A survey flysheet from local Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond,
received a couple of days back was interesting as much for the questions
he asked about local concerns as the possible answers. The idea of canvassing
his electors with unsolicited questions about views on topics they consider
to be important is a good one although doubtless as a politician the questions
are formulated in such a way to project him and his Conservative party in
One question reads:
"Plans are currently being discussed to expand Heathrow Airport further. What is your
view of this idea?"
As I regard shares investing as a good thing and as a better Heathrow should
also be better for business and share prices, the logical answer
to Mr Hammonds question would be that it is a good idea.
However ethics and green issues often have different time frames from businesses and it didn't take the blast
of a jet plane's engines coincidentally intruding into what had until then
been a glorious morning reading the Sunday papers over coffee in the garden,
to make me appreciate that society as we have known it in C20 has to change
in C21 and that ever increasing jetting around the planet is simply unsustainable.
In the UK politicians have to be re-elected every few years so it takes a brave
MP or government to make a stand against an issue such as airport expansion,
where in the short term, the stand will be costly, detrimental to business and employment yet which could well, in the long term, catalyse the kind of sea change for society that environmental
conditions on planet Earth, not to mention oil price rocketing, mean brave governments
have to make in C21 for the common good and survival of human life on the planet.
Stephen Hammond deserves a few replies, if not answers.