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‘Celebrity environmentalist’ Chris Packham had arranged yet another stophs2 protest to ‘save’ the trees. You know, the one’s he’s never been honest with people about and continually made up numbers regarding. Like the claim HS2’s causing the greatest deforestation since WW1 (tosh I exposed here). Or that 108 woods will be ‘destroyed’ by HS2 (they won’t, as I exposed here). His latest numerical flight of fancy was to claim that his little campaign has 5 million ‘supporters’ – as can be seen mentioned on the box he handed in to Downing St in this picture.

Where this number came from is as mysterious as all his other made up numbers. It has no basis in reality, but then a lot of what Packham claims fits into that category.

Clearly, with such vast support, the ramble from Denham today must have brought the place to a standstill as all those supporters rallied to his flag, no? After all, Denham is less than 20 mins by train from London Marylebone and it’s right in the Nimby heartlands on phase 1 which is supposedly united in its opposition to HS2.

No.

Even Packham’s been forced to admit that the turnout has been pretty abysmal. He’s claimed “over 1000”, which seems remarkably generous judging by the pictures appearing on Twitter. Here’s a selection. First up, Packham’s tweet.

Packham’s attached a 20 second long video which shows a few dozen people walking past the camera and err, that’s it! Notice something else? How few of the ‘5 million’ have liked or retweeted this so far…
Spot the 1000s? Nope, me neither…
A nice, tightly cropped picture, showing just a few dozen people. Where’s everyone else?
Another Packham self-publicity shot with the silly train set and the 1000s gathered who turned up for the ramble behind him. Oh, wait…”Tell the truth”? That’s rich coming from Packham, man who’s continually made stuff up!

Still, never mind. This must be trending on Twitter and across social media, right? I mean, 5 million people pumping this out will make a huge impact, won’t it?

Like hell. The #rethinkHs2 hashtag’s got nowhere! Meanwhile, over on the Stophs2 Facebook page, there’s one or two more revealing videos that show just how few have turned up. You can find them here.

To put all this nonsense in perspective. Many millions of us repeatedly marched against Brexit. Did we succeed? So, how will this little circus stop Hs2?

The really sad thing here is the way Packham and the other single-issue campaigners like the Woodland Trust are exploiting people for their own ends. None of this is going to stop Hs2 in the slightest, it’s basically a cheap publicity stunt for Packham and his friends where he’s exploited his ‘celebrity’ to suck people into believing the nonsense he spouts. My frustration is the way people are being misled over the true impact of HS2 and the fact they’re not actually protecting anything in the long term, exactly the opposite in fact.

Without HS2 we simply don’t have the rail capacity for the future to get people & freight off roads and cut transport Co2 emissions to tackle global Climate Change. Stopping HS2 isn’t ‘green’. This is the classic example of not being able to see the woods for the trees and the oil companies and road lobby must be rubbing their hands in glee at how easy it is to get ‘greens’ to do their work for them. Packham offers no solutions. He has none, because it’s always easier to oppose things and leave solutions to others. Here’s something else he doesn’t tell you. Here’s all that woodland ‘destruction’ put into perspective when you compare it to just a single road scheme in SE England. Of course, the LTC would have been greater than HS2 until the Woodland Trust mysteriously upped their figure from 40.2 ha when someone drew their attention to it, without providing a shred of evidence to back up or explain the increase. Funny, that…

One last thing that made me laugh about today? The complete absence of pictorial or other evidence that any of the remaining StopHs2 Twitter trolls managed to drag their sorry arses away from their keyboards and out of their armchairs to be there – even the ones within a 20 mile radius. They may rant on social media, but that’s all they do…