I haven’t highlighted any individual campaigners for some months now as the whole StopHs2 campaign’s crazy nowadays but I couldn’t resist this outstanding example. So, step forward Nicholas Ward – who’s standing as a Stophs2 candidate in tomorrow’s Witney by-election!
Witney is an ultra-safe Tory seat that was the constituency of David Cameron, the former Prime Minster, who held it with a majority of 25,155. Ward, who lives in Greatworth near Banbury has decided that this is the ideal place for him to persuade voters that Hs2 is such a major issue (even though it’ll go nowhere near the place) they’ll reject their Tory tendencies to elect him as their MP instead. There’s a grand total of 14 candidates standing in Witney which means Ward has to fight for votes against parties with far more credibility, like The Monster Raving Loony party, or bus pass Elvis!
Ward’s website claims that “there is little to be gained from voting for one of the main parties in this by-election” as if Brexit and the economy are somehow a side-show in Witney compared to Hs2. He goes on to claim that he’s “always worked on the basis that, no matter how difficult the odds, one had to go on trying to achieve one’s objective for as long as there was any chance of success. This attitude has motivated his decision to stand in the Witney by-election.”
How Ward expects to be able to do anything about Hs2 (even if by some incredible miracle he was elected) is a mystery as the project has solid cross-party support and the Hs2 bill sailed through Parliament with a massive 411 majority. Like many other Hs2 antis Ward doesn’t understand that the general public don’t share his obsession with the project. It’s an attitude that’s bedevilled the anti hs2 campaign from the beginning, leading to them making serious tactical errors by assuming ordinary voters will ‘rally round’ – as Ward is doing. It’s a tactic that’s backfired time and time again as all it’s done is expose how little support they really have. Ward is doomed to repeat this failure when the by-election result is declared on Thursday night/Friday morning. If this isn’t crazy, then…
Mr Ward managed to get all of 92 votes. This beat his previous total of 63 votes from when he stood in Westminster North at the General election. It equates to 0.2% of all votes cast in Witney.