Andy Burnham should have realised by now, if not when Osborne first mooted it, that the Northern Powerhouse is not becoming "ever more distant", because it was simply an election wheeze dreamed up by the then chancellor to win votes for a Tory party that never expected to win the 2015 election Morning Star,25/07/17). At least, spending a mere £1bn on rail infrastructure in the north compared to over £100bn in the south should place that Powerhouse where it obviously belongs, in history`s bin! How long can the Tories continue to treat the voters as mugs? Are we expected to be grateful that although they cannot afford to electrify the Transpennine line between Leeds and Manchester, they will provide "bi-modes" which essentially use fossil fuels generally, but which can be electrified where the wires are in place. The biggest insult of all is that money can be found for London`s Crossrail 2 but none to improve the NHS`s efficiency, to fund properly our state education and care service, to increase the depleted pay of public sector workers, to provide safe housing for all, to improve the prison service etc etc.
The whole affair should be another "open goal" for Labour so let`s hope the whole party wastes no time in attacking this duplicitous government. Expose them for their typical political chicanery. Why wasn`t the expensive Crossrail 2 in the Tory manifesto? It would be interesting to see how spending another £33bn on London transport would help the "just about managing"!
How dare Grayling attempt to con us with his claim that Crossrail 2 is both "affordable" and "fair to the UK taxpayer" (Fury as Crossrail 2 is backed after Northern plan ditched, 25/07/17)? Are we expected to be pleased that the government can afford yet another vanity project after committing to spend an unbelievable £55bn on the London to Birmingham HS2 line, when it says there is no money for the things that really matter? Why not fund properly the health and care service, state schools, the prison service and a social housing programme instead?