Lord Mandelson warns HS2 will be an ‘expensive mistake’ | UK news | The Guardian

English: Lord Mandelson

English: Lord Mandelson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an amazing, MUST READ, article in the Guardian. Check it out!

Lord Mandelson warns HS2 will be an ‘expensive mistake’ | UK news | The Guardian.

Lord Mandelson, former Labour, Business Secretary, is the latest, high-profile advocate of the scrapping of the HS2 rail program. The project is already billions over budget, even before construction has been started. Amazingly, there was not a proper business case that looked effectively at the opportunity cost of alternative major development programs and their social benefits.

With the UK in a self-imposed crisis because of David Cameron‘s excessive austerity, the IMF, as well as many prominent economists, have called for the UK to seriously increase infrastructure investment. Unfortunately, based upon HS2, it is evident, once again, that the Government is unable to manage effectively major investment programs; this is a long-standing problem highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee many, many times.

Part of the cause of the problem is as follows:

  • Too much political meddling in major projects and dependence upon cronies
  • Too much dependence upon consultants from major consulting practices
  • Ineffective governance
  • Inadequate deployment of expert, independent consultants
  • Because of austerity, the most capable and talented people are looking to careers outside the Public Sector or overseas

Any thoughts?


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2 responses

  1. Governments do not have the skills properly to determine good business opportunities not to provide the required financial control to carry out major works. With very few exceptions, it has been entrepreneurs who have identified, financed and created the infrastructure until quite recently. Now the biggest problems are regulation and the nanny state.

    Free off private enterprise and if there is a sensible case for high speed rail, it will be built. Why do we have a problem with toll roads and bridges?

    Would that we could think of ways to take government out of education and health while still ensuring they remain available to those unable to meet there own costs.

    • Rodney,

      Thanks, I very much agree with you here. How about writing a guest article for my 5,000+ followers entitled:

      “Why the UK Must Look to the Private Sector to Deliver Effective Public Services”.


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