Friday, September 26, 2008

Truth calling Harris

Via Iain Dale's recent roundup, I see that Tom Harris has decided to respond to a post of John Redwood's. Unfortunately, Master Harris seems unable to do so without actually lying through his teeth (but, then, he's a NuLabour apparatchik: what do you expect?). Here is the relevant bit of Master Harris's post. [Emphasis mine.]
Earth calling Redwood…

I rarely write as a transport minister on transport issues; this is a personal political blog. However, one of my regular readers has suggested I respond to John Redwood’s piece about transport on his blog, and for once, I’m more than willing to do so.

John is an obviously intelligent bloke who has a reputation for bringing an expert level of detailed analysis to his subjects, particularly the economy. But I detect an element of emperor’s new clothes in most of his writing, and his post on Ruth Kelly is a perfect example.

John, remember, is probably the only Tory MP who still thinks Railtrack was a good idea! As we all know, it was, in fact, an unmitigated disaster for the railway network and for the country. And John Redwood was a member of the government which created it.

Well, that last sentence is true: Redwood was indeed a member of that Tory government. But does he really think that Railtrack was a good idea? Well, not according to Hansard, the minutes of the relevant discussion appeared on Redwood's blog. [Emphasis mine.]
As someone who was involved in the decision for railway privatisation but who did not recommend the scheme that was chosen, I have no need to defend that scheme. The decision to introduce some element of private capital and some element of competitive choice and challenge did enough to transform the railways. We need turn no further than to the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), who has praised the way in which the privatised railway post-1993 moved from retreat and decline to an era of growth and development.

So, unless John Redwood was lying to the House—as near a serious crime as you can get amongst the criminal political classes—we must conclude that John Redwood does not think that "Railtrack was a good idea".

This is Truth Control to Major Tom...

So, what did Redwood favour instead?
My problem with the structure that we chose and with the Governments structure is that I think we left too big a monopoly element in the track. The evil is monopoly??it is not public ownership so much as monopoly. As all the economic textbooks rightly tell us, monopoly does in the customer. It always charges too much and delivers too little. It always looks after the interests of the owners and the senior managers. It does not look after the interests of the customers or even of the more junior employees, who do most of the work. So it is a nasty system, and even public ownership does not tame monopoly sufficiently to get rid its evil consequences.

At the time, I favoured splitting the railway into regional rail companies, which would allow competitive challenge over time, because they would have to re-bid for franchises; so it was not a perpetual monopoly for them. At the same time, it would allow others to come in and build new track or suggest new services, so that there was some element of contestability where the tracks could, in certain circumstances, be used as a common carrier and would not necessarily remain the monopoly preserve of the regional company. The basic structure was to go back to regional companies.

OK. Well, never mind: we all know that politicians can rarely be bothered actually to attend debates in the House—presumably they are too busy fucking rent-boys or spending our money in John Lewis or something—so maybe it's just the case that Tom Harris missed this debate?

But the above speech by Redwood does seem to be in response to someone's question. Perhaps we had better see who it was who intervened...
John Redwood: ... We seem to have some agreement that privatisation kicked off something that was rather good.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tom Harris): In spite of myself, I am enjoying the right hon. Gentleman's contribution. It is good to know that we do not have to wait for the publication of his memoirs to see that he disagreed with his Cabinet colleagues on the nature of the privatisation of the railways in 1993.

Well, who'da thunk it? Major Tom was not only there during the debate, but he actually took part in it!

So, let us apply the Polly conundrum: Tom Harris has told a porkie—is he pig-ignorant or is he a lying little shit? Well, he was in the House and took part in the debate when Redwood pointed out that he was not in favour of the adopted Tory model of privatisation, i.e. Railtrack, and so it cannot be the case that Tom Harris is pig-ignorant.

So, lying little shit it is then. Unless, of course, Major Tom suffers from selective amnesia in which case I don't think that he should be a member of government. Although, of course, if many of the NuLabour lot were suffering from said amnesia, it might provide a more charitable excuse than the general accepted theory that they are simply a bunch of lying, incompetent, totalitarian bastards.

This is Truth Control to Major Tom...


Dave said...

Good post. Good point on monopolies.
When we (the people) owned the utilities it's true that they were monopolies. They got broken up (to increase competition) but my argument then has proved correct over time.
The end result of all these takeovers (in the name of competition) will be monopolies. Only this time they're owned by foreign countries who do not have our interests at heart. They're only interested in how much they can screw us for.
Twenty five years ago we'd have saved ourselves a lot of bother and a lot of cash if we'd left well alone.
The government nationilised teh utilities because they couldn't/wouldn't afford to spend the money modernising.
Twenty five years on and we're paying even more and the bloody utilities aren't even ours anymore!
Cheapest is dearest (an old english proverb)


Great post.

We all know politicians lie. Nu-Labour have taken it to such a level that they are not even ashamed to be caught out any more.

Just one thing; if you can do this why can't our so-called press. Perhaps if they stopped chattering on about clever little barbed slights between cabinet ministers they could actually expose the truth about these mendacious, hypocritial, sanctimoniuos, lying shits..

Keep up the good work.

chris said...

If I recall correctly the reason why they had to structure the railways in the way they did for privatisation was because that was the only way allowed by the EU.

Curly said...

Beautifully stabbed, straight to the point, now can you find a way of slowly twisting the knife on withdrawal too please?

nightjack said...

Time on target DK.
Some of them really do think there is a Ministry of Truth to tidy up after them. Luckily Hansard is still online and some bloggers are anonymous.

Anonymous said...

i remember something about the track having to be owned by a seperate company from the carriages, but I'm not sure I remember anything about the track having to be owned by the same company nationwide? or in perpetuity? Even If it was, those EU bastards would never have done anything about it if we'd done something different. Every other country in the EU flouts the rules all the time and nothing ever happens. It's a paper tiger.

whoops said...

sorry, that's my post, clicked the wrong button!

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly the reason why they had to structure the railways in the way they did for privatisation was because that was the only way allowed by the EU.
9/26/2008 08:44:00 PM

I can confirm that your memory serves you well.

Which begs so many other questions.

Like, not only.

How much does, the people that control, the people that control, the people that control the EU, totally control us, and almost ALL important world events?

But also and just as importantly.

How long exactly have the banksters and their religious allies, been doing so?


Both very much indeed, in fact more then any ordinary person can comfortably deal with.


Very much longer, in fact longer then any ordinary person would like to imagine.

One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist or an alternative historian, to know that almost everything extremely evil, for example banking collapses, are acts of conspiracy. You just need a half reasonable memory, common sense and few other senses to go with it.

Bad news is, memory fades far too quickly, especially when confronted with heavy drink or drug abuse, over frequent masturbation, complicated busy life styles, topped off with persistent BBC, and educational establishment propaganda.

While poor old marginalized sober, boring, undersexed, over slothful, friendless common sense, is often highly sensible, but never has been at all common, to say the least.

I think we should all begin today by remembering to use the word CONSPIRACY at least 100 times a day for the foreseeable future.

Especially when mentioning anything to do with highly organized crime, The EU, The UN, The US and UK governments, ALL other politics in general, ALL wars, ALL and everything the ruling elite get up to. Even the bloody football results have to be watched with distrust these days, as certainly the whether forecasts already do.

This way maybe we can get this highly under used word reinstated into the BBC/MSM,s dictionary again. No prises for guessing who or what took the word out in the first place.

Atlas shrugged

Not a sheep said...

Another Labour Minister caught out lying; shock, horror. Well done on bringing this to our attention. However until the British media catch on to to level of lying and sleaze that surrounds this Labour government, as they did in the last years of John Major's Conservative government, the majority of the British politician will not get to hear this sort of story.

Charlie dog said...

Maybe a)he doesn't write his own blog and/or b) he doesn't bother to check what has been written for him.