Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Heathrow Expansion: Geoff's Plan A Rocks, Emma's Plan Z Sucks

The Heathrow decision caused quite a fuss of course. John Maccy D got rattled and Luke Akehurst wore his heart on his sleeve as mealy mouthed condemnation, whataboutism and ridiculous conspiracy skipped hand in hand.

THIS POST is worth a link for the extraordinary conceit of making Runway Three and Terminal Six "Brown's Iraq". What utter drivel that is. Disgraceful drivel. Any new improved airport and road infrastructure is always going to be a hard sell. Closing things, anything is always a hard sell too, whatever the merits of the alternatives. And closing a Gurdwara, a Cemetery, village shops en masse, and flattening 600 houses? Let's not be-little the challenge of selling that lot.

But Heathrow is knackered.

Almost on 100% capacity. Cramped. A moderate to poor passenger experience. Inflexible and leaden-footed in the event of delay. The alternatives of a new airport at Foulness, or letting London use its primary hub status and routes to Frankfurt or CDG or Brussels hardly save the planet now do they?

It seems to me that in broad terms we can tackle our contribution to climate change either by Plan A or Plan Z.

Plan A involves having a wealthy, successful economy, with full employment, with a helpful caring state, and a CSR conscious private and third sector. An economy and polity that choses to and can afford to innovate. With hydrogen fuel cells. With local generation and less grid think. With reducing, reusing and recycling. With sublime train options. Transforming the 94% of energy use that isn't in air travel and air transport. As well as the 6% (2% globally) that is in air travel and transport.

Plan Zzzzz involves overcoming our progress gene completely and going for regression to horses and carts, lighting fuelled with horseshit naturally, and an early exchange economy. With hunter-gathering as an option for horsehair Hollywooders, obviously unemployed following an inevitable crash in the magic lantern business in their model.

How very dare the rich jet-setter Dame Emma Thompson preach to the world on this?

Perhaps I'm sitting on the fence too much here? But I prefer Plan A. As do the vast majority of Tory politicians, Tory activists, Tory voters if they were only honest. Perhaps they will own up ahead of the general election rather than six months afterwards. Some chance of that!

The same green fingered "Brown's Iraq" LabourHome blogger lists the twelve Labour-held constituencies where the greatest employment and economic benefits might be felt. Along with even more magnificent iron birds criss crossing their skies, connecting the world by modern magic. The most startling thing for me is that all these constituency names start B, E, F and H.

Where's the BEEFH?! In Battersea, Brent North, Brent South, Brentford & Isleworth, Ealing Acton & Shepherd's Bush, Ealing North, Ealing Southall, Feltham & Heston, Hampstead & Highgate, Harrow East, Harrow West, Hayes & Harlington is where.

Today the Tories are busy trying to claim Obama's clothes as the party of hope and change. Ridiculous! They cannot even do basic honesty and brave leadership when it comes to a no-brainer airport improvement. Clearly some of the Labour Left and all of the Lib Dems have the same problem.

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