Tuesday, 8 November 2011

HS2 and related matters

HS2 has reared its head once again with the publication of another report by the Transport Select Committee, one which can be read here (click 'contents'). Writing on the TaxPayers' Alliance website, Matthew Sinclair writes of his views on this report and I have posted a few articles about HS2 here, here, here, and here.

In the first link to my previous articles I mentioned that the TPA seemed to forget the 'Elephant in the room', namely the European Union. Yet again I have to take issue when Matthew Sinclair states:
"They argue that new services on the current network could compensate for the reduction in services that places like Coventry and Stoke will face under the existing plans.  But don’t ask what the bill will be to subsidise those trains (it will take a substantial subsidy to maintain a regular service when most passengers to Birmingham and beyond travel on the new high speed line)"
Bearing in mind that in my last link I referred to the EU plan of 'user pays' (reported in the media by these two articles here and here) the question has to be asked: what subsidy?

The fact that Select Committees exist is, according to the Parliament website, to cover the work of every government department, the European Union, and cross-cutting issues such as human rights and the environment. Is not the influence of the EU and its transport policies a cross cutting issue and therefore why is it not mentioned?

It is depressing when those whose positions should allow them to draw attention to the EU influence on political decisions taken in this country fail so to do. Witness even an avowed anti-EU MP such as Gisela Stuart who tweets: "good report from Transport Committee. Let's get on with legislation for HS2 and get our economy moving" and yet like the Select Committee fails to mention the TEN-T influence and how, whilst a member of the EU, any government's transport policies can no longer be considered 'home-grown'.

If we are to have Select Committees then surely they should do the job for which they were created, namely to question government and to dissect their policies - because at the moment they look no more than another facade of the sham democratic system that presently exists.

The fact that our democratic system is well and truly fracked is illustrated by the fact that our political elite are able to propose policies that they know to be questionable to those they know to be idiots.

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