I can’t help wondering: Was is arrogance or was it naivety that prompted Ms Gillan to imagine that she could sell her house in Amersham and not suffer the consequences of her constituent’s outrage?
Whilst the sword of Damocles hangs over every property in The Chilterns (and elsewhere along the proposed HS2 route) it was an insensitive, politically suicidal and just about the worst piece of P.R. for a politician imaginable.
Giving Ms Gillan the benefit of the doubt, and allowing for the fact that both she and her husband do have a mobility problem, perhaps a three storey house in Amersham was not the most appropriate residence for them. However, knowing that HS2 was almost a certainty for the past 20 months (in one form or another) and not requiring the property for her own use, you’d think she would have put the house into the hands of an estate agent and let them rent it out whilst fellow Chilterns’ residents ride out the storm of the HS2 debacle. At least that would have given the impression "we are all in this together".
Such an unprofessional, thoughtless and frankly stupid, piece of P.R management only further diminishes my confidence in our Parliamentary representative and politicians in general. Such a lack of wisdom and forethought at a time when tens of thousands of local residents find their homes, their livelihoods and their land (YES - we DO actually own the land that is going to be ripped up to accommodate HS2) under positive threat, beggars belief.
I used to think that calling for Ms Gillan to resign over the HS2 issue was counterproductive, I thought it better to have a voice in The Cabinet (albeit a somewhat ineffectual one) to support our cause, rather than no voice at all. Ms Gillan has enjoyed the overwhelming support of her constituents in a rock solid Tory seat for 20 years.
It’s a shame that she has not felt able to reciprocate that TOTAL support now that the HS2 chips are finally down.