Sunday, December 29, 2013


It's a stunning, almost alpine-like afternoon on the costa del seaside, here in fabulous Thanet this afternoon and I have been out taking photos.

In contrast with last week's floods and plane-throwing hurricane, it's a pleasant change to see the weather on best behaviour, for a day or so at least before the next big Atlantic front rolls in our direction.

It's been ten years, since I spent my first family Xmas here and Thanet Life is a useful diary, for me at least, of what happened in the intervening years; being drawn into the often frustrating bear-pit of local politics in an attempt to make this a better place for all.

Perhaps in 2014, we can all finally move on from the miners strike and the 1970s or even 1993; a constant and tedious political reminder in almost every Council meeting.

The next two weeks will show whether fears of a mass influx of migrants from Bulgaria and Romania are alarmist or something we should be worrying about, here on a small, almost-island, with many community support services already stretched to near breaking point.

Whether we will be able to discuss this in Council, once we have a proper and accurate view, post January, is another question.  On previous form it's unlikely, but I intend to try, if only to establish the facts before UKIP start writing the script in advance of the European elections.

Reading the papers today, one story caught my eye above the others. This was the reported complaint of one of the Greenpeace activists, just released by President Putin, under an amnesty. Apparently, Russian prisons don't offer a vegetarian menu, which is somewhat vexing if you are arrested. Clearly he had never read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel, 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov.

He ate his supper without bread. A double helping and bread--that was going too far. The bread would do for tomorrow. The belly is a demon. It doesn't remember how well you treated it yesterday; it'll cry out for more tomorrow.” 

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