WITH the situation in Georgia still unclear I think we're entitled to a little light relief from further political, diplomatic and strategic analyses. And on cue to provide it is Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, returning from a holiday in Italy and fuming in his Daily Telegraph article about the appalling delays for baggage at Gatwick Airport because of a shortage of staff.

A few days ago in this space I was giving Mr Johnson quite good marks for his performance to date but after reading the conclusions he was driven to by his experience at Gatwick I'm not so sure: “In four years we are due to welcome the world to the London Olympics and we need to sort this chaos out now...It is ever more urgent that we investigate the possibility of a new and more eco-friendly international airport at a site in the Thames estuary.”

Boris! Do you really think that a new airport could be planned, approved, built and put into operation with the necessary transport links by this time in 2012? Have you never read the history of previous proposals, going back decades, to build a new airport in the Estuary? Do you not know of the rare birds and plants in the Estuary that must be protected from aircraft noise?

Boris! Why do you suppose there will not be a shortage of baggage handlers at your new eco-friendly airport. Boris! Are you serious/?


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