the little old lady

Posted: April 8, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason


THEN; The Little Old Lady boards the train.  The train is a little late as usual and could do with a good clean if the Little Old Lady is honest.  She takes her usual seat so she can gaze over the sea as the train wends its lazy way south.  South to the Little Old Lady’s neice, just for the crack and a cup of tea.  The Little Old Lady knows little of politics or economics but appreciates the cheap reliability of the British Rail Service number 163.  LATER; The Little Old Lady is dead now and so is British Rail.  It went in the the great Privatisation sell-off of the nineties.  The Little Old Lady’s trains, line and stations were sold to the highest bidder.  The bidder promised modernisation but very few real changes.  The Little Old Lady could still visit her neice.  The Service would be brighter, cleaner, more reliable and only, perhaps, a little more expensive.  NOW; the Little Old Lady would not recognise the trains .  They are highly branded, crowded and pocket-shreddingly expensive for all.  People like the Little Old Lady no longer have a service; those lines were closed in efficiency drives.  The economic concept of cross-subsidisation where profitable lines paid for loss making ones were consigned to dusty old economics textbooks along with Giffen Goods.   Profit is King of the railway once again.  Vast, enormous profits concentrated in the hands of a relatively few shareholders who grow fat on the cash rakings.  They realised years ago that demand was inelastic; that the punters would have to pay regardless of cost.  They give no thought for the Little Old Lady.  Owned by us, for us?  Not anymore.

  1. HullRob says:

    The whole privatisation experiment seems to be a complete failure. Can anyone name a single privatised industry that now provides a better more efficient service for its customers using a brand spanking new infrastructure thats the results of millions of pounds of investment ? No. Can anyone name a poorly performing privatised service charging the earth for a lousy service using a clapped out infrastructure while its shareholders enjoy huge dividends and its CEO a multi million pound “renumeration package” ? British Gas for a start !?!?!

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