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From: The Socialist issue 1072, 5 February 2020: 6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

Search site for keywords: Public transport - Transport - Nationalise - Rail - Public ownership - Britain - British Airways

Nationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Privatisation doesn't work! That's the real message from the Tories' decision to take Britain's worst train operator, Northern Rail, back into public ownership.

South Western could be next, and the list is getting longer all the time. This is on top of the failures of the East Coast Main Line and ScotRail, and the 'bailout' of Flybe.

The whole system is a total mess. Even Keith Williams, head of an 'independent' review into the rail franchise system, has said we need "revolution not evolution".

We agree. But unlike Mr Williams, former chief executive of British Airways, we won't be satisfied with a state 'fat controller' regulating more private franchises.

We want all the privateers out of the railways - and out of all of our public services.

We want an integrated and affordable transport system, fully funded and publicly owned, democratically controlled by transport workers and transport users - a system which puts the needs of working-class people and the environment before the profits of the super-rich.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 5 February 2020

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

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