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Sunday Times Attack on Transport Secretary

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Sunday Times Attack on Transport Secretary

Old 14th Nov 2021, 13:04
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Sunday Times Attack on Transport Secretary

I almost posted this in the Private Flying section but I think it has implications for a wider audience. Mods feel free to move if required.

Today's Sunday Times has 2 articles spread over 8 pages attacking the current Transport Secretary fot his support of aviation. To be clear I am not a member of any political party nor do I have any relationships to Grant Shapps. I am just appalled that a semi reputable newspaper has published 2 completely biased articles using half truths to spin its viewpoint.

The two headlines used are "Minister for private jets lobbying against own government" and "Flights of fancy as Shapps fixes on his airfield ambitions"

The articles imply that as an aircraft owner Shapps is looking after his own interest. The also negatively spin the creation of The Airfields Advisory Team and the fact it has helped raise objections to the closure of Chalgrove and Coventry. Apparently he is also to blame for "interfering" with the way the CAA was dealing with the Thomas Cook collapse, "wasting" government money on buying gadgets for private pilots (conspicuity grant) and "poisoning" the nation by delaying a ban on leaded aviation fuel.

The second article criticises him in a backhand way for attending the LAA rally at Sywell and once again takes issue with anyone against the building of homes on airfields. There is quite a lot more but its a fairly clear stich up job.

I wonder if one of his cabinet colleagues with a brief to build more houses is out to get him?

Sadly I can't link the article and its probably behind a paywall but a google may get you the jist. I'll drop the Times a letter but they rarely seem to publish anything critical of their journalism. In view of recent events and the fact that it's such an unbalanced piece Joe public reading the article will definitely take a view of sleazy politicos at it again.

In this case its completely unfair so I think those involved in aviation should offer a counterpoint if they can.
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Old 14th Nov 2021, 14:23
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You can read the front page one on the BBC News website "Review of Today's Papers" by enlarging the image of the front page.

Newspaper headlines: Sharma 'sorry' as India and China 'thwart' COP deal - BBC News
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Old 14th Nov 2021, 15:07
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I've read the articles. If Grant Shapps is out to help aviation I would love to see what he would be like when working against it! Sadly, Boris' excuse for a government is not fit for purpose.
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Old 14th Nov 2021, 16:10
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Link to one of the articles in The Sunday Times.

Grant Shapps, the minister for private jets, is ‘lobbying against his own government’

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Old 14th Nov 2021, 17:19
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Grant Shapps own light aircraft that he owns and bases in the UK, is FAA registered.
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Old 14th Nov 2021, 17:20
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Good job Rupert doesn't have a (sic) private jet.
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Old 14th Nov 2021, 20:29
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He’s absolutely thrown U.K. pilots under the bus. He’s an utter moron.
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Old 14th Nov 2021, 23:03
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I don't read The Times now that it's hidden behind a Murdoch paywall...

As for Shapps, he told me twice in face-to-face conversations that "There's no reason why the UK shouldn't become a non-EU EASA Member State". But then the ERG mafia put the mockers on that. Did Shapps object? Who knows.....
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 11:16
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Minister for Privates Jets?? Which red top apprentice reporters produced that tosh? What is evident is that the main purpose of the article was the wish of an unelected body (the Media) to continue its efforts to destabilise the government. I believe that they would do that regardless of who was in power whilst trotting out the usual mantra of seeking accountability. It does not take much reading to see the lack of basic understanding of the subject and to me this is why Shapps is not the real target, if he was I can't believe that the aircraft in the picture which was clearly suffering from a collapsed nose leg ( by no means unknown on retractables operated off unmade strips) was not featured heavily in the narrative (incompetent pilot blah blah blah etc).
For those of us who have spent a lifetime in and around all aspects of aviation and like to think that they have a reasonable understanding of the subject, it doest take much to see through the dross that the Holy than Thou produce. If you go to other currently contentious issues, you can only hope that people who understand the reality therein, are prepared to fight to keep the facts from being submerged in smoke screens and hysterics. As has been said by the grown ups, instead of hitting the soft targets on our doorstep maybe the protesters need to look further afield ?
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 17:28
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A civil service source said bluntly that he remained “obsessed” with general aviation. The obsession began in 1995 when Shapps, then a photocopier salesman in his early twenties, obtained his pilot licence. He married, bought a printing business, and endured cancer, but remained a devotee of the world of general aviation or “GA”, the recreational use of aircraft.
I thought the article rather biased until I reached this par, when I became rather cross. The writer (shan't call him a journalist) states that GA is for rich playboys buzzing around in aeroplanes. He does not refer to flight training, business aviation, air taxis, air ambulances, human organ transfers, and the many jobs in other activity such as maintenance and training of aero engineers. The Sunday Times has taken another dive in my estimation.
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 18:32
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Originally Posted by Geriaviator View Post
. The writer (shan't call him a journalist) states that GA is for rich playboys buzzing around in aeroplanes.
Never realised that while scrabbling round for funds and thinking deeply about how much (or little) to spend on the club PA28 each year that I was somehow a Rich Playboy ...

I'd better not tell Mrs WHBM
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 18:47
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I think Bernie Ecclestone once said, following a particularly inept article about Formula 1 in the Daily Telegraph 'What they wrote was complete tosh (or words to that effect). I can only assume that their writings on all other subjects are equally rubbish'.
Why do we even read newspapers any more? Actually, many people I know don't. I understand sales are a mere shadow of yesteryear and advertising revenues are down the tube.


Last edited by TheOddOne; 15th Nov 2021 at 18:48. Reason: Typo
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Old 15th Nov 2021, 20:30
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The Sunday Times used to be the only paper I would buy, mainly because I enjoyed some of the regular features such as Rod Liddle and Jeremy Clarkson and they have a good TV guide. I nearly stopped taking it when Camilla Long wrote a critical piece on Prince William when he was employed on the air ambulance. She was calling him lazy because he only worked for 80 hours a month. She obviously hadn't bothered to check on any regulations limiting pilot hours or on what other tasks they might have. I finally stopped buying it when an article on Jordan Peterson by Decca Aitkenhead contained several lies which were exposed by the Petersons who had recorded the whole interview. Although they are probably no worse than other papers it seems worse because one expects higher standards from a what appears to be a legacy newspaper. The only time I see it now is when Mrs p goes to Waitrose on a Sunday, her free issue paper is the Times. I happened to see the one with the Schapps article and, although I am not one of his fans, I thought the article was disgraceful and it confirmed my decision not to ever pay for any newspaper.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 12:53
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Looking on from a safe distance, I can only discern the long shadow of Lady Thatcher, who decided that society should be controlled by the market, and the market be controlled by quantity, not by quality. Indeed sad to see even a paper with a long and strong tradition of quality go down the drain. I sometimes fancied there was still some professional pride with The Guardian?

But it seems obvious that the Brits are getting what they wanted, and voted for: Brexit and tabloid reporting. I for one am glad the EU got rid of them; though I'd be even more glad to see some wisdom emerge, across the Channel, and have an effect on government.

Apologies for diverging into politics - but that is unavoidable for discussing this matter.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 13:55
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The Sunday Times is a shadow of its former self. I still read it for Rod Liddle and Jeremy Clarkson in order to restore my sanity after the tsunami of wokeness we endure. However the continued employment of the odious India Knight means I have to hold my nose while reading it. I won’t say here what she has done but try Googling her and her hubby the less than delightful Eric Joyce. The British establishment at its worst. Grant Shapps is a strange fella. A less than honest cv (again, look it up) will reveal a fantasist and economical with la verite politician. Purportedly a keen general aviator, he holds FAA licences so mind bogglingly does not hold responsibility in terms of qualification of the very body he oversees as minister of transport. As Richard Littlejohn in the Mail would say, you really could not make this up. Among the professional aviator group he is considered a shady character, not to be trusted and post Brexit certainly sold younger pilots down the river but that is another story. Personally a hatchet job on Shapps is to be applauded but I doubt whether there is any journalistic integrity or rigorous research applied. As pilots we read aircraft accident reports in the popular press and they are generally notable for stunning levels of technical inaccuracy so Bernie E is correct in assuming that other areas are equally incorrect. However, if it is open season on Shapps or whatever his name is this week, well I won’t be losing any sleep.
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 14:13
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Sorry, Olster, you lost me in the last sentence. Has he changed his name?
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 14:21
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Snapper, if you look up his bio, he was involved in an apparently dodgy scheme where he portrayed himself as one ‘Michael Green’. A constituent found out and was threatened with litigation until the unfortunate fact that it was true was revealed. This is all on record. Fits the new breed of shady politicians regardless of hue to a tee.

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Old 16th Nov 2021, 14:26
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Plus for the record, he insisted that this was before becoming an mp as if having a fake name for business use was normal practice. However, a Guardian article demonstrates an overlap. He is quite clearly not a particularly honest chap but are we surprised?
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Old 16th Nov 2021, 23:29
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Grant Shapps admits he had second job as 'millionaire web marketer' while MP | Grant Shapps | The Guardian

And I thought that he was merely a somewhat ineffectual mouthpiece for the chief party conmen. The Times article is inaccurate, appallingly anti-aviation and dripping with envy. They could at least attack Shapps for the many good reasons he probably shouldn't be an MP.
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 19:55
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So as a retired journalist and a pilot let me ask you this question. Why is his aircraft registered to a company run by a single mum in a rented house in Norfolk. The same brass plate company that Henderson’s ill fated Malibu was registered with along with around 100 other UK light aircraft?

In a recent meeting with a UK flying magazine these points were raised.

So the CAA was making life hard for pilots flying N reg but not Shapps?

Perhaps I should emphasise his N reg aircraft!

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