Having been offline so to speak since last October I was looking for an opportunity to blog again but was struggling to find something truly meaningful, something to which I could write passionately about. Well thanks to Prime Minister,Theresa May, and her Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, such an opportunity has presented itself.
A few weeks ago the Government announced that despite David Cameron’s previous stance to the contrary, they were going to support expansion at London’s Heathrow Airport and allow the building of a third runway. Many column inches have been written and many debates on television and radio have taken place since then and I don’t intend to dwell any further on previously made arguments. I will however declare my opposition to the plans by stating that I come from the area which will be severely affected by any further expansion, and that having spent seven years of my working life airside at Heathrow itself, it will be a gigantic environmental and logistical nightmare to build in the first place never mind the destruction of ancient villages in its intended path.
My main objection however is a more personal one; namely the threat building a third runway poses to Cherry Lane Cemetery which is situated just north of the eastbound carriageway of the M4 Motorway and adjacent to the area earmarked for expansion. This cemetery marks my parents final resting place as well as the resting place of other relatives and family friends whom I knew from childhood. Although what is known about the plans do not currently appear to affect the cemetery, I remain deeply sceptical as do others that this will continue to be the case. Therefore I wrote the following poem addressed to Chris Grayling, making it clear that these final resting places are sacrosanct to the families left behind and we will not stand idly by and watch their potential destruction before the alter of corporate greed.
The poem is called, “Disturb Them Not Mr Grayling”
Disturb them not Mr Grayling for they’re not yours to disturb
The graves of our precious loved ones, on this consecrated ground interred.
They are more than just symbols of resistance to some developers need,
Their hallowed remains will not be sacrificed, before the altar of corporate greed
Memories both precious and painful are contained within this land,
Yet the Government insists that it is Heathrow, which must be allowed to expand.
Despite the increased pollution, the creation of gridlock and jams,
The destruction of ancient communities and the blight on neighbouring towns.
No ifs no buts Cameron once said, but that was a long time before
His successors both cold and calculating, look set to even the score.
To create more big-ticket projects, resulting in more contractual offers,
Not forgetting those increased donations to party political coffers.
Each time plans are brought forward each time they get knocked back,
Corporate Britain it seems is determined, to vary the lines of attack.
But to those who will be affected, as a result of this reckless plan
Will continue to oppose and resist, in whatever way we can.
In this corner of South-East England there are sites far better to expand
With perhaps some more joined-up thinking, in using those where there’s existing demand.
This space it is sacred to the families whose loved ones are here interred;
Disturb them not Mr Grayling, for they are not yours to disturb.
Be assured Mr Grayling, we will all be watching…….