Thursday 01 October 1998
On the way up, the Prescott Express had already stopped off at the Rail Regulator's office, where John Swift was told his season ticket was not being renewed this November. Yesterday it was the turn of the franchising director, the saintly John O'Brien, who was thanked for his sterling efforts and then told to find alternative employment from next spring.
In their place will be something called the Strategic Rail Authority. But first, Mr Prescott has to turn his ideas into legislation, which may take rather longer than the anti-rail privatisation lobby would like. In the meantime, the old British Railways Board is being brought out of retirement to act as a shadow strategic rail authority.
Beyond the huff and the puff, it is not clear that Mr Prescott can do much, other than fine the franchisees more promptly for their failings and threaten not to renew the franchises, which in some cases last 15 years. Meanwhile there are tiresome matters like commercial contracts and price regimes which Labour is bound to honour.
John says he is no virgin (ho, ho) when it comes to the railways and invites those companies who do not like the heat to hand in the keys and get off the footplate. But for all his machismo, he may find it harder to bring in new partners than he thinks.
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...