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Tuesday 10 January 2012

Verity Murphy | 13:22 UK time, Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The controversial new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham has been described by the government as "the most significant transport infrastructure project since the building of the motorways".

But opponents dispute government claims that HS2 will deliver benefits worth up to £47bn, at costs of about £33bn.

Tonight, we look at the business and environmental arguments around the project. We have an interview with Transport Minister Norman Baker, plus we will be debating the issues with Chris White MP, City AM editor Allister Heath and Sue Holden, chief executive of the Woodland Trust.

Also, Labour leader Ed Miliband has insisted he can still "deliver fairness" in tough times, but after admitting that any new government would face "difficult" spending constraints, we ask just what is his economic plan, and talk to shadow treasury secretary Rachel Reeves.

And as the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues, we get the latest from Peter Marshall in New Hampshire and speak to Tim Pawlenty, who pulled out of the running in August, about the man he is backing, frontrunner Mitt Romney.


  • Comment number 1.

    Well here's a little fact from out in the sticks in Kent.

    ALL the commuters I know have found it takes them between half an hour and hour longer to get to work in London, since HS1 was opened, not to mention the high cost of travelling on this expensive train.

    All other services have been re-arranged and take longer, just to make way for the HS1, so don't worry all you people rushing to Brum, it will take you longer not shorter time, unless of course you're pretty rich, and to them it will be a doddle.

    Kents courtryside is now wrecked completely, we are NOT the so called "Garden of England", all we grow now are houses, roads and railway lines, don't forget the eurostar as well.

  • Comment number 2.

    Just tell us who is backing each of the GOP candidates!

    I understand that Ron Paul is the only candidate that mostly receives his donations from the general public.

    Doh! I forgot....NN is not allowed to mention the libertarian maverick Ron Paul!

  • Comment number 3.

    Could the main private company beneficiaries from the 'go-ahead' of HS2 also become the future employers of certain current Gov't chance?

    Two hoots for the gravy train....toot, toot!

  • Comment number 4.


    Ron Paul 2012: ‘And I Went’ Photo Goes Viral

  • Comment number 5.

  • Comment number 6.

    How many immigrant jobs will be created by the HS2 project? We must be told!

    If I remember rightly Lizzy, most of HS1 was built by French contracters who commuted to Kent, on a daily basis, through the Chunnel. They were based in loads of portakabins in a field on a farm near Ashford - aka Amec fields.

  • Comment number 7.

    Immigation does keep Britons out of jobs, government committee admits

    Now we know what the ratio of immigrant jobs to British jobs on HS2 will be…. 4 : 1

  • Comment number 8.

    High Speed Spinning

    There are a lot of numbers floating around today regarding HS2. Tory spinners proudly say that the project will create 40,000 jobs.

  • Comment number 9.

    #8 Ah you're right muse, that will be around another 150,000 more immigrants in here, the builders of HS2 and all their families. I think they want to build this line as the politicians are planning a population of 100 million souls in England alone.

    As JJ used to say all good consumers!!!!! ; )

  • Comment number 10.

    How many biased govt quangos does it take to work out that immigrants take jobs from British people?

    5 immigrants take one job from a British worker ? I suppose the immigrants must be job sharing that single job they've 'taken'

    MigrationWatch report this week also summarily dismissed by the British worker basher apologists as MW have been saying something to this effect (i.e. immigrants taking jobs from British workers) for the last couple of years?

    HS2 what a ridiculous carry on that is

    HS2 is just going to be a 'rich man's train' used by about 0.5% of UK population & paid for by all UK taxpayers & all UK rail traveleers even though most will never use HS2 - with more borrowing & higher fares + immigrant labour & more immigrants.

    What UK needs NOW for growth & jobs is lower rail fares now

    Might as well use the £17bn to subsidise lower rail fares now - rail passengers will then spend their fare savings in wider economy - giving Uk economy a major stimulus.

    All this talk about Confidence in business & UK economy means:

    Much lower number of immigrants
    Having more money in your pocket
    Affordable train fares

    This is what 'Confidence' means - it means NOT having a RICH MAN'S TRAIN

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    'Tonight, we look at the business and environmental arguments around the project.'

    See no..?

    So far I've seen folk commuting this route saying yes, please, we'd like it quicker (money not mentioned).

    Or folk whose dining rooms it will pas through not being keen.

    Conflict!!! Ratings!!!!

    As far as I can work out it seems mainly designed to get MPs home and back quicker from constituencies (on us) and media folk from studios (on us, in some cases), so all of a sudden we have a politico-media 'consensus'... that taxpayers fund a minority to enjoy. Nifty.

    I am not a commuter, but do love & use the train. But my personal preference is NOT on 'speed'. Better service, fares, schedules, reliability, etc, yes.

    As for eco, I do note Northern airports are getting excited at possible expansions.

    'Labour leader Ed Miliband has insisted he can still "deliver fairness"

    On performance, he seems barely able to deliver a pizza, so OK. Had to love Mr. Balls new conversions across many areas, especially playing the er... well, not the man, anyway.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear dear....the NN Blog Mafia ARE upset! I had better be on my way again before the British underclass get above themselves and think their sufferings compare with those of the clever chosen ones..

    ..who unaccountably always seem to get persecuted for being such lovely people? There`s no social justice!

    How much longer before the Race War? Six months? Five years? What will happen to our oppressors at BBC HQ? Could be nasty.

    And still they flood in.......until St Enoch`s Day!

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 18.

  • Comment number 19.

    'Labour leader Ed Miliband has insisted he can still "deliver fairness" -we ask just what is his economic plan”

    Yes, I think a lot of people are asking that now, not least his own backbenchers. And, today’s speech didn’t exactly fill in any of the blanks either.

    The mistake he keeps making is to speak when he doesn’t actually have anything to say. He would be better off keeping a low profile until he has finally come up with something.

    At the moment, every time he jumps up and tries to get noticed, he simply takes the fire off Cameron and draws it to himself.

  • Comment number 20.

    How much longer before it happens here?
    Mafia now "Italy's No.1 bank" as crisis bites

  • Comment number 21.

    if shoplifting [or crime] is an illness that can be 'treated' why do we not send people to treatment centres rather than prisons so they can be cured?

  • Comment number 22.

    What I want to know is why Ron Paul gets ignored in the republican race from the lame stream media? How much is thrown up the stairs at the BBC and other news media outlets to ignore the best Republo candidate? I expect msnbc to pretend Paul ain't in the race -they are more or less owned by the the Democrats and by default the demos mouthpiece - its the same with Fox et al but the blatent disregard shown by the beeb of a popular candidate is bordering on shocking.

    Do the Beeb just get there brief from Associated Press and then build up a report around selective reporting from over the water? Even a quick glance at the candidates and their history should be enough alone who should lead the Republos...let alone their policies and comments. Has anybody at the beeb took a quick look at Gingrich? and you only have to look ay Romney and you can see right through him and see the special interest groups funding the fella..cumon Newsnight! wake up will yer!
    American politics is an illusion of choice, the media bosses and their minions will have picked up the dirty money for giving the impression there is a choice.

    Left or right, it's a one party, two card monte system and who ever wins the republican race and finally goes up against Obama..Ron Paul is the only one who could break that monopoly of power as he's not-bought-and-paid-for... unlike all the others.

  • Comment number 23.


    Have Dave's Weasels infiltrated Limited Ed's slogan writing team? Infiltration is popular in the crass-space going forward. Or is Ed writing them himself?

    How about "Gormless in Glottal times"? Or "Feckless in Awful times"? or "Ed Edifies?"

    As Long John Silver said: "THE DEAD WILL BE THE LUCKY ONES."

  • Comment number 24.

    More state sponsored murder done in YOUR name by the Zionists...

    Iran car explosion 'kills nuclear scientist' in Tehran

    I wonder if the Beeb will send out John Simpson to cover this story in the interests of democracy?

  • Comment number 25.


    Indeed Mr Shapps. Let's start with the Conservative Party.

    The Conservative Party devised, composed and deployed a FALSE INSTRUMENT in the 2010 General Election, CONTRARY TO THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1983/115.

    At least 10 MPs who availed themselves of its falsehoods, to enhance their vote tally, now sit in Westminster.


    And I, Barrie Singleton, shall see to it that The Conservative Party PAYS IN FULL.

  • Comment number 26.

    #22 kev

    CNN’s Ron Paul Reporter Admits Bias: “Worried” About Paul’s Success

    Do you know why the lame stream media are so worried?
    It's because Ron Paul is a medical doctor and can think for himself. Can you remember what happened to the last US president that practiced that ability?

  • Comment number 27.

    Ron Paul tells Haaretz: I am not an anti-Semite

    Paul: I am against the spread of nuclear weapons. But I do understand why other nations want them and why they don’t accept the nuclear monopoly as it now stands. You cannot change an opinion you don’t understand. I understand it and would try to change it.
    However, there’s a key fact that it seems is being overlooked when my positions are discussed. I believe I’m the only candidate who would allow Israel to take immediate action to defend herself without having to get our approval. Israel should be free to take whatever steps she deems necessary to protect her national security and sovereignty.

    CNN’s Ron Paul Reporter Admits Bias: “Worried” About Paul’s Success

    Ron Paul runs into anti-Zionist rabbi amid Israel policy debate

    Ron Paul and the Anti-Zionists

    Ron Paul, Zionist

  • Comment number 28.

    Terror car bomb blast kills Iran scientist

    "On December 2, 2010, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that the Israeli Mossad, the American CIA, and the British MI6 all played a role in those attacks"

  • Comment number 29.

    At 18:28 10th Jan 2012, NollyPrott wrote:

    Cheer up - Nolly Prott

    Scotland would be better off as Independent - but as out of EU - if Scotland leaves safety of UK finances to take on a new EU straightjacket it will be taking a huge risk.

    Scotland's long term prosperity is more dependent on its fisheries than oil - but needs to be outside of EU to stop foreigners taking most of their fish - so the EU issue & full UK EU referendum would probably help their cause for Independence even though Salmond & SNP do not appear to have taken this on board yet.

    If I were a Scot I'd be very worried about the prospect of an Independence vote without having had a prior full UK EU referendum vote, because if majority of Brits want out of EU - then the political landscape changes completely - & all UK needs to work togther more than ever as likely would be outside of the EU.

    As ever, our politicians have skewed the agenda and the biggest loser is once again democracy & silent UK majority.

    UK now needs a sensible EU & Independence agenda for post EU as UK majority likely to want Independence from the EU.

    Ironically, the Scottish Independence issue can save all of the UK from being trapped in the EU - the biggest danger to Scotland is in losing the Indepndence vote and being trapped in a UK that is itself trapped in the EU.

    The Scottish SNP administration can do us all in UK a very big favour by not losing the Indepndence vote & forcing the UK EU referendum issue on Westminster by showing the potential for transfer of UK sovereignty to the UK by its Holyrood UK 'back-door'. This is Salmond's 'ace'.

    But Salmond is not, it seems, so bright, after all, or he would be saying Scotland is better out of EU and force Scottish Independence vote on back of EU referendum - when most in UK want out of the EU?

    When UK out of EU - position becomes becomes more interesting as all of the British Isles would need new relationships - and that is position we need to be in? Not arguing with each other - but out of the EU & forging a new global identity - the Anglo Celtic Isles? This is time to ditch the British brand name & reflect our full, collective history & culture

  • Comment number 30.


    We have a powerless monarch who imbues a jumped-up nobody with near-absolute monarchic power.

    We have a party-political system of governance in which the parties have no existence - hence no responsibility - under the law.

    We have the duality of candidate/rosette calling for votes at election; each with a different take on 'the voter' and allegiance.

    Westminster is a club for Westminster Creatures. They play games with our lives; no improvement of the lot of the 'common man' will come from that place.


  • Comment number 31.

    Making Democracy Safe for Business

    "The government is ensuring that we can mount no effective protest against the banks and corporations. When governments seek to protect the rich from the poor, they act swiftly and decisively. When they undertake to protect the poor from the rich, they fanny about for years until the moment has passed."

    "Compare this rush to prosecute the poor with the government’s leisurely approach to banking reform. It will wait until 2019 to implement the mild measures proposed by John Vickers. As Robert Jenkins, who sits on the Bank of England’s financial policy committee, points out, the date is distant enough “to allow lobbyists to chip away until the proposal becomes both unrecognisable and ineffective.” David Cameron’s proposals for addressing executive pay have the same function: they are designed to be as ineffective as possible while creating an impression of action"

  • Comment number 32.

    The restrictions on assembly and peaceful protest in the 1986 Public Order Act, 1992 Trade Union Act, 1994 Criminal Justice Act, 1997 Protection from Harassment Act, 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act and 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act remain unrepealed. Together, they permit the police to stop any protest they wish and arrest the participants. Far from reforming the law, the prime minister has hinted that he will tighten it further. Speaking to the Commons liaison committee in November, he claimed that “the right of people to protest is fundamental” but that “you shouldn’t be able to erect tents all over the place.” His approach to the issue is the same as Tony Blair’s: you can protest, as long as it’s ineffective.

    The effort of both police and government is to predetermine political outcomes. They are using the law to make democracy safe for business and the super-rich: ensuring, in other words, that it isn’t really democracy.

  • Comment number 33.

    high speed rail

    so foreign labour that will send their pay home
    use steel for rails etc from china
    rolling stock from germany
    borrow money from china
    for use by an elite

    which bit is british or in the national interest?

  • Comment number 34.

    The Scottish independence issue is being framed in some quarters as a political poker game between Alex Salmond and George Osborne.

    The obvious economic cards are the currency, the North Sea oil, the bank debt (RBoS), the National Debt and finally, the Barnett formula.

    Dealing with each in turn, one would assume that post-independence, the Scots would simply retain the Scottish pound until they decided the time was right to join the euro.

    Regarding North Sea oil, as I understand it, at the outset of exploration, the North sea was divided into English, Scottish, and Norwegian grids and therefore it should be possible to apportion the proceeds accordingly. The Scots may also wish to charge a transmission fee for oil that is piped ashore in Scotland and supplied to England.

    The £40Bn RBoS bank debt is one for negotiation and likewise Scotland's share of the UK National Debt, but would not be a huge stumbling block once Scotland is fully independent, which implies that it would have its own Central Bank again, and therefore the ability to print as much 'fantasy' money as it wishes, as per the other central banks around the world.

    The Barnett formula would not be relevant post-Scottish independence because as a matter of national pride the Scots would wish to stand on their own two feet, and not depend on any subsidies whatsoever from the Unionists at Westminster.

    Some see Unionist George Osborne as holding all the economic cards in this poker game - this independent Englishman refutes that notion and if Cameron and Osborne were wise, they would be more accomodating towards Scotland and work towards an outcome that resulted in Scotland being treated more like the IoM and the Channel Islands e.g. in effect the devo-max option.

    My crystal ball says that at the current time, if Salmond gets the devo-max option on the ballot sheet for the 2014 referendum, then Scots are more likely to vote for that than the full independence option.

    However, if Cameron and Osborne really manage to wind up the Scots over the next two years, which Salmond will ensure that they do, then it may well be all over for the United Kingdom, which of course, sets us English on the road to freedom as well.

  • Comment number 35.

    A disingenuousness pervades the whole debate about the political future of England, Scotalnd and Wales.

    For example, I have just watched an item on the BBC News thislunchtime about revamping information and computer technology (ICT) education for children.

    The piece showed a school in Cardiff which is using innovative approach devised by the teachers in conjuction with MicroSoft.

    The piece then cut to Michael Gove, and the caption at the bottom of the screen read - 'Education Secretary'.

    Well, lets see what is misleading about this, firstly, Cardiff is in Wales, which actually has its own Education Secretary via the Welsh Government and is thus clear to make its own schools policies - which was not made clear in the piece.

    Secondly, Michael Gove is actually 'Education Secretary for England' (only) but again that is not made at all clear in the piece.

    This sort of thing happens time and time again on the BBC, thus the fiction of a United Kingdom is maintained -but - who benefits?

  • Comment number 36.


    No doubt there's an all-out media attack on Paul. They've been digging up dirt, finding nothing and then going hog wild with inventing the dirt and mud to sling at the man...funny to watch really and its easy to spot what they are doing when one is familiar with their MO.

    The link to Prison planet: thats the talk show host Alex Jones. I recall reading something about the BBC doing a hit piece on him. I watched a video and he gave his viewers and listeners a blow by blow account when he had some BBC minions visit at his studios regarding his views on 9/11. Jones gave a wonderful insight into the twisted minds of these young BBC folk: "indoctrinated googleyed corporate presstitues" or something to that effect.

    Here's a piece of media management from the BBC. Building 7 reported to have collapsed by a BBC hack. Behind her, Building 7 was visible and still standing. it collapsed later. Yeah, a steel framed building collapsed because of a fire...and I'm the pope.

    And thats why I get my news from Russia today.

    P:S was there a poll yesterday putting Ron Paul 2nd? I think there won't here that in the mainstream will yer.

  • Comment number 37.

    Britain Must Weep for Stephen Lawrence—or Else! But Not For Richard Everitt (Who?)

    Nevertheless, we are all certainly that much less secure. No doubt many people in authority wanted this as part of the creeping abolition of due process of law, and used the killing of Stephen Lawrence as their excuse. No doubt many others were so swept up in the cult of Stephen Lawrence that hurrying England along its pre-existing path to a police state was well worth getting those convictions. But this fact, at least, is a fact.

  • Comment number 38.

  • Comment number 39.

    '28. At 10:16 11th Jan 2012, museV wrote:
    Terror car bomb blast kills Iran scientist
    "On December 2, 2010, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that the Israeli Mossad, the American CIA, and the British MI6 all played a role in those attacks"

    Not being picked up enough? Pop it on twitter, and the chances are you'll have a 'sources say' on the main 'news' bulletin....

    Plus editorial assistance for the hard of grasping...

    'the work of the Zionists [Israelis]," deputy Tehran governor Safarali Baratloo said.'

    Plus helpful additions, he said. But I am unsure the conflation above is strictly accurate, is it? Especially if added by BBC editorial... to help.

    Now, when other governments in that neck of the woods make 'claims' that may or may not be true, which impartial media outfit falls overself to ensure this is 'reported' in ways that shape the narrative?

  • Comment number 40.

    At 11:03 11th Jan 2012, barriesingleton wrote:




    No 'British Spring'? - No Guy Fawkes? - No Power to the People?

  • Comment number 41.

    Iran wants a nuke to protect itself, Israel has protect itself, the USA has more than anyone as do's the problem with Iran having them? Can someone tell me what is the big deal here?

  • Comment number 42.

    '41. At 14:05 12th Jan 2012, stevie
    Can someone tell me what is the big deal here?

    Historical precedent?

    'It is reported that revolutionary guards and police did nothing to stop the take-over and Iranian television has indicated its support for the action by broadcasting live pictures of the siege.'

    It's just possible the rules the guys with fingers on buttons there will obey, are not the same as others.


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