One of my great loves is cycling. I love the relaxation which comes from just being on my bike out in the back of beyond. Many of my routes make use of the railway lines which have been disused since the axe of Dr Beeching fell upon them. With their gentle gradients they make for great cycling, but one part of me always feels a hint of sadness. As a cyclist I'm all for sustainable transport and I can never get away from the feeling that the Beeching axe in its reactionary short-sightedness robbed us all of a future which would have been a bit better than today.
As I hear more and more political rhetoric piling up about cuts, the savings which need to be made, the fact that it can't go on like this, there is no alternative... this is the future. Part of me can't help thinking of Dr Beeching. Is this the fate which awaits the welfare state?