CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

HS2 is a conspiracy that shows a failure of the democratic process

10 August, 2017

• HS2 now seems certain to go ahead. In forcing it through, the government has ridden roughshod over local communities, in Camden and elsewhere.

The democratic process has conspicuously failed, ignoring the rights and interests of individuals, businesses and communities in a case where these were and are obvious.

Rational objection to the scheme, as a whole and in its impact on Camden, from many people well qualified to make it, has simply been ignored by government and by the select committees of both the Commons and the Lords.

What is clear is that the actual reason for building HS2 is none of the reasons put forward for doing so. This is lying to the country and to those affected by the scheme. It is a conspicuous instance of post-truth politics.

As democrats and citizens we are right to be worried and angry. It is a conspiracy by government against the people. There is no popular support for HS2 and no rational case for it. It is a ludicrously expensive, almost entirely useless, a destructive white elephant. In imposing the scheme parliament has corroded the standards of proper government.

All we can do is to keep telling the truth. I am convinced HS2 will come to haunt future governments in the way that Iraq has haunted Tony Blair. That HS2 is still supported by all parties except the Greens is an extraordinary condemnation of our current political system.

MARTIN SHEPPARD
Gloucester Avenue, NW1

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