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I’ve been a bit busy recently so I hadn’t seen this load of rubbish from StopHs2’s pet windbag. No, not ‘Ellie’ the inflatable elephant, but their laughably titled ‘Campaign Manager’ Joe Rukin!

Stophs2 have been punting this YouTube video of Rukin lying through his teeth on ITV – not that it’s doing very well as it’s only had 70+ views.

Rukin doesn’t ‘genuinely believe’ any such thing. He’s a practised liar who’ll claim anything and he’s lots of form for trotting out outrageous porkies in the hope people are gullible enough to fall for it. Remember his previous lie that Hs2 will cause £8.3bn of ‘cuts’ to rail services that I exposed here?

So, no rail investment for the next 20 years “anywhere on the network”eh? That will come as a huge surprise to Network Rail who’ve already got an ambitious programme of work planned for Control Period 6 (CP6) which starts in 2019. Back in October 2017 the DfT published the SoFA (Statement of Funds Available) which says “we expect around £47.9 billion to be spent on the railway across control period 6”. Earlier in July 2017 they also published the High level output specification (HLOS).

Not that Rukin will have ever read any of these of course. I doubt he even knows they exist as they show what a liar the man is. The SoFA contains this statement.


Oops! Joe’s fallen at the first hurdle here. The announcement of ‘new enhancement’ schemes rather gives the game away.

Meanwhile, what’s in Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan which was published earlier this year? Well, lots of enhancements actually. There’s a huge investment in digital signalling for a start. Oh, then there’s the £237m remodelling of Kings Cross station approaches, which is planned for 2020. Not to mention the £3bn Trans-Pennine route upgrade which begins next year.

Did I mention Scotland? The Scottish Government has committed to a rolling programme of route upgrades and electrification, including Aberdeen-Inverness. and bringing high-speed rail to Scotland. In Wales the new franchise is introducing lots of improvements between now and 2024 which includes new trains, stations and depots.

Oh, there’s also a small matter of fact that there’s 1000s of of new train cars either already being delivered or on order. So, as you can see, Rukin’s bare-faced lies sinply don’t stand up to any form of scrutiny – and that’s without me shredding him any further by mentioning East-West rail, the ECML Peterborough ‘dive-under’ at Werrington Jn, the Midland mainline upgrade and many, many more…

Rukin reminds me of the old joke about politicians. How can you tell when he’s lying? His lips move! Even his ‘fans’ must be getting sick of being deceived by now.

But it’s not just that. This highlights why I’m unhappy with some of my fellow journalists and their standards. Rukin was allowed to broadcast this travesty of the truth thanks to ITV who had no-one ask him the slightest question – much less any of the one’s I’ve highlighted in this blog. Where was the professional (informed) journalist challenging him on camera and saying “but hang on Joe”…This is why we’re in such a mess now. When did the mainstream media like the BBC and ITV let this rubbish pass through their filters? Since when did journalism get this lazy?

That said, we’re in the throes of the Brexit shambles, which the BBC seems to have aided and abetted, so maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised….