Much hilarity in these parts over Andrew Gilligan’s typically fact-free, misquoted and over-the-top attack in the Standard today, which it’s hard not to see as a desperate attempt to reinflate the bendy jihad after its implosion over the past two weeks.  Just a few quick points in case anyone actually reads his articles any more and decided to come here as a result:

  1. the neocon/bendy jihad parallel isn’t my idea, it’s an excellent spot by the Yorkshire Ranter about a month back.  Credit where credit’s due
  2. Mr. Gilligan knows full well who’s behind the Jihad, since he contributed to their pamphlet back in 2005, as we noticed months ago.  Is he claiming that he didn’t notice Policy Exchange was deeply entwined with the right-wing propagandists and neocon bully boys via the likes of Dean Godson?  No wonder he screwed up the biggest story of his career so badly back in 2003.  Could have changed history for the better there, Andy.  Hint: if you want to make a career in journalism, try establishing all the facts instead of just picking out the ones that suit the line you’re pushing.  Then, if you’re lucky enough to get another big story, you might not screw it up quite as badly.

More later.  I’ve offered the Yorkshire Ranter the right of reply here or at his own blog, since it’s really his story.

 

7 Responses to When Gilligans Attack

  1. Mark Lee says:

    I could just about picture Gilligan frothing at the mouth whilst writing that piece. Quite interesting the little factoid that he’s been handed by an aide (sorry, “researched”) regarding route 29, where the artic option was costed higher

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/businessandpartners/buses/tenderresults/route.asp?btID=216

    Even when you look at some other routes, the cost in tender has been higher:

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/businessandpartners/buses/tenderresults/route.asp?btID=55

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/businessandpartners/buses/tenderresults/route.asp?btID=64

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/businessandpartners/buses/tenderresults/route.asp?btID=62

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/businessandpartners/buses/tenderresults/route.asp?btID=233

    …in fact, I couldn’t find a tender where both artic and double decker options were presented that artics were cheaper. However often the final contract value (for artics) was cheaper than both the price quoted in the tender for either artics or double deckers.

    Now I’m trying to figure out why that’s the case, as LTW’s figures did seem to stack up.

    Was the additional quoted cost due to new fleets being acquired for artics, versus old vehicles being used for doubles? Was it due to over-specification of service frequencies on artics? Was it due to depot enhancement and initial driver / engineer training costs? Or was it simple over-pricing of these options, as the bus operators knew artics were what TfL wanted?

    I don’t know the answer, but I would really like to know before I start having to acknowledge that Mr. G. has been able to use genuine facts to back up his rabid rants.

  2. Tom says:

    “Quite interesting the little factoid that he’s been handed by an aide (sorry, “researched”) ”

    The price per mile is a slightly more interesting comparison, since we can adjust for service capacity, frequency and bus type and see what we’re actually buying. If you’re playing Gilligan’s game, you can point out that the heritage RM routes 9H and 15H come in at nearly twice the cost per mile of bendies, which is partly the low frequency, partly maintenance costs and mostly conductors. Obviously the bus has less than 70% of the capacity, too. Bendies are slightly more per mile than double deckers, but again there’s the capacity argument. From that it’s pretty obvious that choosing artics is in effect a choice to pay a bit more for a lot more capacity, and Gilligan is defeated.

    Asking TfL what cost per mile per passenger they expect from new RM operated routes should put the cat among the pigeons, because that’s where the inefficiency shows. Thanks for the comment though, it’s prompted me to go get some facts.

  3. Tom says:

    Initial discoveries – some of the early tenders have options for RM and normal DD buses, and the RMs are much higher. In other words, by Gilligan’s own argument, don’t choose RMs. Delicious.

    Oh, and the heritage RM routes 9H and 15H are the most expensive to operate in London, nearly twice a bendy. Remember, those were the two that Boris based his campaign figures on, which again shows how incompetent his team were.

  4. votedforken says:

    Gilligan’s article and his attack on this blog shows – far from his arguments being strong – that he is a bit rattled by all this. To take a swipe at a blog which, let’s be honest, most Standard readers would not have heard of at that point, indicates that the arguments about the weaknesses of Boris Johnson’s policy are getting under his skin. He used to post comments on blogs late at night responding to criticisms of his coverage. Now he’s stopped that but it’s clearly an itch he can’t help scratching, hence his helpful advert for Boriswatch in the paper.

    Gilligan relies on the fact that Johnson made this a manifesto commitment, which he did; but ignores the fact that the policy was an albatross round Johnson’s neck all the way through the campaign, showing that he had no serious grasp of the figures or any understanding of the issues, and allowing Labour to inflict some of its most effective blows against him. Winning the election hasn’t changed the fact that the policy is highly suspect, to put it mildly.

    Gilligan must surely also be aware when he launches into tirades against Johnson’s routemaster critics that some of those who are giving a fair crack of the whip to the arguments against the policy are the paper’s own news reporters. Only last week the Standard’s Pippa Crerar was blogging on the issue: http://crerar.standard.co.uk/2008/10/bendy-arguments.html

    Perhaps Andrew Gilligan’s attack on Boriswatch is an broadside, by proxy, against the paper’s news reporters to stop their longstanding and unhelpfully fair coverage of both sides of the argument.

  5. votedforken says:

    By the way, has anyone tried posting a comment on Gilligan’s thread? Just a thought.

  6. [...] and stupidity, politics, press, special relationships It seems that Andrew Gilligan has been stung by the phrase “Bendy Jihad”. So much so that he has devoted a whole column to moaning about it, or rather to moaning about [...]

  7. [...] The whole frantic tenor of Hilton’s anti-EU conspiracy is pretty much what I was on about here and here, which led to Gilligan’s attack on me in the Standard, which led to [...]

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