Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Docklands today, with a speedy trip across on the Jubilee Line but a later much slower transit involving the Overground railway network.
Sadly, a fatality at Earlsfield had stopped the trains for what became hours. They'd appear on the board, edge towards getting a platform, become delayed and then finally get cancelled. One train even had a platform allocated and we all sat on it until it too was cancelled. Of course one's mind flicks to the sad cause and its human impact but there is a kind of commuter parallelism about these 'incidents' which often don't get any detailed references at all. In fact, the Network Rail announcements and management of the entire situation was about as bad as it can get. No compassion or leadership, unclear and incorrect messages, muffled explanations and all the apprentice platform helpers shrugging their shoulders.
Earlier I'd been watching the dials and arrows in Canary Wharf, where Reuters and various large plasma screens flickered out further messages of general economic doom. I waited by the big ticker that scrolls around the edge of a building to look for an uptick. Long wait, with most companies again drifting downwards. Then across to the television screen. More negativity.
So whilst waiting for trains, I spotted today's Evening Standard referring to Gordon's speech. He was implying the need for experience rather than 'apprentices'. Unfortunately, I couldn't help thinking of the parallel between the handling of the rail incident and those of the recent economic situation.