3: Basic Policy Proposal............................
4: Costings & Feasibility...........................
5: Legacy Costs/Benefits...........................
6: Pro Rail Addenda...................................
7: Impact Concerns....................................
8: Conclusions & Further Analysis............
Appendix 1: The Tinfoil Hat Thinktank
Appendix 2: Casting & Direction of Section 5
Appendix 3: Why it is suggested to be named the Barbara
Castle Memorial Waterway
This document is a preliminary sketch (1:1) of the LS1
idea which is to be offered to the OMRLP conference for
consideration of being a Loony Policy worthy of adoption
in the next manifesto(1:2). This initial incarnation is written
in the hope of encouraging the participation & ideas of:
Official Monster Raving Loony Party Members(1:3)
Rebelling Members of Parliament(1:4) & Political
Any right or wrong thinking citizen of earth(1:7)
Any reader of this document who would wish their
opinion to be included in the final draft has only to submit
it to (OMRLPdave@gmail.com) to have inclusion &
Readers should also note this first rendering of the
proposal is almost exclusively Horatian Satire (ie. Silly),
the question whose answers will make the second version
far more Juvenalian Satire (ie. contemptuous) is : CUI
BONO? For whose benefit? Who are the rats & fat cats that
will gain by the nations loss? If you know, please help.
*Each section's footnotes indexed (section:note) ie (1:1) is the first entry on the
The HS2 proposal, as it stands(2:1), is nothing short of a
direct challenge by the major political parties to make a
massive land grab on firmly held Loony party political
territory. The inherent lunacy of the present HS2 proposal
should strike fear into the heart of every Loony in the UK.
If ostensibly rational mainstream politicians are making the
Loony Party look like the sensible option, it would appear
that the Loonies will have to up their game.
As bleak as this turn of events undoubtedly is(2:2),
lessons can be learned from groups who have resoundingly
confounded the schemes of the government in the last 12
months. Amongst the most successful of these has been
good old Brock the Badger & his ursine associates. Few of
us possess their upper body strength(2:3) & mining tenacity
but the moving of goalposts may not still elude us. We have
but to articulate their cunning by devising a policy which to
the untrained eye may appear much sillier on first reading
but which slow burns like a subterranean fire in a coal
We could shift the goal posts by simply envisaging the
opposite of the High Speed 2(2:4). The Low Speed 1 is
almost too easy. Instead of providing a scarce few points of
egress, providing innumerable stopping points. Replacing a
terrible eyesore(2:4) with a beauty spot the length of the
realm. Choosing not to destroy our environment but to
allow its development.
3: Basic Policy Proposal
The Low Speed 1 is a proposed alternative to the High
Speed 2. It is to be a network of wide-beam canals
threading together the major rivers, cities & sites of
national pride (as geography allows), connecting &
reaffirming the cultural bonds & shared heritage of
England, Wales & Scotland(3:1).
The LS1 is envisaged as a 2 metre deep trough(3:2) of
30 metres width with 5 metres as lock restriction. This has a
'back of the fag packet' costing of £42,000 per 100
metres(3:3). The lining of this artery will be constructed of
material beneficial to the propagation of wildlife(3:4).
The final proposed route will be determined by popular
demand. Rather than NIMBYs shunning unpopular
concepts such as HS2, the LS1's route will be drawn to
(Would Love It At The Foot OF My Patch)
The spoil from the LS1 would be used for the
construction of a series of grass banked amphitheatres.
These would be evenly spaced throughout the nation to
provide a social space for public celebration in the years
which the Glastonbury Festival is not held(3:6).
But mainly, who among us does not hold the ember of a
coal of burning pride which is set to flare at the thought of
belonging to a nation so bold as to propose the 'Inland Sea'.
Not only propose it, but brave enough to dig it(3:7)
4: Costings & Feasibility
Let us start with feasibility(4:1). If we were to ask
bookmakers(4:2) what odds are there for either of two
projects to fail. One which utilises two hundred year old
technology which has already been used in the British Isles.
Or a second project using high technology which is in the
development stage. And then ask the bookmakers what are
the odds of each project coming in on the original costing
The Lord Mayor of London, the inestimable Boris
Johnson has suggested (& I paraphrase here) that 'the
current HS2 costing is the very fabric of the quintessence of
fluffy fanciful thought'(4:3).
If the costing of the HS2 is fanciful in the extreme, it
begs that the costing of the LS1 should take that sush as we
have had a duellist’s gloved struck across our open cheek. I
think we could MAKE money digging it(4:4).
We should do all the digging by hand. Shovels, spades,
picks, mattocks & barrows. The extra spice is we charge
people to dig at our municipal outdoor gymnasium. Theme
a series of Victorian gym gear & instead of all that grunt &
sweat going to waste(4:5), it can be building one of the new
wonders of the modern age.
The LS1 will make the nation fit, the HS2 will make the
5: Legacy Costs/Benefits
It can be but one question(5:1).
In a hundred years, what have we bequeathed to those
who follow us?
LS1 – a fabulous white elephant which meanders
through the canvas of this sceptred isle, a benefit to each
and every man & beast, a shield & spear to combat floods
& an aspirational world tourist destination.
HS2 – a bleak scar, nature's enemy, with a rapacious
greed, intermittently screaming through the countryside
tearing communities apart as their ears ring to a legion of
avoidable poor decisions.
6: Pro Rail Addenda
If we're throwing money around for rail infrastructure &
not upgrading existing badly underfunded rolling
stock(6:1),then lets think back to when this island ruled the
rails. Each existing train to have Thomas the Tank Engine
style faces moulded onto the front of them. Amongst the
Rev Awdry's delightful characters there would be a range of
faces of unpopular politicians(6:1a). There would be
notification of the arrival of these trains so the local
populations can throw faeces(6:2) at the faces as they go by.
Or, eggs maybe(6:3).
We could possibly clear some space on the roads by
building rail yards for moving non-perishable goods more
than 75 miles. This is undoubtedly a brilliant idea as it
propounds the paradigm proposed by Kevin Costner in his
seminal work 'Field of Dreams'(6:4). Ie 'Build it and they
We could also lower our collective aspirations (6:5)&
look to successful low speed, underfunded networks. How
much more business does the Indian rail network do than
ours? And if made up facts turn out to be miraculously true,
I'm pretty sure much of the track was laid before Mohandas
Ghandi swapped his british army boots for flipflops(6:6).
Now I'm not suggesting we ape our previous age of
systematic military exploitation of foreign nations but
rather to look to the railway networks we left amongst the
wreckage once we had we stripped them of their wealth &
7: Impact Concerns
To try and conceive the impact concerns of the HS2
would be as pointless as to try & count tears in rain, when a
lot of very sensitive people are watching something very
sad in very rainy conditions(7:1).
The impact concerns of the LS1 are a very different
kettle of fish. In fact they would be more like a kindle of
kittens(7:2) in a cosy cot, nothing fishy nor relating to the
confinement thereof. The concerns regard success rather
The first positive concern of the LS1 revolves around the
explosion in the native flora & fauna in the immediate
locales through which it passes. The delightful hedgehogs,
water voles & otters may well be but the fore guard to an
army of elk, aurocks & mammoth. These super herbivores
are likely to play havoc with the Gardener's Question Time
devotees(7:3) who are our present protectors of threatened
The solution would be to introduce a community of
predators possessing the speed & power of a Bengal Tiger.
In fact, large numbers of Bengal Tigers(7:4). This would
have the added advantage of being able to write 'Here be
Tygers'(7:5) on maps.
The other problem would be the wealth generated by the
LS1 would attract development & new buildings which are
often not very nice to look at(7:6).
8: Conclusions & Further Analysis
Basic conclusion : The HS2 is so