by John Stewart
It may be a first. Greenpeace hand-in-hand with UKIP. The Arctic rebels and the climate sceptics. But they are together under the banner ‘No Third Runway at Heathrow’.
And they are not the only unlikely bedfellows. The Tories Angie Bray, Adam Afyrie and John Randall sit at the same table as Labour’s Andy Slaughter, Virenda Sharma and John McDonnell. Brentford MP Mary Macleod and her Labour opponent at the next General Election Ruth Cadbury disagree on many things but are united in opposing Heathrow expansion. Zac Goldsmith makes common cause with Seema Malhotra. Cabinet ministers Justine Greening and Lib Dem Vince Cable are on the same side.
Labour local authorities Ealing and Hounslow link up with the Tory boroughs Hillingdon,Richmond and Wandsworth. The Mayor and the London Assembly are at one in their opposition to a third runway.
Those masters of negative campaigning at Back Heathrow will tell us that support for Heathrow is also cross-party. And that is correct. They will also argue that the solutions put forward by many of the opponents are different. That is also correct.
My one real point in this blog is to highlight the breadth of opposition there is to a third runway. So many hurdles, so little time….for any Government to build a third runway.
Last time round the coalition against the third runway was described by Ian Martin in the Telegraph (14/1/09): “The coalition assembled outside Parliament is extraordinarily wide. It runs from eco-warriors to middle-class mothers in West London, hedge fund managers in Richmond, to pensioners and parents in Brentford.”
That coalition was successful: http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/how.the.heathrow.campaign.was.won.pdf
The situation now has not fundamentally changed from when Labour failed to push through a third runway just a few years ago.
And, oh yes, these eco-warriors have come out of hibernation. Plane Stupid is back. Take a look at their recent action: http://youtu.be/U6HrP0aHFPY