Adonis on UKIP, Clegg and Heathrow
Andrew Adonis has been interviewed by The Times today (pay wall). Full of good stuff, as ever, including:
You deal with UKIP not by abusing its leaders but by tackling the causes of its protest vote: too few good jobs, a crisis of youth inactivity and a weak, remote government with no plans, which can’t get anything done.
On the coalition, he thought the distribution of ministerial posts was a disaster for the Lib Dems.
They haven’t got a single public service department. Nick Clegg should have taken a big department in his own right — the Home Office or the Foreign Office. It was a mistake to put all his eggs in the constitutional basket. The Lib Dems need to get their act together if they are going to try coalition again …
My party was woefully unprepared for dealing with this eventuality [a hung parliament] last time but to my surprise the Lib Dems were even less prepared.
He was put off the Lib Dems by negotiating with them:
I wasn’t at all clear what they stood for by the end of this process apart from the Alternative Vote and I don’t think you should govern the entire country in order to change the electoral system. The problem at the moment is that whenever three Lib Dems are gathered together they discuss four plans for reforming the House of Lords. They went into this coalition just as a pressure group for constitutional reform, which proved very easy for Cameron to undermine because these issues had no popular support at all.
While everything he says is interesting and most of it is right, he also says:
If we had won the election we would have built the third runway at Heathrow. But Cameron showed shocking opportunism by cancelling it. We could have had one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe. It would have helped us out of recession.
Well, if Labour had won outright it might have tried. It would not have been able to in coalition with the Lib Dems. But the point about a third runway at Heathrow is that it was not and is not ever going to happen. One reason I know this is because Andrew Adonis told the Mile End Group last year that 30 per cent of all the people in the European Union who are affected by aircraft noise live near Heathrow. There are just too many hundreds of thousands of voters who live too close to the airport.
If Labour had won, they would still be talking about it.Tagged in: air travel, Andrew Adonis, heathrow
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