The Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Stephen Doughty, has been harking back to the heady days when he used to be a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s front-bench shadow-ministerial team.
For a brief period – until he resigned in January – Doughty was a junior Labour foreign affairs spokesman, during which where he notably appeared alongside his then boss – Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn – on a Commons committee discussing the plight of the Chagos Islanders.
PDN Note: The Chagos Islanders lived happily on their British-owned archipelago of Indian Ocean islands (300 miles south of the Maldives) until 1967 when they were unceremoniously turfed-off them by Harold Wilson’s Labour Government (1964-1970).
Although no longer part of Corbyn’s top team – Doughty has now appeared again in a committee debate on the Chagos Islands and other overseas territories – although he had to apologise for arriving late.
He said “I apologise for the fact that I could not be here for the start of the debate. Honourable members will recall my position on the matter as the shadow Foreign Office Minister in the last debate.”
Doughty told MPs “I am a strong supporter of righting this historical injustice.” – but failed to mention it was an “injustice” perpetrated by the then Labour Government.
Doughty then went on to commend other former Labour Government projects in the area. He said “With respect to logistics, we have been able to move ahead with building an airport in St Helena, and we have done many other things in the overseas territories that have cost an awful lot and have been logistically difficult.”
.…. Doughty, however, failed to mention that the St Helena Airport has been found to be too dangerous to use for scheduled commercial passenger flights.
PDN Note: It was Tony Blair’s Labour Government which in 2005 committed British taxpayers to fund the building what was to become a useless £202,000,000 airport on the remote island of St Helena. In 2008 Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown finally approved a contractor to build the airport and in 2010 a go-ahead was given.
….But there was a problem. Before the airport was due to open this year – the landing strip was found to be far too dangerous to use for commercial flights because of the endemic wind-shear on the island. Last Friday a now-obsolete Avro RJ100 short-field jet airliner managed a touch-down and take off – but without fare-paying passengers.
St Helena Airport is still considered too dangerous for any scheduled passenger air-services to land there.