Labour Leader Ed Miliband has laid out his plans for the railways to the Labour Party national policy forum. He outlined all the familiar problems that have come from rail privatisation: the contrast between the risks of the private sector contrasted with the success of the publicly owned East Coast mainline and the scandal of foreign public bodies owning our railways to name but two.
Yet still he bottled it when it came to a solution. 70 per cent of the electorate want the whole system taken back into public ownership. They want the railways run as a public service not for private profit.
That's not what Miliband offers. He just wants to allow UK public-sector bodies to bid against the privateers for franchises. It doesn't change much and means that Labour, like the Lib Dems and Tories have failed to side with passengers and taxpayers. All three instead back the shareholders in the rail companies.
Like other unions we want the railways brought back under public ownership. As private franchises expire they should simply be transferred to the public sector. That should be the policy of any Party that cares about Britain as a whole and not just the wealthier sections of it!