Frank Field MP
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Extending Heathrow


Extending Heathrow is a really good example of how not to behave if you are the Government, but also how not to behave if you are a powerful and well-organised pressure group, like Greenpeace. The Government has said that Heathrow will be extended, but is fearful of having a vote here in the House of Commons, so, no surprises, the Tories have called a vote on Wednesday and 58 Labour members, knowing this is what the Tories are up to, have declared they are against an extension of Heathrow. I am in fact more radical than that, I think a real determined radical Prime Minister would announce the date when the last flight leaves Heathrow. But in the meantime, we have to campaign against the extension, which I think is wrong on environmental grounds. I also think it is wrong in having an extension to our main airport when planes, in this age of terrorism, fly most of the time over our capital city. 
At the weekend, Greenpeace has been lobbying by email those 50-60 Labour MPs who said they are not prepared to vote for an extension. This is the way not to conduct a campaign, I am absolutely furious with them, because they have actually crashed our email system. They have made it difficult for my constituents to get in touch with me, and if they think that bombarding me from all around the country with fatuous emails is actually going to change my vote, they have another thing coming. Except to the point I’m now so annoyed with them, if I did vote with the Government it would be because of this crass campaigning; somehow you think MPs are up for being pushed around by sending emails, that is not how I see our role.

I’m sure my resolve will be soon strengthened, because I am leaving this Blog to meet with the Deputy Chief Whip who phoned me on Friday, who is coming down to London early and clearly wants to try and twist my arm, and change my vote. I think he will disappointed on that score, but I will report later in the day how I get on with him.
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