Posted by: maisiegrace | October 3, 2008

Local newspapers responsible for graffiti?

Last week this ludicrous article hit the headlines in the Thanet Extra with Jim Davidson’s ill-informed views on Margate. This week, good ol’, stupid ol’ Chas ‘n’ Dave jumped on the bandwagon in the Gazette slagging off the Turner gallery. I can’t help thinking they should bear some responsibility for fuelling the graffiti that appeared in at least four shop windows in the Old Town last night. Apparently the man with the can thinks that ‘Art is Crap’, and scrawled ‘NO’ across a picture of the Turner Contemporary. 

I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone could generate enough strength of feeling about this to actually go out, buy some spray paint and systematically walk around daubing the offending buildings. However, given the fact that this level of f**kwittedness exists in the town, I do think the newspapers have been disgracefully irresponsible in encouraging these sentiments.

The arrival of the Turner Contemporary, and its associated visitors and spending power, is probably the best thing to happen to the town for decades. Whether the content of the gallery is everyone’s cup of tea is completely irrelevant! It could be a swimming pool for all I care, and I don’t like swimming, but if it brings visitors, what is the problem? For anyone to really hate it all so much they must be incredibly short-sighted. I actually find it quite scary that anyone can be quite that thick.

I hope this will be a wake-up for the local press. Listen and learn. Some of your readers are very, very stupid. You have a responsibility not to generate hate. Why are you actively seeking to bring Margate down when the best news here is regeneration? Please stop s*****g on your own doorstep (and mine).



  1. Why I certainly don’t condone this sort of behavior & (mostly) support The Turner Centre & other local art projects, I think it could also be argued that the local press / Chas & Dave / Jim Davidson are just reflecting what other people are thinking. Would you prefer to censor the opinions of people who disagree with you? I believe Chas Hodges also said that they should bring back (or create) more things that appeal to the whole family, & compared it to Southend which (apparantly) has been revived. So he obviously CARES about Margate, he merely doesn’t agree on the proposed solution…& perhaps he’s right???

    Having said this, I hope the culprets are caught & severely punished.

  2. Agree with most of your sentiments about mindless vandalism.

    However you cannot stop free speech in the press because of a few idiots, both sides of the story will always need to be told. The anti Turner’s have as much right to column inches as the pro’s.

  3. Fair comments – I accept that they were well-intentioned and it’s great they care. Also, please don’t think I’m against free speech – I’m just against badly thought-out opinion being presented with such a high profile, to be digested unquestioningly by unthinking readers.
    Jim Davidson’s comment about ‘the Government should make cash available to clean it up’ is just dumb. There has been a small amount of Heritage Lottery funding for some of the listed buildings in Margate, and Margate Renewal Partnership is doing all it can, but the reason the seafront looks a mess is down to commercial pressure (or lack of it). Simple – privately owned buildings that are not making any money for their owners. It would be lovely if there was some huge pot of money in the sky to make everything beautiful but there isn’t! Likewise re Turner ‘What on earth does Margate need something like that for?’ Well, how about opening up the town as a new visitor destination where people will spend money and help the local economy? Actually I agree with him about Margate being a great family destination too but why do culture and buckets and spades have to be mutually exclusive. Let’s embrace both.
    Chas and Dave’s sentiment is also in the right place but again they seem to think it’s OK to criticise something just because they don’t understand it (all this modern art palaver). Again also, the message is the same, that Margate should be ONLY a bucket and spade destination. This idealistic view is held by a lot of people who are just harping back to the past. The fact is, however, it didn’t work! Just look at the neglected seafront and it is obvious! Margate needs something else too.
    By publishing comments as they did, the newspapers are giving credibility to a viewpoint which has no substance at all. I don’t think I have ever seen a good argument against the Turner actually – does anyone have one?

  4. It’s easy to accuse the press of things especially as they seem to line themselves up for it and I find myself siding with many of your sentiments too; however, I think it might be going too far to suggest that the press is entirely at fault in that way that you suggest it. I would suggest (getting tired of that word already) that the press should consider not just giving the “pro” or the “anti” point of view but attmepting to repesent both and where possible offering alternative ideas. For example “if the turner centre is rubbush what should be built with the arts money?” (nothing suggests itself to me) that sort of thing.

  5. Presumably if Banksy turns out to have been the culprit you’ll stop carrying on like such a pork chop!

  6. ECR dear boy….if Banksy turned up and created that type of graffiti he’d deserve a kicking compared to his main work. I would purposely (and have done) go somewhere to see examples of his work, I wouldn’t go somewhere to see ‘crap’ sprayed on a window. Macie is entirely correct, why do bucket and spades have the perceived monopoly on this area? That industry has been in decline for all of my 43 years in Thanet (I’m 43). It doesn’t work and it isn’t profitable. The Turner Art Centre and resultant interest in the old town area will be beneficial to us. I personally would like too to see a sealife centre…fairly appropriate to our position and an indoor swimming pool on the old lido site with a sliding roof contraption for sunny days. Good luck with the blog Macie, yours is refreshing to read!

  7. I did wonder if it was a Jimmy Cauty type exercise to create a reaction but if that was the case I would hope the paint would just be on the glass which could easily have been washed off. As it was, people’s property has been damaged and it is going to cost money to repaint. If it was supposed to be clever it just wasn’t. I saw a chav absolutely laughing his jocks off a few moments after I took the photo. What a result.

  8. Had to smile looking at the photograph, that with such a large window to use as a canvas still could not fit it in. Still good to see it was spelt OK, clearly an educated person and with a slight artistic flair.

  9. Clearly no artist as he/she defaced someone else’s artwork showing the Turner gallery on one of the Marine Parade shopfronts. No respect.

  10. Blaming the local press for misdemeanours is just plain daft. Chances are the person who did this heinous crime – and I would be very annoyed if this happened to my property – can’t or doesn’t read the papers anyway.

    My own opinion is the Turner Centre is the wrong thing for Margate. It won’t bring tourists here in massive numbers to create a golden wonderland of milk and honey for local traders and residents. This place is going to cost millions every year to run and isn’t even going to have a genuine Turner on display. Ironically, the Dungeness power station style gallery building is going to block off one of Turner’s best views!

    Far better to concentrate on what Margate has been good at historically. Pump millions of pounds into reviving its seaside tradition – and market it properly. This also includes tarting upo many of the seafront buildings. Provide leisure facilities that people actually want to use in large numbers. Reviving Dreamland is part of that answer surely?

  11. It’s very generous of you to offer millions of pounds – please write your cheque out to Maisiegrace and I’ll sort it all out.

    On the assumption that Anon is not actually just having a laugh or showing me a red rag….

    I do wish people would stop recycling this kind of nonsense as valid opinion. Opinions are fine and dandy but when the facts are wrong they just become bol****s. On what basis do you think that the gallery will not attract visitors? I suspect rather a lot of experience and market research has gone into the decision to spend £17 million! Maybe you know better?

    I’d also like to deal with the other nonsense – there was a building on the site of the Turner centre for a long time including the one Turner stayed in. The view from the gallery will therefore be Turner’s. Doh! And by the way, there is supposed to always be at least one Turner on display. Finally – regarding Dreamland, I believe there is work going on but it’s a long process as it’s privately owned and will cost millions (and I’m sure they will be grateful for your kind offer).

    New York once had a bad reputation but it was turned around when everyone got on board the ‘I love New York’ campaign. Maybe we should have an ‘I love Margate (and I think the Turner will be a great success for the town unless proved otherwise) campaign’?

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