Lots of larger ships sheltering off the Margate Roads now and I would expect to see some structural damage. A little earlier, while I was out in Westgate buying a paper, the road works signs scattered across the street and I found myself stopping the traffic while I dragged them back to lie flat against the pavement kerb.
Reading the Thanet Gazette I once again marvel at the incisive quality of the journalism. If three passers-by and an ageing Corgi, picked at random, were asked for an opinion on any local topic any reader might be forgiven for believing that the answers represented a groundswell of public opinion. If there's any doubt of course, then look for the regular letter from Westgate's Mr Muir and his one-man campaign against MP Roger Gale. Is the Gazette, I wonder, so short of good letters that they give his opinions space, week-in and week-out? Is he now a regular columnist I wonder?
On today's news, we hear that 21% of the total population are now economically inactive. For the younger generation looking for work inside this oveall figure, this is apparently the highest since records began. Reading the local paper, which publishes the size of the budget deficit facing your local council, I'm again struck by the evidence that neither Labour nor Independent councillors quoted in the pages appear to fully grasp the seriousness of the picture facing this country. One of the latter told me recently that he was convinced that the council had money hidden away somewhere that would fund the schemes he wanted. I'm not sure the paper understands the size of the problem either. You can slice and dice costs as much as you like but in the end, Government are not going to deliver the money we need, simply to stand still, that annual 60% of the cake which balances the 40% raised in council tax.
Let's look at this another way perhaps. I read yesterday that to afford a family an income of £25,000 a year is required; unless of course you happen to be one of the 100,000 or so families that receive up to £25,000 in benefits. Now imagine that the family income is cut to £22,000 and possibly down to £20,000 and that's roughly where we are in local government today. Without a doubt, any household extravagancies can go, any holidays; Sky TV perhaps and more but with bills going up there are much tougher decisions to be made simply to stay afloat.
The weather outside is now so bad that Sky News has given up the ghost as the satellite signal can no longer reach through the rain clouds. I think I'll settle down with my Amazon 'Kindle' reader. I have to confess that two weeks in to using an electronic book, it's quite changed my reading habits in a way I couldn't have imagined before. The convenience of having a best-seller delivered electronically, within seconds of ordering it from the Amazon website is remarkable and the shape of things to come. For any readers who might wish to try it, you can download the reader software for the PC and the Apple iPhone, free from the Amazon website.