Friday, 9 March 2012

Do you see what’s there, a reflection on local blogs and politics

I have just got around to reading the local blogs and it is evident that both Simon Moores, at and Tony Flaig, at both blame Infratil pulling out of Manston on the 100 day Thanet District Council Labour administration.

In a roundabout way I wonder if there is any truth in this or if either Simon or Tony believe what they wrote, I guess in both cases there is apolitical motive, but I am a bit uncertain just what that motive is.

People obviously see what they want to see, and I suppose one can influence it a bit as in the doodle above, but you can only stretch credulity so far and the people start to react adversely.

I mean things look different depending on how you look at them, try and count the people in the doodle above and you will see what I mean, so do they have a point? Would the executives at Infratil be able to tell the difference between a conservative administration in a local council and a Labour one, would they even know it had changed? Would they be aware of some change of tactics? What would they see looking at Thanet over the last 100 days apart from the best part of £1m in losses?

I guess I may ramble on here, may draw something else. 


  1. Nice sketch Michael, what difference would or could a 100 days of Labour make.

    Simple the larger the business the more likely that management will discuss and analyse.

    The business environment, what's possible, are things, I'm sure you'll understand are taken into consideration.

    Imagine difficult trading, a handful of articulate tree huggers campaigning against your business and then, the local council is taken over by a group who have predetermined to obstruct your business.

  2. Tony I don’t really have an answer here. I don’t see Labour as being seen – even by themselves – as having more than a tenuous hold on the council leadership. I don’t think even the council officers let alone the Infratil executives, know what powers TDC have over KIA.

    I also think that the decision to sell Manston dates back several months and that Infratil has been trying to find a buyer for some time.

    I believe the main reason that they decided to sell it through a third party was because the deal to sell it to a middle eastern operator fell through a couple of weeks ago.

    Perhaps my view on the subject is coloured by the discussions I have had with some of the people involved.

    Glad you liked the sketch, I am becoming interested in drawings intended to be photographed and viewed online, something that can be looked at close up but wouldn’t really work on the wall.

  3. This blogging malarkey is a real drain, not a bad idea, to take up something different.

    I'm trying to wean myself of this stuff.

  4. Infratil are in business to make money for their investors and shareholders. Manston has been losing millions a year since they bought it. The bean-counters and major shareholders (like Utilico) won the day, and so Infratil are selling their only investments in the northern hemisphere, to concentrate on the markets they know best. This is simple unadorned capitalism. The trigger was the recent shareholder meeting, held as usual near the end of the financial year - a traditional time for reflection and decision.

    The year's delay between Manston's 2010 and 2011 night flight applications would suggest that the issue couldn't have been that pressing after all. Rather than being a "must have", I think it was more of a "nice to have" - as window-dressing.

  5. I read the blog from DrM.

    What a glib, specious and patronising piece of tosh. Everything we have come to expect from him.

  6. Why oh why can't we elect some politicians who are able to deal with reality rather than some mythical version of it which exists only in some recess of their tiny monds? Manston is a loss-making business and always lost money. That's why it has had a succession of owners all paying little more than the value of the land. How much longer dos this have to go on before the penny drops?

    It really is time for a new approach and the dead-heads who have been promoting Manston for so many years are not the people to deliver that new approach.

  7. Just like Tony, I have spoken to an Infratil "insider" who had this to say:

    "Ah, you Poms over there! We're pulling out of Manston and that Scottish one because of Labour and the Nimby Tree Huggers!"

    So, there you have it. That's THE reason why Infratil have been forced out of Manston and Prestwick. It's nothing to do with Capitalism. FACT!

  8. 'What a glib, specious and patronising piece of tosh.'

    Love it... keep those reviews coming please Cllr 'N'!

  9. Ah Tony a serious addiction, the problem for me is that I spend a lot of my life in shop assistant mode, sitting in front of a pc with half an eye on the customers. Over the years I have used the various strategies developed by secondhand booksellers to dissuade people from coming through the door, but none of them have worked that well.

    NNF I think the Infratil management wanted to present the shareholders with a done deed, but it didn’t work out. That said I think we need a period of stability relating to airport operation restrictions, most particularly so that businesses that would potentially suffer adversely from increased environmental damage, related to increased airport activity, can plan ahead.

    8.31 I would remind you that I have a somewhat harsh policy towards anonymous commentators mentioning real people, so I would recommend some degree of caution on your part.

    Ah Gordon, that would be it then, so long as it is nothing to do with economic fact, then it’s bound to make sense.

    Simon have you considered having a reviews section on the sidebar of your blog?

  10. Good idea must get around to it

  11. Clive Hart must have worked really hard to manage to close Prestwick at the same time as Manston. It's the Economy Stupid!


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