Have we been the victims of fraud and misdirection over Manston?
Based on research that we have been carrying out here at Thanet Star it really does look like the idea was to force the council to buy the airport all along.
What we have uncovered is only a pattern of behaviour between two very powerful companies but one that is so striking it is hard to ignore. The evidence suggests that maybe Manston Airport was part of a debt swap and dump and it might not be the first time that these companies have been part of such an action.
In 1998 the existing owner sold Prestwick Airport to our favourate Scottish transportion company - Stagecoach Group [source]. Stagecoach then went on to sell the airport to Infratil in 2001 [source].
The same Infratil owned Manston Airport and then sold it to the Stagecoach Group's owner Ann Gloag in almost the exact same way last year.
But the uncanny similarities do not stop there.
When Infratil owned Manston airport it loaded it with debts and handed off to Gloag's company. Likewise when Gloag's Stagecoach Group owned Prestwick Airport it too was loaded up with debt before sale.
Prestwick was taken off of Infratil's hands by the Scottish Government who renationalised the airport and presumably took care of the debt.
Now it looks like our local authority will end up taking the airport off of Gloag's hands and take care of that debt too.
Is this less a case of Gloag's revenge and more the second half of a complex conspiricy to squeeze free cash from government?
Continue Reading: The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal