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Thursday, January 15, 2009 

The only MP deserving of the label.

Is John McDonnell the only Labour MP left truly deserving of the title? You can't help but admire his furious reaction to the evasions, false promises and downright lies of Geoff Hoon, taking the mace (although not shown) as he explains to the BBC as it has been in the past to demand the right of MPs to vote on a new runway at Heathrow.

It is truly remarkable that Geoff Hoon is still in government, or rather, it's truly indicative of New Labour's political bankruptcy that he is. A man only distinguished by his mediocrity, he's crawled from one job to another, involved in the death of David Kelly along the way, his obsequious behaviour to both Blair and Brown enabling him to shift between the two without so much as the slightest recognition of his previous failures, let alone that of his superiors. The real reason for not having a vote is obvious: the government would either lose or come very close to losing, with both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats opposing the plans, and dozens of Labour MPs also opposed to any further expansion of the airport from hell.

The other reason is that as the Guardian reports, Brown views this as a "dividing line" between Labour and the Tories. As ever, his real interest is in his own political advantage: he doesn't care about how it affects the government's other policies on climate change, how it sticks two fingers up at everyone other than the business lobby and the unions that are similarly only self-interested, it's about how can he position himself come the general election, further evidence of how the Tories are a do-nothing party, unprepared to invest in the nation's economic prosperity. That his own policies have had a major hand in our current fall in prosperity is neither here nor there, nor is how every promise made about Heathrow ever has been broken. The really sad thing is that John, even with his 10,000 majority, might well lose his seat when his constituents punish the party rather than the man, betrayed by his allegiance to a party that lost its way a long time ago.

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As regards the proposed new runway at Heathrow - the building is owned and run by a private company, will (presumably) be paid for by said company, and exists under the jurisdiction of an elected local council. So why would MPs vote on this at all; what's it got to do with them?

Becuase they want to buold it where people live, hence the need for compulsory purchase orders enacted by the government.

And they are part goverment funded to my reading of the matter.

So we should have a say.

and because it affects carbon emission targets set by the government.

Also because it'll be built on acres of green belt.

And it'll mean the demolition of 700 homes - an entire village.



Except compulsory purchase orders are a function of local government, as is the designation of land use, as is demolition of anything. The only thing left on that list is carbon emission targets, so does that mean if I want to build an access road between two of my buildings on private ground I need to go to the government first?

As I say again in the strictest sense this has nothing to do with national government other than them being the ones who set the rules and framework in which the local government works.

Flip C we all know that they may be a function of local government but without the support and backing of the project at national level by the government it wouldn't get very far.

This is a government initiative using government funds.

Hence the need for a vote on it.

That after all is a democracy.

My assumption was "will (presumably) be paid for by said company" so if it isn't and the runway will be coming out of government funds so yes of course it requires debate at this level.

Though this therefore leads to the question of why are we buying a private company a new runway?

Considering that most of the banking sector is part owned by the government, an airport here and there is part and parcel of the latest public-private mindset.

There is no suggestion, implication or question of using public funds for LHR; anyone who says there is is either mistaken or lying.

"...his own policies have had a major hand in our current fall in prosperity" - judging by what's going on in the rest of the world (i.e. the same shit as here) I think you misspelt 'no impact at all on' in that sentence.

John, I would say that the massive tax breaks for the aviation industry both current and also the pre-empted ones to enable the massive financial cost of the build itself, no matter the fact that the exspansion requires (and has got obviously) government approval means that MPs should have been involved.

APD works out at the same level as putting tax on aeroplane fuel. What pre-empted ones are you talking about? (unless you mean not paying profits on income you're re-investing in infrastructure, in which case that's hardly airport expansion).

I'm not saying there *shouldn't* have been a vote - whilst I think expansion is the right thing and opponents are blithering idiots, I'm quite fond of parliamentary democracy even when it comes up with the wrong answers to questions - just that the government's involvement is about allowing BAA to spend its money to do things which it thinks will be profitable, not about subsidising anyone to do anything.

The nub of the arguement is what you already seem to agree with, that there should have been a vote.

That is quite simply the point of this post and also the matter of concern for many people, myself included.

As for being against the third runway instantly making you a blithering idiot, I doubt that very much.

I'm neither for or against, I need to learn more about it but the fact it wasn't part of a democratic process alarms me, when the implications are far ranging.

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