Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Leila Deen: Why I threw green custard over Mandy

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson after a cup of green custard was thrown over him by environmentalist Leila Deen
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson after a cup of green custard was thrown over him by environmentalist Leila Deen
2000: Agriculture Minister Nick Brown wiping his face after a woman threw a chocolate cake at him
1992: former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is attacked by a woman wielding a bunch of flowers
2004: protesters throwing a coloured powder into the chamber of the House of Commons.
2001 of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is surrounded by protesters as he arrives at the Little Theatre, in the North Wales seaside resort of Rhyl where he was to address a Labour Party rally.

Peter Mandelson epitomises all that is wrong with our democratic system.

His CV is a reason for us to give up on democracy and take direct action.

After several disgraces and resignations, Mandelson is back from exile in Europe to be shoe-horned into government as an unelected minister, via an archaic loophole which allows the Prime Minister to create peers and place them in power for his own political ends. This is what democracy in the UK looks like.

Mandy is charged with representing the interests of the British people on matters of business and industry. He has enormous influence over the decisions of government. All of this is reason enough to throw green slime over him, but here comes the real outrage.

The third runway at Heathrow, a pantomine of unpopular decision-making, is supported by no one apart from a few in the aviation industry – namely BAA, British Airways and their various stooges.

In the past two years, the people of west London, the mayoral candidates, environmental and development organisations, the public, opposition parties, the Labour Party and finally the Cabinet, have all reportedly expressed overwhelming concerns about the runway, not least because – if it is built – our promise to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent will be totally out of reach.

If we build a third runway, every other industry in Britain will have to cut its emissions to zero, which is obviously impossible. Yet the Government said yes to the runway. Why?

Well, Mandy rode back into town with his best mate Roland Rudd, who has been appointed as BAA's senior lobbyist.

They met several times before Mandelson steam-rollered his colleagues into accepting this ridiculous plan (bashing his head on the cabinet table in frustration, apparently). Is Mandy's close friendship with Rudd behind the green light for the runway?

We are facing the catastrophic and irreversible devastation of our planet. We have five years to stabilise carbon emissions and start driving them down – firstly, by not expanding high-carbon industries. Aviation is the fastest-growing cause of climate change, and is responsible for about 13 per cent of Britain's total warming impact.

As a responsible person, I will not stand by while corrupt hypocrites like Peter Mandelson are allowed to schmooze away any chance we have of stopping this impending nightmare.

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