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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

U-turn if you want to

Nothing surprises me about this shower of idiots, collectively known as the UK government, but sometimes their crass shamelessness still manages to astonish me. After six years of adding nothing to the UK road network, other than the insane pink Kremlin lane, from the first class lounge at Heathrow, to the drawing room of 10 Downing St, comes a U-turn of almost epic proportion.

In 1997 they won the election, under a pledge (remember those?) to impose a road building moratorium, in order to bring those of a green persuasion into an anti-Tory rainbow coalition. In 1998, they told us building more roads to ease the road congestion, on the M25, was “not an option”, and in 2000, they held fast to the anti-roads position that “simply building more and more roads is not the answer.” So what do they do, in 2003? Yep. You guessed it. They are going to build more and more roads, in a huge new road building programme, mainly concentrating on widening the M25, and the southern stretches of the M1. Incredible.

Does the word hypocrisy never spring from these people’s lips? Do the lies, which tumble so effortlessly from their spin-doctors’ word-processors, never keep them up at night? Do they actually manage to catch themselves, in the mirror, each morning, and think to themselves, what a good-looking and upstanding politician you are? Or do they shuffle out of the door, ashamed, and afraid? Sorry, I was forgetting these people are socialists. All the New Labour lies will be worth it, one day, for the greater good. Some time real soon now, apparently.

But, linking to Mr Carr’s story, from earlier, do I detect a tang of bare panic?

After stealing £40 billion pounds, annually, from the motorist, and then pouring it into the black hole of the railways, which get worse by the day, I think they might have realised the game is up. This may be their last throw of a taxpayer subsidy, from a pot which is rapidly dwindling. They can not admit to themselves that socialism does not work, of course, propped up as it is on a crispy bed of lies, so they have done the next best thing. They have simply blanked out, from their minds, the last six years of their failed policies.

No doubt they will call this new roads programme a ‘Fresh Start’, or a ‘New Beginning’, or some other such Stephen-Byers-style nonsense. But what they will not admit is that they have dropped the ball, big style, and made a complete hash of their fabled 10-year plan — even Uncle Joe had the sense to only impose 5-year plans!

I do not claim an authoritative knowledge on transport issues, and you may want to go here to find such a thing, but from where I am sitting, it looks to me like a severe case of headless chicken street, down there in Whitehall. They are on the ropes, and the poor loves just don’t know what to do about it.

And with the Tories rising in the polls, remarkably even ahead of St. Tony’s party, the New Leftist panic is in. So let’s steal some of the Tories’ policies; let’s abandon our own ‘principles’ of car-bashing, and let’s try to buy back some of those hateful south-eastern votes we’ve lost. They will not bring in any of Tory Tim Collins’ more sensible road privatisation plans, or private road toll schemes, or cut the outrageous levels of fuel duty, but they will try to keep Mr Commuter, of Epping Forest, happy, with an extra ‘free’ lane, on the M25.

I must say, as somebody who had to commute from Oxfordshire to Surrey, every day, for six months, I would welcome a new lane, but I have got news for you, Mr Blair. Six years of nothing, and then a big splurge to try to buy back my favour, ain’t going to work. You are like the girlfriend who chucked me out, who then asked me back when she could not get her grasping hands on anybody else. You had your chance. But you blew it. Big time. Thank you, Tony, and goodbye!

And now, to paraphrase Mr Carr, as we watch the tigers in valley, a green-striped tiger joins the BBC-striped tiger, to attack the red-striped tiger. Let’s just sit back, and enjoy the view!

7 comments to U-turn if you want to

  • Johnathan P.

    Andy, I reckon some of the brighter sparks in the govt. read the Tory proposal to scrap speed bumps, get rid of speed cameras and lift the motorway speed limit to 80mph. And there is another reason. Cal it the “Jeremy Clarkson Factor”.

    Millions of voters, not just blokes, like our Jezza. He is cheeky, loves cars, loves driving em fast, and constantly takes the piss out of our government, not to mention the LibDems. And it must have dawned on even the thickest, or most desperate Labour MPs, especially those in the Southeast marginal seats, that the Jeremy Clarkson Factor could finish them off.

  • Andy Duncan

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’m still getting over that time when JC wore that sponge on his head, to prove how low the ceiling was, in a Renault (or was it a Citroen?). Anyhow, the man’s a classic, and I’m sure he’s also a closet libertarian (though he does seem to dislike the US, quite a bit).

    As JC is from Rotherham, and I’m from Doncaster (literally, inches away, in South Yorkshire), and we both live in the evil south, I claim spiritual brotherhood with the Great Man. And I would certainly vote him in, as Prime Minister! 🙂


  • mark holland

    Andy, You and JC actually live in the same county. Albeit at either end as he lives in Chipping Norton.

  • Andy Duncan

    Hi mark,

    You see, I told you. We’re even more connected than I thought, spiritual brothers 🙂

  • Admittedly, it was the Tory government that pretty much put a complete stop to road building in the first place. There were lots of anti-M11 and anti-M3 protests in the early 1990s and these people and their media supporters just got so loud that the Major government cancelled pretty much everything. The Blair government then just continued the policy. Of course, the policy in question was completely insane, so it was eventually going to be reversed, which is what we now see. It will be interesting to see what now gets built.

  • Guy Herbert

    A few things:

    1. Vast construction projects are a traditional way of suppressing unemployment. Perhaps HMG is anticipating a housing crash.

    2. No doubt it will be convenient for the commuter, but road-building proceeds on the basis of compulsory purchase.

    3. What makes you think that the extra lane won’t be a “Kremlin lane”?

    4. I don’t think it’s compulsory, Andy, to like the US to be a libertarian. Their public faith in limited government and private enterprise is indeed admirable, but there are lots of things to despise too. Cultural authoritarianism is pervasive over there: religiosity, punitivity, militarism, legalism, conformism and racial obsession are endemic. Federal and state programmes are vast, and petty regulation common–despite the creed of liberty–on the basis of pork-barrelling. And the cult of victimhood (bound up with conviction that there’s a culprit who can and should pay damages for every misfortune) is further advanced there than anywhere else I can think of. (Not that I think that’s what gets JC’s goat, but it does mine.)

  • Ron

    Johnathan P,

    If they really are copying the Tory policy, does that not imply that they have made their whole new transport policy in a few days flat…?