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  • Heathrow expansion could be racist

    by Rumbold
    26th April, 2008 at 3:46 pm    

    The state has an obligation under the Race Relations Act to ensure that different ethnic groups are not disproportionately disadvantaged by government policies. This requirement has been invoked by Hounslow Race Equality Council and Friends of the Earth in order to challenge the proposed third runway at Heathrow:

    “The Government has been forced to review the impact of Heathrow airport expansion on local ethnic minority communities following a legal challenge from Hounslow Race Equality Council (Hounslow REC), represented by Friends of the Earth’s Rights and Justice Centre.

    The Government denied that changes in their proposals for expanding the airport were likely to result in a disproportionate noise burden on the large ethnic minority population in the area [1] - but was forced to rethink when Hounslow REC sought legal action and lodged judicial review proceedings at the High Court [2].

    Hounslow REC argued that proposals to allow easterly departures off the northern runway over the heavily populated area of Cranford would cause noise pollution affecting mostly ethnic minority communities [3], and that work was needed to assess the effect of lowering planes on the southern flight path to the airport.”

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    12 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. El Cid — on 26th April, 2008 at 5:26 pm  

      This is a windup right?
      That’s just what the UK’s already complicated and inefficient planning system needed — racial nimbyism.

      Now i now why my support for Heathrow’s expansion grouped with the borderline racist UKIP. Ha!

      Fact of the matter is that a global city like London needs a premier league airport and a third runway. We’re in danger of killing the golden goose. People need to show some ambition and economic level headedness. There are other ways to cut CO2 emissions.

    2. El Cid — on 26th April, 2008 at 5:27 pm  

      …now I know… sorry for the poor spelling

    3. El Cid — on 26th April, 2008 at 5:38 pm  

      “Now i now why my support for Heathrow’s expansion grouped with the borderline racist UKIP. Ha!”

      I should explain that I’m referring to a previous post here on the London mayoral election which flagged the website

    4. Gurpreet — on 26th April, 2008 at 6:45 pm  

      what a load of bollocks

    5. cjcjc — on 26th April, 2008 at 6:46 pm  

      Oh dear, I hate this kind of stupidity…but I oppose Heathrow expansion.

    6. Edsa — on 26th April, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

      This Hounslow racism claim is borderline and rather silly.
      Rumbold, why not give us your thoughts on the more substantive racism of British Airways, as reported in the Independent today:
      “A senior British Airways pilot reveals startling levels of casual racism in BA, the flagship UK company, which claims to be “the world’s favourite airline. Captain Doug Maughan says that derogatory remarks about race by his colleagues are so common they are treated as normal”.

    7. Sunny — on 26th April, 2008 at 7:33 pm  

      This does look rather stupid. But I guess from the FOE perspective, anything is worth trying!

    8. Boyo — on 26th April, 2008 at 8:23 pm  

      This kind of behaviour of course promotes racism, not that FOE would care: they’re a bunch of upper class twats in any case, pace “Get these oiks off my Easy Jet” Cameron.

    9. Leon — on 26th April, 2008 at 10:39 pm  

      I think Sunny’s hit the nail on the head…

    10. El Cid — on 27th April, 2008 at 1:44 pm  

      But I guess from the FOE perspective, anything is worth trying!

      Nail on the head? Well I guess strictly speaking the analysis is correct. But the problem with the-ends-justify-the-means thinking is that it tends to blur the line between right and wrong, between victim and oppressor, between justice and injustice.

      It’s not unlike race carreerists using the “piccaninies” reference to undermine Boris Johnson. It might have been ill-advised, but it was clearly satirical and you all know it. Yasmin AB was just the latest to use it in an article yesterday.

      You may with some justification argue that I’m exagerrating. But then my perspective is long-term. The more race is used as a political football, a tactical card, a matter of expediency, the more it is undervalued.

      It is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. It feels so left circa 1980s. I thought progressive meant moving forward.

    11. MaidMarian — on 28th April, 2008 at 11:29 pm  

      Got to be honest, I wondered if this is a joke.

      I disagree with Sunny (7) - this is not worth trying, this is just desperate on the part of FOE. In terms of the REC, it looks like nothing more than someone trying to make a name for themselves and get thier picture in the paper. It is a stunt, and a waste of court time, simple as that.

      There is a more serious point here though. No one can possibly tell me that this is the sort of thing that that was envisaged when race relations legislation was mooted and later enacted. This is legislative over reach to a near-laughable degree. This is what undermines race relations legislation and government action on race, this is what has given the thing a bad name and this is what causes backlashes.

      FOE are a well-funded group and someone there should have had the nous to save the REC from themselves.

      As an aside, is there legal aid here?

      On Heathrow, stark reality time. People want to fly - if people did not want to fly, there would be fewer airports. The anti-expansionists need to take their argument to the flying public rather than demand what would be legislation to prevent people flying.

    12. kafur — on 5th May, 2008 at 3:25 pm  

      No guessing exactly WHICH religion the “ethnics” on the ground will be is there? Makes me wanna throw up as I see my country handed over to dogs.

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