Judging from your reporting of Alistair Darling's view of the multi-modal studies output so far (NCE 7th Nov), it would seem that he has either:
a) a disconcerting innocence about transport planning; or b) panicked that budgets would not be spent; or c) decided to blame others for the failings of central government.
Whereas (b) and (c) are actions that are conventionally associated with professional politicians, (a) gives great cause for concern. It implies that we who are engaged in transport planning have failed by our inability to explain the complexity of our subject.
I wonder to what degree (a) has contributed to the expressed opinion.
Peter Wiltshire (M), member of the ICE Transport Board and observer on the Transport Planning Society Committee, 50 Church Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AZ.