Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hammond Must Go!

From BBC News:

North-west England travel warning after heavy snowfall

Hundreds of vehicles spent the night stranded on the M6 after a lorry jack-knifed in the snowy conditions.

Ambulance bosses warned of delays reaching patients in some areas, while transport operators said there was severe disruption to services.

Liverpool's Premier League match against Fulham and Wigan versus Aston Villa are both called off.

Up to 10in of snow fell in parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside on Friday night.

It caused widespread disruption on the roads and the M6 crash happened at about 0030 GMT, leading to tailbacks and stranded vehicles on the M61, M62 and M58.

Both Heathrow and Gatwick are shut too. Since snow was forecast, there's really only one honourable route for the transport minister to take. Following the inevitable tabloid hounding, and with BBC North West presenters baying for blood at the head of the charge, Phillip Hammond must surely do the decent thing and resign immediately.

What? Hammond's a Tory Minister and this happened in England, you say? And the BBC has done its job of reporting the facts without the greetin-faced editorialising we normally expect from the Scottish outpost? Oh, that's all right, then. As you were...


Doug Daniel said...

I'm quite confident we'll see Hammond being hounded by the full weight of the BBC to resign because he can't control the weather. Really.

Actually, I did wonder throughout the BBC Scotland attacks on Stevenson if I wasn't guilty of looking at things from an SNP supporter bias when I thought they were making a big deal over the weather. I'm pleased to say I felt no urge to see Hammond go when I read this, thus proving I wasn't being biased after all. So no chance of me getting a job in Pacific Quay, then.

David Farrer said...


Richard Thomson said...


Allan said...

Hmmm... I see what you are doing, and give the weather tiem and Hammond might be under pressure to resign.

But the reason Stevenson should have gone was his insistance that the bad weather was unforecast and that the snow caught everyone by surprise, when weather warnings were being broadcast the previous evening.

Richard Thomson said...

"But the reason Stevenson should have gone was his insistance that the bad weather was unforecast "

Allan - that's a common view, but it's wrong. Stevenson did not say that snow wasn't forecast - he said that more fell than was forecast, which is unarguable.

The forecast as early as Monday morning was for 5 cm for low lying areas and 10cm in higher areas. What actually happened was that Glasgow got 5cm, Edinburgh got 9cm and parts of North Lanarkshire got 10-15 cm.

If you don't believe me, have a wee listen to this montage:

For the record, I don't think Hammond should go unless his response can be shown to have been deficient. What's revealing is the contrasting treatment he's received to date from the BBC.

Allan said...

I think you will find that he did say that the snow was unforecast - on Newsnicht Scotland on the monday night...

Richard Thomson said...


At the start of the Newsnight interview, he said:

"We've had a tough, tough day on Scotland's road network. We saw an unexpectedly high snowfall, much wider spread than forecast."

How does that square with the claim that he tried to argue that the forecast was not for snow?