Monday, March 20, 2006

Omerta by the Sea

Lots of room for thought this morning, encouraged by this weekend’s many comments and several hundred new readers from a galaxy far away.

So who are the so-called Thanet ‘Mafia’ that several of the comments allude to? Do they exist or are they stories to frighten small hoodies with?

Before I left the island to live in London in the early eighties, a number of names were as familiar to me as everyone else. One of course was Councillor Cyril Hoser, arrested for counterfeiting and forgery of documents but there were two other ‘Godfathers’ whose names I can’t mention on a public site and were allegedly linked to well-known south London gangsters. Being quite close to the law, I used to hear some of the unpublished details of their activities and what was revealed did shock me.

A good twenty years on and those names have either passed-away or are wearing incontinence pants and we live in a very different world with a shopping mall at Westwood Cross. But in the Thanet of the 21st century there’s still a sense, from what I read here, of a handful of respectable and well-established local businessmen exercising a disporoportionate influence in the community. Do they, I wonder, have as much say in our future or are they instead a force for the progress that readers are asking for?

What do you think and please remember to include the words “reportedly” and “allegedly” if you happen to have any unusual stories of your own.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

One presumes that one of those, supposed to influence the gazette, if this is where this link origionates, would be our very own local club and pub chain owner. It would be fair to say that without all his adverts in the gazette, there would not be much left. Take out the self congratulatory pics and articles of us presenting rubbish to ourselves, or receiving rubbish from other where's wally contenders, and that takes out another few pages. Then, we seem to have alcoholic junior hacks who will write wonderful things about your man, in exchange for lots of free alcopops!
Didn't the gazette not long ago have a nice cosy two page, at home with MrG. Thats two out of the mysterious three I shouldn't wonder.

Anonymous said...

I recognise this person. Big pic and story last year about him and local plod stopping underage drinking in Thanet. Go in a certain well known chain of pubs establishments on a Fri or Sat and where are most of Thanets kids under 18 drinking?

Anonymous said...

A word of warning Simon!! You are navigating towards shark infested waters. Many a good man was bought to his knees with a silencing writ,
or the threat of one, by the local mafia who reigned supreme in the late eighties and early nineties.

Anonymous said...

Simon, is anon of 1:47PM hinting of an offer you can't refuse? Well did you see the giveaway in Gazette over Dreamland? Quote " Toby Hunter also said THERE WILL BE NEW ACCESS TO DREAMLAND THROUGH THE BURNT OUT REMAINS OF MR Gs ARCADE" So what a convenient fire this has turned out to be. Could any Cllr out there tell me why the listed frontage was so important if TDC has not insisted it be replaced?

No wonder we small little people of no consequence are very suspicious about what goes on in Thanet.

James Maskell said...

An off license in Ramsgate (around Colemans Cresent if I remember the general location right) was caught selling alcohol to a 14 year old last week by trading standards, despite the police advising that if you look under 21 you need to have ID.

One place which was very good over ID was The Orb pub which asked for ID the last time I went there, a couple of years ago.

DrMoores said...

Far be it from me to suggest anything that may denigrate the reputation of others and I would advise our readers to be cautious in what they write here. I'm very familiar with the libel laws of this country, so please exercise a level of common sense in exploring a sensitive local issue or I may have to take this thread down!

Anonymous said...

Sorry 1.58pm there was no offer in my message. I was being deadly serious. Many of TDC's decisions were contolled by the then mafia and possibly still are, although I have no proof of that. At least one of your current sitting Councillors, who I have no doubt as to his integrity, has received such treatment in the past. Just be careful. As Simon warned, use "allegedly" or "reportedly".

Anonymous said...

I think this thread could be getting out of it's depth!!
'MR X'

Anonymous said...

Some of them old councillors and so called Thanet businessmen from years back were quite pathetic. Nasty grubby little men with nasty grubby little backhand schemes. Gangsters they weren't, Gangsters is too good a word. Thank god they're dying off.

Anonymous said...

Some of them old councillors and so called Thanet businessmen from years back were quite pathetic. Nasty grubby little men with nasty grubby little backhand schemes. Gangsters they weren't, Gangsters is too good a word. Thank god they're dying off.

red nosed boozer said...

If under-age drinking is a problem in our pubs and in some pubs more than others, could I suugest that our now to be kept Kent local bobbies invite each of our secondary heads to make an unannounced evening pub & club crawl with them, to visit some on a Friday night. The results might indicate how well some establishments put profit before the law.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

There is NO room for corruption in Local or any other CIVILISED Government. Perpetraters must be punished when caught, there can only be '0' tolerance for such offences. As with Mr G ofD/land, any fiddles... Mr G ... You're done for, Gazette or not (allegedly)!

Anonymous said...

Quite right anon 6.54 .In order for evil to triumph, good needs only to say nothing.
We should ALL speak up and take back our communities. When did we agree to let a bunch of creatures run our areas and dictate to us?
The only reason they get away with everything is because we're too powerless and demoralised to do anything. But that can change because basically the people of Thanet are a lot smarter than anyone gives them credit for. I'm not talking about academic stuff, I mean that rarest of all qualities, COMMON SENSE and the ability to spot a sleaze a mile away.
We can change Thanet and make it our own again but we must work together against ANYONE who wants to use us, ridicule us, treat OUR ISLAND as a dumping ground for the problems of the UK or just wants to concrete it over for a fast buck and then go home to Surrey etc.
People power works WHEN IT GETS GOING. Write to Councillors, MPs, Planners, Law enforcement, anyone you can think of to let them know WE ARE WATCHING AND WILL RAISE HELL IF WE'RE NOT HAPPY. Sign petitions, demonstrate, boycott, pass around information to people who need it (put gossip to good use!) because we can't fight a proposal if we don't know its coming!
Remember, our ancestors kicked off the Peasants' Revolt which gave everyone a fright and they didn't have the internet!!!
Did you know it only takes 5% of a population to change things because the other 95% will follow, and if some people don't care about the future of Thanet as a great place to be,
THEY CAN LEAVE!!

James Maskell said...

Clearly you are very passionate about Thanet, Anonymous 11:40. You are right to say that people should get involved in the political process by contacting local representatives and sharing your concerns with them. However Im not sure I agree with the comments of near revolution or with the view that 95% of the population follow.

We all have our own views on how Thanet can be improved. Even those who do follow. My experience has been not to threaten the use of boycotts, petitions or demonstrations which can just be counter-productive, but instead to be reasonable. If you are getting in the face of Councillors and being rude then why should you expect them to help you? When talking to your local representatives, I think we all need to understand that they have to work with a bureaucracy on our behalf and a little understanding does help matters. Of course if all options are exhausted then other action may well be necessary but it shouldnt be the pre-cursor to discussion with the authorities about your concerns.

DrMoores said...

James is right. It appears that we have a collective impressions of the problems but we need to work sensibly and calmly towards the solutions, leveraging the weaknesses of system instead of fighting it. Follow Ghandi rather than Trostky perhaps?

Anonymous said...

No doubt the local Mafia will be sending some people here for a walk along the beach at high tide in concrete boots. Shame about the Turner Centre, could've ended up as an upright support.