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"The most expensive high speed line ever constructed"

To considerable fanfare and a short, rather unnecessary, video, Network Rail, the company responsible for the UK’s rail infrastructure, has released its “strategic case” for new rail lines in Britain.

The report recommends the first domestic high speed line in Britain be built between London,…



QE2

Way back in March I wrote about the launch of the Bank of England’s quantitative easing project, which sought to pump money into the economy by buying back government bonds that had been sold to financial institutions.

I speculated (along with many others) that banks and other financial institutions could…



Artichokes, a shack and a suicide

To Virginia Woolf’s country retreat this weekend, Monk’s House, near Lewes in East Sussex. The house played host to members of the Bloomsbury Group and some vegetable gardening in its time, and now takes in visitors twice per week.

Unlike George…



School results day

I had my maiden experience of covering A-level results for a newspaper today (story, of local interest only and somewhat jumbled by constant changes, here). To say the process of getting the figures in was mayhem would be an understatement.



Opportunities and outcomes

Before New Labour came to power in Britain it made a point of distancing itself from old Labour.

One, quite dramatic, way it did so was to refashion Clause IV of the Labour Party’s constitution, so that it no longer committed the party:

“To secure for…



Gained in translation

Today’s Evening Standard reports on a Russian woman who hurled a full cup of tea at the Mona Lisa.

Not just any cup, either. Apparently, it was a “ceramic mug”. Which she carried all the way from a café, presumably dodging the tourist hordes to avoid spilling her precious brew.



The mountain kingdom

In the dark period that spanned my decision to leave the rat race and my exit therefrom I developed something of an obsession. If I did nothing else in my foray into unemployment, I wanted to see a small, landlocked kingdom somewhere in the Himalayas…