A Ramsgate Blog 86

This blog now comes to you from Ramsgate. Sorry about the hiatus. I flew back from Ghana overnight and that day picked up the keys and entered our new home. Since then I have been ankle deep in plaster dust. There is a lot to do.

I share the outrage over the lack of a prosecution for the manslaughter (at least) of Ian Tomlinson. On torture and extraordinary rendition, and on policy in Afghanistan, I feel events have completely vindicated me and my efforts. But there are times in life when you need to step back for a brief while from a public role and concentrate on your family, and this has been (and still will be for a few days) one of those times.

I really like Ramsgate. It reminds me a lot of Sheringham, where I grew up, Jamie and Emily went to prep schools in Broadstairs and Ramsgate respectively. It was a great port, from which many historic journeys started. You can still hop on a ferry over to Ostend. It feels vibrant compared to most of our larger seaside towns.

There is of course another side. Some time in the last 20 years, whether by drift of events or by conscious policy of Kent County Council or the Home Office (maybe someone can enlighten me), Thanet became a prime place to dump people the state viewed as problems. Asylum seekers – many of them genuine – drug addicts, rehabilitating offenders, problem families, all found themselves put into the crumbling and unwanted seaside guest houses of Thanet. Some people cashed in – our house was illegally and horribly converted into bedsits. The despair and seediness of it all were brilliantly chronicled in the film The Last Resort.

Ramsgate, of course, is not Margate. But if you need a policeman in a hurry out of hours they come from Margate, as we discovered when we came across a middle aged drug addict attempting to throttle his similarly afflicted partner – who was bleeding from a blow to the face – in Ramsgate High Street at 6pm.

Only the second time I have had to call 999 in my life, and I had only been in Ramsgate 24 hours!

Into this extraordinary mix you then disgorge from the newly built high speed rail link a crowd of largely young professional London commuters. I am in a sense one, though I won’t commute. The attraction is that 70 minutes from St Pancras you can pick up a perfectly serviceable three bedroom house with a good garden for £160,000. Or if you are crazy like us you can pick up a rambling 1834 villa with 14 major rooms, all in a state of decay, and a very large garden for £295,000.

The High Speed Rail Link is really impressive as far as Ashford, running on the Eurostar lines allegedly at 140mph. After that it continues on not so much at high speed, as not as slow as a stopping train. Until the high speed link, trains in the 2000’s took 15 minutes longer to reach Ramsgate from London than they did in the 1890’s.

With its refurbished marina, swathe of new restaurants and official council attempt to create a “cafe culture”, Ramsgate becomes a still more interesting social mix. The one really functional bit of our house was an expensive and comprehensive alarm system – I am scared to fart unless the police come hurtling round. The security bars on our neighbour’s house remind me of living in Lagos. Plainly there are social tensions, at least in the minds of the owners of larger houses.

I know that I feel resentment at all the “foreigners” (ie non-Shannocks) who swamped Sheringham. As a child if I walked down Sheringham High Street, not only would I know everyone I saw, literally half of them would be related to my mum. God knows who they all are now. And Sheringham does not have the brash yuppie-ism of the Marina area at Ramsgate and its pretence at being Cannes, for young locals to make fun of.

But so far I have found Ramsgate people entirely welcoming, and there is at least some anecdotal evidence that the local economy is benefiting. Both the tree surgeon and plumber have told us that most of their work at the minute is from commuters who have just moved down from London. The last couple of evenings I ate in a Lithuanian/Russian restaurant named CCCP, and in an Indian/Bengali restaurant named Spice Fusion which was opened by lads from London who moved down the same day as me.

Ramsgate. The fashionable place to live. It must be – the Murrays are here 🙂

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86 thoughts on “A Ramsgate Blog

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  • Parky

    Living in ambassadorial accommodation all those years must make it very hard to live in confines suffered by the proletariat and a fourteen room villa has to be the des res of choice. Better make sure the gate is locked at night though just to be on the safe side.

    You seem to be confused or confounded by the changes in British society which on the one hand have produced more eating out opportunities for the Guardian reading classes and at least some hope to the homeless, poor and destitute from other lands. It’s this contradiction which is also apparent to those who support the aims of the BNP, which I understand is popular in parts of Kent on the blunt end of an open door mass immigration policy. Who could blame them?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Well picked up Somebody –

    The crucial factor in President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq and murder and maim 327,430 children, including babies and toddlers, was to help Israel.

    With support from Israel and America’s Jewish-Zionist lobby, and prodded by Jewish “neo-conservatives” holding high-level positions in his administration, President Bush ?” who was already fervently committed to Israel ?” resolved to invade and subdue one of Israel’s chief regional enemies.

    I stated on the now defunct WebCameron, along with the majority of past posters that we would fight with every bone in our bodies, every sinew, to prevent our country Britain becoming a slave to the murderous Israeli government.

    A UK-based group has written to the Committee on Standards in Public Life formally requesting an investigation of Israeli influence that paralyses the heart of British government.

    As the 21-month-long siege of Gaza becomes a death sentence for yet more civilians, a group in the UK with experience of the Israeli-occupied territories is urging the Committee on Standards in Public Life to examine whether there is undue Israeli influence at the heart of the British government.

    The group invites readers to join them in pressing the Standards Committee to uphold the seven Principles of Public Life and banish lobby groups acting on behalf of foreign military regimes.

    Please write to:

    Peter Ramsden

    Secretary to the Committee

    Committee on Standards in Public Life

    35 Great Smith Street

    London SW1P 3BQ

    Email: [email protected]

    With enormous thanks for just a minute of your time.

  • Adrian Kent

    Good luck with the new house and the move to East Kent. It reminded me of when I moved down here to Brighton a few years back – I was greeted by a bloke at the bar in my new local who introduced himself by asking if I was a “f**king dear fella?”. I said of course I was, and asked if he was “f**king lovely too?”. He told me to f**k off then. Turns out dear-fella was actually ‘D-F-L-er’ – a down from London-er. I wonder if the good people of Ramsgate use the same term.

  • Paul Johnston

    See Kent has it’s own branch of Medical Justice which you spoke to recently in Manchester

  • BGD

    We live in Broadstairs next door. Ramsgate is as you say an interesting social mix.

    You are lucky that your children are passed school age though because many of the schools are appalling.

    The other half is doing a PGCE and recently did some required observation in one of the schools where many of the kids regularly came in black and blue, one was a reformed child prostitute another had been found living a feral existence in back gardens, many had addicts for parents and lived in blocks with rubbish piled high.

    Added to your list of state dumping agencies, I believe many London councils bought property here in the 90s and moved some of their live-in children’s homes to the neighborhood.

    Mind you architecturally, many of the buildings are just wonderful. Very large with public garden spaces running down the middle of the road like some London boroughs and at a price that makes an ex-Londoners jaw drop.

    This gentleman has a frequently amusing take on matters Thanet:


  • Craig Cameron Oldfield

    I want your back gate, man. I will rattle it goodstyle. I am a professional rattler. I have the keys. I am also a fervent Zionist and we WILL prevail. Full stop. End of story.

  • erotyka

    Intriguing post. I have been searching for some good resources for solar panels and discovered your blog. Planning to bookmark this one!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The message posted at 11.53 is a fake and not posted by me. I seem to have attracted an admirer or a jealous nut-job.

    Keep up the good work, Craig. Your ground-breaking book must be translated into EVERY language!!!

  • Frazer

    When will my room be ready then ??

    Thanks for a great weekend..see you all when I get back from deepest Africa..

  • Zionist B'Astardo

    I have read with disgust the crap that here is posted.

    Craig, this blog should moderated be.

  • somebody

    BGS Did you not know that Craig has a little boy born 12th May 2009?

    ‘Happy news for our controversial former man in Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. The ex-diplomat and his former belly-dancer partner Nadira have had a baby son, Cameron, born at Chelsea and Westminster hospital yesterday.

    An ebullient Murray, 50, who has two children by a previous marriage, was sacked by the Foreign Office after blowing the whistle on state-sponsored brutality in the Central Asian republic. He exclaims: ‘Wonder! Cameron and Nadira are both

    doing fine.’

    Daily Mail 13th May 2009

    Agree with Zionist B’Astardo (there’s a name to conjure with) that moderation is badly needed here.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Any post allegedly from me is not from me if it criticizes Criag, who I support with all my heart.

  • somebody

    We need moderation to ensure that no Zionist opinions get through here.

    So what do you say, Craig?

    I realise you are busy trying to dream up new ways to prove just how in touch you are with society’s deprived and dispossessed, however.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I’m going to bed now. Any posts claiming to be from me are fakes, unless I awake in the midnight hour and feel the urgent need to relieve myself on this blog.

  • craig


    Its a loud, mediocre suburban cafe-style restaurant, with very ordinary Italian food and absolutely abysmal service!

    When we were first seated no one came near us to take a drinks order for ages. They obviously didn’t know who we were, nor knew how famous we are! When we finally got tired of waiting and flagged a waiter down he said “oh, you’re ready? I won’t be a moment” then he went to a nearby table, collected their empty plates and had a chat for a while. When he eventually graced us with his presence we asked for one of the (very few!) red wines on the (very sad!) wine list and he acted like he’d never heard of it before and we were asking him for something totally bizarre. I guess Italian waiters don’t understand my accent when I try to speak French.

    Incidently, the first wine on the list under “Australian Reds” is in fact from New Zealand! One of our party asked for a glass of white wine and got a glass of water instead. Also we had to ask twice for a jug of water for the table and when it was empty it was never replaced.

    The food ordering was worse, I specifically asked if I could have chips as a side in addition to the bed of mash that came with my steak and was told yes, no problem. Of course the chips didn’t turn up and when I reminded the waiter he wanted to know why I didn’t order them before! They eventually came just at the end of the meal.

    My entree ravioli was boring with a sauce that could have come from a jar. My steak, which I had ordered medium-rare, came seriously well-done and seemed to be a thinnish piece of rump cut into three pieces and made into a stack!

    The desserts seemed to be trying to make up for being ordinary by being way too big and drowned in lashings of cream. The ricotta cheesecake was terrible, so dry and dusty it made us cough. And by then there was no water, remember!

    At more than 50 pounds a head for 5 of us (with 2 non-drinkers at the table) I thought the place was seriously the worst dining experience I have had in years. It is noteworthy that the place doesn’t have a sign outside, just a small steel plaque with its name high up, inside the restaurant, so its hard to find and easy to miss. I’d say that’s just as it should be!

    I’m beginning to think the move to Ramsgate was a mistake.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks for the highly entertaining review Craig. Your writing is as excellent as ever!

  • craig

    I am becoming more and more enamoured of the coalition government. If Nadira and I are blessed with a second son I have decided to name him Clegg. What a partnership! Cameron and Clegg!

  • somebody

    Not me at 9.14. Not my style and have been watching the odious Nick Robinson shilling for the ConDems or the Goves and the Kluggs as I now call them. That was a nickname coined for them on medialens.

    Real Craig please come back and sort what you are going to do about these impostors.

  • Richard Robinson

    I wouldn’t want Nick Robinson (no relation) rattling my back door.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The post at 9:45pm on July 29th 2010 was not written by me. The bargain basement troll team are attempting to render the website useless by filling it with artifical posts which attack the credibility of th host and also sticking various people’s names underneath to confuse and turn others away. The post at 9:16pm was also fake, btw.

    What it boils down to is this:

    Those who work as trolls, whether paid or unpaid, are supporting, and working for, mass murder and torture, perpetual war and ultimately the destruction of the planet.

    They are also overwhelmingly incompetant at what they are meant to be doing. The upsurge in moronic troll activity is probably partly a result of the host understandably being busy with life at the moment, and so a vacuum develops which tends to attract those who cling to the lowest common denominator, the weeds, the creepers, the flowerpot men!

    What we need are troll-eaters, like in the old computer game, ‘Pac-man’.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The post at 3:34pm on 29th July was also fake. 11:56pm on 27th July was also fake.

    I’m going to stop now, as I suspect the trolls want to preoccupy us with this rubbish. I think people can judge for themselves which posts by any of us are real and which, fake. I suggst that we ignore the fake ones entirely and just get on with discourse.

  • craig

    I am the real Craig. I have a chin. The camera sometimes lies.

    I defend the underdog, from my spacious Ramsgate villa, and I know important people.

    My wife is a stripper.

    We hate Zionists and we do NOT live in a compound.

    This is specific.

    I am also a writer, but sadly I have forgotten my principles when it comes to choosing between Capaldi’s restaurant and the Taj Mahal on Ramsgate high street.

    I love Cameron. He is like a son to me. I treat him as my own. He has specific talent and was not conceived in a bargain basement.

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