Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/997/27428

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 May 2018

Welsh Labour reprivatises rail lines: reverse Tory sell-offs!

Nationalise public transport under democratic workers' control and management, photo Paul Mattsson

Nationalise public transport under democratic workers' control and management, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

The Welsh government has announced, with great fanfare, handing the new 5 billion Wales and Borders rail franchise to multinational corporation KeolisAmey. Not only has it reprivatised the operating franchise - it has handed over the tracks and stations too.

Under the current franchise, Arriva Trains has been running the Welsh rail system into the ground. With powers over rail transferred from Westminster to the Welsh government, here was an opportunity for Welsh Labour to carry out Jeremy Corbyn's policy of bringing the trains back into public ownership and starting to provide a decent service to long-suffering, overpaying customers.

But yet again the Welsh government has taken the Blairite road of Tory privatisation.

Welsh Labour could have set up a public company to operate the trains. In fact, the Welsh government claims reprivatising the franchise was not its preferred option, and argues it does not have the power to effectively nationalise the 15-year franchise.

But the whole process has been shrouded in secrecy. The legal powers available to the Welsh government are unclear.

And if the Tories had dared to intervene to try and stop them, Welsh Labour would have been able to call on the mass support of working class people, who, if given a lead, could move into decisive action against the Tories and in support of nationalisation.

Instead, the Welsh government has handed the lot over to KeolisAmey - train operations, tracks and stations.

On the basis of building a campaign with the unions, the weak Westminster government could be overcome. What is lacking is not the powers, but the political will to fight for publicly owned public transport.

Many rail workers and passengers are asking: if the Tory government in England has been forced to bring the East Coast Main Line service back under public control, why could the Welsh Labour government not do the same?

The details of the deal have not been released yet. So rail workers and users do not know what kind of service and level of job security there is.

But unlike Labour authorities in England who have not supported keeping guards on the train, the Welsh government has promised to retain them. Mick Cash, general secretary of transport union RMT, has welcomed this. But if some of the trains are replaced by trams, will guards be retained on those routes?

Wales's underfunded transport infrastructure is creaking. The new franchise is charged with delivering the new South Wales metro system, integrating rail, bus and tram services to alleviate the transport mess that has developed.

But that has been used as the pretext to privatise the tracks and stations currently publicly owned by Network Rail.

Rail unions have been fighting the attempts of the Tories to hand over tracks and stations to their private corporate friends - but Welsh Labour is carrying out the Tories' policy for them.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 30 May 2018:


Donald Trump

Stop war, fight Trump, walk out on 13 July

United working class movements can defeat Trump


Irish abortion referendum

Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

Historic victory won by grassroots movement


Opinion

Sting's shipbuilders showcase class pride and change from below

Aberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party news and analysis

Johnson and Rees-Mogg widen Tory Brexit splits

Welsh Labour reprivatises rail lines: reverse Tory sell-offs!

Toxic air hits schools as EU ponders slap on wrist years late

England facing water shortage due to underinvestment

Them & Us


PCS conference

PCS conference 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery


Workplace news and analysis

UCU conference: Members are organising and winning - build the union, build the struggles!

900-strong north west NHS strike

Unison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Wales TUC 2018: Socialist Party members challenge leadership at undemocratic conference

Springfield school strike in Birmingham against job cuts and workload

Broad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary


Nationalisation

Socialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Action demanded from new council

Hands off Teignmouth Hospital!

Socialist Party members inspired by revolutionary events

Police shootings in Tamil Nadu condemned

Leicester plans sales boost of 1,000th edition of the Socialist


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 May 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Wales:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Should Wales be independent?

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Should Wales be independent?

triangleLocal, Wales and mayoral elections

triangleProtesting in Cardiff following the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, photo by Cardiff SP

triangleSE Wales Socialist Party: Britain in 2021 - what lies ahead?

Rail:

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

Labour:

triangleTUSC to hold local elections conference in February

Welsh Government:

triangleWelsh schools close for safety after union pressure

Transport:

triangleRMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy

Trains:

triangleDefend the right to strike! Southampton solidarity meeting

RMT:

triangleRMT gen sec election - vote for Steve Hedley

South Wales:

triangleFree Siyanda Mngaza

Public transport:

triangleOnline rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!

Nationalise:

triangleArcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

Nationalisation:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The case for nationalisation

Privatisation:

triangleProtect lives and livelihoods, fight to defend the NHS

Public ownership:

triangleProtect the NHS - Funding, Pay, PPE, Public ownership

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

18/1/21

Britain

Latest Socialism podcast: The outlook for class struggle in 2021

13/1/21

Economy

Global capitalism at most dangerous conjuncture since the 1930s

13/1/21

Vaccine

Fully resource the vaccination programme now

13/1/21

Vaccine

Covid vaccine nationalism threatens pandemic response

13/1/21

Lockdown

Our health and livelihoods before their profits

13/1/21

Pay

Bosses earn workers' annual wage in three days

11/1/21

Unison

Unison get sec election shows left can win NEC

8/1/21

US

Judge rules against Julian Assange's extradition but refuses bail

6/1/21

School

Workers' action wins Tory U-turn on school safety

6/1/21

Universities

Refund the rent, cancel the fees, for fully funded, publicly owned education

6/1/21

NHS

Protect the NHS - Funding, Pay, PPE, Public ownership

6/1/21

Children

UNICEF feeds children in the UK for the first time

5/1/21

Workers

3 lockdowns, 20+ U-turns ... We can't trust the Tories

2/1/21

Schools

Organise a mass refusal to attend unsafe schools on Monday

30/12/20

Capitalism

2020 - a year which drove home the catastrophic failures of capitalism

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: [email protected]

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: 075 4018 9052

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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999