The lead item on the BBC News today was the environmental protest at Heathrow Airport. A group of campaigners vaguely for the environment and very definitely against global capitalism and, er, global warming are camping out in a ‘direct action’ against air travel. Of course, they don’t seem to be against the basic policies that encourage air travel, like mass immigration for example, it is the actual act of flying they dislike and the answer is not to try and make aircraft less environmentally damaging, it is the usual approach of restricting people’s freedom. In this case the freedom of ordinary people to travel. It is always amazing what an unshakable belief in the rightness of a cause will lead people to do, whether it be inconveniencing travellers for the next few days or promoting the idea that the planet would be a better place if everyone stayed at home. An interconnected world is a better world on many levels. It is richer, and it is certainly more understanding of different cultures. Travel is good, and it takes a special kind of myopia not to see that.
So, this led the BBC news, eclipsing the news about the Conservative Economic Competitiveness Policy Group. Of course on the BBC the result of a county-level game of tiddlywinks would have eclipsed a Conservative policy announcement. The Today programme dismissed a proposal for £14bn of tax cuts with a few gloating comments about Labour’s delight about a Tory ‘lurch to the Right’. Did the BBC wonder when they went into bat with the government about their license fee settlement why they had so few friends? Their right-on lefty spin on everything certainly hacks me off, and I suspect the rest of the 30% of right-wing opinion in the country, including Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. When the government put the squeeze on there was no sympathy from, well, anyone. The BBC should contemplate that, and the wisdom of a publicly-funded body systematically alienating large sections of the public.