Mention of Gary Hodgson reminds me of his grandiose musings in a Guardian article last week (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2011/jun/08/train-link-mersey-milan ).
Helen Carter's piece, which features a photograph of the waterfront prior to the grotesque additions (or the arrival of the "trashy tarts", as Wayne memorably described them), uses the term "masterplan", though it isn't entirely clear if Hodgson is being directly quoted on this in Carter' piece.
So this mooted rail link linking the Mersey to Milan, Anfield to San Siro, the Empire Theatre to Teatro alla Scalla, where does it come from? Well, Gary's rhapsodies seem to have got the better of him; it's the sort of idea that belongs to what remain of the dock road pubs: "A rail link to the heart of Europe. Why not?"
Why not, indeed, Gary. Mine's a pint of lager, by the way.
Some commenters on the Guardian piece included a couple of trolls , one of whom admitted to being a Peel employee. Guess what he thought of the proposal. Carter herself took me to task for suggesting she'd been taken in by Peel's spin. It's true, as Carter stated, that she's been "robust" in her previous reporting on Peel. However, I stand by my view that the Guardian article was the sort of thing normally found in the Daily Ghost & Oldham Echo.
Further proof of Hodgson's tenuous grasp of political reality can be found in this extract:
"He [Hogson] is urging the government to invest in the north west and says unless they develop 'everything is going to be crammed down in the south east.' "
That the ConDem cutters would even countenance government investment in the north west requires a suspension of critical faculties normally arrived at after a session in the Baltic Fleet.