Ironically, today the campaign against Hs2 is ‘celebrating’ the 5th anniversary of the announcement of the project. You would have thought they’d have known better as all they’re doing is drawing attention to their five years of failure in trying to stop it!
With nothing new to say & having no cunning plans now all their previous ones have ended in disappointment & failure StopHs2 are trying to bring back their ‘No votes for you with Hs2’ campaign from the dead. Bad move. The rotting corpse is too far gone to resuscitate, not least because the anti Hs2 campaign has too few supporters who command too few votes. I’ve looked at this in two previous blogs;
In the intervening time, things have got worse for their campaign. The Hs2 Hybrid Bill Committee continue to plough through petitions & remain on course for the Bill to gain Royal Assent by December 2016.
On the political front, all three major parties remain committed to the Hs2 project. The anti Hs2 campaign constantly predicted party political U-turns. None have ever materialised as no-one is actually frightened by their campaign. There might be a couple of nervous Tory MPs on the Chilterns Hs2 route but even there the challenge from UKIP seems to be receding after UKIP’s hopeful Chris Adams was exposed in the national media for packing his Twitter feed with fake followers;
You can see why UKIP & the anti’s get on, can’t you? Both groups largely rely on imaginary friends!
Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister gave an interview to February’s ASLEF Journal, where he said: “We are absolutely committed to HS2”
Click to access 1502aslefjournal.pdf
Absolutely no sign of a U-turn there then…
The national opinion polls offer nothing positive either. The real political race is between parties who all support Hs2, whilst the two that oppose UKIP & The Greens have both had a torrid time. There’s an almost weekly drip of stories about racism within UKIP (where trying to stop them popping up is like playing a game of ‘whack a mole’) & the Greens have had their Leader, Natalie Bennett, implode in a radio interview that’s gone viral. The Greens rail policy doesn’t exactly stand up to scrutiny either. I’ve dissected it here;
UK polling reports predict that, between them (at best) the Greens & UKIP will have less than half a dozen MPS. That’s meant to Stophs2? Oh, please…
Meanwhile, things continue to get worse at home. At the Hs2 Committee hearing on the 10th March, Denham Against Hs2 Chairman Frank Partridge let the cat out of the bag about the number of Hs2 ‘Action’ groups. The likes of Hs2aa are still pretending there are over 90. Frank admitted to the Committee that the real number is ’40 to 50′ – around half the numbers claimed! More proof (if it were needed) that the campaign’s been exaggerating the size of its activist base.
All this leaves the anti Hs2 campaign with bugger all to celebrate on Hs2’s 5th birthday. If I was Joe Rukin, I’d be too busy looking through the ‘situations vacant’ columns to be boasting about how a lot of imaginary voters are going to Stop Hs2….
Well done Paul
Yet again you have drawn attention to the anti case with the chance that your opinion might not be the one taken.
Paul Bigland said:
It’s time to get real Jim. The anti Hs2 campaign has no:
Real political support
No mass support
UKIP won’t save your campaign. Neither will the Greens. The parties who will form the next Govt ALL back building Hs2 So, how are you going to Stop Hs2? I’ve been asking that question for years. All I get in reply is empty rhetoric.
Charlie Atkins said:
HS2 may be going ahead, but the polls consistently show that:
In every age group more people oppose HS2 than support it.
From every region more people oppose HS2.
From every social band more people oppose Hs2.
Regardless of political party, more people oppose HS2.
If we lived in a democracy, HS2 wouldn’t go ahead. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a democracy.
Paul Bigland said:
You’ve just given a masterclass in why the anti Hs2 campaign has been such a failure! Empty rhetoric… These ‘polls’ are a nonsense. You place your faith in them the same way a drowning man clings to driftwood. Let’s get real for a minute. The Hs2 Hybrid Bill was passed with a huge majority. 452 in fact. Clearly, MP’s aren’t bothered by newspaper opinion polls which are designed as one thing,’clickbait’. They’re meaningless – and they carry no more weight than a feather.
As for not living in a ‘democracy’ – the truth is we do. It’s a Parliamentary one – A concept you seem to have confused with X-Factor style phone polls. No wonder you can’t stop Hs2.
john cameron said:
Clearly, Mr. Bigland believes that “whipped” MPs and others who are afraid to speak their mind as it might affect their political aspirations, indicate that democracy is alive and well. As he would say, rubbish! If he can actually bother to look at the case (which keeps being remade as every attempt to justuify the need for HS2 is shot to pieces),you might think he might have second thoughts that maybe not everything about HS2 stacks up, but No, he is so sure…..
He needs to pause and reflect, instead of gloating that StopHS2 and HS2AA don’t have enough money. A cheap crack, but then to date nearly £1bn. has already been spent on the HS” nonsense. Whatever the real cost, it’s certainly north of £56bn (the 2011 cost inflation-adjusted) the current HS2 plan seems to be to stop in the middle of nowhere, assuming it will connect with Crossrail. No agreement as to Euston as the cost is too high…the whole exercise is a shambles.
Paul Bigland said:
Since when is stating facts ‘gloating’? StopHs2 are reliant on the money of Joe Elliott & Hs2aa are so late in filing their accounts their credit rating is zero. Admittedly, the anti Hs2 campaign struggle with facts – especially one’s that burst their bubble.
As for ‘whipped’ MPs – this is another irrelevant excuse from a campaign that simply can’t face the truth which is that they have zero political clout. Only 41 MPs opposed the Hs2 Hybrid Bill & there’s no getting away from that. The bill passed with a massive majority & silly attempts to cry ‘foul’ change nothing.
If anyone needs to ‘pause & reflect’ it’s the dwindling number of antis. Let’s face it – you’ve had a disastrous election campaign that exposed the fact you’ve bugger all real support. Your ‘no votes for you with Hs2’ stunt was a flop. In short: You’re skint, you’ve no popular support, you’ve no political clout & your activist base is dwindling by the day. The world has move on & it’s time you did too…