Tuesday, March 27, 2012

HUBS MEAN GROWTH- Building Public consensus

I recently came across a very interesting campaign that has been targeting the general public and the government. As in every public controversy, there are two sides to every coin.

Heathrow has been fighting to build its third runway and sixth terminal as a way to expand the airport and have more connections available. In 2010 the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Climate Rush and others environmental groups managed to stop the Heathrow’s plans arguing that such policies will cause increasingly more harm to the environment and tranquillity of the countryside (carbon emission, local noise).

In October 2011 Heathrow launched a campaign targeting MPs with the aim to build public consensus over protecting the airport status as the main point of business connection between UK and other countries. The campaign aims to enhance the important of Heathrow airport expansion as a way to help the country to recover from the economic crisis by having more connections in order to be able to do business with other countries and keep the UK growing and competitive in relation to other countries such as China, Madrid and Germany.

Very interestingly, the movement consists in newspaper ads that features the slogans ‘Only Heathrow brings growth to our doorstep’, ‘the road to economic recovery isn’t a road it’s a flightpath’, ‘nothing grows without routes’; posters featuring the slogans have been also put up in Westminster underground station. These adverts have been sabotaged by environmental activists who have changed them for their own benefit ‘the road to climate change isn’t a road it’s a flightpath’

In my personal opinion I agree with the fact that the UK needs more direct flights connections to be able to operate and trade with important markets, however, many people especially environmental activists and the media are watching the Government’s actions and decisions and waiting for them to act responsibly.

I do also believe the Government will need to do both, think on a way to help the UK’s economic growing without ignoring climate change and all the damage is causing to the environment and the UK’s budget. It is definitely a challenge the Government is facing as both their reputation for acting ethically and its economic recovery are at risks if the right decisions are not taken.

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