The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheTruthAnalyst
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Don't let London's Olympic Legacy be Lexus Lanes

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheTruthAnalyst
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,174 times Debate No: 19460
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

So, you are an affluent investment banker who has personally profited enormously from the huge government subsidies lavished on the financial sector and, in order to preserve your wealth, you are based in the Principality of Monaco where income is taxed at 0%. You live there in an exclusive penthouse apartment overlooking Monte Carlo's Port Hercule, which is where your luxury yacht happens to be moored.

However, the bank you work for is located in London, Europe's financial hub, and every week you have to travel there in order to meet clients and colleagues.

So, to that end, you ride in one of Heli Air Monaco's complimentary limousine (1) to the heliport from where a chopper ferries you to Nice Airport. There, you are whisked through the VIP Fast Track security channel thus affording you time to quaff complimentary bucks fizz and gorge yourself on the free canap�s in the Executive Lounge prior to boarding your flight, and so avoiding any encounter with the losers who will be travelling in the economy class cabin.

All very civilised so far, but things turn sour as the chauffeur-driven Lexus that the Bank has sent to collect you leaves Heathrow and heads down the M4 to London. This motorway is notoriously congested and you soon find yourself sitting in a traffic jam amongst lots of dreary, lower class people in their depressing, two-a-penny, hum-drum cars.

This is an outrage! Here you are wasting valuable time that could be more profitably spent gambling other people's money on risky commodities, or otherwise spent playing golf or getting an exotic massage in a high class rub ‘n' tug shop.

People like you shouldn't be expected to wade through this sort of human litter in order to get from A to B. Something ought to be done. The fast lane on the M4 and the key routes through West London and Westminster to the City and Canary Wharf, where the major investment banks have their headquarters, ought to become priority routes for VIP's, reserved for the exclusive use of moneyed motorists so that they may waft imperiously past lesser road users, en-route to their final destination without incurring any undue delay.

I wouldn't agree with this proposal but it may well become a reality after next year's London Olympics. The ruling Conservative Party, who are very sympathetic to the views of the most affluent members of society, have already signalled their approval for private 'Lexus lanes' on motorways. (1)

Leaving an 'Olympic Legacy' was conditional on London being awarded the games and one of those legacies is intended to be "cross-city transport improvements in London." (2)

The Conservatives may choose to interpret this as making the VIP lanes from Heathrow, through the affluent suburbs of West London to the City and Canary Wharf, and on to the Olympic site in nearby Stratford (2), permanent.

Thus, the 2012 Olympic Games would give the Conservatives the ideal cover to pamper their prosperous political patrons by providing them with priority pathways through London.

Good for greedy, incompetent, tax-avoiding, investment banking non-doms arriving from Monaco, and also for their colleagues living in the affluent suburbs of West London, but very bad news for the majority of London's motorists who will be relegated to the status of second-class citizens on the capital's roads, and I, therefore urge you to vote Pro - don't let London's Olympic legacy be Lexus lanes.

Thank you.

(1) http://www.heliairmonaco.com...
(2) http://www.thisislondon.co.uk...
(3) http://www.london2012.com...
(4) http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I would like to thank Pro for this debate, it's a great resolution. I'll jump right into the benefits that 'Lexus Lanes' would have on the U.K.

1 - Benefit to employment. Pro's source[1] states that the project to widen the A14 would take 8 years to complete. That makes 8 solid years of work that otherwise wouldn't be available in a country with rising unemployment rates[2].
2 - Greater cash flow. Creating a product for the more wealthy to spend their money on contributes to the GDP and total cashflow of an economy. The more money actively changing hands in an economy, the better. Building or allowing 'lexus lanes' simply provides a new product, which specifically caters to the wealthy(those who have money to spend).
3 - Greater tax income. The UK operated off a 148 billion pound deficit in 2010[3]. Increased tax from new toll roads would help to offset the deficit.
4 - Greater business efficieny. When business people are stuck in traffic, it is much more difficult for them to work effectively. A percentage of time saved regularly on travel will work in companies favor. Companies working more efficiently have more money for expeditures, expansion, hiring, and taxes.

These types of roads and lanes would only create another avenue for people, who can afford and justify the expense, to more efficiently travel and do business. As a side effect, new jobs, revenue, cash flow, and taxes would benefit the economy as a whole.



[1] http://www.thisislondon.co.uk...
[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[3] http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and I read with interest the four rebuttals he posted. They were well-researched arguments, for which he deserves credit, and, fundamentally, I agree with them.

Nevertheless, no matter how much economic sense his arguments make, this does not, I hope, outweigh the negative impact of relegating cash-strapped motorists to the status of second-class citizens.

We already live in a world where money prevails over virtue: surely the need of an investment banker to get to the trading floor to squander yet more of the taxpayers' cash in order to justify his obscene bonus is less important than a working-class family desperately trying to get to the hospital to say their final farewells to a dying granny?

Money is important, of course, but it is not the be-all and end-all - social cohesion is at least equally important.

Thank you.
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I appreciate Pro setting up this debate, and for his arguments.

As to the issue of creating different classes of citizens, these roads don't inherently create classes. Rather, they present an opportunity for people to have a faster means of travel when needed. Passes could be purchased for one day if a family has pressing need to get somewhere quickly, and those who need the fast travel every day have to pay for it every day.

It is no different than any other options that exist in the world of business. A fancy restaurant allows people to spend more money to dine in a better(for them) environment. First class tickets allow travellers to have more luxuries. Individuals can go as far as to hire an airplane or helicopter for a quick trip across a busy city. Allowing for more options, more demand, and more competition is beneficial to all who live in a society. After all, the more successful businesses are, the more they are able to expand and actually help those who are struggling financially or struggling to find work.

Indeed, it is as a community that we succeed or fail. If we were to implement measures that kept businesses from succeeding, we would put more people into difficult financial situations. Having the option for more toll roads simply provides the freedom for people to take more control of their time.
Debate Round No. 2
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
Great arguments though, can't argue with the economic sense behind them.
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
Just so you know Brian, I misunderstood this when I first accepted it. Don't worry, I'm still going to debate it, I'll put my argument up tomorrow.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
Thanks for accepting.

Just to clarify, the private lanes on existing motorways (highways) are proposed to be built as toll lanes by private contractors but my main argument concerns London's roads: there is no space to expand them (they date from Roman and Medieval times when, of course, cars were not envisaged) so the possibility is that Olympic VIP routes through London will be reserved for VIP's / financially-privileged motorists after the games have finished.

Only 2 rounds so please dispense with any formalities and dive straight in. I won't introduce any new arguments but will just respond to your rebuttal.

Sleep well!
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
Ok, I wasn't sure if I was understanding correctly. I'll accept. I haven't slept so I'll hold off my R1 arguments until I'm thinking straight.

R1 for my premise, and we each rebuttal in R2? Any new arguments in R2?
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
Correct
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
I want so badly to take you up on this...

but I have no idea how I could argue Con here :P

So, private companies can(if they purchase/lease the land) build private roads and charge tolls, correct?
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
Thanks, caveat!
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
Just to let you know, I used to be in favour of lanes dedicated to motorists who were using them to travel for work or business, rather than, say, travelling to the shops or driving the kids to school. But now the Conservatives are running with the idea I feel it is incumbent upon me, as a Labour activist, to oppose the plan!
Posted by caveat 5 years ago
caveat
From whence you dredge these resolutions I have not the slightest, but know that I thoroughly enjoy all of your challenge statements. (:
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
brian_egglestonTheTruthAnalystTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Great fun! Economically, this can help the peons better.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
brian_egglestonTheTruthAnalystTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Because the roads are toll roads, you cannot claim that they make anyone a second class citizen without also claiming that having costs on any good makes some people (those that can't afford it) second class citizens. Such a claim would require extrodinary evidence. Pro also didn't address any of Con's refutations, hoping that the second class citizen argument would hold. Pro could have easily pointed that the failures of the M6 toll would likely be seen on this road too.