People express surprise that Labour, having invented HS2, is now getting cold feet about it. But, as with rising energy prices, it is precisely because it invented the policy that it knows how expensive it is.
Labour is like a big bank which went bust in the 2008 crisis but has somehow managed to continue trading without being either rescued or wound up. It knows how badly it did, and what a terrible state it is still in, and keeps hoping (with surprising success so far) that people won’t notice.
Psychologically and politically, it is important for it to transfer blame for its own actions on to the coalition. Then it can be the prudent party at the next election, and the Tories and the Liberals can be the profligate ones.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.
Nigel Farage, Matthew Parris, Rory Sutherland and Cheryl Gillan will debate whether the government should ‘Stop HS2!‘ tonight in Westminster. Click here to book tickets.Tags: High-speed rail, HS2, Labour, UK politics