Thursday, 9 September 2010

The New Politics: An end to spin! - Official

Telegrammed by The Velopodist
Eye readers might be interested in this email issued by the Department for Transport press office today.

The email reads:

Some of your will have seen the release that Network Rail have out today on ‘Investing to Build Britain’s Economy’. In case any of you are writing something on this, please see a quote below from the Transport Secretary for your use.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said,

“The financial crisis which we have inherited means that difficult decisions will have to be made on the future of spending across Government, including on our transport system.

“However, we are clear that we will not make the mistakes of the past and protect current spending at the cost of cutting back investment on transport infrastructure that is vital to our economic future.

“That is why I was pleased that the Chancellor announced in the budget that he would prioritise spending that would boost our economy. During this difficult spending review period I will do everything I can to persuade my colleagues that investing in transport infrastructure is a sound investment for the future.

“But if we are to win this argument it is imperative that every pound we invest is well spent. This week’s ORR report states that we have the most expensive railways in Europe. Network Rail needs to become much more efficient so that taxpayers get the best possible return for their investment.”

So Petrol-head Hammond quotes the ORR as saying Britain has Europe's most expensive railways.

Hmmm, perhaps un petit economic avec le verite?

What the ORR actually said was that Network Rail's costs were 40 per cent higher than those of the four most efficient network operators in Europe.

It's hard to believe that, for example, the non-standard Irish railways don't have higher infrastructure costs.

The DfT say they don't want to change the statement.

Hard to see why they would, really. It's not as if it matters whether what a cabinet minister says is true or not, does it?