Nine year old campaigner set to become youngest person to officially appear in Parliament.

On Monday 12th January 2015, nine year old Alex Rukin is set to become the youngest person to appear in an official capacity in Parliament, when he petitions the HS2 Hybrid Bill Committee of MPs.

Alex, who starred in a video last year informing people how to petition, is due to appear in front of the HS2 Hybrid Bill Committee on Monday at 2pm.

The session will be broadcast live at: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=16903 (available to watch later as well) and Alex is the first petitioner of the session.

Alex’s video is here: http://stophs2.org/news/12944-9-year-old-petitioning

In his petition, Alexander states that he thinks HS2 is a stupid idea which shouldn’t be allowed to happen, and that he does not understand is why HS2 Ltd is being funded when his school keeps having to ask parents to donate money. His petition suggests he could help HS2 Ltd with their maths.

During his evidence he will point out further problems with the assessment they have made on woodlands and with HS2 Ltd’s maths

His petition states:

“Your Petitioner has been told that the people who worked out that that HS2 would be worth building have said that no-one works on trains to help cheat on their sums. Your Petitioner knows this is cheating because he has seen lots of people working on computers on trains and Your Petitioners parents both say that they work on trains. Your Petitioner does not understand why anyone is so stupid as to believe this.”

“Because the people at HS2 Ltd are really, really bad at maths and make things up that aren’t true, Your Petitioner is worried that HS2 will cost lots more than the people are saying. If HS2 costs more money and not enough people use it, Your Petitioner, like his classmates, will be the one paying for it in extra tax. Your Petitioner thinks it is unfair that he and his friends will have to pay more money forever for something they think isn’t needed and they won’t have enough money to be able to use it.”

“Your Petitioner, who started doing video conferencing at school when he was six, wonders if the old people who say we need HS2 have ever even heard of The Internet, Skype or Facetime. Even Your Petitioners’ Dad uses them, and when he went to the same school, they only had one computer on a trolley for the whole school.”

“Your Petitioner has been told that saying things which are not true is naughty, so does not understand why the HS2 people say things that are not true and get given lots of money.”

In line with the video he made, Alexander is also concerned about the fact HS2 will be on a viaduct opposite his mothers house, which could affect his sleep, as well as the effects on traffic and rail services, amongst other issues such as how much electricity HS2 would need.

His petition in full can be found here – http://stophs2.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/alexpetition.pdf

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:

“As far as we can tell Alex will become the youngest person to have ever appeared in an official capacity before Parliament! This makes sense to me, as apart from the specific instance of Hybrid Bill committees, I can’t think of any case when someone that young would have the opportunity, apart from maybe Edward VI!!

“After I explained what petitioning was, he said he thought everyone in the whole country should be doing it, because he thinks HS2 is such a bad idea, and the wrong thing to spend lots of money on. He is committed to doing something about something he thinks is wrong, and I’m really proud about that.”

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3 comments on “Nine year old campaigner set to become youngest person to officially appear in Parliament.
  1. Congratulations, Alex!

    There cannot be many Year 5 boys and girls who would have the nerve or the information to do what you did.I hope that the Committee took note of what you wrote.

    You are right to be concerned about what may happen,especially around your area.

    Of course, as you know, your ‘Greenway’ was once a railway line which allowed trains from Leamington and the South and which didn’t need to call at Coventry, to bypass the city, and avoid that zig-zag route and the sharp bend to join the main line just before Coventry station, which is still a terrible ‘bottleneck’ .

    50 years ago the Government believed that the railways were steadily dying and those you might call “silly men” closed down many railway lines and stations, including your local station at Kenilworth. For years there were no passenger trains between Leamington and Coventry, so if you wanted to go to the city by train from Oxford or Banbury, then you had to go into Birmingham first or catch a bus.
    What those men didn’t expect was what has happened in the last 10 years or so, which is that the number of train passengers has doubled and many trains are very crowded.

    Your Dad can explain the difficulty in having trains which call at the local stations and also fast express trains ( you show both sorts on your video) and also more container trains, all on the same pair of tracks, like the main line near your Mum’s house.

    Some good news is that Kenilworth is getting a new station, but of course the new local trains will have to fit in with all the others at Coventry.

    And whether we like it or not, and despite new ways of working, people still want and seem to need to travel both by car and by train,
    Just look at the new bridge built to carry ‘your’ A.46 over the M.40, where they also meet the A,429, so as to stop the busy roundabout from being jammed solid with traffic!
    Or look at the car park at Warwick Parkway station.So many people want to catch the trains that the the car park keeps having to be made bigger where a few years ago it was just a field.
    Now some rail lines are inventing new style season tickets for those who work at home using I,T, but want to go into their offices for a few days each week.

    HS2 believe that it’s too difficult to build extra tracks along the old lines and that is is necessary to build a completely new line just for fast trains ,like a main road bypass separates the local traffic so that the local and long distance traffic isn’t all stuck in a jam!

    Your Dad ,You and your friends are sure that we don’ t need a new line and that, instead,building extra tracks and generally improving the old lines would be much better and cost less money ,would cause far less damage and could be done without messing up the existing train services,

    We shall see who is proved to have been right.

    Meanwhile, once again, many congratulations and best wishes. Keep on asking difficult questions and don’t always believe everything that grown ups say- especially those who are supposed to be the experts!

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