Leaves on Labour’s line…..
Last week we had a picture-perfect example of how to provide totally incoherent opposition to a government in the field of education and today Maria Eagle took to the field to do the same with regard to transport. Reading through Ms Eagle’s comments I genuinely am unsure as to whose side she is actually on, that of embattled rail passengers or that of Sir Richard Branson. Branson may well have a point, it would surprise me at all if First Group’s bid for the West Coast Mainline may well lead to its own bankruptcy. However, the point is that I doubt this figures much into even First’s calculations. After-all they can make the bid, knowing full well they cant sustain it in the long-term, safe in the knowledge that if they falter the trust taxpayer will be their to bail them out because when push comes to shove the trains have to run.
Stella Creasy, who seems to be on very early maneuvers, wants Labour to stand for ‘value for money’. Sadly for Stella she seems to labouring under the Blairite delusion that the private sector actually effectively delivers said value-for-money. The railways are a classic example of how that simply isn’t the case. Let’s take this interesting nugget as a myth-busting example of how spectacularly this Blairite god fails;
in August 2011 Virgin Trains published news of record profits, yet on the very same day they announced record fare increases for 2012.
So, Stella, is the taxpayer (who is also a consumer) getting comprehensively milked at both ends really delivering ‘value-for-money’ for them? Incidentally, this also exposes how utterly false Mr Branson’s sudden and profoundly felt concern for rail passengers is; he is concerned about them, of course, but in the same way a farmer would be concerned for it’s very best milking cow which they fully intend to send to the slaughter at a later date. Ms Eagle’s rice paper ‘plea’ for a suspension of this decision goes nowhere near far enough. Still, it is not all her fault, she, like Mr Twigg is a prisoner of our comprehensive inability to break from the past and admit our most pertinent deadly sins in government. After-all we can barely do what is necessary, call for a full inquiry into our omnishambolic rail network, because that would expose the fact that we let it continue and have no real answers too. If facts like the one above came into full circulation It is certainly something the government would never concede since it would expose the deeply flawed nature of its predecessors privatisation.
Apparently, the definition of insanity is repeating the same behaviour over and over again and expecting different results. We have seen over the past couple of weeks that Labour has yet to make a full return to sanity. We have yet to come to terms with the fact that many of the things we were told by the right-wing of the Party we needed to do to get elected simply weren’t true and we have become masters of our own self-deception. The ultimate self-deception, that we are only a polling day away from government, is sadly likely to prove the most fatal to our electoral prospects. If we want to return to government, which I am assuming most of us do, then we need to reject the siren voices of the likes of Ms Creasy and move beyond the bumbling, fumbling likes of Mr Twigg and Ms Eagle.