Friday, February 13, 2009

Play Nice

I've been keeping an eye on Thanet's many weblogs today; measuring the reaction to last evening's vote on Manston night flights.

Predictably the debate is polarised and frequently abusive, which is disappointing but no surprise. As usual, a small but highly vocal minority are determined to drive their own agenda and are not prepared to accept the council's decision, even though and quite remarkably, it involved broad cross-party consensus and support; highly unusual for politics in Thanet.

I have yet to speak with or hear from anyone in my own ward of Westgate, other than Cllr King, who is against extending the night flights agreement. Rather, public opinion appears to support it as offering a much needed opportunity for Thanet at a very difficult time in our history.

The vocal, anti-airport minority who firmly believe that their's is the 'true religion' and who are busy damning the opinions or characters of others on our local 'Blogs' are doing themselves a disservice. Calm intelligent debate earns both respect and credibility but anonymous abuse simply labels those who use it as cranks whose arguments hold no value.

The vote is won, the decision has democratic weight and its time, I believe, to move on. There are more important matters for us to worry about in this country, on the day that a British bank announced a £10 billion loss. And as for Manston, let's see if British Airways does come and if so, what economic benefits will accrue to the local community as a result.


Eastcliff Richard said...


Eastcliff Richard said...

Or, if you want a more considered opinion, why do you think you've got a 'vocal minority'? Is it not because you, the council, wanted to attract wealthy Londoners like us to relocate in Thanet, with your Westwood Cross and your regeneration and your Turnip Centre and your sandy beaches? And now you want to fly ruddy great planes over our heads? And you expect intelligent, well off ABC1s to keep schtum about that? Bonkers, the lot of you.

Presumably the 'silent majority' are too busy sucking on their Stellas and crack pipes to give a tinker's.

tony flaig bignews said...

I think that ECR has become a tad excitable, if he had been at the council meeting he might well have changed his mind.

Londoners "like us" well I've lived in Thanet 50 of my 52 years and consider myself to be a Londoner in as much as I was actually born there not unlike large swathes of Thanet residents.

As far as I know ECR went to school round here and for all I know was possibly born here, so before he did us all a favour of returning his ABC1 self, he would have been aware of our local airport.

Some of those who spoke last night will be considerably more inconvenienced than ECR but had the good nature to accept that the nuisance was trivial in comparison with the potential benefits.

Well I for one have no wish to attract smug self centred ABC1s class conscious snobs like ECR who clearly thinks he is a cut above the rest of us.

Perhaps he could return to London where life is at a gentler pace, Im sure he will find the tranquillity that he seeks, and of course in London you never here planes because of the traffic noise.

If London doesn't suit maybe ECR could find himself a cave somewhere in the west country.

Of course one of the main reason Londoners "like him" come down here is because its cheap not that far from London and the occasional plane or seagull is preferable.

Anonymous said...

Tony I did not realise that you are so young.

"Wait to see if BA does come"

Where is the commercial imperative in that ?

The Manston decision is a further pleasing example of East Kent folly.

Simon you must be aware of the recent kerfuffle about cabinet security and such like ? Google James Shortt, Baron of Castleshortt, Colonel of the Galloglas Guard. Deal Royal Marines Barracks.

Cannot help wondering how Mr Shortt enjoyed such a long career before the ex Army community exposed him as a "Walt". His claims to being ex para and ex SAS and a blackbelt etc all exposed as Mitty World.

You see Mr Shortt began his illustrious military con career by using the Deal Royal Marines Barracks gym for eight years to teach a fantasy world Close Quarter Battle course of his own concoction. Gullible servicemen and POLICE paid to attend such courses. The POLICE alumni of the military fantasist course having paid to gain expertise in pistol handling skills.

Funny how Mr Shortt, now resident at Castle Bellingham County Louth, went uninvestigated by Kent POLICE for all these years since breach of security warnings and a bombing at said Deal Barracks.

I have written to the Chief constable suggesting that the public had a right to expect that Kent POLICE actually check who had a history of secure access to the barracks. DUH. Now is an hotel at Castle Bellingham sounding at all familiar arrested Broadstairs TA soldiers of 1987 ? George Maison arrested paramilitary, later tory Cllr and Vice Chair North Thanet Tories, ring any bells at all ?

Now the silly pistol shooting goings on at 6th Thanet Gun Range that Roger Gale refused to accept as a constituency issue ......

Now what this got to do with Manston ? Can't you work that one out for yourself Simon ?

Spirit said...

I am a wealthy ex Londoner. There is only one point to be made. There will only be a handful of jobs created at the airport. The noise from planes will significantly reduce the appeal of the area negating the positive impact of the new train line. Therefore halting the prospect of regeneration for the area. That is why there is a legal challenge being mounted against Thursdays decision. This backward thinking cannot be allowed to continue.

DrMoores said...

There seem to be a lot of wealthy ex-Londoners about, which is nice to know! I was told that our rather deprived Thanet has more millionaires per square mile than any other spot in the South East although I can’t confirm whether such figures are true or not.

Is Thanet simply a place where people retire on their money and simply grow old and die or is there some small hope that the greater population and particularly the young, will have employment opportunities beyond those that are currently available.

Like Tony, I went to the Charles Dickens School. It wasn’t a great education at the time and neither was I anything beyond an average student. Like many others at the time, I had to leave Thanet to find a job and pursue a career and like many others, I returned. While respecting the rights of some residents, millionaires included, who object to aircraft noise, we also need to recognize that a future as a seaside retirement backwater with a summer holiday season, is unsustainable for the future prosperity of the community. We need to attract businesses to Thanet and we need to raise awareness of Thanet’s existence in competition with a hundred other seaside towns.

Outside of our broader plans for regeneration, the beaches and the harbours, we have one large tangible asset and that’s the airport and if we can use that to the benefit of the community through attracting employment then it’s only sensible to do so because standing at the edge of the “Biggest recession for 100 years” to quote Ed Balls, we have very little else in the way of strong cards to play.

Ken Gregory said...

As one who will be probably more affected than others I would point out that the possibility of more jobs for thanet folk will give me great pleasure. I moved here in 1971 and (as a member of the County Constabulary at the time) hated the place.
After 38 years I love the place, but why, oh why, do we locals have such a downer on the chance of making the place somewhere great for young people to live and , more importantly, work. I wish to see Thanet as a thriving economy not a retirement home.
I said on Thursday, we are open for business, ready to deal with industry, and quick to respond. If we can attract big players in this, government induced, depression, we are going places when the economy picks up.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Ken, say for instance there was a Conservative Government in power when this "credit crunch" hit home do you think things would have been any different. Considering that every global capitalist institution has taken a hit do you think it is a fault within the capitalist system . After all it was Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who legitimised greed and recent events will mean politics and the world order will change for a generation like it did in 1945.

Anonymous said...

Tony Beachcomber, One of the most intellectual and well-observed posts I have seen in a while on any Thanet blog. On that basis you surely cannot be a local politician. If the local politicians atually did some research instead of accepting the nonsense about jobs spouted out by developers and business owners then they may make better decisions. The few jobs that will be created by this will be taken by the relocated Stansted people anyway. So Thanet gets the noise. polution, Infratil get the extra cash, BAWC get a cheap deal. (Not that it will happen anyway as I bet they stay at Stansted)

DrMoores said...

The answer Tony I think you'll find in today's newspapers, BBC Daily Politics Show et al. Particularly the comments by Ken Clarke.

Yes I quite agree on the capitalism front but New Labour and in particular, Gordon Brown, followed a particular path in regard to the establishment of the FSA the sale of our gold reserves and the control and supervision of the banks.

Finally and this is quite irrefutable, reckless spending on the public sector and the encouragement of personal debt has led to a situation where the country has no reserves to weather the storm or the economy or industries required to compete with any agility in a world that is about to change very quickly indeed.

Lord help us if Ireland defaults on its debts this month!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Oh dear Tony. Still living the class war are we? You seem to have more chips on your shoulder than Harry Ramsden. What next? 'Burn the rich'?

By the way, my application to turn Laleham Road into a motorway should be before the council next week. I expect they'll rubber stamp it without going to all that unnecessary palaver of planning permission or public consultation as I've promised it'll create 10,000 jobs. I'm sure you won't have any objections!

Posted from a cave somewhere near Poole

DrMoores said...

I'm hoping that 'Peace in our Time' will break out between two of our most prominent Bloggers as an online falling out is invariably Thanet's loss.

Tony Beachcomber said...

ECR , I can assure you that I have no chips on my shoulder just a deep concern of the consequences of a Conservative government on working people. Do you honestly think for one moment the middle and business classes will be making any sacrifices under a Tory Government. Bearing in mind the system of using money to make money is totaly knackered. I fear that the exploitation of labour as one of the means of generating wealth. Ask yourself do you think the Conservatives will maintain the national minimum wage.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Simon, every now and then spokespersons for the Conservatives always slip in "Gordon Brown sold all our Gold reserves off cheap" when commenting on the economy and now you are on the bandwagon.
So I thought I will do a bit of research so next time you use that quote you can be more factual. Between 1996 to 1999 the IMF started selling off 5 million ounces of gold. The Central Banks started to follow suit, the swiss central bank sold 1,400 tons of gold, the Australian central bank sold a large part of it's reserves. The Government sold 400 tonnes of Gold at an average price of $275 an ounce to raise $2.5bn.At 2008 prices the sale would have raised $8bn. The Government used some of the money to buy euros that were earning a greater interest. In July 1999 the price of gold hit a 20 year low of $252.80. Gold remained stable on about £240 an ounce from year 2000 to 2004. The Hurrican Katrina affecting oil prices, the weak dollar,demand form the far east and then the credit crunch all contributed to the current high price. As the system of using money to make money is knackered and with the American budget deficit. Gold is going to stay high for a long time.
Did you know the Germans are sitting on 1,200 tonnes of gold which represents 10% of the worlds supply. Now if they were to load that lot on the open market I wonder where the international capitalist are going to put their money when the price drops.

DrMoores said...

Well until such a time as that happens the UK remains looking rather sick and increasingly poor.

Face it Tony. Nu-Labour is a corrupt, incompetent and busted flush which has betrayed the very people who voted for the dream they were sold. The only true beneficiary was Tony Blair and his close friends, supporters and advisors!

Tony Beachcomber said...

Simon, you have really changed since you have become a Councillor. That is a typical politicians answer when confronted with a few facts. To be honest it has no impact on me whatsoever.
I thought you may have hit me with Conservative policy on the movement of Gold and future policy of Gold in the economy, especially as London is now the largest market for gold at present.

DrMoores said...

To be honest Tony I'm dipping in and out of the Blog, watching the BBC programme on building of the new Airbus, which as a pilot interests me a little more than Gold policy. I leave advice on that to Cllr Ewen Cameron who is the expert on such matters and far more capable than me of answering your question I'm afraid.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Yes. I think you do have a point. Anyway I suppose in this economic climate Ewen must also be an expert on the alcoholic beverage amongst other things.

Michael Child said...

One thing that occurs to me reading all of this, Thanet has a disproportionately high number of newcomers for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the wartime evacuations here.

When we first came here in the 60s and bought a guesthouse in Augusta road, the people we bought it from, were the first to move in to the street after the war, they said the whole street was uninhabited and there was so much damage you walk the length of the street inside the houses because of all the holes.