How hypocritical of South Thanet’s Conservative MP, Craig Mackinlay, to take a selfie for Twitter with Trussell Trust volunteers collecting for food banks.
Read full Isle of Thanet News article here.
Health commissioners want to close the stroke unit at Thanet’s only hospital. If this is allowed to happen, stroke sufferers from Thanet will die or suffer unnecessary disability.
Campaigners from Save Our NHS in Kent gathered outside Dashwood Medical Centre to appeal to resident GP, Dr Jihad Malasi, not to sign off on the decision in his capacity as Chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group. Many patients and staff signed the petition pleading with Dr Malasi to reconsider.
ITV Meridian featured the protest on the 6 o’clock news on Monday 10 December. You can watch the full clip here.
On 5 December 2018, we held the second event in the Building a Thriving Thanet series – a community conversation about how we can draft a blueprint for a brighter future. We spoke about Housing/Community, Education/Training, Health/Wellbeing and Arts/Culture while thinking about employment, energy and the environment. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed.
It was horrifying to learn that the National Front is still active in South Thanet. I offered the following comment to Isle of Thanet News:
“Whoever put the sticker in my window plastered it in front of a Labour Party placard. This seems a none-too-subtle attempt to try to counteract progressive politics.”
“During the 2015 election, members of the Labour Party and Stand Up To UKIP were attacked by the extreme right in Broadstairs. That was a deeply regrettable but inevitable result of the way Nigel Farage made immigration a major plank in his attempt to win South Thanet for UKIP.”
“As part of Kent Anti Racism Network, Thanet campaigners opposed the racists who marched in Dover in 2016, and an attempt later that year to stage a White Lives Matter march in Margate fizzled out spectacularly in the face of united opposition from the community.”
“Rather than tackling the plight of working people, government, minority parties and elements of the media have fanned the flames of discrimination and pitted people against each other. This is a dangerous game that can easily tip over into fascism.”
“Just a few short weeks ago, we commemorated Remembrance Sunday. After World War Two, everyone said ‘never again’. To make this promise a reality, we need to stand together against prejudice wherever we encounter it.”
Read the full article here and see Thanet Gazette coverage below.
This week, Jewish communities around the world are celebrating Hanukkah (pronounced kha-nu-kah). This eight-day festival of lights commemorates victory over a powerful empire.
In 164BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by Syrian Greeks, who tried to force the people of Israel to accept their culture and beliefs. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove out the Greeks, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
Upon entering the temple, the Maccabees tried to light the Menorah – a candelabra with eight branches – and discovered that only one day’s supply of olive oil had been left uncontaminated by the Greeks. Miraculously, the oil burnt for eight days until new oil could be purified.
During the festival of Hanukkah, one candle of the Menorah is lit every night until all eight branches are kindled. This is typically accompanied by prayers and food prepared with olive oil.
Rabbi Cliff Cohen of Thanet District Reform Synagogue identifies that the key to peaceful coexistence is learning to respect each other’s traditions: ‘Hanukkah is a festival proclaiming the right to religious and cultural freedom. In today’s world, this cannot be restricted to Jews wanting to practice their Judaism. The events of 164BCE demand that we examine our attitudes to diversity and learn to welcome variety within our society.’
Rabbi Cohen describes how he and his family celebrate Hanukkah as part of the wider community: ‘This year, as usual, we shall take our Menorah to the home of some non-Jewish friends, and they will join us in the celebration of Hanukkah before we join them in their Christmas carol singing.’
As Rabbi Cohen explains, this kind of exchange is crucial to building understanding and mutual respect: ‘For my family, the Hanukkah message is very clear – whenever we demand that others think or feel as we do, we open the door to prejudice, division and damage. We cannot believe that intolerance is what God wants from us.’
At a time of heightened intolerance and unrest, it is important that we educate ourselves about the diverse traditions that exist within our community so that we can live together without fear or prejudice.