Well, no, not really

According to the Times (behind a paywall) these are the priorities for UK national investment according to the UK public right now, as recounted to Ipsos Mori:
Rail, housing, flood defences, roads etc.

One to five are all Green New Deal priorities.

The Senior Lecturer has made a not so subtle change. What is actually said is:

It’s also what the public want. Our second annual Global Infrastructure Index provides three solid justifications behind such investment:

1. Out of a list of infrastructure investment priorities, 46 per cent of Britons put tracks and stations before new housing (43 per cent) and flood defences (38 per cent). These were last year’s top three, but rail was in third place a year ago.

“National investment priorities” and “infrastructure investment priorities” are not the same thing, are they? We might, for example, think that killing off Isis is a priority for a national investment but it’s hardly infrastructure is it?

As to the concordance with the Green New Deal. That’s simply a list of infrastructure investments. So, not all that odd to see it coincide with a list of infrastructure – not national – investment desires, is it? For that’s who they designed the GND in the first place isn’t it? What do we think people would like from infrastructure spending?

19 thoughts on “Well, no, not really”

  1. Um, whats ‘Green’ about spending loads of money on infrastructure? Doesn’t infrastructure involve lots of concrete and steel and big machines burning lots of fossil fuels all over the place? Can’t exactly see a great deal of benefit for the environment in that lot (if the environment is what floats your boat of course).

  2. Wtf? For most Brits, the infrastructure priority is roads, not railways. 60% of workers either drive or get a lift. Another 10% or so take buses, bouncing over our pot-holed tarmac. Even in London more people take the car to work than take the tube. But I bet their poxy little survey didn’t even include an option for roads.

    I looked up the source, and incredibly it’s true: 46% of people surveyed said that rail was their investment priority, versus only 37% for local roads and 32% for motorways & trunk roads. (The question allows more than one answer, hence all categories add up to more than 100%).

    What is wrong with people?

  3. Candidly you’re advancing neoliberal semantics. I make a prediction and I am right. I note that this is entirely to be expected.

  4. Perhaps the survey was done at train stations on days that there were strikes?
    To be fair whilst there are areas of improvement possible in general our road situation isn’t terrible and so whilst they are more useful and used by me I can see how reinstating some old rail links (so people don’t have to use cars) may be a better investment. Though that depends on if you are talking about ‘extra’ investment given the amount which is already invested on them each year, or brand new additional investment for big new roads.

    That said if they had phrased the question “is buying a house too expensive for your kids and should something be done about it” I think you may get a different answer for housing? And obviously only people at risk of flooding are going to be thinking about flood defences – perhaps surveys aren’t the best way to prioritise this stuff?

  5. As I always say when politicos and economic numpties talk about the crying need for infrastructure investment, when will the roadworks on that 10 mile stretch of the M3 that have been in progress since 2003 be completed?

  6. “We might, for example, think that killing off Isis is a priority for a national investment”: oh Christ, you sound like Gordon Brown, for whom all expenditure was an “investment”.

  7. No additional investment is needed in rail – cancelling the pointless HS2 porkbarrel project would free up more than enough money to carry out every mooted upgrade, with plenty left over for a few hospitals.

    Won’t happen, of course.

  8. Most people want *maintenance* of roads so that they don’t wreck their springs (or their bike) going into a pothole. But when British Rail spends anything it is “investment”.
    Try asking a question which is unloaded.
    Of course if 37% put local roads and 32% put motorway and trunk roads (and x% put non-trunk A or B roads) as a priority that’s 50% more than those who chose railways.

  9. You say “Senior Lecturer” – I can’t see he can get that job. He is actually unappointable on the basis of his know-how. I still have not been able to find any of his academic papers about the magic money tree and what passes for economics as I would love see how responds to his peers when they tell him that he is mad.

  10. Murphy wants roads expenditure (no 4 on list) to be given a lower priority.

    Murphy lives about 1km walk away from railway station with a journey time of about 1hr 15 mins to London Kings X.

    These facts are unconnected.

  11. From The Daily Spud – unsolvable riddles….

    “If it is only the ultra-right who think [like that], why are their so many neo-liberal governments and virtually none who follow your doctrine?

    It’s a mystery I wish someone could solve.”

    “Richard Murphy says:

    Me too”

  12. TMB/ BF/ John 77

    In the Curajus state someone of his stature and importance would clearly qualify for a ZIL Lane and entourage of vehicles, so your points are of course neoliberal trolling

  13. “To be fair whilst there are areas of improvement possible in general our road situation isn’t terrible ”

    You go drive on pretty well any other road network in Europe & tell us that. From Google London>Aberdeen (545m) 10:05 Lille>Toulouse (555m) 8:40

  14. @ bis
    No, it isn’t terrible since they built the M6 Toll to bypass Spaghetti Junction. It isn’t brilliant, but it isn’t terrible. I can drive to anywhere on the mainland in a day.
    The rail system wouldn’t be terrible if they abolished ASLEF and RMT.

  15. @john77
    Like you, I regularly use the M6Toll. But it’s the section between the northern end of that road and the M62 junction that’s dire. You never know whether it’s going to take one hour or five.

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