Profile picture
John Bull @garius
, 17 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Okay. This needs a thread. It relies on a mis-understanding of the causes of the issues. BUT ALSO gives a fascinating bit of insight into Grayling himself.

Let's talk about how Grayling's weird obsession with never being wrong is screwing the DfT... #thameslink #rail #london /1
So firstly: the practicalities. This is the thread that triggered this. Read it first: short version is that DfT blew their chance to revoke GTR on performance back in April. By trying to be clever and fucking it up. /2
Now moving on to the "incompetence" charge. The problem is that the premise is flawed. Because it relies entirely on Grayling's insistence that the timetable is the SOLE responsibility of GTR, Network Rail and... well... anyone who isn't him. /3
And here you have to imagine the Jedi ghost of Dr Beeching standing behind Grayling saying:

"Chris, you'll find that many things in life depend on a certain point of view." /4
And this is where Grayling's weird psychology enters the picture - because he CANNOT accept that he's done anything wrong here. It's just not in his makeup. My understanding is that he was exactly like this at Justice too. @BarristerSecret /5
Hence why the incompetence argument is viable in Grayling's head - because the DfT CAN'T be at fault (in any way) from his point of view. Because if they are then so is he.

But the EVIDENCE is firmly that the DfT bear some of the responsibility here. /6
We've written about that a lot. Read it here. But broadly they were involved in the miscasting of numbers, didn't spot issues they should have spotted, and then didn't make a prompt decision when problems appeared. /7…
So in Grayling's head the incompetence charge is fine. The DfT aren't at fault and he "doesn't run the railways" (hence that piece of mental gymnastics).

But Grayling's head isn't the court of law. Law courts like evidence. And a charge of incompetence will take down DfT too /8

(because of course there is. this whole thing is like a fucking clown car) /9
The TIMING of Grayling's incompetence statement was really interesting, because - if you follow rail franchising - you'll have spotted that the DfT seem to be making noises that they WON'T be announcing the SE Franchise award in August. /10
This pricked our ears at @lonrec so we've been digging into why for a little while now. Because - obviously - our working theory was that it was a political thing.

If our sources are correct, however, then we're WRONG.

It's because the DfT screwed up the numbers on THAT too /11
Basically, it seems like one of the bid teams found some MAJOR flaws in the DfT info and modelling. This was provided to all those bidding on which to base their timetables and pricing.

Sound familiar? /12

1) It was caught
2) The last direct award was long enough to cover the resulting delay

The PROBLEM for the DfT (and Grayling) is... /13
...the bid team that caught the problem with the DfT's data (and warned them about it) was...


So, how do you make a 'your guys are shit' charge stick when the SAME people have just STOPPED you REPEATING the Thameslink mistake on SouthEastern? /14
Now as far as we can tell, Govia broke the news to the DfT just before Grayling's weird statement about incompetence. So it came just after another major challenge to his world view. which is... interesting.

Let's call it the 'Curious Incident of the SoS at Bid Time' /15
It's entirely reflective of the underlying issue here though. There are MANY good people, trying to do good work, at the DfT. But they are INCREASINGLY being hampered by a SoS who seems more dedicated to his own sense of self worth than helping them do their jobs properly. /16
Anyway. Hope that helps. You can find our detailed coverage of this whole debacle on our website. Key bits here:

If you like what we do (we're volunteers!) you can find our patreon here: /end
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to John Bull
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!