Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Guido claims Pilgrimage of Pork

Telegrammed by Lobby Fodder
So Guido's not convinced about yesterday's Pilgrimage of Grice, detecting the sulpherous whiff of Porkbarrel politics.

This interesting list from Guido's blog:

  • Manchester Victoria – Tony Lloyd LAB
  • Clapham Junction – Martin Linton LAB
  • Barking – Margaret Hodge LAB
  • Warrington Bank Quay – Helen Southworth LAB
  • Preston – Mark Hendrick LAB
  • Wigan North Western – Neil Turner LAB
  • Luton - Margaret Moran LAB
  • Liverpool Central – Louise Ellman LAB
  • Stockport – Ann Coffey LAB
  • Crewe – Edward Timpson CON
Of course yesterday's jolly round the network had little to do with the top ten worst stations and rather more to do with what could be reached in a day's travel from London.

Which may explain why five of the 10 "worst" stations the Noble Lord visited actually belong to Virgin.

As the total number of Beardie Rail run stations is just 17 this means that roughly one third of them are substandard. Perhaps more deserving of a bollocking than a bung?

To be fair none of the stations selected were truly representative of Britain's worst.

Aides to the Noble Lord were seen imploring various strange deities to open the heavens as the media pack descended on Manchester Victoria - as apart from a leaky roof the station is more down at heel than truly grotty.

Meanwhile the magical figure of £50m to tart up the ten stations is already in question.

In his blog Adonis claimed the money would come from Network Rail, a suggestion that was quickly denied by the infrastructure controller.

So yesterday was a triumph of spin over substance (again). Eye salutes all involved.

UPDATE: This just in from Secret Squirrel...

I hear Stockport was added at the very last minute at the insistence of the Noble Lord.

Interesting to see whether, when HS2 reports, the route it proposes will scythe through Tory constituencies in the Chilterns (without stopping of course)...