HS2: An analogue solution in a digital world
HS2 is an analogue solution in a digital world. It is corporatist waste gone mad. The 50 billion the government is about to flush down the toilet should be spent on giving us a free, comprehensive internet architecture that's the eny of the world
When politicians say very stupid things, you're always left wondering whether they can really believe what they're saying, or whether they're just taking the voters for idiots.
Enter Transport Secretray Patrick McLoughlin, speaking in Leeds, and quoted by The Times as saying that the general election had delivered a "massive vote of confidence" in the 50 billion pound railway project known as HS2.
No it didn't. Not one person in the country cast their vote on May 7 with HS2 foremost in their minds. McLoughlin's pathetically weak justification should be taken as evidence that there just isn't a convincing argument for this vast waste of money. Was that really the best he could do? So it would appear.
HS2 is designed to line the pockets of the companies involved in a quotable case of modern-day corporatism. And the money spent will do terrible harm to the country.
London is already far too dominant in the UK, and making it (slightly) quicker to get there will just give companies the excuse not to move out to other parts of Britain. Is the government's long term aim to have people living in the Yorkshire Dales being forced to commute to London?
It's such a missed opportunity. What Britain should be doing with the 50 billion pounds is creating a free, high-speed internet architecture comprehensively to cover the whole country. It should be seen in the same way that roads began to be seen as the industrial revolution developed to give us routes across Britain for cars and lorries.
This would have the added advantage of giving us a first-world mobile communication network, as opposed to the decidely second-world cell phone system we have today.
In short, we need to embrace the digital revolution in such a way that people do not need to work in London, and can work from home or in their localities.
HS2 is an analogue solution in a digital world. We don't need it. We can't afford it. And the money could be far better spent elsewhere.
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