Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Well yesterday the UK transport minister Chris Grayling, a man responsible for the nation’s space programme, which surprised me as I thought that was solely between the man’s ears (he really is the London Planetarium of politicians, bald, expensive and pointless) announced that the government was going to press ahead with the building of a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Now if I still lived in London the decision would have bothered me because a) the environmental impact b) the feeling that too much is being placed on Heathrow c) whether given Brexit it’s actually needed at all.
However I don’t live in London I live in South Wales. And from this standpoint all I can see is a decision that will benefit further London and the South East but nowhere else.
Apparently though I’m wrong. So says Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies. A man who has the look of someone who takes politics between meals so that it doesn’t spoil his appetite. He said that the expansion of the airport was vital and deliver huge benefits to the Welsh economy.
To which my response is…..really?
The distance between Heathrow airport and Cardiff is just over two and three quarter hours by car. In moderate traffic it’s actually quicker to drive to Birmingham from Heathrow. Of course in a lot of cases that wouldn’t matter. Why? Because Birmingham has an international airport of it’s own. I’ve never been there, but I understand it’s a much bigger operation than the Cardiff equivalent. It’s very difficult therefore to believe that despite Welsh taxpayer’s money being thrown into this Wales is going to have any benefit whatsoever.
And the phrase “huge benefits to the Welsh economy” comes straight out of Mr Davies’ tweet. Of course if there is any benefit (And he doesn’t back this up with any detail) it’s probably just the South Eastern part. You know, the part blog villain Alun Cairns gives the impression of wishing to see twinned with Bristol.
Now to boost his argument Mr Davies encloses a link to Heathrowexpansion.com (so not unbiased though to be fair neither am I) which quoted the independent airports commissions conclusions stating that there would be jobs and economic growth for Wales (and again it says Wales not South Wales – How would all of Wales benefit?
I have not the time to go through the report (I will admit that) but do I really need to? Given that the report it quotes is dated July 2015. In other words before the EU referendum And therefore wouldn’t any economic data have to be reevaluated in the light of Brexit? I mean at time of writing nobody, not even the UK government knows what the consequences are and the type of Brexit that will appear.
Furthermore the Heathrow Expansion link mentions the train links to Wales. That’s the Intercity train link where stabilisers have to be put on west of Cardiff because the UK government wouldn’t pay the pittance to do this yet is happy to put welsh taxpayer’s money on essentially a vanity project for London and the South-East?
Is this fair? I don’t think so.
Until the next time.