The government, it seems, is prepared to pay for the much-needed Crossrail scheme, to do for London's east-west connections what Thameslink does for north-south. It died on the altar of provincial backbench anti-capitalism in the last parliament, but could make a spectacular comeback once the new Greater London Authority comes into being. The first mayor will be able to announce the scheme to show that London (and New Labour) means business. However, if Lord Archer is elected . . .