The Socialist

The Socialist 30 May 2018

Stop war, fight trump, walk out Friday 13 July

The Socialist issue 997

Stop war, fight Trump, walk out on 13 July

United working class movements can defeat Trump


Landslide vote to repeal Ireland's abortion laws

Historic victory won by grassroots movement


Sting's shipbuilders showcase class pride and change from below

Aberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

The Socialist Inbox


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 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery


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


Socialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it


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

 
 
 
 
 

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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.


In this issue


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


 

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