Remembrance, the Ageless Thanet 50+ Festival, Diwali and Brexit

Events of Remembrance to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War dominated both locally and in Westminster over the past week. St. Margaret’s Church, effectively the Church for Parliament serving both the House of Commons and the Lords, standing in the shadow of Westminster Abbey, held a service for Parliamentarians in exactly the same way as that led by David Lloyd George, the WW1 Prime Minister upon the Armistice in 1918. Locally, the Act of Remembrance was observed with record numbers attending services and memorials across Thanet. This year I laid a wreath at Broadstairs and attended other events across the constituency. The Proms in the Park at the Memorial Recreation Ground, organised by Bradstow School was a unique opportunity to visit exhibits, including a recreation of life in the trenches. World War 1 was in most people’s minds this year but we similarly remembered all those who fought for our freedoms across all wars.

Other local events included a stall at the Ageless Thanet 2018 Festival at St. George’s School, Broadstairs. Over a thousand people attended to find out more about what is on offer to the older generation across the Isle. Over 50s qualify (including myself) to be a part of what Ageless Thanet can offer. The wealth of activities to encourage healthier living and to prevent isolation were key. It was clear that we have far more on offer to older generations than elsewhere in Kent, something to celebrate. I had the opportunity to discuss a huge range of issues with residents in the form of a stand-up surgery covering national policy gripes and groans and more local issues of concern. Did you know there is an ‘App’ for smartphones to connect with Ageless Thanet’s activities and businesses offering discounts?

I had never attended a Diwali celebration before, so was pleased to attend the event, a Hindu annual festival at Newington Community Centre. A colourful and enjoyable evening with great food, entertainment and dancing – I did take part so look out for that tucked away on Facebook somewhere!

I finish with Brexit. The resignation of Jo Johnson, Boris’s brother as a Transport Minister is hugely significant. Jo Johnson supported remain at the referendum, indeed we shared a platform on opposite sides of the argument at a ‘hustings’ in the City of London during the referendum campaign. He sees the current deal proposed by the Prime Minister as the worst of all worlds – the UK becoming a perpetual rule taker from the EU with no say, and with no way out and that it simply won’t do as it does not pass the Brexit ‘sniff test’ with voters. I agree entirely and will not support the deal in its current form.