Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Telegrammed by our man in 222 Marylebone Road...

Here is Tom (why are you all so bloody miserable) Harris addressing the Institute of Economic Affairs Future of rail conference on 18 June:

"Although Network Rail is a product of this government, I’m certainly not its apologist. And if it fails in its delivery, then I will be the first to criticise. But I do believe it has suffered an unfair press. Mistakes were made at Liverpool Street and we saw the consequences when 16 overhead line engineers failed to show up for work over Christmas.

"But what’s conveniently forgotten by the pundits is that at that time we saw the most intensive period of engineering activity on the Railway since rail privatisation. There were 35 major project work sites plus dozens of instances of more minor works".

Clearly, while repercussions at Liverpool Street managed to penetrate Tom's Westminster-centric universe it seems odd that an MP with a Glasgow constituency is unaware of the shag up at Shields Junction.

And since he is known to travel by Virgin Trains between Westminster and his constituency it's equally odd that he missed the Rugby over run which also contributed to the £14million Christmas fine from ORR.

But we have to agree he's not an apologist when it comes to his government's creation, more a whitewasher.