David Cameron has today announced that he has given the go-ahead for an ambitious railway project linking London with places that already have perfectly good rail links. And Toton.
The Prime Minister delivered a thundering address proclaiming the end of the steam locomotive to make way for a new-fangled contraption utilising the majestic power of electric current. He hopes that this will pave the way for a new economic boom based on the northern steel and cotton industry after reading a book, which aides were too embarrassed to tell him was from the 19th century.
“When I consider the major needs of the British people, I always land at the conclusion that what is starving this country is the inability of Londoners to visit Wigan in less than three hours”, he declared.
“We will be the pride of Europe, with the exception of all of the countries that built this sort of thing 30 years ago.
“We will be the pride of Britain!
“With that in mind, I have set aside a quite extraordinary amount of money which I will use to build an express train service linking several already well-connected towns.
“I plan to use half of the £30 billion on a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign to persuade the public that this represents good value and vaguely sound logic, and the other half to lay the rails, which will be made of gold.”
He added, “I am also using the opportunity to direct a line towards Toton, which is where my favourite hat shop is. What is politics without perks, after all?”
Public reaction has been a typically English mixture of anger, fear and confusion. Some over-zealous Londoners have already begun erecting barricades at Euston station to prevent gangs of northerners infiltrating the capital, although this is thought to as much to do with the recent release of Les Miserables as anything: people are always looking for an excuse to erect a barricade.
In the north, people are confused as to why they should go to London in two hours when they already live in Manchester, which takes them no hours to get to, is quite a bit friendlier and has cheaper drinks. There is also some consternation that the scheme is costing £500 for every soul in the UK, whereas Megabus will take you to London for £1 plus 50p booking fee. For £500 you can get to Spain, and it’s hot there.
Petitions are being signed to inquire as to whether the train can go to Spain instead.
Finally, in the bit of the UK which doesn’t have any stations but does have a 250mph steel tube about to go racing through it, there is outrage at the controversial plan to lay rail lines through the back of absolutely everybody’s garden.
Leader of the influential ‘Stop HS2 and all other forms of change’ pressure group, Steven Haynes, is unconvinced by the scheme:
“I’ve looked at the artist’s impression of the railway line and they’ve actually drawn the route going directly through my infant son’s knee.
“I mean, what if there are paedophiles on those trains? Who will protect my son’s knee?
“Also, if I had £30 billion to blow on a new transport system – I’d have gone for hoverbikes. Just saying.”
Concerned individuals may relax though. The scheme is scheduled to arrive in 2026 – but if it is anything like every other British train, and it will be, it’ll probably arrive around 2140, make an unscheduled stop near Lincoln, and smell of piss.