The Environment Secretary has failed to act. Her silence is a complete abdication of responsibility. She should be leading an urgent, cross-Departmental response to bring air pollution down to safe levels. Re-doing the consultation and making genuine efforts to engage on air quality must be the first step, for which she will have Labour's full support.
The next Mayor is faced with an air pollution crisis to solve and the knowledge that expanding our road network will just make that crisis worse. What we need is the same kind of determination as when London adopted the congestion charge. The only way London will work is if we reduce traffic at the same time as increasing our population. The next Mayor has to instil a sense of optimism into Transport for London. They have done it before, they can do it some more.
My campaign is built on two platforms. Firstly, it is a grassroots campaign. My vision and policies are directly shaped by grassroots Labour members with added expert knowledge from specialists to make sure they are viable. Secondly, and related to this, it is built on the idea that London needs to be more affordable, more liveable and more sustainable. But what does that mean in practice?
The Airports Commission, as an independent but taxpayer funded organisation, has a duty to the public not to recommend a project that would significantly damage people's health. It would also be a poor use of taxpayer's money to make recommendations that invite a legal challenge. That is why it is possible to imagine a concerned Airports Commission member of staff hurriedly typing away on his or her phone at the back of the courtroom this week.
I believe that if politics is about anything, it should be about improving people's lives and bequeathing something better to our children than we ourselves inherited. If internationalism is about anything, it is about doing that for people around the world regardless of where they live. That's what environmentalism and sustainability mean to me.
Do any of the new proposals deliver on environmental issues? Many of the new ideas, such as noise compensation schemes and a congestion charge, aim to tackle these impacts but much of what has been proposed either misses the key questions or makes impressive promises on issues that are outside the control of airports.
It might seem strange to some that dust from the Sahara is falling on their cars in England. Stranger still, that Saharan sand is mixing with general air pollution from both Europe and the UK to bring about the maximum possible health warning for air quality to parts of the country. But air pollution is hardly a new phenomenon...
Without any reassurances from the independent Commission, communities will look to politicians to provide them. The Airports Commission has failed for now to achieve its purpose to take the politics out of the airports debate. Has this week's announcement really given the green light to a new runway or just reopened the political debate?