Is High Speed 2 headed for the sidings? In our cover feature this week, Ross Clark examines why the ambitious infrastructure project — designed to boost Northern cities — has all but disappeared from the government’s agenda. Despite the chancellor’s ‘boyish enthusiasm for fast trains’, the project has lacked the essential support from private business. Now, more pressing issues have taken charge.
In our View from 22 podcast this week, Ross explains why the Tories were once so enthusiastic about the High Speed link to the North:
‘It was a way for the Tories to say — as part of their decontamination of the Tory brand — look, we’re putting the interests of the North above these posh home owners in the south? But the problem with HS2 all along has been the cost. £30bn is an awful lot of money at any time, but it’s an extreme amount of money given the deficit.
James Forsyth reports on the growing number of ‘Syriza Tories’ — the front and backbench Conservatives who are willing the radical leftists to win this Sunday’s elections in Greece. Syriza have said that they will not honour past commitments to the Eurozone, so would their victory spark Europe-wide treaty negotiations, which the British government might exploit? Fraser Nelson also looks at why Tony Blair was more conservative than David Cameron over the issue of gay marriage, or at least the word ‘marriage’ itself.
You can listen below with the embedded player or subscribe through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.