The Great Rolling Stock Swindle

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Goodnight.

Tories provide a final hurrah to failing rail operator Southern of a further £20million of taxpayers’ money (ostensibly to assist them to offer a better service), when what they should be handing them is £millions in fines. If you want to see the future of the NHS under the Tories or, more specifically, under neoliberalism, look at rail privatisation. In fact, if you want to see the future of Education, look at any of the privatisations that have taken place and see if you can find a single one where British taxpayers have got a better deal from privatisation over nationalisation. In fact, see if you can find a single example where consumers have got a better deal from privatisation over nationalisation? And you’ll only be looking at a small percentage of the public assets that successive governments have privatised. The scale is colossal and so has the transfer of wealth to private hands.

The British taxpayer has been stitched up like a kipper (and, these days, that phrase can be interpreted in a couple of ways but both mean the same thing).

There are two simple myths surrounding privatisation and they are that private providers make money from efficiencies and competition drives quality of service up. In the rail industry, rail operators, to this day, receive their profits via subsidies which the government pays them from taxpayers’ pockets. As for quality of service, I repeat, the government have handed over an additional £20million to improve quality of service.

Do you think we are looking at an isolated incident?

Governments use your money, taxpayers’ money, to prop up their ideologically driven policies. At its core, Tory ideology is based on actively assisting people to become privately wealthy (which, in current terms, means assisting wealthy people become wealthier). There is no benefit to society of wealthy people becoming wealthier. We are living through a time of extremely wealthy people becoming extremely wealthier and that wealth has to come from somewhere. It comes from your pockets.

There is nothing especially problematic with assisting people to become privately wealthy, the problems come, as with anything, when that position becomes extreme and it is extreme now. The overbearing economic structures of the past few decades have created economies that have spread around the globe, monopoly economies. Monopoly economies only work in one way; they concentrate wealth into an ever decreasing number of hands. The ultimate goal of a monopoly economy is, just like the game Monopoly, for one person or group to control everything. When your political ideology is based on assisting people to accumulate wealth above all else then you will not counter the effects of a monopoly economy, you will exacerbate it and this is precisely what the Tories have done. The Tories cannot fix the problems our country faces; they are ideologically incapable.

If Labour adopts an ideological position akin to New Labour’s in the past, then Labour will have placed itself in exactly the same position as the Tories and will have rendered themselves incapable of tackling the problems this country faces. It is that simple.

Owen Smith has said that he is a “lunatic”; well, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the Labour party there are people who genuinely believe that a return to New Labour style politics will provide Labour with the best opportunity to win the next general election and they have convinced others that this is true but the truth is that they do not have the answers to fix the problems. Even if they had the answers to win a general election they can’t see that they will be incapable of changing the economic narrative and that their attempts to win an election their way will only exacerbate the problems. New politics is needed, not New Labour. Even Harry Potter’s wand won’t change that.

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