Friday, 15 January 2010

Don't be taken in by Portillo - Shocker

This from Annoni Mouse...

Suddenly the entire railway seems to have fallen in love with Michael Portillo following his recent TV series on railway journeys.

Why even Nigel Harris raved about his performance!!!

But don't be taken in!

Given a choice between a free Indy and a free Torygraph on the train to York today which do you think he took?

And devoured it from cover to cover.

A leopard doesn't change its spots!

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Actually, Portillo was quite a good Transport Minister in the Hippocratic sense.

He did no harm and was a good egg.

UPDATE: This from Tory Girl...

And which party, when in Government, approved the Channel Tunnel - a rail only link with the continent?

UPDATE: This from our slightly furious International Correspondent...

I am confused after watching the very Thatcherite former Hon Member for Enfield East, (latterly the Minister of State for Transport) recalling his version of "saving" the Settle & Carlisle line during his BBC2 Great Railway Hagiography.

He said saving the line was one of the greatest achievements of his political career.

It is all a long time ago but I thought that at the time he, and his predecessor David Mitchell, were both "minded" to consent to closure.

This in full accord with their official's aspirations.

And so it would have been but for a real railwayman.

London Midland Region's Ron Cotton (deep doff of the bowler, Ed) "accidentally" kept cocking up the closure procedure, thus allowing the Chair of the TUCC to listen to Ruswarp (
the late and much lamented Border Collie objector).

Happily this was all resolved when, on the 11th April 1989, Portaloo published a letter that refused consent on the first page.

However, so badly spatchcocked was his missive - evidently at the 11th hour, that it made no sense at all (actually consenting to closure on subsequent pages).

There is a statue of Ruswarp on Garsdale station platform, commissioned by the Friends of the Settle and Carlisle Line.

But of Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo - not even a cheap plaque marks his passing.


First shows First how to do it

There is no such thing as a bad dog, so the saying goes, merely bad owners.

Whilst FuCC languishes in the mire, its senior managers accused by passengers of being invisible, sister TOC First Great Western shows how to engage with customers.

This from the Bristol Evening Post...

The head of First Great Western is offering free first class tickets as a thank-you to customers for their patience during the bad weather.


UPDATE: This from Forbes (not the magazine)...

But they’re only offering free first class tickets to people who use FGW as part of a prize draw.

Not an across-the-board demonstration of largesse, then, and certainly not to all their FGW commuters. (as per the link to the original Evening Post story. Ed)

Still, their PR machine must be doing well!

Maybe FCC realise that doing similar would enrage its 75,000 captive commuters even further.

If that were possible...