Anorak News | Back On Track

Back On Track

by | 22nd, September 2004

‘THE state of our rail service would appear, at first glance, to have little to do with footballer Rio Ferdinand.

Those were the days…

But there is a common theme.

While serving his band for forgetting to attend a routine drugs test, Ferdinand became the best player in the world.

With him in the Manchester United team, the lads would have won the Premiership and the European Cup, would never have let in a single goal and would have captured the hearts and minds of anyone who saw them play.

Likewise British Rail, which, had it not been for privatisation, would have now been a world-beater.

Trains would have run on time. Staff would have been courteous and well-trained. Even the onboard sandwiches would have had straight edges and contained things identifiable as real food.

Mindful of this, the Telegraph reports that the rail union TSSA plans to make British Rail a thing not of the past but of the future.

At next week’s Labour Party conference, the union, backed by three big unions (the Transport and General Workers’ Union, the GMB and Unison), will put forward a proposal to renationalise the railways.

The union leaders are said by the paper to be confident the motion will be passed by a vote, which will mean it will have to be placed in official Labour policy documents.

‘There is no way they can wiggle out of this,’ a senior union type tells the paper. ‘If it is passed, there is nothing the leadership can do to stop it becoming policy.’

The plan is then for the unions to exert heavy pressure on the party to include the plans for renationalisation in the manifesto for the next general election.

Clearly, the Tory-supporting Telegraph believes this to be a problem and, most likely, a vote loser for Labour.

But people have short memories – their lenses are thick and of a rosy hue.

Tell the electorate the new British Rail, UK Online, UKLoco or whatever it’s called will be a wonder to behold and make train travel a pain-free, inexpensive joy and they might well believe it.

After that, we can bring back rationing, general strikes and the three-day week…’

Posted: 22nd, September 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink