Saw the HS2 Select Committee this week… did you? “‘Course not… you were at work and the kids were at school”. You could of missed it even if you had planned to be there, as they were in my road for a scheduled 5 minutes.
Dammit! Even the pub saw them for an hour at lunchtime and they are further from the proposed track than me.
As the minibus crept to a halt it seemed like it was “everyone out of the bus” and “the last one buys the next round”. A collection of MP’s local councillors and assorted others cascaded into the road, they had all come to listen, but there wasn’t a notebook in sight.
Either the assembled MP’s had been picked for this Select Committee because of their phenomenal memories, or we protesters are all just saying the same thing. If it is the latter, I am surprised this lot turned up at all, come to think about it, they did have that withered look about them.
We had used up all of our designated five minutes before I stepped up and threw a curve-ball, I admit it, it was a deliberate ploy, everyone else had been so well behaved, so very Middle England.
“Is this the thin end of a thick wedge…?” I demanded assurances,”is this not just a developer’s charter?” Nothing of the sort, I wasn’t so much reassured as rebuffed! It has nowt to do with development. “But all that “ancillary” business, the Hybrid Bill…” I complained.
“Such development would need another Act of Parliament” said a man with the reassuringly northern accent. It was MP Ian Mears, a nice chap, he was right of course. However, I wasn’t as convinced as he was that it meant as much as he thought it should. Let’s face it, we voted for a European Common Market once and nearly ended up with the Euro, Tony Blair as European President and a European army. Funny thing democracy, it isn’t always very ‘democratic’.
We have the European Court of Human Rights, Brussells and half the former Soviet Union as bed-fellows since agreeing to a common market, nobody mentioned that when the referendum took place. God knows what we will get as a result of the Hybrid Bill’s open-endedness, especially once the Parliamentary Whips have had a whip round amongst their MP’s and bruised a few of ’em.
Let’s face the facts… our area of Buckinghamshire would be worth a small fortune if only the developers could get their hands on it. Would it really be a surprise to anyone to see a motel half way up Frith Hill within a decade or so after HS2?
Am I being alarmist or a realist?
Your right, probably just an ‘antagonist’… but someone has to do it.
(Incidentally, the image above has some artistic licence, currently it is still green and pleasant)