Sunday, 30 May 2010

Thailand article Kent on Sunday today

An article published in Kent on Sunday today, page 27:

Talking Thailand

Tim Garbutt discusses this week’s events in Bangkok.

As I write this the Thai Prime Minister has been impeached and the previous Prime Minister accused of terrorism. The Thai military have removed the Redshirt protestors in central Bangkok and imposed a curfew and the central shopping area has been burned down in protest.

It certainly makes British politics seem rather dull - but a deeply sad situation as my wife is Thai and many of our family live in Bangkok. It’s surreal to see armed troops and rioters in central Bangkok around many of the places I know and consider my home away from Kent.

Living in Kent – a county not known for its ethnic diversity – it always surprises me how interested people are in Thailand. It may be that good food loosens the tongue as my wife owns the Surin Thai restaurant ( – try the sea bass!) or fond memories of holidays to the Serene Kingdom.

The conflict between Redshirts and Yellowshirts in Thailand is puzzling at first – and recently overshadowed by similar unrest in Greece - yet it seems not dissimilar to England at the time of the Jarrow March almost 100 years ago. Redshirts are from the impoverished North East of Thailand wanting social reform and the Yellowshirts are a mix of the far wealthier military and political elite.

The Redshirt protests that started as political rivalry with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (a kind of Thai Bill Gates) and the military’s choice of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva – not the first Eton-educated Prime Minister to struggle with elections - has now spread to much greater demands for deeper democracy, a fairer society and less involvement of the military in politics.

The Asian Century is coming to pass and Thailand unlike many Asian nations - Burma, China, Vietnam and Indonesia in particular - has managed to establish a strong democracy. Yet only now is it able to untangle the last vestiges of military involvement.

Asian values too often trade economic growth with a failure to establish a wider civil society and extricate the generals. Thailand is world-class in its tourism approach with over 6% of GDP and hosts over 800,000 UK tourists alone each year - while Bangkok has all the trappings of Western consumerism where it’s possible to shop at Boots and Tesco.

The current conflict and 85 deaths in two months will – at such a cost in blood and treasure - yield greater democratic consensus for what is one of the world’s safest nations.

And even with the current disputes the Thai economy holds steady with only a 2% fall, so I would forecast tourism will likely return for the Xmas peak whether it be via Bangkok or direct flights to Phuket and the West Coast islands. Indeed one reason for the end of the protests – at what is the low tourism season – was the imminent monsoon rains and many Redshirts returning to their farms to prepare the crops.

Bangkok represents the urban face of a hidden Thailand that is over 80% rural – my wife’s Surin Charity for example works with Kent schools to build schools in the poorest regions of the world.

Thailand has some of the world’s best hospitals and strong medical tourism industry yet a rudimentary NHS has only just been created. While education has only recently been extended to age 16 and schoolbooks let alone computers in rural schools are still a rarity, and civil service and police corruption can be endemic.

Yet in the countryside there is still real poverty and compared to England almost no libraries, swimming pools or civic or sports groups that form the weft and weave of civilisation. As here growth seems to result in ribbons of roads connecting ever more shopping malls ands urban sprawl.

And Kent? Well, the similarities with Thailand are noticeable. A rural and agricultural economy, small market towns, ever warmer climate, a reliance on tourism and green industries. Yes but what about Kent you say. Indeed.

Perhaps the greatest impact here in Kent will be the loss of inbound language tourism business from Asia for our language schools and universities.

If Kent still relies on a post-industrial economy of road-building and construction then Thailand certainly indicates how solar energy, local markets, the food and drink sector, heritage focus, crafts and artisan industries and tourism can lead prosperity.

While Kent should be able to market its public service ethos in education, governance, policing and so on to Asia. More could be done on trade tariffs to encourage UK-Thai trade: only 2% of Thai exports reach the EU.

Bangkok, as a massive urban hub, is the price that has been paid for a dizzying pace of development with the ancient canals of what was the Venice of the East filled in for congested motorways and pollution and the almost no planning restrictions ensuring the lowest ratio of urban parks in the world.

A price we seem to be willing to continue to pay in Kent – while future generations will pick up the bill.

Yet here the UK Parliament still has to highlight the scale of over 50,000 UK deaths from air pollution and 39,000 from shipping pollution – a death toll equivalent to the annual death toll from cigarettes. We have a stable and democratic society yet the silent killer in Kent is the failure to curb kerbside pollution for the future.

Certainly Asia has far more quickly embraced the real dangers of Climate Change while, shockingly, even broadband and wifi are far more accessible in most Thai towns than Kent.

Kent faces stagnation with persistent under-performing of the coast – in contrast to the tourism development of the Eastern Thai seaboard and peninsula - whether it be Margate, Medway or Dover and persistent under-investment in green technologies and modern utilities such as broadband and wifi.

Thailand, now Greece - only a year or two ago unrest in Hungary and Latvia - recently Iran and Kyrgyzstan, Burma and the failed coups in Philippines are all instantly visible on the Web and TV – again a harbinger of Asia’s booming and excellent film, TV, web and advertising industries is this weeks Cannes prize for the Thai film “Uncle Boonmee”.

Kent doesn’t yet face becoming a mirror of Hong Kong as an entrepot off the EurAsia continent but the signs are there.

Thailand is not alone with most of Asia in less than a generation of lifting itself out of what was thought of as endemic poverty. and now greater social freedoms are required.

Without such reforms the Asian Century will falter – while the Redshirts call for UN oversight perhaps heralds the first signs of a UN Century of social justice, democracy and environmental protection – the UN Millennium Goals and Responsibility to Protect provide the first real calls for effective global governance.

I hope you have the chance to visit Thailand as soon as possible and over the Xmas peak. Like the national symbol of the Garuda bird central Bangkok will rise phoenix-like from the current dispute within weeks.

While, with Climate Change and the pressures on the Kent environment, there’s much more we should be doing here to preserve and improve our way of life.

Tim Garbutt is Managing Director of Sincerity Agency the East Kent green and ethical advertising agency:

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Kiddie Kidney Cancer and the Toxic Three

A very sad article in Your Thanet on a child with kidney cancer: losing one, 9 months of chemotherapy, trips to London and the specialist cancer wards at the QEQM.

Very sad.

A rare cancer too. Unusual. Just like a specialist leaukaemia ward at the QEQM. Unusual to have such a specialist ward at an out of the way hospital.

But not to be unexpected though with Infratil and Thor and Richboro and the FireDepot and no details of the toxin levels or cleanup.

And the fake monitroing of TDC and Infratil at Manston.

With the Gang of Four now reduced to the Toxic Three of Samuel, White and Latchford it seems all the more unusual that we have no public statements on the missing monitors and water pollution – and even more bizarre that with the drinking water supply under the runway planes are still flying.

Here’s a weblink showing the aquifer under the runway and there’s also an open sewer outfall into Pegwell bay.

On a different note there’s lots of activity at the Port in clearing the land to build … an office block for Vattenfall. The usual Big Box Brian solution that makes everywhere look like Westwood Cross.

And a car park too – isn’t that what the nearby NCP is for?

We seem to have a council that can only give itself planning permission woth public land to waste it in pointless construction and car parks.

None of the plans ever include anything in terms of a smaller footprint and greener footprints for Climate Change. The old folks at the council wihll have shuffleds off this mortal coil and left business parks, energy parks, retail parks but no park parks for their children and grandchildren.

Maybe fewer kidneys too if they can’t clean up the water more promptly. What have they been doing?

Now I think Vattenfall are an excellent company and the windfarm is a good idea although it’s not the best form of renewables and likely to only last 10 years or so.

But building an office block? Isn’t that what the empty business parks are for? And there’s already a new office block welded into one of the many empty warehouses.

With the mystery Custom House purchase on the rates we seem to be building buildings when there’s plenty of empty offices and a duplication of public sector buildings.

0% for effort from the Toxic Three and surely it’s time they repaid their fake payrises. Breathtaking after the scandals of ManstonGate and ChinaGate they then fiddle a fake 0% payrise.

Canterbury Council fall over themselves when there's a sewage leak and TDC give themselves payrises for failing to spot a banned mercury factory was opoen 20 years and help the airport to downgrade the monitors as the airport expands.

It's your council and your relatives, give Brian or Richard or Morgan Sproates a ring and ask for an update.

An interview with the BBC later on Thor and Richboro.

We seem to have civil servants and councillors that can only at best tax and waste and at worse tax and steal or tax and pollute.

Time for the Toxic Three to come clean on the mess and muck they’ve created.

And only silence from our 56 councillors and MP’s.

No statements.

No questions in council.

No agenda items in council.

No minutes from meetings.

We vote ‘em and pay ‘em and get only silence. And cancer.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Custom House and Albion House on the rates?

And the Tourist Office and Museum closed for "improved service"?

Ramsgate Town Council now have their accounts plus all costs and invoices available for public scrutiny (they’re also available all year round under FOI – but the Audit Commission can’t sign them off if the public refuse to approve them) yet still no detail of salaries, pensions created and most importantly the costs and contract for the Custom House.

Clearly there’s a bit of the 1960’s council secrecy and jiggerpokery in voting for the Custom House instead of remaining and repainting Albion House – and even refusing to vote on the petition of thousands of signatures presented to council over 8 months ago.

And the civil servants leading the councillors by the nose.

With c.£20M provided by Ramsgate taxpayers it’s hardly a reason to close Museums or Tourist Offices or leave Albion House derelict or sold for flats – apart from the usual miniMargateism that RTC is meant to prevent.

The logic of having 2 buildings on the rates is absurd especially given no support for leaving Albion House (or leaving it unrepaired).

And over a year lost in petty organisation given most of the councillors are duplicates from TDC anyway – no wonder that’s one of Britain’s worst councils and has destroyed Thanet

We seem to have the same mini-TDC culture of secrecy and failure on the rates.

Ask for your copy of the RTC accounts, invoices etc: 01843 591142 or 5912495

Of course why these or any minutes since November are not on the RTC website
is ridiculous.

Far better to boycott council tax and business rates in protest.

If they don’t get the money they can’t waste it.

Direct debits can be cancelled. Delayed payments made. Incorrect payments made and so on.

Our councils fail to understand that all funds and decisions need detailing with full transparency.

It’s not the 1970’s.

It is 2010 though: where are this year’s tourist plans? Where’s the budget? Where are next year’s plans?

What have they been doing?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Infratil and breathing kerosene

An item below on the effects of kerosene on humans and wildlife from the BP oil spill in USA:

toxiciology expert, Dr William Sawyer, who has made a presentation to the US lawyers representing environmental and other interests after the spill has added to the concern: "The dispersants used in the BP clean-up efforts, known as Corexit 9500 and Corexit EC9527A, are also known as deodorized kerosene," he told the group. "With respect to marine toxicity and potential human health risks, studies of kerosene exposures strongly indicate potential health risks to volunteers, workers, sea turtles, dolphins, breathing reptiles and all species which need to surface for air exchanges, as well as birds and all other mammals. Additionally, I have considered marine species which surface for atmospheric inhalation such as sea turtles, dolphins and other species which are especially vulnerable to aspiration toxicity of Corexit 9500 into the lung while surfacing."

With aviation fuel essentially kerosene plus other toxic chemicals the effects are clear but the questions remain:

1. Why did our civil servants remove noise monitors and reposition air monitors away from the flights and population centres from 2006 onwards?

2. Why were they not replaced immediately?

3. When did our councillors know of this?

4. How has the water supply been protected and cleaned?

It's clear that our civil servants and councillors quietly agreed to develop the airport by removing all the safety measures designed to protect the public - and to continue to endanger them.

Who took these decisions again and again: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010?

What action has been taken against Infratil for the repeated 106 breaches?

Was it regeneration at any cost?

Was it a culture of silence and coverup?

Who are the guilty men?

Clearly Infratil knew what they were doing: airport companies know the importance of monitors or removing them.

Messrs Samuel and White knew what they were doing: there's no airport development without downplaying the safety and cancer risks - the CE and KIACC Chair and Environmental Director know that.

TDC's Airport Committee knew what they were doing: no insistence on replacing monitors means no monitors.

KCC knew what they were doing: EUJet and KCC USA programmes and SEEDA car parks and Parkway vanity projects and turn a blind eye to the dangers.

Our MP's and councillors knew what they were doing: stay silent or roll along with Party loyalty.

And the result?

Thanet's citizens get cancer, Infratil walks away from the cleanup and our civil servants and councillors remain silent.

And still the planes fly.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

MK crashes and burns and Gang of Four collapses

MK airlines has surrendered its air operating certificates to the CAA after being unable to guarantee "service and air safety levels".

With Infratil skimping on noise and air monitors with TDC and the last main cargo flight being Cargolux it seems the only way our councillors and civil servants have been able to expand Manston is by removing all the safety measures.

With the drinking water supply under the runway - and the MOD Firestation nearby - it's clear that egg on face has been the priority for the Gang of Four rather than public safety.

The monitors could have been insisted on back in 2006.

They could have been replaced any week since then.


Better to fake the data and pretend all is well.

And still the planes fly.

As Messrs Latchford and Ezekiel step down, Ladyman ousted at the polls, and only the Toxic Two of Samuel and White remain to pretend nothing has been going on - and allow Infratil to continue to pollute the area along with the ChinaGate cargo warehouses debacle.;jsessionid=09BAFAEF173F949018E558584D471833.5d25bd3d240cca6cbbee6afc8c3b5655190f397fhttp:/

And silence from all our councillors and civil servants.

No cleanup schedules issued.

No stop notices provided to Infratil.

No water safety checks.

No water bowsers or bottled water if needed.


A thousand flowers should bloom across the runway to protect the water but we have only silence and coverup.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

the dead of Manston and Thor and Kent Police

An update from Mark Brotherhood of Kent Police who's been liaising with Infratil on overflights and cancer etc: drop him a line or phone if you'd like an update:

Some bits below on Thor and RTC too.

Hi Mark

Thanks for your letter from our discussion last week although I’m not sure why Kent Police are referring me to KIACC/TDC or the CAA again. Both organisations have highlightedf these problems several times: noise monitors, water pollution etc.

I’d also like to provide a formal witness statement – I’m surprised that Infratil had been interviewed by the Police before speaking to me.

As we discussed the 106 is in place but is being repeatedly breached.

There are no Council minutes or waiver or agreement or vote for these repeated breaches. Yesterday for example there were c.3 flights directly over the towns in breach of flight paths, etc.

Clearly the danger and increased air pollution endangers the public – similar to corporate manslaughter

It’s clear – given for example the removal of noise monitors by Infratil and TDC and no replacements provided, the mobile monitors fixed at the rural ends of the runway and no mobile monitors placed in the town centres - there has been a quiet arrangement by the politicians, civil servants and Infratil at KCC and TDC to allow expansion of the airport by removing the safety measures detailed in the 106.

Can you advise please: as we discussed it’s a matter of record that Thanet has a high lung cancer rate, some roads with over 4x the EU pollution limit and the airport is built on the drinking water supply.

As we discussed, every day simply increases the pollution and death rate.

Can you also advise on your investigations of Thor mercury given the site should have closed in 1988 but hasn’t – I’ll forward an update from South Africa and the Thor toxic site there following the supposed closure in Margate.

Clearly it seems as though pollution sites such as Thor, Manston, the MOD firestation and Richboro seem of more concern in endangering political, civil service and police careers.

I’ll add this to my blog for public viewing.

Kindest regards



Thor: I've a PDF of an update from Thor in South Africa if anyone would like an email copy.

Also an update form Morgan Sproates of TDC Contminated Land that there were verbal updates to TDC Cabinet last year but no written records and there may be an inspection of the site next year. No details of the contamination - although the South Africans can detail the exact amnounts of waste at their toxic dump


Ramsgate Town Council: still no update on the costs of Custom House and Alboon House and why a move to Custom House is cheaper/better than decorating Albion House - and having both buildings on the rates. Seems to me that without that information the public can't take a view on whether it's a sensible decision or just a vanity project. At least FOI can provide the contract, minutes, costs etc etc - and still no sign of the Pleasurama details


Vattenfall are looking to expand the windfarm yet it seems close in to shore to me and is already the world's biggest of c.£500M - with only £175k agreed by TDC as a development cost there should be more done to ensure the windmills are further out to sea, redevelopment of Richboro, loss of tourism value etc.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Another election over

Here’s a letter in Kent on Sunday (P.27) on the election and some of the problems facing Kent and Thanet

Of immediate concern is the Ramsgate Town Council meeting tomorrow to elect Mayors and Committees – and crucially to sign contracts to leave Albion House for the Custom House.

This is an appalling decision given the public support for Albion House (one of the reasons for re-establishing RTC itself) – the only main requirement being to decorate the place after years of council neglect.

While having both Albion House and the Custom House on the rates seems silly – especially when none of the costs have been made public.

It seems to be another sell-off either for ideology, miniMargateism, property development and bolstering civil service bloat.

A year after the formation of RTC, and 2 or 3 years before that of public support for its own town council, the last year has been one of missed opportunities.

I hope Mayor Green is re-elected: he has a deep concern for the future of the towns and initiatives such as the festivals, concerns over Pleasurama etc.

Public concerns over the water supply an upgrades of the Southern Water treatment plant, Manston aquifer, Thanet Earth expansion and Thor mercury clean-up need detailed reporting and action.

Civil servants attending meetings would be useful rather than the current secrecy, flannel and inaction.

I think RTC can make some clear improvements though:

1. Publishing all costs and minutes, webcam etc – with funding for a new Town Clerk there’s simply no excuse
2. Cancelling the Custom House activity in favour of decorating Albion House and using the top floors as a permanent MP office rather than yet more speculative flats
3. Detailed plans on Pleasurama and the Lido: an ice rink for the former and a 2012 pool for the latter seem ideal
4. Improving the Eastcliff Bandstand: benches, flowers, the concrete floor, removing the derelict lamp-posts
5. Specific plans on the Granville: yet another redevelopment of council dereliction “saved” by adding a for profit glass stump on the side seems feeble especially in a Conservation Area
6. Rezoning Addington St for a “Brighton Lanes” shops programme as the street reverts back to housing as the economy collapses after Westwood Cross
7. A review this month of the use of the Port and Marina: dredging has been terrible and little seems to be happening on a foot passenger ferry – and water and air pollution needs more oversight
8. Demolishing Richboro and an overview of Pegwell Bay and the Old Hoverport – new UNESCO listings are already available
9. Detailing the c.£20M of Ramsgate council tax expenditure along with an annual programme of events
10. Reopening what was a state-of the-art Tourist Centre with better signage

A specific issue is Climate Change and much could be done to extend tree planting, flower beds and borders, and “pocket parks” of green space – even a solar panel factory and housing programmes to ensure Ramsgate leads the way.

Councils will always try and skimp on repairs: removing features, downgrading repairs, expanding car parks and filling fountains with concrete and investing in bureaucracy - while RTC seems to be too much linked to TDC of old - only investing in the council itself and not the public that fund it.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Boycott the election to stop the pollution, stop the corruption

and stop the construction...

A quick note that Ramsgate Town Council has (another!) public meeting on 10th May to sign off accounts (not produced yet), vote on Mayor and Deputy (a year gone already and no candidates announced) and discuss purchasing Custom House and/or Albion House and costs. Or not. It's like a rotten borough of the 1970's isn't it?

Lots of meetings.

Short notice or no notice.

No agendas or minutes.

No taperecording or webcam.

No web updates since November

Vague reports or none at all.

Easier to hustle things through.

Detail of meeting tomorrow with BBC TV for Infratil, the 12 cargo ships of Cliftonville, a staff note on options for Chatham House/Clarendon at existing sites or Hereson/Holy Cross site, and Kent Police Special Branch (although there might be a Specialer Branch for major crime) - Infratil briefed them on how there's excellent monitorng - but forget to mention the monitors were removed in 2006.

Worth remembering all 3 main party candidates: Sandys, Ladyman and Gale are tightlipped on Infratil and Thor and pollution. None of them have raised these issues publicly or in Parliament.

Nor why the airport is built on the drinking water supply.

Or Thor closed in 1988 - but didn't.

Or the strange goings on of Pleasurama tax havens and 0% pay rises.

Refusing to vote and pushing the turnout under 50% demonstrates no popular mandate.

Certainly not for silence, deceit or the vaguest of promises and mere Party loyalty.

Our politicians and civil servants have failed us:

· major pollution incidents and cover-up: highest cancer rate in South East

· Third World death rates: 11 year death gap from rest of Kent

· deliberate pollution from Manston

· collapse of Margate

· utter waste of tax-funds and tax-salaries

Why bother voting?

The same tired parties and candidates: not one Thanet policy between them just general points on “reducing crime” and “increasing employment”.

You don’t say.

If Messrs Ladyman, Gale and Sandys could do that wouldn’t Thanet be in better condition than it is?

30 years from Mr Gale of watching Margate burn down.

13 years from Mr Ladyman of Ramsgate falling down.

3 years from Ms Sandys parachuted in to Thanet from Tory head office to say nothing.

And the election will result in a national hung parliament and will have to be restaged within 6 months or so – like every previous hung parliament.

The same farce all over again.

Let the other 1,300 MP’s and Lords vote on minor tweaks to give Britain a US-style governance and constitution - after 250 years.

Use your vote in Thanet well.

Don’t vote.

Spoil your ballot paper - think of it as “None of the above”. Although spoiled papers are often excluded from the turnout figures.

With electoral turnout already some of the lowest on record - boycott the election to show the candidates the discontent with the state of Thanet.

And boycott council tax.

With £60M in council tax each year plus national funding there is no reason why Thanet shouldn’t be sparkling.

We’re paying the money to our councillors and civil servants and it’s simply being wasted.

Cancel your direct debits.

Pay your tax by cheque but with the wrong amount or instalments.

Refuse to pay.

Delay paying.

£22M spent on civil servant salaries and increasing staff numbers and the rest sent to KCC to be wasted there on bloat and bumf.

Why pay for civil servants and councillors to fail to improve the towns.

And a council that’s rated one of the worst in Britain.

The TDC council has become Thanet Developers Council simply selling off green space and public property for property development and funding payrises and bloat – while the population declines and houses remain empty.

Every problem seems to require the solution of a new house.

Use your vote well.

Refuse to vote.

Boycott the election.

Spoil your ballot paper: either a large “x” through the whole ballot paper.

Or tear it in half and put in the ballot box.

Refuse to elect failed politicians and no policies.

The highest mortality rate in Kent.

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

The removal of noise and air monitors form Manston by Infratil and TDC.

Margate the worst High St in Britain.

TDC Britain’s worst council.

No Climate Change policies.

The decay and dereliction of all our towns.

Let’s have the lowest electoral turnout on record in Thanet: people voting “none of the above”- by not voting at the ballot box.

Stop the pollution. Stop the corruption. Stop the construction.

Boycott the election. Boycott council tax.

Time for Change.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Thanet election: stop the pollution, stop the corruption,

stop the construction - (an aside that, Ramsgate Town Council's annual accounts and costs are available for public scrutiny and Audit Commission sign-off but not online as yet):

Stop the Pollution:

• Close Manston airport: built on the polluted drinking water supply

- and repeated safety breaches by TDC and Infratil

• Thor mercury factory near Hornby - publish toxin cleanup details: should have closed in 1988 but remains open

• Clean the gasworks sites in Ramsgate and Margate: arsenic and cyanide in the soil and dust

• Demolish the derelict and polluting Richboro power station

• Clean up Pegwell Bay: one of the two most polluted sites in Kent

• NHS joint-monitoring of TDC pollution sites to reduce the third world death rates

Stop the Corruption:

• Repay fraudulent TDC civil service 0% pay rises for Messrs Samuel and White

• Sack the Gang of Four of Messrs Samuel, White, Ezekiel and Latchford and underperforming civil servants and councillors

• Publish all £22m (almost 50% of a council tax budget of £60m!) civil servant salaries, expenses, cars, pensions and other benefits each month

• End Chinagate completely and refund the £25k Labour party donations to charity

• End “minimargateism” – create Margate Town Council, reopen Ramsgate Tourist Centre and Albion House Town Hall to the public and MP offices upstairs

Stop the Construction:

• Halt overdevelopment: no new build houses except on brownfield

• End garden grabbing construction

• Halt new road construction

• Reverse the dereliction of the town centres

• Rollback development at Westwood Cross and introduce parking charges

• Expand greenbelt and parks

Here’s an article from March’s Independent on Sunday on air pollution in the UK -clearly the collusion by civil servants and our councillors and MP’s to expand Manston has seriously endangered the health of many members of the public:

We await explanations on why noise and air monitors were removed and not replaced by Infratil and TDC, why there are repeated breaches of the 106 airport regulations and consultations and why the airport is still allowed to pollute the drinking water supply - and why after months and years our councillors, civil servants and MP’s remain silent.

Vote with your feet and boycott thr election: don't vote or spoil your ballot paper and boycott council tax: cancel direct debits, provide underpayments and incorrect amounts, delay payment etc.

30 years of failure from Gale, 13 years of failure from Ladyman and 3 years of silence from Sandys.

8 years of failure from Samuel and White.

No Thanet policies from any of them and no nationaal policies from the main parties. An election built on empty phrases or silence.

Don't waste your vote by voting for more failure.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The dead of Infratil

How many poisoned by aviation fuel from low-level flights over the towns?

It’s not candy floss from a 747 exhaust pipe is it?

It's neat kerosene plus various other toxic chemicals and anti-freeze.

More concerning is the repeated breaches by Infratil: 2 flights between 6-7pm in over the towns on Thursday and Friday. Plus flights over the towns today.

With fuel droplets drifting over a 20 mile square area – and further with a following wind- the lung cancer can only increase.

And affects the young, ill and elderly the most.

Perhaps most concerning of all is not only are these flights specifically banned under the 106 operating guidelines for the airport.

But Infratil and TDC removed noise and air monitors form 2006 every time there were discussions on expansion.

Richard Samuel as Chair of KIACC when the first monitors were removed from a tower block and school and Brian White subsequently as member of KIACC and Environmental Protection Director subsequently.

With two of the Gang of Four stepping down form active politics only Messrs White and Samuel remain to assist Infratil in continuing to pollute the public.

Clearly there has been a behind-doors arrangement to allow repeated breaches and downgrade safety measures to expand the airport at the cost of the public.

And bizarre and fraudulent recent 0% payrises for Messrs Samuel and White – still refusing to release the before and after payslips of increases of several thousand pounds of public funds.

With the whole runway built on the drinking water supply – with a SEEDA taxpayer-funded car park on top of it - as well we seem to be paying for Infratil and our council officials and local politicians to poison us.

Only silence form Gale, Ladyman and Sandys from their previous statements on supporting expansion.

No wonder.

No votes in poisoning your own public.

And an airport on the drinking water supply?

Another concern is the Gang of Four’s ChinaGate plans for cargo warehouses on greenfield land have died a death as a leftover from the Manston 24 hour cargo airport plans.

While trips to China for the Gang of Four plus Steve Ladyman, offers of donations from the CGP/Jet Summit developer to both main parties, and Ramsgate Labour Party’s largest–ever donation of £25k accepted led to nothing except public protest.

But the £87M excessive roadworks remain as anothe rleftover for a 24 hour cargo airport – here’s a link:

As you can see we seem to be funding £87M of roadworks for a coil of road of 3 miles from the airport roundabout down to Richboro – which involves not 1 but 2 new railway bridges.

Yet all the junctions have traffic lights so traffic delays are unlikely to be reduced as the original plan details – and the existing road remains. With traffic backing up from the disastrous planning failure of Westwood Cross, the white elephant of a dual carriageway across farmland for a collapsed cargo airport remains.

And – in the bottom right hand corner – another sewage drain into Pegwell Bay a UNESCO wetland; presumably alongside the existing sump drain form Infratil. All repeatedly cited by the Environment Agency as heavily-polluting.

A drain not included in the official; outline plan – yet details how noise and air quality will deteriorate requiring massive earthbanks and severs footpaths, drainage ponds and cycling paths and removing 39 hectares of farmland.

Our councillors and politicians will no doubt claim that monitoring of road pollution would be in place – but they still maintain that’s the case with Infratil.

4 days to a national election and our politicians stay silent: nothing to say nothing to do.

Not one Thanet policy: vague statements on "reducing crime" or "creating jobs". You don't say. That's it after 30 years for Gale and 13 years for Ladyman and 3 years in the area for Sandys and 10 minutes for the other chap?

No wonder a Hung Parliament will collapse if this is what we're electing.

Boycotting the election pushed the electoral mandate under 50% and why vote for non-policies. If they can't tell us at election time when can they?

And we have councils built upon selling public land – or buying essential farmland with public funds - for unnecessary, badly-planned and expensive white elephants.

A Maidstone County Council of Roadworks.

Nothing that will improve the Thanet economy and derelict town centres as East Kent becomes the East Midlands of Planning vanity projects of out of town shopping centres, cargo airports, dual carriageways, roundabouts and tarmac.

And silence on the dead of Infratil.

How many do you think will have died?

Time for Change.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Your duty not to vote: boycott the election

I've written an article on KOSmedia about the Bishop of Dover recommending people vote. Perhaps not surprising for a State-authorised Church.

Article extract below on a "Kent 10 Commandments" to regenerate the area.

Voting is important - but only if the people we elect actually improve things.

Deliberately removing pollution monitors from Manston is a criminal act by our council and politicians covering up the damage by Messrs Samuel and White of the Gang of Four.

And still the planes fly breaching all the specified safety guidleines.

We have a council working against the safety of its public and so wrapped up in procedure and deceit it still continues to endanger the public.

Have Infratil been warned? When? Where is the documentation? Have compensation claims for the repeated breaches being raised? A cargo airport is hardly a candy floss stall.

Monitors have repeatedly been removed and not replaced from 2006 to allow stealth expansion despite the known haazards. While the bureaucratic figleaf of "Air Quality Management Areas" under the flightpath do little to reduce pollution. Certainly not before the death toll rises.

I'm concerned at Dreamland: 100% of public funds is now being used to purchase the site yet 50% of the site will be held by MRTC private developers.

This seems bizarre.

We seem to have missed 3 or 4 summers of the funfair being closed, to now fund part of it reopening - in a few years time.


Presumably only then to allow 50% of the site to be used for housing and a Tesco.

Something that's hardly in short supply in Margate or Westwood Cross.

Councils acting as agents for developers for public land sales. Or mere white elephant vanity projects like Westwood Cross "4th town centre" nonsense.

The whole site now funded by the public needs to be reopened urgently.

I also think Arlington House needs demolishing to allow a fresh overhaul of the whole Dreamland site, as an eyesore and after 50 years, coming to the end of its useful life.

Here's the article extract:

Surprise, surprise, we don’t trust politicians, nor their policies – or the faked consultations to approve them. Party whips mean we’re simply electing Party robots as mere handraisers and seatwarmers for Party interests and careers not the public interest.

While with the failure to implement fixed terms or a Bill of right or elected Lords we’ve endured a political system that’s taken 234 years to simply arrive at what the Americans have had all along.

Proportional representation? Most of Europe for 30 years along with Canada and Australia.

A Bill of Rights and right to jury trial? The UN Charter for 60 years.

Clearly the UK isn’t at the stage of Thailand, Kyrgystan or even Belgium at the moment we’re it’s best to simply to overthrow the current failed regime. And the English tradition of riots from Kent’s Swing Riots, Chartists or Poll Tax is unlikely given we usually can vote out our parties.

And crucially we now have “recall “ of councillors and MPs – again something along with FOI our American cousins rapidly introduced once they’d realised they didn’t want us Brits running their country.

Yet if Bishop Willmott really cared about politics and the public in Kent then not only would he support a boycott of the election, and even council tax, to remind our politicians that the public run this place, but he’d adopt the Ten Commandments of Kent:

1. Thou shalt adopt the UN Millennium Goals in all Kent’s churches and public organisations
2. Thou shalt adopt not only a Tobin Tax to annually reduce world poverty but also a one-off Tobin Fund to instantly underwrite the UN Millennium Goals
3. Thou shalt not allow the cargo ships of the English Channel nor the cars of Kent’s motorways to pollute your flock
4. Thou shalt ban KCC from investing public funds in tobacco, alcohol and arms companies or war crimes firms such as Total petrol
5. Thou shalt publish online with receipts all salaries, costs and expenses for MP’s, councillors and civil servants as automatic FOI
6. Thou shalt seek the good grace of Pfizer in East Kent and Glaxo in West Kent to expand their Malaria, HIV and TB research and vaccines
7. Thou shalt not pollute East Kent’s water supply by allowing the Environment Agency and local councils to issue “permits to pollute” for the Medway, Stour, Thor and Richboro
8. Thou shalt feed East Kent’s many thousands through reseeding the North Sea with fish
9. Thou shalt take no other renewables source except solar as thine in Kent given our warmer climate to better reduce Climate Change
10. Thou shalt use thy good offices to extend Canterbury’s UNESCO sites to St Augustine’s landing at Pegwell Bay

If the Bishop could enable these Kent 10 Commandments then it would go much further than mere votes for the same tired parties.