‘I’ Newspaper: Rail Franchise System Not Working and Needs to be Changed


I agree the rail network could be much better and maybe the franchise contracts are to blame.

But when accounting blame which are purely down the train operators and which are down to rework Rail which is not a private company.

Before privatisation the Rail network, rolling stock, train stations and the line and signal infrastructure were need great need of investment.

The food was the butt of a joke, as the British Rail Sandwich was infamous as it curled up at the edges.

My own line was ‘The Midland, which was the poor relation in the industry as the rolling stock was secondhand, passed on from other regions.

In my 20 odd years of using British Railways and then British Rail I hardly ever got on and off a train that was to time.

The various Governments over that period showed a distinct lack of interest and investment into the industry. Hence all the new rolling stock was came about during Privatisation. This led to very outdated systems, not fit for the 19th century, let alone the 20th and then the 21st.

Who would have thought that Great Britain invented the Railways, through early train inventors who were Matthew Murray who created first steam powered locomotive, Richard Trevithick who popularized trains series of showcasing in London, George Stephenson who become famous for ‘The Rocket’ and for the coal transporting trains.

But were some of these private companies up to the job and this goes down to the Tender process and in many ways still does, the NHS, other parts of the health service, Local Government and other such services. As it appears any contract is given to the lowest bidder without any apparent investigation into the bids to ascertain if they are, in fact, viable.

This a fault of the tender process and the Governments administering the process.

Then what about the Contracts themselves are they effective and efficiently written?, do they meets the needs of the industry and the customers?, are the companies themselves sufficiently solvent? and many more investigative questions.

Here again the Governments are at fault.

There are indeed many problems, but to re-nationalise them, would this go back to British Railways and British Rail.

If it does, then the required investment needs to be guaranteed for way into the future and not be allowed to run on the whims of any Government as it was previously.

Much like the NHS and Social Care, especially Social Care today.

Governments need to realise that these industries and organisations are not there to be used for political purposes, but for the benefit of the population of the UK.

For until that realisation comes into any Government, these areas will continue to faulter to the whims of each and every Government, who only care for themselves, irrespective of its Party colour.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

I found this report in the I newspaper on our country’s failing rail network. The article states that a recent report has found that the current system of rail franchising doesn’t work and cannot continue as it is. The article, ‘Rail franchising ‘no longer delivers clear benefits’, on page 4 of today’s paper, 27th February 2019, by Neil Lancefield runs

Britain’s rail franchise system no longer delivers clear benefits and cannot continue in its current form, according to the man leading an official review of the network.

Keith Williams told industry leaders that operators were not adapting to changing consumer demands.

The contracting out of passenger services has drawn heavy criticism, with some contracts failing and customer complaints rising. The rail industry has said it accepts that the status quo cannot continue.

Mr Williams was appointed by the Government last year to lead its “root-and-branch” Rail Review. Speaking in London…

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Betsy DeVos Removes Guidance Documents for Disabled Students


A very sad state of affairs and yes, it could and possibly will be imported from the US to the Uk, as many undesirable actions are.

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More from a growing pile of already abundant evidence that Betsy DeVos should not be in charge of education in America. Actually, I wouldn’t trust her to run a pre-school or kindergarten. In this piece from The Young Turks, Jeff Waldorf reports and comments on the move by DeVos to rescind the 72 official documents, which explain to students and their parents, what the rights of disabled people are when they go to Uni. American universities are granted money by the federal government to support the needs of disabled students. DeVos hasn’t revoked these. She’s just making sure that disabled students, their carers and relatives, don’t know what they are.

One of these documents translates the official jargon of the legislation into ordinary plain English, so that regular peeps don’t need a lawyer to interpret it for them. Now it’s gone, things are going to be made difficult so that…

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Vox Political on Chilcot’s Damning Verdict on Blair, and What His Readers Think


I did support Gulf War 1 to ensure the liberation of Kuwait and could not understand why the allied forces did not pursue further into Iraq to topple Saddam, So I could have supported the evental removal of Saddam. However I have always been untrusting of Blair, but did rejoice in the overthrow of Saddam, so the rights of all Iraqs could be progressed. But as we were only too aware, after the event, that no constructive plans of operation had been thought through. Blair and Bush by their actions created a vaccum in which allowed the formation of Daesh to be created from some of the forces which had originally,appeared, to support the Bush/Blair initiative.

From this lessons should have been learned, but this did not prevent the removal of Gaddafi in Lybria to create a further vacuum.

it is clear, that the prresiding factor was oil, as Blair and Bush have not taken similar actions in other countries where oil in not a factor, Zimbarbre being only one example.

With the evidence of the Chilcot report and the current state of the Middle East it is amazing that Blair still feels he was justified in his actions and would do it again.

He and Bush are totally responsible for the current state of the Middle East so Blair should be prosecuted as a War Criminal, as accountability should have a bearing on decisions made by persons when they hold positions of responsibility.

The families need closure and while the Chilcot report goes some way with this, the prosecution of Blair would be even more closure.

Blair needs to be made responsible and accountable for his actions and not so glibly make comments that in no way answer his ctitics and the evidence.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Mike over at Vox Political has reblogged a piece from the Guardian by Owen Jones, laying out how damning the Chilcot report is of Tony Blair and his decision to lead the country into war. Owen Jones is a fine journalist, who clearly and accurately explains the issues. I’ve read and quoted from his book Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, which is very good, and has rightly received great praise. He also has another book out The Establishment: Who They Are and How They Get Away with it. I’ve been thinking about that one, but have avoided buying it so far on the grounds that it might make me too furious.

Mike also asks what his readers think of the Iraq War. He asks

Do any of you believe the war was justified, as Ann Clwyd still does (apparently)? Have any of you come to believe that?…

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Tories Waffle to Prevent Bill against Privatisation of the NHS in Parliament


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Mike over at Vox Political has put up another important piece reporting a filibuster in parliament to ‘talk out’ a bill by the former leader of the Green party, Caroline Lucas. The four Tories, who waffled and blustered in order to prevent the bill being discussed or passed, were David Nuttall, Phillip Davies, Phillip Hollobone, and Sir Edward Leigh.

Mike writes:

It’s hard to think of Philip Davies without imagining that the people of Shipley were so disillusioned with Parliament that they sent a motion of the bowels to Westminster as a sign of their low esteem.

The sh*t from Shipley was one of four Tory MPs who waffled their way through the time allotted for Caroline Lucas’s Bill to stop the creeping privatisation of the National Health Service.

By their actions it is therefore easy to conclude that Davies, Philip Hollobone, David Nuttall and Sir Edward Leigh want to…

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‘Shocking’ inequality levels in Britain must be addressed, John Major


Original post from The Guardian

‘…………By Ben Quinn

Former Conservative prime minister wants to see greater concentration on people failed by the system

Sir John Major
Sir John Major Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major has criticised the “shocking” impact of inequality in Britain and said more needed to be done to urgently tackle the gap between the rich and the poor.

In a speech reiterating a number of touchstones of one-nation Conservatism, he pointedly set himself against language that sought to cast those who were out of work as “idlers” and benefit claimants as “scroungers”

Delivering a Hinton lecture entitled A nation at ease with itself?, Major told the audience in London that he had begun to reflect more and more on inequality as he grew older.

In a country now immensely more wealthy than the one in which he grew up, he said that life was still not easy for many, adding: “Even in areas that are recognised as wealthy, there are families or individuals who have fallen behind.

“Policymakers must understand how hard it is to escape from such circumstances. It is not inertia that keeps the unemployed immobile: it is simply that, without help, they are trapped.”

Turning to the role of the benefits system, he said: “Let us cast aside a common misconception. Everyone out of work is not an idler.

“Everyone in receipt of benefits is not a scrounger. Of course idlers and scroungers exist – and governments are entirely right to root out the cheats who rip off the taxpayer. But the focus must not be only on those who abuse the system; we need equal concentration on those who are failed by the system.”

Describing poverty as being “not only about empty pockets”, Major described contemporary Britain as one in which the lifespan of the poorest in some major cities was 20 years shorter than those of the most wealthy.

“I have no doubt that much of this disparity is caused by poor lifestyle, poor choices, poor diet – but poor environment, poor housing and poor education must surely be contributory factors. Whatever the reasons, this is a shocking situation in 2015,” he added.

The former prime minister went on to deliver a plea for the upgrade of Britain’s infrastructure, as well as emphasising the roles of the private sector and charities.

However, while talking of his pride in the scale of philanthropic, voluntary and charitable work across the UK, Major warned that a reality check was required, stating: “We cannot be complacent about our charitable sector. There are negatives: we have all seen the publicity generated by bad fundraising practices and poor governance.

“I won’t dwell on these shortcomings, except to note that all charities have a duty to protect their reputation. Unless they are seen as efficient and well run, donations will fall away.”   ……………’

 

 

‘Something has to give’ – will it be George Osborne?| Anne Perkins | Comment is free | The Guardian


John Major has warned that poverty makes life meaner and shorter. And now Tory MPs have rounded on their chancellor over cuts to tax credits

Source: ‘Something has to give’ – will it be George Osborne?| Anne Perkins | Comment is free | The Guardian