Does Hackney Councillor, and wannabe South Thanet MP, Polly Billington support the re-opening of Manston Airport, yes or
no? When asked about it here is what she said:-
Seldom have seen such an evasive, weasel worded reply to a simple straightforward question. In my opinion this is the work of an unprincipled, political opportunist, who seeks to play off both ends of a decade long argument against each other in order to secure her long standing parliamentary ambition. Such an ambiguous reply and the purpose behind it is I think an insult to the people of Thanet whether they oppose the airport or not.
What makes this response even more nauseating is that the Hackney councillor and wannabe be South Thanet MP claims to be “a life-long environmentalist” and, as I have mentioned in previous stories about her, is also the owner, Chief Executive and spokesperson for an high profile environmental networking company.
It beggars believe that someone with such impeccable environmental credentials, which have undoubtedly assisted her political career, failed to provide an unequivocal answer to a question about a polluting and environmentally damaging cargo hub airport.
Lets not forget that the planning inspectors when considering the Development Consent Order felt that the environmental impact caused by the reopening of Manston, was so bad that they unanimously decided to reject the application. This well founded and evidence based decision was subsequently over turned for political reasons by the Tory Secretary of State.
So bearing in mind the widely respected and evidentially sound inspectors decision and the unfair, anti-democratic political interference by the Tories, why didn’t Polly come out strongly and decisively against the reopening of Manston Airport?
Her question-avoiding, principle dodging, answer to a question about a critically important local matter concerning the opening of a hugely polluting cargo hub airport close to a densely populated area of Kent is, I think, likely to raise serious questions in the minds of many south Thanet voters about whether Polly Billington has the integrity and honesty to make a good MP for this area . It will also raise questions in the minds of those within the Labour Party who might be thinking of voting for her in the forthcoming MP selection runoff.
Talking of the selection process it’s interesting to bear in mind that, like myself, the South Thanet Labour constituency party and its branches adopted a clear policy of opposition to the reopening of Manston Airport several years ago. Its not that long since Labour controlled Ramsgate Town Council also voted to donate £10,000 towards the ongoing anti-airport judicial review and to spend £3,000 on a consultant’s report which demonstrated the airport’s economic and environmental undesirability.
Yet “parachuted” in from Hackney with the support of Keir
Stamer’s inner-circle, self-professed life long-environmentalist and long-time Labour activist Polly Billington, shamefully ducks out of making clear her position on one of Thanet’s biggest political and environmental questions in recent years.
Worse still, she deliberately avoids endorsing the full throated opposition to the airport espoused by her comrades in the South Thanet Labour Party, who she expects to door knock and campaign for her if she is selected as South Thanet Labour’s parliamentary candidate.
Polly’s unprincipled politicking on Manston, her environmental company’s questionable links with IKEA (see link below) and her backing by members of Starmer’s inner circle to become the South Thanet Labour’s parliamentary candidate lead me to believe that a local candidate would be much better option for this area.
A local candidate knows the people and knows the issues much better than an outsider with few or no links to the area. A local candidate is motivated by and focused upon the needs of the community they are a part of, unlike an ambitious outsider who has been shooed in by London based party big-wigs for grooming for high office to the exclusion of the needs of local people.
For the record the two local candidates in the MP selection race are Councillor Rob Yates and Charlotte Cornell. Both are opposed, without reservation, to the reopening of Manston Airport and Charlotte sets out a convincing case in the link below. Something “Parachute” Polly fails abysmally to do.
If I were a South Thanet Labour Party member, which gratefully I am not, I would be voting to select Charlotte Cornell as the next parliamentary candidate for the area. If you have a vote in this contest I strongly urge you to vote for Charlotte.
Link to Charlotte Cornell's Manston Airport article
My previous stories about Polly Billington