What I find interesting in your reply is that it is light on the facts. As I understand it - this can be substantiated - the facts are that the maintenance costs on the London Underground are lower, although the service has similar levels of availability to that in New York; that the failure rates of the stock in New York are slightly higher than in London; that the percentage of trains running on time in London is on average about 94% - which I agree is unacceptable, but in New York it is about 92%; that the productivity of labour on the New York subway is considerably lower than in London - obviously there are issues about wage rates there, although that is not at present such an issue with our Underground system as it is with the buses; and that the operating costs of the Underground are about 25% lower than in New York. Yet, at the end of this, the number of fatalities caused by accidents in London is roughly half the number in New York.
You talk of this golden age, but when we visited New York recently, we were told that, before the modernisation, about 16,000 people slept on the subway each night, and now it is down to 900; so there is a relative improvement there. But I put it to you that the golden age you talk about is not quite as glorious as you suggest, and that the apocalyptic state of the Tube is not quite as apocalyptic as you suggest.
You said in the Telegraph recently that the Underground is "disgusting". I put it to you that Londoners do not find their Underground service disgusting, Ken.