The Heathrow Vote Shows Why Labour Keep Stalling

Labour seems unwilling to grasp that we’re living in the twenty first century.

The decision to expand Heathrow Airport is nothing short of an environmental disaster. It’s a betrayal of the British Parliament to all global nations. The ramifications of climate change have been made painfully stark: poorer people across the world will ultimately suffer the most.

It is unconscionable that the UK Parliament would take this decision. The Government has used the huge popularity of Blue Planet 2 to try to bolster its own environmental image but we now know its commitment is based upon bullshit. You cannot claim to care about this planet and then allow policies which will ultimately accelerate climate change. However, this is not only the Government’s fault. This decision could have been blocked if Labour stood firm but yet again they didn’t.

Labour have come under increasing scrutiny of late about whether they really are willing to oppose the Tories. Not all of this has been fair. In Brexit, Labour actually can’t do anything at all. It’s the Government’s negotiations which matter. Labour might get a say in the final deal (and we still have no idea what that looks like) but right now Tory decisions are not their fault. Labour though can and do influence domestic policy. They could have whipped the vote on Heathrow. They chose not to.

“Labour have come under increasing scrutiny of late about whether they really are willing to oppose the Tories”

Labour’s decision demonstrates just how lacklustre they seem right now. Corbyn wants people to oppose the Tories but only if they really, really want to. It’s hardly inspiring leadership. This was a calamitous decision and Labour were swayed purely for the short-sighted aim of “jobs” regardless of the areas around Heathrow (and how it very much will impact working class people) and the global environmental damage it will bring.

Labour have no long term vision. They’re stuck in the 70s with a completely outdated idea of what socialism should be. We need a more equal society but we cannot deliver equality and social justice without also committing to climate justice.

This wasn’t just a mistake, it was a decision borne from ignorance and the desire to brush off all concerns around climate change. Successive governments and opposition leaders have wanted climate change to be someone else’s problem. They don’t want to take the hard decisions. They want jobs and the economy to do well now. Well, the clock has finally ran down. Climate change is here now and it’s impact is already being felt. Neither May nor Corbyn can pass the buck on this one. The decision to expand Heathrow is a diabolical decision, and one which history will hold them both accountable for.

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