Hola. Hope you are well.
It’s not often that I read a book with my pencil out, but that’s what I’ve been doing with Owen Jones’ book ‘The Establishment’. The pencil is to underline the different ways we are getting screwed and [SPOILER ALERT] we are getting properly screwed.
Here’s a passage from the book, I only mention it because it’s topical
According to the Office of Rail Regulation in 2013, when it came to taxpayers’ money the publicly owned East Coast mainline was the most efficient rail company, receiving far less money than any of the UK’s fifteen privately run rail franchises. Just 1% of East Coast’s income was a government subsidy, compared to up to 36 per cent for privately owned companies.
This is what the London Evening Standard said about the same line.
The East Coast mainline has generated £1bn for UK taxpayers since 2009
A couple of weeks ago it was announced that East Coast train line will be taken over by a joint venture between Stage Coach and Virgin Trains, effectively taking money out of public coffers and straight into the pockets of private shareholders. Does this seem sensible?
The government has basically taken something that is working and benefitting the public and putting it in the hands of a system that has consistently proved doesn’t work as well.
Unless of course I’m wrong and we are all happy with the state of the privatised rail network that we have.
Feel free to let me know if you are happy (or not) with your train service, whether that be the prices, the reliability of trains or the overcrowding etc.. You can contact me via the comments button or via twitter @anunknowncomic
At least we can rest easy knowing the Government wouldn’t do this with the NHS.
Til next time, stay safe!