Sometimes it’s fake news that causes problems, sometimes it’s lazy journalism and other times it’s people who are either utterly incapable of reading and understanding factual material or who twist it to suit their own ends.
The latest storm in a teacup over Hs2 has elements of all this. Here’s the straight story as reported by Rail Technology Magazine.
“The former boss of Carillion’s UK infrastructure business is set to take over Balfour Beatty Vinci to lead its HS2 joint venture.” His name is Mark Davies, which is pretty easy to remember. He’s had a 30 plus year career in the Civils industry and joined Carillion after its acquisition of Alfred McAlpine in 2004. His correct title was Managing Director – Carillion Infrastructure, one of the divisions of the company.
As Carillion imploded in spectacular and controversial fashion, Mr Davies has obviously had some time on his hands, leading him to being recruited by the Joint Venture.
This is where the fun starts. In a combination of lazy journalism, mischief making and downright lies, Mr Davies has been spun as the ‘boss’ of Carillion, taking over at Hs2 itself. It’s complete tosh of course, but those who’re opposed to Hs2 are spinning like tops to make out this is the case. There’s a couple of rather major flaws with their story. Mr Davies was never the ‘boss’ of Carillion. He was never even on the Board of Directors!
The ‘boss’ (or bosses to be more precise) of Carillion when it collapsed were the chairman, Philip Green, along with Keith Cochrane who became its Interim Chief Executive on the 10th July 2017, a position he retained until the company went into liquidation in January 2018.
Whilst the Chairman and the Board of Directors have been quizzed by Parliamentary Committees and been criticised for their actions. I’ve not seen anything to suggest Mr Davies has been accused of anything. Not that this has stopped Hs2 antis trying to smear by association – as usual!
As for the ludicrous claims that he’s been made ‘boss’ of Hs2 – I despair! He’s the MD of a joint venture that’s won an HS2 construction contract, nothing more, nothing less.
Still, facts eh?