Thursday, November 27, 2008

STOP PRESS: Private Eye's - Smart Alec

In the latest edition of Private Eye (28 Nov 08) you will find a rather interesting article in the 'Rotten Boroughs' section, p13 entitled 'Smart Alec'. Your local newsagent will happily sell you a copy of the genius publication for £1.50.

Regular readers of the Eye will be aware that Newham Council and Sir Robin Wales are a frequent feature in the Rotten Boroughs section - which is indicative of the less than healthy activities and interests that the local council seems to be happy to be promote and be part of. Other names mentioned are : Hill & Knowlton and Boris, Mayor of London.

"Last month Newham council voted in favour of allowing London City Airport to increase flights from 80,000 to 120,000 a year - an extra 150 flights a day. The protests of east London residents worried about noise , pollution and global warming were brushed aside. Anti-airport campaigners were dismayed at the about-turn of London mayor Boris Johnson, who had said he opposed the airport's expansion and then said he was actually in favour of it.
Newham labour councillor and City Airport consultative committee member Alec Kellaway is a big supporter of the airport, faithfully following the line of Newham mayor "Sir" Robin Wales that it is "good for jobs" andhelps regenerate the area. Alas , very little of the business that comes through the airport actually stays in the borough - although there are oppurtunities for cleaners.
City Airport earlier this year hired big-hitting PR firm Hill & Knowlton to spin its case. H&K is owned by the US media/PR conglomerate WPP - in which according to Newham council's register of members interests , Cllr Alec Kellaway happens to own shares worth more than £25,000. No conflict of interest there , then."