Today Parliament debated Christopher Chope’s HS2 Funding Referendum Bill 2014-15. Well, when I say Parliament, I really mean the dozen MPs who actually turned up. This was yet another miserable performance by those few MPs opposed to Hs2. It featured a dwindling band of the usual suspects trotting out the same arguments that failed to stop the Hs2 Hybrid Bill last year. There were so few MPs in attendance the Commons chamber looked like the aftermath of an Ebola outbreak
Needless to say, anti Hs2 campaigners had spent days hyperventilating about the event, exhorting their supporters to bombard their local MPs with letters, emails & faxes urging them to turn up & vote for the bill. The fact only the usual anti Hs2 MPs turned up speaks volumes about both their influence and how seriously MPs take them (not a lot). The motion never stood a chance, even one of the anti’s ‘stars’, the dubiously coiffured Michael Fabricant MP admitted that. But such realism didn’t prevent StopHs2’s own Laurel & Hardy (Penny Gaines & Joe Rukin) performing an unintentional comedy double act on Twitter, ‘interpreting’ every comment that could possibly be spun as negative to Hs2.
Finally, after hours of pointless posturing the whole sorry event was put out of its misery when Christopher Chope withdrew the bill as it was crystal clear it would fail. Once again the anti Hs2 campaign has been shown to lack any credibility, political clout or real grassroots support. What was telling was that this was the last chance for Parliament to debate Hs2 before the election. Yet there was no new support for the anti Hs2 campaign. The anti Hs2 groups didn’t even bother to attempt to mount a demonstration outside Parliament to support the bill.
What a complete & utter shambles!