Heathrow vs HS2
[Re: HS2 cost-benefit is a worrying mix of naive projections, Tuesday]
The comparison we should make is between HS2 and a third runway at Heathrow. The former requires a fortune of borrowed taxpayers’ money, will find it difficult to recover the cost of capital, and is a massive transfer from the bulk of the population to a small minority of business passengers. The latter would be privately-financed, would generate a positive return for investors, and would enhance Britain’s competitiveness by connecting London to other cities. Heathrow expansion is what an infrastructure project should look like – based on a commercial return, with risks carried by the private sector.
[Re: Labour now the firm favourite to triumph in 2015 election, yesterday]
Let’s not solely attribute a likely Conservative defeat on unfair boundaries. Yes, it takes more Tory voters to elect an MP than it takes Labour voters. But that also reflects lower typical turnout in Labour seats. Liverpool Riverside had just 52.1 per cent turnout in 2010, up from 34.1 per cent in 2001. Is Liverpool likely to turn blue any time soon? Hardly. A bigger problem is the fact that political parties increasingly resemble regional issue groups rather than national movements. Labour makes no attempt to appeal to the shires. The Conservatives have no incentive to win support in gritty urban Britain.
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Readers of City A.M.