A Rolls Royce service

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?

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2 Responses to “A Rolls Royce service”


  1. 1 Jack October 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I’m not sure what car would be an appropriate comparison but what can we make of a policy of ditching all MOT tests as a way of economising ? http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/14/west-coast-fiasco-audit-axed

  2. 2 Mal Ferguson, Liverpool May 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

    That’s an interesting view about the “duffers” working in “the provinces”. When I worked for the Department for Employment in Runcorn in the late Eighties, it was a well-trodden career path for (not necessarily outstanding) people to transfer to London for a year or so. Because of the disparities in average earnings, job availability and the cost of living between London and “the provinces”, the Civil Service in London (even with London Weighting) could only attract…. well, let’s just say it couldn’t attract the best and brightest. As a result, those transferring from the North would shine like beacons and would generally be promoted within twelve months. They would then transfer back home, for a job at their new grade.
    I now work in the public transport sector. That blinkered, bigoted, anti-rational attitude from someone at the DfT does not surprise me in the least.


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