, , , ,

Welcome to my first blog of 2022! I’m opening the year with a light-hearted look at an old subject which is unlikely to feature much this year as the anti HS2 ‘campaign’ (and I use that word very loosely indeed) now resembles Monty Python’s famous parrot!

With all the protest camps on phase 1 of HS2 having been evicted or abandoned (despite what the @hs2rebellion website claims) there’s just a solitary camp in Staffordshire remaining – although that’s living on borrowed time. The tiny handful of regular occupants are good at bluster (claiming their campaign is growing) and wringing Crowdfunded money from mugs who fall for their spin, but what they’re not good at is doing anything to impede – never mind stop – HS2, as their latest pantomime demonstrated.

Their normal stunt is to turn up at a local HS2 compound, film themselves failing to stop any work, then buggering off back to camp before they get arrested. Their gullible followers on social media fall for this and throw money into the bucket to keep them in food and fags for another few days.

Over the Christmas holiday they tried a different stunt which went woefully wrong!

The M42 motorway was closed between Xmas eve and New Year’s eve in order to prepare groundworks for the ‘Marston box’, a bridge which will carry HS2 over the M42.

The protesters decided it would be a cunning plan to try and disrupt this work, so a few Bluebell occupants, a well-known but equally useless Extinction Rebellion activist from Nottinghamshire and a couple of youngsters from who knows where headed over to the work on the 29th. Quite how this one man and his dog operation (there was only about 6-7 of them) was meant to stop such a huge project is a mystery, but most of their actions are purely for the sake of the cameras nowadays anyway.

It went badly. Three of them ended up getting arrested, including the gobby but hopeless character who calls himself ‘run away Jim’ who was nicked for sitting atop a wagon for a little while. Their friend from Notts, Karen Wildin* also got nicked for breaching her bail conditions. The video’s were farcical as they showed just how useless the protest had been, and also how small. One young protester hadn’t even got a clue where she was and kept claiming she was blocking the ‘M25 North’!

Wildin was seen on film protesting that the police refused to tell her why she was being arrested, despite the fact it’s clear from her commentary (and subtitles) they’d told her it was because she’d breached her bail conditions – conditions which would have been clearly explained to her at the time. But then Wildin isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. In another video she can be heard unthinkingly spouting the usual XR propaganda, including the claim that HS2 is merely a ‘shuttle service’ between airports. Any enquiring mind might ask, “why on earth do you need a shuttle service between airports? Who flies in to Heathrow to fly out of Birmingham, or vice versa”? It’s one of the most intellectually vacuous of all the anti HS2 claims, but enquiring minds are as rare as rocking-horse sh*t when it comes to these protesters.

Oh dear, poor Karen, your own words show you knew exactly why you were being arrested (again).

So, how much disruption was caused by this laughable protest. The sum total of zilch! The M42 was meant to reopen by 21:00 on New Years Eve, but as the local paper, the Coventry Telegraph reported, the work finished early – by 16:00! In fact, torrential rain caused more disruption to the work than the protesters!

After being released on bail the hapless protesters returned to their camp (or Notts, as Wildin’s bail conditions ban her from land owned by HS2) but they won’t be there for long as the camp is living on borrowed time and HS2 bailiffs and security will soon be arriving to take possession. Like all the other camps it won’t be much of a fight.. Soon all that’ll be left is another woodland full of crap and detritus left behind by the hopeless protesters. This will bring to an end the pathetic tale of the protest camps, none of which stopped a thing.

As for the claims that their campaign is ‘growing’, their own social media accounts belie these claims. Time and time again they carry tales of protesters who’ve given up and moved on elsewhere, often to other hopeless causes. Their final acts are often to try and bum more money in the process…

The support they get in some of their new protests is in marked contrast to their claims. “Digger Down” was one of the occupants of the pointless Euston tunnels, now he’s protesting about trees in London, with the same levels of success and support!

The @hs2rebellion pantomine has had its last season. Most of the actors in this tiny troupe are now ‘resting’ (one way or another) and don’t expect a summer performance either! With the rate things have gone they’ll be lucky to fill a phone box in 2022. The only appearances they’ll be getting booked for are those in Court…

Happy New Year!

*Wildin has a track record of failure as Extinction Rebellion ‘cannon-fodder’ Having sat up trees on the HS2 route only to be turfed out toot-suite she tried her hand at sitting atop a biomass train at Drax power station. That went as well as expected! She also ignored ‘lockdown’ to pitch up in Euston to film herself at the tunnel protest. The expression ‘rebel without a clue’ springs to mind…

I’ve a favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this blog, 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 to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site – and right now (because of Covid), us freelances need all the help that we can get. Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Thank you!