Tag Archives: nationalisation

The future of the railways – a Liberal view

Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for a People’s Railway has sparked interest and support, tinged with more than a little nostalgia for a past that really didn’t exist. Those who hanker after British Rail were clearly not there. It was the butt of national jokes about punctuality, cancellations, strikes and stale sandwiches. It was also serving a transport market very different from today. Rail journeys in Britain have doubled since 1997 and are set to continue rising rapidly. Freight traffic increases every year too. Our rail lines are the busiest and most intensively used in Europe if not the world. Britain has the only growing rail market in Europe. So when people adversely compare our structure with that in France or Germany it is worth remembering that they are declining businesses while every aspect of Brtish railways is growing fast and needs to do so, because of our growing population and if we are to have a successful economy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 48 Comments

Opinion: The real issue – nationalisation


The leaders debate last week brought some, but not much comment on the most important, but least talked about, issue affecting the UK. This is the fact that over the last 30 years the government, of both colour ties, has sold off the family silver in order to provide return and profit to shareholders and their friends in the city.

Nationalised companies can’t fail

The UK’s utilities network, of just gas and electricity alone, consists of multiple companies running small cut up sections of the country. How could we cut the whole of the Midlands (say) off gas if a company folds? The railway network is confusing, with the tracks owned by Network Rail, formerly Railtrack, privatised in 1996. Railtrack made massive losses following a horrible crash, then approached the government for emergency funding. The government, of course, HAD to bail Railtrack out – we can’t not have a railway network! Anyway, they immediately paid a £137m dividend to the shareholders out of the public gift.

Posted in Op-eds | 43 Comments

4-in-10 Lib Dem members want to see the railways fully nationalised

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Just 1-in-20 Lib Dems opt for full privatisation

LDV asked: In general, would you like to see more or less government involvement in running the country’s railways?

    41% – I would like to see the railways fully nationalised

    34% – I would like to see more government regulation than there is currently, but

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Opinion: Now is the time to re-nationalise the railways

Virgin trainAs the 2015 General Election approaches, the principle challenge for Liberal Democrat policy makers will be to come up with distinctive policies which don’t trade in our party’s radicalism while allowing us to trade on our experience as a serious party of government.

One policy which we can be confident won’t be pursued by either of the other two parties is that of re-nationalising the railways.

Readers familiar with my previous posts on this site would be surprised to see me advocating nationalisation as a policy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 34 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 1 July 2009

2 Big Stories

British economy in worst state in over half a century

Perhaps it’s the sweltering weather, perhaps recession fatigue has set in, but there is little reaction to yesterday’s startling news that the British economy contracted by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2009 – the worst decline in more than 50 years. It isn’t the main story for even one of the newspapers, though it led all last night’s TV news programmes. Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable underscored the seriousness of the data:

The biggest three month fall in GDP in more than half a century is a clear

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

CommentIsLinked@LDV: Vince Cable – A desperate attempt to revive a corpse

Over at The Times, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable explains that the second bailout shows that the Labour Government has acted as imprudently as the banks themselves. You can read it in full here – and I recommend that you do – but here’s an excerpt in case you need any further tantalising:

It is clear that the conditions set by the Government over the original capitalisation was a sham. No effective monitoring and controls were put in place to ensure that the money went where it was intended. The banks do not even seem to have been required

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

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