by Bodwyn Wook
[The context is an on-going discussion on-line, of the fact certain classes of railway worker in England may be made redundant by allegedly safe new technologies, thus eliminating the need even for train drivers — BW]
OLD Reagen here fired the airline controllers who thought themselves “indispensabler than Christ” and struck the government in 1981, and hired a load of new ones. I think these bravos all must be frowsting it to-day as ‘consultants’ for private contractors. Whereas I gather that with you to-day the railways also are more or less all desperately privatised right to the hilt — and still in the fiscal privy & sh-thouse.
What jams up the cost profile? Is it the persistance of surrounding government regulatory impositions? And/or the unions? How financially sensible is this separate incorporation of maintenance of way? A pinch will get you a pound these ‘independent’ and ‘self reliant’ companies whined to beat Hell like a poison pup until Aunty Maggie and Uncle Old Brown took the ‘burden’ of paying for track repairs off their books! The book-keeping in other words is now all falsified as Cheney & Obama & Israel, and any God-damn fool who would buy shares in this stuff positively deserves a good —ing, just on grounds of the stupidity of greed.
As a libertarian I have mixed feelings, the unions certainly represent freedom of association, and I reckon I am with them and not the corporate set-ups which as a rule are not bona fide entrepreneurships and just as Evil vide Liberty as states, by definition. On the other hand, the closed shop is also anathema. But in the interval it does seem clear historically the unions have brought up the base rate for others as ‘free agents’ then to come in and haggle over (and down!), as post-union free-lancers and scabs so to speak. As with all large-scale set-ups there is this up & down cycle of corruption…it seems to be the unavoidable corollary of everyone’s combined drive for a little material security, and thumb-sucking.
ONE Is left feeling, well, there you have it, even supposing we do win through to our libertarian paradise — other factors in the human personality will then compensate for this, too (Or “…f-ck it ALL up all OVER again,” as “One Man” Wendell Spencer, our acting foreman, used to say out on the mainline thirty years ago….)
[Bodwyn Wook all rights reserved 30 May 2009]