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Author Topic: Stonking resignation letter from Lord Adonis !  (Read 2667 times)
chuffed
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« on: December 29, 2017, 09:51:44 pm »

The Right Hon Lord Adonis

House of Lords, London SW1

The Right Hon Theresa May MP

10 Downing Street

London SW129 December 2017

Dear Prime Minister,

The hardest thing in politics is to bring about lasting change for the better, and I believe in co-operation across parties to achieve it.

In this spirit I was glad to accept reappointment last year as Chair of the independent National Infrastructure Commission, when you also reaffirmed your support for HS2, which will help overcome England's north-south divide when it opens in just eight years time. I would like to thank you for your courtesy in our personal dealings.

The Commission has done good work in the past 27 months, thanks to dedicated public servants and commissioners. Sir John Armitt, my deputy chair, and Phil Graham, chief executive, have been brilliant throughout. I am particularly proud of our plans for equipping the UK with world-class 4G and 5G mobile systems; for Crossrail 2 in London and HS3 to link the Northern cities; and for transformational housing growth in the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor.

I hope these plans are implemented without delay. However, my work at the Commission has become increasingly clouded by disagreement with the Government, and after much consideration I am writing to resign because of fundamental differences which simply cannot be bridged.

The European Union Withdrawal Bill is the worst legislation of my lifetime. It arrives soon in the House of Lords and I feel duty bound to oppose it relentlessly from the Labour benches.

Brexit is a populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump. After the narrow referendum vote, a form of associate membership of the EU might have been attempted without rupturing Britain's key trading and political alliances. Instead, by allying with UKIP and the Tory hard right to wrench Britain out of the key economic and political institutions of modern Europe, you are pursuing a course fraught with danger. Even within Ireland, there are set to be barriers between people and trade.

If Brexit happens, taking us back into Europe will become the mission of our children's generation, who will marvel at your acts of destruction.

A responsible government would be leading the British people to stay in Europe while also tackling, with massive vigour, the social and economic problems within Britain which contributed to the Brexit vote. Unfortunately, your policy is the reverse. The Government is hurtling towards the EU's emergency exit with no credible plan for the future of British trade and European co-operation, all the while ignoring - beyond sound bites and inadequate programmes - the crises of housing, education, the NHS, and social and regional inequality which are undermining the fabric of our nation and feeding a populist surge.

What Britain needs in 2018 is a radically reforming government in the tradition of Attlee, working tirelessly to eradicate social problems while strengthening Britain's international alliances. This is a cause I have long advocated, and acted upon in government, and I intend to pursue it with all the energy I can muster.

Britain must be deeply engaged, responsible and consistent as a European power. When in times past we have isolated ourselves from the Continent in the name of "empire" or "sovereignty", we were soon sucked back in. This will inevitably happen again, given our power, trade, democratic values and sheer geography. Putin and the rise of authoritarian nationalism in Poland and Hungry are flashing red lights. As Edmund Burke so wisely wrote, "people will not look forwards to posterity who do not look backwards to their ancestors."

However, I would have been obliged to resign from the Commission at this point anyway because of the Transport Secretary's indefensible decision to bail-out the Stagecoach/Virgin East Coast rail franchise. The bailout will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, possibly billions if other loss-making rail companies demand equal treatment. It benefits only the billionaire owners of these companies and their shareholders, while pushing rail fares still higher and threatening national infrastructure investment. It is even more inexcusable given the Brexit squeeze on public spending.

The only rationale I can discern for the bailout is as a cynical political manoeuvre by Chris Grayling, a hard right Brexiteer, to avoid following my 2009 precedent when National Express defaulted on its obligations to the state for the same East Coast franchise because it too had overbid for the contract. I set up a successful public operator to take over East Coast services and banned National Express from bidding for new contracts. The same should have been done in this case. Yet, astonishingly, Stagecoach has not only been bailed out: it remains on the shortlist for the next three rail franchises.

The East Coast affair will inevitably come under close scrutiny by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, and I need to be free to set out serious public interest concerns. I hope the PAC calls Sir Richard Branson and Sir Brian Souter to give evidence. I am ready to share troubling evidence with the PAC and other parliamentary committees investigating the bailout.

As you know, I raised these concerns with the Chancellor and the Transport Secretary as soon as the bailout became apparent from the small print of an odd policy statement on 29 November majoring on reversing Beeching rail closures of the 1960s. I received no response from either Minister beyond inappropriate requests to desist.

Brexit is causing a nervous breakdown across Whitehall and conduct unworthy of Her Majesty's Government. I am told, by those of longer experience, that it resembles Suez and the bitter industrial strife of the 1970s, both of which endangered not only national integrity but the authority of the state itself.

You occupy one of the most powerful offices in the history of the world, the heir of Churchill, Attlee and Gladstone. Whatever our differences, I wish you well in guiding our national destiny at this critical time.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed)

ANDREW ADONIS
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 10:02:59 pm »

Can snyone find the full Policy Statement he refers to of November 29 on thrle Gov.UK website?
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Electric train
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 10:12:41 pm »

Never one to mince his words or shy away from what he believes in; I my humble opinion he speaks a lot of sense especially lines 6 to 10
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 10:13:42 pm »

Can snyone find the full Policy Statement he refers to of November 29 on thrle Gov.UK website?
Yes.
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Timmer
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 10:36:56 pm »

Pleased to see he’s going to raise the ‘bailout’ of Stagecoach/Virgin franchise because quite frankly it stinks. I supported them when they cried fowel over First’s winning bid for the West Coast franchise only for them to be allowed to walk away from a top loaded high premium end to the East Coast franchise. National Express were punished. How can this be right?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 11:24:27 pm »

A man of principle (if you forget that SDP/LibDem flirtation early in his political career).

I do hope he gets a rail transport brief in the next Labour government.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 12:06:23 am »


Three reads of that reply. Thought it was a flippant response until I looked carefully and saw that the one word reply was a link. Hard to see on some screens when there's no contrasting text immediately before or after.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-strategic-vision-for-rail
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 06:35:43 am »

Three reads of that reply. ...

I recall comment from you about a link I provided within a response I posted a few months back that hadn't come up as clearly as you would have wished on your display.   If this is a regular issue for you, you may find that one of the alternative site styles (can be changed at the top of any page) helps.

Should the issue turn out to be a general one, we could update the forum software to expand all links on display; there is some merit in doing that because it helps people know where they are going if and when it takes them away from the Coffee Shop, but on the other side such expansion increases screen clutter, especially where there are lots of links in a page and/or the linked URLs are long ones.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 08:49:03 am »

The forum has never been really mobile friendly. Using software that predates modern smartphones.

By phone is how I access the forum 99% of the time. None of the site styles are ideal, even on the larger screen mobile I now have.

I'm not sure increasing screen clutter would help mobile users. Take a look at the attached screen grab. That is how the 'Post reply' screen renders on Android.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 09:18:34 am »

A man of principle (if you forget that SDP/LibDem flirtation early in his political career).

I do hope he gets a rail transport brief in the next Labour government.

Jumped before he was pushed - remember this is a man who compared those supporting Brexit to those who appeased Hitler amongst other inflammatory comments - the only elected public office he has ever held was as a Lib Dem Councillor.

As Lord Adonis is an arch Blairite, and with Corbyn leading the Labour party, I wouldn't hold your breath on the likelihood of either brief or Labour Government coming to pass.

That said, he had more about him than the average Blair clone from central casting, and did some good work in Education.

Brexit is going to be a complete car crash, and anything he can do to mitigate that will be welcome.


« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 09:27:17 am by TaplowGreen » Logged
ellendune
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 09:46:37 am »

A man of principle (if you forget that SDP/LibDem flirtation early in his political career).

I do hope he gets a rail transport brief in the next Labour government.

Given how much the parties have changed over my lifetime changing parties to the one that matches his principles sounds like the actions of a man of principle. 

People forget how far the present Tory party is from the Party of Edward Heath.  And how far the Blairite Labour Party was from the party of Clement Atlee. 

Jumped before he was pushed - remember this is a man who compared those supporting Brexit to those who appeased Hitler amongst other inflammatory comments - the only elected public office he has ever held was as a Lib Dem Councillor.

If he wanted to be free to criticise government on Brexit or anything else then resigning his office first shows some integrity. 


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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 09:50:39 am »

A man of principle (if you forget that SDP/LibDem flirtation early in his political career).

I do hope he gets a rail transport brief in the next Labour government.

Given how much the parties have changed over my lifetime changing parties to the one that matches his principles sounds like the actions of a man of principle. 

People forget how far the present Tory party is from the Party of Edward Heath.  And how far the Blairite Labour Party was from the party of Clement Atlee. 

Jumped before he was pushed - remember this is a man who compared those supporting Brexit to those who appeased Hitler amongst other inflammatory comments - the only elected public office he has ever held was as a Lib Dem Councillor.

If he wanted to be free to criticise government on Brexit or anything else then resigning his office first shows some integrity. 




Indeed - Peter Mandelson was a member of the Communist Party before he joined Labour - now there was a man of principle!!!  Cheesy
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ChrisB
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 11:34:34 am »

So was Jeremy Corbin....
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Puffing Billy
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 07:19:53 pm »

I do detest this sort of public whingeing. If you are going to resign, then just do it and move on - there is no point in writing a letter to your employer about it. That is, if it is a genuine resignation, rather than a "if you don't give me what I want, I'm going to resign - OK, then, see you - hang on, I didn't really mean it; you're supposed to say 'please don't go; I'll give you whatever you want'" sort of resignation. And for goodness' sake, just keep it between yourselves - this current fad for making your letters public in a cringeworthy "I'm going to get my friends onto you" sort of way is something I would hope most of us had grown out of since the toddler-having-a-tantrum-in-a-supermarket" phase.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 07:33:46 pm »

So was Jeremy Corbin....

Some bloke you know with a similar name to the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition?

Or are you referring to Jeremy Corbyn? If so, source please for proof of his membership, past or present, of the Communist Party.
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