Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rail Against Privatisation

I was at an RMT march in York against rail privatisation with local RMT members, some comrades from Respect and the Green Party this lunchtime. The march came as part of a national campaign called Rail Against Privatisation. It was quite a fun march, with lots of colourful flags, union banners and leaflets. It seemed to go down quite well with onlookers, too, with people clapping us from doorways and windows - although, of course, there was the inevitable man in a lorry who made it abundantly clear that he wasn't too pleased about the traffic being held up.

Most people can see that rail privatisation is crap (according to the RMT, 75% of the public want the railways taken back into public ownership) - indeed, it's blindingly obvious that privatisation's been utterly disastrous and driven more by ideology (on the part of politicians) and greed (on the part of private contractors) than by any kind of economic or practical sense. However, the the details of private sector incompetence and disregard for worker and passenger safety still havethe power to shock. Here's some info gleaned from an RMT leaflet:

I had an interesting chat along the march with the agent for the Green Party candidate in York. He's a nice bloke and I'm now certainly going to vote Green in the election. He said that he's had many reports that the (very Blairite, pro-war) Labour Party candidate (York's MP) has been having a hard time around York - leaflets ripped up by disgruntled voters - that sort of thing. Good.

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