Stuff HS2! The North Needs Vision, Not London’s Folly

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HS2: Dennis Skinner, Do I Want to Get to London 30 Minutes Quicker?

Skinner was at his best, when he asked the most relevant questions about the inflated price of HS2 from £30 billion to over £100 billion, stating:

“Could I spend that money in a different way? And the answer is yes, every time!”

The Folly of HS2: A Boondoggle Doomed to Bankrupt Britain’s Future

What possessed our bungling overlords to imagine the peasantry desired faster access to London, as local communities face immiseration? This absurdity was matched only by Boris Johnson’s plan for the Irish Sea bridge.

When dear Dennis Skinner exposed the ballooning price tag, querying whether funds could be better invested, even the Treasury gnomes scratched their heads. £120 billion to arrive half an hour early for Parliamentary tedium? For such fortunes, we might resurrect Brunel himself!

How much time will passengers save from HS2?

183d75eb how much time will passengers save from hs2 1

Source: Department for Transport (November 2016)

HS2 vs. Northern Transformation

Imagine if a fraction of this largesse had instead been used to genuinely level up the long-neglected cities of the North. Places like Doncaster, a transport hub boasting intersections of the A1 and M1 connecting North and South while the M18 and M62 a West–East trans-Pennine motorway, connecting Liverpool and Hull via Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield. This one northern city could have been transformed into a strategic terminal streamlining distribution across the UK.

This railway city, once famous worldwide for building the iconic Flying Scotsman, retains rail connections from London to Edinburgh, cutting across the Pennines to Manchester and Liverpool it line covers all points of the compass, a remnant of its coalmining days feeding the country with its black gold. It even has an airport and runway, built long enough to accommodate Concorde, now sat in receivership awaiting a new purpose following the termination of that brief experiment in tourist travel.

You want Freeports, well there you go – With vision and investment, Doncaster could become the main distribution centre for British manufacturing and commerce, offering relief for the congested airfields of the overcrowded London and Southeast. Combined with the benefits of new Freeports, assets like this could have helped catalyse the rebirth of Britain’s industrial heartlands. A national distribution centre.

Yet real “levelling up” has never been the true priority. HS2 is but an extravagant monument to the Metroland vanity of our London liberal elite.

doncaster Rail UK Map

HS2: A Monument to Metroland Vanity

Another cash cow for Tory friends and families, contracts for the old school ties.

With even the fuzziest maths it indicates HS2’s cost will near Hubble Telescope proportions, enriching the elite while beggaring Government. Does Number 10 fancy encouraging entrepreneurship by instead mailing cheques to every household in County Durham? It would prove no less frivolous.

The unholy alliance between big government and big business reeks when it comes to bloated public infrastructure projects like HS2. This high-speed rail folly is the epitome of corrupt stupidity that will bankrupt future generations. The insane price tag of the initial £30 billion, just ballooned five-fold, bringing no significant time savings.

It fails to grasp the digital revolution that has shown we can work from home. Yet politicians pander to special interests who profit from endless roadworks and bridges to nowhere. The British people will foot the bill for HS2’s multi-billion pound price tag – straight down the drain. Any politician backing this farcical white elephant should be unelectable.

Dennis Skinner giving his view of HS2 to his constituents

£120 Billion pounds to get to London 30 minutes earlier. If you need to get to London 30 minutes earlier try getting up 30 minutes earlier.”

-Dennis Skinner

The truth arrives when you realise HS2 is but an offering at the altar of Mammon and Metroland, birthed by a political class for whom the North is an alien land. Expecting Whitehall’s finest to comprehend needs outside the Home Counties would tax the brains of even Newton’s most gifted students.

Thus the provinces gain nothing but debt and disruption from this iron chariot from London. No divot of God’s earth escapes disfigurement, yet no honest northern toiler benefits. Where is the vision to modernise east-west connections that could transform the North? Absent, as always.

So let us not mourn HS2’s pomposity but see it as a sign of deeper decay, like Roman excess preceding the fall. Just don’t expect those responsible to ride the railway they tried to force-feed us. After all, the upper crust much prefers their town cars and private jets. The folly is ours to fund and forget.

Starmer’s Shameless HS2 Flip-Flop Fools No Northern Rustic

And what of the opposition you may ask?

With poetic irony, Sir Keir Starmer now argues against scrapping HS2, suggesting Sunak has sold out Manchester and the supposed Northern Powerhouse.

This from the man who was once an avid campaigner against the project! Well, the liberal elites may fall for his flip-flopping flimflam, but ‘us Northern Rustics’ are a little more worldly-wise folk.

We recognise the professional politician’s platitudes for what they are: empty gusts of hot air signifying nothing. Sir Keir may grandstand about the “Northern Powerhouse,” but if it ever runs and the North get a chance at being more than just the abounded industrial heartlands you can bet he won’t be riding with the plebeians, well at least not up here.

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