Unless your name’s Rip Van Winkle it’s unlikely that you’re unaware that the UK is currently in a national ‘lockdown’ to combat the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as there’s a new (much more easily transmittable) strain around.
The Government is (for once) pretty clear on the legal restrictions, and the message is – stay at home! As the rules make plain;
“You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary”
You are permitted to leave home for certain (essential) reasons, but the laws go on to say;
“If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay in your local area – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work.
Staying in your local area means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live”.
To the nation’s credit, most people are obeying the laws for the simple reasons of self-preservation and out of respect for others. Well, that is unless you’re an anti HS2 protester as apparently the rules don’t apply to them. These are the same protesters who have launched a barrage of complaints against HS2 workers, labelling them Covid ‘super spreaders’ for continuing to work during the pandemic (ignoring that they’re only one part of the construction industry which is continuing to work on essential projects up and down the country whilst being closely monitored by Health Officials and other Government agencies).
You may have seen from the media that here’s a farce going on outside Euston station at the moment as a tiny band of protesters and homeless people are being evicted by Police, bailiffs and HS2 workers who have moved in to begin clearing and securing the site. As of Friday morning all that’s left is (according to the protesters themselves) four people in a tunnel the protesters have dug under the gardens.
To say this protest is futile is an understatement. It doesn’t stop any HS2 construction work at all. The Gardens are outside the main footprint of the Euston station construction project and the site isn’t required for temporary relation of facilities for a long time yet. In effect, the protesters had neutralised themselves! All it’s achieved is a certain notoriety as a squalid place for drug-dealing that’s turned the gardens into a tip. A lot of the publicity the protesters are attracting is as much negative as positive.
But my issue is this. If we’re in a lockdown amidst a pandemic that’s already killed 100,000 in the UK, where are these protesters coming from – because many aren’t living in that camp. Now, I’m going to make absolutely no apology for naming and shaming some people here. People are dying in their 1000s, yet these protesters (and their hangers-on) consider the lockdown rules don’t apply to them. They’re roaming the country at will. Here’s some examples, all taken from their own self-publicity on social media.
Meet Caroline Thompson Smith, a ‘leading light’ in the anti Hs2 campaign in Steeple Claydon, where she lives.
Here’s Caroline yesterday, livestreaming from Euston to the HS2rebellion Facebook page. Steeple Claydon is 59 miles away from Euston. Now, what was that Government advice again?
Meet Sam Smithson, AKA “Swan”, a protester who lives at the risibly named Denham Ford ‘protection’ camp North of Uxbridge, where the protesters have failed to stop the National Grid moving some High Voltage pylons that are in the way of HS2. Back in the summer ‘Swan’ had a fall from some ropes whilst protesting and the anti HS2 websites were full of claims that she’d broken her collarbone. She made a miraculous recovery and was photographed bouncing on a bed in the hotel she was taken to immediately after her arrest!
The Denham camp is 20 miles NW of Euston. Here’s ‘Swan’ being interviewed there during their last failure to stop National Power.
And here’s ‘Swan’ yesterday at Euston, broadcasting to the world with the assistance of William AKA “boots on the ground” (more of whom in minute).
Right, let’s talk about William. Ole’ Boots can’t be with us today because he’s buggered off to Spain (for the second time during the Pandemic). This time he was boasting about how he took the train to get there. Y’know – High-Speed trains – the things he opposes the UK having? William (an American national living in London) has a long history of both spouting rubbish and flitting around the world and the UK whilst totally ignoring the Covid restrictions. Ole ‘boots’ nonsense has featured in several blogs before, notably this one, and this one.
Whilst William had to be content circulating his rubbish whilst sunning himself in Spain, other protesters had turned up. Meet Jacob Harwood, a long time protester who’s popped up all over the place since 2019. Supposedly, he’s meant to be in Canterbury where he’s a student.
Jacob (or ‘Groovella’ as his renamed himself to fool no-one at all) is still getting about a bit. On the 18th January he was filming at the HS2/E-W rail work at Steeple Claydon in Bucks
Which is rather odd as on one of his videos filmed at Euston on Thursday you can hear him swearing blind to a police officer that he’s now homeless as he’s lived at the Euston Camp since August 2019! The story changes in later videos where he claims he’s only been there five months. One thing is clear, you can’t trust a word he says.
Here’s another one to add to the list from today. Karen Wildin, who is already known to the police, having been arrested by them before for climbing on machinery up in Warwickshire. Wildin, who says she lives in Leicester, has filmed herself at Euston this morning. Now what was that the Government advice was? “You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary”…
There are several other protesters who’ve pitched up from elsewhere, including this chap, who’s ostensibly based in Bristol (and who was at Crackley camp recently). He’s one of the ‘leading lights’ in HS2Rebellion. I’ll add more details later.
Frankly, it was a wasted journey. He and another protester were taken down and arrested this morning. All the trees are now clear of protesters. In fact, the only ones remaining on site are the four holed up in the tunnel (well, they’re *really* going to stop HS2 down there, aren’t they? Ed).
Of that four, one is the famous failure, Larch Maxey, who was last seen up in North London where he didn’t stop a tree being chopped down in Islington. Clearly, Maxey has got more ‘bubbles’ than an Aero! Rather than being nicknamed ‘Larch’, Maxey would be better called ‘Dr Death’ because wherever he turns up, trees die! He’s been a serial failure since the mid-1990s when he didn’t stop a motorway extension in Lancashire. His recent roll-call of failure includes just about every StopHs2 camp going!
Oh, another ‘face’ that’s appeared in the Guardian today is Daniel Hooper aka ‘Swampy’ who is pictured down the tunnel. Is he ‘really’ living at that camp? Last month he was arrested at Denham after another famous failure to stop Hs2 work. Or, is this a case of popping in for a photo-op to get in the newspapers – sans mask, in the confines of a tunnel!
Now, the right to protest is enshrined in law – as it should be. But the right to roam the country during a pandemic isn’t. This is the 21st century and there’s a wide range of avenues open to register a protest – as these protesters show by their use of the internet. They do not need to pitch up in Central London, putting other people lives at risk. But that’s their weapons-grade hypocrisy, as this shows.
“Recklessly flouts lockdown”? Oh, the irony…
No doubt I’ll be adding a few other names to this list in the next day or two. In the meantime, it would be refreshing to see some of my colleagues in the mainstream media stop giving these Covidiots a free pass and actually do their jobs by asking some awkward and searching questions of these people for once, rather than just being a propaganda conduit for the protesters…
Of course, the stupidity and futility of this protest is also being ignored by many, because whilst the media and public’s attention is on this circus at Euston, HS2 construction work continues uninterrupted at Euston and all the other sites along the 140 mile route to Birmingham. Soon, work will begin on the Phase 2a route to Crewe as that section will gain Royal Assent any day now. I’ll be listing progress on building HS2 in my next blog…
I’ve a favour to ask…
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