Ruth Kelly

Vote Plane Stupid for Transport Secretary

Vote for me

So it’s goodbye to Ruth Kelly, bane of environmentalists and apostle of airport expansion, who has resigned to spend more time with her family. Who will be next? No one seems to know (but everyone has an opinion), so rather than play musical cabinet chairs, I’m going to throw my hat in the ring. Gordon, if you’re listening, I’d be very happy to take over as Secretary of State for Transport.

I know that I’m not a Member of Parliament – although that didn’t stop you opting for Digby – but I have taken transport issues to the very top of the House of Commons. That’s got to count for something, right? After all, from what I’ve seen Transport Ministers are just meant to get in bed with aviation bosses, and how hard can that be?

Where's Kelly?

Ruth Kelly with closed eyes

Transport minister, Ruth Kelly, is often hob-nobbing with aviation bosses. Just days before the start of the T5 fiasco she was drinking champagne at a special BAA party. The 2,000 residents who will be evicted if a third runway gets the go-ahead, on the other hand, haven't had sight nor sound of her. I wonder why?

Fed up with being fobbed off by the Minister, angry West Londoners have launched a 'Find Ruth Kelly' campaign. Bryan Sobey, 78, a resident of Sipson for more than 45 years told the Sunday Times, "We have asked Ruth Kelly to see us, but she hasn't come here."

Why would she? I mean, she only wants to bulldoze their homes - it's not like she could go and show a bit of empathy. Menanwhile, the Sunday Times's investigation into Heathrow's expansion plans continues with fresh revelations that a 'crash landing zone' for the proposed third runway would overlap with a junction of the M25. Hmm...

Climate change is just a fad, says Ruth

Consultation paragraph 322

One week to go until the most sophisticated and cruel practical joke ever to be played on the two million plus residents of West London and Berkshire ends. The more I read the absurd consultation document the more I am convinced that they either can’t possibly be serious, or that they truly believe – like Mikey O’Leary - that climate change is just the current florescent angst of today’s youth.

A classic example of the DfT’s blinkered lunacy is the above paragraph from page 44 of the consultation which explains with glee what a third runway would bring. Read that last sentence again. Apparently the "unconstrained demand forecast" by 2030 would in fact be restricted, by unexplained "environmental constraints". What are these constraints that dare upset the analysts' demand forecasts?

Ruth Kelly plays 20 questions

Ruth Kelly gets interviewed

The 2M Group - local authorities under the Heathrow flight path - have compiled a list of 20 questions for Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, about the third runway.

Have you assessed the climate change impact of the extra 3 million tonnes per annum of CO2 admissions produced by the third runway alone?

Emission trading scheme - a license to print money


Sorry to go all Daily Mail on y'all, but you really couldn't make it up. The emissions trading scheme, the Government's preferred method of reducing aviation's contribution to climate change, is likely to generate up to £4 billion in windfall profits for the industry.

A report commissioned for the DfT and Defra into the effects of the ETS, reveals how the scheme will reward airlines with too many free credits, which will then be sold on by industry. The airlines are expected to use the spectre of the trading scheme to raise their own prices, charging customers for the emissions generated by their flight - despite recieving 96-97% of their current emissions in free credits.

Ruth Kelly has cake, eats it

Plane cake

Yesterday Ruth Kelly appeared at an aviation conference, attended by the great and good of the aviation industry. She regaled them all with a speech which called for... well, business as usual really, with a dash of greenwash.

Kelly has totally bought the premise that economic growth and environmental salvation are intrinsically linked. Sadly this is utter tosh: our society is only able to produce goods and services at the rate it does because of our wanton disregard for the environment. As far as aviation is concerned, you have to ask who you trust more: the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change research (prognosis: aviation expansion cannot co-exist with climate change targets) or Rod Eddington, former head of British Airways (motto: keep on flyin').

Government responds to Stern Review and Eddington

In a shocking move, the Government has called for an end to all new road building and runway expansion.

Responding to the Stern Review and Eddington Report, Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly said "For too long we've been forced to pretend we can have sustainable transport growth - a policy that's lead to more driving, more flying, more emissions."

"Well those days are over. It's time for a radical rethink of aviation expansion. For the sake of the planet, we're hitting the emergency stop button."

Of course she didn't really say any of that - it's business as usual!