Barlow's Beef: Greed is the word is the word..


So what do you wish for in the coming year? New house, better job, lottery win?

Personally I'm hoping to see some reflection on to the constant striving for MORE. More development, more houses, more taxation, more regulation, more, more greed, more money.

Both local and national government seem unable to survive without a constant increase in revenue. That increase comes at a price and that price is usually paid by our quality of life.

Will a train that gets you to London a bit faster (providing you live close enough to a hub) really be worth the destruction of our ever-diminishing countryside?

We were sold on the policy of invading the Green Belt on the clear need for affordable homes. Has that REALLY benefitted anyone but landowners and wealthy developers? Is it not ironic that during this great land grab we have had the lowest number of affordable homes built for 24 years?

Politicians always need more, more development, more people, more money more, more, more.

The work-life balance has become an empty slogan that has no more meaning than Brownfield First or The Big Society. They're just meaningless sound bites created to hoodwink a gullible public.

We are a small island with a finite amount of open space. We need to recognise this before we become a totally urban society. Is that what we want for our children and grandchildren?

It won't matter to the developers and land agents they won't be here. Check out where many of them currently reside - you won't find too many of them in the UK.

Maybe it's time we learned to live with the resources we have. We are obviously going to be forced to do it at some point. Do we wait until we have nothing left?

Of course we need hospitals, shops, houses, roads, schools, transport etc but in many cases we appear to be building them to ATTRACT population growth rather than to meet the needs of existing communities.

Can't we at least stop and think about it before it's too late?

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlows Beef, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Pete Taylor
Tuesday 27th December 2016 at 12:55 pm
Spot-on, yet again Vic.
Roger Bagguley
Tuesday 27th December 2016 at 10:46 pm
Agree with Pete Taylor. Spot on again Vic as you so often are. Will our leaders ever pause to consider what they are rushing to create for our future generations? I doubt so.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 28th December 2016 at 1:16 pm
Yes VIc, and with the greedy GMC next door with plans for a farcical 200,000 jobs AND many thousands of houses over the next few years is it any wonder if the population is amazed by the calibre of people we elect to run the show.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 28th December 2016 at 3:38 pm
"Will a train that gets you to London a bit faster (providing you live close enough to a hub) really be worth the destruction of our ever-diminishing countryside?"

Vic, you continue to peddle misunderstandings about HS2. It is not being built as some sort of expensive elite addition to our railway to speed expense-account executives to the capital. It is about providing essential extra north - south rail capacity. Essential because the West Coast Main Line (WCML) is approaching maximum capacity now, never mind in 20 years time when HS2 will hopefully be in place. The demand for train travel continues its unabated rise; it's currently carrying almost three times the traffic carried since privatisation with all indications predicting growth way beyond current capacity.

Transferring the bulk of long distance passenger traffic to the HS2 spine will free up a great deal of capacity on the WCML for local services, and allow much needed paths for freight, another fast-growing area currently hampered by insufficient capacity and leading to ever more HGVs on our overcrowded roads.

In Cheshire HS2 will follow the M6 / M56 corridor so the environmental impact will be minimal.

Nearly 200 years ago men of vision overcame the naysayers (and there were plenty of them!) and built our rail system. They did a remarkable job, but if the likes of you, Vic, had prevailed against those and other transport advances we'd still be reliant on the horse.

That Victorian rail infrastructure originally designed for slow and lightweight early steam trains is what we use today. It was over-engineered which is why we've largely got away with it for so long, but it's well overdue for an upgrade, as has been happening for many decades in most of the rest of the developed world. We live in a globalised society, and it's the rest of the world who are our markets and our competition.

By all means question destruction of green belt while brownfield goes undeveloped, and the spread of innappropriate building development. But please don't throw the baby of much needed transport infrastructure improvement out with the bath water of developer greed.
Peter Croome
Wednesday 28th December 2016 at 4:30 pm
I wonder what the train fares will be on this HS2 joyride?