Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/974/26577

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 December 2017

Nationalise rail now

Virgin Trains photo Virgin Trains East Coast/CC

Virgin Trains photo Virgin Trains East Coast/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Cawley, Peterborough Socialist Party

For the third time the government is having to save the East Coast Main Line railway from private sector failure. Virgin Trains will stop running the line three years early, in 2020.

First Sea Containers Ltd, then National Express and now Richard Branson. But last time it was publicly owned, the line returned over 1 billion to the public coffers.

Shares in Stagecoach - which runs the line in partnership with Virgin - jumped 13% when the government made the franchise termination announcement. Future payments due to the government from the private operators will be cancelled.

Their profits don't just come from subsidy payments. Track access fees paid by train operators actually fell between 2004 and 2012, for example.

Transport union RMT is balloting members on the line for strike action over Virgin Trains' attacks on conditions and pay. Meanwhile, rail bosses across the country want to cut costs and increase profits by extending 'driver-only operation' - removing the guards' safety-critical function controlling train doors.

Many of us have witnessed or heard of accidents with doors trapping clothing or bags and trains starting to move off. This happened to my partner a few years back on a local Cambridgeshire train. She was lucky that other passengers shouted too, and the driver then stopped.

And rail fares are set for the biggest hike in five years - an average of 3.4% from 2 January, according to the Rail Delivery Group. This increase is well above most commuters' stagnating wages.

Jeremy Corbyn has promised to bring the railways back into public ownership, which is very good. But passengers and rail workers can't just wait for the private franchises to run out, as Corbyn has floated.

The attacks are happening now. And apart from the possible extension of contracts into the dim and distant future, there's also the possibility that bosses may sell or spirit away assets in preparation.

A commitment to public ownership used to be on every Labour Party membership card, pre-Blair. We need to nationalise the whole rail network as a priority - with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need. This need would not apply to billionaires and big companies, whatever the European Court of Justice might say!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 December 2017:


NHS

Glenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

Tyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise rail now

End Tory war on poor

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers


Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle


What we think

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Labour council Blairites deselected


Socialist Students

Demonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike hits all the right notes

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

The Socialist Inbox


Workplace news and analysis

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

School staff strike against privatisation

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

Arriva bus strikers stand firm


International socialist news and analysis

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 December 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Rail:

triangleInterview with Sean Hoyle - left candidate in RMT general secretary election

triangleThem & Us

triangleSalisbury South Western Rail strikers determined

triangleSouth Western Railway guards to strike again

triangleWelsh train fleet workers' victory

Nationalise:

triangleNationalise to save jobs and protect passengers

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

triangleNationalise the threatened Glasgow 'Caley' railway depot

triangleThem & Us

Trains:

triangleSouth Western Railway guards strike against DOO

triangleWales train fleet workers to strike against transfer to private company

triangleFantastic RMT London Underground victory

Virgin:

triangleSupport RMT strikes against the elimination of guards on trains

triangleGovernment continues to back failed private rail

Government:

triangleCatalonia independence movement two years on

Fares:

triangleYet another wage-busting fare hike? Nationalise rail now!

Transport:

triangleDrivers and passenger assistants employed by Hackney council in the Special Education Needs Service have won a victory - click here for info.

RMT:

triangleVote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Stagecoach:

triangleVictory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

Richard Branson:

triangleTories out - we need socialism!

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

9/10/19

General election

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

9/10/19

Brexit

Brexit theatrics continue

9/10/19

Labour

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

9/10/19

Labour

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week

9/10/19

Domestic violence

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough

9/10/19

Asda

Asda workers protest callous bosses

7/10/19

Tony Mulhearn

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019

2/10/19

Brexit

Is a workers' Brexit deal possible?

2/10/19

Boris Johnson

Them&Us

2/10/19

Northern Ireland

Nationalisation only way to safeguard jobs and skills at Wrightbus

2/10/19

Tories

Battered Boris must go... and all the Tories with him!

30/9/19

Capitalist

Capitalist elite split - fight for a government in the interests of the working class

25/9/19

Thomas Cook

Nationalise to save jobs and protect passengers

25/9/19

Housing

Housing - bold, socialist measures necessary

25/9/19

Education

Labour votes to abolish academies and private schools

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999