The government has been studiously neutral on the fight to save Manston airport despite the best efforts of MPs and campaigners.
But that changed and changed potentially significantly this week with a visit by the government minister Grant Shapps, the minister without portfolio.
Mr Shapps, greeted like a folk hero, made some of the strongest comments in support of the airport by a senior politician we have heard.
Not surprisingly, campaigners who turned out in numbers to hear him, were pretty pleased.
He chose his words carefully, of course, and avoided making concrete pledges but he struck a much more positive and upbeat tone than anyone could have expected.
Why? He certainly seemed genuine enough and it helped that he was able to display his familiarity with the area - he told the crowd that he had used Manston himself and not just as a passenger.
As a keen pilot, he had flown into Manston in the past and "hoped to do so in the future." (Interestingly, he has ben involved in trying to secure the future of an airport in his own constituency)
An underlying reason is that the fight for Manston will be a key issue in the general election campaign if there is no resolution by next May. The Conservatives locally have no doubt alerted the Tory high command that they cannot afford to let UKIP make the running on the issue.
It was revealing to see the prospective Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay and the Thanet Conservative group leader Bob Bayford both in attendance.
In the weeks and months to come, we can expect to see a Manston arms race develop among the political parties, manouevering to ensure they are seen as the most interested in securing the airport's future.
And just possibly their own.
Which brings us to the vexed issue of whether the Labour-run council will seize the moment and back a move to pursue a CPO to acquire the airport from owner Ann Gloag.
There appears to be some disquiet within her own party's ranks over this.
Leaked emails suggest some rather stark divisions not just in the cabinet, which will initially have to put forward a recommendation based on what council officials say.
Some are clearly anxious that they will trigger a lengthy legal wrangle that will drag on for months and with no cast-iron guarantee of success and doubts over the cost to the taxpayer.
My guess is that the meeting scheduled for mid-October will outline the options over teaming up with RiverOak,the American consortium, and recommend the decision should be a matter for the full council.
This would just about be consistent with the rules around the executive decision making process, although ultimately, the cabinet leader would have to sign off any formal decision.
In the face of the devolution result, attention has turned to whether there should be greater devolution of powers from Whitehall to local tiers of government.
This is tied up with the awkward question over whether there should be a separate parliament for England and whether MPs should only vote on English issues.
The independence vote in Scotland has shown that the public can be engaged in debate around constitutional reform and the outcome does present an opportunity to address some of these other issues.
In Kent, that would almost certainly see a debate break out over the case for some kind of unitary government - an issue that would be as tricky for the Conservatives as Labour.
And I think voters will quickly be turned off if politicians spend more time advancing complex re-organisations and tinkering with the architecture of local government rather than more pressing issues like economy.