Discovering some home truths on management

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 February, 1997, 12:00am

Life in Discovery Bay is never dull.

The management are very zealous about making sure that their fountain is safe from marauders, that shoppers are protected from all but certain merchants using the public space, and that a so-called 'community' centre is only granted to one religious organisation.

But when it thinks future property values may be threatened, all of a sudden it turns populist! Genuine 'grassroots' groups - such as a women's coffee morning, or a petition drive begging for Cable TV access - have been denied the simple ability to even put up a visible notice of their entirely legal and absolutely legitimate activities. But both DB ferry piers are now graced with a table and displays begging residents to sign a petition in favour of a tunnel to the new airport.

This is termed as a chance for residents to have their 'voice' heard.

The local paper Around the Bay devotes a large amount of space to this specious 'populist' effort.

I have to confess, at first I thought this made sense.

How silly it would be to live half an hour or so, as the crow could fly, from the new airport, and yet have to travel three hours to get there without a tunnel.

But then it dawned on me that if that happens, tenants in DB do have redress: we can simply move.

That petition is not populist at all.

The only people who will suffer without the tunnel are those who speculated that values would rise dramatically and who will be disappointed in their hopes of making a quick killing.

Let management and speculators sign their own petition and do their own lobbying.

Leave the residents out of it - and give 'public' space back to the real public, instead of to management's apparent favourites.