There’s so few people still actively trying to stop HS2 nowadays that there’s been thin gruel for this feature in recent months but today a particular piece of idiocy and hypocrisy caught my eye that I thought was worth sharing. This weeks award goes not to an individual but the whole of useless campaign group @hs2rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, the supposed ‘environmentalists’ who use green issues to drag people into their brand of far-left, ‘bring down capitalism’ politics.
Here’s what I spotted. ‘Environmentalists’ telling motorists to stop the building of HS2, a green railway designed to get modal shift from road to rail to cut transport Co2 emissions to tackle climate change!
Hs2Rebellion’s latest wheeze now that they’ve failed to stop Hs2 being built in the South is to roll out the same old failed tactics in the North. In this instance by trying to get people to join them on the laughably-named ‘Truth Trail’, otherwise known as a 100 mile group walk.
The obvious question that forms here is that – whilst they’re wearing out their (presumably) non-leather shoes walking 100 miles, who’s meant to be actively stopping HS2, because their ‘protection’ camps on phase 1 are almost deserted!
I have to laugh at the final sentence in this blather. “Based as closely as possible aroung public transport”. That would be the same public transport you’ve stuck banners up on bridges over roads encouraging motorists to stop us building then?
I can’t wait to see how many people actually turn up to waste their time on this walk. I’ve lost count of the number of times individuals or groups used the same publicity stunt on phase 1 of HS2. There were literally dozens over the years. From Lizzie, the original founder of Stop Hs2 through Joe Rukin, various artists and photographers to @hs2rebellion. They achived the sum total of bugger all! What will this one achieve? Nothing. Hs2 Phase 2a to Crewe already has Royal Assent and work has stated on construction whilst Phase 2b to Manchester and Leeds have massive support from MPs of all parties as well as regional politicans. There’s no political appetite to stop hS2 being built, exactly the opposite.
What these publicity stunts seem to be designed for nowadays is to get mugs to cough up more money through Crowdfunders. Money that no-one knows what happens to because no accounts are ever published. I’m always amazed how willing some people are to donate money to these causes when they’ve absolutely no idea where it goes.
The funds would be better spent on clearing up the mess left in woods across the phase 1 route, where abandoned ‘protection’ camps are left to rot, rather than building more in the North. Like this example at Poors Piece. I called in there earlier this week. It was empty apart from some chickens. The last few ‘protesters’ had buggered off to Stonehenge.
“At one” with their environment? I think not! This pile of junk choking a tree is actually a tower and tree house on the edge of the woods facing the East-West railway line. I’d love to know what their Environmental Impact Assessment was for these structures. How many wasted hours were spent building these things? How were these meant to ‘stophs2’ when the nearest they are to Hs2 is 400 metres from the most Eastern edge of what will be the Calvert Infrastructure Maintenenace Depot (IMD) and over 1.5km from the main HS2 works site and trace? Did they stop part of the camp that was blocking work on the E-W railway from being evicted? Did they heck as like! Here’s some perspective. Looking along the edge of the site from the footpath.
You can see the abandoned single line of East-West rail off to the left. Trees nearest the old railway have been felled to make way for the new railway and create space for drainage and future electrification. These are the trees the protesters have supposedly been ‘protecting’. The edge of Poors Piece wood is just out of shot to the right. So, as you can see, the protesters aren’t protesting about HS2, but East-West rail rebuilding and restoring an old railway – exactly the sort of thing they tout as an ‘alternative’ to HS2! Talk about hypocrisy!
Laughably, the camp at Poors Piece is branded a ‘conservation’ camp (here’s their Facebook page, which shows how little has been going on). The only ‘conservation’ going on here seems to be the hoarding of piles of scap metal, plastic sheeting, UPVC doors and other old rubbish that would be better off being taken to a local authority recycling centre.
Some of that timber looks like it’s been taken from vandalised fencing along the public footpath adjacent to the site, as you can see in this picture. These posts should have a triple row of crosspieces between them that have mysteriously disappeared…
Vandalism and desecration of the environment these people are supposedly ‘protecting’ has been a common thread throughout the camps that’s caused friction with local people who often end up paying for the mess the protesters create to be cleared up by their local Councils.
Earlier this week, HS2 Chief Executive Mark Thurston said this to the Public Accounts Committee in relation to these protests ““We’ve spent somewhere in the region now of £75 million worth of public money in dealing with the implications of this action.” £75 million. Think of what that could have been spent on in the way of environmental mitigation and tree planting instead of being squandered on the alter of far-left politics, another irony of which is the left here are doing the right-wing and road lobby’s job for it by opposing building green public transport.
Whilst donating money to thse these protests may make some people feel all warm because think they’re ‘saving’ the environment, they really need to take a cold hard look at what’s really happening on the ground. The protests are futile. All they’re achieving is to damage (not save) woodland and waste enormous amounts of time and money. Money that could be far better spent on genuine environmental improvements. So, next time you hear someone tell you they’re tempted to give money to these people, tell them to give it to a genuine environmental charity, not to a bunch of self-indulgent anarchists driving up and down the country leaving abandoned and unsafe messes like this in their wake.
When I began writing this blog earlier today the ‘truth trail’ hadn’t even started. Now, at the end of day 1 it already seems to be going a bit ‘Pete Tong’ for @hs2rebellion. They kicked off in Lichfield with some motivational speeched from err, Larch Maxey and Carolyne Culver. Who, you may ask? Larch Maxey is a long term protester in the pay of Extinction Rebellion who has a track record of failure going back to the mid-1990s when he didn’t stop a motorway extension in Lancashire. More recently, he was flummoxed by a pair of automatic doors he failed to glue himself to. Even more recently he’s been a jailbird in Pentonville prison in London after vandalising the HQ of HS2Ltd at Euston. Only it wasn’t. Their HQ is in Birmingham and the offices Maxey vandalised were those of Network Rail (HS2 have a small satellite office in a nearby building).
Culver was Green Party Candidate in the recent Amersham and Chesham by-election who’s Nimby campaign was entirely based on opposing HS2. So much so that she never even mentioned climate change. She lost the Green party’s deposit as she halved the vote they received in the 2019 general election. With ‘inspirations’ like this, who needs failures. Oh, there’s more. Look at this screengrab!
Still, I’m sure the HS2Rebellion Facebook page is full of banner-waving people joyously marching North from Lichfield, isn’t it? Err, no. All it contains is a couple of video’s from a trio of people who say they’ve ‘detoured’ from the main march (which we never see) to drive (wait a minute, drive?) to a couple of woods on the route they claim will be ‘destroyed’ by HS2.
This is ‘Comical Ali’ levels of denial and misinformation, and this is only day 1 of their laughably named ‘truth trail’. In some ways it’s rather appropriate they’re ending up in Wigan as their levels of dishonesty and misinformation rival George Orwells ‘Ministry of Truth’ from his novel 1984. I wonder if they’re going to hold their final rally on Wigan Pier? As this painful farce is meant to last for eight days I’m sure there will be plenty of other embarassing moments en-route. That is, if the whole thing doesn’t collapse in ignomy and indifference before they even get to Wigan!
I’ve a favour to ask…
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