A Poem for Dave

Geoffrey Palmer reads a poem for David Cameron on HS2.

What would it take to change your mind, Dave?

The poem is by Antony Chapman of the Wendover HS2 action group.

7 comments to “A Poem for Dave”
  1. I have just heard the Supreme Court’s verdict and it is sad that I am not surprised.This whole issue is to build anything anywhere and that any legislation to preserve the environment unless it will make money is a hinderance to these construction plans be it HS2, new housing, wind farms or whatever.Our hon MP’S who support such plans seem to be only happy when the countryside that we all love and tourists come to see will be blighted for ever.

  2. HS2 is an assault on protected English Landscape,Heritage and Ecology by people who have no respect or understanding of either Landscaope or the countryside. HS2 is a theoretical construction of urbanities for the sake of urbanites and nature can wither and die.
    It will be destructive. It is unethical and immoral.
    Clause 47 is telling as is the ‘obscena’ or ‘occult’ of new garden cities the same crew have dreamt up. The new ‘immora’l ‘thing’ that cannot be named……..an orgy of environmental destruction that the main parties have signed up to.

    The notion of ‘alternative’ motorways is a fallacious red herring to obfuscate the truth that HS2 is simply poorly planned and conceptualized and has been designed as an engine (not of growth) but as an environmental juggernault to release protected and environmentally important tracts of land to development.
    It would be interesting to see quite whose interests have been feathered.
    The Lib Dems have lost all credibility (other than self interest) and the Cameroons are clearly not interested in rural England other than what can be gained from its rape.
    I’m sure the parts that those in power have vested interests in have been preserved.
    Shame that CPRE have just woken up to the damage they tacitly supported. As I stated before it is time some heads rolled in that organization such has been the environmental incompetence they condonned (and their members have minuted their concerns)
    Reminds me of the Walrus and Oysters.

    • Reading your reaction and your comment, Paul, I was reminded of those words written more than a century and a half ago by Thomas Hughes in his introduction to ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’ when he railes against “that confounded Great Western which carried away (King) Alfred’s hill to build their embankment…”

      The Vale of the White Horse- or the Vale of Aylesbury…

      (Actually, Brunel’s Bristol line is now regarded as a heritage monument in its own right…engineered to be as level and straight as could be devised and a lasting tribute to his genius.)

      • Nice try. False paradigm in your argument and projections into what I wrote I am afraid.
        Mine is not a romantic notion.

        Not against high speed per se, just the stupidity of creating another corridor of destruction across the AONB and other SSI’s
        /virgin countryside and the complete scientific incompetence of the so called ES.
        The science of HS2 lts ES and their notions of environmental mitigation is seriously flawed. So is the current route.
        The hidden aspect is the issue of Clause 46 and what interests that holds*.

        Other corridors existed* and my understanding were refuted in 2010 for 3bn in costs. A cost that has been greatly surpassed by the organizational costs and incompetency of HS2 ltd.
        Perhaps the Clause 46 profits are better in route 3?

        Not against High Speed Rail per se as I have posted before in the nineteenth and early 20th century family was involved in Railways.

        The heritage destroyed by HS2 will never be replaced or equalled by the value of the new built HS2 structure or the visions we have been allowed to view of it.

        Dont think the Great Western was built by Govt Quango and there was no Clause 46.
        However, the Victorian railways were built on the basis of capitalist greed and there were many redundant lines and bankruptcies in the process.

        Your rebuff although ‘elegant’ in concept is to my mind mind a ‘gestural’ approach and has an occult smug contempt to which I would answer:
        Yours is a cynical negation of the facts (in the modern context) using conflation through the lens of Victorian/Empire Nostalgia that haunts the politics of HS2.

        TBSD was set in Rugby in 1830. (GWR founded 1833 chartered 1835 ran 1938)
        Since Georgeo-Victorian times we have much less natural world and have developed a legal ethos and tacit contract with the population regarding the environment and its protection.

        However I will concede Tom Brown is also very English, the social development of public school ‘boys’ including their vices.
        I hope that you are not suggesting that whilst embracing HS2 we should also embrace fags, beatings and Georgian Morality and C19th Human Rights and business ethics.

        (Actually much of what is done politically in HS2’s name seems headed that way!)

        Seems like TBSD is more appropo to The House of Commons
        and the treatment of the electorate.

        Your post (which seems to champion the precedence of infrastructure over Protected ‘Natural Resources’) brings to mind Goethe’s Faust and the Futurist Manifesto,
        “I am the spirit that negates.
        And rightly so, for all that comes to be
        Deserves to perish wretchedly;
        ‘Twere better nothing would begin.
        Thus everything that that your terms, sin,
        Destruction, evil represent—
        That is my proper element.”

        Futurist Manifesto:
        ‘ Alone with the engineers in the infernal stokeholes of great ships, alone with the black spirits which rage in the belly of rogue locomotives, alone with the drunkards beating their wings against the walls…….

        4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath … a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

        5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.

  3. Possibly in 10 years after office in the memoirs they all will admit to not understanding railways, stations, train paths, liberal train operators, needs and locations of growing communities and commuter daily costs. Most of which HS2 planning as ignored because it was not led by train operators but by infrastructure and permanent way engineers and a junior environmental planner who was once more involved in railway landscape and gardens. It would take a sensible Prime Minister a few minutes of reflection to determine how one CEO and some ex civil servants and some ex Network Rail engineers had not got this right for the UK in the 21st Century and were still fighting yesterdays need to get north and south by rail when most people use car, van, lorry or plane. Probably it would not take a lot.

  4. Travel on land by train at 250mph? Can you imagine the carnage when one of these comes off the track? Surely there is more to life than increasing it’s speed. Think & rethink, all this to cut a few minutes off a journey time on a small overcrowded island? If asked to vote on this project my vote is definitely NO!

    • How good it is, once again, to listen to Geoffrey Palmer’s familiar, lugrubrious tones -and ,of course, he is so right!

      Far better to build a couple of new motorways instead…
      That’s what we want, that’s what we need… and only twice the width of the railway apiece…one to drive on to the city- and one to return,having found nowhere to park.

      Boo! hiss! for HS2- Hooray! for Mr. Toad.

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