, , ,

With the general election campaigning in full swing it’s been fun resurrecting this feature as we could all do with a laugh at something, and the tiny anti HS2 campaign is certainly providing a chuckle or two thanks to their bizarre insistence that (God knows how) they’re actually some sort of electoral force to be reckoned with! It’s completely bonkers of course. Their influence is so small they couldn’t even get 25,000 signatures on their recent Stophs2 petition. Still, here’s the latest in laughable delusion, this time it’s from another old favourite, Stephen Leary, who lives in NW Leicestershire constituency. You can find him on Twitter as @MeashamHS2Actio

Leary gave up his one-man campaign against HS2 last December but he’s recently returned to continue his programme of self-promotion. He no longer claims he’s going to set up a new StopH2 ‘action’ group, but he does still advertise the non-existent website of the defunct local group (MAPA) which is was a minor member of before it went to the wall.

Here’s one of today’s Tweets, which is a hilarious miscalculation and misunderstanding of party political support!

Green party candidates in Eddisbury and Congleton, eh? Leaving aside the fact the Greens aren’t predicted to win a single extra seat in the general election and are bobbing around at 5% in the polls, we’re expected to believe that the few Shire Tory Brexit supporters who oppose HS2 are going to vote Green to stop HS2? Especially when the incumbent Tory, Antoinette Sandbach, has had the Tory whip removed over Brexit and has gone off to join the Lib-Dems? I mean, seriously? Has it even occurred to Leary that they just might have other considerations on their minds when it come to placing their X’s on the ballot paper? Obviously not, but then that’s typical of these people as their knowledge of politics never normally gets beyond Parish Council level.

To illustrate just how ridiculous and out of touch these claims are, here’s the 2017 election result for Eddisbury. That’s not a hill for the Greens to claim, that’s bleedin’ Everest!

Meanwhile, what of Congleton? This is a real true-blue Constituency which is held by Fiona Bruce with a majority of 12,619. Here’s the 2017 result.

Why Leary’s even bothered with this one’s a mystery as it’s not on the route of HS2! Just 62 people living there signed the last stophs2 petition, that’s 0.065%! The Greens vote dropped last time too, leaving them last on the board.

You have to laugh! Electoral maths clearly isn’t Leary’s forte. Nor has it occurred to him that even if by some miracle, people were persuaded to change their vote because of HS2 and help unseat the incumbent MP, it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to anything because HS2 has cross party support from Tory, Labour and Lib-Dems (plus the SNP in Scotland) so it doesn’t make any difference if the seat swaps between any of the major parties – which is the most likely outcome.

To add to the general merriment, Nigel Farage has announced that his Brexit party won’t be standing in any Tory held seats, so that’s really going to rain on the HS2 anti’s parade as there’s no-one else left who opposes HS2 to vote for other than the Greens, who are dead set against Brexit. I’m sure we can expect more laughable nonsense like this from the few remaining HS2 antis over the next few weeks, but there’s no doubt that HS2 won’t be an election issue – despite their desperate and fantastical claims – just like every other election since 2010.

2023 update.

Psephology was no more Leary’s strongpoint than it was that of any of the other Nimbys who’ve opposed HS2 over the years. None of the constituencies Leary mentioned changed political colour in the 2019 election, never mind actually went green! The greens hung on to their sole MP but have never got anywhere near close to gaining another parliamentary seat. They remain the only national (ish) political party opposed to HS2, an act of hypocrisy that’s caused a schism within the English and Welsh party and set them apart from their Scottish counterparts who’re more fact and science based – so support building HS2.

As for Leary, like most anti HS2’er on Twitter, he had little more than his 15 mins of ‘fame’ (if you can call being laughed at fame) before disappearing in 2020.

Many of us are looking forward to the next general election in 2024. I’ll make a prediction for that one. Whichever party wins it will continue to build HS2…

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!