The reaction by Boris Johnson and Cllr Daniel Moylan following the decision by the Airport Commission to exclude ‘Boris Island’ from the three schemes that they will consider for the expansion of Londons Airport capacity reveals why Boris is not suited to higher office. The final decision over this issue will depend on the political judgement of a number of people and the Mayor of London will be one of these people. As we know Boris will not be Mayor for more than a few months after the full report is published and Cllr Moylan as elected representative for Kensington may not be the choice of the new Mayor as Airport Champion. Cllr Moylan was asked by Mayor Johnson in 2010 to take on political responsibility for the Mayor of London’s proposed new airport for London. The new Mayor may support the Boris Island approach or the person elected may have a different set of priorities. It is perfectly proper for the Government to appoint a Commission to help to narrow down the choices over expanding the Airport capacity in the Capital, and in due course for the decision to vary from the Commissions judgement. However such variance needs to be justified and explained, particularly if the final choice is more costly (in financial, social or environmental terms) to the conclusion of the report.
If as Cllr Moylan and Boris have claimed the siting of the Airport will be decided politically, even in a nation in which has mixed understandings of democracy, that political judgement cannot be replaced with imposition of a pet project of anyone, no matter how popular. Indeed such an approach would be more in keeping with a benign dictatorship, although of course in such settings, the cost of the commission would be saved. Let us not forget that many people in the UK do not and will not ever use the Airport. That many analysts question if new capacity is either needed or should be allowed. The political decision that will decide where the new concrete will be poured must take all of these factors into account and then finally make the tough call. Boris and Cllr Moylan know full well that they cannot influence the decision, but they have already gained tremendous publicity for their own careers by getting the Island considered by the Commission and now by the ongoing posturing. That is not the behaviour of serious statesmen, and Boris will never be considered that by many of us.
values when the language of democracy is exploredthis language cannot be used for is unlikely to remain aand his adviser on air transport – rubbishing Howard Davis for being myopic, claiming their campaign is not over. Explaining that the final decision is to be a Political one, and that Davis has ignored this.