Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Burns Lite - Seeing the light on DOR

Has Simon Burns had a Damescene conversion?

Regular readers of Eye will recall that Third Degree Burns recently described nationalised East Coast as having 'plateaued', and compared it unfavourably with the triumph of private sector innovation that is Beardie Rail.

So what are we to make of these saccharine words from Mr Toad, made during the 5th June Westminster Hall debate on the East Coast Main Line...

"...after an extended and successful period of public ownership..."

"East Coast has delivered a great deal in the past three-and-a-half years of public ownership..."

"The operation of train services by DOR is an essential part of the privatised franchising model."

Words that will no doubt do something to restore the battered morale of his own people holed up in One Kemble Street.

And perhaps more to the point ensuring that DOR has at least some chance of recruiting the skilled people needed to run future franchises, such as errr.. Great Western, for instance!

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

It is interesting to note how the civil servants have been desperately trying to re-chip Simon Burns as they realise that rubbishing East Coast and, by implication operator of last resort Directly Operated Railways, reduces the effectiveness of their deterrent against the rapacious bus bandits when it comes to negotiating  franchise extensions.

All this is rather akin to the Defence Secretary saying, "Frankly old boy, our missiles are so rubbish that even if they launched we'd be lucky to hit Russia let alone Moscow and anyway, the warheads can't be guaranteed to go off if it's raining"...

But we suspect the new tone is a wasted effort since even this Government must have worked out  that if they called the bus bandits bluff and installed DOR then Labour would have a political field day over yet another renationalisation.

With a general election less than two years away there is no way DfT can afford to admit that franchising has failed, again.

So fill your boots bus-bandits, because Burns has all but conceded that DOR is now a paper tiger!