Socialist Worker

73% say nationalise rail now

No compensation for the fat cats

Issue No. 1670

THREE QUARTERS of voters believe that the government should take Railtrack back into public ownership. That was the finding of a poll published in the Guardian on Tuesday of this week.

It is a huge blow to Tony Blair and John Prescott. They continue to say that renationalisation is impossible. Not one of the major political parties has called for rail renationalisation. Yet 73 percent of people believe it should happen. As far as the privatised rail companies are concerned nothing has changed since the Paddington crash.

When guards voted to go on strike to defend public safety the rail companies went scurrying to the courts to make it illegal.

Prescott refuses to order the immediate installation of the ATP warning safety system which would have stopped the Southall and Paddington deaths.

Not one rail boss has been charged following the Paddington rail crash.

Rail fat cats continue to award themselves huge pay rises.

Railtrack boss Gerald Corbett already grabs £335,000 a year and is set for a £1 million bonus despite Paddington. All we hear from Prescott is excuses. He claims it would cost too much money to re nationalise the railways.

Last year the rail companies received over £1.3 billion of taxpayers' money in subsidies. They have now received more money in government subsidies than they spent buying the railways. Why should they be paid any compensation? The fat cats have stolen more than enough money already. The rail companies forfeited their right to compensation when they refused to protect passenger safety.

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Article information

Sat 30 Oct 1999, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1670
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