I’ve not bothered blogging about the anti Hs2 campaign much recently, mainly because there’s nothing worth blogging about. Having hit a metaphorical iceberg in the shape of the successful Hs2 Hybrid bill, their campaign’s been sinking slowly ever since. Most groups have already taken to the lifeboats, leaving StopHs2 and a few dozen bonkers (and mostly anonymous) tweeters frantically clinging to the stern as the icy water gets even closer.
Even so, I couldn’t resist mentioning this. On the day that the Lords gave the Hybrid Bill its 3rd reading (passing it by a stonking majority of 360 on a 386-26 vote), an unholy alliance of environmental groups (who should know better), right-wing lobbyists (the antithesis of the green movement) and vested interest groups placed full page adverts in the national media, calling on people to stop Hs2 by writing to their MPs. ‘Friends’ of the Earth even started a petition on their website (here)
By today, that petition has had a ‘whopping’ 1062 votes!
What’s so laughable about all this is that the whole thing has been a spectacular waste of time and money! Why? Because MPs don’t have another chance to vote on the principle of Hs2! There’s no stopping it now.
It’s true that as the Lords amended the Hs2 Hybrid Bill it will go back to the Commons – but this is only so that the amendments can be considered. MPs decided that Hs2 should be built at 2nd reading of the bill back in 2014. They don’t get a 2nd bite of the cherry, so people writing to their MPs is a complete waste of time. One can only wonder who advised the ‘unholy alliance’ on their tactics and decided that this was a cunning plan as – in reality – it’s both too late and entirely the wrong target.
As the Hs2 Hybrid Bill is due to receive Royal Assent later this month, it looks like the anti Hs2 campaign decided to throw away the last of their money on yet another useless gesture.