Mr ‘Failing Grayling’ (The Guardian’s nickname – not mine) has promised ‘generous compensation’ for anyone genuinely affected by HS2, but in a post truth world, this statement is either an expression of breathtaking naivety or a bare faced lie. Either way, it renders him unfit to hold the position of SOS for Transport – so it looks as though he’s failed again!
In an area containing some of the most valuable real estate in the world, haggling over an offer price of just under the market value of a property is demeaning. If someone were to make such an offer in an unblighted marketplace absolutely everyone would laugh it off and politely decline.
In an area where the rentable value of a property is approx 5% per annum, HS2 could easily afford to pay double the market value of a property in Euston without asking the taxpayer to further bail them out of their massive and increasing bill – but instead they simply choose not to, with a spine chillingly cynical offer compensation which simply amounts to state approved theft.
Don’t get me wrong. As a freelance composer I’ve had to fight for every penny I’ve earned, so the idea that HS2 can simply come along and steal my pension fund whilst forcing me out of an area I’m dependent on to make a living, without any flicker of conscience is a vile concept – but comes with the full approval of the SOS.
I’ve argued my case before two worthless Select Committees whose attitude appeared to be ‘well, if it doesn’t affect us, does it really matter?’, the Commons Committee even showing more concern for a ‘small but significant population of hedgehogs’ (about 12 of them) than the 8,000 ill-informed people of the Regent’s Park Estate in Euston/Camden, who are set to face 2o years of record pollution levels which HS2 would rather not talk about … honestly.
I’ve found over the last 2 years that our entire system of government is utterly uncaring and I could easily put a stroke that I suffered last year down to my immense disillusionment and the accompanying stress of trying to deal with HS2 and the idle support it’s received from a completely threadbare ‘pro’ argument in the HoC.
‘Digusted’ of Euston
Martyn Swain, Euston