[Astroturfing: support from “fake grass roots”]
It seems the Market Rasen People blog has unwittingly assisted in astroturfing.
This piece contains a string of quotes from one Louise Tomlinson, the person who runs Faldingworth Equestrian Centre. Ms Tomlinson says “you can hardly hear” the explosions. She adds “Most of the villagers work there - it provides jobs. I’ve been to the meetings about the “noise” and what is bothering the villagers is people moaning about it”.
Well now, Ms Tomlinson, you run Faldingworth Equestrian Centre. That would be the Faldingworth Equestrian Centre which was paid for by TOOTS (the owner of Faldingworth Base and the guy responsible for the explosions), and where he is currently said to be living, would it? Most people round here are under the impression that you’re his girlfriend; that hardly makes you entirely reliable as an independent witness, does it?
I’m sure the villagers of Faldingworth will be surprised to discover that “most” of them work at the ex-Faldingworth Base (which, as usual with RAF names, is not at Faldingworth - most of the victims of the noise actually live at Newtoft, although complaints have come in from miles around). The old cliche about “creating jobs” was dealt with on the Peter Levy show last week: Auschwitz created lots of jobs (guards, gas chamber attendants etc) - that wasn’t held to be a reason for keeping it open. The real question is: “What kind of jobs?”
And those meetings, Louise; they must have been different meetings to the ones we went to, because the ones we went to were full of very angry people who were fed up with living in a war zone, fed up with wailing air-raid sirens, fed up with massive explosions, fed up with their lives being disturbed, fed up with damage to their houses. Also, we didn’t see you there; although we did see Louise Thomas, who used to run Bombproof Horses (the equestrian company at Faldingworth Base that vanished when it kept getting sued). And you’re someone quite different, aren’t you?
We do know that someone has made a sustained attempt to frighten local residents, by putting about stories that if they talk about the nuisance “their houses will be devalued”. We’re slightly surprised that anyone falls for this (because of course if you were selling your house, you’d have to tell the purchaser about the noise problem anyway, or you could get sued. The value of everyone’s homes plummeted the day TOOTS let off his first explosion). We’d love to know who’s responsible for spreading this tale.
Market Rasen People can at least take comfort from the fact that the Peter Levy show (Radio Humberside) appears to have been misled in the same way.