Useful lesson, you can’t trust politicians

Heathrow’s third runway is “unlawful” because locals bought houses and sent children to schools due to repeated Tory promises it would not happen, campaigners are arguing.

In legal documents seen by this newspaper, four Tory councils challenging the Government are arguing their residents had a “legitimate” expectation” the project would not be approved.

They have identified 19 “broken promises” made by David Cameron, Theresa May and other political figures saying the third runway would be scrapped.

As far as I can tell these promises all date back to pre-2010.

And anyone who believes the promises of an opposition politician deserves what they get, good and hard, no?

23 thoughts on “Useful lesson, you can’t trust politicians”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Yes, no one should believe a politician. The unfairness of extended planning procedures are pretty awful though.

    Imagine living under the proposed airport’s flight corridors for decade after decade without the certainty either way?

    We need faster approvals.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    Gordon Brown won a court case that decided manifesto commitments were contracts so good luck with utterances, newspaper articles and the like.

  3. BNiD: “Not contracts” I think you mean.

    They would be far better off looking for dirt on the poli-pigs to ruin the careers of same rather than whinging about the lies and worthless “promises” that are the stock-in-trade of all such poli-scum.

  4. What a load of crybabies.

    the residents of the Boroughs (particularly the residents of Hillingdon) planned their lives on the basis that there would be no third runway at Heathrow

    Hillingdon is north of the airport. The flight paths, and thus the noise, is east-west. Hillingdon have nothing to complain about.

    As for Wandsworth (also moaning in the article), I’ve lived there, and most days you don’t hear the airport. Besides, if you have sensitive hearing, living in the city isn’t for you.

    I have more sympathy for the residents of Hounslow. But as they all seem to be recent immigrants, they can’t be that bothered.

    It’s still a ridiculously over-priced scheme: Gatwick’s 2nd runway would be a third of the price, a lot less disruptive, and it would introduce true competition.

  5. Gordon Brown won a court case that decided manifesto commitments were contracts so good luck with utterances, newspaper articles and the like.

    I think you’ll find that applied specifically only to Labour promises.

  6. the residents of the Boroughs (particularly the residents of Hillingdon) planned their lives on the basis that there would be no third runway at Heathrow

    I bet they didn’t.

    “Great, I have two job offers, one at the hospital, the other at Sainsbury’s. Which one shall I accept?”
    “Well, that depends on whether a third runway is built”.

    “Where shall we go on holiday this year, dear?”
    “Well love, depends on that third runway”

    “Timmy, what do you want Father Christmas to bring you this year?”
    “Well daddy, that depends on whether they build a third runway”.

  7. The real issue with the third runway is the one almost nobody talks about….that the new flight paths will mean almost all of London will now be under a low flying aeroplane. Not just places in west London that always have been. Still at least BA gets its hub and BAA makes more money out of stranded ‘shoppers’, so that’s all right then.

  8. If they had pushed for a decision to be taken that there was no 3rd runway and never would be then yes they may have a case.
    If there was no decision made because politicians kept kicking it into the long grass then there was no decision made.
    Promises are all well and good but they do not trump a decision made years later.

  9. Like this was never eventually going to be the solution.

    Airports are a lot about agglomeration. You have an airport with good roads, a good rail service into the city, hotels, freight and courier companies at it. It’s just better to put another runway there.

    The problem is, everyone wants all the good features of cities (like jobs), but they want some other cunt to get the downsides (like airports). You just gambled on not being the cunt to get the airport, and lost. Sorry, cunts.

  10. Did these people who moved to be near an airport forget about the airport at the time?
    And that city airports do tend to expand – heathrow started off small!

  11. UK law is that “no government can bind its successors” so this is just a nuisance suit that should be disallowed by the first court to hear it.

  12. John. UK law? What’s that then? British constitutional law under English law, is that no parliament can bind a successor parliament by statute. That’s not this judicial review stuff… that’s whatever judges judge it should be… and they generally love to determine what is due process and what isn’t.

  13. @ Hallowed Be
    The judicial review will decide whether the minister was correctly exercisding his/her power, but it will not overturn a bill passed by Parliament. Remember Burmah Oil: after battling through the courts against the government for years, the House of Lords ruled that Harold Wilson as President of the Board of Trade had broken the law by failing to protect the company or compensate it for the expropriation of its property so Harold Wilson as Prime Minister put through a law to nullify the compensation that it was owed.

  14. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Build a Shanghai-style maglev between Heathrow and Gatwick – transit time ~25 mins, which is less than it already takes to transfer between Heathrow terminals. Rename Gatwick to Heathrow South. Job’s a good ‘un 🙂

  15. Yeah a statute trumps all. We do know that. A statute does have to be passed and assented to though. You can’t just say ” we could if we wanted to” The law doesn’t work like that. (And retrospective statutes are a bit frowned on so it wouldn’t be an automatic thing to do). So no this won’t be thrown out of court for the reason that no “government can bind its successors” it will be decided on the basis of whether political promises in time period a are sufficient to bind ministers’ decisions down the line in time period a plus 10, because people took them into account when buying or not selling their houses. It ought to be thrown out though because even manifestos (a list of political promises essentially) are not binding on anything. How can they be if they have not been enacted into legislation? I don’t know it any detail but it does have the possibility of some creative judicial law making on the face of it, which is always a worry.

  16. Chris Miller: the transit time between the two airports isn’t the issue. It’s the transit time between the airport and the final destination. Anyway, Gatwick to Heathrow can be done in about 25 minutes now, outside of rush hour.

    BiW : ” You have an airport with good roads, a good rail service” – sounds like a plan. Perhaps we ought to give it a go.

  17. Chris Miller,

    Look at the trouble HS2 is facing from the usual NIMBYs. Look at the cost of HS2, £125m per mile. Heathrow to Gatwick is 25 miles as the crow flies; the shortest indirect route is more like 40 miles. That’s £5bn. The numbers just don’t add up.

    Besides, there already is a railway which runs from Heathrow to Gatwick with a single change (or at least there will be by 2019). Spending £5bn so that passengers can save 30 minutes on a 15-hour journey is a terrible idea.

  18. @DMD – It’s nearly 40 miles, 25 minutes would be averaging 100mph. It usually takes me 25 mins to get from the car park onto the motorway.

    @AM – using the monstrous boondoggle that’s HS2 as a benchmark is always going to produce ludicrous numbers. The Shanghai monorail cost $1.2 billion for about half the distance. That’s assuming it would broadly follow the route of existing motorways – a straight line would be significantly shorter. But following the m’ways means that there’s no significant environmental issues.

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