Heya! How’s it going?
So, there’s been a fair bit of news about trains here in the UK recently. Now, I have to admit, the last time I travelled by train was something like 4 years ago or so, but that doesn’t means that I shouldn’t be concerned about the train situation.
First of all, the price of tickets. Yes, people here in the UK complains about it all the time, but they have good reason to: The cost of a ticket, as I found out in a tweet by someone else, and which I retweeted, is more than twice that of other countries in the EU, for the equivalent distance.
Now, the UK is well known for being one of the most ridiculously expensive countries in the world, and it’s also well-known that – unless you’re one of the 1%ers – the wages aren’t keeping up with that anyway. Most people have pretty much seen their wages rising by 1% or not at all every year since the global financial crisis in 2008. When you compare that with the fact that costs of everything has been rising regardless, it’s no wonder that people are saying that what they’re earning, they’re just not having as much money left over anymore, and it’s gotten to the stage where people like nurses and so on are having to go to food banks.
This is despite the Tories’ claim that if you work hard, you shouldn’t need benefits. Hah. Right. Delusional as always.
Anyway, back to trains. Since 2007 – so it was certainly while Labour were last in power – it’s been the government policy to have train passengers pay more for the train industry’s income than taxpayers’ money. Which sounds good in principle. But not when it was decided that the RPI (which stands for Retail Price Index) would determines just how much train companies can raise the prices of regulated tickets. And since the RPI has consistently been something like 2% higher than any pay rise your normal worker get… Just keep adding pressure to how much money people have to earn before they can actually get any money in the bank.
There is definitely going to be a breaking point somewhere. I don’t know how close it’ll be, but it’s getting to the stage where people just won’t be able to afford to commute to work. And if they can’t commute to work… How do employers and governments and all that expect people to earn money, to pay tax, to buy food and other items? Answer: They can’t. Unfortunately, far too many employers are too fixated on adding another few 0s to their bank balance to care about this.
So, are Labour to blame for this? Hmm… Yes, and no. In 2007, people were seeing decent pay rises, so setting it to the RPI probably made sense back then, but when the global financial crisis set in, they really should’ve done something to make sure that people weren’t gonna be out-of-pocket by having to pay more while earning less, in real-terms money.
And even if they didn’t do something, the Tories had seven years during which time they could’ve fixed the injustice. Of course they wouldn’t. As far as they’re concerned, if you’re not in the 1%, you’re not worth their time.
Train companies and so on will make all the excuses they can think of – extra running costs, modernisation of trains, paying employees, etc, etc… But fact is, they are making a killing by hiking up their prices to the maximum possible every single time.
There was also a Labour MP – Chris Williamson – who raised the possibility of having women-only train carriages as a way of reducing sexual offences and creating safe spaces. Which again, sounds like a decent idea – and indeed, had been set up in certain countries in the past – but the problem is…
Well, it’s two-fold, for me. First of all, I dun want to feel like I’m being herded into a separate carriage, just because there’s a possibility that there’s gonna be some creepy guy who’ll think he can sexually assault me just because.
Secondly, and this is the most important point: It carries with it the suggested idea that this kind of behaviour is “normal”, and also suggests that it’s the lady’s fault. And that’s something that we should never ever encourage. We should make it abundantly clear that the problem is not the lady’s, it’s the guy’s, and every single guy that think it’s okay to grope ladies against their will, to take upskirts pictures against their will, to sexually assault and rape them, we should be making it so clear it’s viewable from space that those guys are totally and completely in the wrong and that they should be punished to the maximum extent possible every single time.
(And I mentioned upskirts because there’s been a few stories lately where ladies have found out that people have secretly taken upskirt pictures of them… And yet very little get done when they reports those perverts.)
What else? Well, it was discovered today that Richard Branson – I refuse to dignify him with the honorific “Sir” – decided that he would pretty much lie against a Labour politician (Jeremy Corbyn) by pretending that there really were seats on a train when Corbyn made the now-infamous comments that he was sitting on the floor because the train was packed. And it was found out today that actually… Corbyn was right.
So why did Branson lie? Well… He’s a Tory voter and donates money to them. He’s against Corbyn because Corbyn wants to re-nationalise (bring back under government control) the railways, and he own a railway network. He also hates the NHS and is sueing the NHS for refusing to given him the contract to provide children’s services in Surrey. (Obviously, with him being a Tory, it’s pretty much a given he hates the NHS – he cries at night at the thought of all that money he’s not stealing from people with a privatised healthcare system, similar to how it’s done in the USA…)
And I’m all for keeping the NHS, by the way. I have no idea how much the fact that I’m deaf would’ve cost my parents and myself over the years, but I’m pretty sure if I had been American, I’d almost certainly would’ve been broke for the whole of my life. (Maybe a slight extaggeration, but only slight!)
Now, I honestly have no problem with people earning a lot of money, but far too often, it seems like those that has a lot of money always seems to want more, and they always seems to want to discriminate against those who don’t have much.
Personally, if I was ever lucky enough to win the lottery or something, I’d be content with that. There’s no way that I would ever turn round and say, “I want more, let’s rob the poor” or anything like that. But then, I’m not a money-grubbing greedy scum. *grins*
Okay… Rant’s over. I’ll write again soon. In the meantime, hope all’s going well with you!