The British civil service was once compared to a Rolls Royce – comfortable, smooth, quiet, reassuringly expensive, reliable etc. After Hillsborough and some of the snail-like handling of correspondence it has revealed (see my previous post), I was tempted to add that it was largely for the rich and rarely seen in the north. But I restrained myself.
Recently, a Fast Streamer suggested to me that the best civil servants are to be found in London. Only the duffers would work in the provinces. The breathtaking arrogance and crass ignorance that he went on to display amused me at the time. He worked for the Department of Transport. I don’t suppose he was involved in the fiasco over the franchise for the West Coast mainline? But I guess the Department of Transport wouldn’t know anything about trains. They are used to a Rolls and why would they want to go to the provinces in any case?