Like many Londoners on a sunny Sunday, this morning I hopped on the tube and headed off to a picturesque pub.
The Green Man is a half-timbered pub, with cherry blossom in the garden. Outside there’s a traditional red letter box and across the road, the village green has daffodils in flower. The nearby field has geese, goats and horses. It sounds idyllic. It should be. But this is the Green Man at Feltham, yards from the airport boundary, right under the Heathrow flight path.
The planes are flinchingly loud, and so low you feel you could reach up and touch their landing gear. With one every few seconds, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than the most enthusiastic plane-spotter enjoying a pint in the Green Man’s beer garden.
I was there with other MPs, leading candidates, and Euro campaigners to highlight the impact of air travel on climate change – and to protest against Government plans for Heathrow expansion.
As we took our photos on the village green, first one, then a second police car rolled up. Were they enjoying the sight of our photographers lying flat on the grass to get the best angle? Or were we to be arrested for some breach of the increasingly mad anti-terror laws? With 5 MPs, an MEP, three lawyers and a trades union official among our number, it might have been interesting to see them try. But in fact after a friendly hello, we ended up doing photos with the police car too. (They’ve not yet banned that….)