Of politicians and brains mark 2

By | Category: Travel rumblings

transport Sec, Justine Greening

Justine Greening

I go away for few days and return to find a new transport secretary and half a tourism minister. Was it something I said? Making sense of what the change means is difficult but then that could be because politicians are involved.
Only a week or so ago I was remarking that Justine Greening, the ex-transport secretary, was sticking to her guns and not expanding Heathrow. The suggestion that she has been elbowed aside because of her intransigence on the issue has not endeared herself to the Number 10 leaseholder but it has raised her profile and made West Londoners and the anti-Heathrow lobby stick up for her.
Clegg, Cable and the leaseholder have all said no change will happen at Heathrow until the next election but who believes politicians any more?
Particularly the leaseholder since he stressed how important tourism was and wanted a dedicated minister. But in his first re-shuffle he plays a different tune. Now, John Penrose, the minister has been “let go” in the parlance of the business world. Hugh Robertson, the olympics minister as was gets the tourism brief along with sport. Needless to say the travel trade has been spitting blood but does it matter to you or I? Will we have better information with half a minister than we had with a whole one? Will Visit Britain and Visit England perform only half as efficiently without a full-time minister to go and bat for them?
After all in Wales there isn’t one. Nore in any of our countries.
In the Republic, Leo Varadkar, looks after sport, transport and tourism. In Spain, the minister- José Manuel Soria López- also has other things to do, In France a junior minister, Sylvia Pine is also minister for crafts and trade as well as tourism. And France gets more visitors than any other country so even they don’t seem to feel the need for a full-time minister.
So what does all this mean for us travellers and visitors?
Who knows because the leaseholder certainly doesn’t. Nor does the travel trade.

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