I’d completely missed the fact that transport minister Lord Adonis, on his recent fact-finding trip round the UK rail network, had written a ‘blog’ of sorts for The Times’s website. Helpfully, the Department for Transport has reproduced the articles in full, albeit shoe-horned into the Speeches section.
It’s well-written, down to earth… everything a blog should be, to be honest. His week-long mission was ‘to experience rail travel from the perspective of an ordinary fare paying passenger’, and judging by his writing at least, he’s done a reasonable job of it. As a regular rail traveller myself, a lot of the anecdotes ring all too true. It’s really, really good stuff – and you’re left with the image of a Minister who now knows, if he didn’t before, what it’s really like out there.
And then you get to the conclusion of his final piece:
I’m told blogging can become an addiction; one it’s probably best for me not to acquire while in government, so it’s now goodbye from me.
‘Best not to while in government’? – and there, of course, is the irony of it all. I can’t help thinking back to the recent Hansard Society event on MPs’ blogging, at which Tom Harris wasn’t shy about his (supposed) sacking from Ministerial office due to his blogging. And which specific Ministerial position did he get sacked from?
Oh that’s right. Railways minister. Ouch.