Now that Christmas has finally arrived it is time to lighten up a bit. We could have provided something related to a pantomime but between the IEP and their process for franchising the West Coast Main Line, we feel the DfT have rather monopolised the art form this year.
Instead we thought we would provide you with a transport themed update of The Lord High Executioner’s song from the Mikado called “I’ve Got A Little List”. In case you are not familiar with the work, this is a song that traditionally gets updated with contemporary lyrics about people society could do without. We have provided our own little list with a transport theme.
Unfortunately, due to an administrative oversight, this year’s London Reconnections’ business plan failed to include provision for hiring out the D’Oyly Carte Operatic Company for a recording session. We will therefore rely on the reader’s imagination to put the words to the song. To help we have embedded a link to what is probably the definitive modern version of the song as sung by Eric Idle.
And here an even more modern version as performed by Opera Australia.
In addition to our musical theatrics below, this seems to be the appropriate place to highlight that we were delighted to be asked to take part in London Underground: Past, Present and Future, a panel discussion at the London Transport Museum on the 10th of January, put on as part of the events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Underground.
Those confused as to why a welsh rugby legend seems to be there representing LR should fear not – that is merely our editor John Bull shedding his pseudonym for the occasion. His more famous namesake is no doubt an impressive public speaker, but would probably struggle with giving a fifteen minute talk on the history and impact of Johnston Sans, and with arguing the case for the construction of Crossrail 2.
Tickets, as always, are available from the museum.
And now, without further ado, our song.
A Merry Christmas to you all!
Our website, it has postings and a viewpoint can be found.
I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list.
On Tramlink and the buses and the London Underground
and what has gone amiss – and what has gone amiss!
There’s buses with conductors who can’t collect the fares,
Boris wants them back again but no-one really cares,
Cable cars for tourists to be run by TfL
starting near the O2, ending not so near Excel.
And policies that pander to the London motorist.
They’d none of them be missed – they’d none of them be missed.
He’s got ‘em on the list – he’s got ‘em on the list;
And they’ll none of ‘em be missed – they’ll none of them be missed.
Crossrail trains to Paddington that then will turn around
And the consequence of this. I’ve got that on the list!
To go no further westwards ‘though alternate routes abound.
The absurdity of this. Alternatives exist!
Then Maidenhead’s a terminus with Reading down the line.
Network Rail says its daft but others say its fine.
And why end up at Abbey Wood? What’s the point of that?
“It makes it all affordable as our spending limit’s capped.”
Savings then are needed so the project can exist.
Opportunities are missed – I am sure they have been missed!
Opportunities are missed – Opportunities are missed
I sure that they’ve been missed – I sure that they’ve been missed.
And that Goblin issue fracas that just will not go away.
The squabble about this – I’ve got that on the list.
The government is adamant that TfL must pay.
That act is so remiss. I wish they would desist.
And a lack of a freight strategy of a comprehensive kind.
One that addressed capacity is what we had in mind.
And solving real problems in a proper thoughtful way
Though how to find the answers is hard for us to say.
So we cannot solve the problem but we add it to the list.
For these problems won’t be missed – they’d none of ‘em be missed.
You may put ‘em on the list – you may put ‘em on the list;
And they’ll none of ‘em be missed – they’ll none of them be missed!
If you think you can add or improve on this then include your line, rhyming couplet or verse in the comments and we may update the post as we see fit.