Why Thanet Labour was right (for once)
Very often I agree to at least to some extent with Tony Flaig of Big News Margate but today I am going to roundly disagree with his view on Labours Manston policy.
At the risk of loosing my Lib-Dem card I am going to try and show why Clive's Labour team made the right choice even though it may have been an expensive one. I am also going to point out the fairly obvious.
As Michael Child points out Tony (fellow Liberal Democrat) and Simon Moores (fellow verbal sparring partner and Conservative) both blame Labour for what is happening at Manston. However the fairly obvious point here is that both are members of opposing factions and almost honour-bound to attack Labour's actions.
The other fairly obvious factor is that Infratil have yet to turn a profit with any European Airport so the odds of their success here were limited from the start. In fact Infratil are also selling Prestwick airport - which can no-way be linked to Thanet's Labour even if you really want to.
When the banks stuffed up through greed they turned to the government and said give us money or it will go badly for the people as a result of our poor planning. In effect they held the economy to ransom and the government paid up. I do not believe this was the right thing to do but it was perhaps the least expensive thing to do.
Likewise Manston is up for sale as Infratil (the airport operators) have been saying to our council "let us out of our very limited flights agreement because it terns out that we don't know how to operate a profitable airport without it. Also: jobs. Oh look pink elephants!"
Infratil's promises of jobs while a shiny bauble that easily distracts those of us in Thanet was, according to an outside report, only so much guff. The truth is our airport is being run by a company with too little expert knowledge to actually run the airport at a profit.
The elephant in the room here is that Infratil simply are not able to deliver the jobs, infrastructure and the magic smoke needed to get Thanet on the road to recovery. Clive was simply taking the unpleasant, yet necessary step of recognising their lies. It stings in much the same way that ripping a sticky plaster from a hairy leg might but at the end of the day the old dirty bandage has to come off to stop the infection spreading.
Infratil was, in short, a false hope.
Of course doing the right thing might cost Labour some voter sympathy and give the rest of us some ammunition to attack him and his party but the truth is we needed Labour to say no to Infratil if only so the stigma of doing so was kept off of the rest of us.
This time, at least, Labour was right.