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Monday, November 16, 2009

Napoleon tries to quell the rebellion

Dear Mr Godwin,

Thank you for your condescending email, in which you have continued to demonstrate your ability to distort the facts and believe your own lies. I said to you at the meeting on Wednesday that I would create as much bad publicity for you as possible. I had no idea that you would help by circulating such a pathetic email to such a wide audience.

To take your points (in red):

You suggest that I think that I am the only person in Gloucestershire that is concerned about global warming.

Not for one moment do I believe that I am the only person in Gloucestershire, there are many more. You should reflect that many of these people are becoming increasingly angry with people such as yourself who choose to ignore the science of climate change and destroy the future for short-term gains.

You say, “Global warming and better protection of the environment has been discussed ad nauseam by the Council and others for many years, which is why most of us decided a long time ago to become councillors and argue the case from inside the Council rather than continually bleat like you do from the outside.
To suggest that you became a councillor to take effective action on climate change from the inside is nonsense. You are after all backing the airport which only relatively recently issued a report denying climate change even existed. To put the matter to rest, you might want to clarify what significant action your silly little organisation “People against Bureaucracy” has ever taken on climate change.
I point you again to Animal Farm, "No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?" As Napoleon consolidated the decision making process, then so have you.

In case you have not realised, it is impossible to expand an airport and double its "enterprise value" without massively increasing CO2 emissions. But maybe you do realise this, and have deliberately removed the CO2 targets from your report to mislead the scrutiny committee about the potential financial returns of the airport. I ask you again, please confirm if it was a deliberte omission, or were you not curious enought to enquire how the finanical targets could be achieved with the green management plan in place.
Your say, “Carping and making snide remarks at people who are doing their best to balance the arguments for and against progress is unhelpful.”
You have never made any attempt to find a balance.  Even if you did you might want to explain how that balance between expanding an airport and making cuts of 80% in CO2 emissions can be achieved.  

You say, “I would have thought that your time could have been better spent putting your concerns to the world leaders at Copenhagen who are striving to reach agreement to control global emissions.”

Well I do, and also if you bother to read to the newspapers you will learn that the prognosis for any meaningful agreement coming out of Copenhagen is virtually zero. This is why we have to take local action to stop fools like you.

You say, “Whilst the report to the Scrutiny Committee contained a summary of the main points of the approved Runway Safety Project document, it was not the intention to 're-invent the wheel' and go back over the RSP details but solely to seek approval for the funding of the project.”

You again distort the facts so much you believe your own lies. Much of the meeting was taken up with glorious claims as to how much additional business was going to be attracted to the airport.  As you say, this meeting was not about reinventing the wheel,  it was about validating the business plan before funding was approved. Unfortunately your well trained sheep bleated in your support and not one of them asked how the business plan objectives could be achieved within the constraints of the green management plan.

Also, as the airport still can not provide any documentation to demonstrate that this development will increase the safety of the people living in the public safety zone, then please stop referring to it as a Runway Safety Project.

You say "Surprisingly, there were no public questions from you or anyone else, which is why I was taken aback by your attitude after we left the committee room. It is not the way to make a point once a meeting has been concluded. Your manner was offensive to say the least."

Why should we bother asking any more questions?  We have asked hundreds in the past and not one of them has had any impact on the final outcome. Submission of formal questions merely legitimises the fraudulent way in which this development is being pursued and allows you to pretend consultation with the public has been carried out.

You say, "Finally, you know as well as I do that the figure concerning CO2 emissions contained in the approved Runway Safety Project document will be monitored from day one, as will all the other conditions in the document. If we fail to do this, but I can assure you we will, then that will be the time for you to start posing more questions"

I have already asked the question what will happen if the ceilings are exceeded. I was told, "Good management would ensure that they do get exceeded." This give no assureance especially when the the Green Management policy imposes no penalties on the airport in the event that the celing is breached and the same good management will simultanously be tasked with maximising profits. So in the inevitable event of the ceiling being breached, the best that we can do is have another round of questions, which on the basis of past experience will be totally fruitless.  

So given the lies that you have peddled, the lack of an effective democratic process, the publication of a meaningless green management plan and the inability of councillors to understand even basic science, I make no apology for my manner, which you unfortunately found offensive.

The lack of accountable process and the vested interests involved means that we are left with direct action as the only option and advise that you are a legitimate target of future protests.

Finally on your words of wisdon on flies; just because millions of flies eat shit, it does no mean it is a good thing to do.  In the same way as surrounding yourself with  many fools that agree with you does not make you right.

Kevin Lister


From: Les Godwin
To: cllr.garth.barnes@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.robin.macdonald@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.pat.thornton@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.andrew.wall@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.paul.massey@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.tim.cooper@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.paul.wheeldon@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.bernard.fisher@cheltenham.gov.uk; cllr.stuart.hutton@cheltenham.gov.uk; malcolm_stennett@o2.co.uk; Kevin Lister
Cc: Mark Ryan ; "Pratley, Pat" ; "Whittaker, Freddie" ; Michael Corely
Sent: Sunday, 15 November, 2009 19:59:41
Subject: Re: Behaving like sheep over the airport


Dear Mr Lister,
I don't usually respond to emails such as yours but on this occasion I am going to break my golden rule.

Why on earth you think that you are the only person in Gloucestershire who is concerned about CO2 emissions has amazed me since I first read your views on the matter some months ago. I can assure you that some of us have been concerned about this long before you thought of the idea.

Global warming and better protection of the environment has been discussed ad nauseam by the Council and others for many years, which is why most of us decided a long time ago to become councillors and argue the case from inside the Council rather than continually bleat like you do from the outside.
Carping and making snide remarks at people who are doing their best to balance the arguments for and against progress is unhelpful.

I would have thought that your time could have been better spent putting your concerns to the world leaders at Copenhagen who are striving to reach  agreement to control global emissions, which, if the newspaper reports are correct, are going to find it hard to satisfy the demands of every nation and an Agreement might not be forthcoming.

The Joint Airport Scrutiny Working Group have done an excellent job of coming to a sensible conclusion regarding the needs of the Airport and the needs of the wider public.
Following months of deliberation, alterations and amendments to a Green Policy resulted in the policy being included in the Runway Safety Project document that was presented and approved by Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council earlier this year.
At both venues and on each occasion members of the public were able to put their questions to members of the committees.

Since those times, council meetings have taken place to discuss the funding of the project, which became necessary once Tewkesbury Borough Council planners decided to grant permission on the four outstanding planning applications. The council discussions were successfully concluded.

On Wednesday, 11th November I presented the JASWG report to the E, B & I Overview and Scrutiny Committee seeking their approval of the funding method.
Whilst the report to the Scrutiny Committee contained a summary of the main points of the approved Runway Safety Project document, it was not the intention to 're-invent the wheel' and go back over the RSP details but solely to seek approval for the funding of the project.
Surprisingly, there were no public questions from you or anyone else, which is why I was taken aback by your attitude after we left the committee room. It is not the way to make a point once a meeting has been concluded. Your manner was offensive to say the least.

If you were so concerned about emissions and you wanted confirmation that the ceiling in the original document still stood , why didn't you put your question?  
I am not sure whether the Chairman would have allowed questions unless they were about the funding proposals contained in the recommendations, but that would have been his decision..

Finally, you know as well as I do that the figure concerning CO2 emissions contained in the approved Runway Safety Project document will be monitored from day one, as will all the other conditions in the document.
If we fail to do this, but I can assure you we will, then that will be the time for you to start posing more questions.

There is an old saying that 'you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.' You should reflect on that.

Cllr Godwin.
Chairman JASWG,
Cheltenham Borough Council.

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