Why is Nicholas standing for Parliament ?
- Nicholas believes that the case for HS2 is fundamentally flawed and that this project would be the wrong way to spend the public money that needs to be spent on improving the rail network and other parts of the UK’s transport infrastructure.
- Nicholas is concerned that, with the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties all supporting HS2, there is no effective challenge to the project in the House of Commons.
- Nicholas is alarmed that the report on the Economics of HS2 by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published on 25th March, which expresses serious concerns about HS2, should have been rejected out of hand by a Conservative Minister in a debate later that day.
- Having, during the course of nine days in February and March this year, watched the House of Commons Select Committee on HS2 hearing petitions from people in Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire who are seriously effected by HS2, Nicholas is concerned at the one-sided nature of these proceedings and at the conduct of HS2’s staff and advisers.
- In his own evidence to the Committee on 17th March, Nicholas said “HS2’s evidence, arguments and conduct in these proceedings fall far short of what one would expect from such an important public body. This would not be accepted by a court. Nor in a planning appeal. Nor in any company seeking to raise money on the Stock Exchange. I respectfully suggest that this should not be allowed in these proceedings."
- Nicholas believes that the General Election, coming so soon after these events, provides a unique opportunity to try to raise awareness of these issues, with a view to getting the main political parties to think again, before it is too late.
- Nicholas recognises that UKIP and the Green Party are against HS2 but is aware that many who oppose HS2 may not want to vote for either of these parties because of their other policies.
- Faced with this “democratic deficit” on HS2, Nicholas took the view that he would stand for Parliament as an Independent single-issue anti-HS2 candidate. He recognises that he has a mountain to climb, but would rather try and risk failure than not try and watch the next Government continue to drive the project through relentlessly.