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London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 9th September 2008

London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 9th September 2008

Good afternoon.

Jack Welch, who used to run General Electric, once one of the biggest and still one of the most profitable companies in the world, believed all organisations should "churn" 10% if its workforce every year: 10% out, a new 10% in. Middle and senior managers would occasionally show up on a Monday only to find that their name plaque had been taken off their door and someone else's put in it's place: they had "gone". It was brutal but it was efficient.

What is not efficient is to decide that one of your most senior people, who happens to be locked in an employment row with you, has to be suspended only for that decision to be announced by someone else before you've got your two-penneth in. We even got it on the lunchtime edition of London Today - a report on a reaction to something that hadn't yet been formally announced!

You might recover if the body that exists to keep an eye on your manor says it backs your decision: but it can't get much worse if, instead, they have already pre-empted your decision, by 24 hours, with a statement that suggests the grounds for what you have in mind do not even exist...

If you fear you are being followed by a stranger on your way home tonight or if you think someone is trying to break into your home, be warned: the people who are in charge of making you feel safe and keeping you safe are the same people who have done all the above. Glen who, after last night, knows his "a..." from his "elbows" has been trying to fathom what is going on in the shambles that is The Met' vs Tarique Ghaffur.

Oh well, at the end of the day we can all get on our bus or descend to our tube and head home for a warm and reassuring mug of coffee or a chilled shot of 40 degree proof vodka, if we happen to work at the Met. London's celebrated Transport system - efficient, well run and now well funded will take us away from all this.

I'd call a cab if I were you: hot on the heels of the fare rises, due to the little matter of an above ground 80 million pound black hole, along come repair cowboys Tubelines so say they seem to have lost about £1.7 bn (yes that is a 'b' not a 'm') as they went about their subterranean meanderings. Metronet went ages ago and with it even more of your dosh - the whole thing threatens to be heading for hell in a hand-cart, unless the hand-cart is maintained by TfL in which case nothing will be going anywhere at this rate. Phil, a Richmond man who favours taking a boat on the Thames over a bus or a tube anytime, reviews the evidence for the charge that "they couldn't organise an act of collective inebriation in an ale factory".


Which begs the question "Boris". Not a question, as such, but, like the particles the giant European collider will start searching for tomorrow, he is the sort of common, but as yet unproven, thread. Boris, the Higgs bosun of local government, wants to run everything in London. Do today's shambles prove no one person can, or that it is about time someone did? Ben has been gazing at the oracle but as I look at him across the newsroom he still looks more Socrates than Aristotle: but there may be a 'eureka' moment by 6. He continues to phone and talk to all manner of people.

Faye is sporting a silver -grey T-shirt bearing the legend The Rolling Stones across the front. I have noticed nothing else about her sartorial choices today as this is, for me, the zenith , the apogee, nirvana (the meditative objective, not the rock group!) - one of my favourite people adorned with an item of clothing adorned, itself, with the name of the greatest rock and roll band in the world. Should it happen, I will die happy tonight. Hopefully it won't so I'll press on.

If the European collider goes wrong they could create a black hole and then we'll all disappear. It has even been argued in court! Assuming we are still here on Thursday, the property market may have also endured a Big Bang and be back to where it was. I doubt it. The only glimmer of sub-atomic vibrancy is in the buy-to-let market. Louisa takes you to the fifth dimension in which all this will make sense.

Finally an Essex gal who will spend £30,000 to become a Hollywood star, and some young people who have already done that only to sound very strange, according to Salma, in something called "Camp Rock".

All this is beyond me and I remain happier to talk of Police policy and sub-atomic physics, both of which I am a bit of a dab hand at.

I leave Camp Rock and Essex girls to Salma - a first, I suspect, for both of us.

See you at six.

Alastair and Salma