Richmond Council has nailed its “no third runway at Heathrow” colours firmly to the mast of HMS El Brute. A cross party motion at Richmond Council this week confirmed Tory and Lib Dem opposition to a third runway at any point in the future (bloody well ever) and according to El Brute’s main man, Lord True, the Council is at “all-out war with the big money interests and slick-suited PR men peddling this foolish project”. Ouch! Of course what True should have announced was: “This morning the Richmond Council Ambassador at Heathrow handed the airport lobbyists a final note, stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their support for a third runway, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this Council is at war with Heathrow”. That would really have showed them who’s the boss around here!

True, aka the Blue Baron, also announced that Richmond residents will be able to confirm their opposition to a third runway by taking part in a “referendum-style vote”. It will take place by May 2013. We’re no particular fans of the third runway here at twickerati HQ (new runways need to be built near other people’s homes, them’s the rules) but is there any point bothering with a vote on the subject? The outcome is a foregone conclusion. The pro-runway lobbyists and businesses know that too and they’ll don their “slick suits” to dismiss the result as pure nimbyism. They’re a bit like that.

So, do you really want a vote? Is El Brute taking “local democracy” into places it doesn’t need to go, or should we spend public money on a referendum the result of which could be predicted today? And what next? A Neville Chamberlain inspired X-Factor? Don’t rule it out.

* El Brute Press Release