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Safe cess or easy street?

A well known regional winner of the ‘blow your own vuvuzela’ award - the art of making an irritating noise which benefits no-one but the blower’s own ego - went on to become a big boss in industry. On his way up the ladder he appeared as a regular on Question Time, with an expression on his face like he was thawing out a bag of frozen peas between his thighs, and eventually became an MP. He stepped down at the last election after making his fortune from expenses, pocketing a ‘retirement’ payment at the taxpayer’s expense. You know the story.

You can’t complain if you install a trough and then pigs rush to push their snouts in it - that’s what troughs are for after all. Golden handshakes, golden hellos, golden goodbyes, banking bailouts and huge bonuses for those already on massively inflated salaries - that’s the culture in 21st century Britain. So while long-serving redundant Jarvis staff face a 10% reduction in their pensions, everything is rosy for some. For the rest it’s cuts and the dole.
Network Rail's Directors receive news of their bonuses.
Photo: Blogee

Just what did Network Rail’s Directors do to deserve their eye-watering bonuses? Could it be the invention of dark gravy paint? This has proven so popular within the UK rail industry that Dulux wants to add Network Rail ‘Corporate Gravy’ to its range, believing it will be a big seller and may become next season’s ‘in’ colour.

It may be ‘not for profit’ but that isn’t a restriction its Chief Executive is beholden to. He is the one member of the team with his very own ‘position of safety’ - a very nice Scottish estate, rumoured to be painted a very dull shade of gravy, and that is where Mr Coucher - with £641,349 in the bank from this year’s bonus - will scuttle away to.

His is most certainly not a dangerous position to be in. Earning vast sums of money for presiding over an organisation with crippling debts and boundless arrogance, he has done nothing for those who work on track except erode their working conditions, hang the threat of redundancy over them, and stand back while they slip, trip and fall along the lineside or four-foot to get to their worksite. So much for Network Rail’s duty of care - the Coucher years has seen no improvements to their position of safety.
So much for Network Rail’s duty of care - the Coucher years has seen no improvements to their position of safety.

The company’s management is responsible for ensuring that passengers’ journeys will be completed safely and on time, yet the only service he really seemed bothered about was the gravy train carrying his Board of Directors - he successfully made sure that was fully loaded.

Story added 1st July 2010

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