Reasons to be cheerful following election

This was originally published in the Bucks Herald:

The politics of HS2 is far from certain. It would be all too easy for those opposed to HS2 to be disheartened following the General Election result.

The Conservatives who have championed the scheme have been returned with a majority Government, with MPs along the line in the main returned with larger majorities.

Of course those majorities increased almost exclusively due to a collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote, whilst the parties opposed to HS2 both significantly increased their vote share.

In the last Government, on many issues potential Tory rebels were kept to heel by the fear of splitting the coalition, whilst as John Major will testify, backbenchers are far more empowered to rebel in Governments with small majorities.

Couple with this the fact that Labour leadership front runner Andy Burnham is sceptical of the HS2 project, which along with fellow candidate Yvette Cooper finds it going through his constituency, and the concept of the supposedly essential cross-party support is suddenly looking less solid.

It has been further damaged by the first slap in the face delivered to new SNP MPs from HS2 Ltd. It has transpired the feasibility study into extending HS2 north of the border has concluded there is no business case for it.

Whilst anyone who has been keeping up with the arguments surrounding HS2 knows there is no business case for any of it, it is unusual to hear such candour from an official source.

The Scots will also not be impressed that the Welsh, who have a far better case for making such an argument, have been unsuccessful so far in arguing for a Barnett pay-out because the Government insist HS2 is not an ‘England-Only’ project, as the supposed benefits will be spread far and wide beyond the physical track.

Add all of that together, along with surely more revelations about rising costs, decreasing benefits and general debacles in the months before the HS2 Bill returns to be voted on in Parliament, and you may well feel we are in a better position to stop HS2 now than we were before the election.

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One comment on “Reasons to be cheerful following election
  1. Cameron’s departure will be heavily judged with the loss of those people in this Government who led to some demises:
    Rail crashes in the next 5 years due to the loss of middle management and workers from Network Rail and the construction maintenance companies diverting people to the HS2.
    Standard and Poors and other credit rating downgrades for which the HS2 will be seen as the one project where waste and spending was not justified.
    Failures in service standards in health care and children’s education.
    Loss of greenbelt land for housing, roads and railway for a too large to manage population.

    Cameron and Osborne are already setting out on a similar journey to the Italian who sailed too close to the rocks and the Transport Secretary of State HS2 enforcer has failed the last Government period on roads and motorway capacities increase and jam easing. No jam tomorrow remember yesterday as Balls and Milliband must do hourly.
    Unforgiving with the Select Committee stunned to act as they see the rocks below the surface and Cameron and his fellow few gloat in the next Great British decline. The Governance failed some 15 year ago for the UK and this few have not to strength of mangement to reverse the ever noticeable unsolverable issues you are experiencing and sounding alarms. Hopefully the Lords will be try harder to bring sense to recognise the UK of the past 100 years of improved prosperity is not continuing and the few celebtrities are failing to fulfil the needs of the British and Irish populations in the past decade. Will be cheerful when Cameron and Osborne overcome their delusion and the delusion of millons who are concerned UK politicians have gone wrong over a decade ago and who dont have the hope needed currently. Cowards in the House of Cards have yet to find their way ahead and HS2 is part of the problem not the answer. Cheerful the signs are being recognised but the actions are not being taken to tackle the displacement of British and Irish worked from employment and discplacement of British infants from local schools on mass. Time for change before being too cheerful. Who will lead from this pending demise. Cant see the new Labour leader and deputy being of the calibre to reverse their parties contributions to the increase in people on the islands and HS2 Hoon and Adonis misadventure.

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