The Plastic Hippo

October 26, 2016

Clearance Clarence

When the details of a secret that was never really a secret are revealed to an incredulous public, there are some punters with attention deficit who will be genuinely surprised and others, with something of an alternative agenda, who will feign shock and outrage to further their own political ambition. The two worst-kept Westminster secrets latterly revealed occurred on one mercifully slow news day. Firstly, Heathrow is to have a new runway and, secondly, the current Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has finally exposed himself as being a totally irredeemable half-wit. Who on Earth spotted that one coming?

Grayling, having made a complete mess of employment during the early years of the woeful coalition government, went on to be promoted and then sacked as Lord Chancellor after being generally regarded as unusually useless by anyone with even a passing familiarity with the law. Imagine having to live with the fact that you were so bad at your job that you were replaced by Michael Gove. Now the Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell, which is about half way between Heathrow and Gatwick but not on the direct flight paths for arrivals or departures, tells the pitchfork waving locals that Heathrow expansion is for the general good of the nation. Britain, he claims, is open for business. Sadly, Britain is suffering a closing down sale instead.

The Conservative government, now led by Prime Minister Theresa May, has absolutely no idea what to do about leaving Europe. Desperate for some diversion to shift attention away from a car crash where car after car keeps ploughing into the wreck, runway capacity in the south east of England is the new Dunkirk. Britain is open for business as long as we can facilitate an unspecified number of Judicial Reviews brought by an unspecified number of groups such as local government authorities including that of Maidenhead which just happens to be the Prime Minister`s own constituency. A Judicial Review can be brought by any group who can argue that a government decision is irrational, unreasonable or beyond what is acceptable even given a parliamentary mandate. There will be a consultation period when those that have not already been consulted will be consulted. Under fives with respiratory disease, the unborn babies of Hounslow, the local UKIP councillor and some bloke from the village pub will be listened to again. The legal challenges will be endless and appeals will follow regardless of the decision. Britain will be open for business in about 20 years provided that we survive the economic plunder already taking place.

Heathrow, according to British Airways, is one of the most expensive airports on the planet in terms of landing fees, ground handling, servicing and logistics. Given a private sector initiative to expand Heathrow, the demand for a return of investment and profitability will inevitably make Heathrow less attractive to the major carriers who will use existing more efficient hubs at Schiphol, CDG, Munich and Dubai. Airfares into Heathrow will increase and the infrastructure needed will necessarily be paid for by the tax payer. Digging a tunnel for the M25 and the M4 spur and an extension to the rail links along with the cost of a third runway, is likely to be a lot more than the 61 billion quid expected income over the next 60 years – or, if we are lucky, about 60 billion Euros. Heathrow and British Airways are Spanish owned. Thank goodness we decided to leave the evil European Union.

Airport hubs are great ideas in big geographical countries. Belgium, Luxemburg, Andorra and the Vatican City all have splendid transport hubs; they are called bus and railway stations. If you need to fly out of the south of Sweden, you cross a magnificent bridge to an efficient and rather lovely airport in Denmark. Why anybody would want to spend an hour travelling to Manchester or Birmingham or even Glasgow to wait another hour after check-in, wait another hour for a delay, wait another hour to get off at Heathrow and the spend another two hours fighting your way into Central London is not so much of a mystery. It is, in certain circumstances, cheaper but slower to fly from Birmingham to London than it is to travel by train or, on some occasions, bloody well walk.
Heathrow already has illegal levels of noise and carbon emissions. Grayling, or Failing Grayling as he is known on the set of the fictitious Airplane III movie, says a third runway will reduce these levels. So, increasing air born traffic by 25 per cent and ground traffic by 40 per cent will, according to Grayling of the failing sort, reduce pollution.

Theresa May, as Home Secretary, stated that she was totally against a third runway at Heathrow. Now safely re-elected by the good people of Maidenhead who just happen to be under the flight path to Heathrow, any pretence at honesty has gone the way of a Lynyrd Skynyrd reunion to celebrate the legacy of Buddy Holly. As an unelected PM, she wants to bulldoze a third runway at Heathrow.
In her victorious 2010 Newsletter to her grateful constituents, she said:
“Like many local residents, I strongly welcome cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow in this way would have a detrimental effect on the Maidenhead and Twyford areas by increasing levels of noise and pollution, and the Government`s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”
A very big tip of the hat to @thomaspride for unearthing this gem of hypocrisy and a marvellous example of the principle of expedience before any hint of actual political principle.

The blessed Theresa, however, should be given some credit as being a very smooth operator. Appointing complete idiots of the calibre of Davies, Johnson and the ever so creepy Liam Fox to screw up the UK`s exit from Europe is a blindingly obvious tactic to ensure that the UK will remain in the EU. A deal offered from superior intellects in Europe will save us from absolute ruin and the three idiots will take the blame. Boris Johnson, in particular, is being set up for a major fall on both Europe and Heathrow. She will not allowing him or other MPs to campaign or speak against anything she does not want to be discussed.

We may have forgotten her futile attempts to deport known hate preachers, her illegal bill board vans that threatened migrants, her failure to rescue children in danger, her failure to stick to any targets she set herself and her cynical manoeuvring to ensure that the CSA Inquiry was guaranteed to fall apart allowing the guilty to live and die untroubled by justice. To regain the sovereignty of the UK parliament, the UK parliament will not be allowed to vote on regaining its sovereignty.

Margaret Thatcher might be remembered as the Iron Lady but the current Prime Minister will be remembered as Theresa “kick it into the long grass and forget about it” May. This unelected Prime Minister is surely a clear and present danger to democracy and the future of this once proud but now unhappy nation.

Don`t call her Shirley.

1 Comment »

  1. I was under the impression that the Whitehall farce had gone the way of Brian Rix, but obviously not. This ‘decision’ is of trouser-dropping magnitude.

    Any proposal to extend aviation capacity is fraught with major difficulties, but the expansion of Heathrow presents challenges that even Sisyphus would reject. Even ‘Boris Island’ makes more sense.

    Fortunately, it will never happen. According to latest reports, we lack the cash, the labour force and the public appetite for yet more disruptions to the M25 and M4. Although the owners of Heathrow and the captains of some parts of British industry are comfortable with playing the long game, the grass will have grown excessively long over the graves of anyone over the age of 20 before this lunacy is acted on.

    Unfortunately, billions more will be spent on consultants who have already milked this particular cow to death. Commercial interest in a small island trying to trade solo will soon wane, so a re-think on capacity need is inevitable.

    Meanwhile, our politicians just carry on, regardless of facts, feelings and the future (except their own of course).

    I think that a Referendum is called for.

    Comment by The Realist — October 26, 2016 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

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