Common sense analysis of this, that and the other

The Beeching effect

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Today’s Metro (London) reports that rail fare rises will force more people into cars. You don’t say?

In the (somewhat empty) Questions section of this blog, I ask how the privately owned energy companies are supposed to make a profit if we’re all saving energy. Well, the answer is, private ownership and profit (rightly) go hand in hand – but if you want a lean green mean national infrastructure, then as China, France and Japan have proven, it has to be a public enterprise, with the best components sourced from private industry, as works so well for the military.

Sadly, for all our grandstanding abroad, Britain is (as per my TechCrunch comment of the other day), and will be for quite a while, stuck in the past and vastly influenced by special interests. (Who owns the fascist parking wardens? 3i!)

Unsurprisingly the oil industry would rather we all drive – and so have, and will for as long as they can get away with it, ensure our politicians give our public transport infrastructure as little as possible.

The lack of grand vision in the UK is missing from our leadership and therefore often left to the hardy individual, such as Brunel, Branson, Smit and others. But without the billions available from public funds, only a small proportion of their grand plans get to see reality. For example, Virgin trains are technically advanced and great to ride, but there are only a few of them. They are not the mainstay of our public railyway network. Compare to SNCF in France.

Dr. Beeching was responsible for decimating the UK railway network in the 1960s because it wasn’t making a profit. Mistake. Just as the motorways, highways and auto bahns do not make a profit themselves, but benefit their economies signficantly by lubricating the engine of capitalism, so public transport is an investment too and if this country is not to continue to be the laughting stock of the world (which it is) it needs to invest billions in a next generation transport network – as our competitors the Chinese are doing. That will not only create thousands of jobs, but motivate the workforce – including the grumpy rail employees who woddle around the platforms, only to vanish in a puff of fear the second there’s a cockup in order to escape the seething masses who are unable to get to their destination on time therefore costing the economy.

Fight back club: Write to the Prime Minister and mention the spirit of JFK

#moonlandings #vision

By the way, this post authored using an appalling piece of unreliable sluggish buggy software that validates my employers philosophy that if you pays nothing – you gets nothing.


Written by Oflife

December 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

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