Saturday, 15 February 2020

A Bigger Train Set.



It might sound like a simple solution to have rescheduled all meetings in London or Birmingham by 20 minutes (and for Leeds or Manchester a tiny bit longer), but to genuinely integrate 'The Northern Powerhouse' with the UK's business hub (which is London) the country does need the best road/rail communications possible. The North/South divide has existed for too long.

There are people out there who think that spending this £100 Billion is money down the drain (Originally I wasn't keen on the whole project), but we need to think of it as the old Socialist war cry of  'redistribution of wealth'. The money doesn't just disappear; it becomes liberally spread around. From the simple pickaxe and shovel wielding navvy, to the most sophisticated technicians, all will be taking home their fat pay packets over the next ten years or more. Steel works will remain open, ready-mix providers will be assured their employment, and even the police will earn 'overtime' dealing with tree-hugging protestors.

I have often stated that my least-liked human quality is hypocrisy, but just watch as those who have been demonstrating against the government's policy of austerity, now begin to demonstrate against their excessiveness. Where once they demanded more spending, they are now moaning about the high cost of new infrastructure and communications. 

OK, many of us were unhappy about HS2, but let's now get it done. Employ all those extra workers, enhance the economy of the Midlands/North, and make the travel time between London and the North just that teeny bit quicker.

p.s. While we're on the subject of spending large amounts of public money; when comparing the cost of HS2, to that of Gordon Brown's outrageous NHS privatisations (£300 Billion), I suppose it seems like quite a bargain. 



20 comments:

  1. It matters little what the cost is expected to be it will be at least double. I agree that infrastructure spending is an excellent idea but I suspect a greater benefit could be had from upgrading and reopening current track..Pop Rory in charge, he seems a very special sort of chap.

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    1. The final cost is bound to be higher, but now that the decision has been made (whether we like it or not), it's best to get on with it as quickly as possible. Much the same for Runway 3 at Heathrow.

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  2. Leaving party politics and cost and their rights and wrongs aside, here is a thought that popped into my mind (uninvited) as I was reading your post. You may laugh, sneer, gulp, ignore or all.

    Two words "Hitler" and "Autobahn". Oh, yes, Germany's magnificent - and it is magnificent - Motorway network. Create jobs (most welcome); use for propaganda purposes; divert attention from what's really going on (behind the scenes). Before you ask me, Cro, what the hell I think is "really going on" NOW, I don't know. Neither did any (of the populace) in early/mid thirties Germany.

    U

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    1. Commentators talk of a 'new liberalism' in UK politics. Personally I think this is a good thing. There has been far too much talk recently of rich and poor, north and south, left and right. A steady period of amelioration can do no harm.

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  3. As an HS1 beneficiary said, no fuss was made about that as it wound its slow process through the Kent countryside and now nobody notices it but everybody enjoys its speed. I would sooner Labour had never commissioned HS2 and people just got on with getting up early but wait till it connects to Paris and I expect it too will be loved.

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    1. The country now needs to accept that it's going ahead, and work to make it a success. Our opinions were not heard; so be it.

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  4. Strange world. I remember when England had a very extensive rail network, lots of which were torn up in the 60s at on the instructions of a chap called Dr Beeching.

    It's taken 50 years for somebody to realise this wasn't perhaps the best idea in the world.

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    1. Beeching was a menace. He failed to see the importance of small interconnecting lines.

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    2. Beeching did the job he was asked to do. He was an ICI industrialist, not a politician and he worked to his brief. I disagree that he was to blame. MacMillan gave him his brief, and he delivered. It was a dreadful destruction of the railway network when at the time road transport and motorways were on the rise.

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    3. During my brief stay in Shropshire, I used to walk along defunct railway lines; the legacy of Beeching. Many of those lines were used just once or twice a week for country folk to get to market etc. Nothing replaced the railways, and the people had to either buy a car, or rely on others who had one.

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  5. I hate it. I think the money would be better spent either doing up the old railways, even reinstating some of the defunct ones and/or building AFFORDABLE homes and council houses for the homeless. People don't need to get anywhere faster, in fact we should all be slowing down! Meetings can be held via conference calls, thus cutting down on expense accounts.

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    1. If, indeed, it does bring the north and south together better, it will have been worth it, and the 'distribution of Wealth' along that central corridor can only do good. However, I was never in favour of it myself!

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  6. There are better ways of spreading the money around. I liked the idea that when they spent all that money on quantitative easing to bail out the banks it might have been more effective just to give £5,000 to every person in the country.

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    1. Aren't you forgetting certain ex-pats? We deserve our cut as well.

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    2. We could ask for some EU money for the bridge from Scotland to Ireland and have the Chunnel trains going over it. Macron could include it in his 10 year plan. They say there’s millions of explosives in the Irish sea trench from WWll - might be a problem.

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  7. The way the government is going cars etc will be too expensive to own and run. They need to invest in the trains and buses now. not everyone will be able to afford a tesla car, which is the only one really on the market that you can take on a long journey on the motorway. They have to invest in charging points for all of these electric cars they are expecting everyone to buy. In Glasgow you wont be able to get a taxi soon as they are all being forced to get electric black cabs. Who has that type of money? I sure as hell dont. Even a hyundai kone starts at £40k for the base model. You know there are some houses that cost 60 in this area of scotland. How can that be that a car is nearly the same price as a home? We have all gone mad.

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    1. An efficient, and affordable, transport system is essential for any 'first world' country. I can't see where this electric car business is going, I had hoped that at some time we would be using hydrogen fuelled cars, but no wizz-kid has yet managed to efficiently separate the Hydrogen from the Oxygen in water; otherwise travel could become very cheap AND CLEAN.

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    2. I hope so Cro. I hope a billionaire comes up with the idea and give it away for free so that all countries can take advantage and again we can have clean air and still be able to afford to live. Opening some of the old railway stations would be a start. And businesses that could have people working from home should offer it as standard to stop people having to commute. Work life balance for a lot of people would also be possible as well. 2 days in the office for meetings and building team, but 3 days at home would boost productivity for many as they wouldnt have people distracting them. maybe this elusive shorter working week some politicians like to bang on about could be possible...

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  8. I agree Cro, I can't see how this electric car thing is going to work for everybody. We did try, but because of the siting of our house (elevated) we cannot even get a charging lead long enough to reach the car, as apparently they cannot be over a certain length for safety reasons. And what about people who live in blocks of flats, are there going to be hundreds of charging points outside the front doors? Like you I am amazed that no whizz kid has got the hydrogen separation going...probably because it would be TOO cheap therefore nobody would be able to make a killing out of it.

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    1. that is exactly it Sue, as no one will make money from it and the governments couldnt tax it no one wants to push for it.

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