They think it's all over...


Apologies for the lack of blog post yesterday declaring the conflict to be over and thanking everyone from my stylist to my cat's stylist to the drama teacher who believed in me. I was climbing in the Peak District, having first phoned BAA to check that they weren't planning to make any big announcements while I was away. Their publicist assured me that they weren't, so I packed my bags and went.

But through the impenetrable morning fog came a quiet vibrating. Leo: "Seen the news?" Me: "No, just drizzle and sheep." Leo: "BAA's canceled the third runway." Me: "Ah. Nice." Leo: "Oh, and half of Greenpeace is on the roof of Parliament."

So BAA has told Theresa Villiers that there's not to be a planning application submitted before the election, and Villiers has sworn that scrapping the third runway is a manifesto commitment. Unless the polls are wrong (and some of us who grew up under Thatcher might be wishing that they were) the Conservatives will win the next election. Ipso facto, no new runway at Heathrow.

At the moment it's all speculation, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that expansion at Stansted and Heathrow is pretty sunk. But that doesn't mean that the battle is over. Across the UK craven councillors, regional development tossers and the Secretary of State for Climate Change are all trying to get regional airports expanded. While the third runway may have been the symbol of climate illiteracy, regional airport expansion is a testament to the self-important: "Bristol has to have a great big airport or I'll feel inadequate when I meet councillors from other cities."

So rest assured: Plane Stupid is not giving up and going home. While last week was an awesome one for climate change activists - agreement on deforestation in the Amazon, no Kingsnorth, no third runway - there's still plenty of fight to be had. Over the next year we'll be taking on the regional airport expansion programme and that great generator of demand, deliberately misleading airline adverts ("Fly to Barcelona right fucking now or you'll have nothing to talk about at work on Monday"). We'd really like you to come along for the ride.

In fact, why not start now by grabbing your mates and dragging them to the Great Climate Swoop next weekend? You're also invited to Copenhagen in December, and why not join us as we occupy the runway of... oh wait, that action's a secret. You'll just have to wait and see.