Friday, April 25, 2014
In response to a story in The Gazunder alleging that he'd be attending along with usual suspects Sir Roger Gale MP and Laura Sandys MP, Simes sent this rather sharp tweet back to the hacks: 'I have not confirmed anything other than I am working on Saturday!!'
In all likelihood he'll be up in his teeny-tiny plane, hand on joystick, tugging a banner over Old Trafford. Which seems to be his regular gig these days.
Hey-ho. Support for the 'Save Manston' campaign has hardly set the tarmac on fire. I've seen only one 'Keep Calm and Save Manston' poster displayed on the island (in Westgate, natch!), and the mini-mob in the photo seems to be composed of a few old gippers and some embarrassed children who've been dragged along by their grandparents. Do they really think they're going to fill the Winter Gardens? I expect some of you will tell me tomorrow!
Meanwhile it's been revealed via one of those Freedom of Information thingies that Kent County Council couldn't be arsed to even look at the legals when the current owner, Scottish squillionaire Ann Gloag, bought the place for a quid off Infratil last year. Neither, indeed, did KCC's Tory leader Paul Carter, aka Sir Paul Ruddyfaced-Man. And they're not even bovvered about casting their glass eye over any of Sir Rog's current 'negotiations'. Here's what KCC's FOI response says:
I can confirm that neither Mr Paul Carter, nor any officer of Kent County Council (KCC) holds any information relating to the Heads of Terms or the sale by Infratil of Manston Airport. Also, neither Mr Carter nor any officers of KCC were they shown any Heads of Terms either by the buyer or the seller or any third party. Furthermore, KCC holds no information on how many and which businesses who asked for the closure of the airport were prevented from taking it over and in response to your third question relating to negotiations reported in the media, KCC holds no information that you requested. KCC has not been and is not a party to any of these negotiations.
Which is quite surprising really, given the kerfuffle KCC and Sir PR-M have made about Manston. What with their talk about a new railway station, planes 'flying straight out to sea', 'longest runway in Britain', and the like. Not to mention all the lovely taxpayers' lolly they've lavished on it over the years.
The words 'washing', 'their' and 'hands of it' spring to mind. You do have to wonder whether they were just using the place as a stalking horse to chase off Boris Island, thus keeping their lovely, northwest Kent cottages nice and peaceful at night.
Needless to say, Paul Carter, like Biggles, is not a 'confirmed guest' for tomorrow's meeting. Happy landings!!