Protesters felt they had little option

TODAY'S demonstration at Stansted Airport caused massive disruption for thousands of passengers and will have done little to improve the standing of Britain's transport infrastructure in the eyes of many.

TODAY'S demonstration at Stansted Airport caused massive disruption for thousands of passengers and will have done little to improve the standing of Britain's transport infrastructure in the eyes of many.

As they sat on the runway, the protesters must have asked themselves if their actions will really have changed anyone's mind about the rights and wrongs of airport expansion - is the protest likely to make expansion any less likely?

However the government also needs to understand the frustration that has prompted a group of well-meaning people concerned about climate change to form a group like Plane Stupid.

The fact is that a government which claims to be concerned about the environment seems to have a total blackspot when the subject of airport expansion is discussed.

It can organise as many inquiries as it likes - but the outcome also seems to be the same. More land is taken up by more airport expansion to allow more planes to put more toxic gases into the atmosphere.

How on earth can anyone impartial - let alone those with genuine concerns about the environment - have any confidence in the independence of inquiries into further expansion at Stansted or Heathrow when aviation minister Jim Fitzpatrick is running around telling us all that more flights are vital for the economy?

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Today's protesters might have caused many people great inconvenience, and their actions can not be justified in that sense.

But they have made their point of view heard - and it is easy to understand that some of those on the runway will feel that action like this is the only way to get their message across.

Further protests would be unhelpful to the cause - especially if they disrupt holidaymakers over the Christmas period - but if today's protest starts a real debate on airport expansion then the protesters may be justified in considering it a success.

A YEAR after Marcus Evans took over Ipswich Town, is the club really any further forward than it was?

Yesterday's woeful display against Norwich City will have left many Town fans wondering whether Jim Magilton really is the person to take the team forward.

Certainly over the last 12 months he has had millions to play with - but is the team now any better than the day Marcus Evans rode into town?

Many fans are wondering if he has not gone for quantity rather than quality in the signings over the last 12 months - while loaning out some of the club's brightest home-grown talent to lower league clubs where they have proved their quality.

With the club languishing in 13th place in the Championship an increasing number are asking whether Magilton is now living on borrowed time.

THEY might be part-time soldiers, by members of the Territorial Army face exactly the same dangers as their regular comrades when they are sent to war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.

So it was absolutely right that Ipswich's TA soldiers were given a heroes' reception yesterday as the town recognised their service in Iraq recently.

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