Monday, 1 February 2016

Symptoms of Groupthink mentality

Having written a few times about Groupthink Psychology I thought , after watching the "Save Manston Airport" Annual General meeting, that a brief resume was needed.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”- George Carlin

Watching the speakers (Dan Light, Roger Gale et al) is was fairly obvious there was much Ra Ra but little in the way of facts. The statement by Roger Gale that he wears the epitaph "The MP for Riveroak" as a badge of honour shows just how much he is out of touch with the facts about Riveroak and the needs of his electorate but in the context of the circa 60-80 people in the room just what they wanted to hear.

 That is the main thing about the Herd Mentality prevalent in the Save Manston Campaign, That is the fact that no matter what others say about a freight hub no one will allow themselves to see the reality. Everyone who says otherwise is the enemy and their minders do their best to dehumanise so it becomes easy to vilify anyone who has a different view.
However what is glossed over is what Freudmann and Riveroak propose. These are the 8 tenets

  1. An illusion of invulnerability: Members ignore danger, take extreme risk and are overly optimistic.
  2. Collective rationalization: Members discredit and explain away warning contrary to group thinking.
  3. Belief in inherent morality: Members discredit and explain away warning contrary to group thinking.
  4. Stereotyped views of out-groups: The group constructs negative stereotypes of rivals outside the group.
  5. Direct pressure on dissenters: Members pressure any in the group who expresses arguments against the group’s stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such opposition as disloyalty.
  6. Self-censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-arguments.
  7. Illusion of unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group’s decision; silence is seen as consent.
  8. “Mind guards” are appointed: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information that might threaten group complacency.
So let's look at what Riveroak are proposing and what Residents of Ramsgate need to be mindful of:

To become an Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) link Riveroak have to persuade the Planning authority that Manston will achieve 10,000 extra freight movements than it achieved in its best year. So what does that mean.
based on 360 days a year they will have to land more than 33 747 jumbos every day. now assuming they don't apply for night flights (another possibility) they need to bring in a plane every 20-30 minutes something that would seriously impact in the physical and mental wellbeing of every Ramsgate resident, something that Riveroak, Dan Light, Beau Webber and the rest of the hardliners fail to mention. Here is the flight path over Ramsgate:

However when the herd runs in one direction with no one prepared to look at the alternatives "Manston or bust" is the only game in town and all the rhetoric in the world doesn't matter it will have to be up to the people at the National Planing to set the strictures in place to protect the residents of Ramsgate, such as an Environmental Impact report.
What seems so peculiar about these plans is we seem to be the only place in the UK that wants to bring noise and pollution 800 feet over a Georgian Town of 45,000 people. Anywhere else would be fighting to stop the environmental impact.

Here is a link to a recent article in the guardian link concerning air pollution

The only bright spot in this mess is the fact that Manston has never ever managed to attract the kind of business required to gain acceptance that it will ever prove to be a NSIP and it seems the local council feel the same way as they are continuing to see if another investor will come forward with better financial credentials.
Freudmann did confirm that Riveroak have written to TDC to advise that their soft market exercise is doomed to failure as their application will take precedence. Now I find that funny but I can see a method in their madness as they expect other investors will pull out (or at least they hope that will happen).

One last question for the SMA "How many newspaper reporters did you get at your big event"?

48 comments:

  1. What an excellent post. Couldn't agree with you more!

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  2. And the airborne pollution descends on a local population who have a history of drinking contaminated water for 30 years. A situation of medical scientific uncertainty.

    Hence the need for planning inspector to apply the "Precautionary principle" ?

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  3. Richard - that has been ignored all the way through the local plans. Its been brought up many times but the planners at TDC acted in a very devious way regarding the 106 agreement and an EIA? If we add into the mix the Public Safety Zone [PSZ] and the significant failures in the ground water protection zones away from the airport Thanet has a very big and significant Environmental problem that has been wilfully dumbed down by the planners.

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  4. Group think relevant to Thanet council in ignoring the contamination?

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  5. 23:15 also ignored by councillors preferring to cover up the problems. ..Wells was on the Airport committee when Manston was open so knew

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  6. Where are the contamination tests from our planners. What do our sheep councillors say

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  7. Sma is just a few thick pensioners being sentimental about the war

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  8. I am not raising the issue of the health of the ground water.

    I am raising the issue of the health and resilience of the people after drinking contaminated water over decades.

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  9. Yes very well put indeed,HD.

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  10. Assume everyone has written in supporting to the owners appeals to the planning permissions that Tdc turned down ?

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  11. Abysmal policing with Ukip Mep Janice found not guilty of fraud

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  12. I'm not sure it's legitimate to complain about this. If the police had found there was a case to answer, and prosecuted her you would have commended them. Either the police are competent or they aren't. If you trust them to investigate, you have to accept the outcome.

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    1. I trust no one,the only option is the police in legal matters.If the police didn't do a proper job then there's a group of police that investigates the police! Not ideal I known,but they do get results.This isn't underworld business where it's sorted with Honor.This is legal business where the players have less honor ECT etc than Gangsters.HD.

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    2. Politicians and the public investigate the police too

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    3. Indeed. The whole problem with our public services is that they are constantly under intense scrutiny from a whiole range of busybodies, none of whom has experience to make informed judgements about them. Towering above it all is that bastion of incompetence and ineptitude, the House of Commons, where our elected representatives hold themselves up to be experts in everything when, in reality, few have any experience of doing a real job. The NHS is in turmoil, not because of any shortage of money going into the organisation, but because politicians who know nothing decided that it required a massive superstructure of management. Now, a vast proportion of the money intended to treat patients is devoted to paying the bean-counters their inflated salaries, gold plated pensions, platinum parachutes and eye-watering payouts. In education, politicians who had never worked in a school, bought into the idea that vast numbers of teachers are incompetent. This enduring mantra has been used to justify a 30 year crusade against the profession. Vast sums have been wasted allowing examination boards to rewrite the curriculum every few years, forcing school to waste scarce resources, and half of the money intended to go into classrooms is syphoned off by a superstructure of overseers. Yet nobody asks the questions they should all be asking - if Ofsted and the rest are there to identify and drive out the poor teachers, why are so many schools still failing? How long does it take to find all the witches? And then we come to the police force. Now overseen by police commissioners who are politicians with no relevant experience of law enforcement, the profession is dominated by yet another superstructure of management. You never see a bobby on the beat because they are all back at HQ writing extensive reports for the army of managers to read. Don't even get me started on the armed forces. The bottom-line is that all of our public services have been decimated by the culture of management. Armies of bean-counters, lawyers and know-it-all bullies preside over an ever-decreasing pool of workers who can never keep up with the flow of paperwork which is required to give their bosses something to discuss in their circuits of pointless meetings. The country is being strangled by this burgeoning horde of people whose jobs are invented and unnecessary, and who prevent the people with real jobs from doing them. Not that I'm bitter.

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    4. I answered the question of anon 22:37,'Me 17:28' then anon 09:27 said politicians and the public investigate the police too.Then Anon 20:35 has said what He/she has said.I have a feeling that anon 20:35 may be a woman! When I come forward publicly to demonstrate the people who have been deceiving the tax paying public ECT etc for personal profit over Manston it would be handy that people like yourself could Tune in to help Me and others show publicly what's happening in Thanet,and then that it from there.Would you with your view be willing to speak up for your belief in the public arena? Regards Humpty Dumpty.

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    5. 20:35 only 17% of Kent rapes solved doesn't sound like over management

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    6. That's exactly what it sounds like. Too many people ticking boxes for their appraisal and too few people rattling cages and trying to get the truth of the matter.

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    7. According to a recent study, almost 70% of the space in hospitals is consumed by administrative functions. Taxpayers' money being squandered on ivory towers for the new elite.

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  13. 22:37 yes they seem incompetent given Janice was expelled by ukip ...and the fraud was filmed. Was her colleague jailed? Or just the police keeping their heads down...

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  14. 17% of rapes solved indicates police competence. ..

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    1. 17% in thanet or the UK?

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  15. In Kent : Kent polices own statistics

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  16. I see Lydd licensed for 24 hour operation but are saying they won't operate between 11pm and 7am. Oh yeah they can be trusted till they don't make enough profit.

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  17. Terrible! What can I say.

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  18. 12:33 what's wrong with the water

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  19. Still if Lydd expansion goes ahead must make Manston less lijely

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    1. Manston is finished except for the issues of housebuilding and aquifer cleanup. It will never be an airport again.

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  20. I assume the question "What's wrong with the water" (18.37) is a wind up ?

    Is there really anyone in Thanet who does not know the water supply history ?

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    1. Richard isn't the question "Why does no one really care?" You have highlighted this for many years yet no one seems bothered. SW pump water in from Kent to dilute the aquifer water so that it meets current standards and the NHS seem not to have people diagnosed with being poisoned. It must be disheartening for a one man crusade to continue to post on every blog you can find so why not create your own blog and see what happens

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    2. How many care about Manston ? Those who think there may be compensation in it.

      It was QEQM who referred my FOI to Health Protection Agency who agreed need for epidemiology research. What happened then I do not know.

      Individual cllrs have in fact made efforts to query leukemia rates and cancer mortality etc. Why they have not included the issue in environmental and public health impact study requirements I do not know.

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    3. Hello Barry your answer to Richard for me is worrisome as in the word 'seem'used twice.If it wasn't for this one man crusade,for the likes of history has proven then the guilty parties would never be bought to book.It's a pity that someone like a local MP does not crusade for the answers to the contamination at Manston in the same way he champions a private company for a close friend.HD.

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  21. Thanet people must be thick to allow their water to be polluted. What are the pollution levels

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    1. How about Thanet people are doing there best to make a living and pay Tax expect that the people in the highly paid jobs what are responsible for there well being to do there jobs,what else could Thanet people do? Who else could they ask to investigate? Can You Help please.

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    2. The pollution levels were very high. This caused water abstraction in mid Thanet to be switched off. The issue is whether the prior pollution caused in whole or in part Thanet's present high levels of disease. COPD highest in UK Cancers among highest in UK Polycystic Ovary, aneurism, CFS, ME, ectopic pregnancy etc

      And a question of whether the pollution ingested over decades has caused sensitization to other chemicals such as the airborne particulates from an airport operation. Cyclohexanone is part of respiration biochemistry naturally but what if a person has a dose of it every day in the drinking water. So let's have none of this how could what is drunk effect onset of COPD That is a matter for the experts.

      It is up to the Planning Inspectorate whether to apply precautionary principle pending proper medical epidemiology study. I have sent my argument to them and copied it to Gale and Riveroak. Gale replied denying he had a duty to declare knowledge re aquifer pollution history. River Oak have not replied so far.

      There is an anti terrorist aspect, my prime duty, re statutory duties to report under Terrorism Act 2000. In fact I replied to a letter from a senior figure in CPS about these aspects yesterday.

      Wells at TDC is dodging a number of issues such as mail intercept at TDC in the 1990s and whether letters reporting the pollution were blocked from reaching cllrs.

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    3. Hello Richard what would be the cost for the best professional people to look into this matter with yourself as their client funded by my Friends? Regards HD.

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    4. Richard the pollution frist will be looked at and that will lead on to TDC blocked or not blocked letters.It looks complex so I take complex problems and brake into small easier problems one at a time and along the way find info on the other small problems.And I contract whomever is the best in their field all over the world.

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    5. Which councillors have raised leukaemia
      and has the Gazette done any interviews

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    6. The problem 17 08 is backbone and Thanet lack of it. In 2008 the consummate blogger ECR ran with my FOI results. He spelled out cyclohexanone dangers. And even with a popular blogger there was zero zilch sod all fight in the Thanetians.

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    7. Ok Richard how about someone/Group of people affected claim comp through the courts backed by my people that would get to the Truth is there real people with real medical problems? Forget the Mugs at KKC,TDC ECT they can be Delt with in the courts.

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    8. Well said 20:28 17:08 is kidding if he thinks Thanet people have ever done anything about the contamination

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    9. Hello 12:14 no I'm not kidding about anything,I just thought the Thanet people tried to bring up the problems to the powers that be and hope the powers that be do something to sort the problems.So your saying no one no one has ever brought to light the contamination apart from Richard? I don't believe You.

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    10. Many individuals in Thanet have sought to address major issues over the last 20-30 years. They have been actively obstructed by their own council and by the individual councillors who are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents. In reality, councillors have been feathering their own nests and putting their parties first. Many, many people have sought to get something done about the contamination of the water supply. Not one single councillor has backed them and assisted them. Many, many people tried to get at the truth about Ramsgate harbour; which was being run by a company, wholly owned by the council, but whose accounts were hidden from public scrutiny. Not one single councillor backed them or helped them. Many, many people opposed the creation of the Turner Centre, pointing out that it would costs tens of millions of pounds, not only to build, but also, to run. Not one single councillor backed them or helped them. Many many people opposed the privatisation of Manston, pointing out that independent consultants had produced reports showing that there was no commercial demand for the airport. In addition, by evading the planning system the council ensured that appropriate environmental studies and safeguards were also avoided. Not one single councillor was prepared to back local residents in their quest for appropriate environmental safeguards. Thanet's problems don't lie with it's people, many of whom feel passionately about their towns and are prepared to work to protect their environment. The problems lie with the low quality people who have been elected and the arrogant, ignorant political parties who have pursued their own agenda once elected. UKIP has proved to be no exception to this pattern. Having been elected, they have failed to achieve anything in their first year of office. In fact, it's worse than that. By not biting the bullet and admitting that Manston is dead, they have driven away inward investment and delayed the owners' plans to create thousands of jobs. On which planet is this in the interests of local people?

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    11. This is the planet of corruption where money talks.So now with all that has happened in the last 20/30 years in Thanet the time has come for answers would you not agree.It's all very complex whot has happened in Thanet and still happening agreed? So what does one understand so far,we KNOW and understand the Modus Operandi of the local powers that be 100% yes? We KNOW only Truth has Principle! The Highest moral Ideal is 'The Greatest good to the greatest number'which said local powers are not addearing to!So with Earnest Desire,confident expectation and firm demand coupled with the best Lawyers/experts money can buy the answers the people of Thanet seek will materialize;Gold in the mind may be transmuted into gold in the heart and then in the hand!I've done it.HD.

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    12. 07:50 where are these members of the public raising the contamination. ...and why do they keep voting for the councillors who ignore them?

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  22. UKIP put up Thanet council tax...Wells is proving an expensive failure. He should resign

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  23. Presumably at any point in the DCO process a legal challenge can be made and a request for a judicial review if the process is not adhered to properly with proper consultation with the right people and appropriate mitigation arrangements made with residents for noise disturbance and other environmental issues ? Who will be managing this on behalf of the no airport campaign

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    1. Have you registered for email updates on the Planning Inspectorate site ?

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