Over the centuries there has been a tradition in this country of peaceful protest in the name of a good cause.  Although we do not have a written constitution like the United States we have a long tradition of upholding the right to free speech.  Before the Internet the methods open to people who wanted to complain about something were somewhat more limited although sometimes very effective.  A shining example of a modern protest is the campaign against the proposed high speed rail link that is planned to connect London to Birmingham at supersonic speeds, sometimes referred to as HS2.  There are several politicians in favour of it and a committee of them has been set up to supposedly take soundings and gauge public opinion.  If you are opposed to HS2, what is the best way to complain.
  • If you prefer snail mail you should start by writing to your MP.  His or her name can easily be found by going to: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/.
  • If you feel very strongly you can make an appointment to speak to your MP at his or her surgery to explain your concern – this will obviously be especially pertinent if your constituency is in one of the affected areas.
  • It also would not be a bad idea to write to the Prime Minister and a few members of the cabinet.  Never be afraid to go to the top.
  • If you want some rich sources of information go to the some of the websites that are in areas likely to be affected by HS2.  One example of this is the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre whose website www.hoac.net lists some excellent resources for information and protest.
  • www.stophs.org is a more mainstream website for the campaign and you can also sign up to an anti HS2 petition on www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-hs2.html.
  • If you are keen on a more DIY approach another option is to write to or email all of the relevant MPs yourself.  The key plays are (1) Philip Hammond – Secretary of State for Transport (2)Theresa Villiers – Minister of State for Transport (3) Norman Baker – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport and (4) the relevant Transport Committee Members – Louise Ellman; Steve Baker; Tom Harris; Julie Hilling; Kelvin Hopkins; Kwasi Kwarteng; John Leech; Paul Maynard; Gavin Shuker; Iain Stewart; Julian Sturdy.