Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
It may please Cro to learn that the current Transport Minister is considering 'banning' strikes by train drivers by making them illegal. What a brilliant idea. One wonders why nobody has thought of that before now.
Wait a minute - someone did think of that before. I seem to remember that Margaret Thatcher (with the help of an elderly Canadian) solved the problem of striking coal miners by sacking them all and doing away with British coal production all together.
We could do the same thing with the train drivers. If they are so opposed to train staffing being halved that they go on strike, then we could teach them a bloody good lesson by sacking the lot of them - then there would be NO staff at all to go on strike.
Of course, this would make the lives of ordinary commuters a little difficult to begin with, but it would be worth it. If they can tolerate not using trains at Christmas time, then they will soon get used to it. Trains are not just for Christmas.
Who needs trains anyway? Ever since the Road Transport lobby persuaded the government that the haulage of goods was best done by huge lorries, hardly anything except ballast gets moved from one place to another by train, and the opportunities for extracting huge revenues from British road transport are so numerous that we are in danger of putting many road haulage companies out of business too. Soon, the only lorries you will see on British roads will be Norbert Dentresangle's. The French take good care of their interests, and will take special care once Britain finally leaves Europe.
Three years ago, work began on the electrification of the rail route between London Paddington and Bristol. This would - they said - be good for the economy and good for the environment. There were two large teams working at either end of the route, and the the Western team - made up almost exclusively of Welshmen - spent a couple of months using my yard as a car-park and depot.
The rails themselves are the responsibility of Network Rail, a private company which is heavilly subsidised by the British government (i.e. the taxpayer), but still manages to lose money - on paper.
The carriages and engines are regionally split up into several other private companies who - despite colossal tariffs, subsidisation and no expediture on infrastructure - also lose money - on paper. You can pay around £250 to travel the 100 miles from Bath to London.
Now they have put up everything except the wires for the electrifaction, guess what? They have gone a few billion over budget to complete the work, so it has now been mothballed.
Now guess what? The government wants to devolve the responsibilty for the various regions to local government, saying that it makes more sense. It certainly does for them, now that all those private contractors have milked every last penny - and more - from the system and the shareholders are happy.
Does this not stink to you? If not, then you have no nose.