Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

An open plea

Posted in Great Britain, Lord Adonis, Politics by Chairman Pip on 17 April 2010

Secretary of State for Transport is not seen as one of the plumb jobs for an aspiring cabinet minister. Alistair Darling was the last person to hold the post for any length of time (4 years), and his three successors were all mere placeholders, either looking to move upward quickly or stuck there on their way out of government. Then came the current person to occupy the post, Lord Adonis. For the first time in a long time, the Secretary of State is someone who has a genuine interest in transport issues, particularly the railways. In the eleven months he’s been in the job, and before that a further eight months as Minister of State, he has been a veritable dynamo in getting things done to improve the railways – High Speed 2, the massive electrification programme, rail reopenings, rolling stock procurement and cascade; all of these are in contrast to his predecessors and the snails pace of work that has occured under Labour.

We’re now in an election campaign, and Lord Adonis has gone on a second rail tour around the country (his first was in April 2009) to campaign for the Labour Party. In spite of everything however, it appears quite possible that the Government will be defeated. Now, Lord Adonis, though doing a job he enjoys and would like to see through, is very much also a party man it seems, and would turn down the opportunity to carry on in the post under David Cameron if it were offered. Obviously, that’s fair enough, but it would be a shame if he was forced to limit his undoubted knowledge about transport issues to oratory in Opposition. So, even if he won’t take a cabinet post, I would hope and pray that someone who is held in such high regard by the rail industry would have some opportunity to continue to influence government policy as an adviser, especially given the seeming dearth of talent on the Conservative benches.

“Adonis in a hurry”
“Andrew Adonis: I want change, but I’ll stay on Gordon’s train”
Lord Adonis’ second tour of Britain

Lord Adonis

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