Emma Thompson: Strike a blow to the government's insane plans to expand Heathrow

Posted by Emma Thompson - 23 January 2009 at 7:19pm - Comments

Emma Thompson copyright Clive CooteActress Emma Thompson has been helping us oppose the government's plans for a third runway at Heathrow. With a vote on the runway now scheduled for next Wednesday, Emma explains how you can help us make sure MPs who oppose Heathrow expansion follow their conscience and vote against the third runway. 

Dear Greenpeace supporter,

On Wednesday there will be a vote in parliament on a third runway at Heathrow. Ahead of this vote we urgently need your help to put pressure on Labour MPs to vote with their conscience and say NO to a third runway. We already have the support of the LibDems and Tory MPs.

The government is treating us as if we're stupid. They're asking all of us to reduce our energy consumption while they build another runway at Heathrow. I think it's the most egregious piece of hypocrisy I've seen in a long time.

Fifty-seven Labour MPs signed an Early Day Motion against airport expansion last autumn and now we need those same MPs to vote against a third runway in parliament on Wednesday.

This won't be a binding vote, but cross-party opposition to the runway will put enormous pressure on the government. It will certainly be a big blow to the government's insane plans to expand Heathrow.

Please take a couple of minutes today to send a letter that will go to all 57 MPs who have opposed Heathrow expansion and ask them to stick to their principles at the vote next Wednesday.

I joined the campaign because I want to stand in the way of airport expansion. There are now more than 30,000 beneficial owners of a plot of land on the third runway site and more are joining everyday.

This is the first opportunity for all of us to show the government we're not going to let this runway go ahead. But we also need to get a lot more people involved. Once you have emailed the MPs, you can sign up to become of beneficial owner of the plot and pleasetell your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to do the same.

Thank you for joining with me to stop airport expansion, together we will make sure this runway doesn't go ahead.

Emma Thompson

Send a letter to MPs who have opposed aviation expansion »

I emailed my MP about this and please note this extract from his reply:

"You mention the vote in the House of Commons next Wednesday. This is an opportunist motion from the Tory Party, and I shall certainly not be voting for a Tory motion, when they are touting a new 6-runway alternative airport in the Thames Estuary, which is currently being championed by their Mayor of London.

On a related matter, I had a meeting on Friday with one of the UK ’s leading energy renewable companies to discuss the expansion of their projects here and in the UK . Alistair Morrison joined us. You will remember he was the Labour MSP who championed wind farms and was the victim at the last election of the most vicious anti-green campaign orchestrated by the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Tories who succeeded in whipping up public opposition to wind farms and electing an anti-windfarm MSP. So you will understand my extreme reluctance to take their stance on green issues at face value."

Of course I do not share his reservations about it being a Tory motion (I couldn't care less who stops it, only that it IS stopped) however I don't have an answer to these points that would carry weight with him. I emphasise that he did make other points as well, and this is only an extract and doesn't show the full context.

I shall of course still be joining your email campaign to the existing supporters of the motion, as you have requested.

I think your MP's response shows why this issue needs to go beyond party politics (and I'm assuming they're Labour) because it's not about following the prevailing ideology of your peers but making decisions based on science.

If anyone's green credentials should not be taken at face value, it's those of the prime minister and the transport secretary who are pushing this through despite massive opposition, making wildly misleading statements about 'green' runways and 'offsetting emissions' as they do so.

And if you want some facts to go back with, the Tory party hasn't as yet backed a new airport in the Thames Estuary; that's Boris Johnson's own campaign.

web editor
gpuk

I emailed my MP about this and please note this extract from his reply: "You mention the vote in the House of Commons next Wednesday. This is an opportunist motion from the Tory Party, and I shall certainly not be voting for a Tory motion, when they are touting a new 6-runway alternative airport in the Thames Estuary, which is currently being championed by their Mayor of London. On a related matter, I had a meeting on Friday with one of the UK ’s leading energy renewable companies to discuss the expansion of their projects here and in the UK . Alistair Morrison joined us. You will remember he was the Labour MSP who championed wind farms and was the victim at the last election of the most vicious anti-green campaign orchestrated by the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Tories who succeeded in whipping up public opposition to wind farms and electing an anti-windfarm MSP. So you will understand my extreme reluctance to take their stance on green issues at face value." Of course I do not share his reservations about it being a Tory motion (I couldn't care less who stops it, only that it IS stopped) however I don't have an answer to these points that would carry weight with him. I emphasise that he did make other points as well, and this is only an extract and doesn't show the full context. I shall of course still be joining your email campaign to the existing supporters of the motion, as you have requested.

I think your MP's response shows why this issue needs to go beyond party politics (and I'm assuming they're Labour) because it's not about following the prevailing ideology of your peers but making decisions based on science. If anyone's green credentials should not be taken at face value, it's those of the prime minister and the transport secretary who are pushing this through despite massive opposition, making wildly misleading statements about 'green' runways and 'offsetting emissions' as they do so. And if you want some facts to go back with, the Tory party hasn't as yet backed a new airport in the Thames Estuary; that's Boris Johnson's own campaign. web editor gpuk

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