Thursday, June 14, 2007

London Transport

Alcoholism is no laughing matter, and hard-pressed London commuters can hardly have been amused to find that the man advising Ken Livingstone on transport issues in the capital, had been spending the last three months undergoing treatment for the condition. Now hospitalised in the US, they can only hope that the treatment he prescribed for their rail and bus services works, as does the treatment for his own condition. At present, it does appear that the arrangements were made by a man possibly in a drunken stupor.
On a salary of £2.8 million a year, one can well afford to get sloshed pretty regularly and Mr. Livingstone might take some responsibility for Mr. Kiley's unfortunate condition. The consultant himself admitted that he was highly paid for doing “not much,” no doubt allowing himself ample time to indulge in some heavy drinking while the commuters were struggling to get home. He himself had little distance to travel as his contract also included the use of a £2 million house in Belgravia.
Quite what qualities an ex-CIA operative could bring to a transport problem is a moot point, but you can hardly blame him for not turning the job down. After all, £3200 a day is worth having and you can get a lot of gin and tonic for that and still have the bus fare home to Belgravia.
Mr. Livingstone's spirited defence of his consultant included the rather strange claim that the remark, that he was highly paid for doing not much, was made while he was drunk.
How we all wish we could have such a generous and protective boss.
And the London commuters can rest assured that their consultant, whom they are paying so handsomely by way of their Oyster cards and congestion charges, will still be on the job and looking after their interests, albeit from several thousand miles away.
Mr. Kiley is to be allowed to complete the last nine months of his assignment whilst cosily drying out in the United States.
With the exchange rate at nearly $2 to the pound sterling, £3200 per day equals a lot of Jack Daniels.
Mr. Kiley may still be in trouble, never mind the travellers on the London transport system!

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