Government tells government to stop building runways

Stop sign 2

The Sustainable Development Commission, the government’s green watchdog, has decided that destroying the planet may be harmful to the environment. God alone knows how this bunch of dangerous subversives managed to get through the quango filter. Even more amazingly, despite the SDC being a creation of the Blair government, not a single one of its members used to be the chief executive of British Airways.

They've told the government to stop it's mad schemes for airport expansion, and to rethink the whole dammed aviation thingie. Well really - this total lack of joined-up-government is likely to be a severe embarrassment to Gordon Brown, although it is right at the back of the queue. The PM has allegedly penciled in a deep blush and guttural stutter from now through to late November, 2009.

So what did the SDC say? Nothing that you, I and everyone else reading this doesn’t already know. No-one trusts the government on this issue, for very good reason, and they need to put their expansion plans on hold until they can actually make a plausible case (and good luck to them on that one). Here are some of my favourite quotes –

"urgent need for renewed political leadership"
"fundamental disagreement"
"lack of policy coherence"
"widespread controversy"
"rising distrust"
"taking the piss"

These are all from the SDC report - apart from the last one which is from the Plane Stupid website. However, the quote of the day comes from our old friend Michelle Di Leo of Flying Matters, who came up with this masterstroke of under-stated wit - "The air transport white paper was based on 13 months of public consultation and 500,000 responses. If that doesn't represent thorough consultation, I don't know what does."

For those of you who don’t get the joke, this is the punch line - Funny huh?