On Monday we watched David Cameron’s speech live on one of the TV news channels. We were incredulous that he implied those opposed to HS2 are those with vested interests who should be opposed.
Sarah Hayward, councillor for the Kings Cross ward, tweeted at the time.
He may not have meant it but Cameron basically called council tenants on Regent’s Park estate ‘vested interests’ re #HS2 just then.
— Sarah Hayward (@Sarah_Hayward) March 19, 2012
Before we wrote our post yesterday, we found a Youtube video of the second part of the speech, which starts with the David Cameron talking about HS2 and vested interests:
Meanwhile we checked it against the written transcript on the Number 10 website. Immediately after the speech on Monday, the transcript had the ’embargoed’ copy sent to journalists, with the message “check against delivery”. We checked against delivery. (The website has since been updated with the actual speech.)
Lets be clear, Stop HS2 checked very carefully what David Cameron actually said.
David Cameron’s exact words were
“we will risk short term unpopularity, I think we’ve demonstrated that over HS2 and we will hold fast to our vision in the face of vested interest”
It was only after all those checks that we wrote our article yesterday.
Despite the fact the pro-campaign regularly spend their time not promoting HS2, but slagging off those opposed to HS2, we simply don’t stoop to their level and let them get on with it. Those are their tactics, not ours and we have better things to do. However, this time it is a deliberate attempt to smear with known factual inaccuracies and has to be countered. Today Go HS2 put on their website an article called “HS2 – responding to those misleading claims from opponents”, and even though they have been pointed to the actual speech so they can admit their mistake, they still stand by what is essentially a lie and continued to send it out via twitter, because they are have displayed consistently over the last two years that they are not interested in the truth, they just want HS2 built and they don’t care what they have to say to get it.
“The report, posted by Joe Rukin on the Stop HS2 website, states that the Prime Minister “said that pushing through HS2 was to ‘hold fast to our vision in the face of vested interests’.”
“But anyone reading the full text of the speech will see that Mr Cameron made no such comment with reference to HS2.”
They go on – incorrectly – to write that David Cameron said
“We will take difficult decisions.
“We will risk short-term unpopularity.
“And we will hold fast to our vision in the face of vested interests … because our motivation and our duty is to protect and champion the national interest.”
Go HS2 are wrong. They are wrong in the words they claim David Cameron said. Yet again, they have got the facts wrong.
And they are wrong to support HS2.
Perhaps Mr Cameron actually meant to say “In support of vested interests” rather than “in the face of vested interests”. Please see Simon Jenkins article in the Standard about how public interest is poorly served by government when it comes to transport infrastructure – in favour of the big lobbying groups in aviation, rail etc.