COLUMN: It’s about time working people were honoured says Westwell of Ely
- Credit: Archant
It is time the honours list was overhauled.
If only real people working at the ground level, helping real citizens get a better life, could be the people who were given the honours.
Instead, while many well-meaning people on the list deserve a pat on the back, there are many more who have already received plenty of praise and fame - not to mention huge salaries that make life sweet. That should be enough.
I do not know if you have tried to catch a train recently, but thinking back over the year, I do not remember a single journey when there was not a problem. Yes, there are lovely new seats – but ones that are deliberately too small so that even a medium-sized person has to squeeze in and when an oversized person has to sit beside them, there is no chance of a comfortable journey. The 110 per cent of people squashing into carriages at peak hour give a very good impression of a third-world service.
Windows that crash open and cannot be contained, smelly toilets more often than not out of use, filthy tables that should have the food safety powers-that-be up in arms, trains that are delayed, or cancelled, drivers who don’t turn up and points systems that keep breaking down seem to be the order of the day.
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So why honour the chap in charge of Network Rail, largely responsible for failing to solve many of these problems?
Why give Mark Carne a CBE? CBE, I’m informed, is an award of ‘Commander of most Excellent Order of the British Empire’. One could mutter most excellent ‘disorder’ in this case.
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To say it is unfortunate timing is not good enough. Any timing would be unfortunate. There is hardly a headline about Network Rail that does not contain the word ‘chaos’.
I note that the CBE is only awarded to someone already in a prominent position.
There are plenty of people in a prominent position who keep their heads down, do a decent job and actually run organisations really successfully with plenty of hands-on experience.
Most of us do not know the names of these people because they work hard, and rarely seek publicity.
In fact, the ones that I can think of are so unassuming that they would rather not be included in this list. They would rather just get on with the job.