Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Manston Airport and other Thanet stuff a ramble from the bookshop.

 Here in the bookshop we have been busier than usual which makes it much more difficult to write blog posts. There have been several articles roughly along the lines that reading from some sort of electronic device makes you more stupid while reading from a book makes you cleverer, so this could be part of the reason. As I spend a large proportion of my life either reading from an electronic device or from a book, I am hoping to hang in there and come out at least evens. Loads of links relating to this and a may add some if I get the urge http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/19/readers-absorb-less-kindles-paper-study-plot-ereader-digitisation

I have been having a bit of a go FaceBook and Twitter, don’t worry I am not wrapping up the blog and going off to one of the other social media sites, I guess I am to old a dog to learn new tricks that well. The overwhelming problems with both of these sites is that the more people you interact with, the harder it is to see the wood for the trees. As something of an explanation here, the more friends you have the more information you have to sift through to find anything until you are pretty much left with what you would get if you put Thanet into Google.
 I did try commenting on the Save Manston Airport Facebook group, mainly to try and find out what they are trying to achieve and how they are trying to achieve it. This mainly related to the post I did the other day http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-day-starts-with-fire-in-ramsgate.html where I had encountered the chap with the megaphone getting signatures for saving the airport in the middle of Ramsgate.

My point being that The Save Manston Airport groups don’t really seem to have got one really valid petition together to influence any level of government, they put one petition into the UK parliament but the number of signatures fell short of the amount needed to have any effect, and the submitted one to TDC asking them to discuss the Manston cpo when TDC were already going to do so and most of this petition TDC appear to have rejected anyway. 
 After Cllr David Green  put up his comment see http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/pleasurama-here-we-go-again.html#comment-form the Manston bit being “My personal opinion only: to take your points in order. Airport- TDC will not agree to any "solution" to the airport that is detrimental to Ramsgate's environment. However, there is considerable emotional support for retaining aviation related activities on the site so TDC has laid down a procedure that in my opinion will show that an airport CPO is not economically viable. We are waiting for the owners alternative proposals.”

I put up a comment on the SMA Facebook group to the effect of “when a politician tell you something you want to hear check out his expenses, but when an experienced local politician tells you something you don’t want to hear, take careful note and act accordingly. This was soon deleted, which surprised me as it seems like reasonable general advice. 
 So anyway yesterday someone else put up a post there asking just what the petition being put together by the man with the megaphone was all about. In the end I got the answer to this one, which is, it isn’t a petition but a statement of support.

Now I am told that as a result of the man with the megaphone yelling sign the petition to save the airport while surrounded by posters saying Save Manston Airport petition thousands of people have signed something.
 SMA say that the statement of support isn’t to do with them but TSMA Think Support Manston Airport and the only website I can find for this is http://www.jackieraines.co.uk/tsma/

Anyway there is this post on the SMA Facebook page: On Friday the 22nd, of August, THINK SUPPORT MANSTON AIRPORT (TSMA), launched a new public awareness campaign on the streets of East Kent. This has been in close liaison with Beau Webber & John Buckley with whom I have been working since 1st of August. We, (TSMA) now have a total of 7449 members, of which 7151 are paper signatures. These member signatures have been collected over the last 15 days while campaigning on the streets and talking to the public face-to-face….
 Now the SMA Facebook group have about 8,500 members internet wise they have supported two verified petitions http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62738 with 2,260 signatures and http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/58429 with 556 signatures.

Non internet wise there was the Manston Music Festival http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/supporters-of-manston-airport-held-23146/ where hardly anyone turned up and the SMA Annual General meeting where local politicians turned up but it seems only 20 of the 8,500 SMA members turned up. 
 When the numbers don’t stack up I wonder just what is going on.

Now my take here is that this is of interest whether you support the airport or you don’t. On the one hand TDC are already spending local council taxpayers money on investigating the cpo and this whole cpo business does seem to involve telephone number amounts of money and complex issues over liability that would make the few million in losses TDC have incurred recently look very small fry. On the other hand if over 7,000 people did really think they were signing a petition to support the airport, then this number of signatures could well have been enough to influence KCC into serious involvement in a way the could realistically have saved the airport.   
I will ramble on here as and when I get more time and will also endeavour to read through what I have already written and correct any errors.     


  1. How many attended the Manston Music event?

  2. Far more than attended the last get together by FORS, "No to Farage" and most other local meetings.

    1. So it was about 20 at Manston Music then?

    2. The last Rally FORS organised at the Great wall was attended by around 300 people. and from what I hear only 250 attended Music for Manston.
      The last meeting at the Kings hall was attended by 40 members and from what I hear around 25 people attended the Special general meeting at Newington.

    3. I didn't realise it was some sort of competition, though if that's the case then which group got TDC to discuss a CPO and has / had the support of Tory, Labour, UKIP, Liberal and Green parties?

    4. dunno its hard to tell. maybe the anti-Boris Island group or maybe the don't expand Lydd Airport

    5. Hmmmm the Manston groups seem pegged around the 300 mark but no credible argument for Manston. Are they just the exworkers and families. Worrying the politicians have no credible argument either and have wasted so much money at Manston. That was the only regeneration plan? A big cargo airport to employ everybody?

    6. The answer to your first question (the one without the question mark) is "No". I've never worked there nor do I personally know anyone who does, yet I still support it.

    7. Thats one nonairport supporter out of 300...

  3. I'm a keen supporter of Manston, but (a) I was working over the weekend, and (b) having been to many other AGM's over the years I knew that this would be of very little interest to me. So these figures mean nothing.

    Does anyone know which politicians turned up at both of these? It could make a difference (either way) come election time.

  4. It isn't going to make any difference at election time because it won't be an issue by then. The CPO will either have gone ahead or will have failed, long before next years polls. The people backing the reopening of Manston are a varied group. Some are from North Kent and have backed Manston because they think it will help to stop Boris Island. These people can't vote in Thanet, so their opinions are irrelevant. Others are planespotters who want their hobby located on their doorstep. They will all be voting for that nice Mr. Farage because he loves planes too. Then there are those who just love the limelight and who have never felt so important in their lives. They are distracted when a piece of fluff drifts from the ceiling, and won't remember who did what when it comes to election time. On the other hand you have the campaign against night-flights which is solidly based in Ramsgate, and backed by many influential people. If the airport has been reopened this lot will be in uproar because it can't be viable without night-flights. If the airport hasn't reopened, this lot have long memories and hold grudges, so the politicians who backed reopening it will get nowhere. Those politicians who have tried to ride the bandwagon have made a bad mistake. By election time, there will be no advantage to be gained from having tried to get the airport reopened, but there will be everything to lose. No surprise that Lord Gale has gone all quiet.

  5. I wonder what side of the Manston debate Ian Driver will be on by then? He's already changed his mind 3 times this year alone.

  6. So megaman is still at it? What an idiot!

  7. Nice photos Michael.
    The whole Manston issue leaves me bewildered, nothing Will happen until Ann Gloag shows her hand. So far she has invested a small amount and the returns look huge. To me the only way to stop her would be to put a preservation order on the entire site. I doubt the CO I will ever face the light of day and without it I see houses on the horizon.


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