Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« The London Conference - Josh 380 | Main | 'Tiny the Turbine' »

No room for St Jeremy - Josh 379

Another completely off topic Corbyn cartoon - he is a bit of a gift really and I couldn't resist. 

H/t to Marcus Leroux and The BBC

Cartoons by Josh

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (156)

Network Rail is already nationalised; it is on the PSBR. That means track, signalling, bridges, tunnels, buildings, stations, etc, probably around 80% by value of a rail business, is government owned. Only the train operators are private - after a fashion. Many (RMT claimed three quarters) of the franchises are run by foreign state-owned or backed rail companies from Germany, Holland and France.

Aug 27, 2016 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

@Budgie The road system is nationalised. ..but we still refer to the road transport operators like Eddie Stobbart as being in the private sector.

Likewise in other countries the govt owns airports but private competing airlines use them.

Aug 28, 2016 at 10:58 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


Aug 28, 2016 at 11:08 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The Italians decide to respond somewhat differently to the usury crisis.

Aug 28, 2016 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

I see this blog is RAMPACKED with super handsome, super intelligent commenters

...based on the Jeremy Corbyn definition of the word

Aug 28, 2016 at 11:24 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Golf Charlie: even if the RMT do “succeed” in creating chaos on the rail system during conference season they will be shooting themselves in the foot with all barrels – indeed, every foot that they can find – leaving them with little to stand on, as it will only be the faux-workers of socialism who will be using the train; all others will do the sensible thing, and use the infinitely more flexible travelling system provided by the car.

Minty: follow my lead and ignore the Dork; he rarely writes anything of merit. Even if he does so, it is usually so cryptic as to be meaningless, so I rarely waste my time reading it. (Having said that, his last link was a real gem!)

Stewgreen: that a self-proclaimed “man of the people” should be so out of touch as to not even know common vernacular does tell you a lot about that person (and, possibly, those in his Islington sect). I wonder what was in his head when he used that phrase. How would one set about packing a ram?

Aug 28, 2016 at 12:34 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

The sleeper in the figures this past year has been Italian excess mortality ( up 9.1%)
A video from the same Utube site explains the phenomenon perfectly.
The Italian Doctor son perhaps based in London
The businessman in Asia
The daughter doing whatever Italian women do outside Italy ( have Babies?)

Capitalistic concentration ( orbiting London) explains why the trains planes and automobiles are full.
Increased distribution costs means less for real consumption, it's a elementary observation.

Aug 28, 2016 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Aug 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Rapturous Rattie.
Generally I agree with you about His Dorkness, but occasionally he speaks on subjects of which he clearly has no real knowledge. Then it is a joy to bring him down. This happened when he started pontificating about coal in the Ukraine, which led on to his stupidities about resource estimates, coal extraction technologies and so on. My picking him up on his hero Frederick Soddy on this thread led to an unusally angry response, suggesting I hit a nerve. Now you suggest I forego such pleasures.

Aug 28, 2016 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

From a energy balance perspective these economies / societies whether peripheral Ireland or Spain or more central Northern Italy changed from economies burning chiefly heavy oil for domestic production / consumption into classic dash for Nat gas economies which are now failing.

The purposeful inflation of oil in the 1970s was centrally planned by the scarcity merchants.
This is now obvious.
The substitution of heavy oil increased the costs of domestic production / consumption.
Heavy oil which was never in shortage flowed into international shipping.
The data cannot be denied.
The inflation of the 70s and beyond is also chiefly responsible for the European demographic crisis today.
All of this is clear as day
How can you refute this?

Again you did not respond to my core critic of your Donbass depletion story.
Depletion is a gradual and not sudden process.
Production stopped in mainly 2 phases.
The end of communism and the current war period.
If there was a war on Welsh soil a hundred years ago I am sure British coalfields would also have seen such a collapse even if there was no substitute.

It is very difficult to engage with your arguments simply because they are so piss poor and without logic.

Aug 28, 2016 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Stepping on more nerves your Dorkiness?

With regard to decline of Ukranian coalfields, did you ever consider the possibility that industries kept operating within a centrally controlled society, although in a capitalist setting would be running at a financial loss, would either collapse spectacularly, or would be maintained by the state as a zombie industry by infusion of subsidies? When state support fails the extraction industries (like Ukranian coal) fail, aided and abetted by union activities.

Aug 28, 2016 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

All industry is subsidised.
A blogger by the name of Steve from Virgina writes very good posts on this topic if interested although is too Maltusian for my taste.

So the question needs to be framed differently.
If I desire industry then where will the subsidy be directed.
( social creditors prefer the subsidy be directed at final consumption rather then the chosen providers but let's not deal with that now)
Current subsidies in the west have one primary goal, to keep the price if energy up.
Not to provide surplus energy.
It is therefore a financial rather then physical economy policy goal.
Try to imagine the energy directed and wasted into keeping the wood fires of Drax and others burning and contrast them with even old deep and fractured coal basins.
If they can do a Drax job, (think of the wasted diesel and marine fuel harvesting, refining and transporting low calorific biomass) then they can mine deep pits.

Again it is clearly a financial policy goal, that is to waste energy on distribution and subsequently claim there is a shortage

It's as clear as day.
Whether you dislike me or not is not the point.
The truth is obvious.
It's screaming off ever energy balance chart that I see anyhow.
If you continue to deny this you must either be a propagandist for the scarcity merchants or suffer from a serious intellectual impairment.

Richard Burtons father armed with a pick and knowledge of the seam is far more productive then the American wood conversion Into British electricity scheme.

Aug 28, 2016 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Just to add , all low Btu energy extraction / production operations of the past had one defining characteristic.
That is proximity to fuel source.
The two classic examples that come to my head are Irish peat and German Lignite operations.
Current Drax operations violate this golden rule because their objective is not production.
Its obviously a strategic financial goal operating under a absurd green cover.

Aug 28, 2016 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Classic Irish fuel scarcity operation.
The banning of bituminous coal in concert with the further ramping up of wasteful corporate scarcity operations.
Notice also, they need the cooperation of the northern authorities to close the vice perfectly.

As almost all coal for heating is burned rurally in Ireland , air quality is most certainly not the goal.

Given the increased transport and refinery inputs Co 2 emissions likely to increase.

Also these ovids simply do not burn very well, forcing additional people from rural areas into Nat gas monopoly urban areas.

Me thinks Co 2 emissions on the high seas do not count inside the pseudo religious books they sell us but hell these guys are making it up as they go along.
It's all mighty crack if you remain close to the money monopolists.

Aug 28, 2016 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

"He reserved a seat on the previous train, but missed it becasue he was talking to the public"
So hedidn't even have a proper ticket
Virgin used to have the reputation for malicious penalties for people who got on the wrong train (R4 prog with Tom Wrigglesworth and the granny)"

Again, you don't understand catching a train. Even with an 'open' ticket you can have a reserved seat which is one of the issued with lots of reserved seats not actually being used.

Aug 28, 2016 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Radical Rodent, the Party Political Conference season provides a welcome boost to seaside holiday resorts, after most of the British public are no longer able or willing to take holidays. I don't know whether the SNP are planning to make the 3 week October Political Fudge Fest into a full 4 week extravaganza.

The RMT have already brought chaos to Scotland and South East England over who should press the button to shut the doors. I don't know if they have not decided not to argue about the colour of the button. Red perhaps?

Labour can't decide who they should employ to provide "Security" at their Conference, though I am sure Momentum are eager to demonstrate their ability to control and rule by mob support. Liverpool's Militant Momentum Tendency has some old scores to settle with Old/New and New/Old Labour and this time, with home advantage too!

In best Soviet tradition, Corbyn is due to be announced as the undisputed champion of the Labour Party on Day 1 of the conference, and by Day 5, the number of safe Labour seats suddenly available and up for grabs, will have been determined, even if the sitting safe Labour MP's are not aware of it.

God bless Democracy.

Aug 28, 2016 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This thread, like so many others, has become "rampacked" with Dorks.
Do they have tickets to ride on this franchise? They certainly don't know where they're going.
We urgently need an inspector to turn the **********s off.

Aug 29, 2016 at 6:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

While I wouldn’t go as far as you would like, Mr K, the dork does not know when to stop – after a little praise from me for his link, he then soils his own bed by suggesting that it contains all sorts of hidden messages, blah blablah blah…

Aug 29, 2016 at 8:36 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Many (RMT claimed three quarters) of the franchises are run by foreign state-owned or backed rail companies from Germany, Holland and France.

Here are the main Railway players together with their market share:

Arriva 13.9%
FirstGroup 25.2%
Government 4.0%
GoVia 19.3%
NEG 7.9%
Serco Abellio 10.3%
StageCoach 12.3%
Virgin 7.2%

Arriva - Based in Sunderland - now owned by Deutsche Bahn
FirstGroup - British - also operates in Ireland, USA and Canada
Government - Used to be British, currently EU owned but should revert back to British ownership in a couple of years
GoVia - UK
NEG - British - also operates in USA, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Germany and Morocco.
Serco NedRail - British/Dutch
Virgin - British

The foreign owned ones are Arriva and half of Serco Abellio giving those 'orrible foreigners about 19% of the market share.

Arriva spins off a separate company for every franchise (eg. CrossCountry, Chiltern Railways, Tyne &Wear Metro etc) so RMT count each subsiduary as a separate foreign owned company which is how they manage to make their claim.

As for profits...

Every pound spent on tickets goes to the following:

Investment in Rail Network: 26p
Maintaining Track and trains: 22p
Staff Costs: 25p
Interest Payments: 9p
Leasing Trains: 11p
Fuel for Trains: 4p
Profits: 3p

Aug 29, 2016 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

TerryS. Do you have access to data on the degree of overbooking or emptyness of trains in the UK, in other words what is the extent of rampackedness in the system? This must be very variable if my wretched experience of the Norwich-Liverpool Street line is anything to go by - everything from rampacked to ghost-trainedness.

Aug 29, 2016 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK - I think operators have that data based on load cell technology in carriages and it can turn up in odd places such as franchise agreements' specifications for level of service. Perhaps there is a central database for it, but I suspect if it exists it is not easily accessible. An organisation that might track it would be Transport Focus (previously Passenger Focus).

Aug 29, 2016 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

@Rob_Burton >>Even with an 'open' ticket you can have a reserved seat which is one of the issued with lots of reserved seats not actually being used.<<
- No I was not aware that your open ticket and your reservation are separate..and that if you miss your reserved seat train, you can use the ticket on later trains. That seems daft to me your reserved seat on the first train sits empty cos people are scared you are going to turn up.
- (in my area it is not practical to use the train ..(few stations/trains and high prices we are subsidising the London area)

Aug 29, 2016 at 10:59 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen, I am not sure why you wrote that the roads are "nationalised" - most people know that. In contrast I stated that Network Rail is already nationalised because, in my experience, few people do seem to be aware of it. Having stated that fact, it was my mistake to assume the corollary was obvious: that those who argue either "for" or "against" nationalisation are both missing the point - that Britain's railways are already mostly nationalised.

TerryS, Thank you for winkling out who owns what in the train operating businesses and explaining how RMT get a misleading result.

However my point that British railways are already mostly nationalised is still valid. The result is "re-nationalising" British railways will be less expensive and less disruptive than most people seem to realise. That is not to say that I approve of Corbyn's lying and petulant plotting to turn this country into Venezuela mark two - I don't.

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

It does seem that the RMT are set on forcing private companies out of the UK railway system, so that the UK Government is forced to take back ownership, bit by bit.

This also suggests that the RMT in supporting Corbyn, know he has very little chance of being the next Prime Minister, but a more Militant styled Labour in Opposition will help and support.

Aug 29, 2016 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

If Private Eye is to be believed, there is an example between private and public rail: Southeastern Rail (or whatever its name might be, now). This was privatised, and the company then proceeded to screw the passengers. Passenger numbers fell, the company collapsed, and the service was taking back, under local government control. The service improved, passenger numbers rose, and it was privatised…. Rinse and repeat.

My own experience was that BR (as was) was improving, the subsidies were down to “just” £750 million, and were set to fall further. After privatisation, the subsidies shot up to over £2 BILLION, and have remained there, ever since; the companies get the profit, the tax-payers carry the risk. Hmmmm….

Aug 29, 2016 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Re: RR

Prior to privatisation, passenger numbers where falling. Since privatisation they have increased.

The rail company was Connex. They had the rail franchise from 1996 to 2003 when it was taken off them due to poor financial management. It was taken over by South Eastern Trains (government owned) for 3 years until the end of the franchise. At that point the franchise was won by Southeastern (a private company). They still have the franchise.

Subsidies are actually £4.8 billion but 3.8 billion of that went to Network Rail (owned by the Government)

The remaining subsidy covers things like Crossrail (£1.1billion) and British Transport Police.

The government received a net 1.3p, from the train companies, for every passenger km travelled.

This doesn't mean every operator pays more to the government than it receives. For example, Merseyrail received a net 12.4p per passenger km and South West Trains paid a net 6p per passenger km.

Aug 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Stiglitz speaking on the today programme stated he is off some sort of economic ( really taxing) advisory Labour body until the leadership issue is sorted....

The entire Today programme this morning has been dominated by the Apple taxing controversy.
Again Apple operations has very little impact on consumption in Cork city.
Most of its employees are now foreigners working temporary contracts who remit most of their income home, this is rational as goods in Ireland are
saddled with massive consumption taxes.
Better to work save and get the F€£k out.

The Apple thingy is in reality a battle between a favoured American corporate and holders of Irish debt who seek revenue to pay interest.

Aug 30, 2016 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

If Corbyn is keeping Stiglitz off a labour advisory committee then he must be doing something right.

This notorious cheerleader of so called good and not bad globalisation has a vicious Clintonite pedigree.

He finishes his interview stating everybody should pay their fair share of tax....
But to who?

Aug 30, 2016 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Friends! After a month's absence - due, obviously, to Brexit and Far-Right Tory Austerity - my Blog is back!

A full description of the literally appalling train journey that Jeremy and I endured to the literally appalling Newcastle is contained therein, along with our highly original solution to the problem, i.e. public ownership, so that the railways can once again attain the standard of service that they achieved in the 1970s, which Thatcher totally destroyed.

Aug 30, 2016 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupportOurLefty

Simon Calder on the radio yesterday ..That if there genuinely are too many bums for the seats then the seats are too cheap, so it's easy enough to raise the prices and fix it.

It also makes me think that if train occupancy is supposed to have risen that maybe cos the seats are too cheap.
Bet a lot of those full seats are pensioners on a pass ..not full price.

Aug 30, 2016 at 3:11 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen. Or those b******ds who plan well ahead and get subsidized seats, or families travelling with family and friend passes, so not paying their fair share, students (who are inveterate free loaders), military folks and so on and so on. It's no wonder decent last minute travellers have to sit on the floor or have to pay ticket inspectors extortionate fees when found travelling ticketless or illegally in a first-class carriage. And as for those who unsportingly search out cheap tickets on websites, so depriving our wonderful train-operating franchises mamimal profits, well they're just beyond the pale.

Aug 30, 2016 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Working in a house clearance today: Picked up 3 inter war English silver half crowns
In the early 30s I could have had a good night out in the town, I believe in the region of 45 pints......

Today I would get 4 if lucky ( equilivant silver value)

Not a believer in tax and redistribute but the Irish local managers just refused 11 billion euros or something silly like that today.
No thanks

Meanwhile consumption ( usury) taxes inflate beer beyond drinkability.
Irish must remain in permanent hibernation.

Aug 30, 2016 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

"The White Whale tasks me, he heaps me "

Aug 30, 2016 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

ACK, while I acknowledge the sarcasm in your post, I would see nothing wrong in a system that charged the same for the same seat and journey no matter who (but not when) and did not allow standing. When I commuted by train I admit being irked by standing while others sat who had paid less than me.

I don't go on UK trains now. Except occasionally the tube. My last proper train journey was on a Shinkansen. Thoroughly satisfactory but pricy. Do you know the seats all point forwards all the time? My last train journey of any kind was up Pike's Peak on the cog railway. Uncomfortable and expensive but unrivalled views.

Is there any train anywhere which runs unsubsidised?

Aug 30, 2016 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Correction, my last train journey was DOWN Pike's Peak.

Aug 30, 2016 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

rhoda. It would be easy to agree with you that all should pay equally for the same service. However, train services are heavily subsidized by the state - that is by everyone who pays taxes, rich and poor. If you don't allow the poorer in our society to benefit from cheaper fares, you will essentially deprive them of using trains. This would result in the poor subsidizing the richer's rail use. As it is most cheap fares have to be booked well ahead and are only available for off-peak travel.

Would you also remove the discount that season tickets offer?

Aug 30, 2016 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

I got no use out of season tickets because I didn't need to go to London every day. I'd have liked a multi-trip ticket like a metro carnet. I don't much like your system where the poor can travel cheap and the rich pay twice. Yes, that is what it means. I find if I drive I only have to pay once for the train I didn't use.

Aug 30, 2016 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

rhoda. Let's face it, there's no perfect answer and you can formulate arguments for both sides.

I envy you for travelling on Japan's bullet train. I have travelled between Koln and Munich where the trains reach comparable speeds. The best organized train service I have experienced is the Swiss. Expensive but you can purchase a weekly pass that allows you to travel everywhere. Clean, punctual but the best feature is that the timetable meshes perfectly with bus, ferry and cablecar schedules. Wonderful!

Aug 30, 2016 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

"Heh team, we're going home - read the ticket. Are you sure this is a starboard seat, or for political reasons should we be on the port side? That Branson's already tried to set me up, offering me first-class seats".

Aug 31, 2016 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Invaluable analysis ! Speaking of which , if your business want to merge PDF or PNG files , my family used a tool here

Sep 1, 2016 at 4:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSunshine Cortes

Ack !
Even with the Bishop gone, trainspotters run on time .

Sep 1, 2016 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Solve the problem ? Seems to me it's a planning problwem rather than a transport one.
Yes move the jobs and people neared to each other in the first place.
In other countries the property market is both more fluid and less overheated. So if you get a new job it's much easier just to buy/rent a place nearer to it. And it's also easily for a biz to move location

There is probably no real essential reason why many gov jobs have to be in London, paying London weighting.

Sep 1, 2016 at 12:00 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Russell "trainspotters run on time". When I was a small boy (the last time I ever spotted trains) it was a rather sedentary experience watching the trains pass by. We never had to run, and the time we used was always ours to control. You did it differently?

Cannot make a connection either between trainspotting and the Bish. Not sure I want to know.

Sep 1, 2016 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK



Corbyn - a hypocrite and liar another beardie.


Sep 3, 2016 at 1:08 AM | Registered CommenterPcar



Corbyn - a hypocrite and liar exposed by another beardie.


Sep 3, 2016 at 1:10 AM | Registered CommenterPcar



Corbyn - a hypocrite and liar exposed by another beardie.


Sep 3, 2016 at 1:11 AM | Registered CommenterPcar



Corbyn - a hypocrite and liar exposed by another beardie.


Sep 3, 2016 at 1:14 AM | Registered CommenterPcar

@GC, Aug 26, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Neil Kinnock holds the UK Record for longest serving Leader of the Opposition. This is what he had to say about Militant

"I'll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that, outdated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council – a Labour council – hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers ...

I am telling you, no matter how entertaining, how fulfilling to short-term egos – you can't play politics with people's jobs and with people's services or with their homes."

With the support of Momentum, Corbyn intends to discredit Kinnock's record of unachievement for Labour, but superlative achievement at enriching himself and his family at taxpayers' expense courtesy of one John Major.


Sep 3, 2016 at 1:49 AM | Registered CommenterPcar

Is Pcar referring to the wannabe PM or his brother , the DIY weather wizard?

Sep 3, 2016 at 4:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

2016 lost so many of our heroes Bowie ,Prince , Ronnie Corbett ,Kenny Baker the midget who played R2D2

Luckily we have a new hero ,the bloke that ran off with Eddie Izzard's pink Berret

Dork you may now discuss

Sep 4, 2016 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>