Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heathrow Expansion Just Got Easier

A third runway at Heathrow is back on the cards, after MPs voted for a new unelected and unaccountable quango to push through the expansion plans and New Labour's other pet projects. 

MPs finally had a chance yesterday to vote on whether they wanted to replace accountable public inquiries, with an unelected Planning Commission. 

In the end, just 17 True Labour MPs had the courage and sense to vote against the Bill - they at least can hold their heads up high. 

The Planning Bill had been delayed twice and was rewritten with a few concessions to try to push it through. 

The result was a watered down Bill making the new Planning Commission just a bit more accountable. 

But the idea still is to scrap lengthy and accountable public enquires for massive building projects ranging from nuclear power stations, wind farms and incinerators, airports, new towns, roads and reservoirs. In fact anything that could be unpopular. 

Even with the concessions, the new Commission is just a smoke-screen to fast-track the developments and by-pass the planning process in quangoland.

Brown faced a parliamentary revolt, with this new Planning Commission coming under fire from MPs outraged at yet another hugely expensive, unaccountable and unelected bureaucratic quango.

The back-bench revolt from his own party was stronger than ever and even the cabinet was split on the issue. 

But in the end, the wheeling and dealing over concessions saved Brown's skin, again.

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