8 SEPTEMBER 2014

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Article from BTNews 8 SEPTEMBER 2014

COMMENT: Is Boris punch-drunk?

Having had his plans for an airport in the Thames estuary turned down earlier this year (See BTN 27 January), Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, used his powerful lobbying powers for Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission to take another look at the project.

The bad news for the Mayor is that his ideas have again been thwarted, the Commission issuing a statement last week ‘Inner Thames estuary airport: summary and decision’, effectively throwing out his ideas.

That should be the end of this time-consuming and expensive diversion from the contest to find a solution to London’s hub problem.

Or will it be?

Boris has now decided to offer his services as a candidate for the Uxbridge constituency, which will become vacant at end of this Parliament.  He first has to be selected by the local Conservative party.  That itself will be something of a mountain to climb.  With his known views on Heathrow (at one time he said he wanted it closed) does Uxbridge want an MP who is against the largest local work provider?  And if he succeeds in dealing with that hurdle he has the General Election to surmount.

Why did he not take the easy route to Parliament by offering his services elsewhere in a safe seat?  Hertsmere for instance, effectively a North London seat and easy to get to from his Islington home?  The local airport, Hatfield, was closed years ago.

There is no doubt that Boris Johnson is bright (and breezy).  But like the boxers of old has he taken too many beatings?  Is he punch-drunk?  Has he delivered Gatwick the first new runway?

Finally BTN has been inundated with responses to the Commission's statement from the great and the good.  What is amazing is not a word from Heathrow’s largest operator.  Does British Airways have a view?

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