My money is on a U-Turn – Cameron is about due for another one!
In the one corner we have Cameron, with “HS2 is vital for Britain’s long-term economic prosperity”, and Osborne, with “essential to the future of this country”.
You note that neither of them offers any proof of their statement, which, in view of the fact that the Cabinet Office decided to withhold the Major Project Authority’s report into HS2, is more than just suspicious. In fact, it ranks of downright skullduggery!
Sunsine and rain are self-evidently essential, but HS2 doesn’t come anywhere close!
In the other corner we have Andrea Leadsom, newly appointed as Treasury minister, and who has called for a “dramatic rethink” of the High Speed 2 rail project.
There is more skullduggery here. Andrea Leadsom’s website, which has some outspoken contradiction to government policy on HS2, (as you would expect, if she is doing her job of representing her constituents), is no longer available.
It normally resides at http://www.andrealeadsom.com/ but when you go there you find
So, Cameron has reached into his bag of dirty tricks again, and kettled his Treasury minister!
Was that enough to shut her down?
Well, no, not quite. We have alternatives.
Now we know that ministers are expected/required to vote in accordance with government policy, or “fall on their sword” if they refuse to do so. The ‘problem’ is that the long-suffering constituents are demanding that their wishes be properly represented, as they are entitled to expect.
“Conservative ministers are being urged to resign from the government in order to vote against the High Speed 2 rail project this week, as local party activists grow increasingly angry that the scheme will blight their areas.”
Andrea Leadsom has warned that the £50 billion scheme does not represent value for taxpayers’ money.
Well, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can predict with 100% certainty that, if given the go-ahead, the HS2 project will be overspent by at least a factor of 2, and wildly over schedule. There is no historical record whatsoever of any government getting their sums right, and managing a project successfully.
It would be far better to pump that money where it is really needed – the NHS for example!
What can you do?
Start at http://stophs2.org/ and get involved!