die belebende Bedenkung

Andy and another reprehensible stunt

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Not a week seems to go by without one downside or another of the HS2 project being exposed or highlighted in the national media. In response, the special interests behind the ill-starred project have resorted to increasingly ineffectual stunts to shore up support (among themselves). A sort of collective ‘self-help’ exercise in cognitive dissonance suppression.

twitter, @railindustry, 'So much support for @HS2 Ltd'

The most recent stunt, on the morning of 25 February, saw West Midlands mayor Andy Street and HS2 minister Nusrat Ul-Ghani crawling around on their hands and knees in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, arranging a giant ‘jigsaw’ of some absurd map or other, for the cameras.

But whose cameras? The lacklustre jape received not a moment’s coverage on BBC Midlands and Central ITV’s main evening news shows.

Andy and Nus crawling around, 25 Feb 2019 (from video by @neilelkes of WMCA)

This bizarre photo-opp, set up by the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group (HSRILG) with the participation of the Railway Industry Association, seems to have been mainly for the lenses of the HS2 blob, rather than for the actual press or public. HSRILG’s ‘official photographer’ had to get up at 4.45am to come down from Yorkshire to record it. Though, ‘with HS2 in full operation, he need only have got up at 5.45am instead’.

twitter, @RailLeaders, jigsaw photo opp in Birmingham on 25 Feb 2019

Back in the real world, one of the many inconvenient truths of HS2 is that the much vaunted ‘released rail capacity benefits’ for Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester, would be pretty much zero. Why not put that on a jigsaw?

HS2 pretty much zero released capacity jigsaw

Written by beleben

February 25, 2019 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Birmingham, HS2

One Response

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  1. A BBC reporter rang me up while this was going on, so immediately thought it was about this. It was actually about a different story, but I mentioned this event. He didn’t know, he checked the diary and they had nothing in. He says it’s quite common that when you get a PR agency operating out of London organising something in the regions that they only ask the newspapers, almost like they don’t acknowledge the existence of local TV. So Central probably weren’t informed either.

    TV not turning up is one thing, but not being invited? It’s just another HS2-associated tale of utter incompetence by people undoubtedly getting paid ridiculous sums to come up with such rubbish.

    Joe Rukin (@joerukin)

    February 26, 2019 at 10:15 am

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