Transport: March 2009 Archives

Delusional and pathological.

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alternativeroute.jpgThe Sunday Herald had an advance on today's landmark report from the Sustainable Development Commission (press release), which describes Ministers' attempts to rebuild the same failed economic system, built on growth at all costs, as "delusional" and "pathological". 

These are delusions and pathologies the SNP share with Westminster. The Nats describe their central purpose as "sustainable economic growth". Sustainable should mean "designed to work within our long-term ecological capacity", but here it's a proper weasel word, meaning something they would like to sustain.

In particular, they suffer from the delusion that they can engage on the biggest road-building and airport expansion programme Scotland has seen since the 1960s and still meet any kind of carbon emissions targets. New roads plus new public transport does not reduce emissions, and to think so displays a pathological misunderstanding of some pretty basic science and economics.

Although they're government-funded, the SDC have clearly had enough of being polite about abject government failures of this sort, both north and south of the border. In a quote that would fit well on the cover of a Green manifesto, Professor Jackson, the report's author, says:

"Prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilised society."

They're so on the same page as us that I even lifted their perfect image (above).

By coincidence, Holyrood debated the economy last Thursday. The patchy and limited understanding of sustainability across the chamber makes it pretty depressing fare - the usual exceptions apply. I fear we'll wait a long time before we have a Scottish Government which even understands the problems we face, let alone capable of pursuing constructive answers to them.

Doomsday averted?

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mistyforth.jpgYesterday's SoS covered some deft Swinney spin over spending levels. Although it had a new title - a "doomsday budget" - it was essentially a rehash of the usual SNP point-at-Westminster approach to spending matters. 

The prospect of Scottish budget cuts totalling £2.3bn was floated, a shortfall blamed on the recession, presumably spun as the Downing Street Downturn. The paper explains:

"After inflation, the freeze would be equivalent to a 10% cut in spending on education, health and transport in Scotland, threatening every school, hospital and road project in the country."

Yikes! If only there was a massive, dirty, flaweddisruptive and pointless project currently valued at an eye-catchingly similar sum that could be cancelled instead, which would enable the Scottish Government to provide the actual services they were elected to deliver. 

But what does this story mean? Are the two numbers really coincidental? John Swinney's too smart for that. It's just possible he's preparing an announcement that this white elephant will be cancelled, albeit one that will have to be billed as postponement or similar, and, obviously, blamed on London. Unlikely, perhaps, but it can't be ruled out.

The future of low-cost flying.

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I wouldn't normally repost from B3TA, but this is rather special, apropos of the pay-to-pee idea.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Transport category from March 2009.

Transport: February 2009 is the previous archive.

Transport: April 2009 is the next archive.