I wrote this morning that more than 400 business leaders and entrepreneurs have put their backing behind Britain’s proposed High Speed 2 rail route.
The story hasn’t been covered anywhere else; not even the BBC, as far as I can work out. This is curious given the wave of publicity given back in the spring to an “anti” letter, led by Lord Wolfson, chief executive of Next – which had only 21 signatures. This new pro letter has 20 times as many signatures.
I’ve not been uncritical of HS2: indeed we devoted a whole page to the anti campaign a few weeks ago. (On the Tory opposition and the case against high-speed rail). But my view is that the media should also reflect the weight of support for the pro case. (I made a similar point in March).
Meanwhile both sides are bringing in Tory expertise on the communications side. George Bridges, who used to work for George Osborne (and was heavily involved in the party’s 2010 general election campaign) is masterminding the PR campaign for the antis from his new base at Quiller.
The pro campaign, meanwhile, is using another Tory-aligned PR firm, Westbourne; and it has just recruited Ed Staite, fresh from the successful media campaign against AV. Staite also used to work for George Osborne.