Saturday, 28 November 2015

RO put their foot in it

Remember these?
They're images from Niall Lawlor's interview which was posted on both SMA and SuMA, much to the delight of the supporters . And the reason they  got so excited by it? Well they particularly seemed to enjoy the fact that Lawlor publically attacked the owners of Stone Hill Park. Especially where Lawlor made unfounded allegations about Cartner & Musgrave's business acumen

Anyway, that same video is no longer available.
It's not on YouTube. It's not on SMA. And it's not on SuMA.
A Google search doesn't locate it. It's gone. Completely.
Wonder why?
Well wonder no more
 Seems someone overstepped the bounds of decency and landed themselves in hot water. TDC also have got the message that Riveroak have no morals and have simply gone too far this time.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


The 1st round of consultation by Cartner & Musgrave has already come and gone and now the legal owners of the site announce a further 2 meetings with locals to discuss their plans

This builds on their plans for the site and their vision is displayed below

This consultation process will be driven by the people of Thanet and they welcome all comments which will drive their plans. So if you want schools, doctor's surgerys, transport links, etc come and make it your plans.
On a personal note much planning has been imposed and it is a pleasant change to be asked before plans go to TDC for approval.

"The village, within which the site is located, was originally known as ‘Mannestone,’ meaning ‘farm on the top of a hill.’ We recognise that heritage is important and have developed a name for the site that captures the original etymology of Manston, whilst looking ahead to a brighter future. Stone Hill Park will capture the best of the site’s heritage through our partnerships with the Spitfire and RAF Museums, capitalising on the vistas and views as the parkland and homes are developed, and become the focus point for businesses seeking growth and connectivity."

So remember these dates


3rd December 2015 3pm - 7:30pm Pegwell Bay Hotel


4th December 2015 3pm - 7:30pm Holiday Inn, Minster 

Be aware for some reason a group of Pro supporters are threatening to protest outside

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The case of mistaken identity

It's amazing what can happen when you happen to get a letter of the week published in Kentonline especially when you have an insular group of conspiracy theorists who wind themselves up into a frenzy and who fail to have anyone grounded in reality.
Robert Bird sent the offending letter and I have posted it above, however because it wasn't complimentary to the pro-Manston crowd they were quite upset so on a slow Saturday they decided to work out who Rob Bird was,
 In full flow they identify him as Robert Bird a LibDem KCC Councillor
 Oh Paul your perceptiveness is a joy to behold Shoes!!! same name!!!
 Very clever deductions OMG and Dan Light "He could really be for the high jump"

Maybe a warning would help
Knowing they read my tweets this was sent to a friend. Did it work? sadly no
Maybe someone posting to their FB page dropping heavy hints they are barking up the wrong tree might help

"Mistaken Identity results in Hate Campaign

A KCC Councillor has been singled out and made a target for abuse, after protesters wrongly accused him of being an internet troll.

Sharp eyed members of a group trying to save a now closed commercial airport, who pride themselves in their ability to join the jots, declared the Councillor guilty as charged in one of their infamous online kangaroo court hearings.

The compelling presenting evidence against the Councillor - which included the birth name given to him by his parents and the fact he has a beard - was further compounded by in-depth forensic analysis of his footwear.

The jury pondered for around 12 minutes before reaching a unanimous decision of GUILTY!

The Shoe is the Sign

It has been ordered that the Councillor be sentenced to an overflowing inbox of hate email, a twitter campaign to 'out' him, alongside ubiquitous random accusation and slurring of his innocent name on facebook.

He will not be entitled to an appeal." Original post

Did that stop them speculating? Did it heck it seems to confirm to them they were right and the warning were an attempt to put them off the scent

Super sleuth Dan Light on top form.

From a Psychological point of view this could get someone a dissertation degree and it goes back to Groupthink which I discussed here.

BTW Some advice for would be sleuths and reporters get some confirmation of your facts BEFORE you make unfounded accusations especially on the clues you have. one picture (wrong) a pair of shoes (wrong) and a malfunction of a twitter account.

Seems the owner of the shoes isn't Rob Bird
posted 2311/2015
Still believe then Dan Light. This rather shows your gullibility notice Smee has taken a back seat

Friday, 20 November 2015

3 Wise Monkeys

Last night (17th November) the Council Overview committee decided to ratify the Cabinet decision to formally reject the potential Indemnity partner Riveroak. However when the meeting had finished death threats (now a police matter) were made to a UKIP Councillor.

 The reaction from the majority of people who saw this post was understandable horror and revulsion, however nobody was surprised as many have felt for a long time certain elements within the Pro campaign were out of control and there have been many posts from that quarter blaming everybody for the failure of TDC, both Labour and UKIP, to "get the airport open".
The most vocal of the Pro supporters, who congregate in Manston loud hailer had this reaction:

Whilst this seems a reasonable debate on the surface what is consistent is their seeming inability to understand their own part in the conditions they create whereby some idiot feels it necessary to carry out "death threats" on another human being. Their constant dehumanising of anyone who disagrees with their point of view. Their constant vilification of Ann Gloag, Cartner & Musgrave, Chris Wells, Iris Johnston, Pauline Bradley, Paul Carter the list goes on. Their shouts of "corruption", "Brown Envelopes" Etc all add to the climate of Evil they spread. There is much written on the internet about this subject but I found this article which sums it up pretty well.

 "Particularly notable, Zimbardo said, is that people are seduced into evil by dehumanizing and labeling others.
"They semantically change their perception of victims, of the evil act, and change the relationship of the aggressor to their aggression--so 'killing' or 'hurting' becomes the same as 'helping,'" he said.
For example, in a 1975 experiment by psychologist Albert Bandura, PhD, college students were told they'd work with students from another school on a group task. In one condition, they overheard an assistant calling the other students "animals" and in another condition, "nice." Bandura found students were more apt to deliver what they believed were increased levels of electrical shock to the other students if they had heard them called "animals."."You don't need a motive," Zimbardo said. "All you really need is a situation that facilitates moving across that line of good and evil." So is it a few bad apples that spoil a barrel? "That's what we want to believe--that we could never be a bad apple," Zimbardo said. "We're the good ones in the barrel." But people can be influenced, regardless of their intention to resist, he said. People's aggression can also increase when they feel anonymous--for example if they wear a uniform, hood or mask" ( it's the same when posting on Facebook, you feel divorced from your actions. It's why Cyber-Bullies thrive *My PVP), Zimbardo said.* read
"What makes good people do bad things?"

Further examples in history are the assasination of Thomas a Becket (people remember the words of the King at the time "Who will rid me of this troublesome Priest"


He fine tuned his Ministry of Propaganda in Nazi Germany

 and also the conditions within North Korea, as an example, where the State is always correct and any dissent is dealt with harshly are similar to certain Facebook pages because only one view is allowed "Manston as an airport"

What the more vocal pro supporters do not understand is posting memes like this is NOT banter nor is it funny in the wider context of dehumanising people who lets face it are only agreeing with the previous decision of the old Labour administration.

Nor is it funny when the same group of individuals make the same effort to dehumanise the blog author and attempt to discredit him without proof.

Free Speech does not mean freedom to abuse

 For those hard of reading (as opposed to hearing) please read this from the Mail

Freedom of speech should never mean freedom to abuse. As a victim, I welcome plans to unmask cowardly internet trolls

Read more:

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Overview & Scrutiny

Thanet council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel will discuss the decision taken not to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the Manston airport site with RiverOak as the indemnity partner.

Thanet council's cabinet made the decision on October 29. Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel David Saunders has called in the decision for the reason that "A presumption in favour of openness - Although the report is well presented, in the opinion of a significant number of members, the report may be read as being loaded to achieve the outcome."

Tonight's meeting at 7pm, Council Chamber, Cecil Street, Margate, is expected to be the first of a series of meeting on the cabinet decision. (Why?)

Campaigners for the airport have arranged a rally in front of the council offices in the build up to the meeting. (will more than 40 attend?)
What the Leader of the Council stated in the Gazette. Has anything changed?

Cllr Bayford seems to think that its ok to ignore officer's advice but then the Tories have a track record of doing just that when they were in charge in 2009 under Ezekiel.

What action can the panel take?

The Overview & Scrutiny Panel can make a call-in of the Cabinet decision (this has already happened). They can refer the decision back to cabinet with recommendations for reconsideration. Cabinet would then have to meet to consider the recommendations.

Or, if the Panel decides not to take any further action, the Cabinet decision becomes implementable from the date of the extraordinary OSP meeting.

Curiously O&S are allowing a Manston supporter 3 minutes to address the committee, something unheard of from past experience over Pleasurama.

In another development "Supporters of Manston Airport (SuMA)" have issued this rather provocative statement.

"We are not 'turning our back on RiverOak'. We wish them every success and acknowledge their commitment, however we do have to be pragmatic. They have spent a large amount of time and money and yet still have not succeeded at any attempt, even though some progress has been made this year. We are naturally very saddened and upset by this as we have had such a long relationship with them going back to when we released their first letter of intent in July of last year.
However, we were formed to save the airport not just to back one individual investor. It seems that although they are still determined, the chances of RiverOak now being successful are reducing, although they still might have ways to succeed including through the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.
We speak and listen to all sides and form objective conclusions from what we hear. We do not abuse, speculate or apportion blame where it does not belong purely to accommodate our wishes. We do not indulge in creating pointless memes and bullying councillors and officers. (Oh really!! Ruth then open up SuMA and unblock people)

Our sole purpose is to see the airport reopened and there is nothing we have not done to further this aim.
We deal in facts and we are surprised that after our long history of supporting Manston and running this campaign that certain people have forgotten this. We knew that it would be controversial to express our knowledge of other investors without having the express permission to elaborate but the reasons for doing so were as follows. Firstly, to counteract the scepticism that many supporters have, seemingly just because Chris Wells said this was so. Secondly, to give hope to supporters that despite RiverOak's rejection there are still other irons in the fire. Thirdly, to open up the arena for healthy competition with multiple investors feeling able to come forward and be heard.
We're sure that the more sensible, rational supporters out there will be able to appreciate how another investor might feel when all they hear about is support for one company. Even the local MPs are backing the one company - where do they go? Who do they approach?
We know that it is frustrating not to know all the details at this time which is why we have been sitting on information for a while. All we can share with you is that we know that at least one of the companies Cllr Wells alluded to are in serious preliminary negotiations. Another very substantial investor has come directly to us at SuMA just because they did not know where else to go. We, of course, have passed these contacts on to people who we felt would listen and act accordingly.
We hope that very shortly a new round of soft market testing will be announced when these companies, still confidentially as last time, will be able to submit their plans in the knowledge that there is public support.
These are our sincerely held, objective views formed and agreed as a committee and none of our work is solely down to any individual, regardless of false accusations you may hear. If you don't want to read or believe our information and comments, then there is no obligation to look at any that we publish. We will also take very seriously any instances of innuendo or slander published about us, our comments or our actions, especially by those who appear more interested in causing trouble or attacking individuals than for this campaign to succeed." ( Not happening Ruth seeing as you block people who disagree with your point of view)

 So Ruth are you not needing a Freight Hub which is all Riveroak are promising. You will be there tonight supporting TDC in getting rid of RO so your "new" investors can have a clear run?
I will post the result of tonight's meeting as soon as I hear

O&S have made the decision NOT to refer to Cabinet and that is that. Next a vote of No Confidence in UKIP if they are brave enough

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Propaganda War part two

Much has been made of the facts behind Riveroak's bid to become a CPO partner and a lot of misinformation has been put out into the public domain. Some I dealt with in the previous blog "Propaganda War" You can read that here.

To continue the theme of misinformation:

They have Billions, They not into building houses.

Strange then that this is the combined balance sheet they sent TDC when they were asked to provide financial information.
Assets include the property included in each of the 3 funds currently in force and amounts to $221948000 ($222M). So pretty asset rich, however their cash in bank is $1.6M which isn't a huge amount of money.
Their liabilities (money owed to others) shows RO owe $157706291 ($158M) to mortgage companies with a further $67M owed to Investor funds and retained earnings.
Overall they have most of their funds tied up in property with little available for the current project. This asset mix is overstated due to them not removing an item subject to an ongoing court case. Hardly a prudent thing to do.
This last also shows that they are into building seeing as this was an empty building plot with extant planning permission that went pear-shaped because they undermined the foundations of the next door property.

So if, as the pro supporters would have you believe, they aren't into property why does is say Commercial Real Estate?

They ran Dallas Fort Worth Airport:
They have a AAA+ rating
Do they really? Hardly as I pointed out the A rating paid for because they use the "Better Busines Bureau" which is as a Real Estate company. There is also some muddying of the waters because Orix Aviation has a Moody's rating but this is nothing to do with Riveroak despite a lot of effort in tying the two companies together in the same breath.
Tony Freudmann has been involved in running airports for many years.
This is his bio from Riveroak's website:
However what the bio ignores is the failure at every airport and the shattered lives he left behind during his stripping of their assets during which he managed to pay himself handsomely.
What it also ignores his his ignominious end to his career of Leader of Shropshire Council, Part time judge and a lawyer because he admitted to 27 counts of misappropriation of clients money.

Riveroak have stuck to their guns despite the actions by TDC

Interesting comment this seeing as my last post shows their potential for being profitable is razor thin at best however when you look at Freudmann's prior history and his approach to TDC planners at the end of 2013 as MD of Annax Aviation (He asked them if they would encourage his plans to build 1000 homes on the Northern grass) it seems maybe an airport isn't what he wants. Riveroak state on their website:

So simple mathematics 1000 houses at an average £250K equals £250M now thats much more profitable so why cannot Freudmann be a tad more honest. No wonder the pro supporters would like these points suppressed.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Riveroak's 5 year plan

In 2014 when Riveroak was attempting to get the previous Labour administration to select them as CPO partners they were asked to provide some evidence of their business plans. To deal with this Riveroak devised a spreadsheet and sent it to TDC. This spreadsheet was also sent to Price Waterhouse Coopers as part of the evidence. As no further evidence of their plans have been forthcoming since, the spreadsheet will have to do.
On the same spreadsheet the figures are based on the first 18 months of trading extrapolated to 5 years on the screenshot above.
Turns mean the average number of plans landing daily so when you read turns you have to double it for take off and landings. Also what is ignored is the HGV's needed to offload the cargo. A fully laden 747 requires 4-5 HGV's to fully offload the cargo.
This projection is based on 12 "known carriers" however Manston has never had 12 different carriers at any time in its life.
The costs do not include "CAPEX" (capital expenditure) which have been estimated by a Riveroak spokesperson at £20M, neither are the interest payments on this or any other sum included which is certainly remiss of Riveroak.
CAPEX is included as a separate item however there are some oddities here. The fuel farm, for instance is inoperable so will have to be replaced, so the £800K is far below what it would cost to replace.
Staffing levels are based on previous levels at Manston according to this spreadsheet so it must be presumed that Tony Freudmann is likely to have input into this spreadsheet however he was last at Manston during the Planestation crash 'n burn so whether he has experience of an actual Freight Hub is debatable.
Basically after 18 months of trading Riveroak anticipate an average 3.69 turns a day with a staffing level of 82. So they would expect nearly double the workload with 62 less staff, doesn't really make sense does it. When Manston closed the headcount was 144 people made redundant. I also have it on good authority from a redundant worker they struggled on 2 turns a day.
Based on this cashflow statement Riveroak expect to be profitable in year 4 however the CAPEX has been understated, the headcount is understated and the revenue includes profit from refueling the aircraft something that Manston has been unable to do as prior history says they have not been economical enough and most planes refueled elsewhere. Then there is the problem with not having a fuel farm and bringing all fuel onto the airfield in tankers which have to trek down the Thanet Way.

Finally by year 4 they expect 7200 turns a year which is one plane every 1/2hr during a normal working day. That is a fully laden 747 coming into Manston 800 feet over Ramsgate every 30 minutes 360 days a year something that would mean 80 fully laden HGV's leaving Manston 360 days a year and the same coming the other way (and tankers bringing in the AVgas and leaving empty) without a benefit to Ramsgate bar noise and particulate pollution.
 Message for Adem Mehmet: Thanks for posting the link to my blog on the only supporter page you can post on seeing as you have been banned from all the others. In this case, however, the figures aren't suspect unless you do not believe Riveroak. For those that do not know Adem he is hardly a supporter of Ramsgate as this is his opinion.