Re: Dumb drivers
"I'm sure at least I would spell the form correctly which probably beats most of the incumbents."
I don't think they need to you write the form for them. I'm pretty sure they have one all ready-prepared for candidates to fill out.
As for the union arrangement, well there is an agreement that driver vacancies are offered internally first, yes. There are basically three manual labour "camps" on the Tube; stations, trains and depots. Most stations are RMT, most drivers are ASLEF and depots are a mix of RMT, Unison etc. So there's no one union that is set to gain by internal transfer priority arrangements, is there?!
So why would unions and TfL agree to recruit drivers internally first? Well, firstly stations and depots are all certified with the basic competencies mandated by law for working on the railway - track walking, evacuation, platform operations etc. That's 12 weeks worth of training and testing required there already. The re-evaluation process is much quicker than the full training, so basically it shortens the time you are paying a driver not train instead of drive. Secondly, this training process is quite arduous and the drop out rate is quite high, even higher amongst non-railway-exposed trainees. Dropouts waste money.
Secondly, it allows a staged recruitment into driving. Want to be a driver? Best bet is to get into stations or depots first. Get to know people, find out what the job is really about. It's not a bar on the general public - apply for a CS role first. 6 months in, apply to train operations.
Honestly, there's no telling some people, is there?