Three painful points of Great Britain - education, health, and passenger transportation - are now becoming national issue number one.
“Things are in such a disorder and even worse than I could imagine…” –this is this week's comment on the national health system made by Royal Medical College’s president, Sir Peter Morris.
“Complete and full disorder… We are now in a much worse and probably more dangerous situation…” – the state of the railways at the moment according to British Council of Railway Passengers’ chairman, Stewart Francis.
The accusation of terrifying incompetence against the British government hardly could be worse. Five years have passed since the “new” Labourites promised to preserve the national health system and to guarantee an “effective and pure transport.” And what are the results of these promises? The public services have made a leap from bad to the worse. Therefore, what has happened in particular with the railways since the company turned to a strict administration and a total commerce base? What happened after British railways were privatized? Everything is clear: it is an almost classical example of any privatization. State bodies have almost lost their control and levers controlling the situation of the British railways. The company now belongs to accountant economists who have no idea about how to run the railways. Morals and strict demands regarding the prevention of accidents were neglected for sake of commercial profits. Key members of the engineering staff are leaving the company in crowds.
For the time being, the leadership headed by Steven Bayer in its monthly information bulletins tries to hide the truth about train delays that have reached 45 percent. According to the results of previous years, Great Britain holds its positions in Europe with its accident rate in railway transportation.
These statistics are just a warning that Great Britain’s railways could be in much worse situation than after the well-known crash in Hatfield, which caused many human lives. Did the company make any conclusions after this tragedy? Almost none.
At the moment, the company’s leadership is searching for ways to withdraw from the crisis and is considering the possibility of a several-billion-pound loan from so-called state “railway program.” Nevertheless, calls of politicians and the public becoming louder and louder in Great Britain for the railways’ deprivatization and to return them to the state’s control.
Svetlana Tarasova PRAVDA.Ru London
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/18/34928.html