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So the RMT are obviously in trouble. This ‘event’ reeks of desperation.
What on earth is Bernie Sanders, an American senator, doing there?
And “the government is refusing to provide proper funding”???? What on earth are we employing a Mayor to do? And a Mayor who continually invents new forms of fund-raising from vehicle drivers as a secretive way to raise revenue! Why is HE not funding the London transport system with THAT money?
Hmmm. Where have you been these past three years, Martin? You might have picked up a better understanding of how London’s transport system is reliant on passengers paying fares for its revenues.
But if you really think that the vast a growing popular movement, of which the RMT is a part, is “obviously in trouble”, then you should go along to the rally yourself this week.
You might learn something else.
TfL are funded by
• Fares – this is the largest single source of their income
• Other income, including advertising, commercial activity and the Congestion Charge
• Grants and business rates
• Borrowing and cash reserves
Compared to other cities, London’s TfL gets three-quarters of its revenue from passengers. In New York and Paris, for their transport systems, it’s only about a third. When we travel on public transport, we’re seen by the Tories as cash cows, and are treated as second-class citizens compared to motorists.
The reason things are difficult for TfL now is Boris Johnson. When he was Mayor of London, he agreed a deal with the Tory government to run down the £700 million a year that central government funding pumped into the capital’s transport system. This was to be offset against increased business rate revenue and fare increases.
Unfortunately two things happened.
One was that when Boris stopped being Mayor, Sadiq Khan replaced him. Not only is he Labour, he’s also a Muslim of Pakistani origin. That’s a red rag to the racist Tory bulls. To add insult to their injury, not only did he beat that useless Tory drip Zac Goldsmith in 2016, in 2021 he beat that prize Tory pillock, Shaun Bailey.
The second problem was the pandemic and lockdown, which meant passenger numbers and thus revenue dropped. Keeping TfL running was therefore down to government funding again (using our money), and the Conservatives prefer to play political football with the capital’s transport network so as to punish Khan for winning twice, and to try and stop him winning a third time.
This isn’t about finances, it’s all down to politics.
As for Bernie Saunders, he’s everything that Keir Starmer isn’t; outspoken, radical and popular.
I like Bernie Sanders too, Arfur, and I agree that he’s several levels better than Keir Starter as a politician …. but WHAT was he doing as the guest speaker at this rally?
His speech lasted a total of 90 seconds, and he (quite rightly) criticised the Russian oligarchs and the greed of of private corporations, but it is abundantly clear that he knows nothing of the British Trades Union movement, or the railway industry, or the financial paucity of TFL, or the politics of London. Surely there must be others who would have been better suited to the task?
As of the “vast a growing [sic] movement of which the RMT is a part” referred to by IC above, maybe I don’t see it because it doesn’t exist? If IC means that all the Trades Unions are applying for wage increases (a process which I support) then I maintain that this is not a “movement” – it’s just what the unions are there for, and quite right too!