How the budget of the High Speed 2 was manipulated, and how we could all see it.

It is not difficult to see proof of my statement that project budgets are being manipulated. 

The BBC published relevant information on the High Speed 2 (HS2) today. A huge overspend, misleading the public and misleading Parliament. This was to be predicted, it happens all the time, but you have to develop a certain eye to see it. And take appropriate measures. Nr. 1 is: don’t be too gullible!

The BBC writes: “It is evidence that both the public and Parliament were not given the full picture about the true cost”

A 1 bn overspend pops up: “A former HS2 director told the BBC that the £1bn overspend was considered, at the time, to be “a very conservative estimate.” “Internally the teams knew it was a lot higher than that,” he added. The £1bn overspend is worse than it first seems because it did not include a realistic estimate for how much the land and property needed to build the railway would cost.” And the BBC added, rather neutrally: “The project is funded by the taxpayer.” 

It is quite common that projects are deliberately given other estimates of the costs than was realistically to be expected. It is all about Project Sabotage. In order to keep your project on track, or to get it started in the first place, you have to change reality from time to time. As the BBC says: “But until recently, ministers and bosses at HS2 have insisted everything was on track.” And that was, of course, not the case. They simply adjusted the facts, a lie as we most commonly call this.

Well, it is not difficult to see this happening: just a bit of suspicion, or mistrust will do. Therefore we will have to look at the interests at stake. What happens to the positions of the payers involved if the bad news comes to the light? Will a minister be attacked in Parliament? Will the project management be sacked? Or is the project as a whole going to be in danger? All good reasons to manipulate the truth. 

And, let us face it, we know it is there: see this quote: “The Department for Transport said: “Like all major, complex projects delivery plans evolve over time.” (BBC 27 8 2019) What an excuse! Of course they evolve, but no reason to hide this! 

So, like in all major projects, it would be very productive to look at the interests of the people involved. Do they have a reason to hide the truth? And if so, find out what that is. And leave the idea behind you that people always tell the truth. To help you out on this: look into the world of The Project Saboteur.