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It’s a bright sunny day here in the North-West and West Yorkshire so I thought I’d nip into Manchester to visit a supermarket in Chinatown to pick up some supplies for a Thai Red curry from my favourite shop Hang Won Hong in George St. They also have an online shop if you’re interested.

I’d also heard that HS2Rebellion were advertising a march from a park in Longsight to Piccadilly Gardens where they were going to hold a rally. As Chinatown’s just around the corner I thought I’d have a look on my way home.

Oh, dear! What a farce. To say the reality didn’t match the billing would be an understatement! It was even more of a joke than their last debacle in January. Here’s how the farce was sold on Facebook and other social media.

There was no ‘march’ and the promised white elephants were more like pink elephants – as they didn’t exist. What there was consisted of a trestle table, about 10 people and a few banners. Oh, and a few of the usual Nimby suspects from the Warrington area trying to persuade passers-by to accept out leaflets and some bored teenagers with Extinction Rebellion banners who looked like they’d expected to be part of a million-man march only to be horribly disappointed. This time the group couldn’t even muster music, kids – or a dog! In fact, there was far more entertainment available at the other end of the gardens where the Christian ‘happy clappy’ brigade were (at least they had music). What the HS2 antis did offer was so tone-deaf when it came to ‘green massaging’ I couldn’t help but snort in laughter!

They had a bloke with a tiny megaphone. Reading out a list of road names. Roads that would be closed during the construction of a new green railway that will be the backbone of our new green rail network. Extinction Rebellion complaining about road closures! The irony was weapons grade but it went over their heads at such a height it left a vapour trail. Of course. this wasn’t an original idea. They’d lifted it from former Stophs2 ‘campaign manager’ Joe Rukin who came up with it and posted this mad video to Youtube. They’re unthinkingly parroting his words.

What was unclear was how many of their tiny band were actually from Manchester. I’d guess no more than a couple. Needless to say the reaction from Mancunians walking by was ‘meh’. They’ll have got rid of a few leaflets and that’s that.

How this is meant to stop HS2 is one of life’s mysteries. The Hybrid Bill for the line from Crewe to Manchester is going through Parliament now. It’s unstoppable. Still, it keeps them out of trouble on a sunny day…

A bloke with XR stickers on his megaphone reeling off a list of roads to be closed to build a railway (thus green public transport). The cognitive dissonance of these faux ‘environmentalists’ is beyond parody. Remind me, what have XR spent much of their time doing these past few years, oh yes – closing roads!

Just to put this protest in context. The HS2 phase 2b route from Crewe to Manchester passes through 14 Parliamentary constituencies Here’s the list with the number of constituents in each.

Yep, that’s a grand total of 1.43 million people. 12 turned up to protest in Manchester. It’s a drop in the ocean.

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