Monday, 23 June 2014

HS2... Again...

Not wishing to go over old ground, but sometimes it is a good idea to refresh memories and today, George Osborne is all over the news on the topic of HS2.

Even at this early stage with an election expected in the first half of next year, Osborne is currently doing the rounds in the north of England, (otherwise known as; The North) telling inhabitants that they should have a high speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester. That key constituencies exists in that part of 'The North' for both the Tories and Labour (but not the Lib Dems because they are - how can I put this - fucked) means the sitting government is splashing the cash - or I should say, your cash in order to buy votes.

Ignore the green lines beyond Leeds and Manchester, bats will fly out of my ears before they appear in reality.
The map above comes from the HS2 website and without going in to great detail, the sections from London to Manchester & Leeds are expected to cost something in the region of £50 billion of which Scottish taxpayers will be paying a ~9% per capita share, the east-west link up (or HS3 as its being affectionately called by no one really) between Manchester and Leeds (which is what George is talking about today) will/could/might cost another £7 billion, off which Scottish tax payers will pay a share.

Transport is a devolved matter, the current transport minister for Scotland is MSP Keith Brown, his entire budget amounts to around £2 billion (para 5) for 2014-2015 - a fraction of the cost of Osborne's plan to link two cities in the North of England. It goes without saying, if Keith decided to put in place any sort of rail link between - say -  Fort William and Inverness; guess who would and wouldn't be paying for it?

(Scottish taxpayers would, English taxpayers would not - because it 'wouldn't benefit all of the United Kingdom'.)

Mr Osborne wants to assuage London's economic and intellectual domination of the UK by creating a 'Northern Powerhouse', unfortunately it won't be in the north of the UK, it'll be in the north of England. London already siphons off oceans of talent & cash from points north - Osborne now wants to create a second drain even closer to Scotland sucking yet more talent & money out of its economy.

And he's making these overtures in the hope it'll buy Labour votes for the Tory party.

Lets have a recap: a Tory Chancellor of the exchequer is using the tax receipts of voters who continually reject him and his party to buy votes in the North of England - and - if he goes through with his promises, the cost to Scotland (besides the cash we've already stumped up) will be an even more diminished economy and intellectual infrastructure.

If you're going to vote no in September then vote Labour in 2015 in the hope of ousting the Tories...

I haven't put this picture here because it makes Ed look like a chump, (although it does.) I've put it up because generally - whatever the Tories promise - Labour are never far behind and they'll still be using your money to buy those English votes. Be in no doubt: unionist parties at Westminster would turn Scotland into an economic wasteland if it meant getting the keys to Downing Street.

And that readers is just one example of the terms of the United Kingdom and Scotland's place in it.

We're getting close, voters in Scotland are being made to pay for their - our - own economic hardship by Westminster politics.

You cannot afford to vote no in September.


  1. Pa

    Yeah the north is Manchester, further than that is just the bank called Scotland, the gift that just keeps giving willingly aided by the Labour Party or Tories in red.

    Don't you just hate this country. It just rubs salt into the wounds with Glasgow being the hardest hit in the uk for welfare reforms, a windsor whos granny was pleading poverty a wee while buys him a wee 8 million pound helicopter and the news ignores 50,000 people marching against poverty to spend 20 mins on wee george walking.

    What kind of alternative universe are we living in. I have ranted at people in my workd for years about the return to victorian values for the rich and victorian conditions for the poor, what will it take to wake people the **** up in Scotland enough to bring about change.


  2. Hi Bruce.

    Sometimes I have to shake myself, check I'm actually awake with some of the things that are going on - I think to myself; why don't people realise?

    Meanwhile, we have such a great opportunity to buck the trend, we can't change Westminster from the inside (as many Labour drones - who are part of the problem - would try to convince us) but perhaps we can set an example from the outside. Then maybe, those still stuck in the nightmare will agitate more forcefully for change.

    Hate is a strong word, but like you, often its what I feel when I see evidence of the British establishment's perfidious nature.

  3. Agreed. Sometimes I look at what is going on and I think... WHAT?

    Never mind folk starving...look wee George is walking; his dad's getting an £8 million helicopter and his London flat is being done up at a cost of £6 million to us while people are living in cardboard boxes and sleeping on spikes just a few miles from where he lays his privileged head when he's in town. Not that he couldn't stay with his dad or his granny who have the odd spare bedrooms.

    After all, it's only for when he's in town. I heard about so many couples having to live part of the week with her parents, and part of the week with his, because they can't begin to think about a mortgage, private rents are more than they earn, and there are no council houses.

    As for the railway, why oh why is it that we help pay for English things and they don't help pay for our things.

    I mean what if Edinburgh's trams had been paid for by the UK, like Crossrail, or the London sewer, or HS2 or the Olympics, or HS3?

    And, do these people never think about Wales or Cornwall?

    When is there going to be a powerhouse there?

    Sorry, I too hate Britain. It's not a nice place to be anything except one of the super-rich or ennobled.

    Fuck you, hungry people. Look at my new helicopter!

    Oh yeah, and now we are to be forced to pray for mrs Parker Bowles because the Queen gave her the privilege for her birthday. What's wrong with a book token?

  4. I think people have become desensitized to it all, they do see it but its become the norm so hardly anyone makes a noise.

    Voting yes in September is my/our opportunity to make a bloody great big noise and stick two fingers up to the old British establishment way of doing things.

    Its past time we say to THEM - fuck you, and all it'll take is a cross in the box marked yes.

    I can't wait to do it.


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?