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 use of Chinese money to pay for HS2 will place even more pressure on HS2 to deliver hard cash returns rather than the “wider economic benefits” that HS2 will supposedly deliver. As all HS2 sceptics will already know, the current justification of the scheme is based on HS2 fares being exactly the same as the fares on the existing railways but there is every expectation that when the scheme actually opens the prices will inevitable be higher. As the prices go upon, the benefits of improved connectivity will drop (as HS2’s own figures have demonstrated). But if the owners are Chinese, looking to maximise their revenue return, what would they care about the wider effects on the British economy. OK, higher fares are likely to be the case anyway, but a UK government will be even harder pressed to hold prices down if the ultimate owners of the system is the PRC.

  2. Mr Cameron: remember the old adage. “Those whom the gods destroy, they first make mad”. Arrogance + Stupidity = immoral, irretrievable Damage.

  3. The PM wants Chinese money to put into hs2 that the general public don’t want .what about all the projects that we do need the money for that we would all benefit from not just the rich .however the May be another reason he needs there expertise on to stop the protesters against hs2 remember tianaman square and what they did to stop there people fight against there believes .
    So just remember all watch out for the tanks arriving along the route .not to protect our countryside ,homes bussenes and wildlife but to protect something no body wants

  4. This is truly the final insult to Britain and its beautiful countryside.

    Truly unique countryside, mostly designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, that this (and all future Governments) should be striving to protect and respect our only remaining genuine and priceless commodity…. for all British citizens (and the millions of tourists that visit.) to revere and enjoy.

    Instead this misled, ill informed, blinkered overgrown schoolboy-fool David Cameron (with his many finger-in-pie insider pals) is selling it to the Chinese to vandalise, to pollute, to rape, to irreparably desecrate. Despicable and unforgivable!

    Shame on you Mr Cameron, shame on you! How short-sighted, how incredibly stupid.

    I feel sad for you David. You really appear to think you’re doing the right thing! Yet if you took off those political blinkers you’d see the true horror of what you are about to unleash upon this people, their businesses, their lives, the environment and the terrible nature of the legacy you will be leaving to this and future generations.

    Yes we need massive improvement and expansion of our rail and transport infrastructure, but dear God, NOT LIKE THIS! Repair the ones that are currently falling apart at the seams before building anything new. That’s just common sense!

    We as a British collective should be forging the future transport systems that others will look to use. Something for us to proudly sell to the world. Not a cringing selling-out to China and it’s backward outdated failing uneconomical transport technology.

    Britain can lead the way in developing future ground-breaking transport technologies, if only this government would see real long term internal investment as the only way forward.

    We need to make ‘real’ physical things again, with technology patents to sell abroad, that’s where this county is currently failing. Bankers? Well…their industry track record isn’t so great, and doesn’t look to ever improve.

    Dear Mr Cameron, please, please see the light.

  5. Blimey, nine x 4 = 36.Had to think about that one.Here’s a topical quote from some dodgy ex Mayor of Istanbul in today’s Telegraph
    that nicely sums up modern British politicians.”Democracy’s like a tram(train) ride.You get to your destination,
    then you get off”

  6. Lord knows how much HS2 will end up costing if we get funding from China. Interest repayments stretching generations into the future, on top of the everyday subsidies to keep it running. Someone will get rich off the back of taxpayers. Roll-up, roll-up – Britain for sale!

    • Quite Geoff.

      Definite shades of PFI which is at the root cause of many of the health service financing problems.

      By the time we have finished we are very likely to have a fast , regular core rail service between a handful of large stations and a withering service on the rest. The opposite of what we want if we are serious about trying to encourage people out of their cars.

      In this respect David Cameron may get the place in posterity that he craves …. as Dr Beeching 2.

  7. It is obvious that the Chinese authorities do not like interference in their National Policy, however, the fact that HS2 has more than socially divided this nation must be evident even at that distance. However the fact that the process of democracy is out of step with the polis may have confused them. The HoPs appear steadfast in their undemocratic imposition of this scheme on the public and this must hearten the Chinese Govt and encourage them to involve themselves in the scheme.

    I invite all those will land on, adjacent or householders/vicitms from Camden to Manchester /Leads to erect Tibetan prayer flags or flag towers as a sign of beautiful, peaceful protest. The Green Tara prayer flag would be apposite
    (Prayer flags are available on eBay and other googlable(?) sources if you cannot make your own.

    Tibetan Buddhists for centuries have planted these flags outside their homes and places of spiritual practice for the wind to carry the beneficent vibrations across the countryside.

    Yathā saṅkāradhānasmiṃ
    ujjhitasmiṃ mahāpathe
    Padumaṃ tattha jāyetha
    sucigandhaṃ manoramaṃ.

    Evaṃ saṅkārabhūtesu
    andhabhūte puthujjane
    Atirocati paññāya
    sammāsambuddhasāvako.

    As upon a heap of rubbish,
    Thrown out by the highway,
    May grow a lotus
    Delightful and of pure scent,

    So, among defiled beings,
    Among blind, unawakened beings,
    The disciple of the Fully and Perfectly Awakened One
    Shines with wisdom.

  8. I have watched many debates both in the HoP and various select committees.
    It passed me that Parliament has yet agreed that HS2 is a viable proposal and if necessary in the correct format.
    The Paving Bill was supposedly to allow the finance of the necesarry preparation of the Bill, despite the SoS insistence that work would start in Spring.
    There has still been no debate about compensation for the victims nor the publication of the compensation consultation re-run. Phase 2 is still in consultation.

    I also have failed to note any notion of Anglo-Cineso partnership being discussed by the house or in the committees save oblique references at the TSC that there may be some private interest.
    So the Liberal-Conservative coalition are snuggling up to a Communist Regime and human rights no longer matter here or there. Its all about the money.
    No wonder that Clause 47 was slipped into the Bill and it was barely deposited before the House when without overt Parliamentary debate or agreement on the project Rt Hon Cameron is receiving and advocating for offers from the Chinese.
    It is clear the country does not want HS2 and the Govt cannot independently afford its vanity project HS2 (and/nor nuclear power) and in order to fund these projects has been selling the family silver/remortgaging UK plc in order to keep up with the International Jones’s.
    It appears not only has Rt Hon Cameron become envious of China’s material success he (and it appears Parliament are right behind him as there has been no dissent and no critical response to news ) wants to emulate their human rights, environmental and Carbon policies as well.
    THE GREENEST GOVERNMENT EVER! ( and I heard a coalition politician re-itterate that statement as recently yesterday)

  9. Still voting lib/lab/con in the shires, once our Chinese friends get a foot in the door , don’t worry you won’t have the worry of a public enquiry. If there’s not a UKIP candidate in your area vote anything.Monster Raving Looney ,anything.Maggie’s long gone ” But if we vote UKIP labour gets in ” no matter who you put the x against
    now there’s no difference between them.Sold down the river good and proper.

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