The following letter has been sent to the Kenilworth Weekly News by rail journalist Alan Marshall in response to Stop HS2’s latest press release.
MAY I draw your readers’ attention to a classic example of how Kenilworth’s Joe Rukin’s Stop HS2 campaign can mislead the general public.
Since the speech on Monday (19 March) by the Prime Minister to the Institution of Civil Engineers about national infrastructure, the Stop HS2 website has accused Mr Cameron of being ‘schizophrenic and delusional’ over HS2. 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.
The Prime Minister actually spoke about national infrastructure (not singularly about HS2, but about transport, including roads and airports as well as railways, and about telecommunications and energy generation) and said: “I am determined to show that this Government is serious about building for the future.
“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.
“So let me indicate some of the specific areas where I think we need to act soon, to secure the things our country needs.”
He then spoke about transport and said: “The transport challenge facing us is clear.
“Demand for rail is higher than at any point since the Second World War.
“Our roads are congested.
“Our key hub airport is full.
“By 2030 the distance travelled by road and rail in the UK is expected to increase by at least a third.
“Without world class transport we will not get growth, people won’t invest here and regions in decline will be further left behind.”
At no time did the Prime Minister say — as claimed by Stop HS2 Campaign Coordinator Joe Rukin in his comments on the StopHS2 web site — that those “fighting” against HS2 are “those with vested interest who should be opposed.”
Against this background, I would invite your readers to treat the contents, and the accuracy, of the Stop HS2 web site with considerable caution.