Guido Squawks responds to the news the Greens have been invited to the TV debates:
Party round his tonight…
Another year, another tube strike on the cards. The RMT union are balloting members on Monday and could be launching industrial action as early as 17 February. This time the militants are upset that one their comrades was fired for turning up to work boozed up. All out… on the lash!
It seems as good a time as any to remind downtrodden London commuters that we don’t actually need drivers. By Guido’s arithmetic there are at least 63 fully automated subway train systems in world, including Dockland’s Light Railway which has been happily driver free since its construction.
So why isn’t the rest of tube network automated? Well, much of it kind of is; the Jubilee, Victoria and Central lines are all semi-automatic. The ‘drivers’ literally have to press two buttons at the same time once and the train drives itself. Not bad for £50,000 a year, and no wonder they think they can do it drunk.
The RMT’s stranglehold over the Underground is so great that even though Boris’ soon to be delivered 250 new trains are capable of running on auto, they will have drivers until the 2020s.
Robots don’t strike.
The FT profile a known party animal:
“One former ally recalls being served glasses with minuscule quantities of wine from a half-empty bottle at the Miliband home: “It was like receiving communion,” he says. On the few occasions Mr Miliband attends a social event, he is usually armed with briefing notes on the guests…”
It’s going to be a late sitting tonight on tedious end of term legislation – which means a bumper night for parliament’s bars:
From: Government Whips Admin Unit (HOC)
Sent: 15 December 2014 13:19
Subject: Todays Business
Given 2 UQs and the 90 minute statutory instrument as the first business, there is now a very good chance of sitting beyond midnight tonight, although unlikely later than 1am.
And given the late hour of the sitting MPs will get a free taxi home on the taxpayer after a night of solid subsidised drinking… Happy Christmas!
“Labour will tackle scandal of cancer patients denied life-saving treatment” screams the press machine this morning. “Labour will create a new annual Cancer Treatments Fund to improve access not just to the latest drugs but also to the latest forms of radiotherapy and surgery that are too often not available for thousands of people with cancer.” Worthy stuff.
Guido thought today would be a good time check up on how the internal Labour party investigation is going into out-of-control psycho-spinner Tom Baldwin. As Guido revealed a few weeks ago, Baldwin told a journalist that even if “he was dying he wouldn’t want his bone marrow.”
After near universal condemnation for the sick outburst, something was promised to be done.
Guido wonders what that well known leukaemia campaigner and Baldwin’s mentor Alastair Campbell has to say about it all?
It’s the talk of Hognaston, Derbyshire. You’ll never guess who was in the Red Lion on Friday… Only that Ed Miliband!
Most of the regulars would have missed the Labour leader rehearsing how to eat a turkey lunch in the run up to Christmas, due to the fact that his party insisted on privacy. “It was only a couple of waitresses who knew he was here, which is what they wanted,” says Tony Waterall, the owner of the pub. “He didn’t want people looking at him or for there to be any confrontation.”
Given Ed’s previous well publicised masticatory gaffes, you can understand why he now insists on dining closed doors. But panic not, as ever, Guido provides an artistic recreation of the moment the turkey tucked into the turkey.