There really is something sick about the idea that we can boost the UK economy by concreting over six schools and one whole village, and demolishing at least one twelfth century church.
Only in the peculiar looking-glass world of Treasury economics can that path lead to 'wealth'. By that route we will have no schools, concrete wastelands punctured by planes landing every thirty seconds, and without historic or natural features, yet we will be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams. It is a prime example of what Ruskin referred to as 'illth'.
For me, there is something fundamental about the coming battle over Heathrow's sixth terminal and third runway, after all the assurances last time that they had been ruled out. No government can possibly back the idea and remain credibly concerned about global warming. This really is a line in the sand: a No Pasaran moment.
In the meantime, it ought to be worth calculating whether allowing the world to change planes in multinational retailer heaven, or making it easier for Britons to spend their money abroad, will actually boost the UK economy - however narrowly defined.
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