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Nimbyism and HS2

How should we make a moral calculation between the needs of the majority and the suffering and losses of the minority? Engaging debate chaired by David Aaronovitch.

The government has announced its preferred route for the northern section for the high speed rail line - HS2 - and predictably it has attracted howls of protest from those likely to be impacted. The route from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will undoubtedly cut through some of the richest - in both senses of the word - countryside in England. But, according to its supporters, that's a price worth paying. To them HS2 is not just any old infrastructure scheme; it's a national priority that will benefit the whole country, creating a hundred of thousand jobs and helping to tackle the North South divide.

You may, or may not believe those claims, but many thousands of people will suffer for decades to come as we go through the planning and construction process and promises of financial compensation will sound very hollow. How far are they entitled to resist what may benefit the wider nation? Whether it's HS2, a third runway for Heathrow, nuclear power or wind farms, how should we make a moral calculation between the needs of the majority and the suffering and losses of the minority? And at a time of economic crisis should our priority always be jobs and GDP, or in the drive for development and progress are we in danger of bulldozing other intangible values like happiness and living the Good Life?
Engaging debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week's news stories. Chaired by David Aaronovitch, with Claire Fox, Anne McElvoy, Matthew Taylor and Giles Fraser. Witnesses: Martin Durkin - Controversial documentary film-maker, Lord Robert Skidelsky - Author: How much is enough? Money and the Good Life (2012), Penny Gaines - Chair, Stop HS2, Sir Richard Leese - Leader Manchester City Council.

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43 minutes

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