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2015 UK General Election

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#101 Post by Alan H » February 20th, 2015, 1:56 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Altfish wrote:I don't understand the Greens being against HS2.

Rail is by far the greenest form of mass transport, well ahead of air and road. HS2 will reduce rail and road travel, so it is a win?? What am I missing?
I assume it's because of the massive environmental damage cutting a wide swathe through the towns and countryside en route that could be problematic.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#102 Post by animist » February 20th, 2015, 5:39 pm

Alan H wrote:
Altfish wrote:I don't understand the Greens being against HS2.

Rail is by far the greenest form of mass transport, well ahead of air and road. HS2 will reduce rail and road travel, so it is a win?? What am I missing?
I assume it's because of the massive environmental damage cutting a wide swathe through the towns and countryside en route that could be problematic.
yes indeed. To quote Tetenterre, false dichotomy alert! Opposing the HS2 project does not mean opposing rail generally as an alternative to road and air, and the Green Party statement which I quoted makes this clear

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#103 Post by animist » February 20th, 2015, 6:04 pm

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:in other words, HS2 may well have opposing effects as far as the welfare of Mancunians is concerned.
It will have effects which pull activities in different directions, but only because it leads to greater efficiencies, and hence growth. There will be different winners and losers, rather than merely cancelling each other out..
if there are different winners and losers then IMO this equates to cancelling out. How about the environment as a loser?
Nick wrote:
Its effects are at present unpredictable
Hmmm... From a planning perspective, at a micro level, yes. But most people would be able to tell you the effect it might have on their life and economic activity. And at a macro level, fair estimates of economic effects can be made. Even though the people ultimately making the decisions may not understand the methodology in detail, the work will have been done to best estimate the benefits. How accurate they will turn out to be is a different matter, and such measurement and specifically attribution, is difficult.
that sounds to me like a statement of faith. Are the planners going to talk to each and every person who might be affected, then somehow assess the reliability, direction and intensity of these opinions, then come up with an optimal decision?
Nick wrote:
and even in retrospect, were it to be built, they would probably be difficult to ascertain.
Doesn't mean it's impossible. Changes in numbers of rail journeys and changing property uses and values will give good indications.
possibly, but by then it is a bit late, yes?

Nick wrote:
I think I will stick with my Green Party view that high speed is stupid and wasteful environmentally
The Duke of Wellington was against railways in general, as it would only encourage the lower classes to move around the country unnecessarily.... :wink: The Green view is inconsistent, repressive and somewhat bizarre.
inconsistent - why? Repressive - only inasmuch as any policy represses alternatives. Bizarre - to you maybe

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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#104 Post by Nick » February 20th, 2015, 9:02 pm

animist wrote:if there are different winners and losers then IMO this equates to cancelling out.
That woulod only be an effective answer if the movements were of the same size. For example, the construction of the Bridgewater Canal was appalling news for the wagoners who hauled coal from Worsley to Manchester, but brought much, much cheaper coal to Manchester, raising real incomes as a result (as well as great wealth to the 3rd Duke). Are you really saying it should not have been built?
How about the environment as a loser?
Good question, but very hard to define, let alone evaluate. If the railway is not built, then there will be more roads and more pollution. For some, there will be an improvement in their environment. If we all froze in our woolies over the winter, there would be less pollution, but more deaths. Is you central heating on right now? :wink: Most of the noise is either NIMBYism (entirely understandable) or eco-warriors of the Swampy variety.
Nick wrote:
Its effects are at present unpredictable
Hmmm... From a planning perspective, at a micro level, yes. But most people would be able to tell you the effect it might have on their life and economic activity. And at a macro level, fair estimates of economic effects can be made. Even though the people ultimately making the decisions may not understand the methodology in detail, the work will have been done to best estimate the benefits. How accurate they will turn out to be is a different matter, and such measurement and specifically attribution, is difficult.
that sounds to me like a statement of faith. Are the planners going to talk to each and every person who might be affected, then somehow assess the reliability, direction and intensity of these opinions, then come up with an optimal decision?
Not every one, but statistical sampling will certainly have been done. So no, it is not a matter of faith.
Nick wrote:
and even in retrospect, were it to be built, they would probably be difficult to ascertain.
Doesn't mean it's impossible. Changes in numbers of rail journeys and changing property uses and values will give good indications.
possibly, but by then it is a bit late, yes?
The direction of travel (if you pardon the expression) is very clear. It will increase GDP. For certain. That doesn't mean the £50 billion could not be better spent elsewhere, even in terms of transport policy. Miliband has said this, but somehow I think he is just trying to face both ways at once for electoral advantage, rather than having any idea of what should be done.
Nick wrote:
The Green view is inconsistent, repressive and somewhat bizarre.
inconsistent - why? Repressive - only inasmuch as any policy represses alternatives. Bizarre - to you maybe
That requires a fuller answer than I have time for. I'll be back!

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#105 Post by animist » February 21st, 2015, 10:43 am

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:if there are different winners and losers then IMO this equates to cancelling out.
That woulod only be an effective answer if the movements were of the same size. For example, the construction of the Bridgewater Canal was appalling news for the wagoners who hauled coal from Worsley to Manchester, but brought much, much cheaper coal to Manchester, raising real incomes as a result (as well as great wealth to the 3rd Duke). Are you really saying it should not have been built?
no, any more than I would say that the Luddite campaign to stop textile machinery being introduced a few decades earlier was justified from an objective POV. I don't think that tendentious historical RAAs (reductio ad absurdums) are much help, though. No doubt advances in ship technology (maybe) made it possible to transport more Africans in the slave trade in a given year, and no doubt (definitely) the efficiency of this trade brought great wealth to the countries which participated in it; the point is that there are goods and bads which are not measurable by incomes alone
Nick wrote:
How about the environment as a loser?
Good question, but very hard to define, let alone evaluate. If the railway is not built, then there will be more roads and more pollution. For some, there will be an improvement in their environment. If we all froze in our woolies over the winter, there would be less pollution, but more deaths. Is you central heating on right now? :wink: Most of the noise is either NIMBYism (entirely understandable) or eco-warriors of the Swampy variety.
another false dichotomy alert here! The Greens are not opposed to railways, and in fact (if you read the very brief statement from them) support railways in preference to road and air. The answer is to clobber private motorists in any way possible (this is me talking not the Greens, and I am probably in fact more "repressive", to use your word, than they are :laughter:) There is no human right to simply take off in one's car whenever one wants to; we need a future transport policy which involves using the internet to share journeys, whether these are by rail (good but not as good as bikes), road (less good) or air (less good again)

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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#106 Post by Nick » February 21st, 2015, 1:04 pm

animist wrote:.. we need a future transport policy which involves using the internet to share journeys,
.... speaking as an axe-murderer... :wink:
whether these are by rail
sharing by rail...?
(good but not as good as bikes),
Wot? London to Birmingham...?
road (less good)
Hmmm.. even with driverless, hydrogen powered cars...?
or air (less good again)
The USP of air is speed, which the Greens, having nothing particular to do than knit sandals out of lentils, have plenty of. (That's jest, not anger :wink: )

More anon. :)

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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#107 Post by Nick » February 21st, 2015, 1:07 pm

Thoyught this might be useful to the debate.

At the moment, I'm mildly in favour. Let's see how this goes. After all, the ASI are against it for free market grounds, rather than eco ones. Hmmm...

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#108 Post by animist » February 22nd, 2015, 4:27 pm

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:.. we need a future transport policy which involves using the internet to share journeys,
.... speaking as an axe-murderer... :wink:
safety in numbers, Nick! If we meet up later on, I will try to bring my better half with me for protection, and if so we'll naturally come by tandem :D

stevenw888
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#109 Post by stevenw888 » February 22nd, 2015, 10:43 pm

Altfish, your comments about HS2 were interesting and insightful. However it was my understanding that HS2 proposed a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham. I wasn't aware that it included any links to any cities north of Birmingham.
Surely that is some form of "HS3" which (I presume) has not yet been sanctioned. I agree with Nick that "Town A" (London) is much more likely to benefit from the link than "Town B". I have yet to figure out what the benefits are to Town B.
"There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots." - From the film "Top Gun"

lewist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#110 Post by lewist » February 23rd, 2015, 8:50 am

Which is the bigger waste of my money, HS2 or Trident? :puzzled:
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Alan H
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#111 Post by Alan H » February 23rd, 2015, 9:30 am

lewist wrote:Which is the bigger waste of my money, HS2 or Trident? :puzzled:
That's a tough one... both create jobs, one will never be used... one uses money that might be better spent elsewhere and the other uses money that would be better used elsewhere.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#112 Post by animist » February 23rd, 2015, 6:59 pm

Alan H wrote:
lewist wrote:Which is the bigger waste of my money, HS2 or Trident? :puzzled:
That's a tough one... both create jobs, one will never be used... one uses money that might be better spent elsewhere and the other uses money that would be better used elsewhere.
well, hardly a tough one, surely, Alan, and I don't think it is a tough conjecture that you are being ironic :wink:

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#113 Post by animist » February 24th, 2015, 7:41 am

the scandals of Straw and Rifkind: more reason still to avoid voting for either big party. I am actually glad that the SNP are knocking Labour out in Scotland; there are too many seats, like Grimsby, where Labour seems to think it has a right to be elected time after time

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Altfish
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#114 Post by Altfish » February 24th, 2015, 8:22 am

Morning, been away for a long weekend, just reading through the various replies to my HS2 comments. I'll respond later when I have time, currently playing cat-up at work...bloody e-mails!!

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Altfish
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#115 Post by Altfish » February 24th, 2015, 8:23 am

animist wrote:the scandals of Straw and Rifkind: more reason still to avoid voting for either big party. I am actually glad that the SNP are knocking Labour out in Scotland; there are too many seats, like Grimsby, where Labour seems to think it has a right to be elected time after time
Just wish there was a party doing the same to the Tories, there are seats like the one I'm in where the Tories seems to think it has a right to be elected time after time

Nick
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#116 Post by Nick » February 24th, 2015, 11:04 am

animist wrote:the scandals of Straw and Rifkind: more reason still to avoid voting for either big party.
Hmm... While it is serious enough to be examined in detail, it is not a patch or the levels of corruption elsewhere in the world. That's not excusing it, but putting it some sort of context. We would still be better off voting for competence, eg either Mssrs Rifkind and Straw, rather than supporting the lunacy of the Green Party, who, if elected, would cause vastly more devastation than anything which could possibly be caused by either of the former Home Secretaries. Or indeed from appointing Prescott as our climate change tzar. That makes me somewhat nervous!

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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#117 Post by Tetenterre » February 24th, 2015, 2:56 pm

I'm no lover of either of them, but I found it interesting to compare the responses of Rifkind & Straw when they were interviewed on Today yesterday. Paraphrasing:

Rifkind: "I did nothing wrong and would give exactly the same answers to those questions if you were to ask me them in this interview."

Straw: "I only said what I did because I didn't realise it would be made public."
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

Nick
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#118 Post by Nick » February 24th, 2015, 5:28 pm

Nick wrote:The Green view is inconsistent, repressive and somewhat bizarre.
animist wrote:inconsistent - why? Repressive - only inasmuch as any policy represses alternatives. Bizarre - to you maybe
Nick wrote:That requires a fuller answer than I have time for. I'll be back!
The Green Party reiterates its opposition to the HS2 rail link between London and the north of England.

26 September 2013
The Greens are the only Party in opposition to HS2 at Westminster since the project has had the backing of all three main party leaders since its inception (which occurred during that last Labour Government), despite some backbench protest.
Apart from the Green, there are some who think it a misuse of money, and some who think it shouldn't go through their constituency.
Ed Balls has told the Labour conference that his Party still backs HS2 but might review it after the next election, while questioning whether the project is “the best way to spend £50bn for the future of the country.”
Pure electioneering; facing both ways at once. It is a valid question, but frankly, he should know by now which way he wants to jump.
(Meanwhile Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman has stated that Labour policy remains firmly behind HS2.)
Well, Ed...?
The Green Party has a clear answer to Balls’s question: It isn’t.
OK, tell us more...
The Greens support high speed rail in principle because it should improve Britain’s transport system, reduce road and air traffic and help cut carbon emissions.
OK, good.
But HS2 does too much damage to local communities and to the environment, and is too pricey.
"Communities"! Grrr!!! Explains nothing, but let's try. Some will be "damaged" by being left out. Some by being included. Some by being passed through. But isn't a failure to improve also some sort of damage by omission? You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. All we seem to have have from the Greens is a preference for the status quo. So how does that improve Britain's transport system, reduce car and air traffic and cut emissions?
To achieve high speeds the trains are expected to use up to 50% more fuel than Eurostar so carbon emissions will not be reduced.
But surely, replacing hundreds of cars with a single train will improve things, won't it? And high speeds will be required to compete with air alternatives.
The enormous sums involved could be better spent improving transport for everybody,
The best estimates we have say that new capacity is needed. Rail usage has doubled since privatisation (hurrah!) and investment grown dramatically. To upgrade the existing routes would have a number of serious problems. Years of disruption and travel misery for existing passengers, which would cost billions to the economy, though little directly to the Exchequer. The Greens should recognise this in the same way the include carbon costs. Secondly, the existing route would not be able to take the increased speeds, even with all new tracks. And as for environmental damage, this still occurs if you add an extra couple of lines alongside existing tracks. So the difference in cost, in terms of pounds, and indeed carbons, is much smaller than the Greens imagine.
not just the wealthy business-people who will be able to afford to use HS2.
This way folly lies. Just think of all the things we would not now have if we had been concerned that the "rich" would be using them first. Trains, cars, mobile phones, TV's cameras, computers... in fact, just about anything more sophisticated than a potato. And even that was the result of elitist, dangerous, expensive, uncertain speculation by a bunch of rich, powerful men.

And it is wrong in any case. No-one is proposing that existing routes and services will be stopped altogether. Cheaper travel will still be available. London to Glasgow by bus for a tenner. If you've got the time, then why not (I've done it myself). All we have hear is green envy and repression.
Rupert Read is the Green Party’s national spokesperson on transport as well as being lead Green candidate in the east of England at next year’s European elections.
Doctor Read eh? I wonder if his PhD was in transport economics....?
Spoiler:
his PhD involved “a Wittgensteinian exploration of the relationship between Kripke’s ‘quus’ problem and Nelson Goodman’s ‘grue’ problem."
Er.... that would be no, then. :sad:
Dr. Read said:

“HS2 is not a green solution. That money needs to be spent instead on increasing rail capacity by adding more track to existing routes, and by upgrading freight-only routes for passenger use too.
Which won't give the market segmentation, will not be competitive with air, will cost a fortune in disruption to existing services, and will still carry a big green cost.
“At the same time, we need wider-ranging policies designed to reduce the need for long-distance travel,
WOT!? Like going to see friends and relations? Going on holiday? Earning a crust to support your family? Since privatisation (though this is not causally connected) we have seen massive advances in technology which could reduce the "need" for travel. But yet, though, say "driving for pleasure" has decreased the number of miles travelled has grown hugely too. If people want to travel, then, Dr. Read, kindly shut up, and stay at home.
while integrating local public transport systems (for example, as has actually happened to good effect in London over the last 15 years) and continuing to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Cyclists and pedestrians are not really part of the rail debate, are they...? :rolleyes:
“I am sure most ordinary people see HS2 as a politicians’ vanity project, which should be stopped. I agree with them.”
I'd rather see some evidence, than rely on people's opinions. After all, most people think the Greens do not represent a viable electoral choice. On that basis, therefore, he should quit. But he won't.
At its conference this month, the Green Party voted to re-affirm its policy to re-nationalise the railways,
The politics of envy again, nothing to do with transport or green policy.
taking them away from private operators who have prioritised shareholders’ dividends over a network well-run for the benefit of all.
For decades, there was under-investment in railways, a decline in usage, and creaky safety. All these have improved under privatisation. I think we need a bit more justification of you opinion, don't you?
Green MP Caroline Lucas recently introduced a bill that seeks to renationalise the railways into the House of Commons.
- See more at: http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2013/09/2 ... d5IiW.dpuf
So please explain again... Why do we want a more poorly run railway that costs the country more, to go to fewer places, more slowly....? :shrug:

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Altfish
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#119 Post by Altfish » February 24th, 2015, 6:17 pm

Good grief Nick, your posts are becoming like Iftikhars :laughter:

I don't have the time or inclination to read them, sorry.

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animist
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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#120 Post by animist » February 24th, 2015, 7:54 pm

Altfish wrote:Good grief Nick, your posts are becoming like Iftikhars :laughter:

I don't have the time or inclination to read them, sorry.
I think the problem is that Nick seems to be addressing several people at the same time: me, the Greens, Labour...

I can only answer for myself, and in fact one of your points, Nick, ie that the Greens would make a mess of government, is one which you and I have kind of already covered. The Greens could in no way form a government: they won't win the seats and have no experience of government. So yes, on that level I repeat that they are not competent to rule. And I have said already that I am not voting Green in the hope of electing the government but in the hope that the more votes and seats the Greens get, the more influence they may have on whoever does form the government!

Going back to HS2, I am a bit surprised that the Greens say they are in favour of high speed rail in principle - why? Railways could and should be good places to work, relax, sleep, converse and so on - none of which one can do in a car!!!!

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Re: 2015 UK General Election

#121 Post by Nick » February 25th, 2015, 9:51 am

Altfish wrote:Good grief Nick, your posts are becoming like Iftikhars :laughter:

I don't have the time or inclination to read them, sorry.
Oh dear. :sad:

I do have a tendency to try to address all the points raised, and if there are a lot... well, then they get answered. Maybe I should be more selective, but I don't like unturned stones. :rolleyes:

But unlike Ifty, I do debate the points raised! :)

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