It's not just Ed Miliband who’s facing pressure over HS2. George Osborne’s famous political antennae must be twitching furiously by now — does he really want to be the last man in England backing this? Alistair Darling’s case (£) reeks of cold logic: he has become the latest public figure to withdraw support for HS2 because the costs now outweigh the benefits. The facts changed; he changed his mind. This is what rational people do. Unless you’re ideologically wedded to the idea of HS2, then there’s now not much grounds for supporting it – as a glance at the latest the Institute for Economic Affairs report attests.
My colleague Sebastian Payne is still keen on HS2, and his position is certainly intellectually honest. He doesn’t pretend to care about an economic rationale. It’ll be okay in the end, he says, just like the M25 which was attacked as a ‘road to nowhere’. We discuss in in this week’s podcast, below: