Thursday 15 January 2009

No pasaran!

The approval of the third runway at Heathrow is an extraordinary and historic event, and I kind of think we will all look back to it (15 January 2009) as the moment when everything changed.

Of course, it is also a miserable condemnation of the Labour government, which has never stood up to anybody rich and powerful and clearly never will. They have never challenged a corporate interest. Never imagined a way the world might be different, cleaner, healthier or fairer. They are, in short, utterly pointless and borderline corrupt in their miserable failure to shift us in any way towards a future where the planet might survive. History will condemn them for the bone-headed, utterly craven fawning on power.

But it is important for other reasons too. Because this is a No Pasaran moment for the green movement, shared by an extraordinary cross-section of society who believe there has to be a limit to what we sacrifice on the altar of wrong-headed progress. That there has to be a limit to the appeasement of those corporate interests that believe with so little evidence that the decision will benefit London, the economy, the jobless or anything else. The destruction of whole villages, twelfth century churches, the peace of great swathes of London, the sight of elderly ladies bundled into police vans: it will change the way people think.

In short, they will not let it happen, and the resulting clash is going to be painful for both sides. But there comes a point in history where the powerful so misread the signs that they lose their power, and so it will prove. I betcha!

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