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It’s time to review the anti Hs2 campaign, both in the real world and on social media. Firstly, let’s have a look at the latest ‘scores on the doors’ when it comes to social media.

Scores. 23 sep 15

The usual caveat applies, not all followers are supporters, many are there just to keep an eye on them. Also, remember that some Twitter followers will be spam or fake accounts which add nothing.

There’s now 7 months of data which is building up an interesting picture. What it shows is that their social media campaign really is stuck despite it having run for years (since 2010 in fact). What’s especially interesting is to see the way their Facebook campaign is stagnant. Remember, Facebook has twice as many more users in the UK than Twitter, with over 31.2 million accounts.

It’s also worth remembering that there were 45,325,078 people registered to vote at the 2015 general election. Contrast this with the numbers the anti Hs2 campaign’s reaching…

Another way of putting these numbers into context is that Hs2aa are claiming around 500,000 people are ‘blighted’ by Hs2. So, where are they? Not campaigning against Hs2, that’s for sure!

There’s an irony in their latest Twitter statistics. The only people who have a respectable growth in followers (albeit from an appallingly low base) are the two least effective: Penny Gaines & Deanne Dukhan. Penny is the Chair of Stophs2 but has decamped to Dorset & no longer lives on the route. Deanne Dukhan is supposedly Campaign Director AGAHST (Action Groups Against HS2) but this organisation’s defunct. Its abandoned website can be found here.

Meanwhile, back in the real world…

-there’s bugger all happening. There have been no national meetings of the anti campaign since 2013 and there are none planned. Nor are there any rallies or demonstrations. The last event that was organised was in April 2014. This was a rally outside Parliament on April 28th – the day a stonking 452 MPs to 41 passed the Hs2 Hybrid Bill! How many antis turned up? Less than 100! Here they are…

DG177046. Anti Hs2 demo. Westminster. London. 28.4.14.

The local anti Hs2 ‘action’ network is equally moribund. I’ve already blogged about the Mid Cheshire group, who had to hide their AGM minutes as they showed that only 23 people attended. The situation is the same with lots of other groups (many of whom have folded).

To further add to the woes, cracks have appeared in their petitioning plans.

Now that it’s become clear that the antis ‘cunning plan’ to try and stop Hs2 in the petitioning process by drawing it out with thousands of petitions has failed. More and more petitioners are failing to turn up. I’ve been watching the Committee hearings this morning. 15 petitions were deemed to have been heard as the petitioners didn’t bother attending to present them. This is happening more and more. What was once a trickle…

I hope Joe Rukin is getting those job applications in!