The Tory press would love us to believe that 'all the parties are the same'. This 'anti-politics' feeds perfectly to the acceptance of a Tory government elected by only a small minority - 'it makes no difference if we have a Tory government' syndrome. But when free bus travel for pensioners is scrapped or diluted, when the minimum wage is frozen, and when Sure Start centres are closed and benefits reduced, we will all know 'the difference' between the Tories and admittedly a poor Labour government. When we think back we will realise that nearly all New Labour failures were as a result of copying Tory policies from PFIs to scrapping regulation of financial services, from Iraq to building more prisons - following the Daily Mail agenda has made New Labour unpopular, not popular. This is why it is so refreshing to see a Minister take them on, well done Harriet!
Anyway, I digress. High speed rail will only happen if government invests. Both the Tories and Labour have said nice words about it, but with every other European country investing vast sums in expanding their network, our complete lack of building plans is pathetic.
I would love to see a consensus on this between Labour and the Tories, but realistically, the Tories will always want to cut public services - it is in their DNA. Labour could really take the lead here with concrete proposals and now, despite what the Tories claim, is the perfect time to spend - we can do the cutbacks when growth has taken off. We shall see what Labour do - I am pessimistic.