Boris Johnson

Boris's nonsense island airport

We don't need any more airports! In truth, more airport expansion would be a disaster. We cannot expand our airports and reach our climate change reduction targets at the same time – this is a fact that we have been shouting off roofs, on runways etc for years. But Boris Johnson just doesn't seem to get it.

On Monday 22nd November, Boris issued a report which said building a new airport in the Thames Estuary, 'dubbed Boris Island', would allow Britain to tap into billions of pounds of foreign investment and would provide more airport capacity. However campaigners are challenging these statistics. AirportWatch, the umbrella organisation representing aviation campaigning groups, has produced figures which show that London already has a greater number of flights to the world’s main business destinations than any of its European rivals. In total, London’s airports have over 1000 departure flights each week to the key business destinations compared with Paris’s 499, Frankfurt’s 443, and Amsterdam’s 282. The full figures are published HERE.

What is even more concerning is that Boris has refused to even acknowledge the threat of climate change. The Heathrow 3rd runway plans were partly grounded because of climate change arguments so when Boris doesn't even mention climate change you have to start worrying. The reality remains that if the aviation industry were to keep to their promises to get its emissions down to 2000 levels, they will not need any extra runways at all as they would have to cut flying by 35%.

In terms of location there is also the small issue of the Liquefied Natural Gas facility which lies in the way. The Isle of Grain, where Boris wants to build his silly airport, is home to one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas terminals, which sees a fifth of the UK’s gas supply offloaded by container ships and stored there. Lethal liquid gas for the area comes via the container port at the Isle of Grain which surely rules out these bizarre airport plans in the first place.

Boris Island is now right up there on our radar and Plane Stupid will be keeping an eye out for any new developments to the story. Kent County Council and Medway Council, along with the RSPB, will all fight the scheme. You can add Plane Stupid to that list too.

Boris flies to New York to diss video conferencing

It's a hard life being the Mayor of London - especially when you'd much rather be the PM. But Boris and his Bullingdon chums are never more than a hop-skip-jump away from a freebie, so this week he's flown off to New York to promote British Airways's latest campaign against video conferencing.

That's right: the Mayor of London, who opposed expansion at Heathrow and who is supposed to represent the caring-sharing face of Compassionate Conservativism is taking backhanders (well, four business class flights) from an airline to expressly oppose the idea that we could do quite a lot of what we do without sitting in a tube of metal half-way above the Atlantic.

BA's 'Face to Face' campaign is nothing short of an attempt to derail the recession-inspired decline in flying, which was driven by accounts departments suddenly remembering that it's perfectly OK to call someone with whom you would like to do business instead of packing a bag and heading to Heathrow. Can you imagine a more cruel and heartless world than one where business deals are not concluded in the top floor bar of the Hilton Cairo with a nod, a wink and a large glass of wine?

So, great that Boris enjoyed his holiday. Now BoJo, would you mind staying in the States permanently? It's not like you do any work while you're here - except for phasing out perfectly accessible buses for less frequent, less spacious alternatives...

Boris backs Thames Estuary airport

Thames Barrier

As the battle for the London Mayor warms up, so the press releases by the candidates get wilder and wilder. If King Newt announces free bus travel for under-18s, Boris proposes banning non-adults from buses altogether. Meanwhile Paddick throws his lot in with the cabbies, and everyone steals Sian's opposition to the third runway.

But the latest idea doing the rounds is the Thames Estuary airport. Long known primarily for being the sort of place your parents complained that you sounded like you came from, the Thames Estuary is now being promoted by Boris Johnson as the solution to the whole 'economy v Londoners' battle which rages nightly in the Evening Standard.