Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Herd mentality

I really believe that Riveroak may be losing their way bogged down in a process they neither understood nor planned for.
A DCO (Development Consent Order) is a six stage process underwritten by a proscribed series of events. The problem for Riveroak is they assumed it dance to their tune bulldozing all opposition and be over in less than 6 months. They also believed they could bamboozle the National planning team and not have to play by their rules. Despite it being a government department the PI know what they are doing and it seems Riveroak aren't listening to their own advisers. *1
Cracks are starting to appear in their support as people in the campaign to get planes flying again are beginning to realise that Riveroak are out of their depth.
The same questions were asked by supporters when the Avia report was published and despite the spin from the pro-supporters Avia did actually ask Riveroak for details of their plan for Manston and didn't take at face value their boast they were prepared to put £300M into Manston.

They did however take exception to the spin from pro supporters that their report wasn't fact based especially as they are respected within the aviation sector. After 7 weeks a fact based repudiation from Riveroak is still awaited. Riveroak's Legal team did question the validity of the Avia report especially concerning the report ed plans from Riveroak however Thanet Council responded to these concerns which showed that Avia gave Riveroak the correct weight in their report.

Now many of the pro-supporters will not accept that Chris Wells and Madelaine Homer are acting in the best interest of Thanet residents despite much proof that they are and it would seem strange that normally sensible people will accept the words of an American Real Estate Investment Limited Liability Company and not the sensible words of the Chief Executive of Thanet Council.

There needs to be an investigation as to why large numbers of normally sensible people are acting in such a strange way.

Firstly there is an aspect of their behaviour which has meant that much of what TDC do today is undermined by previous actions in the past. The two main incidents are Sandy Ezekiel's fall from grace when he was convicted (Sandy was leader of the Conservative Council from 2003 until he resigned) and secondly the audit report in 2013/14 which stated the Council was toxic and led to the lay members of Standards resigning "en masse" after being verbally abused after they presented their report to council.
Secondly there is a "herd mentality" in operation where the actions of a few are orchestrating the actions of the many. This is mainly seen in the various Facebook pages such as SMA and SMAa where the admins censor anything they don't want the members to see and where topics are manipulated so that a consistently biased message takes centre stage. These pages encourage behaviour where the main enemies are Ann Gloag, Paul Carter, Chris Wells, Cartner & Musgrave and Pauline Bradley are dehumanised and vilified without mercy. Where twisted truth is applauded and where no one questions the words of Tony Freudmann and Riveroak.
thirdly and linked to the second point is groupthink (of which I have posted before) where the collective mind believes without question their own insular viewpoint and where minders ensure that any deviation from their norm is censored aggressively.

Some might say that their campaign has many of the hallmarks of a religious cult however there is no evidence that they pray for deliverance as yet.
 Finally I believe many current Councillors believe it would be political suicide to change the airport to a mixed use and housing format because of the potential loss of votes as the change would ensure no airport use would be possible in the future. This is based on the support for the airport consistently stated by the pro groups. Councillors sitting on tiny majorities may mistakenly believe that in 2020 they would no longer be Councillors should they be blamed for losing Manston. In my opinion the fault for this belief lies with the propaganda put out by the pro supporters and their support for a freight hub is not as large as they would have you believe. There maybe support for planes landing at Manston but that is based on the number of planes that used to use the airfield. Very few people want a freight hub of the size of East Midlands (78000 movements in 2015) with the associated night flights (currently 30% of flights land overnight). What Councillors also need to understand is the level of support for Riveroak is falling as the post above shows the longer they fail to provide any details of their plans. In 2014 when they were a contender for a partner in a CPO their financial worth was supplied to Thanet Council. Their net worth was $1.6M and a credit line of $400K, they have produced nothing to show they are worth anymore than that and their talk of investing £300M into Manston is just that, talk.

Stop press
The context for this letter from the Govt planners was a letter from whiny Gale asking why RO have yet to be given access to Manston Airport.

I will draw your attention to this paragraph
"Previous s53 authorisations have been the subject of judicial review. The Inspectorate will always ensure that decisions are underpinned by a robust and proportionate consideration.
In this case the Inspectorate has had to make several requests for further information to the Applicant in order to be able to process the application. I can assure you that the Inspectorate is dealing with this authorisation request as expediently as possible and a decision can be made as soon as all necessary information has been received.

It seems that professional expertise is either not as expert as Riveroak believe or more likely Riveroak are totally out of their depth.


  1. If councillors came out with the truth - that an airport would be of almost no benefit, would provide few jobs and would cause pollution misery for thousands - they might be surprised just how popular they would be with the silent majority. Many of the noisy protagonists live outside the area and are revelling in their 15 minutes of fame. The views of Webber/Churcher/Toy/Pritchard etc carry no more weight than yours or mine and it is regrettable that they have been afforded so much publicity. The major mystery is why our two MPs are so enthusiastic about something so damaging for Thanet.

    1. One of the MPs isn't a mystery and the other one is looking for a leg up on the back of the other one.

  2. It's all looking like RiverOak are indirectly in the employment of the land owners,from the beginning there was Tony Freudmann until today.

    1. Anon,would that be the reason why Tony Freudmann has been in contact with Mrs Gloag in the last six weeks?.

  3. It has been put that some at RiverOak are wasting time as to collect pay checks.If that were to be the case then the subject of obtaining monies by false pretensions would come up.

  4. Choose your companions from the best, who draws his bucket with the rest .. topples down the hill.

    From the start I have wondered why RO chose Gale and Freudman as companions.

  5. Richard,As it was Freudmann who brought RO into play all behind the sences then became out of the blue 'their' experienced airport director,and Gale not the airport groups being contacted by riverOak 'strange'