Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cabinet Split Over Planning Quango

Buried deep in Blears' missing laptop and buried in a BBC report on the alleged theft, was a file giving just a small glimmer of hope to the growing campaign against the ridiculous expansion of Heathrow airport and Brown's 'eco-towns' con. 

According to the BBC, the laptop files, "also contained information that shows cabinet members disagree over the government's proposed planning laws."

Those 'proposed planning laws' are New Labour's cunning plan to by-pass the planning process with a new expensive, unelected and unaccountable planning quango.

This latest bureaucratic quango would be stuffed with New Labour cronies on fat salaries whose brief is to fast-track and nod-through pet projects. 

The proposed new planning law was due to be discussed by MPs in parliament only last week but with the increasing chance of a defeat for Brown, it was quietly shelved for the time being. 

Faced with stiff opposition from Conservatives, LibDems and back-bench Labour MPs, this didn't stand a change of getting through parliament. With the reported cabinet split on the issue, it now looks as if Brown couldn't even carry some of the New Labour faithful.

Heathrow expansion, has been exposed as just a money-making wheeze for big business, a disaster for the people who have to live nearby and it doesn't stand a chance of getting past tough new EU air quality rules. 

'Eco-towns', one of Brown's Big Ideas, have been exposed as a sham, a sneaky way of just building thousands of new houses in rural areas and  branded as 'eco-towns' as part of the spin. In the face of a huge and growing backlash, a short list of 57 was whittled down to 15, then 10.

One of the key proposals of the new planning laws is replacing accountable public inquiries with an unelected planning commission. 

This would cover massive building projects ranging from nuclear power stations, wind farms and incinerators, airports, new towns, roads and reservoirs. In fact anything that's unpopular.

But without a fast-track to ignore the planning process, these schemes could be on the back-burner for a while.

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