Today’s Mail on Sunday has managed to mix together sloppy sensationalism and innuendo with a dollop of ridiculous Rukin rhetoric to half-bake a story about Hs2 Ltd buying houses along the route.
You can find the Wail’s story here.
Needless to say, some of the usual suspects started hyperventilating about the story on social media. Hypocrisy being their forte, the same folks who are outraged that Hs2 supposedly isn’t paying enough compensation to people are getting outraged that Hs2 are alleged to have paid – in the Mail’s own words – a “staggering” £225m for 300 homes. The article accuses Hs2 Ltd of ‘underhand’ tactics in buying some properties but details or evidence to back up this assertion is conspicuous by its absence. The article hinges on the fact some people are complaining they haven’t got the price the property was on the market for. It’s a state of affairs sellers anywhere can complain about as it’s not a situation unique to Hs2. Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house will know that sellers have a habit of inflating what their property is worth – but that doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll get (as buyers can tell you!). In fact, the article demonstrates there’s not a huge difference in many cases. The claims that the Government has somehow managed to ‘squander’ taxpayers money by acquiring a property portfolio are equally laughable. In fact, the Government could well make a tidy sum on the deal once all the anti Hs2 mob induced hysteria about building the line subsides.
The map the Wail has produced to accompany the article is as factual as the article. It’s managed to divert the West Coast Main Line to run through Buckingham!
Here’s some examples of outrage from Twitter…
A sad truth for those homeowners affected by the building of the line is that no-one has done more to depress house prices than the groups campaigning AGAINST Hs2. Both Hs2aa and Stophs2 have done their damnedest to make it sound like Hs2 will be more devastating than the arrival of Genghis Khan & the Mongol hordes. They’ve tried to scare people half to death, then cynically exploited that fear for their own ends.
Of course, the ability for the anti Hs2 mob to complain that compensation isn’t enough whilst at the same time getting outraged at the cost of buying houses won’t stop hs2 in the least. But it can provide us all with a good laugh…