There are 415 British MPs who don’t take climate change seriously enough. That is the number who voted to build a third runway at Heathrow earlier this week; 119 of them were Labour. The plans sailed through Parliament, despite some vocal but limited resistance. Only 119 MPs voted against it. Most of them weren’t worried that a third runway would make it near impossible to meet the government’s carbon reduction commitments. They were concerned that the plans were London-centric and might sideline transport projects in the north.
Trouble does seem to haunt the footsteps of Colin Matthews, the chief executive of BAA, the company that runs the currently icebound Heathrow airport on behalf of its Spanish masters Ferrovial. This is the same Colin Matthews who was running the private water monopoly Severn Trent in 2007 when 350,000 of its customers were cut off for days on end; they were subsequently charged for the days they had no water, even though, at the time they were unable to wash, the company authorised a payout of £143 million to its shareholders.