Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Prince of Darkness opens his heart at City Hall

There were no avenging angels waiting at the doors and no dark clouds gathered ahead, but as the business world's own 'Prince of Darkness' settled into his chair, it was clear that the Gods would not let him pass without a struggle.

"There's a big distance between you and me isn't there?" he said warily eyeing his court. "But maybe we should be keeping a distance I don't know."

The assembly were officially here to confirm ex-private equity chief, union breaker, and notorious asset-stripper Tim Parker into the position of Chairman of Transport for London. But what they had really come for, was to get in close quarters with the man who could soon be sinking his teeth into the desks of City Hall.

"The impression that I get" said Labour Member Len Duvall, as an opening sally, "is that you are probably more New Labour than the last Mayor."

"I'm not sure what being New Labour is" replied the Prince with measurable disdain, before saying:

"The difference between me and people further to the left is that I am interested wholly in delivering for the customers. When the interests of the producers take priority over those of the customers then you get waste and the inability to deliver."

The language of the boardroom hung heavy at the scene of so many political battles. 

"You're answers are a bit technocratic" said Labour Member John Biggs. "What I would like to know is how the Mayor offered you the job. Did he ask you if you wanted to come and play with his train set."

No lightning came down to strike him and no dogs were let loose in the chamber. But in their own way the politicians and the technocrat had begun their battle.

"I wouldn't want you to come to grief of course" said Biggs "as a fellow quasi-Londoner."

From the Labour group's own attack dog, this seemed more of a threat than an insult. 

"I take you at your word," replied the Prince, visibly measuring his foe.

Next up came the 'hundred pound gorilla' question from Valerie Shawcross. How did Parker think he was going to secure a no-strike deal with the very unions that were his greatest foes.

The Prince's reaction was swift. He didn't want to go through the 'litany' of charges against him. He had done only what other businesses had done and he had left the companies more profitable and more efficient than before.

"I am only asking you to comment on what is already in the public arena." replied Shawcross who had already declared that she was a member of one of those unions.
"It seems to me that you are trying to put a certain slant on things" he said before changing tack and adding that "I am generally here because I want to make a difference."

But as he 'opened his coat' and offered his good will to the chamber, a loud caustic buzz rang out from the speakers.

"Is that the lie detector?" joked the Prince.
"I think it might be your conscience" replied attack dog Biggs.

Tim Parker is due to become first Deputy Mayor in July and will take over the chairmanship of Transport for London in September. You can watch this hearing plus the full archive of all City Hall meetings here.


Anonymous said...

So we're customers now are we? Does that mean we can go and buy ourselves a new mayor? Anyone want to start a collection?

Bobbin said...

Sod that. Let's just cut out the middleman and sell him off. Anyone want to buy a 14 stone ape complete with priceless vase? Ability to speak bunkum in Latin thrown in free of charge :)

eric ray said...

My money's on the RMT
Although don't expect this guy to play clean.

Wotcher said...

I watched the website. He has all the charisma of Darth Vader

Anonymous said...

He might sack hundreds of people and privatise the entire transport network, but hey he's got nice fuzzy hair and can talk nice, so it's not all bad eh?

I take it this is the man who is really running London then?

The Tory Troll said...

Seems that way.

angelneptunestar said...

Obviously this is a very serious situation, with serious implications, but have to say, I love the way you have described this, and I am hanging on with bated breath for your next instalment.

The Tory Troll said...

Thanks Angela. More updates as ever to come.

Revamp said...

Concerning, yet entertaining. I'm {for once} glad that there are still some Labour chaps around.

Indeed, for the first time I'm wondering if it isn't a pity the Left List failed to crack the GLA...

The face-offs would have been downright delightful. Ah well.