Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've been riding on the ghost bus today. It was rather a pleasant journey, meandering through the backroads of west and south London accompanied by friends, fellow Lib Dems, public transport exports and the world's press. The clerk in the ticket office at Ealing Broadway station was amazed that Wandsworth Road became one of the most popular destinations for a few minutes this morning.
But not one person on the bus was actually trying to get from Ealing Broadway to Wandsworth Road. We were all there in our various ways to draw attention to how absurd this once-a-week coach is, and how the sole reason for it is for Labour to avoid embarrassing publicity.
This backfired spectacularly today, as I was interviewed by the BBC, ITV London and even TF1 from France plus reporters from the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail, and used each opportunity to condemn government spinelessness on this issue. There is absolutely no way this much publicity would have been generated if the government had either retained the rail service or just taken the honest route of consulting over its closure. As Sir Walter Scott put it, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
Posted by Jon Ball at 2:14 p.m.