A promise of better times

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THE High Speed rail route promises much that will benefit Sheffield.

A modern and fast link to London giving a journey time of less than two hours is something business leaders have wanted for years. It will also create jobs as the labour needed to build the link is going to be considerable.

The promise of investment at a time when there is precious little around also helps build confidence. It shows this country can undertake major projects because it has both the skills and the determination.

But we must also sound a note of caution. The building work will create controversy as land is compulsorily purchased and homes are demolished. There will be heartbroken residents and environmental protests.

But those battles are almost 20 years away. For now, the region can look forward to better times.

A cup of tea can bring us together

THERE is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be solved by a nice cup of tea, so it is said.

It is something many Sheffielders will agree with. It is something many Sri Lankans do too.

That was one of the findings of Jonathan Turner, a professional photographer who has spent two years photographing families in their homes, firstly in South Yorkshire then in Sri Lanka.

For every picture he snapped here, as The Diary reports today, he took a reflective and corresponding one in the Asian country.

The results offer a delightful and optimistic glimpse of human nature. For in these troubled times they show people on opposite sides of the world and from hugely different cultures with some real similar characteristics.

Chief among them are a love of family, pride in the home and a willingness to help strangers. And, as Jonathan found from being offered the hospitality of his subjects, a love of a good brew.

Firms fraud warning

MAKING money is tough enough for business in the current economic climate without someone trying to steal it.

Experts on fraud from Yorkshire are warning firms to brace themselves for an increase in attacks as austerity measures begin to hit individuals and some of them resort to crime. They rightly point out that it is a vicious circle, where fraud leads to yet more cutbacks, which hurt the honest and decent as well as the criminal. Firms need to step up their vigilance, for their own god and the good of their employees.