…same as the old boss, obviously, and still banging the same old drum.  Truly it’s once more round the merry-go-round for us:

Yes, Boris Island/Peninsula is still going.  Apparently it’s now being pushed as part of Boris’s entirely nebulous and imaginary push for growth and jobs.  There are a couple of issues with this:

  1. you can’t build an airport in four years, so if all Boris is going to do to tackle unemployment of 10% and rising is promise things he can’t deliver he’s going to disappoint people
  2. you don’t boost jobs and growth in London by moving west London’s major employer (and the country’s largest single site employer) to Kent

Additionally, of course, all the other objections are still valid:

  1. the landing path from the east is over a ship full of bombs
  2. it’s prone to fog
  3. it’s prone to birdstrikes
  4. it’s prone to climate change induced flooding
  5. there’s a huge ecosystem of technology and other companies in the Thames Valley because Heathrow is there
  6. the airlines won’t move unless you close Heathrow
  7. the Government can’t tell Heathrow’s Spanish owners what to do with their airport without a hefty cheque accompanying it.
  8. the air traffic control service have said it’s the worst place to put an airport, and that the proposers hadn’t bothered to consult them

The whole airport project was just about understandable as an appeal to west London voters over the third runway and aircraft noise. That’s not an issue any more, with re-election off the agenda.  It’s therefore tempting to conclude that it’s now either about pure Boris vanity, positioning against the increasingly gaffe-prone Prime Minister he wants to succeed or just Boris being the voice of the last person to put a stupid idea in his head, as usual.

On that last point it’s also interesting to note that both of the main airport boosters are moving on; Daniel Moylan is moving from chairing TfL while Boris is away with the fairies (i.e. all the time) to the London Legacy Development Corporation (replacing Baroness Ford) while Kit Malthouse, assuming they can work out the difficult ‘following the rules’ bit of appointing his successor, is leaving (being demoted from a job created especially for him) from his Deputy Mayor for Police/Crime/Dangerous Dogs to a business role.  It’s tempting to suggest that both of them are now in position to act as even stronger airport pushers than before.  I’m sure Malthouse will sternly advocate that the airport will be good for business while Moylan will blather about building an neo-Georgian new town on Heathrow.  Same faces, different roles, same rubbish.

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