Daily Archives: August 6, 2010

Jim Pickard

It’s not clear when he will do so but the prime minister has promised to make an “early visit” to Pakistan, according to the joint statement from Zardari and Cameron today.

There is also a key line about the “sacrifices” made by Pakistani security forces in fighting violent extremism – which is presumably an attempt to defuse Cameron’s comments last week. (He had said, while in India, that Pakistan should not ‘look both ways’ on terror).

The Prime Minister recognised the sacrifices made by Pakistan’s military, civil law enforcement agencies and people in fighting violent extremism and militancy and appreciated the efforts of the democratic government. Both leaders appreciated the close co-operation that already exists between respective police forces and other security agencies.

 

Jim Pickard

The TSSA rail union has been pushing for months if not years to find out more about what is has described as a the “James Bond lifestyle” of Network Rail’s outgoing chief executive, Iain Coucher – who is this year receiving bonuses of £641,349 on top of a salary of £600,000.

The union has also sought to publicise unproven allegations about harassment by another director of Network Rail which have been aired in the House of Commons but denied by the quasi-public company.

Proving or disproving some of these stories is not easy, a situation made even more difficult by the bizarre way in which Network Rail is immune from freedom of information requests. Philip Hammond, transport secretary, has told me that he is considering ending this immunity – a move which would no doubt be welcomed by his junior transport minister Norman Baker, himself an foi champion while in opposition.

The latest development is that Rick Haythornthwaite, chairman of Network Rail, has written to 100 public members saying he will investigate some of the latest allegations, this time in Private Eye. 

Jim Pickard

Employers group calls for ban on strikes in vital public services – Sky
Unison up in arms about “privatisation” within the NHS - Guardian
Taxpayer to make a profit from insuring RBS against catastrophe – Robert Peston, BBC
More BSF schools to be axed – Paul Waugh