31 Oct 2013

HS2 vote: ‘Come if you want to’

Quite a lot of Labour MPs are away from Westminster – the party’s running a “come if you want to” one line whip on the HS2 vote later today.

Tories and Lib Dems are running a three line whip but it’s a “come if you want to vote for it, do feel free to spend half term with the family if you don’t” three line whip. Quite a few antis have been told to slope off and not bother the “no” tellers.
The Government Unveils The High Speed 2 Rail Route Stations
The Tories have a bunch of post-reshuffle brand new whips who’ve been bushy-tailed and pro-active trying to keep the rebel numbers down. Rebels managed 16 at the last count and would like to get that number up but don’t expect to achieve a quantum leap. Whips have been telling dissident MPs that this HS2 Paving Bill is the one that permits compensation and so they should, as an insurance policy for their own complaining constituents, at least make sure they get some money even if they don’t get their way.

Some complain that the bushy-tailed whips have been a bit too proactive of late – not least in trying to get colleagues shouting their heads off in support of the PM during PMQs. Decibel levels yesterday were ear bleeding.

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5 reader comments

  1. Andrew Dundas says:

    It’s NOT an ideological or party-political issue: no-one knows whether this rail development will cut into the numbers who fly? Or whether HS2 would not drain even more economic advantage southwards or northwards?

    Lord Snooty’s crew decided to cut the direct stop-off branch into Heathrow. Does that matter for flight numbers? No-one knows.
    Why build a line up to a Scotland that might want to separate from the UK? It’s only 8.3% of UK population: is that enough to make a pay-back? Isn’t flying a better bargain?

  2. Chris says:

    Without a time machine Andrew no one can ever know the future, but at the end of the day HS2 will provide a substantial increase in seats and decrease in journey times between this countries biggest cities – that can only be a good thing, I certainly don’t see anyone suggesting a blockade of the M6 to stop prosperity flowing south to London, or anyone arguing that the extra capacity provided by current and previous rail upgrades hurt the north.

    1. Andrew Dundas says:

      As I’m sure you’re aware HS2 will cost around £50billions: a £1,000 for every man, woman and child. It will not connect Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow. Or Glasgow with Southampton and Bristol.
      There is a good rail line that runs from Birmingham through Banbury, Oxford and Thame to London. But it’s broken down and could carry v many more passengers for relatively modest capital cost.
      HS2 is intended for the Elite. For posh people who’ll be able to afford the high fares. It will enable them to commute to London from longer distances. Billionaires from Russia will love it.
      It will not cut down on London bound flights. Or the chronic over-crowding at Heathrow.

  3. Philip says:
  4. Robert Taggart says:

    NO2 HS2.
    As for the vote – they should stay at home – save on the travelling and set an example !

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