Socialist Worker

Two more rail deaths as ministers spurn renationalisation vote

by Dave Barnes TSSA union rep Network Rail
Issue No. 1921

THE VOTE at the Labour conference for a “publicly-owned railway” was a welcome defeat for the government.

But before it had even been declared Tony Blair and transport secretary Alistair Darling said they would reject the result and carry on with the madness of privatisation.

The government now says the war on Iraq was about democracy, not about weapons of mass destruction.

Well, on the day of the rail vote we saw how contemptuous New Labour is of democracy even in its own ranks.

And just hours later two rail workers were killed in an incident in Staffordshire. That adds to the record toll of rail deaths so far this year.

The public feeling against privatisation has built up as people have seen, for example, the former boss of Jarvis, which was responsible for the Potters Bar tragedy, make over £1.2 million by cashing in his shares last week.

These are the people New Labour cosies up to, not the rail unions.

Two thirds of the population want rail renationalisation, according to the latest poll.

There is no reason why it should cost a penny. Why should we reimburse fat cats?

The campaign by rail workers and the unions for renationalisation will continue, no matter how much Blair ignores conference resolutions.

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Article information

Sat 2 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1921
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