Thursday, 22 May 2008


Urgent domestic affairs continue to distract me from 'Strife' but I would like to show you a picture of the Jarrow Crusade from the Great Depression of the 1930s when skilled men and women marched on foot almost 250 miles to London to campaign for work.
What a contrast with Thanet's unemployed for whom CGP and TDC seem quite prepared to gobble up vital agricultural land and build the largest industrial estate in Thanet on our water supply! Readers will remember the NoW article on 'Thanet's jobless claimants' from a few months ago. How many of our 2,220 unemployed are actually prepared to work or even have the skills required for the marvellous opportunity for job creation that CGPs Ken Wills offers.
I really can't believe he is such a philanthropist as he makes out considering one of his 'firms' treatment of a contractor last year ( see Brreze Blocks and Some Real Strife posted on 11 March 2008). Go and ask Mr Martin Hodges about Mr Wills' support of local business and employment opportunities and I suspect you will get a rather earthy reply.
Lets be quite clear about the 'construction' jobs. Locals will remember only a couple of years ago the crowds of helmeted construction workers on The Westwood site, all talking Polish, Serbo-Croat or any East European language you care to mention. Big construction firms will bus in the labour they require to construct 'Gateway'. Only a few weeks ago I was talking with workmen doing a minor building work at Northdown Road's 'Tesco Metro'. They came to Thanet to put in a simple ramp at the store from as far away as Hertfordshire and North London. So much for local employment?
Ken Wills and TDC know perfectly well that 'job creation' as a cry to get the Gateway application approved will strike a chord. They are of course, peddling a myth. An old Labour hand from Thanet, Barry Coppock, is even on CGPs payroll to lend credibility to this myth.
Lets hear what Dr Margaret Nobel , Chair of Kent nad Medway Lifelong Learning has to say about the lack of skills in Kent let alone Thanet (one of the reasons cited by Group Antolin for closing in Thanet); "The majority of future employment opportunities in Kent and Medway will require intermediate and high level skills". Her own statistics show that only a quarter of of Kent and Medway's workforce has these levels of skill. What skill level does Thanet's workforce and large unemployed population have?
There is one thing you can be sure of, as TDC hunkers down with CGP and KCC (using its East Kent Opportunities Limited Liability Partnership; a 'business') , CGP will make a great deal of money out of this project but will Thanet's unemployed benefit?
Of course not! They may as well repeat The Jarrow March to London.


Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "Thanet's unemployed"

There is freedom of movement in UK and so the unemployed can and should move or lodge away to either work or re-train.

Sitting on their idle unskilled arses waiting for provision would not impress any employer particularly contracting firms. (Some of whom have nil local labour instructions if they take work in Thanet).

I lodged away at Chelmsford, Portsmouth and Reading to gain my qualifications in electronics and control engineering. Then moved to find work (which for a few years was very lucrative) in Wales.

If I can do it so can the others.

I certainly do all that I can to dissuade employers from taking on Thanet people.

Anonymous said...

Having said that I recently inquired about a contract on a publicly funded site. The manager of the project told me he had been unemployed in the area (North of England) 24 years. But thanks to funding for the job creation project he had at last got work.

He seemed to expect me to be pleased for him.

I told him "F-ck off, 24 years sat on yer arse saying there is nowt round here and just wait for a handout. There is no way I work anyway near you. Idle bastard"

Thank goodness for the Poles coming in.

Bertie Biggles said...

A bit anti-thanet workers, Rick, but I take your point about getting on your bike if needs must! The problem is that the social benefit system tends to inhibit movement of labour to where work is.

Anonymous said...

When I taught locally I had pupils whose families were three generations unemployed because, in most cases, they had poor educational standards, expected everything to be handed to them on a plate, were happy to exist on the dole. I worked in Deal and had youngsters who wouldn't go out of the town for work experience with the attitude of 'Why should I?'
I had pupils who had a baby to avoid work. As the sister of one said to me,'Of course she hasn't got a job, Miss. She's too fuc*ing lazy. She's had a baby instead.' Last I heard she had three.

This is the cycle we've got to break. I know of a graduate who has a child and won't consider a job until her child is at secondary school. 'Why should I work when the state will provide?' It's my taxes that are keeping these people on benefit.

Anonymous said...

Due to constantly changing international and UK commercial economics, hopefully there will in the long term not alot of empty warehouses. Before the application is approved, I hope this council has examined the long term viability, and has studied the details of how long the leases will be, and the credit worthiness of the tenants and their long term intentions etc.