Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple search for secret HS2 documents at Hastings rail summit

From Combe Haven Defenders: Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple search for secret HS2 documents at Hastings rail summit

Famous detectives including Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Inspector Poirot and Kojak arrived in Hastings today to search for secret documents about the HS2 rail project. Release of the suppressed Cabinet Office report has been blocked by Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, who was in town to attend a ‘rail summit’ organised by Amber Rudd MP.
Come Clean on HS2, DfT, Release the Secret Documents

The Information Commissioner has ordered the release of the 2011 Major Projects Authority report, which is believed to show that HS2 has been assessed as ‘amber-red’, meaning that its successful completion is in doubt. However, McLoughlin blocked the release of the report, using rarely exercised veto powers, and citing the need for officials to be able to make their decisions in a ‘safe space’ (the same argument that was used to justify the redaction of the Department for Transport assessment of the case for the Bexhill Hastings Link Road.)

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Sherlock Holmes searches for secret HS2 documents at rail summit in Hastings, watched by Miss Marple, Inspector Poirot and Kojak. 31 Mar 2014 (credit: Combe Haven Defenders)

HS2 will cost around £50bn at 2011 prices. It will destroy or put at risk over 80 ancient woodlands, as well as huge areas of open countryside along its 140 mile length. It will cause an overall increase in carbon emissions for at least the first sixty years of operation.

Emily Johns, spokesperson for Combe Haven Defenders, who co-ordinated the detectives’ search, said, “HS2 will increase carbon emissions, cause massive damage to the countryside, and cost the public £50bn. If Patrick McLoughlin truly believes that this white elephant project will be beneficial, he should put his money where his mouth is and release the report. Our crack detectives will continue to search for these vital documents which the Information Commissioner has ruled we have a right to see.”

Sherlock Holmes searches for secret HS2 documents at rail summit in Hastings, watched by Miss Marple, Inspector Poirot and Kojak. 31 Mar 2014 (credit: Combe Haven Defenders)

Miss Marple and Inspector Poirot (and a policeman) search for secret HS2 documents at rail summit in Hastings, 31 Mar 2014 (credit: Combe Haven Defenders)

One comment to “Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple search for secret HS2 documents at Hastings rail summit”
  1. THE 38 STEPS. (The Forth Abridged version)
    The mystery deepens. Ever the intrepid seeker after truth, Patrick, is now on the run, chased by a mob of naysayers and nimbys, who are disguised as spoof detectives, but he stays focused on solving the mystery of ‘The 38 Steps’, which appears to have been secretly implanted into his brain and which he cannot stop repeating.
    Having wooed the voters with his eloquence, Patrick realises he must get to the Memory Men who know everything and who must always tell the truth. He learns that they are starring at the Palladium in the hit farcical ‘Gravy Train’ which doubles as a jobs fair.
    Professor Railroad of the Office of Rail Responsibility (the story is fiction) is alongside the next boss of Network Rail in the middle of their presentation titled:
    ‘Lucrative careers for you
    and it’s all thanks to HS2’.
    Patrick boldly calls out to them: What are The 38 Steps?
    Shocked and scared, the two slowly recite the steps:
    Step 1. Trash the existing rail network.
    Step 2. Remind everyone that it’s all 175 years old and falling apart.
    Step 3. Point out that piecemeal repairs aren’t working.
    Step 4. Get anyone working for Network Rail to admit that, as NR cannot do its present job, you need a totally new set-up to create a vital heart bypass. This gives automatic entry to a key job at HS2. If you can spin, weave or make up a good yarn, there’s work for you down a’t mill. It’s no ruse!

    Step 38. Tell the world that that you’re investing £38 billion in the existing railways in only five years without letting on what is included, as for example replacing worn out rails (it does happen), low access fees and cheap electricity to the TOCs etc etc – actually, everything. The Beeb buys it every time: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26810369
    Why didn’t you tell me I was misleading the people? – we’re not a totalitarian state so I wouldn’t have signed off on your death warrants!
    No, Minister, we’re a democracy – you sign off on our bonuses.
    But I thought there were 39 Steps originally?
    You’re right. Lie down on this marble slab while we remove the implant from your brain.
    There, that’s done. You’re now a qualified neurosurgeon as the PM wants to promote you to running the DfH. What’s more, all those DfT ideas have been scrubbed from your memory.
    (Alternative ending: You can now go back to being Harry Palmer. Damn, where is that file? – I think we left it inside again).

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