Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 July 2014

Labour rejects rail renationalisation

RMT lobby against privatisation on the railways, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT lobby against privatisation on the railways, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Ted Woodley, Rail worker and RMT member

Back in April, Ed Miliband hinted that Labour would consider renationalising the railways. However, that idea has come to nothing as the Labour Party has indicated it will not commit to renationalisation if it takes power in 2015.

This should come as no surprise as Miliband and Ed Balls' pro-business party has also refused to renationalise Royal Mail which was flogged off cheap by the Tories last year. They have ignored the votes at the 2013 Labour conference for renationalisation of both the railways and postal service.

Labour Leaders have stuck the boot into the millions of trade unionists who pay millions of pounds into Labour's coffers. They've eliminated the miniscule influence union members still had on party decisions, and called in the police when Falkirk activists attempted to exercise their right to select parliamentary candidates.

Public ownership

RMT, the transport workers' union, argues that a simple way to bring the railway back into public ownership would be to renationalise each franchise as it comes to the end of its term, saving additional millions of pounds by avoiding the costly bidding process.

Under public ownership any profits could be reinvested in improving the service rather than lining the profits of shareholders. In some cases, where franchises are owned by foreign state railway companies, UK profits are used to subsidise passenger fares on the state railways of other countries!

But the RMT's proposal is too radical an idea for 'Tory Lite' Labour. The party proposes allowing the public sector to 'bid' for franchises (it costs around 5 million simply to put a bid together) alongside bids from the parasitic private transport companies, potentially resulting in a continuation of the privatised mess we are in at the moment and more wasted money.

Unlike our sister unions in the railway industry, RMT recognises that for this and so many other reasons the Labour Party is now a dead end for workers who urgently need a party of their own.

RMT members, especially the late Bob Crow, were instrumental in setting up the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to stand candidates in local and parliamentary elections on a pro-worker and socialist programme.

At our recent annual general meeting RMT reaffirmed its support for TUSC and finally amended the rulebook removing the automatic support for Labour candidates in elections.

Labour supporters have tried to justify backing their rotten sinking ship of a party by saying we need to drive out the Tories.

Waste of time

But while big majorities of the population enthusiastically support ideas such as renationalisation of the railways and energy companies, no mainstream political party offers this.

Labour does however promise a continuation of austerity and vicious cuts for the foreseeable future.

Labour backers in the trade unions are wasting their time and should help us to build TUSC as a genuine working class political alternative so workers are able to fight the bosses politically as well as industrially.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 9 July 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Super-rich flash cash at Tory bash

After 10 July - build workers' movement

NSSN - Organising the resistance

Junk Juncker, Cameron and the anti-worker EU

New Tory attacks on trade union strikes

Super-rich Tory MP profits from evictions

Coulson faces prosecution over Tommy Sheridan

Emergency: Con-Dems don't care

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu government fuels protests

Socialist Party workplace news

Unite conference reflects growth of socialist ideas

Argos workers strike for work-life balance

Locked-out pathology staff "cannot give in"

NSSN supporters back striking Tyneside Safety Glass workers

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS: No to cuts!

Help fund the fight against the 1%

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Reading the revolution

Exposing Ukip's lies in Bracknell

Readers' comments

Fracking: short-term profit before safety

Labour rejects rail renationalisation

Robert Service's historical prejudice on Liverpool

Britain's non-investing, cheap wage bosses


Home   |   The Socialist 9 July 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

triangleSocialist Inbox

triangleCancel the franchise, not our trains


triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

triangleCouncil finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!

triangleFurlough: We are not 'all in the same boat'


triangleFight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleNew twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

Public ownership:

triangleCapitalism causes crisis profiteering: fight for workers' oversight and public ownership

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Football in the time of coronavirus - reclaim our game!



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters


Labour Party

Socialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience



Going viral - Socialist comments and letters



Obituary: Rob Crabb



Going viral: letters to the editors


Upton Sinclair

The Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions



Going Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis



TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters



Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis


Socialist Party

Labour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on



Going viral

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020