Via Nicmoc et al. Enquiring minds want to know the scoop on our new PM's train driving abilities.

Imagine you are a passenger on a Train a Grande Vitesse hurtling somewhere through the European countryside. Now imagine you have just found out that the driver is one Stanislav Gross. If you read stories like this one you will be reassured that he is referred to as a "former high speed train driver".

If, like Nicmoc, you happen to know that "fast train" is a slightly optimistic translation of the term rychlík, you will be less comfortable. And you will want to get off if, like me, you have just heard somebody say, "that's nonsense - everybody knows he was only a výhybkář, the guy that just pushes a button to change the tracks when a train goes through his station."

The Prague Post says he was a mechanic and driver at the Vršovice station on the outskirts of Prague. The government webpage on "JUDr." Stanislav Gross claims only a little work experience as an electro-mechanic at Vršovice. The truth will probably turn out to be that he just occasionally passed by the Vršovice station on his way to meetings of the Young Social Democrats whom he was leading in those days.

Steve | 12:24 |