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 Private firms are set return to rail maintenance 
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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:53 am 
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rjhowie wrote:
Hhhm, cyberdonblue,

If Britain's railways were supposed to be better under State control how come less passengers? I am well aware that there are difficulties but in main much is due to far greater passenger numbers since any time from the 1948 mess up.


That's easily answered, greater passenger numbers are mostly due to mass immigration under Tony Blair's policies, to water down the workforce & reduce wages to make the rich richer, Tony Blair may have been a labour party member, but he was out & out a Thatcherite tory.

It's obvious to anyone, that a huge increase in population, will proportionally increase rail passenger numbers.

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Once again, I have to concede some of your points, Mr Howie, re: income tax, minimum wage, Harold Wilson sidestepping the railway issues etc but I do dislike (not from you personally but from the press generally) the attempted brainwashing inferences that anyone with left leaning tendencies is automatically an extreme left wing loony. I care about my fellow working class citizens - indeed all genuine citizens of this country - and the injustices heaped upon them by, often rich, business owners who, for many, many years have lived off the backs of the poor. Am I such a bad person if I want to help my fellow citizens towards a better working life? A safer working life? Am I so bad if I want them to reach retirement age without suffering heart failure, loss of limbs through unsafe practices or death by industrial poisoning and so on and so forth so that they can enjoy the measely pension that they might get at the end of it all (and pensions are whole other story!)

However, if you actually sat down and spoke with me in the real world, you may well be surprised to find that some of my ideas (particularly regarding immigration, national security - i.e. the safety of our citizens - foreign policy and many other things besides) are not particularly left wing at all. Indeed probably the polar opposite. I am no soft touch for johnny foreigner either, like some true looney left wingers. In fact, I agree with many of the things that Nigel Farage has been spouting for years ( :shock: Jeremy Corbyn just choked on his sandwich)

I would stop immigration full stop until such time as it was under proper control and we knew who was coming in and who was going out. I would immediately INTERN every person returning from I.S. operations abroad, be that in Syria or elsewhere, and I would charge every one of them with TREASON. You are either British or foreign. You can't have a boot in both camps - especially when one of those camps preaches the wholesale slaughter of the other. Oh and I'd throw all the bleeding hearts, politically correct loonies in with them! How many left wingers are shouting all that from the rooftops, Mr Howie? And no, I'm not a National Front supporter either. I'm just someone who believes in fairness. If you pull your weight and give your best then you deserve to be looked after in my book. If you are furtive, dishonest, a bully and/or seek to undermine our peaceful way of life, then you deserve every misery heaped upon you by our society - and I certainly don't mean the Twatter or Face Ache mobs in that statement either.

I most definitely do not trust government figures on ANYTHING but less so the ones proclaiming a massive growth in passenger numbers reflecting a popular switch to rail travel by the public. In many cases people have no option but to use the train. I've read countless examples of deregulated bus services suddenly vanishing off the face of the planet leaving people with no choice but to find another way to work/school/college/university etc.. I also concur with blackwatch13, above, that massive immigration has been a notable cause of increase in passenger numbers too. If you've ever had the misfortune to attend one of our hospitals (A&E or otherwise) in the last few years then the levels of uncontrolled immigration are staggeringly obvious. Hardly a British person in sight but the waiting rooms are packed to the rafters.

The price of our train travel in this country too is not only the most expensive in Europe but it is so by a country mile. Part of that problem is caused by private companies throwing taxpayers money around like confetti.

Staff are being paid ridiculous amounts of money now and the taxpaying public are paying through the nose for it whether they use the train or not. The "boil in the bag" wonders on the front of a train these days haven't got a clue about the real miseries and truly unsocial hours that their predecessors had to go through to get THEM where they are now. The few remaining ex-BR men that I know still working on the railway can't wait to get out. They tell me these "modern lot" want the money but they don't want to do the job. They're not railwaymen, they're merceneries. And the plastic, mostly automated crap that they drive around are not proper trains at all either. A monkey could drive one. But they call that progress. And they certainly don't have comfortable seating like the old stock had either. Those plastic Pretendolinos are appalling. There is literally, from top to tail, no difference whatsoever nowadays between LT's Underground stock and the crap that's running around on our main lines - and I include Branson's Pretendolinos in that statement. The thyristor is king now but LT are not allowed to go as fast, that's all.

Moneywise, when I first qualified and was promoted to a Driver (in the early 1980's) we were paid less than £6 an hour - about £11,000 a year - for a 40 hour week, plus 2 Sundays in 4 which were compulsory but paid as overtime. We usually did many more hours than that (though rest day working was not allowed yet back then) and we often worked 6 days a week, 12, 14, 16 hours a day too, just to make ends meet. Nowadays, a Driver is on almost £30 an hour. That's £50 - £55,000 a year FOR A 4 DAY week in most TOC's. Their Sunday work is OPTIONAL overtime. Who needs to work overtime on a Sunday if they're getting paid £1,100 for 4 days work anyway? The world's gone mad.

So you see, Mr Howie, I'm not just bleating blind left wing propaganda for the sake of it - or promoting "Come the revolution...blah blah blah" All I want is to see fairness for all. I just don't see a privatised railway sytem that is blatantly milking the public for every penny it can get as even remotely fair. Do you?

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 2:11 pm 
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cyberdonblue wrote:


Moneywise, when I first qualified and was promoted to a Driver (in the early 1980's) we were paid less than £6 an hour - about £11,000 a year - for a 40 hour week, plus 2 Sundays in 4 which were compulsory but paid as overtime. We usually did many more hours than that (though rest day working was not allowed yet back then) and we often worked 6 days a week, 12, 14, 16 hours a day too, just to make ends meet. Nowadays, a Driver is on almost £30 an hour. That's £50 - £55,000 a year FOR A 4 DAY week in most TOC's. Their Sunday work is OPTIONAL overtime. Who needs to work overtime on a Sunday if they're getting paid £1,100 for 4 days work anyway? The world's gone mad.


I'm not really here to disagree with your post, but I do want to point out that you need to adjust for inflation.

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/resources/inflationtools/calculator/default.aspx

The calculator at that link suggests £11,000 /year in 1980 is about £43,286.69 in 2016. Not quite £55,000, but it's a much smaller difference than you make it seem.


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:50 pm 
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glbotu wrote:
I'm not really here to disagree with your post, but I do want to point out that you need to adjust for inflation.

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/resources/inflationtools/calculator/default.aspx

The calculator at that link suggests £11,000 /year in 1980 is about £43,286.69 in 2016. Not quite £55,000, but it's a much smaller difference than you make it seem.

With respect, I'm talking about 1983 when interest rates were somewhere around 15% on loans and mortgages and Thatcher was squeezing everybody by the balls for every last penny she could get out of them in various poll taxes etc.. Yes, £11,00 p.a was almost a decent wage by that time (except the for the long shitty hours) but that was because Thatcher had bought us off earlier in the year with a big surprise pay rise. We didn't realise until later it was because she was lining the miners up for a kick in the balls the following year and she needed us to get as much coal as possible into the power stations before she kicked it off.

The staggering interest rates we suffered back then were crippling too so the cost of living from that time compared to now doesn't even begin to allow a fair comparison of income. I was a married man with 3 young children back then and my basic wage was £211 and a bit per week BEFORE tax and without overtime. I had to get a £5,000 loan to modernise my house for the sake of my kids health and improve it from run down Victorian slum to inhabitable 20th Century home. Back then that worked out at £157.58p per month plus a mortgage of just over £270 a month. So that's the best part of £430 a month gone straight away from about £650 a month (after tax) income. By the time you've put food on your table and paid gas and electric bills, TV licences, clothed your kids and God knows what else, you were more often than not going to work the day after payday with absolutely NOTHING in your pocket - even if you'd worked a bit of overtime on top of that too. There were certainly no train drivers or guards (married or single) coming to work in the latest top of the range motor cars like they are now. I'm sorry but a wage of around £4,000 a month after tax now doesn't compare to our £650 then in my book. We were on push bikes and mopeds or the bus back then. Top of the range Audis, Mercedes and BMWs? Nobody had even heard of half of them let alone even considered buying one.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:47 am 
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rjhowie wrote:
If Britain's railways were supposed to be better under State control how come less passengers?


That's an easy one - because during the 80's and 90's, the Tories never invested in the railways - resulting in old, unreliable locos, and ex-loco hauled services replaced with cramped 2-car DMU's.

The service was unreliable, cramped and smelly - and many of the stations were looking tired. The railways just weren't very inviting to passengers.

rjhowie wrote:
Modern rail for all the hiccups IS doing better than the old State control everything nonsense.


That may be so - but the taxpayer is paying for it - yet not gaining the rewards.

If the railways remain privatised, then I've nothing against it - but the taxpayer should not be subsidising it. Privatisation should mean exactly that - run, and funded, privately. If it's state owned, then everything should be run and paid for by the government - with any profit going back into the government.

It's an utter disgrace that we've got private companies operating our railways, receiving subsidies from the taxpayer - yet all profits go to shareholders - not the public purse. The same applies to buses.

Yet here we all are, being forced to cut back left right and centre to "save the economy" as the Tories put it - yet we're dishing out millions / billions in subsidies whilst Disabled People are having their ESA benefits cut.

The same will apply to HS2 - it'll be built using public money, but then when it opens, you can bet your house that a private company will run it - with all profit going into that private company - with nothing coming back to the public.

It always happens. Remember the Olympic Stadium? It cost the tax payer millions of pounds to build - now Wet Spam United football club have it as their home stadium, picked up for free, paying a tiny rent to play there. The tax payer was mugged off yet again.

Labour or the Tories - I wouldn't trust any of them to run a tap, let alone the country (that being said, love him or hate him and/or his views, Jeremy Corbyn is the first honest party leader this country has seen in decades).


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 3:28 am 
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Well Labour was in much power during nationalisation and nothing great. It is all very well trying to say that all political parties are damnable and that is too easy a corner. Corbyn is something out of the past and his attitude is dated as well as body swerving the terrorist evils in one part of the UK I would remind. Even when Labour was more lefty rail was not enhanced. Corbyn is a political rabble rouser and dates back to the days when rail, airlines, power supply, ferry companies, bus companies, Thomas Cooks, communication,Tote Betting were all under damn State control. Every time the Left is in when they finish there is a massive money problem. You are of course entitled to your opinion I vote for MP's and Councillors to run the country not Unions and out of date stuff.

Nowadays we have more competition in all the above activities taken out of State control and even in the old days of cloth cap lefty stuff the things I mentioned the terrible Tories brought in like taking people out of tax, bumping up when you start paying it and minimum wages, etc were not done in the days when your corner waved the red flag mentality. Oh and it was the Tories who introduced a law in Victorian times to have Unions created!

Years ago I worked in a government department and in a Union and I fought your Bolshevik lot! Have no problem with having Unions but for too long they got away with thinking they ran the place not the electoral system. Rail is better being out of State mucking. it is the Nats lot up here that keeps an eye on the rail thing but may I again remind you that the Left was bashed into third place in the Local elections by Tories in three figures including working class areas. Haha! :o


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 11:12 am 
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rjhowie wrote:
... Oh and it was the Tories who introduced a law in Victorian times to have Unions created!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I'm so sorry, Mr Howie, I'm not being personal but that's the biggest load of bullshit I've ever read in my life!!!!! The Tories shat themselves because the working classes had managed to organise themselves and withdraw their labour in the mills and the mines, on the farms and various other places. There were massive marches being held from one end of the country to the other. The thieving Victorian Tories had no choice. There would have been a revolution if they hadn't co-operated. Instead of being head of the company they'd have found their head on the end of a pole somewhere. On top of all that, it was the "bleeding hearts" Liberals who did more for the working man back then than any Tory and it was precisely because of all these wealthy, upper class twits that the Labour Party was formed in the first place. The working man had had enough and decided it was time to strike back. Unfortunately today our youngsters find things come to them so easily that they have no knowledge of, or interest in, any of those tough days gone by. That's why the Tories are once again getting away with their foul tricks.

What's more, the modern day Tory still lives very much in the past. Look at them in the Courts, the Commons and the Lords and anywhere else that they get the chance to parade in public. All dressed up in 18th and 19th Century wigs and gowns, "Yes my lord, no my lord..." (kiss my arse my lord) Look at all the ceremonial bullshit and taxpayers expense surrounding the biggest leach in the country (I think they call her the queen.) She gets £4million a year off the taxpayer just for breathing. Why? She's a direct descendant of the best rapists and pillagers on the European continent. That's the only reason she's at the head of the modern clan now (and she's only a figurehead with no power anyway.) They all still live in Victorian Britain, the lot of them, and they still expect the working classes to doff their caps to the rich snobs and clean up after them. Not anymore mate. People are too well educated nowadays (despite millions of them still being like sheep) and they won't stand for it. That's why the Tories wanted to charge for University places again - and the fees are quietly sneaking up now - to keep out the lower classes who can't afford to pay. Keep them in their place. Keep them ignorant of the past.

There are a mere 5 families that control Britain financially. They could pay off the national debt in the blink of an eye and not even notice they'd done so. Where's the moral justice in that when there are homeless people dying on our own streets ? I'm not against wealth but I am against obscene wealth when there are starving and homeless people at the other end of the scale.

The Tories got into power on the last two occasions with around 10% of the national vote because of the way this "first past the post" electoral system works. They won't support any changes to that system because they know, in this day and age, they will probably never get into power ever again if proprtional representation, or something similar, takes hold. What's more, the fiddling so and so's keep changing the electoral boundaries in order to increase their chances of success at every turn. There's another change in the offing at the moment. Democracy?

Oh, and I don't think Scotland has any right to talk to ANYBODY about democracy. I seem to remember there was a UK WIDE VOTE on whether we should stay in the E.C or pull out. As we all know, the vote was won by the "OUT" voters but Scotland is STILL throwing its toys out of the pram and stamping its feet because they won't accept that the MAJORITY vote went against them. Democracy ? Don't make me laugh, please. I hate the Tories and everything they stand for but at least I can accept the results of an election - even if it is grudgingly.

Then we come to the excellent point raised by Briggsy. These so-called private companies are stealing taxpayers money. Why can't they stand on their own two feet and put their own money into the project? BR had to pay for track, signal, stations, locos, stock, staff and so on and so forth. A myriad of expense. None of your private companies nowadays pay for that kind of thing.

Even I could bid for a franchise under the current system if I wanted to and I haven't got a pot to p*ss in, as the saying goes. It all depends on what you can tell the people handing out the franchises about what measley amount they might expect you to pay back into the government coffers after you've rewarded yourself and your investors. You can lie through your teeth, bleed the taxpayer dry for about 5 years and then hand the whole franchise back saying, "Things have changed and we are no longer able to achieve your targets." Simples! Then the taxpayer has to put things right before the government hives it off to one of their mates again. Sound like a familiar pattern ? It is all a huge con. If they want privatised railways give them privatised railways - NO SUBSIDIES FROM THE BRITISH TAXPAYER. The Yanks on their space station would think a huge bomb had exploded over Britain if they did because Branson, DB, SNCF and all the rest of them would be off and running in the opposite direction so fast that you wouldn't be able to see them - or the rest of Britain - for dust.

I've made similar comparisons before but its like the government coming along to me and saying, "I've got a £5 million house here. It's yours now if you want it, oh and we've completely redecorated it for you. New plumbing and electrics, double glazing, indoor swimming pool and a sauna. You'll have to pay your own gas and electric bills though, but we can give you a bit of help there so that shouldn't be a problem; and we'll replace your cooker, fridge, freezer, shower or any of those things any time you like. Just say when you want it done."

Who wouldn't jump at an offer like that ? But would you call it privatisation?

I despair for the future of my grandchildren, I really do.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:13 pm 
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Mod Note: Off-topic posts relating to generic political discussion from this point have been split into a separate thread. Due to the content of some posts I have tried to keep those that are linked by quotes in the same thread.

_________________________________________________________

There's an inordinate level of nonsense in this thread. I'm not going to address it all as there's a fantastic public research facility called the electric web office. Some of you should try using it before writing some of the factually incorrect drivel I've read thus far and perhaps remove your bullshit tinted glasses at the same time.

Privatising the railways is moot point surely? A large portion of British railways are already run by the state, just not the British one.

Abellio (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) - Scotland, Merseyrail (Serco-Abellio), and East Anglia. NS has openly stated that the money they receive from these franchises is invested in NS.

Arriva (Deutsche Bahn) - Grand Central, Arriva Wales, London Overground, Northern, Chiltern.

Govia (part owned by SNCF) - London Midland, Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern, Southeastern.

Trenitalia (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane) - C2C.

DB Schenker (Deutsche Bahn).

GBrf (Europorte) - While not a state owned railway, Euorporte is a French owned company.

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 6:51 pm 
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I'd just like to say that white is definitely white. I've also confirmed black is black.

Over to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 7:38 pm 
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How come a discussion concerning Notwork Rail losing it's sole powers of control on maintenance issues on the railway network has turned into a trade union debate ?

In my opinion private firms that were subcontracted by Railtrack to do rail maintenance projects lead to a few incidents / accidents such as the Potters Bar crash didn't they. I think it will be a major step backwards unless Notwork Rail / government have learned major lessons from those days.

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 11:10 pm 
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Warbo40 wrote:
How come a discussion concerning Notwork Rail losing it's sole powers of control on maintenance issues on the railway network has turned into a trade union debate ?

That would probably be my fault then Warbo...

Sorry :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:58 am 
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Well he has been honest and principled there in apologising Warbo40 so I nod to that.

On the subject of railways and that the Conservative corner lacked finance and support of them may I remind that there were periods of Labour when it was a lefty hangover from the past and BR was NOT something to boast about so the lefty mindset is blinkered! On Scots independence that you touched on blackwatch it is right that is not going to happen and I am directly involved in the stance against it. Would say it is a narrow almost fanatical attitude by many in that corner. One sympathiser on the forums who is intelligent had no sense of satire when that corner was mused at ages ago y me (!). Scotland IS subsidised by the Barnet Formula and it runs services like health, education and so on and the Nat lot have been in power for over 10 years and made a mess of it. Then they amalgamated all police forces and that is a shambles and deep in massive debt and complications. Just as well wee Sturgeon has high heels so we can see her! Anyway on a more serious note that corner is not going to break up the UK and most of my fellow Scots are not interested in another indy referendum.

In conclusion I am happy that the railways in Gt Britain are doing so well with new trains, more coaches and the hard truth that far, far more people are using them that when either the left or right ran them at Westminster. There is only one part of the British Isles which has a State run rail system and no advancement there in mileage. So do feel free to wave your red flag there dear man as the vast majority of people have grown up since the old Bolshie days. More competition in everyday things and services, lower tax rate starts, increasing bottom wage levels and so on. And I am getting my friend a pole and flag for my front garden and represents the unity of Great Britain! Proud to be British and Scots! :lol: 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Unfortunately, Mr Howie, the youth of our country haven't yet experienced a full term Tory government. Once they have I'm sure the Bolshies ( :shock: :lol: ) among us will have our day again because the young ones will make damn sure to vote after that experience, and for just about anyone as long as they get the Tories out. If it's a truly socialist government that follows then I just hope that we don't let the pendulum swing too far over so that the silly times come round again as well and make the power of the Unions become a curse and a wasted opportunity, like last time.

At least we agree on a united kingdom, Mr Howie. Just not who should govern it.

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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Oh-ho, you are right there in that we both believe in a UK and that will continue because the Jacobites up here are going nowhere!

We are at opposite corners re Bolshies and Tsarists most certainly :lol: I have toi inform you dear man that the days of your Socialism have gone and evry time they were in power in the past they left office with a big debt. When i raise my flag in the front grden I will give you a pssing thought even though you are holding on to an outdated thought poor man (!). Not being a drinker I will raise a glass of diet Irn Bru and send you a box of hankies for all the tears when your redness gets chased away. Cheers!

ps We are still doing better that the days of BR! 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Private firms are set return to rail maintenance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:55 pm 
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renationalise the lot and don't forget your red flag keep it flying

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