Suffrajets lock on as Labour scrapes to victory

Suffrajets at Parliament

After a bruising 6 and a half hour debate, in which we learnt that Hoon has the manners of a drunken wife beater and Villiers would quite like some airport expansion in the South-East, MPs finally got off the benches and stumbled in to vote. Despite 57 Labour rebels signing an Early Day Motion opposing the third runway just 28 of them voted against it; Labour scraped through by just 19 votes.

Outside the Commons a band of suffragettes chained themselves to the railings; inside many Labour rebels found new ways to justify supporting the runway. It was a pathetic display of abstention and issue-ducking. I have little faith in politicians at the best of times, but watching people who'd promised their constituents that they'd fight expansion either avoid voting or siding with the bullying Hoon is surely a new low.

It's an overused quote in the Age of Change, but surely it's time to put aside such childish things as party politics and grow the hell up. Politicians acting craven and self-interested may not be good for the environment or democracy, but it provides fantastic fuel for direct activists. Watching yesterday's shameful display hardly fills you with confidence in the political process. When words don't work, it's time for deeds.

As Paul Morozzo remarks in the Guardian today, "If economic "progress" requires building things that threaten the basis of life, surely it's time to develop another idea of what the economy is for." And if politicians keep supporting issues they secretly oppose then surely it's time for us to leave them to their Westminster warblings and get on with taking action. There's precious little time to waste on partisanism; climate change won't stop itself, you know.