David Cameron is making a speech today about “infrastructure”. When Downing Street put out an operational note about this yesterday, I had a Star Wars moment: “a bad feeling about this”. Infrastructure is an alarming word in politics.
So it proved when a news release followed, embargoed until 0001 hrs today, with some extracts from what “the Prime Minister is expected to say”, including:
We need good roads, too. Again, the problem’s clear: we don’t have enough capacity in places of key demand. There’s nothing green about a traffic jam — and gridlock holds the economy back.
So here’s what we should do. Yes, move passengers and heavy goods onto rail. But also widen pinch points, add lanes to motorways by using the hard shoulder to increase capacity and dual overcrowded A-roads.
Never mind using “dual” as a verb, does he not begin to understand what has been understood in transport economics for decades, that building more roads creates more traffic?
The other extracts from the speech are rubbish too. At one point he describes infrastructure as “the invisible thread that ties our prosperity together”.
I give up.Tagged in: economics, language
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