on 11 May 2002
Andrew Murray's book is an excellent and very clear account of the privatisation of British Rail and the consequences. He begins with a brief history of the railways and their ownership and then goes on to describe how privatisation was achieved, and the results. There is a long section in which railway workers of all sorts give their views on what has happened and, to a man, they are unfavourable, though we do not know if he omitted favourable ones. Finally, he proposes a way forward in the form of some kind of renationalisation - bond issues, for example, a la the New York Metro.
This book makes grim reading for those of us caught up in the present system by necessity. If you are a privatiser, you may conclude that it could have been done better, but Murray makes a very reasonable case for a return to some form of public ownership.
Another excellent account of the disaster that was rail privatisation. I wish that politicians would read and learn from it, although some probably have but keep a low profile. The book sets out what has happened since the build up to privatisation and brings us up to 2002. The tragic accidents that occurred in the intervening years are explained fully, and the haemmoraging of our taxes on a flawed ideology are pointed out .There are also accounts from some members of the rail staff, which make sobering reading. The final chapter sets out a valid case for a return to Public ownership(some of which has been done in part under a different name). Altogether a thought provoking and fascinating read and not just for Railway enthusiasts. Every Taxpayer should read and note.
on 25 June 2013
I know, let's all get into cars, cover the country in roads and make it impossible to function without cars by building shops out of town, work miles from where we live and send our children to school well out of walking disance. Briiliant and then run down the alterantives and in the end hand them over to the so-called private sector to make money from. Then of course we can sit back and moan about the climate change ruining our summer due to global warming brought on by burning fossil fuels. All this is in part caused by poor transport infrastructure and this wonderfully concise book helps map out the aspect of this from the point of view of our railway.
on 6 September 2008
Andrew Murray's book sets out a good account of the historical events of the privatisation of British Rail, but being a highly political issue perhaps one shouldn't be surprised to find that it falls into the trap of being a very one sided and biased account, rather than an academic piece and for this reason I have only given it half the available number of stars!!
Privatisation was never going to be easy but for those of us who worked for British Rail and witnessed the appalling waste of public money, saw the disgraceful management from which outside applicants were barred, and experienced the suffocating grip of the powerful unions who resisted ANY form of progress it makes for quite uncomfortable reading. It raised my blood pressure so much that I binned the book afterwards.