Just a few words of caution to those campaigning for the resurrection of Manston Airport who may have been heartened by the support of transport minister John Hayes.

The man’s a dope.

Mr Hayes, you’ll know, has lended his voice to the passionate efforts of his fellow Tory, Roger Gale MP, to reopen the airport (which, I’m sure, has no connection whatsoever with Mr Gale’s trying to see off a challenge from UKIP and get himself re-elected on May 7)

In particular Mr Hayes has been making much of US company RiverOak’s readiness to underwrite the costs of Thanet Council’s taking out a compulsory purchase order on Manston Airport and generally making it sound as though it’s all going to really happen.

Until you look at the fine print, of course.

Then you discover everything is subject to a report being produced by management consultants PwC – and that report isn’t due to be finished until the END OF MAY.

That’s right a few weeks AFTER the general election, when, of course, it may well be that Mr Gale will be safely back in parliament.

But setting aside such arrant cynicism, Mr Hayes truly seems convinced Manston will soon up and flying.

He spoke so strongly publicly in this vein the other day, Moley almost started packing his case in anticipation of cut-price flights to Spain.

But of course, Mr Hayes is also the man who believes that our roads will soon be “self healing” using nano-technology.

And able to heat themselves up and supply electricity to battery powered cars.

More than that he believes, as he told bemused attendees at a recent event, that “our roads, bridges and tunnels are joining the Internet of Things” and that “roads themselves are about to be digitalised.”

All this, of course, without mentioning any scrap of money putting into these astounding innovations of the future.

But let Mr Hayes be a visionary.

My real evidence for his intrinsic dopiness is based on his recent visit to Broadstairs’ Royal Albion Hotel.

He took off for a stroll down the seafront where he met a man to whom he gave some wise advice: if he wanted to stop Nigel Farage getting elected in South Thanet, the man should, of course, vote Tory, as only the Tories could stop him.

Later he reported to someone in the hotel triumphantly that he had converted the man in question to the Conservative cause.

Now since that the man in question was a seller and writer for Thanet Watch magazine, and was actually on a Thanet Watch stall at the time the transport minister was talking to him, and is as likely to vote Conservative as he is to riip off his own legs and eat them raw …

Well, draw your own conclusions.

But, airport supporters, don’t put your faith in Mr Hayes, please!


This an extract from the meeting on April12th with John Worrow, Ian Driver and Sheree Bell, to discuss the upcoming Thanet Council vote on equal marriage.  MP Roger Gale’s column, which is commented on during the meeting, is reproduced in full on this site

The full story is in the May edition of THANET WATCH magazine.


If you have problems finding a copy, ring Thanet Watch on 01843 604 253.