Month: January 2013

HS2 choo choo!

Train A leaves London for Leeds at 9.00am traveling at 70 miles per hour. At 9.50am a high speed train, Train B, also leaves London traveling towards Leeds at 100 miles per hour. If both trains are delayed because of leaves on the line and become replacement bus services before reaching Birmingham, inefficient public investment and a lack of regulation of ticket prices means that you couldn’t afford to get on either train anyway. In fact, who are you kidding, you can’t afford to live in London.

The Government is urging us to get onboard the wonderful idea of the HS2 high speed railway, choo choo! Why do we need a high speed railway when the railway we have doesn’t work very well? Well, David Cameron says, “other countries have high speed rail networks, we need them too.” Other countries have hospitals, affordable housing and education systems that don’t favour the rich, can we have those too David? Other countries have dictators, human rights abuses and civil war, what about that David?

The country with the most kilometres of high speed railway is China. Fair enough, China is 3040 miles wide. Leeds is 175 miles from London. One country that knows about trains is Switzerland. I bet they’ve got miles and miles of lovely shiny high speed railway tracks. No, no they don’t. In fact they have less high speed railway than the UK. What they do have are trains that do what they are supposed to do, go places at a particular time. It is a bonus that they are clean and shiny.

So £33 billion on the HS2 might be a waste of money. David C says it will “spread wealth and prosperity” across the nation, more likely that it will scrape any wealth left in the nation into the private pocket of an increasingly fat controller. Anyway, the thing won’t even be finished until sometime in the 2030s, and we’ll all have hoverboards by then. Or we’ll have drowned because of rising sea levels, or frozen to death because of fuel poverty. Hoverboards, yay!

A toast to Rabbie Burns

In honour of Burns Night, a toast to Rabbie Burns…

Robert Burns was born in Alloway on the 25th January 1759. He is probably best known for playing the role of the famous secret agent, James Bond, a total of seven times. Nicknamed “The Big Yin” he invented the telephone in 1875 and transmitted the first television picture in 1925.  This was followed by the discovery of penicillin in 1928 and the launch of the Ultimo bra in 1999.

Just last year he won two further gold medals at the London Olympics, making him the most successful British Olympian of all time. He continues to front Reporting Scotland and is the face of Scotland’s Children in Need coverage.

Today he reached the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne where he will play Novak Djokovic. We wish him luck. Please raise your glasses, to Rabbie Burns!