Should We Renationalise the Railways?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Brick, Aug 5, 2007.

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  1. Now normally I'm completely against government run industries and think that capitalism is usually the bestway to go, but should we be seriously looking at renationalising the railways? Run it as a proper commercial business that just happens to be owned by the government and I think it could be a very good idea. What do people think about it, anyone have any good arguments for or against it?
     
  2. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Strangely, as a member of the Attila Wing of the Tory Party, I believe that the UK railway system is too important to be handed over to private companies whose prime motive is profit. The Rail network is a National asset, and should be under central control. [I find it hard to believe I'm saying this, but I believe it].

    The biggest problems associated with that are, as we have seen in the past:
    1. Union Control of a National Asset.
    2. An additional fiscal burden on the State.
    3. More Civil Servants.

    BTW, I'd nationalise BT and BA and BAA as well ... along with a few others, and put the objectors and Union leaders against a wall and offer them a "meaningful debate" during their last few minutes. :roll:

    That's enough of me being moderate for today ....
     
  3. The last few years of BR, it was actually turning a profit. Plus the railways actually take more subsidies now than they did pre-1995, partly thanks to the byzantine structure of the privatised network. I'm with blue-sophist: It's good to have commercial competition but some national assets should be under the government's control.
     
  4. Hear Hear!, the railways are too valuable to be run for the whim of shareholders with short term profit in mind.
     
  5. Before we think about nationalising the railways let's look at what they actually contribute to national life. A few questions spring to mind .
    1. How much will it cost to nationalise.?
    2. What percentage of the population actually use them. (When did you last travel by train)?
    3. Is the railway system capable of carrying the amount of freight that is now moved by road?
    4. What is the basis for saying the railways were in profit (How much dedt was written off to give those figures)?
    5.What will be the profit motive to drive the railways? 6. Is there any reason to think that they will be any more efficient than the private companies? ( was amazingly inefficient as BR as any traveller will tell you)
    6. Who will run it, railway men or politicians?
     
  6. Nationalise everything. Give resources back to the country, rather than in the hands of greedy billionaires.
     
  7. Certain aspects of national life are vital to create the conditions under which businesss can thrive and ordinary people make a living. I reckon railways are one of these.

    If we can't move goods around in bulk cheaply, rapidly and efficiently our manufacturing industries will never be able to compete and I for one have never bought into the 'knowledge economy' malarky. Man cannot live by bread alone, but ideas butter no parsnips by themselves.

    Additionally, if you remove the comparatively enormous costs of owning and maintaining a car or two from the family budget, people will feel better off. I'm pretty sure there're more than a few who'd like the train to take the strain if it were reliable, efficient and not f*cking extortionate.

    So, with the proviso that it's run by independantly by professional railway experts free from political intervention and with the brief to provide transport links across the nation, I would say, on the whole and with a fair wind, nationalise. Reluctantly.

    Let it never be said I'll let dogma get in the way of common sense!
     
  8. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Awa' wi' ye, ye Leftie!
    Many a millionaire gave Britain Town halls, Libraries, Hospitals, Children's Homes, Churches etc. etc. etc.
    How many "Noble Sons Of Toil" managed that?
     
  9. Well, as long as they run on time, I'm happy
    Since they don't, I'm not. Nationalise them!!
     
  10. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    My bolds below ....

     
  11. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Sh1t ... I occasionally have to fly from Jersey to Yorkshire [my son decided to marry some foreign woman]. The last trip cost us each around £40 per person [return]. Even the hire car for a few days to get us from wherever the "Regional Airlines" deign to allow us to go makes our trip cheaper than that!! And we got a nice Mondeo 2.3 from Hertz as they'd run out of the cheaper ones at Manchester!
     
  12. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Understood in part ... here we only have a few airports in UK we can fly to. Book early or forget it, and if you're linking to international, add the cost of an hotel. Best [worst] was flying to USA via Stansted ... it cost £850 in ferry and car park and hotels just to get on the aircraft!

    However ... Yorkshire [if allowed the time to plan] is fairly cheap [via Manchester, Doncaster, Durham or wherever we are allowed a connection] and then hire a car. If you have a meeting to go to ... at short notice ... aaarrrrgggghhh.
     
  13. The trouble with most of the moans (justified) posted above is that a fat, jobs for life, unaccountable, inauditable, State run system would not ameliorate any of them.

    Sadly, the 'unions' brought about the death of nationalized industries by their Marxist inspired policy of maximum 'embuggerance', and b*gger the consequences to the bill payers. (Brown's perfect world).

    Unless the military are to be allowed to run transport, utilities and other 'rip-off' outfits, then I see no answer to the malaise.

    This country is buggered.

    This process started in late 1990 when a gang of disaffected and third rate Tories contrived to bring about the fall of Mrs Thatcher. It continued with the same third rate performances, politically and personally, under Mr. Major. Then came the devastating blow of Bliar's reign of incompetence.
     
  14. The trouble with most of the moans (justified) posted above is that a fat, jobs for life, unaccountable, inauditable, State run system would not ameliorate any of them.

    Sadly, the 'unions' brought about the death of nationalized industries by their Marxist inspired policy of maximum 'embuggerance', and b*gger the consequences to the bill payers. (Brown's perfect world).

    Unless the military are to be allowed to run transport, utilities and other 'rip-off' outfits, then I see no answer to the malaise.

    This country is buggered.

    This process started in late 1990 when a gang of disaffected and third rate Tories contrived to bring about the fall of Mrs Thatcher. It continued with the same third rate performances, politically and personally, under Mr. Major. Then came the devastating blow of Bliar's reign of incompetence.
     
  15. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    I'll reply to this one ... briefly, as I'm both tired and lightly pi66ed. :oops:

    The Military have a State-run system ... which sort of works, much of the time, actually.
    I think there is an argument for a quasi-military [i.e. disciplined] structure in the NHS and other "key areas".
    I am NOT, BTW, a Nazi ... I just believe sincerely that the military are about the only people left in UK who can get their sh1t together and achieve the objective. The rest rely on spin, management consultants, media presentation and gobbledygook ["Good word, Darling, write that down"].
    FFS, why is it that the military seem to be the only people who can see things with clarity and without prejudice?