I write this on a blustery June day when someone has tweeted “is it this winter or next winter?”
Whether June is this winter or not is a bit like saying that an HS2 event is supposed to happen “in the autumn”. Various pronouncements were made yesterday along the lines of the Phase 2 announcement will be made in the autumn (of 2015).
But the announcement of the decision on the whole of the Phase 2 route is already way behind, having originally been due in 2014.
Out of date HS2 timeline, showing missed dates
What’s more, when it comes to the Phase 2, HS2 Ltd seems to have a very flexible definition of “autumn”.
The original Phase 2 announcement was due in autumn 2012. This slipped to “the end of the year”, and then to “the new year” before finally being announced at the end of January 2013. Whilst the definition of a particular season can be elastic, ‘autumn’ is definitely over when one year changes to the next.
With the decimation of the LibDems in the election, the HS2 Hybrid Bill committee lost one of their members. The committee has since postponed their visit to Buckinghamshire. David Liddington, Aylesbury MP, told Mix 96
“Following the postponement, I subsequently spoke to the Committee Chairman, Robert Syms MP. The reason for the postponement is that there are likely to be changes to the Committee’s membership. The Liberal Democrat member was not re-elected.
“The new parliamentary arithmetic will probably mean the appointment of an SNP member and I gather that the Labour membership may also change.”
The original assumption was that the committee would not change membership after the election.
From Persuasion by Jane Austen. Captain Harville and Anne Elliot are discussing whether men or women are more constant:
“…Well, Miss Elliot,” (lowering his voice,) “as I was saying we shall never agree, I suppose, upon this point. No man and woman, would, probably. But let me observe that all histories are against you–all stories, prose and verse. If I had such a memory as Benwick, I could bring you fifty quotations in a moment on my side the argument, and I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”
“Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”
Earlier today, the Conservatives’ published their 2015 manifesto. They said that as part of their Northern Powerhouse plans, they would build HS2: no surprise there.
However as an alert supporter of Stop HS2 pointed out, there’s no mention of HS2 in their section on the Midlands as an Engine of Growth. This is especially odd, as most of the section is about transport.
We will make the Midlands an engine of growth
We will back business by investing a record £5.2 billion in better transport, upgrading the M1 and M6, and electrifying the Midland Main Line from St Pancras to Sheffield – putting the Midlands at the centre of a modern, inter-connected transport network for the UK. We will back the Midlands’ strength in advanced manufacturing, engineering and science with major projects such as the Energy Research Accelerator and support for innovation in the motor industry.
On the left, the front page of the Stop HS2 website, showing the articles I wrote on 23rd and 25th February, on the right, the Sunday Times website article on Euston, published 1st March.
On the left, Stop HS2 for Feb 2015, on the right Sunday Times, March 1st
I think they may have taken some inspiration from me.
The latest guidance issued by the UK Intellectual Property Office on copyright for sewing and knitting patterns will be of interest to some of my followers (or at least of interest to some of the people I follow) – see it here.
For people who want to use a knitting or sewing pattern to knit or sew, the guidance says:
- you are allowed to make the item the pattern describes
- under UK law, there may be restrictions on selling the item
- you can make a working copy of the pattern for your own use, but you cannot sell/give away the original and keep the copy or vice versa.
It was somewhat co-incidental that before getting round to posting about the IPO notice, I came across an early fore-runner of a copy writing dispute in sixth century Ireland, between St Columba (also known as Colmcille) and St Finnian.
In essence, St Finnian had a rare copy of a Psalter: St Columba copied it without permission, but St Finnian thought as owner of the original, he should get to keep the copy as well. They went to the High King, Diarmait Mac Cerbhaill , who agreed with St Finnian, and ruled “To every cow her calf, and to every book its copy”.
St Columba was a bit annoyed about this and so went to war, and beat the King in the so called Battle of the Books. Because he won the battle, St Columba went into exile on Iona, which is where I took the photo of a made up item from a little kit I bought on holiday.
Yes, St Columba won the battle. Yes St Columba went into exile as result. No it is not an obvious outcome. You can read up more on these webpages, which is where I got most of my information:
1) Change white Aida to Polstitches hand-dyed
2) Stitch face 1 over 1
3) Change cheek to shell pink
4) Blend highlights in hair
5) Use JAE face lavenders for sleeve
6) Use extra three greens for leaves
With the news about the Euston HS2 plans being paused and the results of the Phase 2 consultation delayed until late next year (the Heathrow pause having been shoved under the carpet long ago), I thought I’d check the HS2 Ltd website to find the current official timetable. After all they used to have a lovely graphic!
The graphic and timetable is gone from their key-dates page (although it is still findable on their website if you do a google image search).
The key-dates page now claims
“We are also progressing with Phase Two of the project between the West Midlands to Leeds, Manchester and beyond.”
However if you hunt around you can still retrieve the old page.
The HS2 timeline from 2013 – now out of date
2015 was supposed to be the year of the “preparation of the second hybrid bill”, following the announcement of the Phase Two decision in 2014. However with the HS2 Phase 2 route not announced yet, and the general election meaning that the Secretary of State may change in May, there must be at a huge amount of uncertainty for the HS2 designers.
Delaying the decision on the HS2 Phase 2 route announcement until a year from now, also means the preparation of the Hybrid Bill gets delayed. And if the Hybrid Bill gets delayed, that will save a chunk of cash out of the HS2 budget for the legal work needed for this coming year end.
Yesterday, at Prime Minister’s Questions, and one person wanted Ebola….
John Glen (Salisbury) (Con): The Prime Minister will be aware of the outstanding work done at Porton Down in my constituency to combat Ebola. However, Public Health England has refused to evaluate fully an option to create a UK centre for global response to infectious diseases at Porton and instead persists with its recommendation to move many key scientists elsewhere. Will the Prime Minister meet me to discuss that matter and ensure that the future of public health, the life sciences industry and the taxpayer are well served by the decision ultimately made for public health in England?
The Prime Minister: Let me, through my hon. Friend, thank everyone at Porton Down for the vital work they do on these sorts of diseases and indeed for the work they are doing on testing for Ebola, as it requires brave and courageous people to carry it out. On the meeting that he wants, the Health Secretary is sitting next to me and he says he is happy to meet him to discuss this issue in detail. We want to see life sciences and these areas succeed in Britain, and Porton Down has an important role to play.
Yes, Penspot was offline for far too long. And now Penspot is back online. I intend to re-install some old posts, but then again, I might not.