Thursday, 23 August 2012

Airport expansion, Boris Island, local Labour & responsible politics

A Grain of truth in fears?
I've written a lot about Boris Island and the Grain hub over the last year or so. It is rarely out of the local news or Political scope for more than a week. Some one always has an opinion or Boris Johnson makes a remark or... Its tiring really.

One of the main themes of the writings though is Labour's interpretations of the events - as they are the most vocal group upon the subject.

What usually happens is there is an event or someone (usually a Conservative but more recently Dr Huppert Libdem MP for Cambridge) and suddenly the spin cycle begins and the shouts of:




but as I've tried to maintain; Nothing has been decided yet

According to today's article in the Telegraph newspaper Justine Greening may find herself shuffled out of the cabinet and into another senior position. In doing so the Government can look at expanding Heathrow as a stop gap but put it in place to happen after 2015 so as not to rupture the Coalition agreement (again) or break election pledges.

Heathrow has its draw backs with angry residents, pressure groups and environmental problems too. Other economists will argue that Heathrow expansion is a mere stopgap and a proper HUB will be needed or lose out on trade. Boris will argue that Mr Cameron has pussy-footed around it and that a chance has been lost.

The Conservatives may be playing the long game and hoping that it will either be Labour's problem in 2015 or they will have a majority and not have to worry about losing a host of seats in Kent and Essex or worry about a rebellious group of local MPs joining up with the Libdems to vote the issue down now. Who knows?

This, like so many other suggestions and extrapolations is mere conjecture and we'll just have to wait for the reshuffle.

There is NO certainty over this project, a hang over from Labour not shutting this down with the Cliffe proposals almost a decade ago.

This consultation will, I'm sure rule out the possibility of the site once and for all due to its many problems like bird strike, environmental and ecological damage etc etc...

But what if it doesn't? What if the Independent body find its a good site? To paraphrase a local Labour tweeter.

Well what if they do? There will still be room to fight it and our MPs will keep doing that backed up by our elected Councillors and environmental groups and charities. It will not be over by a long shot.

What needs to happen though is for the Opposition to stop making Political capital out of this.

Firstly there is the fear mongering. Preying on people's concerns and worries about a really serious subject and turning every sentence, every suggestion into a news worthy slogan with continued ravings that the airport is going ahead and that the Tories are out to betray us all. Its not right and its not what politics should be about.

Yes criticise the project, put pressure on the Government to think about what it is doing - that's what a good opposition does but don't do this, its childish.

Some poor sod of a councillor said a while back that he, personally wasn't opposed to Boris Island, I made a similar comment (along the lines that should it be good for the nation/economy is it really a bad thing?) both of us have been lambasted for it by Labour politicos. Is that fair? For someone's personal opinion on the matter?

Look every one they like the idea of Boris Island! BURN THE HERETIC!

Again - its not right.

Lets all be clear headed about this - lets approach this as adults and as Maria Eagles suggested: Take politics out of the equation and all of us unite against this project without the crap, point scoring and the mild hysteria.

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