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Cameron looks for Chinese HS2 deal as the public say ‘Stop HS2’ again.

The day after a Telegraph/ICM showed that 68% of the public think HS2 should be scrapped, or at least paused while alternatives are assessed properly, the Prime Minister is using his visit to China to try and secure Chinese involvement in building HS2.

David Cameron shows what he thinks of public opinion.

David Cameron shows what he thinks of public opinion.

Before setting off on his trip last week, David Cameron told the Chinese media: “I’m very interested in what’s happening in terms of high speed rail in China. It seems to be an absolute high speed revolution taking place. In terms of HS2, I very much welcome Chinese investment into British infrastructure.

Whilst Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier said: “The two sides have agreed to push for a breakthrough and progress in co-operation in the areas of nuclear power and high speed railway.” 

Over the last decade, China has built thousands of miles of high speed railways across its vast interior, but the programme has been beset with safety problems, high-level corruption and financial problems due to the majority of the general public not being able to afford to use trains. In that time, the Chinese have built a vast industry which has no other option but to tout for business internationally. Any Chinese involvement in building HS2 will undermine previous assurances that HS2 construction and development would help growth in the UK.

Today, the Liberal leaning CentreForum think tank has criticised, calling it an expensive pet project that “should be canned”, warning that current schemes are “unrealistic and unaffordable”.

Research associate at the think tank, Quentin Maxwell-Jackson said;

 “I’m clear that pet projects such as HS2 should be canned. We can’t afford them. Smaller less glamorous projects will give us better results, and we’ll get them much faster and more cheaply.”

This follows on from a Telegraph/ICM poll, published on Sunday, which showed that just 3% of the public expect HS2 to be delivered on time and on budget, with only 21% agreeing with Prime Minister David Cameron’s claim that it is “essential” for Britain.  68% of voters want HS2 to be scrapped because it is too expensive, or put “on hold” while alternative plans are drawn up.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:

“The idea of Chinese involvement in HS2 blows apart any idea that it is about creating British jobs, and underlines the fact that HS2 is all about the vanity of politicians. David Cameron has said he wants to learn from the Chinese high speed rail project, but we doubt he will be interested in the abysmal safety record, the high-level corruption or the fact the project is a financial basket case because no-one can afford to use it. Yet again, the public have been asked for their opinion and have overwhelmingly said, ‘Stop HS2’, but the Prime Minister isn’t interested. David Cameron is hurtling at high speed to a spectacular train wreck, but he just doesn’t seem to care.”

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said:

“Early on, the claim was that building HS2 would get Britain high speed rail expertise to sell abroad.  Instead it seems David Cameron’s current plan is to let China build HS2 for him.  If the public thought HS2 was necessary that would be one thing, but as the latest polls show, the public oppose HS2 and think it should be scrapped.”

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22 comments to “Cameron looks for Chinese HS2 deal as the public say ‘Stop HS2’ again.”
  1. The report in the mirror news paper sums up this government unwanted news hide under the desk .If this project is as good they keep saying why hide anything it should fly through all the Chanel’s ,But no every week another hidden fact they forgot to tell us about

  2. With the Labor party not doing to well in the polls ,they will need every vote going they should be thinking about hs2 where there must be a lot of votes to be had by not backing this mad project for the rich

  3. WITH APOLOGIES TO JUVENAL
    SATIRE 7

    ITS THE EMPEROR OR NOTHING

    On Cameron coalition alone hang all the hopes and prospects of the learned;
    he alone in these days of ours has cast a withering glance upon the sorrowing Masses
    —-at a time when entrepreneurs of name and fame thought only of building infrastructure, or new cities,
    while others felt no shame in becoming public criers, and starving Clio herself, bidding adieu to the vales of Aylesbury,

    He was fitting up the the auction rooms. The victims have no prospect of earning a groat within Munro’s compensation,
    You ‘had better’ put up with Cameron’s game and promised profits and join in the battle of the sale-room, selling to the world; energy, transport, State land-grabs and appropriations—-the AONB of Chilterns, the Colne or the scrubs of Wormwood!
    How much better that than to say before a judge the falsehood we’ll mitigate the adverse impacts”
    Give it up to the Corporations of Asia and Foreign Sovereign Funds—-‘gentry’ that were courted bare-footed from the New BRIC.

  4. Then we must all agree not to vote as the candidates if they don’t get a certain number of votes lose their deposit.They could be in a mess if nobody gets in.

    • @Elaine
      It doesn’t work like that under Single Member Plurality voting (First Past the Post)

      Even if only one person voted across the entire constituency, the candidate who received that vote would be the winner – yes, they’d also lose their deposit (along with all other candidates) but they would still gain election to Westminster.

      But realistically, the outcome you describe is not going to happen?

      In fact, I’d go as far as claiming that, under FPTP, all incumbent Conservative MPs who choose to re-stand in May 2015 will be successful, albeit with reduced majorities in some instances. HS2 may be a deal breaker for you but for most voters across Westminster constituencies, it doesn’t really figure as a major issue?

      Probably your most effective option would be to spoil your ballot paper with a personal message – I’m sure you can think of something pithy? – all spoilt ballot papers are seen individually, either by the candidates or their agents acting on their behalf?

      • Thankyou Peter I am sure I can.
        Our Dictators need to be informed that we are not happy and it is not just those personally affected,as you seem to think.There are people from all parts of the country that travel to or through the areas affected ,and those that wish their taxes to be spent on more important things.

            • HS2 as a political symptom is actually quite large with its ramifications in terms of planning, national redistribition of wealth (non manifesto’d) gagging of civil rights,the hidden laws on land grab (S47) and the approaches in terms of judicial review that may soon apply to the airports. It affects a large number of lives.
              This is why it has attracted so much attention. As part of the zeitgeist of politics and society it is significant. History, FOI and failure to deliver the social panacea will unmask the politics over time. Just as it did with concorde. Concorde left a financial and development hole, the scar of HS2 will be massive across the face of the environment and many lives.
              It is numerically bigger than the poll tax and ‘bedroom tax’ for taxpayers and those who will be affected. It has yet to be manifest*.
              HS2 was simply the first of the new approaches of central govt imposition of political will over civil democratic wishes.
              *May be seem slight in terms of a national agenda but it is a living example of where policy underlying HS2 has already has ridden roughshod over many hundreds of thousands of ordinary people whose life work and savings are compromised and lives have been put on hold. The parties have discarded these people as collateral damage in the lawns versus jobs war/traitors to national economy propaganda or frankly simply rubbished them (and the environment) The sham consultations have resulted in a very perverse ‘representation’ if it can even be considered that. Parliament has upheld this charade as democratic. Little wonder people have lost faith.
              Locally and to the affected areas these issues may represent an agenda that covers a very significant aspect of their lives and their personal politics.
              No party has offered this concentration of voters a voice. An independent MP in such circumstances would represent working democracy. What is perverse ( and the parties hope for it) is for victims to vote for their abusers and asset strippers out of misplaced loyalty.
              There are some parties that do not support HS2 but their other agendas may not be acceptable to the centric voter.
              I do hope the effected communities and those affected by the parallel issues raise some candidates as a mark of ‘people power’ otherwise HS2 sets a dangerous precedent for more draconian abuses and the political use of socially divisive strategies and centrally funded “private” PR campaigns .

  5. I seem to remember the Chinese having a major incident with one of their high speed projects……and we’re about to take their money (on which I’m sure they’ll be expecting interest / favors), I really hope we don’t let them get involved with building this white elephant. I just can’t understand why are trying to continue with this mad wasteful stupid project, these politicians are SO out of touch most of them have never had a proper job.

    There is a real opportunity to launch a political party that is made up of real honest working people from all walks of life that actually care about this country. I’m sick to death of these career politicians who are only interested in themselves, blaming others and taking no responsibility for their own actions.

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