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”
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….