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  1. #26
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    The biggest problem with the trains in this country at that not only are the train companies private, but the company that owns the tracks is as well, and they are all separate entities who somehow seem to be unable to work well together.

    Go to Germany, France or the Netherlands to see what a modern, central railway system can be like.

    The only difference is investment - railways in this country were woefully under-invested in over a number of years, whereas those on the continent have benefitted from greater investment, some government, some private.

    The investors of the private companies running railways here demand a profit on their money, hence the gouging of customers for ever increasing prices for a poorer service.

    „I believe in socialism because it seems more humanitarian, rather than every man for himself and 'I'm alright jack' and all those arsehole businessmen with all the loot. I made up my mind from viewing society from that angle. That's where I'm from and there's where I've made my decisions from. That's why I believe in socialism“

    — Joe Strummer

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by garibaldifred View Post
    .....and Hitler was in charge of Germany.
    Not so....the German rail system was always efficient and actually became less so under Hitler because the RAF had a tendency of removing their bridges and large sections of their tracks.


  4. #28
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    I have to pay to re-sit my exam!
    Did you put two gherkins in the burger? I hate it when that happens.


  5. #29
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    !


  6. #30
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Juif Rouge View Post
    Not so....the German rail system was always efficient and actually became less so under Hitler because the RAF had a tendency of removing their bridges and large sections of their tracks.
    Not before 1939 it didn't.


  7. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnits
    D'you know that for sure? I never really used trains pre-privatisation - but I wouldn't call the experience efficient or simple. And definitely it's not something that I'd consider cheap.
    I read some documentation about the time delays of trains over the past 30 years and it's rare that they're delayed or cancelled now, especially the provincial services.

    I use the trains a lot, and haven't had a delayed train, excepting for when visiting London, in nearly 8 years.

    The closest I came was when it took me a while to cross a bridge at Lincoln, and my time between trains was like 3 minutes do I missed it. The train company paid for a taxi for me.

    Talk to me, Goose.

  8. #32
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    And it's worth remembering, we have pretty good telecoms nowadays, multiple providers makes getting good deals easier, plus we get bundled deals through companies like Virgin.


  9. #33
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Isn't that just down to the inevitable improvements thanks to technology rather than privatisation.

    But anyway, to support your assertion that privatisation can drive efficiency and better value we've got some difficult to quantify improvement in reliability for the rail service.

    And that's about it.


  10. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnits View Post
    Isn't that just down to the inevitable improvements thanks to technology rather than privatisation.

    But anyway, to support your assertion that privatisation can drive efficiency and better value we've got some difficult to quantify improvement in reliability for the rail service.

    And that's about it.
    At, it must be said, a significant increase in prices to the rail traveller.


  11. #35
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    Plus, as I said, I wasn't advocation privatisation, merely pointing out that it has benefits, where most people on here seem to have just gone 'privatisation equals Tory, I hate them, privatisation ruins my life'.


  12. #36
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscl View Post
    At, it must be said, a significant increase in prices to the rail traveller.
    Yep, I didn't mention that as that isn't something that supports what Rich suggested


  13. #37
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Plus, as I said, I wasn't advocation privatisation, merely pointing out that it has benefits, where most people on here seem to have just gone 'privatisation equals Tory, I hate them, privatisation ruins my life'.
    I know you weren't. I was just wondering what those benefits were...


  14. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnits
    Isn't that just down to the inevitable improvements thanks to technology rather than privatisation.

    But anyway, to support your assertion that privatisation can drive efficiency and better value we've got some difficult to quantify improvement in reliability for the rail service.

    And that's about it.
    You'd have to question whether those improvements would be there under a nationalised scheme.


  15. #39
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    You'd have to question whether those improvements would be there under a nationalised scheme.
    It's a reasonable challenge. So that's the only benefit? Utilising technology to improve the reliability of the service? Same could be said for other public transport like buses and whatnot still run under public authorities...


  16. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscl

    At, it must be said, a significant increase in prices to the rail traveller.
    But you assume those charges wouldn't have arisen otherwise, which isn't definitively provable.


  17. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    You'd have to question whether those improvements would be there under a nationalised scheme.
    Not without government investment they wouldn't!


  18. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscl

    Not without government investment they wouldn't!
    What motivation does an essential monopoly have in improving infrastructure?


  19. #43
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Depends on the strategy and leadership. Making it work, per chance?

    Just as likely as a profit-led strategy investing for anything other than opportunities to make moolah.


  20. #44

    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I read some documentation about the time delays of trains over the past 30 years and it's rare that they're delayed or cancelled now, especially the provincial services.
    That's because there aren't any provincial services any more, Dr Beeching.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I use the trains a lot, and haven't had a delayed train, excepting for when visiting London, in nearly 8 years.
    The last three times I've been to London the train coming home has been delayed or cancelled meaning I've got home one/two hours late, often having to spend extra money on taxis as I've missed the last bus by the time I reached Nottingham. Considering trains are the main access route into London, don't you think reliability on those routes is of the utmost importance?

    Oh and if you went on the LTLF Newark pub crawl and spent 45 minutes in the freezing cold listening to Andy shout abuse at the hapless lad in India on the other end of the customer service intercom trying to find out when/if we'd get a train/bus back home, you wouldn't have such a high opinion of the train service in this country (or Andy ).


  21. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winnits
    Depends on the strategy and leadership. Making it work, per chance?

    Just as likely as a profit-led strategy investing for anything other than opportunities to make moolah.
    Perhaps, though the ability to focus on the individual an their needs is diminished, if not lost, when the people running it have to look after the needs of the many, hence the improvements in provincial rail services since privatisation as small companies can concentrate their efforts on chunks of the infrastructure.

    Would National Rail be more concerned if a train carrying ten people to Grimsby was delayed or a train carrying 300 to London?

    We have excellent utilities in this country, and while we may have had decent ones before, the improvements that see us always get electric when we flick the switch and a phone signal when we pick up the receiver would not have been guaranteed under a nationalised scheme.

    The investment arm of the government can only be stretched so far, and with such a wide variety of customers then there will always be dissatisfied ones. Smaller companies are more able to tailor their goods and services toward the specific consumer.

    As I said, I'm not promoting one over the other, just thought it wrong how people condemn something out of hand with no consideration of the benefits.

    Of course, some government intervention will always be needed to ensure privatised companies aren't taking the piss, but that's what we have corporate governance laws for along with international audit standards.


  22. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex

    That's because there aren't any provincial services any more, Dr Beeching.

    The last three times I've been to London the train coming home has been delayed or cancelled meaning I've got home one/two hours late, often having to spend extra money on taxis as I've missed the last bus by the time I reached Nottingham. Considering trains are the main access route into London, don't you think reliability on those routes is of the utmost importance?

    Oh and if you went on the LTLF Newark pub crawl and spent 45 minutes in the freezing cold listening to Andy shout abuse at the hapless lad in India on the other end of the customer service intercom trying to find out when/if we'd get a train/bus back home, you wouldn't have such a high opinion of the train service in this country (or Andy ).
    Really? The provincial train service I use to get home is a mixture of Trans Penine Express and Central Trains.

    Didn't someone jump in front of a train on your trip? Pretty sure a delay like that isn't down to privatisation.


  23. #47
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    I've yet to see a clear example of what these benefits are (I'm not on any particular side either really, predictably ) - every benefit you've listed is not directly necessarily an example of privatisation just as you've pointed out (rightly) that there's no guarantee they'd have occurred under nationalised systems.

    It's all theoretical init?


  24. #48
    winnits
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Didn't someone jump in front of a train on your trip? Pretty sure a delay like that isn't down to privatisation.
    The cause of the delay wasn't, but the Indian call centre and contingency planning to get their passengers where they need to be is their responsibility.

    I doubt it would've been a smooth experience under a nationalised system either, though. Although at least Andy could've shouted at an English person


  25. #49

    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Didn't someone jump in front of a train on your trip? Pretty sure a delay like that isn't down to privatisation.
    But it was widely reported that he was a former civil servant recently made redundant, couldn't get help for his resulting depression because the local health authority has privatised their mental health unit, and he tried topping himself at home but the gas company had cut him off.

    For a serious reply, see what Winnits said.


  26. #50
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    Default Re: Privatise everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    There's a solid case that privatisation brings with it benefits, such as increased efficiencies and competition, which in turn being down prices.

    The NHS, however, should be ring fenced.
    I hate the word 'efficiency', it's so misused by politics it makes my blood boil, they seem to equate any reduction in cost as improved efficiency. Trains are certainly run better now than they were, you get less cancellations and delays but that has come at the expense of trains on the less busy networks running a lot less frequently. But has the network got more efficient? The cost to the consumer and tax payer have both soared, being more expensive than European counterparts in both categories whilst simultaneously being less reliable, add to this a low level of investment in line and station renovation and we've hardly got an 'efficient' service.

    The reason public sector services can run at a lower cost once privatised is pretty simply, 80% of a service sector company budget typically goes on staff - the main aim after a takeover is to reduce this. Pay and benefit reductions almost always happen, this is great when looked at on an example to example basis but applied on a macroscopic scale it can have a severe consequence on a nationals overall demand in the economy, reducing the benefits of privatisation - this is difficult to evaluate so is normally just ignored in debates.

    Add to this the shift in the primary focus from high customer satisfaction to cost saving for profit (especially as large scale privatisations normally result in monopolies with little competition) you see a reducing of output, the argument of real efficiency isn't as open shut as politicians would have you believe.

    And that argument is based being much solely on the financial aspect of a country, it takes very little regard to consumer and employee happiness of the country as a whole.

    Last edited by WeAreNottingham; 03-03-12 at 17:03.

 

 

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