The Evening Standard wants more Socialism!


by Tim Fenton    
10:30 am - June 8th 2012

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The Evening Standard, aka the London Daily Bozza, yesterday published a curious piece. Under the by-line of “City Hall correspondent” Peter Dominiczak, it is effectively calling for the creation of a new Thames estuary airport – the “Boris Island” scheme.

This, for the Standard, is not new news. But it is also backing the effective imposition of this scheme by diktat.

The piece looks at the recently constructed Hong Kong airport, a project which had to go ahead given the constraints of the old facility and its mildly hairy approach over the city. This is contrasted with the timescales affecting similar schemes in the UK.

But here a problem enters: the scale of the resources required – not just the money, but also the inevitable enquiries and opposition – cannot be met from private firms alone.

Government must stand behind such a scheme, especially if it is to be pushed through with any speed in the face of what will inevitably be vociferous opposition. And that’s without sorting the SS Richard Montgomery.

So what does the Standard suggest? Apparently, in Hong Kong, now an autonomous region, but a province of the People’s Republic of China none the less, they just decide to do things, and then go right ahead and do them. So presumably all those rotten environmentalists and others opposed to dumping an airport in the Thames estuary would be forced aside.

After all, no airport of any size in the UK has ever been built without at least some public money being advanced: even London City was granted a substantial sum by the London Development Agency. Heathrow was developed by Government, as were Gatwick and Stansted.

All other significant airports in the UK were the result of local or national Government intervention (notably via the RAF).

And if Boris Island is to go ahead, in the way that the Standard is suggesting, it too will need significant Government intervention.

So the London Daily Bozza is effectively calling for the imposition of this project by state socialist means, all of which is curiously apposite for a paper that is owned by a Russian businessman.

What career Tory Bozza will make of this is not clear.

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About the author
Tim is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more frequently at Zelo Street
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Reader comments


My thanks as ever to Sunny for bringing this to a wider audience. The original is here:

http://zelo.tv/MjibKM

And yes, the Standard’s piece is curious indeed. Very.

Curious definition of socialism….

I would have thought that whenever a major new airport is to be built that the government should both have a say in it and some form of financial commitment. It can then recoup its costs by developing the old airport site.

Of course, I may be wrong and a new airport can just be built having gained local planning permission.

JC: it’s hard to know, since a major new airport hasn’t been built in the UK for generations. Certainly, everything at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted since 1986 has been privately funded, and the third runway at Heathrow would be.

2

It is a curious definition of socialism and, of course, what they mean is a capitalist state tinkering with the economy, novel idea isn’t it?

Johnb,

Part of my point was that the planning application would almost certainly be referred to central government rather than be handled locally, so the government would automatically be involved. In a capitalist system, it would be “a local decision by local people”. Central government would then hogtie it to increase the costs, thus requiring government funding and then more conditions.

arent they missing an inconvenient truth called peak oil, in a couple of decades both air travel and car travel will plummet, because fuel will be too expensive! So wouldn’t it be a white elephant?

JC: there is no connection between the “capitalist/socialist” and “devolutionist/centralist” axes that you seem to be implying. The former is about economic systems; the latter is about how government is structured. A wholly capitalist state with near-powerless local government is completely feasible, as is a social-democratic state with strong local government.

The Evening Standard wants more Socialism! – what would you expect from from a paper owned by a kgb man?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Jason Brickley

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  3. Indrani Mitra

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  6. LibertyPatriot

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  7. Donnie Moore

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  8. Thames Estuary

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  9. BevR

    The Evening Standard wants more Socialism! | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bAz4x666 via @libcon





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