Philip Hammond seems to have a strange idea about how to heal the north-south divide.
His way is to tell the people in Yorkshire that if they don’t get a new railway to London its the fault of the people in Buckinghamshire shouting too loudly.
Of course, the opponents of HS2 are not just based in a small area of Buckinghamshire. Philip Hammond knows this. He has met protesters against HS2 from all along the route, up to Lichfield in Staffordshire. He has looked at the entire route, he has met MPs from the entire route, and almost certainly had letters from the entire route.
The Green Party – with their Brighton MP – is opposed to HS2. They aren’t based in Buckinghamshire.
Various other writers and analysts, ranging from Chris Stokes to Christian Wolmar have come out against HS2. They aren’t based in Buckinghamshire.
Staffordshire County Council voted to oppose HS2 yesterday. They aren’t based in Buckinghamshire.
The voices against HS2 come from all over the place. Philip Hammond is ignoring the arguments, and refusing to listen to them. And worse, he is pitting northern county against southern county in a way that can only exacerbate differences within Britain.