Yesterday the Green party and StopHs2 held a joint demonstration outside the Department of Transport in London. To say it was a bit of a flop is an understatement. The event was widely advertised on social media by anti Hs2 groups and the Green party – for all the good it did. Here’s an example.
Notice that 27 people claim to have attended? This is a piss-poor number when you consider the number of people who supposedly oppose HS2. As is my habit, let’s crunch some numbers to get a bit of perspective.
Over 6.5 million people live in the 63 Parliamentary constituencies HS2 will pass through.
The Green Party are estimated to have a membership of 48,500.
StopHs2 have 11,849 Facebook followers. Many of whom will have seen this leaflet.
Now, allowing for the fact there’s clearly crossover between these different groups, you’d expect a reasonable turn-out, wouldn’t you? Especially as the demonstration was taking place in Central London, thus within easy reach of many of those supposedly up in arms about HS2, No?
No. Here’s a few pictures from the event, which was timed to take place between 3-4pm. The first one is the sort of tightly-cropped pictures that you’ll see the media use, making it look like there’s actually something going on.
Here’s what the media won’t show you. This is a view of the full event, which shows you just how pathetically small is was! I count a total of 15 people, including 3 members of the media. Even the police didn’t bother showing up! The only security is a couple of DfT staff stood discretely in the background.
Here’s another shot, after the media had left but including one innocent passer-by on her phone. This is the best both the ‘combined might’ of the Green party and StopHs2 can do – in Central London! Quite where the others out of the 27 who claimed to have gone were is a mystery. But then it’s like the social media ‘keyboard warriors’ who spend all their time ranting about Hs2 on Twitter or Facebook – but never get out of their armchairs when it comes to doing anything else.
Here’s a short video, just in case stills aren’t convincing enough!
I’ve not seen any media coverage of this as I’m assuming it wasn’t considered newsworthy, which is hardly surprising. Bartley gave a speech to camera in which he trotted out the usual scaremongering nonsense about ‘ecocide’ and ‘concreting over’ the countryside. mark Keir also spoke to the camera. What he said was more interesting because of what he let slip. He appealed for more people to turn up to the Uxbridge protests because they’re desperately short of bodies on the ground. If you follow his and the other protesters farcical antics on Facebook it’s easy to see why!
The whole protest reveals something about the UK green party, which is that they’ve very little credibility as anything more than a protest group – which is clearly what they’re happiest being. They have several credibility issues, one of which is the calibre of their candidates and Mark Kier is a good example of this. I’ve no doubt of his commitment, but there are serious questions about his fitness to be a candidate. OK, it’s fair to say that the whole Brexitshambles has exposed the fact Parliament has more than it’s fair share of people with the intellect of an amoeba on both sides of the floor, but the Greens are meant to be offering something better. Here’s an earlier blog of Kier giving an interview. Does this sound like someone you’d like representing you in Parliament? remember, he stood in Uxbridge in 2017 and managed to reduce the size of the Green vote!
I’ve no idea how the Green Party chooses its candidates, but I have to say they really need to up their game if they expect to be taken seriously. That said, their ridiculous ‘co-leader’ policy doesn’t help either. It may play well to the membership, but out in the real world? Oh, please…
The tragedy of all this is the UK desperately needs a credible Green party, but this lot ain’t it. When I see the impact their German counterparts have on politics I do go green – but only with envy! The German party manages to grapple with national and international issues whilst the UK party is obsessed with localism and can’t actually see the woods for the trees, hence their mad opposition to HS2, because the hard truth is without HS2 we simply don’t have the rail capacity for the future to get people and freight off roads and cut transport Co2 emissions to tackle Climate Change. Stopping HS2 isn’t ‘green’, it’s exactly the opposite.