Regular readers of this column will know full well where I stand on the subject of HS2.

Just to recap, I think it is a monumental waste of money, a vanity project will only benefit London and the south east that should be stopped immediately.

If the Government has £55 billion to spend on transport, I can find you any number of road projects that could do with a cash boost or here's a suggestion– spend some of it on improving rail links in the north, particularly east-west transport, and on connectivity for towns in the north west, making access to Liverpool and Manchester easier.

I mention HS2 again because of the furore and faux outrage surrounding Scouse funnyman John Bishop.

Mr Bishop has been a vocal opponent of HS2.

According to the BBC's website, The Liverpudlian stand-up has been one of the scheme's most outspoken critics, tweeting in 2016: "Anyone looking at the details sees how flawed it is, including every independent review."

He also agreed with Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg after the politician criticised the project on BBC One's Question Time, tweeting: "I can't argue with his assessment of HS2 'a complete waste of money that should be scrapped'."

So what has caused the current outrage? Well according to The Sun newspaper, Mr Bishop has sold his mansion,Whatcroft Hall in Northwich, to HS2 for £6.8m.

The BBC reports that Mr Bishop put Whatcroft Hall up for sale in 2016.

The Grade II listed Georgian mansion comes with 28 acres of land and is described by Historic England as late 18th Century with French windows and entrance hall, a chandelier and ornate fireplace.

But the new HS2 line will pass within 150m of the property. When Mr Bishop could not find a buyer he turned to HS2's 'Need to Sell scheme'. Two surveyors analysed the property before making the offer.

The comedian bought it for £2.25m in 2011 – meaning he sold it for £4.5m more – although his publicist said he had invested in refurbishment and the grounds in that time.

A spokesman for Mr Bishop said HS2's offer was below market value and significantly less than the original estate agent price. He continued: "John Bishop maintains his opposition to HS2.

"He is unhappy, like many others affected by the proximity of the proposed line, that he was left with no choice but to sell his family home to HS2.

"The proposed line had rendered it unsellable on the open market – thus destroying all he and his family had worked for."

In all honesty, I don't see what the problem is here. Yes, the sum of money involved may be eyewateringly high but what was Mr Bishop supposed to do?

If I'd been in his position, I would have done exactly the same. And I wonder who among us wouldn't.

  • THE supermarket I use for the weekly 'big shop' has one of those charity systems whereby customers get a token at the check-out.

On the way out of the shop, they can choose from usually one of three different charities or good causes and drop their token in the appropriate container.

These containers are transparent so shoppers can clearly see which is doing best and gaining the most support.

The way the system goes, I am lead to believe, that after say three months, the winning charity is given a grant by the supermarket. And if I am correct, the second placed organisation gets a smaller grant and so on.

Recently, a good cause close to my heart had the good fortune to be selected as one of the competing groups at my supermarket.

After a fine start when it was clearly in the lead, my chosen charity fell behind into second place and stayed there throughout the three months.

The winning good cause was an animal organisation.

And so on to the current 'competition'.

All three good causes started from a level playing field of zero but within a couple of days, it had become fairly obvious that one of the three was doing better than the others.

From memory, one of the groups is something to do with the Samaritans, one is something to do with stroke prevention and the third animal charity.

And guess which one is in the lead.

No prizes if you said the animal charity.

OK, I get it. People like animals and to be honest, my chosen good cause was very worthwhile but not what you would describe as exciting so it was not a massive surprise when it came second (third was a playgroup).

But in the current round, I just cannot understand how anyone could rate an animal charity higher than a group that aims to save the lives of people who are contemplating committing suicide or a group that wants to combat the terrible effects of stroke.

I know it may not seem much when you drop your token into the plastic box but please, please have a good think about what your rate more highly – the live of an animal of the life of a human being.