The new high speed rail link is now going to cost 80 billion, will take 20 years and will rip up a lot of countryside. It makes no sense economically, environmentally or ethically. And there is no guarantee that the costs won't go up again.
Lets think in a whole new way about what might just make people happier, less stressed and healthier. All the community projects, that in the long ago past brought people together, preserved cultural traditions, contained anti-social behaviour and integrated all ages and abilities have virtually disappeared. The arts are marginalised, or seen as a luxury, and dismissed as non-essential in schools.
Just one billion (leaving 79 billion for hospitals, community projects, care home overhaul, and schools), would allow us to employ all the actors and artists as community arts workers, or to train them as arts therapists, and encourage new skills for people leaving school with few prospects. The arts revolution could train all teachers in basic arts and provide space for art studios, drama and dance workshops, comprehensive music resources and performance spaces.
Foolish dreaming? Well maybe dreams are worth pondering, and sometimes they might just be realised