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39 comments to “View from Whittington”
  1. Gary The above is a bit from the BBC link I posted……..I think I m correct in stating that some of those 21 business figures had business interests in road haulage and fuel????

    What a bit like those that are FOR HS2 have an interest /involvement in the CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY,

    Pot kettle very dark colour …….

    • Not really Missy……..you guys have already agreed that there is a lack of capacity on our rail network, so the reality is that something needs building on a North/South basis, that is probably a no brainer tbh……

      On the surface, HS2 appears to be a very good solution as it ties in with a variety of other schemes such as Crossrail and Northern Hub which are already under way. Having said that , I dont think that HS2 is absolutely perfect …but its the best of what I ve seen so far.

      As an aside to this……my own son actually lives on the proposed route through the west of London.

  2. best to ignore gary he only enjoys writing if he can wind people up and he doesnt have anything constructive or of interest to add.I have just read the article about Hammond encouraging the people of various cities to show that they really want a station.This shows that few have shown interest and they are aware that this train should not run because it is a bad investment.

    • Indeed elaine….it seems you get wound up as I keep finding you guys out.

      Can you explain why ” this train should not run because its a bad investment “. ??

  3. democracy is imperfect.DEMOCRACY IS IMPERFECT. My 8yr old wrote John Redwood about hs2 and got a reply! it taught him something about our democracy, such as it is. Many kids have high IQs, many adults have low IQs. Kids can balance things on scales, they know when something doesn’t balance, when something doesn’t add up. sacrifice 160 nature reserves (wildlife trust) and upto 42 ancient forests (woodland trust), who knows how much money, when alternatives have not been looked at properly by the government. and the voices of the little people haven’t been heard, because we’re dismissed as NIMBYS by Phillip Hammond. what kind of democracy is that.

  4. I think this video is brilliant! I’m 17 and live in Whittington. It will be ridiculous to see the countryside, and surroundings demolished for a new rail link. The west coast main line runs behind my house and work expanding that only finished a few years ago. I regularly travel down to London on the WCM and to get that far in 1hr 10mins is brilliant! What is the point in ruining the country to get people from Birmingham to London quicker, all by matter of minutes?! If my friends and I were to make a video like this, we would be moaned at for ‘trying to get our faces in the news’ these girls are obviously not doing this for that reason! Although, they may not fully understand the economical impacts and they may have been reading off of cue cards, they’re willing to participate and understand what will happen to their local area. I currently am proud to show people where I live when friends visit as they believe, like me, that Whittington is lovely. How can we share that same view when everywhere is obliterated by concrete rail bridges? It will be my generation which will pay for this. That may push people to say I am only against it for that reason; however everyone knows they have to pay some sort of tax, so why would I complain now?

    Well I think that’s my view to HS2 in a comment box.

    • Tash, do you never travel anywhere? Have you never been on a train, been driven along a motorway (I’m assuming you don’t drive yet as you’re 17) or flown anywhere? Do you live in a house or are you sleeping in fields somewhere every night? All of these activities involved, at some point, countryside being dug up and building work taking place.

      I suspect you will have done at least one of these things. In which case, why was it OK for the areas impacted by those activities to be affected, but not OK for the area in which you currently live? Or is it that you think ‘well, we’ve got enough now, let’s not build anything else’?

      Quick question for eberyone here: if HS2 is built, will you move away to somewhere more in the country, away from it all? Or will that create too much pressure on the countryside, so you’ll move to a nice big, efficient-use-of-land, town instead?

      • The point is Ian that enough land has already been taken to achieve what we have already. Its about time that we stopped digging up our heritage so that there will be some left for future generations to enjoy. Do you have any children? Do you wantto leave them a legacy of fast metal, high gantries and 95 plus decibels of train noise or a large green fields and the sound of bird song?

        The world has just got too greedy and complicated. Its very sad.

      • i’m answering the question about where my friends will move if hs2 goes ahead. unfortunately theyt won’t be able to move. they will get no compensation, they will be in negative equity. our democracy is very imperfect Gary.
        Our world is very unfair. So if you are saying that this video is unfair tactics, because children are cute and people might listen to them, tough luck , which is what Phillip Hammond is basically saying to anyone who is affected by the line.
        democracy is imperfect.DEMOCRACY IS IMPERFECT. My 8yr old wrote John Redwood about hs2 and got a reply! it taught him something about our democracy, such as it is. Many kids have high IQs, many adults have low IQs. Kids can balance things on scales, they know when something doesn’t balance, when something doesn’t add up. sacrifice 160 nature reserves (wildlife trust) and upto 42 ancient forests (woodland trust), who knows how much money, when alternatives have not been looked at properly by the government. and the voices of the little people haven’t been heard, because we’re dismissed as NIMBYS by Phillip Hammond. what kind of democracy is that.

        • It’s exactly that – a democracy. When the majority of a population want something and it overrides the views of a small minority, that’s the exact definition of a democracy.

          When the outcome doesn’t suit you and you shout and scream and are backed by people with huge independent wealth whose personal interests are put far ahead of the majority view, then you have the exact opposite of a democracy.

          The fact is, not everyone can be pleased by the outcomes that democracy delivers, but HS2 is a perfect example of what a democracy delivers.

          • Tell that to the Greeks(who invented democracy).What makes you think a majority of people in this country,let alone Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland are in favour of HS?My impression is the opposite: a handful of politicians and businessmen,who will surely make a lot of money out of it.Prove it to be in the “National Interest”.

          • Ian a question – whether you agree with their view or not – can you accept that there are other people apart from “NIMBY’s” who also oppose HS2? i.e. green party,

            if yes – then what name do you have for them? have you read their arguements? Analysis?

            or do you just discredit them outright because their views are different to your own like you do the “NIMBY’s”.

            I’d really be interested in your views on this point.

            • The BBC is reporting a joint statement by a number of environmental charities in that link.

              As the charities say in the press release “These organisations are individually bound by their specific charitable and constitutional objectives and will want separately to emphasise their own particular priorities through the consultation process. There is, however, sufficient common ground between them to create a powerful joint approach on a range of fundamental issues.”

            • Hi Gary,
              To be pedantic the ‘greens’ that outright oppose HS2 (i.e. the Green Party) are not signatories of this new charter so they are not having second thoughts. But this is irrelevant as in practise the position of all these groups is the same in that they support the concepts of increased rail (even high speed) but not the current HS2 proposals as they are poorly thought out and damaging rather than being part of a sustainable transport policy. From the new charter: “the Government’s High Speed Rail consultation and detailed High Speed 2 (HS2) proposals are unsound at present and fall well short of these principles” pretty much says it all. You can see the individual statements of the organisations and get a copy of the charter here: http://www.cpre.org.uk/news/view/738

            • Earlier this month a group of 21 business figures and politicians called for the proposed link between London and Birmingham to be scrapped.

              The above is a bit from the BBC link I posted……..I think I m correct in stating that some of those 21 business figures had business interests in road haulage and fuel????

          • Hi Gary , Ian
            As someone with an irrelevant amount of independant wealth I do not feel that transport decisions are being taken in a democratic way. The ‘ right lines charter’ put forward by 10 charities is trying to address this. When big business and government want something desperately and that something is not taking into adequate consideration the concerns close to my heart – natural environment, ecology, energy efficiency, sustainability i have a right to support groups which are close to my heart on this issue. You may not like this charter because it is talking alot of sense and is against what is close to your heart (speed?). I embrace my democratic right, and that of my chidlren to support it

            • Democratic way?? Well pardon me if I m wrong, but dont we vote every 4 or 5 years for a party which represents best our own personal view?? And then our representatives debate the rights and wrongs on the floor of the house , then vote either for or against the bill?? I think you will find that HS2 has both cross party support and opposition , so the reality is that this will be decided by a vote on the floor. If this ever went to a referendum, I suspect it would get passed……

              Whats personal wealth got to do with this?

            • the bit about personal wealth is in response to Ians comments to me higher up the page. Below is an summary of part of right lines charter which has to do with public participation (we the public have a right to participate and, not just have rail executives and politicians dictate to us)
              ‘Early public involvement in the development of major infrastructure proposals, including High Speed Rail, is essential. People need to be involved when all options are open for discussion and effective participation can take place.

              The evidence from High Speed 1 and other major projects is that early and effective public involvement can reduce opposition and lead to better design and delivery of projects. The public should be able to have their say at a time when they can still make a difference. This is implicit in the Government’s wider localism agenda. It is also an express requirement of the 1998 Aarhus Convention, to which the UK is a signatory.’

  5. Thanks for this, and for the link on your home page to Andrew Gilligan’s recent article about HS1 in the Telegraph. I posted the following comment on AG’s article, and I think the same comment goes well with this video because sometimes you need to look at things with childish simplicity, or with the kind of simplicity “primitive” adults from tribal societies have because they see the wood for the trees – for instance those fellows from Papua New Guinea who were taken up the London Big Eye and who said in a puzzled way about the view, that the “spirit houses” (the churches) had become almost invisible amongst the tall buildings:-

    “Very good article, and very interesting comments too. I think the problem with all Development, Growth and Progress after a certain point, is that it flies in the face of the inexorable Law of Diminishing Returns (a basic law of economics that is more or less unmentionable these days, because it requires all activity to take the form of back-pedalling, or even braking, for a while).

    There are also laws of physics which describe the positive feedback loop that sets up in a form of addiction process, in relation to certain forms of human activity. A positive feedback loop is a Bad Thing – there is no Regulator, Thermostat, or “Governor” (as in a steam engine) pulling back the process when it overheats – so the machine just whirls on ever more frantically until it snaps. This destructive process has been best described and observed in relation to motor traffic, and the expansion of roads to cater for expansion of traffic. As we all know because we can see it with our own eyes, expansion of the road network merely allows the traffic to expand yet further so that once again gridlock is reached, and this process has a tendency to carry on repeating until Demand is exhausted. Unfortunately human Demand is never exhausted as we are a successful species and our population growth is in a positive feedback loop unless checked (temporarily) by Famine, War, Plague or Natural Disaster.

    The law in relation to Traffic has actually been given a name (which I have forgotten for the moment). Essentially it states that traffic will expand to fill the space provided for it, and the only way to reduce congestion is to refuse to supply any further space. In desperation, motorists use their vehicles less since they are in a permanent jam, and the situation eases naturally, in a Negative Feedback Loop. There is, of course, no large engineering or construction profit whilst in the self-correcting stage of the Loop – and once a civilisation has reached a certain stage, there may be no profit at all because the “stillness” stage has to be more or less permanent if Equilibrium is to be maintained as the overdeveloped nation will overheat at the slightest twitch of activity whereas the underdeveloped nation still has potential for activity to be sustainable for some time until the system needs a Rest.

    These remarks are also based on another very basic law of economics – the law of Supply and Demand – but that law needs amending slightly for the 21st century, as humans have realised that Demand has spun out of control, with the result that no Equilibrium between Supply and Demand is reached, prices just keep rising, Growth becomes a frenetic multiplication like cancer instead of something slow which stops after a while and turns into natural healthy Ageing or Maturing, etc.

    All the above is kind of obvious, but we seem to have lost sight of basic knowledge like this, our world is so busy and complex and full of new Knowledge, that the roots and foundations of life and Knowledge have become buried and forgotten. Perhaps roots ought to be buried – but they should not be forgotten, still less cut off.”

  6. Of course the script was written for them,but not exploitative.They seemed happy to be doing it,and I presume ,weren’t forced.An intelligent child of six could easily grasp what HS2 is all about,and it’s the future of their environment that’s at stake.

    • It’s rather an old-fashioned idea to completely hide parents’ worries from children. If HS2 is an issue that concerns their mum and dad, the children will be aware of it.

      It’s possible the children suggested making the video themselves – my children liked making movies at that sort of age.

    • Using kids is exploitative – they have no idea of the complex issues. Maybe ask them their views on not building HS2 and the future UK economy going down the tubes because we can’t compete against other countries with properly planned and developed transport links.

      Maybe also ask them if, instead of a railway through the countryside, they’d prefer another motorway. Do they think the selfishness of a few nimbys now is worth sacrificing their future opportunities.

      As I say, it’s exploitation of kids and it doesn’t reflect well on you.

      • You’re expressing a very simplistic view there – a brand-new railway or a brand new motorway.

        The kids in the video are too young for facebook, but they are growing up in a world of instant communication with lots of people at once through the use of digital technologies. By the time they get to working age, they will have a completely different view of how to communicate with colleagues. The use of new forms of technologies to hold ‘meetings’ will be as natural to them as using a telephone is to everyone these days.

        • Penny, do you not think tat when the telephone was invented, the world was full of people saying there would be no need to travel in future. Email was the same and the Internet after that. I still haven’t seen any reduction in travel demand; rather it has massively grown.

          Travel demand will not reduce and any economy that does not provide sufficient transport links will be rapidly overtaken by those that do. Tell that to the two girls in the video and see if they are so sure that HS2 is such a bad idea.

          I say again, this video is exploitation of children and it reflects far more negatively on you than you can apparently understand.

      • Ian – My 6 year old understands in a basic way what the effect of an HSR will be on his village. He understands that the noise levels are not yet known for example and has asked whether he will still be able to hear his lessons. He understands that houses will have to be demolished and that people will lose their homes. He understands that the beautiful countryside he walks and runs in will never be the same again once the construction equipment arrives (although he is quite excited about the idea of big diggers). He understands about the wildlife that will lose their habitats. He knows that he won’t see a fast train until he is nearly grown up.

        There are things he doesn’t understand for example:

        He doesn’t understand why big grown up people call people names like “Nimby” because the area he lives in and feels secure and safe in will change forever and they are worried about that just like he and mummy are.

        He doesn’t want us to sell our house where all his friends are because of the uncertainty surrounding whether it will happen.

        He doesn’t understand why he has to go into childcare after school because his mother now has to go back to work full time because the house value has devalued to such an extent that any possible pension that could be taken is now not possible. Maybe you could explain that to him?

        • good for you jane
          by constantly calling us nimbys this ian exposes the shabby and shameful tactics of people like phillip hammond who want to silence our voice and our democratic right to be heard.pathetic, and i hope people outside of this debate can see through it. children certainly would – because they realise that the natural environment is really important and shouldn’t be sacrificed for half baked plans by a bunch of train enthusiasts

      • It’s not just a few nimby’s though is it Ian? If you were really doing your homework then you’d know that and not write such provocative statements which add no value to the debate. Maybe your arguments are so inferior that’s all you have left?

      • Using kids is exploitative – they have no idea of the complex issues. Maybe ask them their views on not building HS2 and the future UK economy going down the tubes because we can’t compete against other countries with properly planned and developed transport links.

        Maybe also ask them if, instead of a railway through the countryside, they’d prefer another motorway. Do they think the selfishness of a few nimbys now is worth sacrificing their future opportunities.

        As I say, it’s exploitation of kids and it doesn’t reflect well on you.

        ……. I don’t think the youngsters who have set up the website linked below would agree with you.

        http://stophs2.co.nr

  7. The parents of these children should be totally ashamed of exploiting them in this manner. It makes me cringe each time I’ve watched it and friends and colleagues are of the same opinion.

    Very poor judgement all round.

    How much lower can StopHS2 possibly sink?

  8. Before you start condemning those involved in this video, perhaps you should remember that the children who feature in it will be forced to pay for HS2 as soon as they reach adulthood. Our generation has a responsibility not to shoulder the next generation with colossal debts. They have every right to protest at what is happening. My daughters aged 11 and 13 have no problem in seeing the absurdity of this project or in understanding its considerable financial implications for their future.

  9. Yet again, no judgement from the anti HS2 people. This is just exploitation of kids who have no understanding of the issues. Pathetic, and I’m sure that’s how anyone outside of StopHS2 will see it as well.

    What next, a new-born baby with a StopHS2 tattoo perhaps?

    • Im sorry but Ian is absolutely correct…….

      This is shameful and pathetic…..and my estimation of the stopHS2 campaign has just rapidly dropped. The author has the self proclaimed title of Social Media Director…….this is not the behaviour I expect……shame on you.

      • I THINK THESE JUDGEMENTS ARE MUCH TOO HARSH. Why should these little girls not express their thoughts and feelings, in the way they are doubtless encouraged to do at school, regardless of whether you believe their conclusions are correct?

        There is far too much self righteous anger coming mainly from the “Stop” camp.
        An hysterical counter reaction to this video is just as bad, it reduces the debate to the same level. Let all opinions circulate freely and be available for scrutiny and challenge, after all these girls and their peers will be the ones to live with the consequences of the decisions to be made in the next few years. So’ let’s have more of it, from all ages and all points of view.

        However,as somebody who has worked in schools with children of similar ages to these two, I should be delighted to explain to them one or two apparent misunderstandings that they have “picked up”.

        One example; the alleged cost per family in the U.K. , previously quoted at £i ooo or £1 200 has now seemingly doubled.

        I also could also explain and try to correct, the misunderstanding they seem to have concerning High Speed One, the Channel Tunnel Link, which I understand has been LEASED for twenty years, not sold,so the deal is not as foolish as they and so many others, older though may be not wiser, seem to believe.
        It’s like the difference between a freehold house and one which is leasehold- at the end of the lease period the owner of the freehold reclaims the property which can then be leased again or sold outright at the going rate. I’m sure these two are quite smart enough to understand this, given the correct facts, of course.

        Perhaps, in years to come, they will be waving to or travelling on HS2, or perhaps something better- though not necessarily faster, that finally comes to pass after all the debate is concluded.

        In the mean time, I hope they will have a chance to ride on the “Javelin” domestic High Speed train to the Kent coast, as I did last Friday, and enjoy the swift exit from London on HS1 and then the more gentle journey over the “classic” route to the sea. I am sure they would enjoy the experience and learn a lot from it, a truly educational visit!
        My very best wishes.

      • Reminds me of some lyrics – You’re too old to care they’re too young to count. Save us from a world where all the decision making is done by those in their cynical middle ages. I think kids can often see things clearer than the adults and will have to live with decisions made without consulting them. If they can have a say on employing teachers in schools they can have a say in the destruction of their community and environment.

        • So if kids understand the complex issues surrounding HS2, maybe they should be given the right to vote in elections?????????????

          • The worrying thing is what are the adults voting for? Can it be possible that the children would get it more wrong? They and their children will be paying financially and environmentally for HS2 if allowed to go ahead. They do have a right to have their voice heard.

      • Gary – you are the one who constantly calls us nimbys. If that isn’t shameful and pathetic I don’t know what is?Because of this you have never been very high at all in my estimation.

        • Mary……I d just point out that the term ” Nimby ” has been around for donkeys years. its a natural reaction to something that supposedly impacts on your home. Unfortunately, if its deemed in the national interest, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. If the bill is passed , a new rail line will be built……simple as…..

          What would your reaction be if Disney wanted to build Florida size theme parks in the Chilterns? I somehow can t see the kids appearing on you tube expressing their concern……

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