Freedom of Speech Suspended – STOP PRESS

by Jeremy on 25-Feb-2011

Further to the previous posting, revealing that registrations to attend the event at which the HS2 Public Consultation is expected to be announced are being refused where the attendee is known to oppose HS2, it can be confirmed that this action is being taken directly by the Department for Transport.  It is fair to assume that this is with the full approval of Phillip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport.

The FAQs on the registration site include one which reads: “Why am I not guaranteed a place?”.  The DfT response is: “Resources for government events are often very limited. To ensure maximum effectiveness we have to make sure that we have the right people in attendance along with the right mix. In some circumstances we may have to ask for individual (sic) to refrain from attending due to certain conditions being breached. E.g too many individuals from one organisation, suitability or security concerns.   We understand this can be frustrating but it is necessary to achieve value for money for the taxpayer and we will try and let you know as soon as possible.”.

The DfT appears unable to accept any public comment other than that which it wants to hear.  Its apparent determination to ensure democracy is kept out of its activities is so blatant one starts to wonder whether this is a trait which will soon apply to other, perhaps all, government departments.  Or is that already the line being taken by a government that was not truly elected?

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