Reform MPs who didn’t bother with HS2 Bill debate

From: John Seymour, Northfield Court, Church Fenton, Tadcaster.

AFTER all the many readers’ letters against HS2 in the Yorkshire Post alone how can this supposedly democratically elected Government be allowed to credibly carry on with this farce, using taxpayers’ money?

Of course, their big business supporters have plenty to say about (unproven) financial growth being brought by HS2, but they mysteriously shrink away when it comes to putting their hands in their pockets to set the ball rolling! Where is the private funding of which you are so proud now, David Cameron?

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The Government and HS2 Ltd, a wholly-owned government subsidiary, must be so pleased that their preparatory Bill, enabling them to release taxpayers’ money for the project, went through the House of Commons so easily!

For such an important Bill to go through Parliament, taking into account the huge amount of taxpayers’ money involved, only about 50 turned up for the debate. Nearly half of MPs didn’t even vote on the preparation bill. Perhaps they didn’t think it had anything to do with them or their constituents, each of their families coughing up around £2,000 for the project – at present day estimates.

If this is the way the House of Commons carries on, is it any wonder that the majority of the electorate don’t bother voting at general and other elections?

The following reforms are required to get a more fair and balanced House of Commons , dragging it into the 21st century.

Mandatory voting at elections (as in Australia).

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Daily attendance in the House by all MPs recorded, with a maximum number of non-attendances allowed, due to certificated sickness or legitimate visits on Parliamentary business permitted. This is in line with industry good practice.

Whipping system to be abolished. If an MP has not made his mind up which way to vote after a debate, he should not be in the job.

The public is expected to work along these lines, so why not MPs?

From: The Rev PN Hayward, Allonby, Maryport, Cumbria.

IF the HS2 railway is constructed, I am pleased that I shall not be here to see it. England has insufficient space for new bypass roads, let alone more railway lines. This was one of the points of the Beeching revolution 50 years ago. Building any new lines would surely be an anachronism.

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I am surprised to see from your columns that so many prominent businessmen have such great faith in the railways. I admit to an innate dislike of them, having a brother who lost his left arm in a Somerset rail disaster in November 1940, after serving in the Royal Navy for precisely one week.

The major part played by aircraft in the Second World War confirmed it as the transport leader of the future. I know many people are unwilling to fly, but it is many years now since a large passenger plane crashed in England. I look forward to seeing what the Davies Commission on aviation recommends when it reports in 2015. Any further HS2 developments should be left at least until then.