Someone tweeted on my timeline that the UK Government is “… a series of jokes in search of a punchline” and in a week when the Government could have been getting some kudos it has managed to do a passable impersonation of a Laurel and Hardy film.
I have kept quite on the West Coast Rail Franchise where Government Ministers publically lambasted Sir Richard Branson for being a poor loser on losing the West Coast Rail Franchise, in one of those moment that most politicians dread, normally a few days after Justine Greening (Minister for Railways) said that the deal with First Group was fair and would be signed, and that the process was sound, it was then announced that the process was fatally flawed and would investigate what had happened, and a new competition instigated.
Of course it was all the Civil Servants fault.
If Sir Richard Branson had not had the guts to do the unspeakable and challenge the Department of Transport we would have been in a mess. The Government having to eat humble pie and ask Sir Richard to run the railway for a few more months – after categorically saying it would never happen is embarrassing. The antipathy between Virgin Rail and the Government has gone to the ‘personal’
Of course the other thing Justine mentioned was that Virgin would not get to hold the franchise until the fuss had died down, as it transpires Virgin will retain the franchise for several months, then an interim bidding process would be instigated, for two years, and then another 15 year contract would be let. So having three franchise bids is not at all wasteful!
Of course the farce not only delays the franchises (First Great Western, First Capital Connect, etc) it also costs the tax payer £40 million to reimburse the original bidders, that’s not government money, its my money.
Yesterday at PMQ’s the Prime Minister basically got ‘shish kebabed’ over Andrew Mitchell and plebgate affair, after the spit roasting (the Tory 1922 Committee baying for Mitchell’s blood, but Cameron defended Mitchell – today ‘Thrasher’ Mitchell resigned. It has taken him 4 weeks to ‘do the right thing’ and Ed Milliband to ask for his head on platter before he relinquished power. Our politicians are too attached to their Ministerial Cars to let it go. Lets face it the Andrew Mitchell thing was embarrassing, and Cameron has been weakened over not asking for his resignation – how many chances does he have give people.
Cameron was on a duty-free freebie to the European Summit, I say ‘duty free’ trip because no-one in Europe is actually listening to the UK, in a Government that believes in collective responsibility Cameron said nothing at a Minister saying the UK should leave Europe; as vile as Enoch Powell was at least he left the Cabinet when he disagreed with it. Of course the EU Leaders gave the PM a polite reception, didn’t yawn too much, and politely asked when the UK would be leaving the EU because they actually want to do some serious stuff, like rescue Europe from a financial implosion.
The UK has never signed onto the ‘European Dream’ the ideal, as much as I am a supporter of the EU, and I passionate about the EU, France was right not to let us join, in the 50’s and we shouldn’t have been allowed to join, we cannot understand the concept of ‘cooperation’.
I believe the qoute came from Le Monde the last tiem Cameron used the vetoed like a kid throwing his toys out of the Pram in 2011, and it sums up the UK and Europe perfectly and will be our epitaph:
The British do not believe in the European idea. They are alien to this project, which is currently bogged down, but which appears to be more necessary than ever; to forge a single entity that will be able to exist as such among the other powers of the 21st Century.
We should have no regrets about what happened in Brussels. The ambiguity about the role of Britain has been cleared up: deep down the British, who joined what was the European Economic Community in 1973, are only interested in one aspect of Europe – the single market – while they have remained indifferent, if not hostile, to the rest of the European project.
Cameron spoke about cutting staff, saying he would Veto stuff (as usual) and would not be attending the Nobel Peace Prize presentation for Europe, well that’s a few less heads to feed at the Reception I suppose.
Not to be left out the Home Secretary decided she would use the Human Rights Act she wants to abolish to stop a deportation of a hacker to the USA on the grounds of he might kill himself, she also said she wants to withdraw from EU Policing Treaties, and then pick, a la carte, the bits they want; unfortunately Treaties do not work like that. The announcement was made days after the process had been used to return a young girl who had run off with Teacher – to France which, I understand with my socialist education, is in Europe.
The timing of this Government is comedic, just like Mitchell swearing at the Police days after two Police Officers were murdered in the line of their duties.
Today the beloved Chancellor has caused furor in travelling in First Class with a Second Class Ticket (apparently he did not want to sit with the plebs), though apparently he offered to upgrade – oh, did I mention it was Virgin Trains he was travelling on? Perhaps at the next PMQ’s Ed Milliband should upgrade and ask Cameron for the Chancellor’s head on a platter rather than the Chief Whip’s.
David Cameron when asked why he wanted to be PM said, and this is the truth “because I think I would be rather good at it” – Dave, you’re not, really, you’re not