Blears gets roasting in Planning Bill debate

Blears protest

Oh to have been in Parliament on Monday - although I'm not sure I'm allowed in anymore, given what happened last time...

The Government's Planning Bill - basically an attempt to prevent another Terminal 5 inquiry (the longest in British legal history) - was up for discussion, and MPs from all sides of the House chimed in to criticise Hazel Blears and her madcapped schemes to steamroller through public opinion.

John Gummer, former-Tory Minister of BSE-burger fame, mocked the Government's efforts and predicted a wave of direct action:

"[The public] will not put up with it. The Secretary of State will not get what she wants quicker, but very much slower, because Swampy will rule."

John McDonnell explained that the principle concern of the Bill was to facilitate the construction of more roads, runways and nuclear power stations. He then proceeded to praise the Camp for Climate Action, with another warning for the Secretary of State:

"The climate camp came to my constituency in the summer and I welcomed it. I had the best political discussion about climate change that I have had anywhere. Those who came to the camp operated effectively. Two thousand people turned up overnight, set up a camp, operated peacefully, made their protest and pushed the issue up the media’s agenda and that of us all.

"There is no guarantee in future that, if the Government undermine confidence and trust in the political process, similar direct action will not spill over into other forms of action, which the Government and all of us would regret."

The debate continues...