Fantasy Island

OOH, the temptation! But I’m not going to succumb, not this time.

Theresa Villiers confirms her party want to scrap Heathrow’s third runway, Boris wants to build a floating airport in the Thames estuary, and Iain Dale – the only one among them with any sense and he’s not even a candidate! – raises the kind of concerns that the Tories should be well aware of, but clearly aren’t.

But I’m not going to trespass on transport matters that aren’t directly part of my brief, no sirree. I’ll keep schtum for now and quietly conclude that so far, it’s been a good conference.



Filed under Blogging, Conservative Party, Department for Transport, Economy

12 responses to “Fantasy Island

  1. Johnny Norfolk

    Well Tom you keep asking for ideas from the Tories and I think you will get plenty.

    You can then all decide on the best ones and make them Labour policy.

  2. Johnny Norfolk

    Tom I was thinking about this ( difficult for me I know ). Labour policy just drops on us without any public debate or consultation. The Tories on the other hand discuss all sorts of ideas and you quote it as policy. It must be difficult for you to understand all this debate when labour has so little.
    A Labour government feels like a dictatorship to me doing what it wants not what the people want.
    Blair when he first got in warned you all about taking the voters for granted. You have, and you will pay for it as others have before.

  3. I’d’ve thought you might be a bit interested in their “plan” to fund a new railway line out of “savings” made by not building the runway. Although it’s hard to see how this bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul constitutes a plan rather than naked spin (you don’t think they’re still trying to leap onto the green bandwagon do you?!).

    A new railway would do little to reduce the pressure on London’s airports which comes mostly from international traffic. Also they can’t use the “savings” (or cuts as they should more properly be termed perhaps) to pay both for a new railway line and for Boris Island. The latter might be good for losing them a few votes in Essex and Kent though.

    I’m sure your friend Mr Norfolk is correct; the Tories will trot out loads of ideas. But very few policies. And most of their ideas are likely be as ill thought through and as easily demolished as this one. We’re getting ’em on the run methinks…

  4. Johnny Norfolk

    You just do not get it do you. Its about ideas and debate. You throw all sorts of ideas out, this creates debate, comments, observations and concerns.
    There is no general election due ! in the next 12 months so there is little point in the Tories firming up on policy so far ahead. Its Labour who is in government and it is for them to tell us what they are doing. We know the Tories will run things better than Labour, anybody could after what we have seen.
    This country is far better with the Tories in power and Labour in opposition. That is what they are both good at.

  5. Johnny – this isn’t the launch of a Tory policy consultation; the decision has been made (without consulting anyone). Villiers has announced it: “This is one of the hardest decisions we have faced as a party and we will not run away from it. That’s why I can announce this morning that a Conservative government would say no to a third runway at Heathrow.”

    You’re not trying to tell me you weren’t consulted, are you?

  6. Johnny Norfolk

    Tom Its what the local people want to hear. Its for the people and their quality of life, and our environment. A third runway proposal should never have got off the ground ( like the pun). Cancel the M25 widening and build another runway at Heathrow not joined up government is it.

    There are many better alternatives. you were just taking the easy solution.

  7. Sorry – I appear to have blundered into the Tom & Johnny show. Is this a private conversation or can any old Tom, Dick or Johnny join in?

    But at least it’s helped me to get hold of some right-thinking – if the Tories announce an idea without consultation it’s “what the local people want to hear” but, when Labour does it, it “just drops on us without any public debate”. Glad that’s sorted then…

    But to where are Mr N’s local people local d’yer suppose?

  8. Robert

    Give everybody a bike and then tell them to get on it, whoops thats me stuffed I’ve no legs. I’ll catch the train plane, dam they do not have access in my area. I’ll crawl.

  9. Blackacre

    Rare for me to agree with Johnny Norfolk, but I do. This conservative decision notwithstanding the lack of consultation will be a massive vote winner in west London with a few choice seats going to them next time I suspect.

    And the government has a pretty poor record on consultation on the runway. Your soon to be ex boss was quite clear the other day that the 3rd runway will be approved although the consultation exercise on it is still underway. Not sure how that is really consultation.

    At least we know where we stand and I find myself in the unenviable position of possibly having to vote Tory next time for the first time in over 20 years of voting. That is a shame. And somewhat worrying.

  10. Tom,

    One way of making most efficient use of capacity at Heathrow is to shift demand for domestic travel onto high speed rail. Why do people no longer fly between Paris and Lyon?

    I welcome the Tories’ proposal. It is ambitious and New Labour should have come up with the idea 10 years ago.

    But instead you asked the former head of BA to carry out a study on high speed rail. And, surprise surprise, he came out in favour of air travel.

    Like Blackacre, I’m in an unfamiliar and worrying position – I’ve just written my first email (ever) to a Tory politician, congratulating Theresa Villiers and asking her to lift her ambition to include Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    But at least the Scottish Government is consulting.

    Maybe the SNP will make an pact with the Tories and we’ll get a European standard rail system sometime before we all drown.

  11. And for detailed evidence, particularly how this will affect Glasgow and Edinburgh, see HACAN’s submission to the Scottish Goverment’s consultation (PDF file).

  12. I cannot see why Coventry airport is not expanded. It is close to the NEC, close to an excellent road network and close enough to Birmingham to act as an overspill.

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