Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Green is My Thanet

According to the release in front of me, Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, and Kent’s Green MEP, will call for a radical “green new deal” for Thanet when she speaks at a public meeting in Ramsgate on Friday December 12th.

Thanet, she says, should turn away from developments such as the controversial China Gateway plan and the destruction of greenfield sites, and instead pursue an alternative, more sustainable, economic strategy.

Her 'Green' plan for action for the island includes:

- Abandoning Manston Airport and turning it into a centre for leisure

- The transformation of Margate seafront and the rebuilding of Dreamland

- A growth in Thanet’s further and higher education opportunities

- The expansion of organic farming

Regardless of my politics, rarely have I had the privilege of reading such utter tosh! What on earth does she think the present agenda is for Margate's regeneration and who does she think will pay for other populist schemes which imply substantive levels of private investment; just as we run into the buffers of the worst economic recession since before the Second World War.

Who will 'rebuild' Dreamland or will subsidise turning Manston into a local version of Disney World I wonder, that's assuming it's not your cash-strapped local council and we all wish our council taxes to remain at much the same levels over the next few years.

I do wonder if she has any true idea of how hard the fallout from the faltering economy is going to hit deprived areas such as Thanet and what struggle lies ahead in maintaining essential public services; that's assuming that some of the money to fund her vision is to come from the public purse?

Environmentally friendly policies I quite agree with and let's have more organic farming by all means and the growth in our further and higher education facilities, whatever that implies. However before we add World peace to her wish list, perhaps she might share with the uninformed, like me, where the money for all of this may be hidden among the funds for the Olympic Games, the banks rescue, and a 2.5% VAT reduction? Perhaps, like the popular TV series, there's a secret millionaire walking among us here in Thanet with the kind of money to risk on a Manston Airport Leisure Park in return for getting rid of all those noisy aircraft.

Perhaps it's ECR because it won't be Sir Alan Sugar?

PS.. speaking of green issues:

2 comments:

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Some politicians

CHRISTINE TONGUE said...

Well, it was a good meeting, with Caroline Lucas offering some positive ideas amid all the gloom that people feel when they see developers having such an influence on our leadership, and scepticism about environmental issues.

I don't think you would have quarrelled with her on much at all, if you'd come, Simon. But it was terrible weather, and flu bugs abounding, so you're excused!

All the same, a meeting of around 60 people, in a storm, just before Christmas, probably demonstrates the strength of feeling - and the despair - in this area.

I filmed the meeting, so highlights can go on the net soon, and into our new film which will be in cinemas in January.
Christine Tongue