The Null Device

Soon to be only 70 years behind Japan

As the date of the next UK General Election approaches, the government (which looks like being soundly defeated) is starting to say some pretty desperate things; like promising a high-speed rail line within 20 years. Interestingly enough, the line might be based on Japanese shinkansen technology (rather than the French TGV technology already used on the high-speed line between London and the Channel Tunnel), and if it's successful, your children or grandchildren may well see other high-speed lines, such as from London to Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Ministers want to begin work on the new London to Manchester line as soon as possible so that it can be in place within 15-20 years. It is understood they hope to use new planning laws to avert a lengthy public inquiry.
More worrying is the plan to base the London rail hub not within central London but at Heathrow Airport, which would have no practical purpose other than to throw the air-travel industry a bone, at the cost of inconvenience to those not wishing to catch a plane.

There are 2 comments on "Soon to be only 70 years behind Japan":

Posted by: Greg Mon Dec 29 13:30:44 2008

The UK government is likely to change? A lot of resources are spent on political analysis, but I wonder if Western electorates simply toggle between their two major parties every 8-12 years?

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/acb/ Mon Dec 29 23:19:15 2008

New Labour have spent the past decade or so relying on being the lesser evil to Thatcher's despicable Tories, and have actually engaged in a policy of "outflanking" the Tories on the right. Now that Thatcherism has receded in the memory of the electorate, David Cameron looks set to be able to call New Labour's bluff. And given that the Tories are against some of the more Orwellian aspects of New Labour's vision (the ID card, the internet surveillance infrastructure, the database state, &c.), I'm almost inclined to give them my vote. Then again, John Howard looked reasonable and moderate in 1996 too...

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