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Having watched the abortive anti HS2 campaign for nearly 10 years now two words always spring to mind: Déjà vu – or in the expression made famous by the 1990s film – it’s another “Groundhog Day”…

After 11 years of failure those opposed to building our new high-speed railway haven’t learned a thing and keep repeating the same failed, stale tactics in an endless series of re-runs. Observing their campaign is like having a TV stuck on one of those cable channels that spew out endless repeats! I’ve lost count of the number of petitions launched, legal challenges threatened or boycotts demanded.

The latest ‘haven’t we been here before’? moment comes courtesy of Joe Rukin and StopHs2, the one man and his dog operation that’s been irrelevant for some time now. As Joe’s still not found a proper job after years of trying he’s desperate to try and keep the group running as it helps bring some money in.

So, Joe’s recycling the tried, tested (and failed) route of – yet another Judicial Review! You can find the full details in this rather rambling entry on the stophs2 website.

More Comical Ali than legal eagle, Joe Rukin videoed a call for help from the StopHS2 registered office and ‘nerve’ centre (his spare bedroom).

Over the years anti HS2 campaigners have tried dozens of JR’s. The late (unlamented) High Speed 2 Action Alliance launched a plethora of them, all but one failed and the one that didn’t was on a consultation that HS2 swiftly re-ran, so it was all rather pointless. It’s been the same with celebrity environmentalist Chris Packham who also tried and failed, achieving little more than parting a lot of fools from their money via Crowdfunding. Money that was then trousered by his grateful solicitors ‘Pay Day’ (you mean Leigh Day! Ed). As usual, the only people who benefit from any of these doomed legal cases are the Lawyers.

I’ve little doubt this latest attempt will result in the same outcome. Rukin is applying for permission to launch a Judicial Review, but the fact he’s appealing to others for evidence to back up his claims tell you all you need to know. The fact that he’s giving people so little time to gather this evidence doesn’t bode well either. His closing date is the 9th March (Tuesday).

Of course, what Rukin isn’t telling his supporters is what happened last time he applied for a Judicial Review. This was back in October last year – only then he didn’t bother with such a trivial thing as evidence – which is why his request was summarily thrown out at the first hurdle and he was landed with a legal bill of £4300!

I blogged about the debacle at the time, which you can find here.

For some mysterious reason you won’t find any mention of his October 2020 failure anywhere on the StopHs2 website or Facebook page. It’s been expunged from history, as if it never happened! I wonder why?

Perusing his latest request for help it looks like Rukin is trying to re-run the same failed case again, which suggests he’ll get short-shrift from the Judges who end up having to consider his request. As usual with Rukin, details of these things are scant, so there’s no information on who his legal advisors are (if he even has any) or when the hearing will be, so watch this space as I’ll report on the outcome of the judgement when it’s delivered – as I suspect Rukin will be as reticent as last time to announce another failure! Watch this space…

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