Letter: Campaigning on renationalising the the railways isn’t leading the opposition - but following far behind

5 September 2018

On Monday, Labour members were out across the country handing out flyers about their plans to renationalise the railways.

Matt EdwardsAs a representative of the Green Party, I wholeheartedly support the idea of a rail network ran in the interest of commuters – not shareholders (this letter was started on the delayed 16:30 from Huddersfield to Leeds).

In fact, a publicly-run, affordable and reliable railway network is at the heart of what the Green Party stand for.

Railway commuters, especially those across Bradford have had a raw deal thanks to a combination of rising fairs (3.5% next year!), chronically unreliable services and antiquated trains well passed their use-by date.

However, I am not alone in this opinion. In fact, an poll carried out by Sky earlier this year revealed that 60% of people supported bringing the railways back under public ownership – and this was before the May timetable fiasco!

It’s clear that the majority of us are already in favour of this idea, which begs the question, who are Labour trying to convince? This isn’t leading the opposition, but following it far behind. But we shouldn't be surprised.

Since becoming Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow cabinet has failed to take the initiative with any genuinely radical policies.

Despite boasting of their environmental credentials, Labour MPs voted in favour of a new runway at Heathrow, Labour councillors here in Bradford have continued to approve planning applications that will bring misery to local people – the Keighley incinerator to choose a prominent example – and Labour Party as a whole has failed to offer any opposition to a Tory Hard Brexit.

If Labour want to convince people they are truly radical, they need to stand up for genuinely radical policies.

Until then, the Green Party will continue to champion genuinely transformative policies that will benefit our entire country such as the universal basic income, a land value tax, a four-day working week and an economy focused around protecting our environment, small businesses and our communities.


Matt Edwards

Bradford District Green Party



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