Johnson loses track of reality

Dalrymple notes that the difference between investment and expenditure seems to escape British politicians such as Boris Johnson, as does the fact that, while expenditure is certain, returns are not. He points out that HS2

has a projected construction cost of over $130bn. The projected costs have risen 300% since the scheme was mooted. Each hour’s journey-time saved will have been bought at enormous expense. It will cost many times more to build than it would anywhere else in the world.

It has, says Dalrymple,

never been less necessary, from a purely economic point of view, for people to get quickly from one city to another.

The episode reflects

the sclerosis, corruption, and incompetence of successive British governments — symptomatic of a steep cultural decline.

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