Martin Parker: HS2? Hiss! Boo!

(HS2 is the UK government’s controversial plan for a new high
speed railway between the Midlands and the North.)

I tend to feel that Britain now has far more pressing needs
than knocking forty minutes off my auntie's trip to Leeds:
and I fear we will not benefit from politicians' plans it
seems may only bring about our yet more tiresome transit.
For even if they build the fastest railway ever planned,
potential speeds and journey times will not go hand in hand.

So now before the track is laid consultants should be paid
to think up new excuses for why trains will be delayed;
inventive ones, expensive ones ,to suit our high-tech age
and pacify commuters who'll be simmering with rage
that, while they bought a ticket at a price which seemed extortionate,
adherence to its promises seemed sadly non-proportionate.

Though some like me might cheerfully stump up an extra fiver
to never hear of “Leaves On Line,” or “Waiting For A Driver,”
but tolerate excuses of increased sophistication
like “Cosmic Debris,” “Jetstream Lag” or “Karmic Deviation
while sitting in a siding bored, frustrated and alone
missing meetings which we could have held at home by mobile phone.

High Speed Rail will cost a bomb, and guess who'll have to pay it?
The scheme is far too grandiose and someone needs to say it.
Plus, routing it through Scotland would seem utterly ridiculous;
the country's full of mountains and its landscape is funiculous,
ensuring that construction costs will spiral exponentially –
And the chance of Scotland funding them is less than nil, potentially!