Tuesday, 31 May 2011

DfT rebalances the deck chairs...

Exciting news from the Department!

According to industry sources DafT have rebalanced Ministerial portfolios.

  • The Minister of State, Theresa Villiers, will now focus on rail strategy and on our major rail projects. This is in addition to her existing portfolio, which includes aviation, London, Olympics and Europe.
  • Norman Baker will provide support by leading on the Government’s implementation of current Franchise Agreements including commercial matters, day to day contract management and rail performance issues.
  • All other portfolios remain the same.
As pretty a piece of spin as you are likely to see.

Of course the reality is as follows:

  • Cruella takes on a demanding new pan-industry role with top down responsibility for vertical integration, horizontal alignment and parallel fragmentation of strategic trolley and buffet Jammy Dodger supplies.
  • Meanwhile LibDem Norman Baker has been shunted into a non-job managing TOC franchises, performance and contracts on a day to day basis.
How will poor old Norm' live down this evident demotion?

UPDATE: This from Our International Correspondent...

There is much political liability in this!

Norman is now destined to be the man unable to make the trains run on time or get St Alban's Man a seat.

Meanwhile, Cruella will be making the one way trip to spend more time with her family when London2012’s Transport Plan is exposed to operational reality.

All political careers are destined to end in failure...

UPDATE: This from yet another satisfied Eye reader


Am I alone in decrying the corrosive cynicism of your International Correspondent.

The timely decision to negotiate an extension to the Virgin West Coast franchise means that this experienced and much loved operator will continue to run its services through the Olympic period.

With success thus assured, Ms Villiers, bathed in reflected glory, will be ideally placed to become the new Secretary of State.

I remain, sir, yours

R Slicker