What to expect: a first-hand account.
My 'Fit for London' experience began with a long and bewildering walk through the vast emporium of consumerism that is Westfield shopping centre.Amidst such displays of wealth and technology one feels truly insignificant, a feeling that is also on the rise amongst the workforce of London Underground with fewer colleagues around, increasing reliance on technology and more lone working.
The bus tour around the Olympic Park revealed more architecture on an impressively inhuman scale, but at least I got to see the place (no plans to go back!).After refreshments we were herded into the main show to listen to messrs. Collins and Brown outline their vision of the future (we've got to embrace change or else!) and their vision of the present (We've got to do better in persuading people to accept change!).
A question and answer gave the assembled workers a chance to let off steam and the bosses were left in no doubt what people thought of the staff reductions in ticket offices and on stations generally.Objections to driverless trains were met with the assurance that "anyone currently driving a train will be able to do so for the rest of their career on London Underground",a classic divide and rule tactic of old versus young as used in the public sector pension row where older workers are being assured that "anyone within 10 years of retirement will enjoy the current level of pension provision".
I managed to get in a question about bringing services back in-house, which policy Mike Brown declared himself wholly enthusiastic about.Unfortunately the microphone was then spirited away and I had to shout my suggestions (the main one being station and depot cleaning services to be taken out of the hands of the profiteers).