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Swift’s Gullivers Travels tells of the Academy of Projectors established by the Balnibarbians: inhabitants of the land of Balnibarbi.

Balnibarbi’s Academy of Projectors was all about developing projects which were aimed to improve society.

They included a man who spent eight years extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, another whose project plan was to reconstitute human excrement back to its original food components and another who had designed a new method for building houses, by starting at the roof, and working downwards to the foundations.

Clearly ingenious people, the future grandchildren of the Bainibarbians are not related to those who have brought forth the master project to end all projects, the not so H of the HS2 rail project.

HS2 would not be a suitable subject for Swiftian satire, rooted as it is in rigorous thinking, exemplary planning and water tight financial projections.