Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt: To have and have yacht

Labour's Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt

It’s often said that Ramsgate is a town of the have nots and the have yachts.

During a glorious summer like this, many of us would love a life floating on the ocean waves, but who can afford it?

A constituent asked me recently if I’d ever known what it was like to have no money. My answer was “I still do!”

In the past, I’ve signed onto the dole and felt the stinging indignity of being treated like a second-class citizen by our benefits system. I’ve taken on many a temporary job as an administrator and low-paid researcher in gloomy locations around the country.

I sold my possessions to fund my way through university and made a truly terrible waitress. I’ve lived in vermin-infested rooms above a pub and damp-riddled flats by the sea.

Even now, with letters after my name, I’m only as good as my last report and I need to bid for research funding every year. I have absolutely no security of income.

But whatever my problems, I don’t kid myself – things are much, much worse for the majority of people in Thanet.

Contrast our world with that of Quintessentially One, the £213m super yacht, billed as the “world’s largest floating private members club”, where rooms are expected to cost £2,000 per night.

While the yachts in Ramsgate Harbour are admittedly more modest, our own boat-owning MP, Craig Mackinlay, has shown where his priorities lie by crusading in parliament for a new royal yacht.

Mr Mackinlay expects that the £120m cost of the yacht will be paid for by the likes of you and me via a specially created lottery. I would argue that the royal family – which has an estimated net worth of £3.12bn – doesn’t need our charity.

I would go so far as to say that the people of Thanet need an elected representative who acts in their best interests instead. Someone who doesn’t consistently vote to cut benefits for the have nots and to reduce taxes for the have yachts. Someone who has a vision for how Thanet can thrive by drawing on natural resources such as our prime agricultural land, our woefully underused workforce, our wave and solar power.

Let’s narrow the gap between the have nots and the have yachts. Let’s have a thriving Thanet for everyone.


  1. A fantastic and clearly from your heart article about the “have nots” and “have yaughts” brigade. I am firmly in the have nots and could find better things to than have a yaught. To start with Thanet needs more employment that is stable abd well paid. I am looking forward to the return of a much rejuvenated Manston airport to give a lift up to many local businesses in the future. Maybe many of the “have nots” will become “have a little’s”.

  2. If by some extraordinary chance RSP manage to get a DCO and then manage to get a splendidly successful cargo airport, with at least 10,000 flights a year, going- it will be a triumph of egalitarianism. For all who live under the flight path will then suffer (admittedly in varying degrees) from noise and pollution.

    I hope RSP fail in their application. But then, I live in Ramsgate.

  3. Nothing extraordinary about the process going forward now Marva Rees, it is all clearly laid down in law. The hardest part has been navigated through!

  4. The royal family are like many others, descended from robber barons, who gained their wealth from the working poor, and by conquest, usually by the deaths of tens of thousands of peasants forced to fight in their armies! Any passenger ship is just that, a passenger ship to provide transport for the rich and wealthy to galavant around the world, in luxury! A royal yacht is not a yacht, its a glorified motor boat, which would not just be the worst form of transport in this modern age, but a total waste of public money, as it would sit in dock for most of its life at great public expense! Craig Mackinlay has come up with this wheeze to try and gain a few Royalist votes, because I expect he is bricking it not being re-elected at the next General Election, especially if his forthcoming court case finds him guilty of breaking election funding rules! I hope he doesn’t receive the same outcome as his predecessor Jonathon Aitkin, who tried to fiddle his books, and ended up as a guest in one of her Majesties prisons!

  5. As a sailing boat part owner , most of my hard earned income goes on maintaining the said yacht , not all yacht owners are millionaires but the the council run marina seems to think so, we are treated like a cash cow to support the adjacent port which is losing millions. It is a fact that Ramsgate is the most attractive harbour in the South , due to marina being in middle of town and producing a fantastic atmosphere. This obviously brings business business to the bars and restaurants in town. Also attracting many visiting yachtsmen from the UK and continent. Many yachtsmen and women are poor because they own yachts!!

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