Head of Gatwick Diamond tries to make out that a “silent majority” want a 2nd runway (they just don’t bother to say so)
The Gatwick Diamond is a business organisation, whose mission is to boost business in a large area around Gatwick, in all directions. They do not appear to have much environmental awareness, and have a blinkered approach of backing anything that might bring “growth.” Needless to say, they give their unwavering, and uncritical, support for a 2nd Gatwick runway. There are self-interest motives for many of their members in doing so. The airport has organised a recent spate of exhibitions across the area, promoting its runway, and with a “consultation” (which gives no proper option for those responding to say NO to a runway). Despite the huge amount of money it has cost, it appears Gatwick has found the majority attending are either against its plans, or deeply sceptical. This is confirmed by the local community group, GACC, which has had a presence outside each exhibition. Now the head of the Gatwick Diamond, Jeremy Taylor, has said there is huge backing from a “silent majority” for the runway, but they just have not expressed it. Jeremy – this is how democracy works. If people do not turn up to vote for an election, it does not matter what they might have thought, sitting at home. If you don’t vote, your vote does not get counted. Governments are not elected into power because somehow we manage to divine the views of those not voting.
The Gatwick Diamond’s website is at http://www.gatwickdiamond.co.uk/
They have a set of webpages backing Gatwick 2nd runway plan http://www.isupportgatwickexpansion.co.uk/
It is immediately obvious from their page giving business reasons why they want a new runway that their grasp of, and consideration for, the social and environmental implications of a runway is – at best – minimal. They barely get a mention. http://www.isupportgatwickexpansion.co.uk/211-the-business-imperative.html
A business leader has claimed most people support the economic arguments for a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
Jeremy Taylor, Gatwick Diamond Business (GDB) chief executive, said opposition to the development was outnumbered by “the quieter majority”.
Mr Taylor said: “A lot of noise is being made by those who oppose the second runway at Gatwick, but I believe there is a quieter majority who may not necessarily want a second runway, but fully understand and support the economic arguments that underpin its development.”
Some 2,200 people attended the airport’s first six public consultations on its second runway plans this month.
Mr Taylor said: “I would suggest that the majority of those attending are those with a strong opinion one way or another; that leaves a quiet majority who have yet to speak but are starting to.
“They’ve been quiet because they understand that a growing Gatwick will be good for the local area and good for their children.”
Mr Taylor said nine in 10 members of GDB supported the development of the runway in a poll conducted by the group in December. Some 88 per cent of those were not aviation-related firms.
He said: “We believe that the runway will bring tangible economic and employment benefits that will spread beyond the Gatwick Diamond and serve to grow the economy for the South East and for the country.”
Mr Taylor said the jobs that would be created by the runway would let people work near where they live.
He added: “These could be filled quite easily by either local unemployed or by those who currently commute out of the region.”
And he warned Crawley businesses could lose interest from investors if the runway was not built.
He said: “If it’s built elsewhere in the UK then we will lose long-haul carriers. If we don’t maintain the connectivity to business destinations, particularly in emerging (long-haul) economies, then we will lose the appeal of the Gatwick Diamond to inward investment or business retention.”