Saturday, January 17, 2009

Runaway

If only it would, but the Third Runway debate is here to stay and so, I suspect, is the Third Runway itself, bringing peace and happiness to all those of us who live under its putative flight path. Regardless of the ins and outs of the runway debate itself (I don't really want it, suspect it's probably an economic boon, and believe it's inevitable), there is no doubt that the political wake thrown up by its proposition is casting an interesting light on both parliament and pressure groups. The antics of Plane Stupid have already been mentioned on this blog. Students might also want to examine the growing rebellion on the Labour benches over it. The Cabinet is alleged to be divided, and the number of Labour MPs apparently ready to vote against it in the Commons will cause real trouble for Gordon Brown, esepcially since the Tories have decided they are going to oppose it as well. Gordon Brown, for all his troubles in his brief tenure to date as PM, hasn't actually faced a proper Commons defeat (unlike his predecessor) yet. This may change.

Thursday's debate on the issue saw some bad-tempered exchanges between Labour MPs and the droning Geoff Hoon, cast once again as the goverment's patsy in charge of an unpopular policy. John McDonnell went so far as to pick up the mace, the symbol of parliamentary authority, although in a rather more delicate fashion than Michael Heseltine back in the 70s, who brandished it above his head, winning the sobriquet 'Tarzan' from then on. McDonnell was expelled for 7 days. The Bill, meanwhile, rolls on.

2 comments:

chris.schofield said...

Why does nothing like this ever happen at student council?

GM said...

Maybe we should introduce a mace?