An unfunny old war – Simon Jenkins goes off the rails

Being a jobbing journalist in an age in which journalism has been screwed over by parsimonious media bosses and consumers – and let’s not forget journalists themselves – I can fully understand the need to push the envelope when it comes to attracting attention. But oftentimes it gets a bit silly, and now and then the hyperbole turns downright offensive.

Take Simon Jenkins, for example,…

“The plan for a new high-speed train has become the Afghan war of British domestic policy.”

Let’s put this in grim perspective. The war in Afghanistan has resulted in the deaths of 14,500 Afghan and coalition military personnel, and possibly twice that number of civilians, with the majority at the hands of Taliban fighters. The war of words and noxious exhalations over the HS2 rail project are unlikely to do more than blight a small number of political and business executive careers.

HS2 is a mess, and one that could inflict financial carnage on the public purse, never mind the government spin on long-term benefits to the UK economy. But a bloody civil war it is not.