Besides scrapping the welfare state, the government's plans to return Britain to the Victorian age include 'High Speed Two (HS2)', a 'proposal to introduce high speed rail from London to Birmingham – and later to Manchester, Leeds and ultimately Scotland. The recommended route would run from a rebuilt Euston Station to a new station in Birmingham.' The Department for Transport is currently running a formal consultation, which includes a series of 'road shows in Camden to provide more information on the proposals and give you the opportunity to have your say'. The first of them is at Euston today, until 8 p.m. There's a vivid description in Dombey and Son of what happened to Camden when the London and Birmingham Railway was built in the 1830s:
When the Artful Dodger first takes Oliver Twist out ‘to make pocket-handkerchiefs’, Oliver gets caught while the Dodger escapes back to Fagin’s den in Saffron Hill, in what is now the southern end of the London Borough of Camden. The campaigning website 38 Degrees recently paid for newspaper ads depicting the chancellor of the exchequer as the Artful Dodger because of his tax avoidance. But some of George Osborne’s other sleights of hand are much sneakier. The 27 per cent cut in central government funding to local councils, combined with what the local government secretary, Eric Pickles, has called ‘the most radical shift in power to local government for a generation’, means that though the cuts are being imposed by Westminster, local authorities have to decide which services are to be affected – and therefore, or so the government hopes, take the blame (this seems to be what Pickles really means by a ‘shift in power’).