillors can take bribes and UKIP like it that way.

How do I know UKIP like the bribe rules at TDC? Simple, they still exist and UKIP have control of TDC. If UKIP were as different as some people claim then why did they keep the bribe rule and not changed it?

UK pounds in coffee cup

Two years ago Thanet Star reported that the rule allowing the bribery of councillors was passed unopposed. The rule which was supported by both Tory and Labour still stands.

The change still allows councillors to accept gifts, benefits and hospitality up to the value of £100, from any given party, without disclosure.

Since 2013, when this rule was passed, even the NHS has tightened up on gifts from lobbying persons and groups. Not so TDC. Under Labour TDC allowed themselves more space to take secret bribes. Under UKIP they continued to do so.

Assuming an average gift of £90, where a UKIP councillor to visit five (5) campaigners each day then, over a five working day week, they could net £450 and not tell anyone. Assuming that they take four weeks off a year, that's £21,600 in tax free bribes.

So I ask again, if UKIP were so different why did they not changed this rule?

Folded pile of £10 notes

When we first told you about this rule we also worked out how, with a little laundering, someone could pay just shy of £500 a day to a councillor and it would never show up on any records in the council nor break any rules. Get five people doing that for you each day and you are netting over £100,000 a year tax free in "gifts" without a single rule being broken (on paper).

Even if ongoing gifts do not fit under this rule and this huge windfall is not happening for UKIP councillors there is nothing to stop a developer getting several hundred quid into a few hands to grease a planning application through.

While this rule stands we cannot trust anything that the UKIP council does.

Housing Market Gamble

If UKIP were so different why did they keep this rule?

Have your say (there are No Public Comments Yet ) · read more items categorised Politics · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here
Byte Sized


For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

Byte Sized

Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

Byte Sized

Did you know

MP Roger Gail (thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Byte Sized

Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

Byte Sized

Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

Byte Sized

Did Labour Lie?

Who actually believes TDCs Health and Safety line? Comment now on Thanet Star.

Byte Sized

MRP Minutes

All of the Margate Renewal Partnership Board Meeting Minutes (Via FOI)

Byte Sized

Manston Airport

Two weeks to find Manston Airport buyer says North Thanet MP (via BBC)

Byte Sized

CCG to review

Thanet CCG told by High Court judge that policy on assistive reproduction technique is ďunlawfulĒ. [link]


Stay in and Read Thanet Star

Recent Comments

Matt B commented on Is this council a bad joke?
With thanks to a reader (who wishes to remain unnamed), now edited for clarity.
[25-08-2015 11:36:51]

Matt B commented on Good luck figuring out your ...
Update: A new poll from published by the Mirror shows that your choice this year in...
[05-04-2015 21:55:30]

Matt B commented on Letters: Reforming the Bedro...
HMRC put corporate tax avoidance at £4.1bn whereas TDC report that the bedroom tax has...
[30-10-2014 11:54:33]

Matt B commented on Will Manston now become hous...
KLM were doing okay until Anne chased them away.
[30-10-2014 11:50:11]

Matt B commented on Public calls for the resigna...
The whole point of democracy is that ideas you disagree with can gain support from...
[30-10-2014 11:49:00]

Voice of Reaso... commented on Public calls for the resigna...
Yeah, let's not bother with democracy any more and just go on what a few hundred people...
[29-10-2014 18:42:22]

Tango and Cash commented on Are TDC about to back out of...
Lets hope TDC have finally seen the light before they waste another penny of taxpayers...
[05-10-2014 00:58:24]

Dr. Beau Webbe... commented on Are TDC about to back out of...
"Iris Johnson the Labour leader of TDC has suggested in an ITV interview that she...
[30-09-2014 23:58:21]

Tango and Cash commented on Will Manston now become hous...
Manston has never made a profit in 20 years. If -The local Chamber of Commerce has...
[28-09-2014 05:05:28]

Tango and Cash commented on Letters: Reforming the Bedro...
If your claim is correct, - if the problem is that people really are in homes that are...
[28-09-2014 04:51:05]

Get the latest comments by feed

Thanet Finder

Thanet Finder is Thanet's search engine created by people like me and you.

Contact Us

Talk to us on Google+.

Connect with Thanet Star on twitter as @thanetstar

Thanet Star on Facebook

You can also leave a message

Custom Printed T-Shirts - Save 25% on T-Shirts Today.