27 Feb 2008

Protest on roof of Parliament

Well while I am out of action for a week or two other than a bit of blogging, etc, it is great to see other people are going for it in a big way....not that even in the picture of health I would be on the roof of the House of Commons.

Plane Stupid as I write are on the roof of the House of Commons protesting against Heathrow expansion...more noise, more climate change, more destruction but with 100% government support. More here

A bit of direct action is to be applauded.

A Plane Stupid spokesman said of the third runway plans: "Two million Londoners face increased levels of noise, while CO2 emissions from the airport would shoot up despite claims by Brown that he's committed to fighting climate change."

I can't praise these people too much....please support PLANE STUPID atwww.planestupid.com
Liberal democracy is too often about the god given democratic right of corporations to make cash. Democratic democracy would be an innovation welcome by me, until it occurs NVDA has to be part of the process of achieving change.

There is an excellent briefing from Greenpeace here on the protest:

In the absence of a genuine consultation with Londoners, the protest is a brilliant way to get the word out on the day the Heathrow 'consultation' ends. They've dropped banners reading 'BAA's HQ' down parliament's facade, and are enlightening the great and the good on their way to Prime Ministers' Question Time below by throwing paper aeroplanes - made from secret Whitehall documents that prove BAA has written parts of the consultation and the government has already decided to build a third runway - from the roof.

We should probably be getting used to our government being in bed with industry by now (see the recent revelations about the coal industry and the nuclear industry), but the amount of control industry has over government policy - usually to the detriment of the environment - still surprises.

Not only has BAA written parts of the consultation, it's also working with government in a body set up to ensure the third runway gets the go-ahead and to neutralise 'risks' to the planned expansion (that's the huge coalition of local residents, Londoners, environmentalists and all the major mayoral candidates opposed to airport expansion).

As a result, the document doesn't mention global warming, and opposition groups haven't been allowed to challenge data on noise and pollution (data supplied by BAA...).

Call me old fashioned, but maybe a better way of consulting with Londoners might be to ask them 'do you want a third runway?', instead of publishing a heavily spun document partly written by industry.

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