After the laughter come the tears
July 16, 2007
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"…the Arbiter has also reached the view that if Metronet BCV had delivered in an efficient and economic way, its costs would have been lower than the baseline in the first four years of the contract."
That’s the funniest bit of the PPP Arbiter’s judgement on whether Metronet deserves an extra £551 million in handouts as Metronet’s bankers refuse to lend it any more money. Metronet says it needs the money to cover work that it says TfL has asked for, over and above the original agreements. However, the PPP Arbiter says that as Tube Lines is managing to meet its commitments and be under budget Metronet should, frankly, suck it up. Investing in a company has its risks as well as the opportunity to make pots of cash so hey: if it goes wrong you pay for it! That’s the free market for you! Oh, I know that if Metronet goes into administration the tube itself will be what suffers – no work and no investment – but if this isn’t a moment for schadenfreude, I don’t know what is…
And then, the news that Boris Johnson is standing for Mayor of London.
Now, we all love Boris, the bumbling fool, as host of Have I Got News For You. We laugh at his cultivated image of the foolish Eton toff. Some of us indulgently shake our heads as he gets caught with his pants down or as he insults various cities and countries and has to apologise (well, some of us. Others make growling noises). But as a serious candidate to run London and be in charge of a budget of £3,000 million+? Responsible for representing London to the world? To stand in front of global media to condemn, with gravitas, the next twat who tries to detonate high explosives?! Isn’t it bad enough that the Tories kept throwing Steven Norris into the ring – to attempt to put in charge of London’s public transport the man who famously once said that "driving a car is infinitely preferable to taking public transport,
because ‘you don’t have to put up with dreadful human beings sitting
alongside you’" – that now they seem to think we should be happy with Boris "what’s Tower Hamlets?" Johnson?! (We could still end up with Norris by the way – there’s 40-odd people jostling to be the Tory candidate.)
Jesus fucking wept.