Labour's fantasy town planning
The debts we owe to our Victorian forebears allow us to flush the toilet, bury our dead and enjoy the Sun in our local park. Yet these assets - the sewers, cemeteries and green spaces - will all have finite capacity. That Bazalgette's London main sewers, built in 1865, can still cope adequately with the waste of a massively increased 2007 population is a testament to the man's brilliance and foresight, not government planning.
News in the Telegraph today that old cemeteries are to be reused by stacking bodies double.
I've taken a look through Ruth Kelly's fantasy planning for the Thames Gateway. Words aplenty, written in that prozac-cheerful official optimism that blabs of new communities, hundreds of thousands of people living in hutches filled with last year's fashionable furniture.
But nowhere, absolutely nowhere, in the whole Thames Gateway plan is there a mention of a single cemetery. Anywhere. Perhaps in Labour's fantasy world people don't die; or perhaps they have plans for compulsory cremation. One isn't told.
Allotments, cemeteries and sewers are not sexy, but they are necessary. If this bankrupt government spent just five minutes less on inventing spin and looked out of their windows at the built environment created by their Victorian ancestors they'd do us all a service.
Light blogging this week for the usual boatish reason.