There are some things that those out there on the right want to talk about, but do not understand. Much of what the EU represents is one of those things, and another is the HS2 project, which right-wingers have been slagging off for several years to no discernible purpose. One of those slagging off the loudest is Darren Grimes.
Darren Grimes - talk but no walk
Dazzer’s hatred of HS2 knows no bounds: he just can’t stop talking about it. His latest rants on the subject include one where he dutifully also takes a pot at Huawei (US right-wing brownie points for that): “For the Prime Minister to give the green light to both HS2 and Huawei would reveal that the dominant political forces in Downing Street are already being overruled by the permanent civil servants. A massive sham”.
Ah, blaming the civil service for the behaviour of the politicians who take the decisions, the supreme example of a bad workman blaming his tools. Moreover, Grimes shows every sign of not understanding what the project is about: “HS2 is costed at £56bn but is likely to exceed £100bn, a disgusting waste of taxpayer cash on a project that, when built, will be an outdated and exorbitant monstrosity. An ORB survey found most folk, rightly, want that cash to go into healthcare instead”. False either/or equivalence there.
Or how about “Those billions must be redirected to investments with higher returns, such as building bypasses around bottlenecks on the road network. HS2 will absorb a large chunk of transport investment, misallocating resources on a vast scale”. MOAR ROADS! Also, citing the IEA’s Richard Wellings, a notorious rail hater, is not a good idea.
And then there is “This is a disgusting waste of taxpayer cash. Spending on HS2, a service aimed at business travellers, will absorb billions that could otherwise fund rail upgrades across the entire country, benefitting far more ordinary workers. Totally wrong priorities”.
Plus “Disgusting: the expected costs of HS2 have risen to £86 billion - nearly 50 per cent over budget - scrap it and focus on investing in the rest! Boris should connect the towns most in need of regeneration instead of focusing on a high speed toy for those wealthy enough to use it!”. He really doesn’t understand HS2’s rationale.
That looks nailed on: “I hope to God that Boris Johnson will see sense and scrap the current £100 billion, rich man’s toy HS2 plan, and focus instead on connecting the forgotten parts of our country with infrastructure”. Abuse and ignorance dressed up as soundbites? But enough. I have a straightforward question for Darren Grimes.
And it is this: what is the problem that HS2 addresses? Also, there is the obvious corollary: if HS2 is not built, how is that problem to be addressed? Clue: it won’t be addressed by building bypasses, building infrastructure elsewhere, or recycling propaganda from his fellow right-wingers. HS2 was, and still is, about transport capacity.
If that capacity is not provided, the economy as a whole suffers, as there is no room on the existing rail network for more commuters and more freight. Building another motorway was considered as an alternative - and rejected. Reopening long-closed railways will not solve the problem. Nor will shouting the odds. Darren Grimes should get knowledgeable.
But if he gets the media appearances by being ignorant, well, why should he?
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at