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1 hour ago, runs as required said:

 

I reckon the Beeb must feel very much under threat - that, I suggest, is why they've started this new malarkey of packing the news with inane 'vox pop' interviews  - which their producers must have to sieve and endlessly cogitate over so as to 'maintain balance'.

dh

 

Just trying to compete for the "yoof" share of the news market, where "it's on Facebook, it must be true" rules the roost.

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On 08/09/2019 at 11:38, caradoc said:

 

The BBC report quotes an Amanda Souter [who] lives beside Old Oak Common........She said: "It should be cancelled, because there is no business case, it's costing too much, and it's out of control."

 

So that's it then, no HS2.

 

(Quite what does the BBC think the view of one member of the public brings to the debate, unless of course she's a transport planning/rail traffic expert ?)

Which she very obviously isn't :rolleyes:

 

And thanks 'Runs As Required ' for promoting me - not a General Manager but a fairly general operational and management career which ended in me being principally the Operations Planning Manager/Deputy Operations Manager of a train operating company and Deputy Chairman of the Timetable Disputes Resolution Committee.   Followed by several years working as an occasional consultant.  Overall quite a wide variety of things - operational/capacity specification, planning, timetabling, and assessment (including DIdcot PS imported coal.  European Night Services revised plan, Regional Eurostar various alternative plans, Thameslink 2000 [part], WCML, St Pancras International, Midlands - Southampton corridor, Sydney suburban network timetable process review and risk assessment); signalling scheme specification and planning (including Paddington - LHR electrification, GWML for Didcot coal imports, Ebbw Vale reopening); operational safety assessments and independent safety assessments (including the NMT); writing and auditing operational safety procedures and signalling schemes and operating methods for industrial concerns and minor railways.

 

So just a bit of professional involvement in capacity, timetabling, and operations planning matters over the years

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Regarding "yoof" content in the BBC,  In a conversation with a retired journalist  from the FT,  his  opinion of the modern media is that the solid  factual stance of the BBC and newspapers such as the Times and FT is being undermined by media channels such as Sky news,  media channels which consider  comprehensive  analysis and research  to be a hindrance to being the first to publish or broadcast a story

Edited by Pandora
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3 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Which she very obviously isn't :rolleyes:

 

And thanks 'Runs As Required ' for promoting me - not a General Manager but a fairly general operational and management career which ended in me being principally the Operations Planning Manager/Deputy Operations Manager of a train operating company and Deputy Chairman of the Timetable Disputes Resolution Committee.   Followed by several years working as an occasional consultant.  Overall quite a wide variety of things - operational/capacity specification, planning, timetabling, and assessment (including DIdcot PS imported coal.  European Night Services revised plan, Regional Eurostar various alternative plans, Thameslink 2000 [part], WCML, St Pancras International, Midlands - Southampton corridor, Sydney suburban network timetable process review and risk assessment); signalling scheme specification and planning (including Paddington - LHR electrification, GWML for Didcot coal imports, Ebbw Vale reopening); operational safety assessments and independent safety assessments (including the NMT); writing and auditing operational safety procedures and signalling schemes and operating methods for industrial concerns and minor railways.

 

So just a bit of professional involvement in capacity, timetabling, and operations planning matters over the years

Found a publisher yet Mike? One with a robust legal team, natch...

 

Write that book Sirrah, we demand the truth!

 

C6T. 

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19 minutes ago, Pandora said:

Regarding "yoof" content in the BBC,  In a conversation with a retired journalist  from the FT,  his  opinion of the modern media is that the solid  factual stance of the BBC and newspapers such as the Times and FT is being undermined by media channels such as Sky news,  media channels which consider  comprehensive  analysis and research  to be a hindrance to being the first to publish or broadcast a story

We should disregard what the printed media say. They've become naught but propaganda pamphlets for the people behind them, besides, their readership and thus influence has crashed. Similarly I'm not sure if visual media is actually a trusted source of information.

What is dangerous is that the misinformed and uninformed can now interact with each other with no adult supervision and come to the conclusion that pediatricians are a threat to their children.

 

Private Frasier. 

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Two more HS2 reports on BBC Midlands Today.

The first was about the HS2 extension to Nottingham area.

We had the usual selection of views of users of the route today, including one which was (paraphasing)

I'm not in favour as it will cause disruption and by the time it's finished I won't get any benefit from it.:(

 

The other was a farmer whom can't reach his crops to harvest them because they are now cut-off by "newt nets" (Yes:))

He blamed HS2 for not letting him onto his fields. I would question whether the HS2 have overreacted or whether the environmentalists have possibly gone too far.

 

It's like another project which had a survey to see if there were great crested newts and the survey found none.

Campaigners protested "there should be newts there" Why? How do they know, did they plant some?:jester:

 

In case you are wondering I am in favour of environmental checks and offsetting etc.  but IMHO some people seem to go over the top.

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On 08/09/2019 at 11:56, jjb1970 said:

We live in a post truth world where respect for professional expertise is now derided by many and leaders who like a fag and a pint are seen as being better qualified to govern than people who might know a little about what they are talking about. In the old days it used to be said that attempting to alter reality to fit beliefs rather than modifying beliefs to accommodate reality was one of the characteristics of a cult, it is increasingly the norm. 

Aside from muddling a number of different issues, that is quite a good job of demonstrating what "post-truth" commentary actually looks like.

 

As an example cults don't try to alter reality, they alter adherents perception of reality, like turning them against loving family members etc. Professionals are not derided as far as I can see, but given the very public failures of major projects in terms of predicted budget and timing (currently Crossrail and HS2, but also NR electrification etc) it is quite rational to query whether new future predictions will be any more accurate than the previous ones. And the leader with a fag and a pint has been rather more successful in his predictions and his outcomes than his opponents, Crossrail, HS2 or their associated "professional expertise" so far.

 

 

 

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On 08/09/2019 at 11:38, caradoc said:

 

The BBC report quotes an Amanda Souter [who] lives beside Old Oak Common........She said: "It should be cancelled, because there is no business case, it's costing too much, and it's out of control."

 

So that's it then, no HS2.

 

(Quite what does the BBC think the view of one member of the public brings to the debate, unless of course she's a transport planning/rail traffic expert ?)

Because Amanda Souter is a voter. She may have far more say in the project than the "professionals". HS2 is very political and no amount of professional fortune telling about costs etc changes the fact that HS2 is highly political and its future may depend more on politics than cost estimates/guesses that keep having to be "adjusted" upwards :lol:

 

Sneer as much as you like about those who are not "experts", but remember it is taxpayers' money and (assuming Amanda pays tax) she is as entitled to her view as the rest of us. Remember Gillian Duffy, someone who was not a professional or expert politician yet handed super-clever arch-politician and PM Gordon Brown his backside on a plate :good_mini:Amanda or her ilk could be HS2's Gillian Duffy. And frankly HS2 has been rubbish at politics and PR, despite those being as important to its future any consultants/fortune tellers cost predictions.

 

Remember it was professionals and experts who said Greece was ready to join the Euro...... :taunt:

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16 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Because Amanda Souter is a voter. She may have far more say in the project than the "professionals". HS2 is very political and no amount of professional fortune telling about costs etc changes the fact that HS2 is highly political and its future may depend more on politics than cost estimates/guesses that keep having to be "adjusted" upwards :lol:

 

Sneer as much as you like about those who are not "experts", but remember it is taxpayers' money and (assuming Amanda pays tax) she is as entitled to her view as the rest of us. Remember Gillian Duffy, someone who was not a professional or expert politician yet handed super-clever arch-politician and PM Gordon Brown his backside on a plate :good_mini:Amanda or her ilk could be HS2's Gillian Duffy. And frankly HS2 has been rubbish at politics and PR, despite those being as important to its future any consultants/fortune tellers cost predictions.

 

Remember it was professionals and experts who said Greece was ready to join the Euro...... :taunt:

Claptrap. 

 

C6T. 

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Yes, because the educated professionals aren't voters or taxpayers?

 

Oh.

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5 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Because Amanda Souter is a voter. She may have far more say in the project than the "professionals". HS2 is very political and no amount of professional fortune telling about costs etc changes the fact that HS2 is highly political and its future may depend more on politics than cost estimates/guesses that keep having to be "adjusted" upwards :lol:

 

Sneer as much as you like about those who are not "experts", but remember it is taxpayers' money and (assuming Amanda pays tax) she is as entitled to her view as the rest of us. Remember Gillian Duffy, someone who was not a professional or expert politician yet handed super-clever arch-politician and PM Gordon Brown his backside on a plate :good_mini:Amanda or her ilk could be HS2's Gillian Duffy. And frankly HS2 has been rubbish at politics and PR, despite those being as important to its future any consultants/fortune tellers cost predictions.

 

Remember it was professionals and experts who said Greece was ready to join the Euro...... :taunt:

To be fair to the experts and professionals, a big part of the problem in general is that they are leaned on to provide an particular answer by those in power. Quite difficult to resist if someone pays your wages, or is in a position to deny you your next juicy contract unless you come up with the answer they'd like.

 

Part of the problem in the so-called professions (and I'm writing as a retired chartered accountant) is that over recent decades they've been sucked into being sales people, rather than adherents to a set of standards and ethics. I know several lawyers also of my age group who would say just the same of their area. In finance a big problem has been the extent to which auditors are also consultants for their audit clients on a range of matters, ranging from tax, IT, strategic planning and general management consultancy. John McDonnell, quite rightly in my view, has put the accountancy profession on notice that in the event he makes it into no.11, major reform will have to come, probably by separating out the audit practice from consultancy.

 

Coming back to your comment about Greece, we now know that this was a fudge at the instigation of Brussels as part of the strong desire to extend its influence in southeast Europe. The problem is that such events only serve to reinforce the increasing distrust of "experts", which no-one can seriously believe to be a good thing.

 

John.

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58 minutes ago, melmerby said:

It's like another project which had a survey to see if there were great crested newts and the survey found none.

Campaigners protested "there should be newts there" Why? How do they know, did they plant some?:jester:

Considering they are an endangered species they do seem to appear rather regularly when a big project is announced.

 

I think any newts found in the area should be microchipped to see if they are nomadic, if you get my drift.

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2 minutes ago, royaloak said:

Considering they are an endangered species they do seem to appear rather regularly when a big project is announced.

 

I think any newts found in the area should be microchipped to see if they are nomadic, if you get my drift.

Maybe the Newt population also has it's anti HS2 group?

They will be drafted in from elsewhere to go and cause havoc all along the route:jester:

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36 minutes ago, ruggedpeak said:

Because Amanda Souter is a voter. She may have far more say in the project than the "professionals". HS2 is very political and no amount of professional fortune telling about costs etc changes the fact that HS2 is highly political and its future may depend more on politics than cost estimates/guesses that keep having to be "adjusted" upwards

 

So we can safely ignore professionals who have spent years trying to cram more trains into smaller spaces and those who have spent years working on similar problems in favour of one person whose opinion might be tainted by a desire to keep the view from her kitchen window? 

 

You need to differentiate between facts and how politicians chose to use them. Any large publicly funded project gets political interference - NASA is widely regarded as a way to funnel cash to support jobs in aerospace industries, the UK certainly works this way. In France, local mayors fought to bring TGV tracks in the direction of their town.  I'm sure there were plenty of economists who argued against bringing Greece into the Euro, but were ignored in favour of political concerns. That doesn't mean they were wrong, it means they were overruled.

 

As far as I can tell from talking to people who work in these areas, we need HS2 or something that looks very similar. If politicians chose to use selective "facts" to justify scrapping it, they doesn't make those with expertise and experience wrong. It does say something about the way decision making takes place in this country.

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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

Two more HS2 reports on BBC Midlands Today.

The first was about the HS2 extension to Nottingham area.

BBC East Midlands Today referred to a proposal to use HS2 for a Nottingham-Birmingham service and also a  Leicester-Leeds service which were said to result in a unspecified reduction in HS2 costs, presumably actually greater imcome rather then costs. It might be quick should be ever occur but a proper Leicester-Leeds service IMO is a 45 on a short rake of Mk1s.

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1 hour ago, royaloak said:

Considering they are an endangered species they do seem to appear rather regularly when a big project is announced.

 

I think any newts found in the area should be microchipped to see if they are nomadic, if you get my drift.

Perhaps they should be removed from the endangered list judging by the number of locations they alledgedly appear at. There must be millions of them.....

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Well like most on here I’m a supporter of railways . That said I do think  that a review is necessary . An increase from £55billion to £72 billion is a huge increase and makes you wonder at the validity of the original costings . And who is to say £72 billion is the final figure . We’ve seen it on Edinburgh Trams, GWR electrification , the original WCML upgrade by Railtrack , Crossrail and Edinburgh Parliament . Initial costings way understated . I want HS2 but not an open cheque book . What we need is more capacity .I want  someone to give detailed costings and sign up to them  ,  I am beginning to wonder if there are better ways of getting capacity. £55bn in itself is a colossal amount of money and I’d be reviewing cost benefit analysis at that level, let alone £72bn 

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3 minutes ago, Legend said:

Well like most on here I’m a supporter of railways . That said I do think  that a review is necessary . An increase from £55billion to £72 billion is a huge increase and makes you wonder at the validity of the original costings . And who is to say £72 billion is the final figure . We’ve seen it on Edinburgh Trams, GWR electrification , the original WCML upgrade by Railtrack , Crossrail and Edinburgh Parliament . Initial costings way understated . I want HS2 but not an open cheque book . What we need is more capacity .I want  someone to give detailed costings and sign up to them  ,  I am beginning to wonder if there are better ways of getting capacity. £55bn in itself is a colossal amount of money and I’d be reviewing cost benefit analysis at that level, let alone £72bn 

 

using that logic I would not have bought a house as it is a total price rather than spread over the life of the mortgage!

 

Nothing would ever be built! 

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I think it has been said before but as far as I know the 'newt' problem stems from the fact that it is on a list of Europe wide endangered species. Also no proper survey has ever been done IIRC to determine how widespread they are in the UK. Thus they are being found in places where no one has actually recorded them. 

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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1 hour ago, Legend said:

Well like most on here I’m a supporter of railways . That said I do think  that a review is necessary . An increase from £55billion to £72 billion is a huge increase and makes you wonder at the validity of the original costings . And who is to say £72 billion is the final figure . We’ve seen it on Edinburgh Trams, GWR electrification , the original WCML upgrade by Railtrack , Crossrail and Edinburgh Parliament . Initial costings way understated . I want HS2 but not an open cheque book . What we need is more capacity .I want  someone to give detailed costings and sign up to them  ,  I am beginning to wonder if there are better ways of getting capacity. £55bn in itself is a colossal amount of money and I’d be reviewing cost benefit analysis at that level, let alone £72bn 

You will always come back to the one question - what is that money actually paying for and is the amount being quoted now paying for exactly the same job that was being quoted at the earlier amount.  So for a start there is a need to separate out inflation from additional scope of work or underestimated costs for any particular part of the scheme.   Any project manager worth his salt should have no difficulty at all in answering that question provided teh information has been properly recorded.  There should have been nothing at all to prevent competent project managers doing exactly the same, as costs emerged and changed etc  for all the other schemes you have listed above.

 

Apart from anything else the HS 2 project has been forced to become a moving target by all sorts of influences.  A very good and very recent example is Andrea Leadsom MP asking for work on country sections to be stopped until the review is finished.  The first question i would ask her  is whether she approves of the additional costs that would bring to the project and is she going to complain about them when they emerge later?   What is really needed is clarity on what is driving the extra costs (as I posted previously).

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43 minutes ago, jamie92208 said:

I thi k it has been said before but as far as I know the 'newt' problem stems from the fact that it is on a list of Eorope wide endangered specues. Also no proper survey has ever been done IIRC to determi e how widespread they are in the UK. Thus they are being found in places where no one has actually recorded them. 

 

Jamie

They were protected under uk conservation acts prior to the European protection. They've been falling in numbers for most of the past century from habitat loss. Trouble is, whilst rare overall in the country, that doesn't mean they aren't extremely abundant locally.

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9 hours ago, Pandora said:

Regarding "yoof" content in the BBC,  In a conversation with a retired journalist  from the FT,  his  opinion of the modern media is that the solid  factual stance of the BBC and newspapers such as the Times and FT is being undermined by media channels such as Sky news,  media channels which consider  comprehensive  analysis and research  to be a hindrance to being the first to publish or broadcast a story

If you think that The Times is anything other than a tabloid rag these days then you obviously don't subscribe (as I do). The days of good quality investigative journalism with impartial analysis have long gong.

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G'Day Folks

 

Just a thought, Anyone done a study on what a 10 lane motorway would cost on the same route as HS2, and how wide it would be, how much land it would consume, and how many Newts would be inconvenienced. !!!!!!!

 

manna

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5 hours ago, manna said:

G'Day Folks

 

Just a thought, Anyone done a study on what a 10 lane motorway would cost on the same route as HS2, and how wide it would be, how much land it would consume, and how many Newts would be inconvenienced. !!!!!!!

 

manna

Because it's not too far away I remember all the moans and prophets of doom and death when it was proposed to cut the M40 through the scarp slope of the Chilterns and how all the wildlife would be destroyed or would vanish to elsewhere.  Yet oddly the very area that all the moaning was about is now two significant nature reserves adjacent to the motorway with another not far away with the area  in part benefitting from a local road re-routed when the motorway was built.  And all around the country railway cuttings and embankments seem to be regarded as significant 'green spaces' and nature reserves where it is sacrilege and probably on a par with mass murder to cut down the trees and undergrowth which lead to dangerous rail conditions and obscure signals.

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