I am sure many readers will have picked up on Chris Grayling’s recent gaff about cyclists. As many will know, he’s our the Secretary of State for Transport as well as the MP for those unfortunate folk in his Surrey constituency. He’s also referred to as Failing Grayling and that, I believe, is what he is about.
The actual cycling story broke when Grayling said [London] cycle lanes cause too much of a problem for road users. When challenged about this (as cyclists are road users themselves) he apparently referred to cyclists as users of the cycle lanes and went onto say “And there’s a road alongside – motorists are the road users, the users of the roads. It’s fairly straightforward, to be honest.”
Naturally this confirms Grayling’s lack of commitment to the cause of cycling as he has done little to support the cause. Meanwhile investment in roads and other transportation such as HS2 rockets ahead.
It is not just because of his gaff towards cyclists that I believe he should go, but instead his previous form.
A few years back he was in charge of the Department of Work & Pensions. He spent millions on the Work Programme by bringing in private companies and the like to lower the number of unemployed folk in the dole queue. It was the National Audit folk who pointed out that virtually all of those “helped” unemployed people would have found employment themselves.
I met Grayling when he was in charge of Justice, in fact he came to our office one day and I was in the line up to shake hands, take a few photographs and publish a few words (and avoid any spin!). Quite frankly, he has torn the Probation profession apart and has brought about a privatisation programme which has simply gone too far, corners are being cut, prison suicides are rocketing and he’s legged it into Transport.
Grayling had been shuffled into the Ministry of Justice in response to the tensions between No.10 and the previous Justice Secretary Ken Clarke. Clarke is a decent chap; while I don’t agree with him on everything, he was very sincere, measured and forward thinking with Justice.
So that is why I believe why Grayling must be sacked. He’s too ambitious, a liability and seems to be down grading the longer term investment in cycling infrastructure. In fact, he shouldn’t have been there in the first place.