Friday, 1 August 2014

Manston Airport TDC cpo Cabinet Meeting, A stamp on the Toe for being so Slow and other ramblings from the bookshop.

Picture credit: The last of the Big Pistons_ from left Keith Sissons, Margaret Norton, Brian Dunlop, Pat Travers, see

So did the Save Manston Airport Group win at the TDC cabinet? Did the newly emerging anti airport group win?

Now I know all of the adults will have worked the answer out, but we are in the school holidays and I am endeavouring to write posts that children can follow as well.  

So frankly the Council cabinet (This is the crème de la crème – or at least something that has floated to the top) had three options at the meeting.

One option was to hand the whole thing over to the lovely people (bankers) at RiverOak, there was of course the tiniest possibility that RiverOak were what their website says they are – property developer’s bankers and that they would build property all over the site.

Another option was to do nothing and let Ann Gloag do whatever she want with the site. Our local Green Party candidate and councillor assures me that this is to turn it into a Highland sheep farm where all of the sheep will become live animal exports for ritual slaughter, which is why he has gone against the Green Party's policy and is supporting a major air freight hub at Manston.

Or of course plan B, this was to get a firm of professional experts to work out what was legal, viable, and most of all affordable, so that the council, or at least those who had floated to the top of the council could decide what to do.

This was the plan put forward by the Chief Executive of the council who is apparently incompetent, don’t take my word for this I have had an email from the local MP which seems to say it supports this point of view.

It is such a scream that I have reproduced it below, even all the undisclosed recipients

From: Suzy Gale
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Sent: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:32
Subject: Fwd: FW: Item 4 - Cabinet Meeting on Thursday 31st July 2014

For information only.    Please do NOT reply to this email.

Many thanks.    SUZY

From: dj_holland
Sent: 29 July 2014 20:03
To:;;;;;;;; cllr-Simon Moores;;;;;;;;;;;
Cc: GALE, Roger; SANDYS, Laura; South East News; Meridian News; Rebecca Smith
Subject: Item 4 - Cabinet Meeting on Thursday 31st July 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,
We (Save Manston Airport Group) would like to draw your attention to Item 4 of the information pack sent out ahead of the Cabinet Meeting on Thursday 31st July 2014 (second item down):

Madeleine Homer is not an aviation expert of any kind, she hasn't consulted the QC regarding the airport, who provided very informative documentation to her five weeks ago, and she has also ignored advice from aviation experts countless times.

We therefore urge you dismiss this aspect of the advice you have received as there is no scope for inaccurate and speculative guess work by Madeline Homer, who is woefully unqualified to give advice on this matter.

Kind regards,
Dave Holland
Save Manston Airport Group

The cabinet got very confused here and went with plan B.

Obviously it is emails like this that are causing normally innocuous and apolitical people, to start thinking about becoming what? Well I suppose a bit annoyed really, even anti-airport supporters.

I am, have a long history of on this blog, being supportive of a well run, environmentally compliant, local airport. This is one of the reasons I stopped allowing posts from the aquifer man, apart from him anonymously libelling people here that is. I thought he was generating a lot of people pro any old airport without proper safety regulation, because they were getting so sick of his bonkers assertions that the water coming out of taps was poisonous and so on.

Frankly I am wondering whether I should have voted Conservative in the recent EU elections, was there a Monster Raving Loony candidate, will there be one in the forthcoming elections. Perhaps I should stand as one, on second thoughts there is a very real possibility that I would win the election and have to give up being a shop assistant, which I very much enjoy being.  

I wonder in the great scoring of things on the ladder of life how working in a bookshop and painting pictures of local views compares to having to take the train to London, arguing with people and eating big dinners. Or was it Steve Ladyman who eat all the big dinners. I suppose you get an enormous television and don’t have to pay for it, but then I hardly ever watch TV as I read a lot of books.

On to the next bit, this is about when my sketching goes wrong, my day off yesterday I went to Canterbury and I bought some unusual Theatre related books, including some fascinating theatrical makeup ephemera (bits of paper with diagrams of where and where not to slap it on) and as usual did some sketches.

Now some groups in society have versions of the English language that are either difficult or impossible for the rest of the English speakers to understand. This has some advantages like allowing them to have conversations, in pubic places, with each other with out the rest of the people there being able to understand what they are saying.

Parents do this to their children when having discussions in front of their children that they don’t want their children to follow, I use long and obscure words and have discovered that it improves my children’s vocabulary.

Well I sat down outside McDonalds in Canterbury and got lost in the sketch, at some time found my self in the middle of a large group of Londoners who I think probably had Caribbean origins.

I came out of the trance induced by the concentration caused by sketching and found I could understand pretty much every word they were saying.

I was so surprised that I carried on painting the tree branch down the page below where I had done the pen sketch that I totally ruined the sketch.      

Westwood Cross this evening, this is because of enquiries from people who want to buy the sketches I do and needed to buy some more picture frames.

I have both give away and sold a few, depending on the circumstances I retain the copyright and will be doing greetings cards of some of the probably selling for a couple of quid.

Then there are prints to go on the wall, as no one wants a print that fades away, which really means inkjet printing is out, I am playing with colour matching and the A4 laser printer, to see if I can come up with something presentable.

I would expect an A4 laser print in a mount that fits a standard frame 16 x 12 inches which seems to be the right size for an A4 print is something that I can come up with for a around £10 although I think people would probably want something complete they could hang up straight away.

The originals framed like the one in the photo sell for £75.

I think a signed print framed the same way ought to sell for around the £20 mark.

The finished item looking like the picture above.

As most of the interest in buying the pictures comes from blog readers, any thoughts on this would be appreciated.   

One problem I have is that I can’t accept commissions for paintings as I have a fairly busy life and I don’t paint from photos.

So my main limitations are getting the time with the light behind me, an A4 water pen and watercolour sketch takes about an hour and a half to two hours. There is no way back with this method, you can’t rub anything out, so often things go wrong.

I have had sketches ruined by seagulls, the sun coming out or from behind something and boiling me over. Mostly people are both charming and considerate when I am sketching, in fact much more so than I expected althoug I have had a few incidents.

I guess for me the nerves related to sketching in very public places with a lot of people about is as difficult to master as the artistic skills.   

On the blog comments front I have now moved to the situation where I am only either allowing comments from registered users or applying comment moderation. So when moderation is turned off, the facility for totally anonymous comment is turned off too and vice versa.

This basically means the situation at night is different to the situation during the day, I have to say that I am surprised how little airport related comment there is on this post, so far and can only conclude that most people agree with what I have said here about the TDC cabinet cpo meeting. Or of course they are just lost for words.   

And finally the latest video from our Green councillor and Green Party parliamentary candidate Cllr Ian Driver.


  1. I had my voter registration letter through yesterday with Dr Sue's autograph at the bottom - anyone know if she is off the sick yet ?

    1. My guess is that if she enjoyed similar support from our most senior local politicians as her stand in appears to be getting, then she is still metaphorically over the bucket.

    2. Over the bucket" is a new phrase to me. There was a war of the oaken bucket in 1325. And you can get over the bucket forks for fork lift trucks, but I have never heard of somebody being over the bucket, metaphorically or otherwise.

    3. Old nautical term “sick bucket” it goes abaft the beam above the futtock shrouds and prevents inopportune showers from the tops.

  2. I am reminded of Rab C. Nesbitt when he says to Jamesie Cotter, "We're scum, but scum always rises to the surface"

    I too received my voter registration letter and I also wondered about the signee. I note that I am now on the open register whereas previously I had ticked the box requesting not to be placed on it, so that means a phone call and the dreaded queue.

    1. Goodness me I would never in a million years have thought of that analogy, I wouldn’t like you to think that I consider some politicians, or bankers to be scum.

      I would look for the Irish mental health hotline on Youtube, you may find it helpful to copy the message there onto your answering machine, so you can listen to incoming calls for a while before you decide to accept them.

    2. Me neither, it was the use of the phrase "Floated to the top" which reminded me. One day my sense of humour will get me into trouble, again.

      I watched the Youtube clip three times to be sure to be sure to be sure.

  3. Sir Roger is very quiet over recent events is he down by the river in the shade of the old oak tree.

    1. I genuinely think he is uncertain along with some others at to whether or not they won that round, I am sure in the fullness of time he will consult with his advisors and another fruitful email will emerge almost immediately.

    2. Speaking of trees, is it my imagination or is the Manston tree leaning towards the main road. It certainly doesn't look truly vertical to me. If anything it's leaning to the left when approaching from Birchington, and to the right when viewed from the Ramsgate side. So, depending on your point of view it is either Labour or Conservative.

  4. As far as the Labour group is concerned it will be £40,000 well spent on the stage 2 report. They will then be able to claim that they have done their best to keep Manston open if no company comes forward that is willing to back the CPO and then invest £100 millions or more

    1. What surprised me Dave was that Roger Gale directed SMA towards petitioning TDC, which is a small Labour controlled council with very limited resources. I would have thought he would have directed SMA towards petitioning KCC, which is the authority that covers the area’s catchment area and is noted for having a very good legal team.

      I would say another major snag if TDC try to mount a cpo is that TDC are the planning authority for the airport’s site, so that if say Ann Gloag was to put in a planning application for housing, that would profit her by £400,000,000, and TDC were to turn that application down, then there is a remote chance that a judge would think TDC had a vested interest in doing so.


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