Since privatisation of the buses and railways, the servvices they provide are wholefully poor. When it once took a bus from Benchill, Wythenshawe to Manchester City Centre, twenty minutes. It now takes an hour and the service has been reduced to a half-hourly service during the day, from a three-hourly service. And there used to be an additional limited service during peak-hours, which took 10 minutes.
Then we have the railways, who terminate trains, if they are running late. It has happened on several occasions, when a train has by=passed Sheffield. And when it arrived in Manchester Piccadilly, passengers for Liverpool are informed, the train will terminate at Manchester Oxford Road. Is it any wonder, our streets are congested with private motor vehicles and air pollution killing people. Private compaanies running public transport, does not work for the public good. The East Coast Mainline Railway was a prime example. Where a failing private company lost its franchise and the line was run under public ownership. It was a successful and ‘profitable’ business, an example on how to run a public transport business. Blair promised to re-nationalise the railways when he got into power, but never did. It was one of his many failings and yet the media, think the man is some sort of hero? Unfortunately, with the undemocratic electoral system we have in the UK, I doubt we will have any real change.
The latest explosion of ridicule and indignation finds its target in Jeremy Corbyn daring to speak about ‘public ownership of some necessary things‘. Media is abuzz with ideologues, lexical hair-splitters and supercilious interpreters making great effort to draw attention away from any constructive debate. If public ownership of natural monopolies had been advocated as a vehicle of Cameron’s Big Society I wonder whether the response would be this inane.
Clause Four! Clause Four! Oh, my good gods but the hysteria and vitriol, from both political wings, is woeful and tedious in its predictability. The capacity to focus in on the least relevant aspect of a message is remarkable. Clause IV (commitment to the “common ownership of the means of production”), re-nationalisation, pre-distribution, mutualism, socialism… Really, I don’t give a rat’s arse for the semantic games and the expedient framing they afford. The concept matters more than a loaded label…
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