Justine has written to her Cousin Philip:-
I realise that you’re very busy playing soldiers these days and may no longer be too interested in my concerns regarding the decision I must soon make regarding the new train set which you, Uncle Dave and Uncle George told me would be in my (sorry I think you actually said the national) interest, but I wanted to tell you about a disturbing dream I had this week.
I was at a party in Santa’s grotto. You were all there, along with Auntie Cheryl, although she seemed to be less than in the party spirit. Lots of others too – many I didn’t recognise, but seemed to include many foreigners as well as bigwigs from around the UK.
At first I thought that she was just tired after a long journey back from Cardiff, but she gave me some reports to read at the end of the party, saying that I ought to consider them carefully before accepting Santa (Uncle George’s) cheque for the new train set. After all it does seem that spending such a huge sum of money in recessionary times, without properly checking and testing the underlying facts and figures is plain crazy. As I well understand from my previous job, the Treasury Green Book says that we must be “transparent in sifting alternatives”.
Anyway, I won’t bore you with all the details of what Auntie Cheryl passed on to me. But I do tend to agree with her that the case for a new train set does indeed seem to be based on some very dodgy figures. For instance, in the initial HS2 Model Development Report http://webarchive.
I also read with despair about growth predictions and valuing working time on trains. Surely, Phil, unless and until we subject all the assumptions to effective independent scrutiny we might as well stick to our existing train set and make improvements to that.
Stop wobbling! Of course l had a chat with the uncles about my concerns, but they just talked about my career and I soon got the message. There’s a lot more to politics than Pimms and punting on the Thames in Putney you know. It’s not whether any policy is right or wrong that matters. Don’t know why you’re being so slow to catch on! Some of those big barons in your dream were those who build and operate high speed train sets around the world. They need new markets, so who do you think they’ve been talking to? By 2026 the uncles will be working in Brussels – remember Neil and Glenys?
Look at your problem this way. If it’s not the people who elected you, (i.e. your electorate), being trashed then you are home and dry. I found putting a piece of cotton wool in my ears helped quite a lot – maybe you should try it. Just make sure you get the priorities right on which or whose interest you are worrying about, or need to worry about, and then it all becomes clear.
Actually I am looking for a site for a long distance tank training course. Perhaps we could plan it alongside the HS2 route – they won’t notice the additional noise!
Chin up old girl!