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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    This has nothing to with being PC or anti nanny state. This is about preventing a moral decline.
    Banning things because it might upset someone. That's PC and a symptom of a nanny state. But because it suits you, you agree with it.

    How's this - we ban women in lingerie from the sides of buses because it is offensive to Muslims. Against it now? See it for what it is - nanny state nonsense?
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    Would any Libertarian be able to be able to tell me about this?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-sto...5875-20797382/

    I had it sent to me as a reason as to why a higher minimum wage is good.
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    (Original post by PoliceStory)
    Would any Libertarian be able to be able to tell me about this?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-sto...5875-20797382/

    I had it sent to me as a reason as to why a higher minimum wage is good.
    It's not what is seen that matters, but what is unseen.

    Yes. People who have jobs recieve a higher wage for them. Those poles which head over there -- if they can find work -- will be paid more for it. However, there's no mention in the article of the levels of employment, nor of the effect on young people (who with their lower levels of ability and reduced working hours tend to be the major victims of a minimum wage; one of the reasons in this country we have three minimum wages.)

    Edit:
    Construction worker Krzysztof Wisniewski, who has moved there, said Poles he knows in the UK and Ireland are bombarding him with requests for help finding work.
    Quod erat demonstratum.
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    I don't have anything against Poles but why is more of them a good thing?
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    (Original post by PoliceStory)
    Would any Libertarian be able to be able to tell me about this?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-sto...5875-20797382/

    I had it sent to me as a reason as to why a higher minimum wage is good.
    It seems to be implying that the minimum wage doesn't reduce the number of available jobs without actually stating it. This is a cheap debating trick but what do you expect from the left wing equivalent of the Daily Express?

    As to the alleged reverse-Berlin-Wall effect in Norway, I don't see any evidence of it:



    Britain is the place to be, it seems, with Germany second. Spain is the lowest seperately ranked country. Norway is too small a receiver of immigrants to be listed seperately and goes into the 'Other' category. Scaling by population might make a difference, since Norway is too small to show up here, but that would only make it harder for the socialists to explain why Spain is so small, and dirigiste France doesn't even show up, while small, free market Ireland would jump to the top of the pack.
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    (Original post by burningnun)
    I don't have anything against Poles but why is more of them a good thing?
    1. Immigration is -- all other things being equal -- always good.
    2. Because the Daily Mail is always bitching about how they're coming over here; taking our jobs. So clearly British people are either a) over-charging or b) doing poor-quality work. Whichever the case, taking the jobs is a good thing, not a bad one.
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    (Original post by PoliceStory)
    Would any Libertarian be able to be able to tell me about this?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-sto...5875-20797382/

    I had it sent to me as a reason as to why a higher minimum wage is good.
    You need to remember that Norway is a really expensive country though. £10 an hour in Norway probably isn't much more than £6 an hour here. Moreover, Norway's culture is far more egalitarian and far less consumerist, so people are willing to spend more on services and thus consume fewer services to have a more equal country. It's also a market thing - because living is so much more expensive there, people naturally demand higher wages. It's the opposite of what happens in India, for example, where middle-class families can afford many servants because it's possible to live very cheaply (though obviously not well). As such, wage disparity in Norway is much smaller than in most other countries. Rather than having a cleaner earning £15k and a top lawyer £100k, it'd be more like £25k and £50k. It works well for them, but it wouldn't fit with what the majority of British people want, IMHO.
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    1. Immigration is -- all other things being equal -- always good.
    2. Because the Daily Mail is always bitching about how they're coming over here; taking our jobs. So clearly British people are either a) over-charging or b) doing poor-quality work. Whichever the case, taking the jobs is a good thing, not a bad one.
    But all other things are not equal. The NMW isn't, for a start.
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    1. Immigration is -- all other things being equal -- always good.
    For who, though. I would agree it is, economically, always good on aggregate, but it's not always good for the receiving nation. Which begs the question, should politicians do what's best for the world or for their constituents?
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    Norway is also one of the few true petrostates that isn't owned by gangsters. I imagine this explains a lot of the high paid low skill jobs, ie. they are probably in the public sector, and paid from the state oil revenues.
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Norway is also one of the few true petrostates that isn't owned by gangsters. I imagine this explains a lot of the high paid low skill jobs, ie. they are probably in the public sector, and paid from the state oil revenues.
    While true, it's not just that. Private sector wages are also very high, even in unskilled jobs. It's accepted that it costs a lot to hire a person and wage demands are high. Companies are willing to pay it because they can pass the costs on through high prices and thus employees get away with demanding it.

    As an aside, they don't spend much of the oil money, which is why they have one of the biggest Sovereign Wealth Funds in the world. Norway will still be rich even when the oil runs out.
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    (Original post by Drogue)
    While true, it's not just that. Private sector wages are also very high, even in unskilled jobs. It's accepted that it costs a lot to hire a person and wage demands are high. Companies are willing to pay it because they can pass the costs on through high prices and thus employees get away with demanding it.
    If the cost is passed on isn't it just inflation, and the salary is the same as in a normal country only the currency is worth less? Now Norway does have a vast disparity in nominal and PPP GDPPC (like 100k to 55k), but the PPP value is still very high: higher than the US and the UK.

    As an aside, they don't spend much of the oil money, which is why they have one of the biggest Sovereign Wealth Funds in the world. Norway will still be rich even when the oil runs out.
    It is invested and the interest spent on pensions AFAIK, which is one of the largest costs of most welfare states. Since Norway nonetheless has high tax as a percentage of GDP, this seems to indicate it frees up a lot of cash for state spending.
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    An airport worker has been disciplined for abusing a naked body scanner, which shows clear outlines of passengers' anatomies.

    Yet very few people seem to be concerned because, of course, “if you have nothing to hide the you have nothing to fear”. People are too prepared to give up their liberty for the sake of ostensible safety. Yet none of the mainstream parties is prepared to stop it. Not even the Liberal Democrats who actually added their support for the naked body scanners, complaining that they should have been rolled out sooner. I suppose it is only one little bit more of liberty. But then it always is that little bit more so people don’t really notice how far civil liberties are being eroded.

    As former Lib Dem member Charlotte Gore warned:

    Bin Laden was reported as saying his mission was to destroy liberty in the West. I’d say he’s done pretty well. I was thinking recently about the Twin Towers atrocity and how, even then, we knew that this somehow heralded the start of much darker times. This last decade has felt obsessed with muslims, terrorism, war and oil and then, in the end, economic crisis. The result has been a monumental enlargement of the Government and its power – and almost no discussion or debate around this in mainstream politics

    This one is from Ivan Lawrence, in March 1979:

    Since I have been in the House I have seen the cogent arguments and the telling pleas of hon. Members on both sides of the House persuading and succeeding in persuading the House that it is only a very little piece more of liberty that we are withdrawing and for such great benefits and advantages. As a result we have far fewer of our freedoms now than was ever dreamed possible a few years ago. In the end we shall find that our liberties have all but disappeared. It might be possible to save more lives in Britain by this measure—and by countless other measures. But I do not see the virtue in saving more lives by legislation which will produce in the end a Britain where nobody wants to live.
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    Would you rather completely privately-owned companies owning airports and airport-security without government-pushed security guidelines, and would that really stop staff from saying that you have to take these security measures or we'll not risk your presence on-board our aircraft? If private companies decided to use this system to provide the security needed for airline companies, would there really be anything wrong (in terms of free individuals exercising their putative rights) in the private company disciplining or even sacking an employee for not following company policy? Either way, the real problem behind this erosion of civil liberty lies not with government monopoly over laws controlling the means by which we exit a country. Both governments and private companies would be able to hold the finite rights (and be able to hold a lot of coercive power) to an industry which lets people in and out of a country - ultimately, either way we'd have to have our "wangs" and "vaginas" examined in order to leave a country via a plane, whether a government enforces it or not. The real tension here is the struggle between privacy and security, and, with or without State-influence in markets, that tension will never really disappear.
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    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Would you rather completely privately-owned companies owning airports and airport-security without government-pushed security guidelines, and would that really stop staff from saying that you have to take these security measures or we'll not risk your presence on-board our aircraft?
    No true, but it would mean a range of options would evolve: at one end the airlines for the paranoid would force every passenger to submit to a cavity search and gruelling background check. At the other you'd have some budget airlines willing to allow customers to just stroll on with no security checks at all. (Although good luck persuading anyone to let you put planes like that through their airspace...)

    In the middle is the airports most people would use, those who have done their best to find an optimal balance between security and convenience, and between security "theater" (making the customer *feel* safe) and actual security (making the customer *actually* safe).

    When the system is politicised, you get a lot of security theater; very little actual security. And without a price mechanism, there's no way of knowing whether the security measures we implement are worth the cost and inconvenience.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    If private companies decided to use this system to provide the security needed for airline companies, would there really be anything wrong (in terms of free individuals exercising their putative rights) in the private company disciplining or even sacking an employee for not following company policy?
    Absolutely not, because the customers don't have to use that specific airport company. There's no real problem with government's doing it, because we've still got the choice of other forms of transport. I don't see it as a rights-violation per se, I just think it's silly.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Either way, the real problem behind this erosion of civil liberty lies not with government monopoly over laws controlling the means by which we exit a country. Both governments and private companies would be able to hold the finite rights (and be able to hold a lot of coercive power) to an industry which lets people in and out of a country - ultimately, either way we'd have to have our "wangs" and "vaginas" examined in order to leave a country via a plane, whether a government enforces it or not.
    I'm not sure I agree. By definition, if the government yeilds it's monopoly on control of security precautions at airports, private companies will compete in that most democratic of endeavours -- the free market. Those security precautions eventually chosen by the median airport companies (for there is room in this market for more than one set of precautions -- see above) will be chosen because people regard them as worth the cost, rather than because some bureaucrat needed to be seen to be doing something.

    As you correctly percieve the tension is between privacy and security, and between security and cost. Libertarians just think that the free market is a far more democratic and inclusive way to resolve that delicate balance, than the graft and public-choice machinations of party politicking.
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    No true, but it would mean a range of options would evolve: at one end the airlines for the paranoid would force every passenger to submit to a cavity search and gruelling background check. At the other you'd have some budget airlines willing to allow customers to just stroll on with no security checks at all. (Although good luck persuading anyone to let you put planes like that through their airspace...)
    I think that there is a real problem here.

    There is a finite number of terminals through which people can leave the country. Without any central legislation and with the existence of private companies, random individuals which have somehow been endowed (through brute luck: inheritance or otherwise) with a terminal, have a huge amount of arbitrary coercive power. It is theoretically the case that no airline (or even a limited number) offer sufficient protection (I mean, you mention people owning airspace - would that be possible in a true Libertarian society? is that power going to another monopolist of airspace/land? would it be a random individual, or a democratic government, or nobody?). Or let's say there is little demand for security, does that mean that the one rationally-minded individual that wants sufficient security would not be able to receive it? Remember, the number of airports offered to him is, realistically, limited, the number of flights from different companies from that airport to his destination at a certain time is equally limited. Limiting factors keep on being introduced. In reality, his concern for safety in leaving the country from a terminal is left in the hands of private individuals, and there is no guarantee that he will be ensured a safer journey in or out of the country.

    But like I said, I imagine most companies would (and ought to) be adopting a security like the one the government recommends. This comes back to my main point - this really isn't a government-driven civil liberty. It's a very minor point because the same debate would still be raised when it comes to private individuals dictating the terms of security over their airport (and its various finite terminals/means by which to exit or enter the country).

    In the middle is the airports most people would use, those who have done their best to find an optimal balance between security and convenience, and between security "theater" (making the customer *feel* safe) and actual security (making the customer *actually* safe).

    When the system is politicised, you get a lot of security theater; very little actual security. And without a price mechanism, there's no way of knowing whether the security measures we implement are worth the cost and inconvenience.
    This is disputable. There is an incentive for companies to be much more prone to make themselves (and advertise themselves) as being safe in the eyes of potential customers, whereas governments can make legal requirements to ensure that safety checks are actually done. I guess this sort of objection can be represented as a form of information failure in the market. There is no legal obligation for companies to be safe - only to characterise itself commercially as seeming safe. I also think it's wrong to suggest that a price-mechanism is crucial to a cost-benefit-analysis in this type of thing. Security analysts can investigate plots and continuously evaluate whether the type of threat would have been picked up by existing security procedures. How many lives would be lost? What is the economic value of these lost lives? We already do a lot of this type of thing for calculating the benefits of new roads - what were the economic costs of the car crashes and of future potential car crashes, etc.

    Absolutely not, because the customers don't have to use that specific airport company. There's no real problem with government's doing it, because we've still got the choice of other forms of transport. I don't see it as a rights-violation per se, I just think it's silly.
    Equally, with a government monopoly over security in airports, there are still plenty of other ways to leave a country. I just think that it's necessary for people to be able to country safely, rather than leaving security procedures in the hands of an almost unaccountable oligopoly (and because of demand for travel by air for certain reasons to certain countries from certain airports can involve inelastic demand, we are essentially talking about putting a lot of coercive power in the hands of these proprietors who happen (through brute luck) to own a means by which to exit the UK.

    But yes, I don't see it as a massive rights-violation either. This is why I suggested that it was silly to present it as such. The real problem at the heart of anonymous' post was not that the government happened to be involved, but rather that there is a fundamental friction between security and privacy which would exist even if private individuals were left in charge of these finite terminals.

    I'm not sure I agree. By definition, if the government yeilds it's monopoly on control of security precautions at airports, private companies will compete in that most democratic of endeavours -- the free market. Those security precautions eventually chosen by the median airport companies (for there is room in this market for more than one set of precautions -- see above) will be chosen because people regard them as worth the cost, rather than because some bureaucrat needed to be seen to be doing something.
    My word, did you just call the free market democratic? That's rather sloppy, but I understand your point. Just as a point of information though (since I despise that particular inaccurate catchphrase), it's hard to see how a person born in the lottery of birth into £10 has the same number of votes as the person who happens to have been born into £1000. I guess as a corrollary is follows that the security tastes of the richer class would dictate the state of security for the poorer class (though I hate the habitually misused word "class" too). But as I've made known (and make known below), the scarcity of resources greatly challenges this notion of perfect competition - it is not inevitable that the choice to have the modern security techniques will surface.
    As you correctly percieve the tension is between privacy and security, and between security and cost. Libertarians just think that the free market is a far more democratic and inclusive way to resolve that delicate balance, than the graft and public-choice machinations of party politicking.
    The claim that competition must necessarily result in greater choice when it comes to security measures is an implausible claim. Most people have one preferred airport - usually their local airport, or a major airport which they can easily travel to within using the current infrastructure. I also have to choose from a very limited number of flight-operators from that airport at the precise time I need to travel. It would be the flight operators who would have the onus of adopting security measures, at the demands of the person who has control over airspace (who even owns airspace in a Libertarian society - another random individual, the State, or nobody?) More likely than not, the flight operator will probably adopt the most rigorous and modern security checks which we see today. But if they don't (and passengers are left slightly at risk), can we honestly say that every passenger has a fair and free choice to exit the country in a safest of manners? Transport markets, in general (and especially train and plane services), seem to be troubled by the concept of scarce resources more than most other markets; but the problem becomes particularly serious when we consider that nothing is ensuring (as a guarantee) that people fly without a much-reduced threat of a terrorist attack.

    But still, these companies probably would adopt the same measures as the government - so I'm not terribly sympathetic to the argument (or, at least I don't think the scope of the argument is powerful) that the State is the main threat to civil liberties here. That was rather my main point.

    Mind you, this is all rather consequentialist libertarianism - the (correct or incorrect) suggestion that the free-market provides the best results therefore it ought to be enforced. I can think of many reasons for why the putative rights of individuals to hold property (and more specifically, these sort of restricted and incredibly significant form of property) can be challenged. But I don't wish to extend the scope of my argument here just yet.

    So essentially my points are:

    1. There is no guarantee that there will be the modern and current choice of security of procedures (though it is likely) or the choice you argue for - I think the issue is less simple.

    2. None of this really deals with my objection - that this really isn't a massive "government eroding civil liberties" issue, since the same tension would exist between the masses/customers and the randomly selected individuals who have become owners of the means by which to exit the country (who gained their land through brute luck - arguably making their supposed rights over their land morally arbitrary).

    None of which, I think, are particularly far-reaching or controversial.
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    Hello libertarians. What's your opinion on libel laws? I understand that in Britain, libel cases can cost upwards of a million quid in court/legal fees, around 140 times more expensive than the rest of Europe. I was reading a bit about the whole Matthias Rath and Dr Ben Goldacre incident, where he and the Guardian were sued, by Rath for libel, after, basically, saying that Rath's science was utterly wrong and people were needlessly dying. It eventually cost them half a million quid to defend themselves, and Rath won't have to pay any of this back to them. This is troubling, as it effectively means that wealthy people can almost take away other people's right to freedom of speech with the threat of suing libel, and therefore great financial hardship to the defendant, who has to prove that what he said is true and not utter rubbish.

    Reminds me of the South Park episode where Tom Cruise is trapped in the closet, and the episode ends with the Church of Scientology screaming at Stan "we'll sue you in England!" Well, this is why.

    The irony being that episode can't be shown in the UK in case the Church of Scientology sues the TV network for libel.
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    (Original post by Melancholy)
    There is a finite number of terminals through which people can leave the country.
    Where the hell do you get this idea? All an airfield requires is a strip of fairly flat land. If you want to land large numbers of big planes safely you'll need to pave it and set up some kind of radar and ATC, but it's not exactly difficult.

    In fact, I think setting up a seaport is more expensive than an airport, because you could make an argument that there's only a finite number of areas of coast suitable for harbours.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Without any central legislation and with the existence of private companies, random individuals which have somehow been endowed (through brute luck: inheritance or otherwise) with a terminal, have a huge amount of arbitrary coercive power.
    Um, no. The market, by definition, is non-coercive. And I would hesitate before arguing that someone who's worked hard and come to be given responsibility for a huge organisation like BAA has achieved their position through "brute luck" -- at least no more so than the elected politicians you so revere.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Or let's say there is little demand for security, does that mean that the one rationally-minded individual that wants sufficient security would not be able to receive it?
    If there's little to no demand for security, I'd love to hear your justification for forcing the many to provide it -- at their expense -- for the benefit of the well-connected few.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    This is disputable. There is an incentive for companies to be much more prone to make themselves (and advertise themselves) as being safe in the eyes of potential customers, whereas governments can make legal requirements to ensure that safety checks are actually done.
    I fear you're comparing apples to oranges. Both the company and the government have the same power within the organisation. The company can ensure that the checks are actually done as well as the government can. The million-dollar question is is representative democracy superior to the price mechanism in determining which checks ought be done.

    If there were a terrorist attack on an airline that failed to implement some really easy and obvious security check, the government would support the families of the victims in prosecuting the airline for failing in it's responsibilities.

    Who will support you to sue the government when something goes wrong?
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    I just think that it's necessary for people to be able to country safely, rather than leaving security procedures in the hands of an almost unaccountable oligopoly
    I don't disagree. I just assert that the system of voluntary co-operation we call the free market is a superior mechanism for ensuring safe travel than cronyist representative-democratic government.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    My word, did you just call the free market democratic? That's rather sloppy, but I understand your point. Just as a point of information though (since I despise that particular inaccurate catchphrase), it's hard to see how a person born in the lottery of birth into £10 has the same number of votes as the person who happens to have been born into £1000.
    A "democratic" system is one that accounts for people's preferences. The better a system represents people's preferences, the more democratic it is. Using this metric, the free market is the ultimate democracy. What you've done there is confuse democracy and egalitarianism -- it is one thing to say everyone's preferences should be perfectly accounted for, it is quite another to say that everyone's preferences, on all things, should have equal weight.

    The perfect democracy of the free market will take perfect account of my preferences, but only in so far as I am able to express them. I can for instance express a preference for sausages and beans over sausages and spaghetti. I cannot express a preference between a mansion in the country or a penthouse apartment, which I could ostenibly express in a representative democracy (by voting for someone who wanted to ban the former or the latter).

    I would argue this is a weakness of representative democracy, and not a strength.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    The claim that competition must necessarily result in greater choice when it comes to security measures is an implausible claim. Most people have one preferred airport - usually their local airport, or a major airport which they can easily travel to within using the current infrastructure.
    My goodness! And at the supermarket, I only have a choice of three brands of beans; it must be a bean-manufacturer oligopoly!

    I live in the Southwest, and generally where the cheapest and most convenient flight is going from is a more important consideration in my travel plans than the proximity of the airport. Bristol is my nearest, but I'll happily travel from Gatwick or Heathrow if I can save money on my tickets.

    As I outlined above, the main problem I have with the current security measures are their cost -- both in implementation, and in terms of the opportunity cost of the time wasted in all that queuing. I already travel out of my way to save money on a ticket, if an airport company could save me more money by not having the costly and ineffective body scanners, I would choose that.
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    (who even owns airspace in a Libertarian society - another random individual, the State, or nobody?)
    It depends. Minarchists would argue that ownership goes to the country or legislative region. Anarcho-capitalists might argue that no-one owns airspace until they start using it (by, for instance, implementing ATC).
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Transport markets, in general (and especially train and plane services), seem to be troubled by the concept of scarce resources more than most other markets
    Wait, what? It's with scarce resources that markets triumph! It's with non-excludable or non-rivalrous resources (so-called public goods) that you might be able to consider something like "market failure"
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    [N]othing is ensuring (as a guarantee) that people fly without a much-reduced threat of a terrorist attack.
    And I think here is the crux of your argument. It scares you that no-one's in charge, in control.

    No one is ensuring that I am fed, but lo and behold I do some work for my boss and he gives me some money, I go to the shop and lo and behold there are delicious beans which I can buy and eat. No one ensures it is so; there are no commissars of food or labour, just ordinary folk co-operating with eachother, all across the world.

    Furthermore, as the great Soviet experiment discovered -- when you do put someone in charge and try to guarantee all to have a job, or be fed, it's then that things go tits up.

    This is not really an issue about civil liberties. I don't even find the civil liberties argument that compelling. This is an issue about the government attempting to do something (be seen to be doing something about terrorism) whilst pretending to do something else (actually do something about terrorism), and failing in a spectacular and costly fashion in both endeavours.

    By whatever metric, there are better ways to do airport security. Out there are hundreds of individual entrepreneurs with some fantastic and innovative ideas about how to work it if the great clunking fist of big government didn't swoop down and crush them under it's one-size-for-all centrally-planned 10-year-old half-baked movie-plot-inspired big-corporation-supporting idiocy.
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    Campaigners have won a High Court battle over plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

    Good. Let’s hope this will put a dent in the Government’s corporatist plans to force inhabitants to leave their homes, schools and local businesses for total demolition.

    Reminds me of Avatar...
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    Campaigners have won a High Court battle over plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

    Good. Let’s hope this will put a dent in the Government’s corporatist plans to force inhabitants to leave their homes, schools and local businesses for total demolition.

    Reminds me of Avatar...
    :woo: wonderful

    If I had photoshop, was any good with photoshop I could have so much fun with this.

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