It’s got ‘em talking. And fuming. Back Heathrow’s latest news-sheet and questionnaire. I didn’t get one dropped through my door but many of our supporters did and they sent me copies.
The newsletter is a work of art. The art of not quite telling it as it is. Take the front page “Hillingdon Council want Thousands of Houses on Airport”. What message does that convey to you? The clear implication is that Hillingdon wants the airport to shut. They have never said that. It leader, Ray Puddiford, has merely said that, if an Estuary Airport opened and Heathrow had to close, there would be the opportunity for the land to be used for housing and new businesses. Back Heathrow turns that into “Hillingdon Council Leader Ray Puddiford: Ungrateful – Shutting down Heathrow represents a ‘remarkable opportunity’.”
The sleight of hand goes on. It quotes from the report commissioned by three London boroughs which indicates that thousands of jobs are at risk if Heathrow were to close. It conveniently overlooks another key finding of the report that the impact of a second runway at Gatwick would have a ‘negligible’ impact on employment at Heathrow.
And then there are “local residents” who are quoted. Steve Ostrowski may live in Hillingdon but what we are not told is that he also works at the airport. And then there is Gary Dixon who says he’s “lived near the airport for years.” Local Hillingdon people tell me his area is not impacted by planes. Not forgetting Shaun Brimacombe from Harlingon who asks “If noise does affect them then why did they choose to live next to a major international airport?” Back Heathrow’s bosom buddies at Heathrow Airport know full well that there are people distraught by aircraft noise living 20 miles from the airport. They didn’t “choose to live next to a major international airport.” They don’t get a quote.
Although we don’t share it, HACAN recognizes there is an argument to be made for the expansion of Heathrow Airport but this news-sheet does nothing to advance it.
Thinking of filling in the survey? Don’t risk it! You could be quoted out of context in their next news-sheet. Better to say nothing. Return an empty envelope. It’s Freepost!