Heathrow Bollocks 17

Geoff Hoon has just informed the Commons that a third runway at Heathrow is essential to Britain’s economic prospects.

I have never understood why it is essential to our economy that a gentleman flying indirect from, say, Dubai to Phoenix, should change his plane in Heathrow rather than Paris. It is that kind of transit traffic which accounts for over 90% of the additional capacity BAA is seeking.

If more people do that, we will get some more landing fees; the passenger might buy a cup of coffee in the airport. But these gains are outweighed by the costs in air and noise pollution. Our slender chances of meeting climate change targets will be greatly dented.

Hoon suggested that the extra aviation emissions could be offset by increased use of electric cars. He could have rephrased that by saying that any gains from increased use of electric cars would be lost by increased aircraft emissions.

We are used to New Labour being completely in the pocket of private business interests. But the doublespeak about how a third runway is environmentally friendly makes me puke.

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17 thoughts on “Heathrow Bollocks

  • Sue

    Not to forget the human factor in this matter. 700 hundred people being compulsorily purchased, their homes and communities destroyed. Children's schools, local pubs, villages where people have lived all their lives.

    This government has taxed and terrorised the public about green issues and then goes and covers a vast area in concrete.

    Its shameful and if I lived there, I wouldn't move, not for all the tea in China!

  • merkinonparis

    'But the doublespeak about how a third runway is environmentally friendly makes me puke.'

    Reminiscent of Michael White in the Graun emphasing that 500,000 children had been killed by sanctions in Iraq – and saying that, therefore, the invasion was a humanitarian act.

  • amk

    "Reminiscent of Michael White in the Graun emphasing that 500,000 children had been killed by sanctions in Iraq – and saying that, therefore, the invasion was a humanitarian act."

    And yet according to the Lancet published reports, the number of excesses deaths since the invasion has increased from the pre-war Saddam-and-sanctions levels by hundreds of thousands.


  • Richard T

    British Airways has been busily centralising its main international flights at Heathrow so, if you are unfortunate enough to live outwith the south east of England, you are compelled to get to Heathrow to get a flight. Self fulfiling justification to expand Heathrow or simply business economics?

  • mary

    Let's not forget that this 'safe pair of hands' is very bloodied and that they should be resting on the dock in the Hague.

    'Hoon was in charge of the MoD during a period of massive deployments of British troops, including;

    2000 – Operation Palliser – Sierra Leone

    2001 – Exercise Saif Sareea II – Oman

    2001 – Operation Veritas – Afghanistan

    2003 – Operation Telic – Iraq

    Comment on Geoff Hoon's public persona has varied wildly from that of non-descript minister to a capable Defence Secretary and a "safe pair of hands" during and shortly after the 2003 Iraq War, to adjectives such as "slippery" and "dishonest" during the Dr. David Kelly Affair. The label "Geoff Who?" was applied by many national newspapers and he was given the joke nickname "Buff" (buffoon). He was widely expected to resign on the publication of the resulting Hutton Report. Whilst many were not surprised by the absence of any claim of wrong-doing on Tony Blair's behalf there was widespread disbelief that both Hoon and his Permanent Secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, were also completely cleared of any impropriety'.

    Extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Hoon

    where there's a nice photo of him in the Pentagon with his buddy Rumsfeld.

  • George Dutton

    "How in the name of all that's just do we rid ourselves of these people?"


    I have been thinking that since 1957.

    When I think of an answer I'll let you know.

  • spivver

    Pollution being offset by "electric cars"? Pahhhh. I'm fed up hearing this sort of brainwashing nonsense by this war criminal Government. Is anyone asking how much pollution is caused where the electicity is being generated, or the extra electricity needed to be generated due to the loss of energy arising from the resistance and length of the wires to transport the power to the place the car is recharged from. Nah, 'course not, as this shower continually bang on to us about carnon dioxide levels.

    Better way to reduce carbon pollution would be to plant more trees, forests and crops, which, as we should remember from our school lessons, absorb carbon dioxide. Oh no, I forgot, this crowd are too hell bent on cutting down all our trees to make way for extra runways, roads and houses!!

  • amk

    The big potential efficiency win from all electric and hybrid cars is regenerative breaking, where the motors are run as dynamos to brake, and instead of burning off kinetic energy as waste heat use it to generate electricity for reuse. The Lightning, using in-wheel motors and thus avoiding losses in transmission (and no mechanical brakes), claims to be able to recover "almost all" energy. The Prius recovers a rather underwhelming 10%. A recent Morgan fuel cell + ultracapacitor + electric motor concept claimed 50% recovery.

    Rail and trams of course can produce much greater savings. Bicycles more so.

    By suggesting the extra flights can be offset suggests Nulab fails to understand the severity of the problem. Everything needs to be cut.

    BTW, I often hear of Nulab and air industry talking only of CO2 emissions of aircraft. According to the IPCC special report on aviation, the total contribution to climate change of an aircraft is around 2.7 times greater than the contribution of its emitted CO2 alone. Most industrial activity has that ratio around 1.3. By only focussing on CO2, Nulab and the air industry are fudging the figures.

  • writerman


    I must admit that I'm becoming quite a fan of your use of strong, good old, Anglo-Saxon language. There's something really powerful about the sound of many of these words, though the are deemed rather rude 'n' crude in polite company. Cunt, prick, bollocks, arse, cock, simply jump of the page and sound amazing. It would be somewhat ironic if you were remembered for reviving this kind of 'strong language' rather than for your other, more 'valuable' writings.

  • writerman

    Some words around the wounds caused by Hoon.

    I dreamt last night the strangest dream.

    I saw a naked Hoon hanging from a tree.

    His holes revealed for all the world to see.

    It was none too soon for me.

    Tears falling, slowly turning, the rope tight round his balls.

    The pained expression on his face, was almost too much to watch.

    But time and memory brought me back, and showed me this was justice served, at last.

    Remeber who this was, the same Hoon, the same hole, that 'Hooned' us all.

    Lied so long, and so, so, perfidiously, slowly, and idotically.

    Nothing but a dull-eyed slave, in service to his lord, the thieving poltroon of words.

    The master of all deceptions.

    So seen like this, it was only just, that it was here a Hoon should come home to roost.

    It was an old tree, a black tree, a dead tree, the last tree, at the end of runway three.

    Too late for Hoon though, these pained cries of regret.

    'Fuck! It wasn't me! It was Gordon that made me do it! I was only the messenger boy, bouyed up by pride and profit!"

    I would have replied, just for the hell of it, but for the roar of the jets that suddenly ripped the sky above us.

    Oh, Hoon, how could you do it?

    Selling England by the kilo.

    Why weren't you a man, or even an poor attempt at a hero?

    But heroes don't hang og trees these days, do they?

    These days where 'honour' is just a misspelled word.

    What a world we live in!

    The space between three tarred fingers at the end of an iron fist.

    "Mercy!" he cried. But I wept. Not for him though. But for justice, trampled underfoot, where and when it suits them. Rolled over and buried under soot.

    And when the black angel appeared I smiled, and watched the Hoon and the tree start shaking.

    It's great, bat-like wings slowly flapping, coal eyes, and dark moustache vibrating.

    So Hoon was finally damned. At last!

    I yelled "Good riddance!"

    And watched the the grinning Saddam rising, rising.

    Taking the screams and the Hoon with him.

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