Transport Minister John Hayes has just been mocked in Parliament for refusing to take interventions from MPs without ties. Much fun ensued, with one female MP subsequently saying she wouldn’t answer anyone who wasn’t wearing a feather boa and another saying she’d only speak to people wearing their pants on their heads. But maybe it’s not so hilarious. Might it be that the Transport Minister feared one of the questions would be about what he thought about UNESCO saying it was not acceptable to say the short tunnel’s benefits outweighed the damage?

English Heritage, Historic England and the National Trust have taken a different route. They too have opted to answer no questions from people without ties, or with them, but have issued a joint statement saying they’re “disappointed” by what UNESCO say.

WHY? Since when is protection by a world body disappointing? Will they be “disappointed” if the scheme is cancelled and will they then remain loudly resentful for the next few decades that they’ve been prevented from ripping massive tears across a World Heritage Landscape? What a grotesque stance that would be for conservation bodies to take, but that’s the logical consequence of their current stance.