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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dancing with Dogma: Britain's Railway Madness

Rail passengers on Britain's most overcrowded routes face up to two years of cramped conditions because train companies are refusing to order extra carriages unless their contracts are extended, The Times reports.
"There is a weakness in the system because the Government or Network Rail has to pay compensation when it wants to improve the railways. You see the bizarre situation where a train company is compensated when a station is being upgraded even though the work will benefit everybody.” says Anthony Smith of 'Passenger Focus'

The late Sir Ian Gilmour called the privatisation of the railways 'crazy'. He was absolutely right. Craziness and "bizarre situations" are what you get if you allow extremist "free market" think tanks and not common sense, dictate government policy.
If you're reading this in a country which has been sensible enough not to sell off its railways, then do all you can to make sure your government NEVER follows the British example.


Anonymous said...

The mess Britain's railways are in beggars belief. But what is equally amazing is that Britain is exhorting other countries to follow this privatising neoliberal model, as if it is in anyway successful (except for the banks). Remember the French elections?

Derek Wall said...

Hi Neil,

just blogged your comment is free article on Fromm at

Doing my best to create an Erich Fromm Party but I can tell you it is hard work some days!

He was into Zen as well, do you have a take on this