HS2 in Parliament again.

HS2 in Parliament again.

HS2, or The High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill 2013-14, is back in Parliament for the Second Reading today. This article has a wealth of evidence which could be used for Pressure Groups, Parties and Parliament topics.

Parliament: With this being the Second Reading, it lends itself as an example for how a bill becomes a law, and the scrutiny Parliament places upon legislation from the Government (remembering that all important distinction between Parliament and Government).

Pressure Groups: Equally, this article refers to a study released today by the Institute of Economics Affairs, an influential think tank*  which stated that the Government should not go ahead with HS2. This is contrasted to the British Chambers of Commerce which have urged the Government to speed up the process. Both of these organisations act like Pressure Groups, and could be good examples of how PGs act (releasing studies is a good example of peaceful methods) and of the importance of opposition (which of these two PGs do you think the current Govt is more likely to listen to? Not only are they likely to side with the one that support the Govt view, but also traditional Tory policy is in support of business – therefore likely to support the British Chamber of Commerce).

Parties and Parliament: Cameron is facing a revolt of upwards of 30 backbench MPs from his own party over HS2. A good example of the growth in power of Backbench MPs since 2010, as well as showing the problems of party unity within the Conservative Party at the moment.

There will be more on this story – it still has committee stage in HoC to go yet, and then to go through the whole thing again in the HoL; nonetheless, useful for your exam as it is currently!

* Think tank: a body which produces research or advocacy papers on their area of interest. Usually not for profit/charity organisations.

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