The sticky problem will not go away


Gordon Brown has come to a sticky end. He cuts a forlorn figure: out-of-office, soon to be out-of-Parliament. His aviation policy is in tatters, the jewel in its crown – a third runway at Heathrow – is no more. The new Government has pledged to scrap it.

That decision comes at the end of a momentous campaign lasting nearly a decade, involving local communities, activists, national campaign organisations, sympathetic politicians, some trade unions and even some leading business figures. A progressive rainbow coalition if ever there was one.

You'll probably remember our mate Dan supergluing himself to Gordon Brown. The pictures should act as a warning to the new Government. Yes, Heathrow has been dropped and they're saying that there won't be any new runways at Stansted or Gatwick either. But what about the proposed expansion at Southend, London City, Manchester, East Midlands, Glasgow... need I go on?

Cancelling Heathrow is one thing. The real test comes with these regional airports. Activists stand ready. Unless Cameron and Clegg scupper these plans, they can count on a very sticky future.