The census is supposed to be an accurate snapshot of the state of Britain, if people lie on it, they should be prosecuted.
Does that include all the people who insist on putting "Church of England" but haven't been inside a church their entire adult life and don't even know if they were ever baptised?
I can't see anyone touching them with a ten foot pole unless the price is REALLY beneficial.
You can't see why anyone might be interested in acquiring their vast patent portfolio, x86 license and cross-licensing agreement with Intel?
Let's all just hope they don't do a Lucent and the patents end up being held by a mysteriously well funded holding company...
If everyone wants to live in South East, what's the point of building a high speed rail to a place where people don't want to live?
Because then you increase the probably that people will want to live in those places rather than the South East, and that businesses will want to establish offices in places other than London.
If it really is beneficial to have more people live in Manchester and Birmingham rather than South East (and use the train), then they'll be willing to pay for the location change in one way or another.
Which they will, through ticket sales. However your simplistic reasoning doesn't take a lot of factors into account. If the UK government don't make it attractive for people to live and work in places outside of the South East, they're going to have invest heavily in infrastructure in the South East: transport, power generation, water and housing being the obvious ones. That infrastructure will have to be paid for. Will it cost less, or more, than HS2?
Think of reducing pressure on London and the South East as a "loss leader" to break the vicious circle of investing huge amounts of money in the South East to the detriment of the rest of the UK, which then makes the South East a more attractive place to live, which then increases the demand for investment in infrastructure in the South East, which...
"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson