Wednesday, 5 January 2011

NR turns on the charm in 2011

With ATOC floundering over fare rises Network Rail appears to be inveigling itself into the Tory party's good books.

The new, improved, cuddly, Coucher-lite Network Rail has begun a discreet charm offensive designed to win industry, stakeholder and political support for reform to the company's corporate governance and accountability as mandated by Petrol-head.

So a big Eye welcome to Sara Rajeswaran who joined NR yesterday as Ricky Haystack's new 'strategic adviser', tasked with consulting on governance change.

Sara's remit will see her working with NR's Chairman to "facilitate the emergence of a widely accepted framework of governance and accountability that:

  • Defines recommended and mandated practices of Network Rail within a systemic context;
  • Is consistent with the objectives of the Coalition Government and The McNulty Review, thus serving as a route map for Network Rail’s collaborative involvement in delivering broader objectives;
  • Is based on deep consultation and dialogue with all key internal and external stakeholders, including Members;
  • Is founded on robust principles and empirical research where required;
  • Draws on all experience and data gathered to date;
  • Balances appropriateness, effectiveness, deliverability and execution pace;
  • Clarifies the authority, role, requirements and necessary composition of the Network Rail Board;
  • Will underpin the rebuilding of public trust in Network Rail"
Chunky no?

Previously at Portland, Sara also served time as a policy wonk for the two Theresas (May and Villiers) and is extremely well connected in the Tory party where sources lavished praise on her for being articulate, personable, ambitious, outgoing, able and highly intelligent.

Possessed of a 'throaty vibrato' Eye understands that Ms Rajeswaran has recently announced her betrothal.

Hopefully the resulting broken hearts amongst young Tory beaux won't do irreperable damage to her standing in the party.

UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...

Can I alert Eye watchers that 2011 has been officially declared as 'Lego block language year' by the Coalition.

This is the new inclusive[*] big society[#] version of what used to be called 'boiler plate' prose beloved of industrialists, civil servants and politicians who want to be considered important and thoughtful without actually saying anything meaningful to real people.

Lego-block statements are made up of buzzwods (the little blocks with four studs that are excruciating to step on) and management consultancy stock phrases which always go together such as 'challenging but achievable' (the long single and double row multi-stud blocks which save you so much time in putting a Lego structure together).

It is good to see that NR is supporting the government's new policy.

Here is a short worked example taken from Ms Rajeswaran's remit:
  • Is based on deep[*] consultation and dialogue[#] with all key[*] internal and external stakeholders[#], including Members[*]
[*] Four stud block
[#] Multi-stud block

Eye followers are invited to test their ability to spot Lego Brick Language in action with this real life example from
Sir Roy McNulty's interim submission!

"Leadership for cost reduction; making the changes required to realise potential savings will present major challenges, which can be met only if there is strong and aligned leadership from Government and the Industry"
(are you sure we're not playing Bullsh1t Bingo? Ed)

Beautiful... but meaningless.