Was avoiding a commons vote a mistake?
As suggested in the previous thread the person who is making the news over the Heathrow third runway decision is John McDonnell – the local MP who will see hundreds of his constituents lose their homes over the plan and who has been leading the protests.
Unfortunately the pictures of him picking up the mace are not too good and the Parliamentary TV service, as is usual, was switched off almost as soon as it happened. But the passions are there all the same.
Legally, of course, the government is right and there doesn’t have to be a commons vote to decide it. But how is this going to look to outsiders? Doesn’t it appear as though they are trying to clamp down on the democratic process on what is a massive issue?
I think that the government has got this one wrong. All they are doing is adding to the sense of grievance amongst those directly affected and the climate change campaigners.
My guess is that the biggest winners from this issue will be the Green Party – which has looked a bit in the doldrums as the economy has dominated everything. Maybe this could kick-start their Euro Election campaign and the potential losers could be Labour and possibly the Lib Dems.
Political parties need issues to the sustain them. Today the Greens have been handed Heathrow.