Transport Select Committee supports Heathrow expansion; film at eleven

We shouldn't really be surprised that the Transport Select Committee has decided that expansion at Heathrow must go ahead. It is, after all, made up of a rag-tag bunch of industry apologists who go out of their way to promote their pet projects.

It counts David Wiltshire, the only local MP to support Heathrow expansion, as one of its members, but he'll be standing down after because he's being investigated for fraud. It's most notable members are a mad Unionist from Northern Ireland who thinks climate change is a republican plot to re-introduce Popery and Graham Stringer, the MP for Manchester Airport.

But never mind their prejudices: let's look at what they say. Their main point seems to be that aviation is getting a hard time. "Aviation" the Committee says, "should be treated equitably in climate change policy - it should not be demonised or assigned symbolic value beyond its true impacts".

I'd agree with that. Aviation is 13% of our climate impact, and instead of making it reduce its emissions, the Government would rather other sectors make bigger cuts. Figures of 90% are being bandied about, and energy is the current favourite to make the reductions. This is a fuel poverty nightmare: poor people suffering rising heating bills to preserve the right of rich people to fly.

The Committee, like most of the Cabinet, already thinks aviation has some symbolic value which must be preserved at all costs. This ideological affection for flying needs to be borught down to earth with a bang. Treating aviation equitably means making it clean up after itself, not forcing the rest of us to subsidise flying and while other sectors pick up the pieces.