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No Peace for the Wicked in Westgate

The annoying thud of base music on the fringes of the Costa Del Margate. It’s carnival afternoon and there’s no chance of peace and quiet as the floats assemble across the road from my house on the Royal Esplanade. I can see bunches of coloured balloons blowing past my window, escaping towards the Thames Estuary.

Yesterday, was a kind of fiesta day on Margate seafront. Music and the Sealed-Knot staging a mock battle on the beach. In the sixties I used to watch real battles between hundreds of ‘Rockers’ and ‘Mods’ from my vantage point on the cliff top but they didn’t have muskets, only flick-knives and bottles.

In fact the fiesta was a predictable disappointment, from my perspective at least. Margate isn’t Spain, even if they are trying to pretend it’s civilised by sticking the Turner Gallery there and billing the locals for the privilege. Charlotte and I cycled over for a look, pausing only briefly while I stopped to rescue a drowning refugee child but was beaten to the water by another member of the public. The Nayland Rock hotel was famous once as a grand hotel. Now it’s famous as a refugee centre and the seafront is a strange mix of races as one might expect. This is the new Britain and there’s certainly very little culture or good taste in evidence among the lager cans. I’m reminded of the classic Blackadder quip, “For you Baldric, the Renaissance was something that happened to other people”.

Read the Sunday papers and get depressed as usual. Six hundred thousand new civil servants since the government came to power; they call it gerrymandering elsewhere and Britain a sanctuary for bombers and 'muti', demon worshipping African sects that sacrifice small children. But they, the former, have rights too, for religious expression in our society, under the Human Rights Act, even if their small victims don’t.

I’m suddenly reminded that I have a column to write for Computer Weekly this evening, which is a shame as the weather is far too good. Following this morning’s 25-mile mountain bike ride along the sea wall and long into the countryside, I ache and needed to take some Neurofen. It’s only six years since I tried the same thing across the Sinai Desert from Suez to Eilat, via Mount Sinai but time takes its toll.

Aircraft still in bits but with luck, everything possible wrong with its engine will have been resolved by the end of the coming week and I can get airborne again before the summer ends.


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