This is reproduced from a longer article on Vickie Shanks blog, originally published as Holding Patrick McLoughlins hand….and him squirming!. Thank you to Vickie for challenging McLoughlin like this and thank you to everyone who turned out at such short notice on Monday.
Monday was one of those ‘roller-coaster’ days that we all have from time to time. Just when you think it’s slowing down it suddenly hits a another bit where it sends you on a hundred mile an hour course which leaves you panting and breathless at the end!
It was actually mostly good or at least positive when not actually ‘good’. It all started ‘normally’ enough (normal in our house is anything but!) and I managed to get three thousand words on ‘short’ done in a couple of hours in the morning so pretty pleased with that!
Then I’d been notified by the local Stop HS2 that Patrick McLoughlin was going to be in town announcing at long last that Kenilworth is finally to get it’s railway station. Fantastic news there but Stop HS2 had obviously decided that this was far too good an opportunity to miss and so we were going to make our presence felt!
Our local MP came out and said he would ‘try’ hard to get him out to talk to us and I did make the observation to him that as he was here to talk about railways he couldn’t really ignore the HS2 presence! Eventually he appeared and answered questions on the validity of the business case, environmental issues etc..and went to walk away. I grabbed his hand and looked him in the eye. “Patrick, you’re a person and so am I and I represent the human face of HS2” I said to him and talked about the thousands of people the length of the line who’s lives were being ruined by the project. He told me that he couldn’t comment on my individual case which was pretty obvious but what was more interesting was the fact he kept gesturing to the camerawoman to turn the camera off as I spoke!
Is the Government not interested in people? Do they want to ignore the ‘little’ person in favour of this big project? It certainly seemed that way as he squirmed and frantically tried to stop us being filmed. His discomfort was very apparent as soon as the subject of humanity came up.
Sadly, people like Patrick sit in their well shielded ivory towers at Westminster and are very able to turn a ‘blind eye’ to the people who are actually being directly affected by their policies. I was determined that he would not leave until I had had my say on behalf of everyone along the route being forced out of their homes against their will and the stress and misery this is causing to thousands of people. He couldn’t get away quickly enough. I will be pursuing this!
Had a long talk to engineer and environmental representatives at Southam consultation and at last they seemed to try to answer some questions.No I am not persuaded to change the views that i have against HS2 .I still feel there is no business case.I do think that they understand how we feel and are doing their jobs to the best of their ability.Many of the people leaving the hall said that they had not had their questions answered.I think that these are people who believe there will be enough checks (as building regs.that have to be done by local authorities) to keep things on track so to speak.Also contracters have to ensure new planting is watered etc for 10 years.What is supposed to happen and what does can be very different.It will cause a huge amount of distruction and although i live outside of their noise zone i still believe that i will hear it,especially at night.